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Do they know what they are doing? A review of IT use by prison-based students

The university works with approximately 1,5000 students in prison each year. These students have limited access to information technologies (IT) and two primary IT needs; to actively study; working with screen-based materials and activities, and to write assignments. They do not have access to other students where they might discuss and exchange study skills – they must develop their own study strategies. The aim of this project is to assess how much time these students have access to IT and how they make use of this time, i.e. studying or writing assignments. By using study diaries, I plan to find out how students in a single cohort, Access students starting in February 2020, use their IT time and use this information and interviews with experienced prison students to create an “IT Induction” document which can be used to help prison students to work with IT and to make best use for their IT time. For example, preparing TMA notes, any paper-based pre-reading before attempting on-screen activities. The majority of prison students start with an Access module, so this has the potential to improve the study experience of approximately 300 students each year – this is the average number of new students in prison. It could also be made available to current students in prison – approximately 1,500.

Data on the amount of IT time available to these students can be used with the module design template to better advise students about which IT activities they should prioritise as they progress through the module.

Related Resources: 
PDF icon Nigel Gibson.pdf95.51 KB

Project poster.