Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Digital Student Experience




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SRHE Events
The Digital Student Experience: Exploring the role of technology on the student experience
Date - Friday 15 November 2013
Venue - SRHE, 73 Collier Street, London N1 9BE
Network - Student Experience/Digital University

This event has been put together by the SRHE Student Experience Network and the Digital University Network. We will be exploring the role of technology on the student experience, with a focus on research that has engaged students and investigates their experiences.
Draft programme:
11:00am Coffee and registration
11:30am Introduction
11:45am Jeremy Segrott, Cardiff University, 'Connecting academic writers - the #Acwri Twitter group'.
12:30pm Lunch
1:30pm Melissa Highton, University of Oxford, 'Researching the Digital Student Experience of Oxford University'
2:15pm Eve Stirling, University of Sheffield, 'Stories from Facebook'
3:00pm Panel with questions from Twitter
3:30pm Tea and close
'Connecting academic writers - the #Acwri Twitter group':

This presentation discusses our experience of developing #Acwri – a Twitter-based support network that aims to identify common challenges in the writing process; enable participants to reflect on their own practice as writers; and share strategies for effective writing.  Acwri 'meets' on Twitter fortnightly, using synchronous tweets (messages) and a keyword (#acwri – short for academic writing), enabling anyone with a Twitter account to follow and/participate. 
Jeremy Segrott is a research fellow in public health based in the DECIPHer Research Centre at Cardiff University His research focuses on the role of family relationships and parenting in the prevention of alcohol misuse by young people, and the effectiveness of family and school-based prevention programmes. 
'Researching the Digital Student Experience of Oxford University':
In 2011 researchers at Oxford University undertook a study of the student digital experience within the University in an attempt to identify technologies which appropriately support Oxford's traditional teaching methods, graduate skills expectations, and the social dimension of student life. The purpose of the study was to inform institutional decision-making and to understand how current technologies, systems and services are perceived and experienced by students and staff.
Melissa Highton is Director of Academic IT at Oxford University. She is responsible for developing use of technology in learning and teaching across the university and maintaining Oxford's world-class reputation in the areas of IT support for learning, teaching and research.  She leads service delivery and projects in Academic IT to meet the needs of lecturers and researchers in furthering the strategic goals of the University.
'Stories from Facebook'
Facebook is ubiquitous in many of the lives of young undergraduate students. Research in this area shows that Facebook is a key tool in being a student (Selwyn, 2009), both through social support and supporting academic study. The focus of Eve's research is exploring the realities of social media use by undergraduates. Specifically their use of Facebook in the first-year transition to university. She did this through a mixed method two-phase approach of large-scale questionnaires (n=685) and a longitudinal connective ethnography (n=6), across Facebook and the university campus. The findings are presented in six narrative stories of my Facebook friends at key moments across the academic year. Drawing on this data she presents two contrasting themes - "this Uni is run on Facebook" and "disconnection (I don't want to be here, anymore)" to explore the role of technology and specifically Facebook, on the student experience.
Eve Stirling currently undertaking an ESRC funded PhD researching first year undergraduates' usage of Facebook in their transition into university life. Her research interests include technology and higher education (HE), the use of social media in HE and the pedagogical impacts of these. She is also interested in design thinking and its influence on the research process, ethnographic research methods and the influence of space and time on the student experience. She is a member of IRis, Interdisciplinary Research in Socio-Digital Worlds and the Centre for the Study of New Literacies at The University of Sheffield. She is senior Lecturer in Design at Sheffield Hallam University.
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