Postgraduate Education Administrator Susan Clark recently teamed up with Amir Rana, Junior Software Engineer, for the pilot phase of an Imperial Mobile Initiative. A training session was held in May to teach Postgraduate Administrators how to build an App for their specific Masters’ programmes, using the College licensed software Ombiel. The training provided an opportunity to learn and share the challenges and resolutions of applying different course structures to the App.
The story behind the initiative goes back to March 2013 when Susan wrote to IT, asking for an App that with the facility to push out essential course information to students and incorporate electronic student evaluations. Saul Batzofin, Infrastructure Programme Manager, responded by providing training using Qualtrics, a recently acquired survey software. Evaluations had already been customised for Surgery and Cancer courses by Dr Kirsten Dalrymple, Senior Research Fellow and Co-Course lead (MEd Surgical Education) and will shortly be accessible via the MEd App. This summer will see Susan working on improvements to the existing surveys and Apps, getting them ready for the 2014 /15 cohort. New students will have a 10 minute orientation in the use of the App in Module 1 of their respective Masters Programme, October 2014.
As for the future, Surgery and Cancer have a new MSc Masters programme pending, a move to a modularised structure that fits well with the surgical trainees career pathway. This year’s collaboration and initiative has paved the way for the use of the App for this new Programme, with the potential to go beyond administrative technology into Mobile learning.