A pilot project entitled “Supporting transition with peer-assisted learning and digital stories” funded by the HEA, has been running this year at the University of Liverpool’s Management School. Two digital stories from the third-year Digital Champions are now available on writing assignments, which can be used as useful resources for first-year students.
Story 1. Digital Champions: From one book to fifty citations: Tips on effective assignment writing
Story 2. Digital Champions: Breaking the 2:1 (or 2:2) barrier for writing assignments (Parts 1-5):
- Part 1. Finding and evaluating information: using the CRAP test and Wordle
- Part 2. Plan, to write well: using mindmapping software
- Part 3. Critical analysis is key: justifying and contrasting different viewpoints
- Part 4. Get into a good referencing habit: incremental use of online referencing tools
- Part 5: Summary and tips
A bit more about the Digital Champions project and its progress
The project, based on a peer-assisted learning model, aims to support the transition of first-year students in their academic study and employ them with skills that would benefit them beyond graduation. So far we have engaged 4 third-year students, Emily, Laura, Adam and Bradley, to run drop-ins for first-year students on making their academic study easier. The above digital stories were created by the students that summarise their tips for first years in academic writing.
What next: we will evaluate the pilot for wider adoption and also investigate students’ perspectives on micro-certification, such as OpenBadges, as a way of recognising their skill development. We aim to present this project with a poster at the HEA Social Sciences Conference 2014, which this year is on the theme of ‘Teaching Forward: The future of social sciences’. We have also been discussing links with other institutional peer-assisted learning initiatives, and naturally, certification of Digital Champions may link to developments around HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report). Similar peer-assisted learning projects with a digital angle have run successfully at other universities, e.g. see the ePioneers programme at Oxford Brookes.
For more information: contact Tünde Varga-Atkins at University of Liverpool.
Digital Champions: Laura Cash, Emily Evans, Adam Byrne, Bradley Griffin
- eLearning Unit: Tünde Varga-Atkins (co-lead)
- Academic lead: Simon Snowden, ULMS (academic lead)
- Library: Emma Thompson (co-lead), Beryl Stanley
- Multimedia: Dave Hocker