By Kirsty Mitchell 19 Dec, 2017
From the 29th November to the 1st December the project partners met at The University of Málaga  in Spain.  During the meeting the project partners, agreed how they would evaluate and report the project outcomes, how they would comply with GDPR and how they could maximise dissemination of the project throughout Europe. The meeting also provided the partners with the opportunity to showcase their modules, resources and any participant feedback to date. 

The University of Borås gave an excellent overview on GDPR legislation and presented how they have integrated links to the project and AToM platform from the University's website.  

Digital Connextions is working with their UK Legal team, it's Advisory Board and the partners to document how the project complies GDPR and safeguards its users data.   

The University of the Highlands and Islands chaired the discussion on the project evaluation and collectively the partners agreed on the evaluation question content. 

The University of Alcalá presented their module content questions; they took time to highlight the importance of linking their resources to official legislative standards and regulatory industry bodies. While this has been particularly time consuming task, the partners concurred that the longer term impact both for the University and their industry is far reaching. It is hoped that by linking the resources in this way,  more candidates will take time to consider the wider context and community that envelops their industry. 

Project Co-ordinator Dr Ramon Garrote from the The University of Borås gave an excellent presentation of how to best approach the project dissemination. Speaking from experience Ramon was able to share with the partners what has worked well for other projects and how to best market and promote the events. 

By Kirsty Mitchell 18 Dec, 2017
Candidates applying for the master’s programme in textile engineering at the University of Borås can now take a digital test to assess their suitability and readiness for the programme prior to applying.

The test module was developed by leading academic’s Anders Persson and Behnaz Baghaei, from the University Borås in collaboration with University of Borås, Sweden, University of the Highlands and Islands, Great Britain, University Alcala de Henares, Spain and Digital Connextions Limited. This highly innovative project was graciously funded by Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership.

The test module and AToM platform have been developed for individuals who are considering applying to the master’s programme in textile engineering at the Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås. Programme coordinator Anders Persson said;

“The purpose of the test is to give the prospective student the opportunity to make an assessment of their knowledge and skills in textile engineering. We have assumed the admission requirements for the master’s programme in textile engineering and added some important skills from the syllabus of our bachelor’s programme. In this way, we hope that the students admitted to the master’s programme become aware of what is expected of them.”

In the web-based test, when the applicants have signed up with their e-mail address, they get to take a stand on six statements about their skills and abilities in twelve different categories.

“The results are presented in the form of a radar chart and are compared to our estimation of what prospective master’s students need in their toolbox in order to succeed in the programme. In the radar chart the applicant can see any differences in expectations.”

The textile engineering test consists of 12 different categories of questions:

  1. Mathematics: Arithmetic, analysis, geometry, and linear algebra
  2. Mathematics: Mathematical statistics
  3. Organic chemistry
  4. Textile chemistry
  5. Material science: Fibre technology
  6. Material science: Polymer technology
  7. Textile production methods: Weaving
  8. Textile production methods: Knitting technology
  9. Clothing technology
  10. Textile value chains and sustainable development
  11. Engineering skills, product development, and problem shooting
  12. Scientific communication
Applicants who have assessed their abilities lower than the university’s expectations receive a link to interactive resources. Each resource has been developed or specifically chosen by the Academic partners to provide candidates with self training to improve their knowledge or skills in that particular ability.

The candidate can then re-take the test and join a closed Facebook group, where they can receive peer support about the test and the self-study resources. The self-study modules can also be used in the bachelor’s programme and for exchange students. The test itself is anonymous, but in order to sign up you need to leave a valid e-mail address. Candidates will not be requested to submit any other personal details in the test.

Anders Persson commented; “As the programme coordinator, I hope this test gives us better prepared students as well as an increased interest in the master’s programme”.
By Kirsty Mitchell 28 Oct, 2017
From sophiscated fashion to life saving medical textiles, the University of Borås  Textile Engineering Programme offers more than yarn and the odd loom or two. This programme itself is intended for students with a bachelors degree in this particular domain.  In order to take full advantage of the two year textile science and engineering programme, applicants are now encouraged to take the AToM self assessment .  AToM encourages applicants to consider every aspect of Textile Engineering programme before applying.  From math, textile manufacturing techniques, textile materials technology, textile chemistry to manufacturing techniques,  AToM fully explores every aspects of the programme.  Applicants are not only provided with a unique understanding of their abilities  before joining, AToM provides applicants with interactive learning resources to help them close any identified areas of weakness. For more information on how to take the AToM assessment watch the guidance  video and register here .  
By Kirsty Mitchell 19 Jun, 2017
The meeting was hosted by the University of the Highlands and Islands  in their beautiful Perth campus in Scotland. The partners began with a presentation on data gathering. It was widely acknowledged that although data gathering across all programmes was consistent statistically over the years, it didn't account for the number of successful exit points and or for wider social and or financial reasons for student drop out. It was therefore agreed that we consider both data points when analysing the impact of AToM over the proceeding years.  
The University of Borås   demonstrated the work that they had undertaken to prepare the AToM module and resources and also shared valuable information about applicants understanding of AToM. This valuable insight provided the partners with a meaningful starting point for the methods of dissemination the project.  The University of the Highlands and Islands introduced Tara Morrison and Gareth Davies to the partners. We welcome their contribution to Masters in Education and Masters in Leadership and Management AToM modules. 
A full evaluation of the technology, design methodology including the organisation and candidate interface and content was presented conducted and presented by the University of Alcalá de Henares
By Kirsty Mitchell 25 Feb, 2017
From the 23rd to the 24th February 2017 the partners were hosted in ancient and beautiful University of Alcalá. The University of the Highlands and Islands presented the AToM platform and how to create and prepare HTML5 interactive modules. The team decided to change the self assessment terminology from capabilities to abilities. We also spent time discussing data protection and the importance and significance of the level guide functionality and how to effectively prepare the level content.

The University of Alcalá presented their ideas around their module content and fully briefed the team about how they planned to approach the assessment and audit of the project outcomes.Prior to the meeting the The University of Borås had spent time exploring and testing the functionality of the AToM platform. They were able to provide the partners with important observational ideas about how the applicants will approach the platform, the self assessment piece and taxonomy of the module itself. The University of the Highlands of Islands were able to provide the partners with a excellent interactive approach and support package for preparing the modules, taxonomy and the overall pedagogical approach to the module content writing. In advance of the meeting Digital Connextions prepared the AToM website and social media channels and took some time to brief the partners how to share content and contribute to the social media channels. 

By Kirsty Mitchell 30 Sep, 2016
The AToM project team met at the University of Borås in Sweden to kick-off the project and discuss the form and function of the online modules. Two representatives from each of the partner universities attended along with the project co-ordinators from the University of Borås and the software team from Digital Connextions.

The project parameters were discussed and workloads, deadlines and meetings agreed. The name AToM was selected as an abbreviation of 'Access to Masters'.
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