STAFF & STUDENT PARTNERSHIP AT UNIVERSITY OF GALWAY
“With a student intern, the project would have the momentum and perspective it needed to be completed”
What problems were being addressed?
- Staff and student partnership
- The need to digitally transform medicinal manuals
Why did you choose to address the challenges this way?
- A student intern would make the digitalisation of our workbook materials possible
Who was involved?
Prof. John Kelly and the University of Galway EDTL Student Intern, Demi Traile.
How were the goals achieved?
Over the space of five years, Prof. John Kelly compiled a set of manuals, detailing experimental material for medicine students. They were available as hardcopies or to print as pdfs – but they were not as accessible as they could be, especially with the variety of digital formats that exist these days, which is where this staff and student partnership came into play.
The University of Galway EDTL Student Intern, Demi Traile, was an outgoing second-year medical student. She had previous experience with Prof. Kelly’s workbooks during her second year, so she was aware of the issues and the benefits that the workbooks represented. Demi also had a wide circle of classmates that she could call upon to help inform the digital transformation – to speak on what would work and what would not work – meaning she would be able to guarantee the resource’s success.
Having worked together on developing a research project earlier in the year, the academic partners had already developed a strong line of communication, as well as an understanding of each other’s work process. This aided the digital transition and ensured the pair’s productivity, while they spent the next several months converting the manuals to a more interactive medium.
First, the academic duo chose H5P to host the content. It is a digital resource that makes it easy to create, share and reuse HTML5 content and applications – and this was the format chosen to convert and to roll out for the 2021-2022 academic year. But after some research and primary uploads, the academic partners realised that the platform was not as interactive as they wanted.
The project took more time than the duo expected, but the University of Galway EDTL Student Intern, Demi Traile, ensured the language and the content was persistently relevant, therefore saving time and heightening accessibility. Most importantly, she provided the momentum Prof.Kelly needed to
commence and complete the project, as it would not have been possible to do so by himself.
During the initial stages of the partnership, the pair had to find a working balance, which was helped by adding structure and a clear objective. It is important for student partners to be given freedom to develop their skills. And at the same time, they must be offered the support they need to ask questions or seek help if they are uncertain of how to solve any issues.
It is difficult to get a project like this right the first time, so it is important to remember that fact – but once you have it started, you will be able to work with your team and the Learning Technologists to find the appropriate solution.