Evaluation of the InDUCKtion project at UCL

Dale, V.,H.,M.,, Dewitt, J., Vogel, M. and Walker, P.J. (2014) Evaluation of the InDUCKtion project at UCL. Project Report. University College London.

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Abstract

Executive summary: There is evidence that a good induction to university life can help with student retention; however, there is also a danger of overwhelming students during the intense period of fresher’s week. Under the auspices of a small grant from the Higher Education Academy’s ‘Changing the Learning Landscape’ funding stream, staff at two universities (University College London and Southampton Solent University) collaborated to produce an innovative and engaging induction project entitled ‘InDUCKtion’, based on the idea of an induction duck being a fun character for students to interact with. At UCL, the InDUCKtion duck existed in the form of a physical plastic duck included in international postgraduate student induction packs, and they were encouraged to take photos of themselves in and around UCL and London as part of a photo challenge using social media. It was anticipated that this would enable students to familiarise themselves with the locale, make friends and have fun at the same time. The InDUCKtion duck was also evident on flyers and posters with QR codes advertising an online tour to enable students to gain an accelerated familiarisation with the campus and its facilities. Within UCL, the project was a collaborative, cross-departmental venture instigated by members of UCL’s E-Learning Environments (ELE) working in partnership with the Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CALT) and Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW). The logistics of the project meant that the team members also had to liaise with a number of other individuals and departments around UCL, to help promote and implement the project. Despite a rapid following on Twitter in a relatively short period, a reasonable hit rate on the QR code for the main page of the online tour resource, and some engagement with the photo challenges using social media, participation in the project was lower than anticipated. Lessons learned from an evaluation perspective revealed that adding another activity to an already overwhelming fresher’s week was problematic, despite its innovative and interactive nature. The use of QR codes was problematic for a number of reasons, and the project needed more buy-in from student representatives and academics to provide institutional endorsement. Recommendations for future instances of the project include securing student representation and academic endorsement, integrating the activity with parallel induction activities – particularly with academic departments, replacing QR codes with an alternative technology-enhanced learning approach and optimising the learning design to better motivate students and promote groupwork.

Item Type:Research Reports or Papers (Project Report)
Keywords:Induction, QR codes, social media, UCL, welcome week, Twitter, QR codes, evaluation, freshers week
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dale, Dr Vicki
Authors: Dale, V.,H.,M.,, Dewitt, J., Vogel, M., and Walker, P.J.
College/School:University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division
Publisher:University College London
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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