CTL Student Experience Internship scheme
Helpful resources incorporating the student experience
During summer 2020, the Centre for Teaching and Learning ran a 12-week Student Experience Internship scheme.
Designed to demonstrate the benefits of staff student partnerships to improving the experience of students at Oxford, the internship was successfully completed by six passionate and enthusiastic new Oxford graduates from a range of academic and demographic backgrounds.
Students participated in the scheme remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were supported by CTL staff.
Students proposed projects to complete during their internship, then worked with academic staff from across the University, in either existing or in specially convened project advisory groups, to produce a suite of outputs aimed at improving the experiences of those teaching and studying at Oxford under the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
These final outputs provide a valuable resource for staff and include video interviews, reports and podcasts.
The scheme demonstrated that student interns can contribute tangible resources and influential insight to University processes, and it’s hoped its success will encourage staff across the University to create a similar staff student partnership in their department or team, or to consider working on a project advisory group with future CTL interns.
My experience in working with the student interns has been very rewarding. They have shown themselves to be competent, creative, professional and hard working. I hope the experience has likewise been enriching for them.
Jill Fresen, Senior Learning Technologist, Centre for Teaching and Learning
I thought the interns did a great job of designing a focus group and coming up with questions. It was a very useful addition to SSSWG.
Dr Kate Blackmon, Associate Professor in Operations Management, Said Business School
Directed and scripted by the interns, these short videos offer an interesting insight into the undergraduate experience of three different remote teaching scenarios during Trinity term 2020.
Students from all four divisions share their experience of online classes, lectures and tutorials and suggest small changes that could have a big impact on their learning.
Each video complements the Centre for Teaching and Learning guidance for University staff on remote teaching.
- The student experience – online classes.MP4 (3:18)
- The student experience – online lectures.MP4 (3:16)
- The student experience – online tutorials.MP4 (3:27)
Commissioned as part of the Centre for Teaching and Learning’s webinar series, this interactive event held in September 2020 offered a chance for audience members to engage directly with the interns.
This recording of the event provides University staff with helpful insight into the student experience of remote learning, as well as an opportunity to hear what the interns had to say more generally about being students at Oxford.
Objects in the remote classroom report
The interns produced their Objects in the remote classroom report with the purpose of:
- Reviewing resources supported by the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) which offer digital access to 3D objects and environments.
- Exploring how other universities use similar technology and outline functional enhancements to CTL’s offerings.
- Suggesting new technologies for CTL to develop to improve the provision of digital access to 3D objects and environments.
- Providing a costed recommendation to how CTL can implement and maintain the above findings.
Survey Uptake Paper: A Review of University Surveys from the Student Perspective
The Survey Uptake Paper (or SUPER) was commissioned by the Centre for Teaching and Learning following suggestions from the intern group on a research-based project.
The aim of the project was to support the University’s Student Survey Strategy Working Group (SSSWG) in their research, and present recommendations for raising student uptake of surveys conducted across Oxford.
The paper outlines key issues impeding survey uptake, with input from a pilot focus group, as well as the intern’s own research and discussions with the project advisory group members. The paper also explores possible solutions to these issues, and ‘quick wins’ and future steps the survey group could take.
The SUPER project was great … the interns produced a valuable report which was very relevant to our work. Its recommendations are already having an impact and will be make a difference in the long term.
Dan Selinger, Head of Communications, Students and Professional Services
In addition to the outputs above, a podcast series produced by the interns is being further developed by the communications team.
Oxford has a wide range of excellent students and ensuring their experiences inform University thinking is a powerful resource for the future.
This initial Student Experience Internship scheme run by CTL has now been evaluated, and there is a strong desire for the scheme to become a regular feature at the Centre.
It is also hoped the success of the scheme will encourage academic staff across the University to create a similar staff student partnership in their department in 2021, or to consider working on a project advisory group with next year’s CTL interns.
I’ve been enormously impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of the CTL interns, and their work on the podcast project. Their communication has been excellent and they’ve provided an invaluable perspective on the ‘skills for remote study’ resources we’ve been developing concurrently. Their output is also really quite incredible given the timescales they’ve been working to! The initiative has really prompted us in DAS to think about how we might be able to develop more working partnerships with students.
Katherine Noren-Curtis, Head of the Disability Advisory Service