Learning Technology

Thoughts of a graduating student on learning technology

July 19th, 2017 at 07:07

Today I am graduating. After 3 years in Nottingham, it will be time to leave; the end of an era of much learning through technology.

Being a student of International Relations, we did not use Echo 360 or Rogo very much, our platform of choice has always been Moodle. I like having the slides of my lectures printed beforehand to take notes. Having them all in one place alongside the reading for each week made for an easy organisation (even when my lecture was starting 5 min later and I needed to rush to a printer). The tutors who offered every document in .pdf instead of .doc instantaneously became my favourites. Being able to see documents in my browser instead of having to download them has saved me time, computer space, and curse words.

The reading lists were given in different format, whether in the module handbook, divided week by week in the module on Moodle itself, or in one of the online reading lists. They all have their advantages and I appreciated the choice. I like to prepare my reading notes at the start of the semester and would do so by copying the references of each required reading in my OneNote from the module handbook. If I needed direct access to a content, the online reading list was only a click away, as well as the NUSearch website (which has my favour as to the best new version of a website in my time at UoN). It was especially useful when I wanted to know more about modules I was not taking or could not take, by giving me access to articles and books I was curious about. The tutors also frequently gave links to the readings week by week. I especially used them in my first year when I was discovering how to research references and was lost. The opportunity to choose was welcome as my study style transformed during my course.

The other main use of Moodle was through submitting coursework via Turnitin (and the internal Moodle assignments for my Nottingham Advantage Award). Turnitin was relatively easy after the first use. In my first year, all of my coursework was submitted both online and in hard copy, whereas it started to move towards online only in further years (and especially in my last year). Not having to print two hard copies rejoiced my environmentally-conscious mind and if not for my annoyance at having to use the not very adapted version on mobile to get my marks before being home, I would be almost entirely positive about the change. It might feel good to touch the result of a full year’s worth of work in my dissertation, but I am not sure my first essay was worth the paper and ink used to print it.

The main problem with Moodle really is the inability of most people to use it correctly (myself included). The design is quite bland and there are too many links everywhere, but having seen what other schools are capable are doing, I know that it could be more user-friendly and more pleasing for the eyes in only a few clicks and transformation.

There are so many possibilities for learning through technology from interactive lectures with Socrative and peer reviewing on Turnitin to the simplest of .pdf, if only every tutor could learn how to use them and every student how to customise their experience.

This is a guest post from Alix Gabaude, Politics and International Relations.

[Updated to add a photo from today's ceremony.]

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

No comments for “ Thoughts of a graduating student on learning technology ”