Weekly Update!

Yesterday was the second meeting of the ‘Opps for Apps’ team and it was a productive one! The team discussed a range of important matters related ┬áto the project. Of most significance was the drafting out of the questionnaire we are going to ask students, who take part in the project, to complete. After carrying out research into existing (primarily U.S. based) material on the use of educational apps in the classroom we managed to formulate an accessible yet pertinent set of questions. We now need to explore the ways in which we might transfer this into an electronic format so that students can complete the questionnaire on the same tablets they use for the apps.

We also discussed acquisition of the selected apps, potential dates for the symposium (the second week of June) and the specific needs of students taking part in the study who may have special learning requirements.

Moving Forward

We are hoping to get student and staff feedback on the use of apps across all levels of teaching. To this end we have spoken with a range of module tutors about the possibilities of utilizing the case software in a multitude of embedded ways from level 4 through to 7.

Appointment of research assistant

Larissa Allwork has agreed to assist on the project. She has extensive experience of co-ordinating research projects and organising events so will be a huge asset to the project, particularly the organisation of the Symposium and staff development event. The three of us will meet next Thursday 30 October to co-ordinate our roles.

meeting with LearnTech technicians

We met with Rob Farmer and Al Holloway on Wednesday 22 October in order to get their advice on the technical aspects of the project. The meeting was really helpful in terms of how LearnTech can support the project through the supply of ipads, technical help, and training. Rob came up with some really good ideas such as asking students to bring in their own ipads and buying iTunes cards in order to purchase the Apps. We also discussed whether the data collection could be done online or through the ipads; Al recommended looking at Google Forms as they provide a simple template that could be adapted.

Inaugural meeting

We held the inaugural meeting of the ‘Opps for Apps’ project on Tuesday 21 October. We discussed our workplan, our roles, and the choice of Apps for the project. We decided on piloting a variety of Apps: Explore Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Eliot’s The Waste Land, Carmilla, and Alice in Wonderland. We will now approach colleagues to discuss the best way to embed them into modules. We also discussed the design of the questionnaires to collect student and staff feedback on the Apps. It was agreed that we will draw on the support of LearnTech colleagues, Rob Farmer and Al Holloway for help with this aspect of the project. We also discussed the Symposium; we will need to decide on format, arrange a date and invite speakers fairly soon. We also need to take on a research assistant and we agreed to identify and approach possible candidates.