Developing students’ digital skills through placements – Maximising student engagement

Rachel presenting at the RAISE conference, University of Southampton

I have previously blogged about my trip to ALT-C in Manchester. In the same week I went to the RAISE Conference in Southampton. The Researching, Advancing & Inspiring Student Engagement day was my first opportunity to speak about some of the findings of our research so far.

At the last minute, my supervisor Nadja Guggi had to take sick leave, but I felt confident enough to talk about our research and step up to the challenge of delivering our presentation on ‘Developing students’ digital skills through placements’ on my own.I focussed on five key areas that had stood out for me so far, addressing each theme in turn: confidence, time, participation, social media and value.

After my presentation I opened the floor to questions. This was a particularly valuable experience. One member of the audience queried a point I had made about students’ social media skills. With hindsight, I could have made a clearer distinction between skills and practices – the difference between knowing how to use social media, and using social media in a professional context, as part of a communication strategy. This is something to take forward for future presentations.

Rachel with other research students at the RAISE conference

Another delegate wanted to know if I had asked students about how they initially heard about their placement opportunity. I had indeed done this, with the majority of students hearing about the placement from a friend. The delegate had also done some research with similar findings. It was really valuable to hear about other research projects and to discover similarities between them. See the clip below for a summary of the common themes addressed in my presentation.


About Rachel Glover

I am a University of Reading student soon to be starting my third year. I am studying BA Politics and International Relations. Throughout the summer and the autumn term I am working in the Centre for the Development of Teaching and Learning as part of the Digitally Ready team. I have been looking at the digital literacies of students and how these skills are related to student employability.
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