The University of Worcester is a close-knit and high-achieving community where students are supported to succeed at every level. It is an inclusive place where every person counts as an individual. This ethos is reflected in the many achievements of the university including being in the top 10 for student satisfaction in the 2019 NSS, being ranked 1st for Quality Education in 2019 by THE and being in the top 10 for Sustained Employment (LEO 2017).
This focus on quality teaching, supporting each student and emphasising employability underpins the University’s Aspire Connect scheme.
ASPIRE CONNECT AT WORCESTER
As part of the Aspire Study Scheme, on five courses (paramedics, mental health nursing, psychology, law and criminology) the University, working with JS Group, provides students with a tablet that has been pre-loaded with their recommended textbooks, links to University resources, OERs, polling software and other educational apps.
The response to this has been positive from faculty and from students.
Pedagogically the main purpose we have put the devices to in class has been legal research on the legal databases. The tablets have been invaluable in that we have been able to use whatever room we happen to be in - and also we can intersperse legal research in any lesson without having to book a computer lab.It is also helpful that everyone has the same device. Sessions have been more flexible and more engaging and interactive than I have ever given without the tablets.
Well I’m on the reach program and it really helps to have something in front of me that I can refer to as we are working through the theory In a lecture or seminar. Sometimes our lecturer will give us tasks or quizzes to do as well.I’m on the Reach program, the supplies I got off it and having everything in one place was really useful. It made revising and recapping work so easy. For me the reach program makes it so much easier, it’s so good to have something small that you can carry into the lectures and take notes and work through interactively. We’ve used the quizzes as well and it’s really good that I can go back to them and use them as a revision technique to prepare for my exams and assignments.
I found the tablet really useful in lectures to download PowerPoints and lecture information and then annotate my notes as the lecture is being given. Because the tablet is small and light, I bring it to uni every day, whereas if I just had a laptop I wouldn’t. I use blackboard a lot on it and my uni emails.
THE BETTER OUTCOMES
As Val Yates, Director of Access and Inclusion, comments:
Staff and students embraced the use of the devices from the very start of the trial. The course teams applied the use of the devices in
a range of ways to suit the needs of the cohorts – for example, in the law courses the use of law databases in class enable students to
engage with the material directly in the classroom, to compare, in psychology and nursing the tablets provide opportunity for the use of
quizzes, live polling and off site support for students on placements. Though in its early days the pilot is yielding some exciting results:
- 98% of students have become regular users of the devices, both in class and outside.
- Levels of satisfaction amongst students participating in the trial is very high, there has been a substantial increase in students feeling engaged with the module (+10%) and satisfaction with feedback helping learning (+22%) student feedback suggests that the use of the devices in the classroom to provide feedback and assessment has been a major influence of this.
- Attainment has improved in the trial group, in psychology, there has been an increase of 12% in A’s and reduction of 6% in D’s
This success is a real testament to the excellent partnership we have developed with the whole team at JS Group, the team have been fantastic, their experience, responsiveness and high levels of engagement have made an invaluable contribution to Reach. We have enjoyed working together immensely and hope that this is just the beginning of a long and productive partnership