David Robson ‘’The effects of using Social Media in order to develop general IT and specific electronic research skills’’ (Area 1)

David Robson (IHS)

We use electronic links on a Facebook page to prepare students for summer school and then Induction week. The tasks provide the students with an opportunity to gain various general IT skills. For example managing numerous add-ons for various programs, to open different types of documents, on multiple devices. This provides practical training in working with multiple formats. In addition to this general learning, we have moved forward a literature review exercise from induction week, to 6 weeks before the course starts. This allows the students to provide peer support, get support from the Induction tutor and engage in problem based learning. The problems are then brought to induction week and are addressed by specialist IT staff and our subject librarian. Therefor issues, both technical and research skill orientated, are addressed in the class before the modules start. Prior to this we used to set them the tasks in induction week and there was limited opportunity to get support before the module had started. There is evidence, from a semi-structured on-line survey that this has increased both confidence and skills when working in an electronic learning environment.

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