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.

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

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