In our previous blog post we discussed the beginnings of the Personal Tutors Online Training Module project; the reason for the creation of the module, how we mapped and retrieved the content, and the platform we decided to use to build and host the training module. This was Phase 1.
In this blog post we will discuss what we did next, Phase 2 and 3, and how we want the module to develop even further.
Testing the product was very important to us, and we decided to use the Senior Personal Tutors Network to aid us with this. We knew there was a lot of anticipation for this module, and we aided in this anticipation by showcasing and giving a taste of what was to come in various CEI events and meetings. The Senior Personal Tutors Network meeting is where we showcased the module first, and we gave each Senior Personal Tutor first access to the module to test and provide feedback to us – almost Beta testing the online module.
Using BOS (Bristol Online Surveys), another useful tool that we highly recommend, we captured the Senior Personal Tutor’s feedback, which allowed us to amend and edit the training module where appropriate.
An element that wasn’t captured in the training module, that was raised by the Senior Personal Tutor’s was the student view. The training was designed for staff, and therefore since it was staff facing, it was easy for us to overlook the student perspective. Following on from the feedback we decided to include a new sub-section on the Students’ Union (amongst other sub-sections we felt were needed) and a compilation video of student interviews giving their view of Personal Tutors here at Cardiff University. Similar to the Personal Tutors’ interviews, we feel this section is also one of the highlights of the module. Looking at both the staff and student view of the Personal Tutors provision, users will get a clearer understanding of the role of Personal Tutors and what Cardiff University should aspire to become.
Further quality testing was also needed, and amendments and edits were also made on the platform itself. This time, gratitude must be made to Owen Crawford, who’s coding skills were invaluable during this time.
September 25th was an important date for us, since this was the official launch date of the Personal Tutors Online Training Module. From this day, the module was live for all Cardiff University staff members to self-enrol and complete in their own time. To view the module yourself, follow the link (please ensure that you have already logged in to learning central before following the link):
To accompany the module, we have also created a Yammer page:
This allows users to provide us with feedback and their thought on the training module, but also to discuss amongst each other any aspects of the role. For the moment, this will provide users with the discussion element we will want to introduce in Phase 4.
This iteration of the training module will be live for the duration of the first semester of the 2017-18 academic year. We will want to capture feedback from all users at the end of this period, again using BOS, before reviewing the module and making any amendments. A new, updated version, will then be available to users at the beginning of the second semester.
We have plans to develop this training module even further, and the planning and actioning of these proposed developments will happen in Phase 4.
The training itself needs to be more interactive for users, and even though we use currently use Yammer for the discussion element of the training module, we want this to be fully incorporated on the platform. Phase 4 will consist of figuring out the best way of doing this, testing the platform, before re-releasing the module to users at the beginning of the next calendar year.
We would also like to make better use of the progress bar that appears at the top, throughout the module, and possibly add a search functionality so that users can easily get relevant information even quicker.
There are also more content we would like to include when re-releasing the module – this will be a few case studies, to give personal tutors who are new to the role a better idea of what to expect when meeting their tutees. One case study will be concentrating on mental health issues – an area we know Personal Tutors are interested in learning more about.
This Personal Tutors Online Training Module will grow and develop organically, in the hopes of continually becoming relevant and contemporary for all Personal Tutors here at Cardiff University.
The CEI team have worked diligently on this project for a year and a half, and will continue to do so for as long as is needed. However, we would like to take the opportunity to thank Chris John (SOCSI Learning Technology Team), Owen Crawford, in particular, and everyone else who has contributed to the content of this module.
Gethin M. Rowlands & Jahanara (Jay) Begum