2012 Developing computer students’ expectations in a partner college

Bill Esmond, Mike Smith and Joyce Drake, Chesterfield College

Students progressing from vocational further education programmes often experience difficulty in leaving behind ‘supportive’ educational practices regarded as acceptable in further education settings but inappropriate in higher education settings (Bathmaker 2009). Problems may be exacerbated where students progress onto higher education within the same institution, where the continuation of setting may blur the ‘further/higher’ boundary (Burns 2007).

College staff teaching Applied Computing programmes in Collaborative Partnership with SHU encounter these issues both with full-time 18-year-old students and with part-time, mature students in employment (usually in an IT environment), who have not been in formal education for quite some time.

C1 – (EX18, EX04, EX13, EX15) 14.20

These problems are addressed not simply by explanation of higher education processes but by engaging with students’ existing understanding to development research and analysis skills. An exercise before the course begins confronts the familiar sources on which students are over-reliant, exploring questions about CDC and the PLATO technology developed from the 1950s, which has contributed significantly to modern computing through on-line tools, applications and games.

A further development seeks to provide students with opportunities to access and post their work on the college’s VLE in advance of the course start, providing early experience of higher-level assessment, electronic submission and assessment, whilst the use of cloud computing for these purposes is under review.

Click for presentation:  C1 EX18 Developing computer students’ expectations