Final Remarks as an iChamp

This will be my final blog post as an iChamp as I will be moving to another University. This will hopefully not be the last you hear from me though as I plan to stay in contact with Judith and Fiona and keep producing work for them. I plan to do this by continuing my involvement in creating the e-book for the field trip. My main motivation behind retaining this responsibility is so that the next Biological Sciences iChamp can focus on a new and exciting project! I am also hoping to continue giving talks to the first years about the e-book, but this will not be up to me – fingers crossed!

One talk that I would love to give again is the lecture about the e-book to first years. This was a great experience for me this year as it allowed me to obtain information on what the students would like to see in the e-book. This year I gave them and staff members a choice between the dynamic drawing, which acted as an identification tool, and an interactive quiz. Both staff and students alike preferred the dynamic drawing but for different reasons! The students liked the practicality of it – it could be taken into the field and identification can be quicker and more accurate. Staff preferred it as it was more of a revision tool and unlike the interactive quiz, would not give away all of the answers to the examinations.

Discussion with staff members that attended the trip there seemed to be an increase in the use of e-book compared to the previous year. Although some resistance to change persisted, students were using the e-book over the paper handbook without be prompted to do so. I think there were two reasons why this occurred. The first being a genuine improvement to the book with more useful tools such as the dynamic drawing being introduced as well as an increase in pictures and galleries. The other was that Judith Lock and I made more of an effort to make sure the students knew about the book!

As mentioned before this will be my last post as an iChamp. Hopefully I can still help with projects on the initiative and contribute to the University of Southampton community wherever I end up. Being an iChamp has been a fulfilling experience and I advise the new iChamps to throw everything they have into the projects they face. The more you put in, the more you get out!

 

Charlie Cosstick

Friday 10th July 2017

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