As part of Office 365, Microsoft has developed Forms, and online tool for creating and sharing forms, surveys, and questionnaires quickly and easily. All you need to do is login to your University provided Office 365 account (http://365.lincoln.ac.uk), and click on the Forms link to get started.
Why is there a need for this?
In our case, the requirement for an alternative method of mapping a learning journey came from a combination of factors. Firstly, the previous approach was paper-based, and proved an administrative nightmare. The design elements of said paper-based system did not favour inclusivity, and were potentially inaccessible to some students (i.e. those requiring additional support that could be offered through technology such as screen readers or alternative mediums for delivery such as video); and finally, with a paper-based system we did not have the ability to incorporate multimedia elements into the document (an area that’s increasingly in-demand, and that makes absolute sense to enhance teaching, learning and communication).
Who did we design this for?
Our online learning journey map was designed to be used by final year undergraduate degree students. This was a diverse cohort comprising of 120 students over five seminar groups.
How did this fit into the module?
Students had access to their learning journey map at key points throughout the module: Prior to starting the module, during the module, and prior to their module assessment.
Our findings whilst developing this
Development – Build > Test > Refine
The development of the online learning journey mapping system was an iterative process of building, testing with students and gaining feedback, then refining based on said feedback.
From this project we have learned that using Office 365 Forms to develop a learner journey map has a number of benefits over or previous process. These include:
- Time Saving – once you become familiar with the software (which is fairly straight forward to pick up if you’ve ever used similar tools such as Google Forms) the process of setting up a form is fairly quick and simple. Once forms are setup they can be edited and adapted quickly and easily, making the process of refinement based on user testing quick as you can easily duplicate forms and build upon/adapt them – creating an iterative timeline of developments reasonably quickly.
- Centralised, easily digestible feedback – A huge benefit of developing this system using forms is the ability to automatically collate feedback centrally. Forms also creates a dashboard view of all feedback collected, providing an insightful snapshot of the overall responses – this is useful for looking a feedback on a macro level.
- Identify individual responses – Building onto the macro feedback offered above, you also have the ability to view feedback on a micro level (per student). Easily enabling tutors to drill down to individual student level.
- Collaborative – A big benefit of utilising cloud services is the ability to collaborate. Any Form can be shared either to view or collaborate on with colleagues, forms can be copied and built upon by sharing between colleagues also, making a template-based roll-out an easy prospect.
- Accessible across devices – Microsoft have developed Forms to be accessible via mobile or desktop, making completion convenient for students as this can be done on a range of devices from desktops to laptops, tablets, or mobiles at their convenience.
What did students think?
What we did: Developed a Learning Journey map using Microsoft Forms
Benefits to students: Students are able to amp their own learning
Learners can be provided with a visual landscape of what to expect on their module(s)
Learners can visualise their own views, and the views of their peers
Benefits to tutors: Tutors are able to access the questions Online to guide students and make links to key topics/particular issues
Tutors can scaffold further learning from the results
Building on this project we aim to further explore user needs to ensure a greater inclusive experience, identifying and exploring developments within the University’s suite of digital tools & services (to see what we can utilise and build upon to enhance the experience). We also plan to further develop the learning journey map and extend it to additional modules.