We held a small focus group on July 12, 2011 to find out what students think about the content and resources provided on WikiVet via the OVAL project so far. Seven students attended, a mixture of about to graduate students and current fourth years.
Overall, the impression was good. It looks like we are on the right tracks with both the content and resources we have created so far. Small improvements were suggested, e.g. keep questions and answers short within the flashcards and keep to the key points only. This is really only relevant to the flashcards we are producing from the CABI datasheet content as the Manson flashcards cannot be changed.
The main issue identified was that it is not widely known that WikiVet contains resources. Most students think of it as an encyclopaedia style information repository. Even the name (WikiVet) doesn't encourage thinking otherwise. We need to work on advertising the resources more obviously from the front page and each content page. The work regarding this had already started so hopefully we will see some improvement in the awareness soon.
It looked like creating podcasts from the content will be appreciated. Some students mentioned that they already listen to recordings of lectures whilst driving. Audio resources containing only the key information and avoiding anything that is difficult to follow, e.g. referring to an image that cannot be seen, will be preferential to these. More thoughts from the focus group can be seen here.
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
The workshop on July 12 was a success. During the morning session Nick explained the general concept and how WikiVet started, followed by Barbora briefly talking through the current content development. Gemma showed her Spanish version of the site in progress and Chris concluded with a showcase of our learning resources.
Following a short break we asked the delegates to discuss what they think should be our priorities for the developments in the near future. It clearly transpired that we need to have a 'roadmap' so that we do not get distracted with too many things and that we are clear in what it is we would like to achieve in small steps. Sky is the limit really but we need to aim there a bit by bit. The issue of expert review process was also mentioned and the need for it if we would like WikiVet to be supported and advertised by university lectures. More thoughts from the focus group.
After lunch the delegates were shown how to edit the wiki, upload pictures and provide both internal and external links. The team and some of the delegates then enjoyed an evening meal at he local pub.