Open the Box (virtual) to First Year Health Inductions

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationTeaching


During the 2019/20 academic year, the University of Northampton welcomed 450 undergraduate health students from 13 different courses. As part of the inter-professional education programme it was decided that all the students would be integrated together for the induction week. This proposal outlines how we successfully managed this large operation with the valuable support of our Blackboard virtual learning environment (NILE: Northampton's Integrated Learning Environment). An activity was created using the model of solving puzzles, finding clues, and deciphering codes to deliver the key induction materials (resources and orientation) to students in a creative, innovative, and engaging manner. This was chosen as the learning and teaching approach since research has found it enhances student motivation; encourages the development of problem-solving skills and promotes active involvement (Gallegos et al, 2017). The activity consisted of seven challenges hosted by NILE. Students were provided with videos in advance on how to access and navigate the system. The tasks required students to use the library catalogue and physically locate books; use the electronic journal search facility; use the University’s Skills Hub resources (online academic support resources) and visit various University buildings. All the activities were designed to be student-led and not require staff involvement on the day. Students were randomly allocated to interprofessional groups to provide them with opportunities for socialisation, teamworking and collaboration with students from other professional programmes. After completing the activity, students were surveyed (n=130). The purpose was to find out how effective the induction activity was and explore the students' emotions before and after undertaking the activity utilising both quantitative and qualitative data. Of the aims of this induction process, students identified working in a team and navigating their way around campus as the goals they achieved the most. However, all the induction aims achieved positive scores. The associations and differences were examined for these induction goals by gender, age, and course and the only statistically significant differences were found working in a team and gender. A Fisher’s Exact test was conducted between gender and if the student enjoyed working in a team and highlighted there was a statistically significant association, with females prefer to work in a team compared to males (p < 0.01). Full results of qualitative data will be presented in this session together with a demonstration of how the activity was set up and presented to students on our NILE system. Finally, there will be time for delegates to ask questions of the activity or the technical issues (lessons learnt) we faced using our VLE.
Period7 Jan 2020
Event titleDURBBU - Access All Areas: The 20th Durham Blackboard Users’ Conference
Event typeConference
LocationDurham, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational