About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 805-810
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain


A. Doig

Southampton Solent University (UNITED KINGDOM)
The current climate in HE in the UK means that institutions are increasingly looking for ways to diversify their student body, and diversify their income stream. At the same time, the economic and employment climate in general is encouraging people in work to continue to up-skill, seeking to improve their employability through continuing professional development, or the pursuit of advanced degrees. The combination of these factors means that many institutions are now looking to develop units of professional development or Masters degrees that are aimed at people in employment.

At Solent University, we have recently been increasing the provision of part-time blended learning courses aimed at these professional learners. Being conscious of the life and work demands put upon these students, we have taken three steps towards ensuring that they get a more consistent experience of the highest possible standard:

1. Creation of the second instance of the University’s virtual learning environment (VLE) to be used by professional, distance and blended learning students;
2. Setting up of ‘Flexible Delivery Development and Support Team’ of learning technologists, instructional developers and media developers that can assist in the creation of online units;
3. Developing a set of in-house standards for the effective presentation and running of online content in relation to these courses.

As well as provided an opportunity to directly support academic staff in the development and running of BL units, these steps have allowed us to improve the learning experience of their students. We have done this by focussing on two key considerations:

• What are the circumstances and challenges faced by students who are also in employment?
• Can online content be developed and presented in such a way as to minimise instructional load and increase the ease with which the students can access their learning?

From a market point of view, this has also enabled us to develop a standard of provision that is recognised as suitable to outside providers, such as employers and public service institutions.

In this presentation, I will aim to outline the context that has lead to current developments in online and blended course delivery at Southampton Solent University, as well as describe the process that led us to develop the set of standards aimed at improving online usability for students in employment.
author = {Doig, A.},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {805-810}}
AU - A. Doig
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 805
EP - 810
ER -
A. Doig (2011) ONLINE USABILITY FOR STUDENTS IN EMPLOYMENT, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 805-810.