About our project

In January 2014, we received the good news that we had been successful in our bid for an extension of our original project via the Jisc FE and Skills Development and Resources Programme – Embedding Activity. We will continue to use this blog to record our activities, outputs and achievements over the next months.

The aims of our Embedding project are:

- to build on the positive outcomes and outputs of our original webinar project
- highlight the key employability skills identified in webinars by the employers who took part in our original project
- produce a well structured and resourced blended learning course to teach students the skills of setting up and running a webinar as a 21st century employability skill
- continue to disseminate our project findings and offer support through Jisc Regional Support Centres to help embed webinar training for students as part of a tutorial or curriculum programme using a blended learning course.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Students4webES Project featured in the Oxford Times

Once a month the Oxford Times produce a business supplement, In Business, which was included in this week's Oxford Times. The February edition includes an article on our project, on the bottom of page 7.

Do check it out if you get a chance, here is a link to the online version of In Business.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Morgan Cole Webinar

Andrew Leadbitter, from Morgan Cole solicitors, very kindly joined us at the Abingdon Campus to take part in our sixth student run webinar on employability skills.

Below is a recording of it, you will see as you watch it that we had to move Andrew to a different location in the room because of a problem with the blind and too much light. The students running the webinar were able to use the moderator chat window to inform Andrew of the problem before repositioning the computer.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Active Nation webinar

Dave Rolls, Centre Manager at the Whitehorse Leisure and Tennis Centre which is run by Active Nation, took part in our fifth student-run webinar.
This webinar was produced using Webex, our previous webinars have so far been recorded using BlackBoard Collaborate. For technical reasons, at short notice, we had to switch to using Webex to run the webinar.

The two students that ran the webinar had previously only been trained in using Blackboard Collaborate so it was a great test of their general understanding of webinars to run it using Webex for the first time. I hope you will agree that they did a great job!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Spa at the Lygon Arms Webinar

Alice Walker, Head Therapist at the Spa at the Lygon Arms, Broadway part of the Puma Hotel Group, participated in our second student run webinar. Alice took part in the webinar by logging onto a computer at the Witney campus of Abingdon & Witney College, whilst the students running it were at the Abingdon campus.  A group of beauty students and their lecturers from the college also participated in the webinar from another room, asking a number of questions via the chat window.

Alice Walker, Head Therapist at the Spa at the Lygon Arms

Abey took the role of speaker which involved introducing and thanking Alice for her participation in the webinar.

Whilst Armna took the role of moderator.

Although this was our second student run webinar it was the first time either student had been involved in running one with an employer.

Below is a recording of the webinar, which proved to be a great success not only for the core students running the webinar but also for the beauty students participating in it. The beauty students had so many questions to ask that we stopped the recording and allowed them to continue their conversation with Alice.

Monday, 18 February 2013

The BBC reports on the rise of the Skype interview

The BBC recently reported on the rise in use of Skype and other video conferencing software for job interviews. This rise fits with our own research that showed 16.4% of the 256 students we asked had had a job interview by phone or video conferencing. 

The article discusses the benefits and issues around online interviews and outlines a number of top tips on how to prepare for them. This included the advice of sitting in front of a plain background, which one of our recent webinar guest speakers did, see our NUS webinar post, as you can see this worked very well and helped the audience to focus on the presenter.

To read the BBC article 'Skype interviews: Is it more tricky to be grilled by video?' click here.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

NUS webinar

Last week Jesse Scharf, from the National Union of Students (NUS), spoke to students at Abingdon and Witney College via Blackboard Collaborate.
Jesse Scharf, Student Switch Off Project Officer, NUS
This webinar had an extra layer of complexity for both Jesse and the students involved, as it was the first time we had run a webinar where the guest speaker wasn't supported 'in person'. This meant the student moderators had to explain clearly how everything way going to work. Having completed the Waitrose webinar earlier that morning, all the students felt well prepared for the additional level of complexity. To find out more about the running of this webinar do check out our other blog post, by clicking here.

Do watch the webinar, we hope you will agree with us that it was a very successful event, thanks for watching!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Waitrose webinar

Last week Linda Phillips, HR manager at Waitrose Abingdon, participated in a webinar with students from Abingdon and Witney College.

Linda Phillips, HR manager, Waitrose Abingdon
Linda and her colleague Gen Allen visited the Abingdon campus to take part in the webinar and to meet staff and students involved in the project.

Gen Allen

Linda was supported by Ben during the webinar, one of three students involved in running the webinar.

To see more about the 'behind the scenes' running of this webinar check out our other blog post by clicking here and do watch the recording of the webinar below!

The importance of consent forms

A while back we wrote a blog post on consent forms and photographs, where we mentioned the need for consent forms from all project participants.

One of the early tasks that we gave students involved in the Students4webES project was to research and produce a draft consent form. We then checked it over before asking them all to sign it as well as all of the employers involved in the webinars. We have found that it is best to send the consent form out at the same time as sending the employers further details about the format of the webinar and general information about the project.

Below is a video of one of the students talking about the importance of the consent form for our project.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Two more webinars completed!

Today we completed another two webinars, the first with Waitrose and the second with the NUS (National Union of Students). This was the first time we had run sessions back to back, which worked very well giving the students involved a chance to try out the different roles involved in running a webinar.

During the Waitrose webinar Abi took the role of Moderator, uploading the presentation, starting and stopping the recording, as well as assigning participant privileges. She listened in via an iPad and ran the moderator settings via the computer because of last minute audio issues (the iPad app doesn't include moderator settings).

Aaron took the role of Speaker, welcoming the first guest presenter - Linda Phillips, HR manager at Waitrose Abingdon. He explained how the webinar would run, took questions from the audience and thanked Linda for her participation.

Ben took the role of Speaker during second session with guest presenter Jesse Scharf, from the NUS, whilst Aaron and Abi moderated.

All three students gave up the first day of their half term holiday to come in and run the webinars and did so with true professionalism!

Recordings of both webinars will be made available soon and will be posted here on the blog when they are ready.

Post by Emma Procter-Legg
Project Manager

Friday, 8 February 2013

Guest post: Ellen Lessner Students4webES Project Leader

Since it’s over half way through our project, I thought I’d spend a little bit of time reflecting on how it’s going. One thing that stands out is the difference between writing a bid and running a project. For those of you who have run projects, this won’t be a surprise. I thought I had enough experience to write a realistic bid but I hadn’t appreciated how much time it takes to coordinate the timetables of several diverse groups; students, employers, rooms, project managers and leaders. A 6 month project like ours needs to get going very quickly and if I was going to do it again, I would have extended the project timetable to take that into account.

We have had interest and support from a number of employers and we will have some good webinar recordings on employability skills to show for it. I realise that many employers don’t know what a webinar is, not just the 94% of our student sample! Some of the people we approached don’t have the ability to run the software on their work network nor do they have guest wifi access so that we could bring our laptop to them to record the session. We can overcome this by offering to host them at the college. Of course, some employers are using webinars regularly and they will have something to say to students that will be particularly useful. It does appear that having the skill to set up and run a webinar is as valuable (and rare) an employability skill to have on a CV as we thought when we put the project together.

I am pleased that our Professional Futures programme is now offering the ’Introduction to webinar’ session as part of the Core Tutorial programme for first year students. It gives all the students an opportunity to get ahead with their understanding of how useful the technology can be in their future. We should be able to train those who are interested in learning how to moderate a webinar session as well. Our JISC RSC SE (many thanks to Owen Hanmer) has put together such good training for us, that the recording of the ‘Introduction’ and the ‘Advanced’ sessions make it easy for us (Core Student group and staff) to teach others – when we have completed our employer webinars.

If you want to know how we did, keep 22 April free and look for information on this blog about the JISC RSC SE Employment Conference which will be held on our Witney Campus. The planning has begun and there will be a session with students, staff and maybe an employer, who have worked on this project reporting in.

Ellen Lessner
Project Leader, Students4WebES

A Tweet about our Project

We had a tweet from Donna Christopher, an e-learning marketing executive @ Blackboard Collaborate, see screenshot below!

We couldn't agree more!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Coverage on JACKfm radio station today!

The Students4webES project is being featured today (Thursday 7th February) on JACK fm in the Oxfordshire business reports. The report is aired every hour and rolls around three different stories so listen out at 11 to see if we feature then or in the next slot at 12 on 106JACKfm today!

Update: Students4webES project was mentioned at 12:04, so we expected it will be featured again around  3pm and then again around 6pm and 9pm tonight. Do listen out for it if you get a chance!

Slides from BETT

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Webinar booked in with Head Therapist at the Spa at Lygon Arms

We have just confirmed another employer for a webinar this week! On Thursday 7th February students will be running a webinar with Alice Walker, Head Therapist at the Spa at the Lygon Arms, Broadway (part of the Puma Hotel group), she will be talking to students about employability skills for beauty therapists.
We will keep you posted on how it goes!

Photo from BETT

Ellen Lessner Students4webES Project leader presented at BETT last Friday, in the session Who are digital practitioners?

This photo was very kindly taken by Robert Fekete

We will make the slides from the presentation available and post them on here soon! 

Saturday, 2 February 2013

A mention in the Oxfordshire Guardian South newspaper

The Students4webES project is mentioned in this week's Oxfordshire Guardian South newspaper. A copy of the it arrived through my letter box this morning!

If you don't manage to get hold of a copy, you can read it online here http://www.trimediagroup.co.uk/digital-editions/ click through and scroll down to select Oxfordshire Guardian South and check out page 14.

Post by Emma Procter-Legg