The Academic English for NBS team was looking to work together more collaboratively. The busy Team provides English Support to a large number of International and EU students on a diverse range of courses across the Nottingham Business School at NTU. With an increasing number of students to support, new staff and a growing team of HPLs, collaboration was becoming more essential than ever before, and it seemed sensible to investigate tools that might the staff and save them precious time.
We considered tools that might support the move toward more collaborative team working. The LTSU had been using Office 365 tools to work collaboratively across campuses for some time with very positive results. Tried and tested, and supported by the University, we wanted to see whether these tools could be useful to the Academic English Team.
David Mann: Area Coordinator, Nottingham Language Centre, School of Arts and Humanities.
Rachel Bancroft: Learning Technologist, Learning and Teaching Support Unit, School of Arts and Humanities.
With the Academic English for NBS Team.
Rachel and Dave led a session introducing the Team to the new tools at the start of term, concentrating on specific ways that each tool might be useful to their work and giving the Team the opportunity to try out the tools for themselves. We captured their prior use of the Office 365 tools via a Forms survey so it could be compared with another survey at the end of the project to see how widely used and useful the tools have been. We are also hoping to capture some qualitative data through a focus group to understand the experience of using the tools this year with a view to developing and improving the way we use them in future.
We will be on hand throughout the project to help the staff with technical issues, and by suggesting ways they might help to solve issues and make more efficient use of time.
Tools being used from Office 365:
- Teams – for team communication (read more about Teams)
- Forms (see Rachel’s previous blog post on Forms)
- OneDrive – for files accessible anywhere, anytime
- Word Online/PowerPoint Online – for creating on the go
- Outlook/Calendar – familiar tools the Team was already using
Outcomes and Impact
We’re looking forward to seeing how well the tools support the Team’s collaborative working, and if they help to save them time in their busy schedules.
If the project is successful, we hope the impact will be a positive one on the workload and experience of the Academic English for NBS Team this year.
Look out for more blog post updates on this, and the other Digital Partners projects, in future. We will be posting progress updates, and a final discussion of our results at the end of the project in May 2018.
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