Data Driven Learning to aid transition to HE

Data Driven Learning to aid transition to HE

Megan Bruce, Durham University - Download slides here

This talk explores one technological initiative that we have established to help our students transition into HE and, more specifically, into their Community of Practice: the FOCUS corpus.  This project has involved building a corpus of student-generated texts from different disciplines and levels of study to help Foundation students uncover how language is used in their subject.    Foundation students have two-fold vocabulary needs: they need to learn new words in their discipline and also learn new subject-specific meanings for words they already know (e.g. heat, weak).  Our corpus, supported by a range of self-access facilities which we have designed, allows students to explore words in context and disambiguate different meanings. As an online tool it can be used by students before they arrive to prepare them for their studies, as well as in class and throughout their degree to support their learning.    Student feedback from current and previous cohorts shows that the tool has been a success and it is already being shared widely.