Be your own Vignette

With apologies to JISC PB-LXP

Jane is in her 40s and has recently moved into Learning Technologist role.  She’s persuaded her employers to support her on a course with the OU looking at “Technology Enhanced Learning”.  She works full time and juggles the 14 hours of study around her job. Although this can feel like putting her life on hold, she is happy to do this.  “I need to have a sound framework to evaluate the real use and acceptability of IT tools and resources” she says “I am hoping this course will help me get up to speed”.

Like other student Jane values ease of use in course related IT tools: “My spare time is squeezed so I find I have limited tolerance of tools that don’t work effectively – we’ve got used to using the forum on the VLE – chasing around cloudworks and individual blogs is just too much faff”.

Jane has been particularly interested in tools that are relevant to her context:  “its been fun watching myself floundering with Elluminate, and looking at the skills needed to deliver this well.  There are practical things to experience which help ground the reading”.

Although the course has been likened to a steamroller Jane finds much of the delivery methods helpful.  “its easy to get behind, so the best thing to do is just live in week long boxes. I quite like ticking things off as they are done. We’re told how long its estimated that activities will take so you can decide how to fit it in, and the fact that its online means I can get at it wherever I am.”

Jane sees lots of connections between study and her workplace:  “even simple things like using forums and skills of weaving are really useful.  I also find myself making comparisons, like ‘what is it that makes this WordPress Blog easier than the OU one and how does that look against our uni blog offering'”.

Working in an IT department Jane is accustomed to evaluating IT products.  “I don’t mind trying out new things” she said “I am also keen to see how mainstream technologies like wikis can move from the workplace to T&L”.

…and my point is…we are presented with a list of factors affecting students views of ICT on practice based courses along with vignettes…but which comes first. Does the researcher really come to the interview with an open mind or do they have a bunch of categories they want to test out? Whilst I am suspicious of interview mashup – the list does seem sensible…and my personal Vignette would fit!

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