Author Archives: Adele Evans

About Adele Evans

My career has spanned over 30 years, I have worked mainly in education but in varying roles. My first role was at an Estate Agents, this was not a good experience and was dominated by senior management belittling office staff and deciding that the role should be to make tea and coffee for all 15 employees. I felt devalued and gained little work experience and decided that working in this industry wasn't for me. I think experiences like this shape you, I may not have learnt much about how to work in Estate Agents but I did realise that being encouraging, supportive and making people feel valued is truly important. I proceeded to work at Westcourt Property Services as a P.A. for the rented department. Even though I was only there a couple of years it was the first time I was working with new people and at varying levels which I gained a lot of experience and support from. I was eager to learn and to develop my work based skills. I applied for a job at Sheffield Hallam University when there was a recruitment fair in 1990 and was offered a 1 year temporary post, I took this opportunity as the money was more than double to what I was earning in my P.A. post and I knew that Sheffield Hallam would give me much more potential for a further career. I worked hard in a small team in Financial Studies and Law and managed to get my post made into a permanent position. I then made a sideways move to work in Student Finance, I was sceptical about a sideways move but it really paid off as my manager at the time was very supportive and I worked with a good team. I was encouraged to apply for a part-time HNC Business and Finance course at SHU with the potential of continuing my study onto degree level. The course was challenging as I had been out of education for about 7 years and there was a lot of work and with working full time it was demanding, however, I found my strengths studying subjects that appealed to me. The course gave me experience and a confidence boost that I really needed and made me realise that I could with hard work and dedication, I could achieve anything that I put my mind to. I got married a year later and then had my son and reduced to part-time, I was interviewed for the line manager role while I was on maternity leave and I was successful in that post. After having my daughter, my career then progressed from there, I gained the Head of Student Finance Centre part-time and line managed between 8 - 12 members of staff, I also began working part-time in other roles within the university so I could gain more experience. Working full time in two different roles had its challenges but you gain so much from working in different roles and with different people. I took the opportunity to develop my skills further by attending many training courses at SHU. The role expanded considerably due to the changes in government which impacted on student finance, but this gave me a great opportunity, I enjoyed the challenge and welcomed change and new ways of working. I also became an independent investigator for the university which really enhanced my skills in listening and report writing. I have worked at Sheffield Hallam University for 27 years in many different roles including School of Financial Studies and Law, Student Services, Admissions and UK Recruitment, Human Resources, Quality Enhancement, Library and Student Support Services (L3S) and now in Marketing. During this time I have gained a huge amount of experience from my varying roles and working with different people, I learnt that you absorb a lot of information and experience from the people you work with at all levels. I have previously worked as a Business Relationship Manager for L3S, working closely with my designated faculty of Health and Wellbeing. I now work as a Business Partner for Marketing and support the Sheffield Business School, I manage and develop effective working relationships, enhance knowledge and understanding of team priorities within Marketing and align strategic plans with the Faculty. During my working life I have learnt many things: • Making mistakes is ok, it's what makes you learn. • Believing in yourself is a difficult skill but one that everyone needs to undertake if you don't believe in yourself who will, building confidence and channelling negative thoughts is essential. • Consulting with people effectively, actively listening to their answers and making sure they feel valued is always beneficial, not just for the individuals but also for you. I've learnt that one of the best ways of learning is to learn from others. • Work life balance - balancing children and a busy work schedule. Knowing when to click off at the end of the day. • Everyone is different and we must learn to embrace diversity. • Don' t be afraid to take on new challenges, even pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, it's how you develop yourself, you can always ask for support and the sense of achievement and the skills learnt will be with you going forward in your career. • Being forward thinking and expecting change, things change and we have to accept that so learn to prepare and embrace it. Change is how we all progress. Challenges I have overcome • I found being a young female and lacking in confidence is something that some people would take advantage of and talk down to you, this happened at varying times throughout my early career, I realised that believing in myself, being prepared, using my emotional intelligence skills and making sure I appear confident means that others stop doubting you. What is it I can provide for the mentee • I am friendly, warm and approachable and get fulfilment from inspiring confidence in people. • I am a good listener. • We will learn from each other and build and develop personal and professional effectiveness. • I gain satisfaction by supporting others and helping develop their strengths and supporting them. • I believe it is key to be forward thinking and plan your personal ambitions and think creatively. • Support you with your wellbeing, share my experiences.

SHU’s Learning and Teaching Conference will be held on Thursday 19th June 2014

Aiming High – Valuing Challenge in Teaching and Learning

The conference theme of ‘Aiming High’ creates an opportunity to explore how teaching and learning thrive by setting high expectations.

We invite proposals from academic practitioners, support and development staff, and from students for presentations, workshops and posters.

Each year Sheffield Hallam University’s Learning and Teaching Conference aims to encourage diverse participation which recognises the commitment and interests of academic staff and students at Sheffield Hallam University, as well as our partner organisations. This year the conference welcomes contributions and delegates from other universities and colleges who share our commitment to excellent and challenging teaching. We also welcome involvement by students as both presenters and participants, reflecting the importance of student partnership in academic innovation.

The one day conference will be organised around broad themes, which are outlined here to encourage a range of high quality submissions:

Academic innovation: creativity and innovation; currency and scholarship; academic peer support; excellent teaching in the lecture theatre; evaluating innovation; creative spaces for teaching; inspiring through assessment and feedback; valuing difference; excellent partnerships.

Inspiring and supporting students: staff-student interaction and collaboration; active learning; keeping students on task; renegotiating engagement; supporting excellent teaching; skill or literacy; communities of practice.

Fostering independence and peer support: student belonging; student transition; communities of practice; embracing diversity and challenge.

Technology changing the learning landscape: technology supported innovation; increasing access; redefining the classroom; mobile learning; social media; making connections; on the cutting edge.

The students’ view: defining excellence; enhancing the curriculum through staff-student co-production; student researchers; student conferences; using my technology my way; peer co-operation; students as partners.

The conference will offer a range of sessions including research-informed presentations, sharing practice presentations, CoLab workshops and Posters. We also welcome suggestions for alternative contributions.

Further details about the conference, including keynotes, guidance on submitting proposals, our peer review selection process and registration will follow shortly.

Learning and Teaching Conference

Message from Professor Graham Gibbs

My apologies for running out of time in my talk. I have attached my full ppt.  Professor Graham Gibbs Sheffield Hallam (Note from Conference Steering Group: we recommend that you view the video first – there are a number of significant areas that Professor Gibbs explores in his talk that are not conveyed in the PPT slides.)

My two reports can be found at:

You may also find the “Seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education” enlightening at

I am happy to respond to emailed questions to Good luck!

Message from Professor Phillipa Levy

It was lovely to be able to attend and contribute to the conference.  Please find Powerpoint slides here: SHU Keynote P Levy

discuss @ #shult13  – The Conference encourages the use of Twitter, please click on the link to view a screencast of how to use Twitter.

025 – Using a cultural lens to explore challenges and issues in culturally diverse schools for Teach First beginning teachers: implications for future teacher training – Dr Alison Hramiak

Presenter: Dr Alison Hramiak, Owen 429, ext 6023 Supporting StudentsAnticipated outcomes: Dissemination of innovative good practice that better prepares students for placements by developing courses that better suit their requirements.

Session outline (or abstract):

This short paper explores the challenges and issues faced by Teach First teachers during their first year of teaching in a culturally diverse school, and describes the strategies they employ to overcome them. Using a variety of methods, both qualitative and quantitative data are collected, focussing on the perspectives of the teachers over the course of the academic year. Three common themes emerged from the findings; firstly, there is evidence from all data sets that cultural challenges exist for the participants, and that they have developed strategies for overcoming them during the course of the year. Secondly, the cultural gap revealed by the data is not necessarily seen as one between staff and pupils, but exists more between curriculum and pupils. Thirdly, while cultural differences have caused some problems for the participants, they have come to recognise that although they cannot change the whole culture of the school and its pupils, they can make a difference in their classrooms. The cultural lens provided ideas to better prepare future trainees for this type of situation in schools, and also added to a growing body of knowledge in this area. This in turn enables us to develop our future courses for such trainees in ways that better suit them, with more appropriate curriculum topics, and prepare them better for placement in doing so. Such enhanced preparation would also be applicable to other teacher training routes, and as such could be extrapolated to other situations such as PGCEs and Schools Direct Initial Teacher Education. In better preparing our own trainees for their work in schools, we might also better prepare ourselves as HE tutors in teacher training – an aspect of this work that would be worth further study. To engage with these changes, we may need to see culture differently, than we have previously done, and raise our awareness, and those of our trainees to the issues that might arise in situations like the one described here.

Session activities for engagement:

Interactive power point presentation that includes some short activities for audience to get them thinking about their own course and practice and how they might improve this in the light of the findings from this study.


AU, K. H. & BLAKE, K. M. 2003. Cultural Identity and Learning to Teach in a Diverse Community. Journal of Teacher Education, 54, 192-205.

BOURDIEU, P. 1983. The Forms of Capital. In: HALSEY, A. H., LAUDER, H., BROWN, P. & STUART WELLS, A. (eds.) Education Culture Economy Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

BRUNER, J. 1996. The Culture of Education, Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press.

EUN, B. 2011. A Vygotskian theory-based professional development: implications for culturally diverse classrooms. Professional Development in Education, 37, 319-333.

GAY, G. 2010. Acting on Beliefs in Teacher Education for Cultural Diversity. Journal of Teacher Education, 61, 143-152.

GORARD, S. & TAYLOR, C. 2004. Combining Methods in Educational and Social Research, Maidenhead, OU Press.

HAGGARTY, L., POSTLETHWAITE, K., DIMENT, K. & ELLINS, J. 2011. Improving the learning of newly qualified teachers in the induction year. British Educational Research Journal (BERJ), 37, 935-954.

HOBSON, A. J., MALDEREZ, A., TRACEY, L., GIANNAKAKI, M., PELL, G. & TOMLINSON, P. 2008. Student teachers’ experiences of initial teacher preparation in England: core themes and variation. Research Papers in Education, 23, 407-433.

MARX, H. 2011. Please Mind the Culture Gap: Intercultural Development During a Teacher Education Study Abroad Program. Journal of Teacher Education, 62, 35-47.

MCDONOUGH, K. 2009. Pathways to Critical Consciousness: A First-Year Teachers’ Engagement with Issues of Race and Equity. Journal of Teacher Education, 60, 528-537.

MUIJS, D., CHAPMAN, C., COLLINS, A. & ARMSTRONG, P. 2010. Maximum Impact Evaluation The Impact of Teach First Teachers in Schools Final Report. Manchester: University of Manchester.

NASH, R. 1999. Bourdieu, ‘Habitus’, and Educational Research: is it all worth the candle? British Journal of  Sociology of Education, 20, 175-187.

RUEDA, R. & STILLMAN, J. 2012. The 21st Century Teacher A Cultural Perspective. Journal of Teacher Education, 63, 245-253.

SLEETER, C. E. 2001. Preparing Teachers for Culturally Diverse Schools. Journal of Teacher Education, 52, 94-106.

25 It’s a balloon Sir! sept 2012 alison hramiak

306 – Two projects in Creative Arts Practice (2013) – Jerome Harrington, Tim Machin

Consisting of two back-to-back presentations this session will discuss two projects that have taken place with Level 6 Creative Arts Practice students (ACES). The projects were conceived to run concurrently with the shared ambition to develop the students sense of identity of their own developing art practice, within the context of this relatively new course.  Both projects instigated discussions which have continued over the year, and have influenced the students final exhibition at Creative Spark.   Jerome Harrington This project involved the production of a map which locates and visualises the position of individual practices within the year group, and locates these practices in relation to the larger sphere of art and design.    The students worked collectively to plot the position of their own work and that of their peers on a large collaged wall ‘map’.  This process of co-construction created a forum in which ideas were shared, and ignited debate regarding the identity of individual practices, as well as that of the course. The project, revealed the diversity of interests and working methods in this year group, and subsequently helped the students to foster clusters of related research interests.     Tim Machin Following Jerome’s project, the students were challenged to test their emerging notion of practice through exhibiting a piece of their work in the wider university. Students were asked to find a location which would add something to their work – for example, a context which subtly changed the meaning or reception of the work, or a space enabling them to work on a more ambitious scale. The project posed significant practical issues (around estates, health and safety) but in encouraging students to engage with these, offered genuine experience of the challenges of exhibiting art work in public spaces.

300 – A Scaffolded Approach to Developing Professional Communication and Digital Skills – Sue Beckingham

The professional skills module for first year Computing students has followed a traditional approach not unlike many other subjects. However in one course a module reviewed the syllabus to integrate new digital skills to complement the programme. Students have undertaken a variety of digital communication tasks which they have reflected upon within their digital portfolio in the form of a blog. They have also worked in groups and held online meetings using Skype or Google+ hangouts, recording their meetings using a shared Google doc. A scaffolded approach using social media to develop communication skills has allowed students to reflect on existing skills and the development of new. Within their personal reflective blog the students embedded a digital ‘About Me’ video along with screencasts and screenshots to evidence their online group work. Not only has this helped them to develop new digital skills, they have been able to articulate how these may be of use in the workplace. The articulation of how professional skills can be applied and the confidence to do so is an important and vital aspect of their development.

300 A Scaffolded Approach to Developing Professional Communication and Digital Skills

299 – Space, Place and Interconnectedness: An Evaluation of the Importance of a Considered Digitally Visual Online Presence – Sue Beckingham, David Morrish, Emma Trigg

The aim of this project was to research and develop a deeper awareness of the key and emerging social sites that are relevant to developing a visual and professional identity; the importance of interconnectedness and the significance for our future graduates looking to enter the Creative Sector.  How students develop a professional identity One of the valued SHU graduate attributes we aspire to develop within our graduates is Digital Literacy. This states that as graduates they will be able to work effectively with a range of technology and social media and have the capability to develop a confident online presence. Our project focuses in on the students and future graduates on the creative courses within the Faculty of ACES. The outcomes of our research will help to inform potential enhancements to professional studies within our courses. This project was undertaken with an undergraduate Student in response to the call for Students as Researchers Project which funds students to undertake a small research project in collaboration with staff to improve academic practice and the student experience.

299 Space Place and Interconnectedness

298 – How to engage students in Employability and Personal Development – Billy Jon Bryan

Strands: Course identity and credibility

Anticipated outcomes:

I wish to give members of faculty a sense of ‘atmosphere’ about what our current level 3 students in the sport academy perceive ‘employability’ and also how they view themselves independently in the current job market as they leave this year.

Outline: Poster format

This poster presentation will provide an insight into current and on-going research conducted by myself as a student researcher and academic colleagues/staff in the health and wellbeing department collaboratively with a special focus on using appreciative enquiry pioneered by David Cooperrider (1987). It will assess current attitudes and methods of assessing student engagement in employability and the results of our study will be the basis for re-shaping the course for the next academic year.

As a student myself who has had a lot of experience in many different areas of work I can provide an objective view considering the challenges of working and learning in the current economy and how it affects the learning needs of others in my position concerning employability skills.


Our research will define what current final year students think about the delivery/content/validity of their employability and how it will affect their post graduate employability offering. The discussion method ‘appreciative inquiry’ really ‘brings out the best’ in an individual’s experiences and allows them to be shared in a group setting to inspire and create new ideas from ‘success stories’. These workshops are ‘solution-based’ meaning that discussions will be centred on problems and barriers facing student’s ability to gain job experience/skills using positive aspects of job experience to generate effective solutions for common issues faced by students. We wish to change the identity of the course employability assessment from autocratic, outcome based learning to a more student led approach. The feedback received from students will be used in module development for a new and improved sport business/events management degree producing better equipped students into the job market.

Session activities:

The session will begin with introductions and a short brainstorming session into employability as a whole. Then I will present my poster/research and further develop how what we discussed during the brainstorm relates to my work and students. I will then offer up my own experience in employability and professional development and encourage others to do so while still using evidence from my study and others, turning the session into a focus group type setting using ‘appreciative enquiry. The session will end with Q&A.


296 – Course-Centred Assessment – Andrew Middleton, Christine O’Leary, Graham Holden, Serena Bufton, Mike Bramhall, Alison Purvis

This session aims to inspire, inform and challenge participants towards finding holistic approaches to course-centred assessment. With reference to good practice assessment principles (e.g. Nicol & McFarlane-Dick, 2006), this panel session will provide examples of course-centred assessment strategies and models designed to engage and empower the learner through their course (Nicol, 2009). A course-centered approach to assessment lends itself to the development of student self-regulation, to authentic assessment practices and supports a more dialogic approach (Freeman & Dobbins, 2013). It can encourage a shift away from fragmented learning experiences, which can be an inadvertent result of module-centred assessment tasks (Gibbs, 2012; Price et al. 2011). The examples discussed will demonstrate how assessment and feedback can help students to make formative connections across and through their course. A series of short presentations will be given exploring what a course-centred approach means for assessment practice, how it can enable integrated and authentic approaches to assessment, and the benefits it presents to the student experience. Session activities for engagement: In the second half of the workshop participants will be involved in small group activities aimed at developing and sharing key ideas on the various integrated course assessment strategies.

Click to visit presentations:  296 LTA Conf -AssessmentPatterns-Course View Blanks

296 Integrated assessment

296 LTA Conf -AssessmentPatterns-Course View Example

295 – Inspiring Learner Engagement: the development of a curriculum design toolkit – Andrew Middleton, Panni Loh

This poster presents a framework to help curriculum design teams think about ways to heighten leaner engagement. The Learner Engagement Design Lens and the associated materials in the online Teaching Essentials resource-base have been developed with input from academic staff and students from all faculties this year. These ideas for good academic practice from Sheffield Hallam University are organised according to widely understood principles for Learner Engagement (i.e. Chickering & Gamson, 1987, and others) and they are complemented with information for design teams to explore further.

Course design suffers when potential design partners including students, employers and support staff, are excluded due to a lack of useful support. Nicol & Draper (2009) say transformative academic innovations can be stifled by a lack of teaching and learning knowledge among those tasked with designing courses. The design lens is intended to address this by presenting a set of seven inspirational and informative cards for use by multi-stakeholder teams involved in designing and reviewing effective and engaging curricula together.

Further information about the online Leaner Engagement toolkit, links to key resources and information about other design lenses will be shared in the poster.

295 Andrew Middleton Learner Engagement Poster

293 – Teaching reflection isn’t a science; is it an art? – Richard McCarter, Emma Heron

The teaching and learning of reflection is not a science and the term ‘critical reflection’ is often framed and conceived differently by many tutors and students especially those in a non-vocational setting. This paper explores possible teaching approaches and strategies towards student’s own PPDP and draws on interviews with staff and 2nd year students in the social sciences. Even when the opportunity to encourage students to examine and write critically about their own professional, academic and personal development, tutors are themselves not always active enquirers and may feel challenged by their own role as facilitators.  Equally students feel threatened, distanced or alienated from the reflective process.

The outcomes of our study indicate that students liked the skills element of the module, but declared that they waffled through some areas of an assessed piece of writing when asked to reflect. The study reveals that staff differed in expectations of what represents reflection. A significant outcome of the study suggested that tutors were not reflective practitioners and they lacked a sense of what the reflective process should contain and what or how to promote in the student, critical enquiry and self-reflection.

Larrivee (2000) refers to teachers having an awareness and criticality of their practice and points to the notion of the critically reflective teacher and the ability to have a deep examination of values on action; their own interrogation of practice through critical checks and multiple lenses. Can we teach students reflection without such awareness ourselves? No; in order to teach PPDP effectively, the teacher needs to be (or become) a reflective practitioner.  The paper discusses the tutor’s support role and reviews strategies and approaches to help staff support students undertake a journey of self-discovery and looks at the kind of practitioner that we might become.