This project ran a 2-month pilot (from February 2018) of a "Social Learning" tool for students called "LOOPD Life". LOOPD provides a social media style interface, accessible via smart-phones, tablets and PCs, which allows students to access learning materials such as lecture notes, access their timetable, share information and communicate with others on the pilot. Thus, LOOPD aims to improve the student experience, increase student satisfaction and build a greater sense of community with the ultimate aim of leading to better retention.
The aim of the pilot was to assess the suitability and effectiveness of LOOPD for St Mary’s in order to inform a decision as to whether or not to adopt it across the University.
Students from a subset of programmes were invited to participate in the pilot. These were selected to ensure a variety of student types [Foundation Year, Foundation Degree, Undergrad, Postgrad] and of programmes, schools, and pedagogical styles [classroom / distance learning / work placement]. Plus, as requested by SMT, key programmes facing retention issues were also included.
Staff from those programmes plus a number of central departments (Students Union, Library Services, Student Services, Careers Services & SIMMS Active) also participated in the programme.
Feedback gathered from staff and students involved in the pilot indicated that there was not sufficient enough support for adopting LOOPD Life. Hence, it was concluded that St Mary’s would not proceed with implementing LOOPD Life.