how students use weblearn

Following the DIGE project the team have done more research with students to investigate their use of WebLearn.  At peak times WebLearn gets 16,000 logins per day.

The majority of the students in the sample use WebLearn mainly for accessing lecture notes, slides, hand-outs and reading lists. They appreciate having on-demand access to these learning materials and feel that it facilitates their learning in various ways. Most of the students interviewed use lecture slides and notes to prepare for their lectures, to catch up with lectures they missed during the term, or for revision before exams:

“[Without WebLearn] I would struggle to catch up on work that I missed.  I’d have to email tutors. I’d have to read  books quite heavily by myself without having any prior knowledge.  It’d be lot of more difficult to catch up on work if I did not have WebLearn”

Students prefer the lecture notes/slides to be uploaded at least one day before the lecture takes place, so that they can familiarise themselves with the material, print it out and annotate it during the lecture:

“Upload lecture hand-outs the day before instead of hour before”

“I use WebLearn predominantly for accessing lecture slides. It would be useful if lecture slides were uploaded a greater time in advance of lecturers (for me, at least, this would not preclude attendance)”

In subjects where images, diagrams and photographs are a necessary part of the learning process, such as in Medical Sciences, students appreciate having electronic, colour copies of the images to study both before and after the lecture:

“Sometimes it’s more helpful to have them like as a big picture on screen to look at full screen.  When I look through the lecture materials after a lecture, I went on WebLearn to do that. I also want to get bigger diagrams that I want to use in essays.  I have used it more than once a week after term time for revision, a lot more. It is nice to see the photo in full colour. We usually get them before the lecture as a printed copy, but if you want to look over it, it is easier to do online”

Students highlighted the importance of consistency in lecturers uploading lecture notes and slides into WebLearn. They appreciate lecturers who upload materials regularly during the term, either shortly before or directly after each lecture, rather than all at once at the end of term:

“Some lecturers use it more often than others.  For example, they told us the reading materials are in WebLearn, which is more convenient than finding them ourselves. They also upload lecture PowerPoints/PDF.  Some lecturers did not use it at all” 

“I prefer if they do provide similar materials as well ‘cos you will get more backup with the notes, etc.  One lecturer’s course is really good: everything is up and ordered and organised. Some of them have not really put anything up”

“Another problem is not with WebLearn: it’s that the lecturers don’t always put the lectures up, so you can’t read them”

Posted in Learning Technologies Group, WebLearn | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on how students use weblearn

Comments are closed.