A visual and interactive handbook for international students

A presentation from the Internationalisation of Pedagogy and Curriculum in Higher Education Conference, June 2011.

The tradition of „imparting useful information‟ to students thinking of applying or arriving from all corners of the world, has been aided considerably by the internet with the ability to hyperlink relevant information across institutional and disciplinary boundaries. Many universities have fantastic websites loaded with all sorts of information about the international experience from pre-departure to international alumni profiles. However the expansion of the net has its drawbacks. Hyper-linking takes viewers away from their original landing point, creates a disjointed experience and presents data in sometimes differentiated and undynamic formats. For the international student, the potential is that whilst information is indeed useful (and corporate), it ceases to be friendly or familial. There is the potential too to get lost and to get no sense of the people or places they are likely to encounter as part of the potential students‟ new life abroad. Information occasionally ceases to be useful once the student has been enrolled.

This session describes a pilot project aimed at extending the efficiency of online information whilst contributing to the need to keep students onboard through alternative approaches to „imparting useful information‟. The project involves an interactive „handbook‟ developed using a new software platform called Prezi. The pilot does not intend to replace or replicate the institutional information available through Teesside‟s international web presence. Instead, it enhances the presentation of local, school-based information, through the use of softer graphical markers which attempt to convey the „everyday‟ experience through the metaphor of travel.

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Paul Denison

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