Bunford, Natasha (University of Wolverhampton, 2004)
Student utilisation of personal computers is very much on the national and international educational agenda. The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has undertaken a three-year project to monitor the use of electronic information within Higher Education. The Pew Internet & American Life Project (Pew, 2001) has been looking at overall usage of the web by college students in the USA. The majority of today’s undergraduate students have grown up in a world where there have always been computers, the Internet, and mobile phones. The use of the Internet is, for many students, integrated into their daily communication habits. The University of Wolverhampton is investing heavily in I.T. and this project developed out of a need to have a better understanding of how students are using the computers within the Harrison Learning Centre. How many students actually activate their university accounts? Is the layout of the Harrison Learning Centre I.T. suite suitable for the ways it is used? How long do students sit at PCs on average? How are students utilising the Internet? When are peak usage times? The answers to these questions will help the Learning Centre to see where it needs to prioritise I.T. infrastructure and support.
Pritchard, Oliver (University of Wolverhampton, 2002)
Learning Centre staff at the University of Wolverhampton generally have good awareness of disability issues and try to ensure services and facilities are accessible to a wide range of users. However, little work had been done directly with users to explore their views of our services and the problems they might face when using them. The research targeted dyslexic learners as the University has a relatively large population of students with this disability. In addition many of our services rely on an ability to cope with printed and electronic information and these might pose particular problems for users with dyslexia. The services might include apparently simple elements such as guides to particular Learning Centres through to more complex examples including the subject web pages and information skills workshops.
Crossland, Glenys (University of Wolverhampton, 2002)
Within the context of Lifelong Learning it has been increasingly recognised that the new constituencies of learners now entering Higher Education (HE) will place different demands than hitherto upon the institutions and the programmes delivered. In the Division of Environmental and Analytical Sciences at the University of Wolverhampton (UW), it has also been noted that the typical participant profile for some award programmes is increasingly reflecting this national trend. This has been growing particularly within the masters programmes where the significant numbers of post- experience candidates render the cohorts much more disparate than previously in their needs and demands from the course provision. The growing importance of demand-led provision has been further driven by an increase in the upskilling needs of the regional economies which, in turn, are generating an influx of new constituencies of learners into HE. For the West Midlands region, and for UW, this is a particularly important issue given their joint commitment to economic and social regeneration, and the latter’s role as a major employer in the region. Locally, this is a particularly pertinent issue for the field of Environmental Sciences where there have been clear statements of need regarding the development and management of the environmental economy. (Advantage West Midlands 2000). The project was intended, initially, to gather data, which would inform future provision for the following masters award programmes: Land Reclamation; Environmental Science; Environmental Management; Environmental Technology.
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