Introducing Aurelie

AurelieSoulierHello! I am Aurelie Soulier and I have just joined the Royal Agricultural University as a Learning Technologist to support course design and development for the Catalyst project with Chantal and Madeline, working closely with Marieke. As Chantal said in her previous post, we will be supporting the development and delivery of four new innovative blended programmes.

Before joining the RAU, I have worked for over 11 years at Cranfield University for the Defence and Security School (CDS) based at the Defence Academy at Shrivenham. As a senior learning technologist, my role was very broad. It involved administrating and support the learning platform (Moodle, Mahara and Turning) occasionally on my own and more recently with up to a team of three learning technologists. My role comprised helping course planning and development with academics, delivering staff development programmes for CDS and partnering institutions, road-mapping education technology (Ed Tech) at CDS, helping to develop a toolkit (the Essential Learning Framework – ELF) to support module leaders’ use of blended learning, organising and delivering inductions for new students as well as seeking and sharing best practice with other institutions and present my research and practice at Ed Tech conferences, enhancing CDS’s reputation nationally and internationally with collaboration and project work with Dublin City University, for example.

Prior to working at Cranfield University, I have also worked both as a Modern Foreign Languages and an IT teacher in UK secondary schools. I have undertaken my undergraduate degree in France at Michel de Montaigne – Bordeaux III before obtaining my PGCE from Swansea Institute of Higher Education and an MSc in Computing from Oxford Brookes University.

In addition, I am the volunteer co-ordinator for the Mahara User Group Southern England (MUGSE). I have taken on this role shortly before moving to the RAU and aim to re-launch this group activity in the next few months so I’ll be seeking interest from anyone who’s curious about using Mahara or already using Mahara via the above Twitter feed.

I’m also one of ten elected volunteer committee members for the Moodle User Association. As a general committee member, I help raising the profile of the Moodle User Association (MUA) and contributes toward our main activity: to decide on development projects for Moodle core through developing project proposals that include detailed requirements for those projects.

The way I approach my job is that, essentially, I love to help academics helping students learn. I deeply believe that education technology (Ed Tech) isn’t about the tools and technology, it’s about people, the learners and the educators. The technology is here to help and enable their practice.

I believe that social media and face-to-face networking are key to enhancing our practices by sharing and collaborating to innovate and develop ideas together so you’ll see me on Twitter collaborating with other Ed Tech people and academic colleagues as well as sharing personal ideas and views.

I love to spend time with my two daughters, visiting new places with them, especially National Trust locations. I’ve lived in Swindon for ten years now and I’m a big fan of Swindon’s often poorly known culture and heritage.

In my spare time, I also like to practice yoga, hike and cook. I love to take on new challenges. I completed the Ride London 100 miles ride in August 2013 with only six months training, I have done three smalls triathlons and I have taken part in three ultra-marathon walks in 2018 which means I’ve walked over 500 miles in total with training and events this year. I haven’t decided what mad challenges 2019 will bring, yet. I’m also a qualified nutritional adviser and love to support other people in achieving their wellness goals.

If you would like to get in touch, come and see me in the ITS office, email me aurelie.soulier@rau.ac.uk or phone me.

RAU Careers service and Digital

VictoriaThe Royal Agricultural University Careers Service offers guidance and career advice to students and graduates.

Today’s post has been written by our Careers and Employability Coordinator, Victoria Maskell.

The Careers team are increasingly using digital to support students and allow them to gain those all-important employability skills. Victoria explains what they have been up to…

Starting with Social Media

Here in Careers we’re trying to develop our outreach to our current students, graduates, employers, and future employers too. We have numerous social media pages which can be found below:

instagrram

RAU Instagram account on a mobile

We tell students that Social media is a great way to link with employers, and over the next month we will be starting a LinkedIn page – students are more than welcome to connect with us. We ask them to make sure their pages are professional if they are trying to job hunt on social media platforms. If they are not job hunting and want to keep their pages for personal use, we suggest they put the settings as private as possible. You don’t want a potential employer seeing all those Snapchat filter selfies, or those nights out before you’ve even had an interview! We’ll be publishing a digital etiquette guide on our blog (see below) on 26th February, so watch this space.

Blogs

The Careers team have a weekly blog which is published to our social media pages, but it can also be accessed through here: http://careers.rau.ac.uk/blog/2018/01/. Over February we are looking at student employability and have published posts on Digital skills for employability.

We explain to students that blogging is a great way to improve their writing skills, and a chance develop a professional portfolio – it would be great to have more blogging or vlogging about students’ time on placements. Drones are popular at the university (and in agriculture more generally). If students have a drone, or access to one, we encourage them to record little projects. Building up a portfolio can really help you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs and allows you to easily demonstrate transferable skills such as attention to detail, and time management. Students can also add the links to their LinkedIn page, or sometimes even send it as extra evidence along with their CV and application form to a job advert.

Jobs Portal

We have a jobs portal that all students and alumni can access through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The portal is built on WordPress. An RSS feed from the portal is shared through various University Social media sites.

jobs-portal

CV Clinics

carrers-logoWe hold weekly CV clinics in the RAU atrium which is a great way for students to informally have their CV looked over. In terms of how they manage their CV and job applications, we advise that they open a folder in a “cloud” account. That may be Google Drive, or Office 365, or another account which they currently use. They can then save their CV in here, this way they can access it at anytime, anywhere. It is probably best to use a home account, rather than your RAU one – as once students have graduated they will still have access.

We suggest that for every job application students’ write, they should make sure you they save that document, and upload it to the cloud. You never know when you may need your CV, and you can copy and paste examples of past applications into current ones.

Time Management

Improving their time management skills is something the Careers team are keen to help students work on. We support them in making the best use of their phone and tablet. With your RAU account you have access to Outlook calendar, so we advise students to sync up their calendars or use their phone’s calendar to in put their timetable, deadlines, exams etc. This way we hope they will know exactly when should be! We work with students to help them set reminders or “study time” for themselves, to allow them to focus. Our advise is: if the never ending WhatsApp and Snapchat notifications are becoming a distractions then either put your phone on “do not disturb” for small periods of time. You can then check it periodically, but won’t have the distraction of it buzzing when you’re getting into the flow.

Technology Crowd GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

We’re very much looking forward to working more with the digital transformation team!