Tag: Research

Placements Revealed: Phase 2

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)

Health and Social Care Departments

Placements Revealed is the next stage of the Placements Uncovered project. This project will include co-production with students to review the research findings and prioritise those projects which they believe will make a difference to the student experience. To do this the department aims to establish a BAME Stakeholder group (students, BAME graduates, academic staff, students union representatives and placement colleagues) who can help to understand the data and prioritise recommendations. Two students will also be employed to undertake a literature review of BAME healthcare students and placements.

For further information contact the project lead Jackie Parkin, j.parkin@shu.ac.uk and Julie Nightingale, j.nightingale@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Placements Uncovered: Phase 1

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)

Health and Social Care Departments

A small cross-faculty working group was tasked with organising a staff conference related to BME attainment. On investigation, no significant academic attainment gap for health and social care students was identified, however BME students were over-represented in Fitness for Practice and Academic Misconduct cases, with a higher than expected number of placements fails on some of our programmes. In early 2018 a qualitative project was launched, “Placements Uncovered” which explored the challenges facing BME students when they undertake health and social care placements. Following ethical approval, the project team investigated via several focus groups the challenges of placements seen from the perspectives of BME students, academic staff, clinical supervisors and student union advisors. With data from 8 focus groups, the department now have an emerging picture of the barriers facing BME students and are gaining an insight into the support they require to successfully negotiate their clinical placements. While recognising the small sample involved in this qualitative work, and that some students highlighted positive placement experiences, the findings do nevertheless raise some concerns. They suggest areas for further staff development as well as the need for awareness-raising for students and placement staff.

For further information contact the project lead Jackie Parkin, j.parkin@shu.ac.uk and Julie Nightingale, j.nightingale@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Student inspirations and aspirations: and the effect on the BAME attainment gap

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)

Department of Biosciences and Chemistry

This Hallam Guild project works closely with students to determine how their inspirations to study as well as their career aspirations correlate with level 4 attainment, retention and progression.The overarching aim of this project is to reduce the BAME attainment gap by gaining a better understanding of why students choose courses to study at university and how this links to career aspirations. Mixed methodology will be used to inform key recommendations and allow university-wide interventions to be implemented. This project is forecasted to be completed by 31st July 2019.

For further information contact the project lead Dr Mel Lacey, m.lacey@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

HWB BAME Working Group

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)

The BAME Working Group is a group within the HWB faculty that meets every six weeks to discuss key actions in relation to BAME attainment. The group has two specific responsibilities: explore the use of enabling language in assessment briefs and other types of key information and communication to students; undertake a review and analysis to address the over-representation of BAME students in cases of Academic Misconduct and Fitness to Practise. The overall role of the group is that it is an enabler, which supports the range of BAME thematic work across the Faculty. The project aims to have a reduction of the average BAME attainment gap across the faculty of Health and Wellbeing. However, this data is still pending.

The terms of reference and model of the cross-faculty working group could easily be shared with other faculties.

For further information contact the project lead Dr Alison Purvis, a.purvis@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Embedding student leaders in steering group to impact the BAME

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Law and Criminology (DLC)

This action research project aimed to position students as central to impacting practice and processes that may contribute to reducing the BAME/white degree attainment gap. A steering group with student members was formed to discuss desired changes to practice and process, and to develop and manage projects to completion by September 2019 in collaboration with multi-disciplinary staff members. A range of projects overseen by the new steering group are currently in development or delivery.
Final outcome data are pending mixed methods evaluation before the end of 2018. Student leaders (and the wider steering group) will take part in the evaluation process.

It should be relatively straightforward for other departments to implement this project. All that is required is a steering group with students, and for student leaders to network and share ideas with their peers in order to establish projects.

For further information contact the project lead Tanya Miles-Berry, t.miles-berry@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Attainment gap by module/mode of assessment

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Law and Criminology (DLC)

This was an action research project that aimed to establish whether mode of assessment impacts the BAME attainment gap. BAME students’ grades were recorded by module and by mode of assessment. The project also included random sampling of non-BAME student profiles which helped to establish where BAME/white module attainment gaps exist, and whether attainment changed for individuals as mode of assessment changed. Current suggestions are that the BAME/white module attainment gap is less likely to emerge with practical modes of assessment than other modes. However, this is partly because the sample size was small.

This project should be relatively easy to roll out the investigation across the university. However, it is suggested that this analysis should be replicated in departments with a larger number of BAME students to see if the results mirror that of the small-scale project.

For further information contact the project lead Tanya Miles-Berry, t.miles-berry@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Impact of feedback on final Dissertation grade

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Law & Criminology (DLC)

The aim of this project was to explore the relationship between different components of academic feedback and academic performance.  On this basis this project looked at historical student dissertation work (the Interim Framework Report (IFR) and the final Dissertation) and evaluated the feedback staff gave. We found that BAME students tended to receive a lower mark, but the difference was within 2% of non-BAME students. However, feedback to BAME students rarely included any salutation in comparison to non-BAME students. In addition, male students were more likely to improve their mark than female students however the numbers of students were too low to evaluate this based on BAME status alone. This type of analysis could be carried out on a large scale across the University.

For further information contact the project lead Amy Musgrove a.musgrove@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Addressing BAME student voice

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion (DECI)

Using graduate intern researchers, the aim of the project was to establish common understanding of BAME concerns, enable open discussion and implement measures to positively inform the Course Improvement Plans (CIPs). This included opening up discussion with known BAME student communication channels; further developing discussion with ECI students to identify specific issues/challenges/support needs; developing intelligence to inform departmental actions. The overall aim is to enhance student perceptions of belonging and togetherness. As a result of this project, the department established recommendations they believed were needed to enable not just BAME students but all students’ success at university.

Highlighted below are the priorities at a course and departmental level. These were:

  1. Decolonising curriculum: More work is required from academics to research scholars and introduce diverse text.
  2. Representation: Recruitment of more positive role models and opportunities to showcase this such as guest speakers of BAME backgrounds)
  3. Training: More cultural awareness, staff training on unconscious bias, institutional racism and acknowledgement of privilege/positionalities and how this impacts students.
  4. Promotion: A greater emphasis on promotion of opportunities within the department such as scholarships and bursaries and graduate internships.
  5. Changes: Early and timely dissemination of changes to course structures and assessments; more consideration around student experience and their feedback in regard to modules being in different rooms every week.
  6. Placement s: Continue to offer a variety of placements such as those in a non-education based setting
  7. Recruitment: More BAME representation in staff diversity whether this is academics or student support services
  8. Research: Open forums where non-BAME and BAME students can discuss issues, speak freely and as a result improve cross-racial interaction.
  9. Undergraduate to postgraduate progression: More workshops around confidence, readiness and promotion of master’s and PhDs
  10. Commuter student experience: There are a large number of commuter students within our department and we need to reconsider our view of the traditional student experience and rethink what we offer to our students.

The articulation of actions using CIPs is replicable across all courses. The initiatives identified in the CIPs provide an accessible means to communicate innovations.

For further information contact the project lead John Wrigglesworth j.wrigglesworth@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Staff awareness raising campaign

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion (DECI)

Prompted by a series of awareness raising activities, Sheffield Institute of Education (SIoE) staff were supported to draw on their education research background to identify improvements that can be made to close the BAME attainment gap on their courses. Whilst each course now has at least one BAME-related action on their course improvement plan (CIP) annually, a survey in March 2018 showed that course leaders were yet to be using CIPs to record their actions relating to the BAME attainment gap. Using this as a baseline, an annual survey will be conducted, and the results compared to March 2018 (and correlated with the attainment gap). The articulation of actions using CIPs is replicable across all courses. The initiatives identified in the CIPs provide an accessible means to communicate innovations.

For further information contact the project lead John Wrigglesworth j.wrigglesworth@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Success principles for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Students

Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts (STA)

Department of Computing

This project sets out to co-create the support needed to address the attainment gap in degree classifications, employability and support the development of the SHU graduate attributes. This initiative draws upon BAME role models who have achieved success in their careers/businesses to not only inspire and motivate students but to also help students understand key principles that contribute towards successful academic and career endeavours. The sessions will include the following:

  1. A series of guest speakers that discuss their journey of how they reached their current career stage, detailing some of the important principles/lessons they learnt along the way.
  2. A short interactive workshop will be designed to further understand student needs, encourage reflection and action and to help co-create/shape future seminars.

Following the final seminar, the data will be analysed from each session to identify key themes that can be used to inform the development of sustainable recommendations that will address our attainment gap for BAME students.

For further information contact the project lead Jamie Caine j.caine@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

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