Last modified: 21 July 2015
Approaches to working with toolkit
The traditional approach to learning through technology is for someone to sit down on their own in front of a computer and work through online course materials. This might not suit everyone, however, and depending on the purpose of the training, other approaches might be more appropriate. The list below gives examples of other approaches you could take, but note that you will, amongst other factors, need to take into account the level of the participants, the nature of the topic, the time required, and the availability of staff.
Individuals work through modules on their own, recording their learning as they go, and applying it to their work situation. This might be the requirement of a line manager, so it might apply, for example, to new staff ("Where do I fit in?" in the What is International? module) or those with a perceived skills or knowledge gap. Consequently, it could be used for staff development alongside mentoring or appraisal.
Colleagues could 'buddy up' in pairs. This powerful approach is extremely useful in situations where a new process is being designed, or an existing one developed (e.g. your institution's risk assessment policy and practice). Both parties bring their own experience, whilst activities are being undertaken and this can accelerate learning. Shared learning can be particularly useful where a team member lacks confidence with using technology.
An extension of this is posting on the UKCISA discussion forum as part of a follow-up to a traditional training session, or as part of an ongoing cross-institutional project, for example, implementing an Internationalisation/Globalisation strategy. This has the benefit of being more cost-effective in terms of time and money, whilst maintaining the conversation.
Getting people together for training can be difficult. Nevertheless, you can't beat face-to-face contact and the opportunity for colleagues to share their experiences and expertise.
They can of course also be used very creatively to develop teams to address a specific issue. The toolkit can be used as an integral part of this type of session, where the trainer would introduce the group to one of the activities centrally, then allow them to work through it in pairs. NB: This would normally be followed up by a feedback element that opens up the issues to group discussion, etc, as part of blended learning (see below).
As the name suggests, this is a mixture of the traditional and technology, and has the benefit of combining a range of learning opportunities. It might be as in the situation described above, that is 'breaking out' from a large group; or it could be where participants are required to undertake an activity in advance of a face-to-face session, either in pairs or individually, for example with planning International Student Induction.