Category Archives: Short Paper

Long distance relationships can work! Supporting international top up degree students: Lessons learned by the SHU and our South East Asian Partnership

Rachael Woodcock, Elina Wu, Alton Au & Lester Kong

Parallel session 1, Short Paper 1.10

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Short Abstract
Using the ‘flying faculty’ model, the case study will explore the delivery of three top up degrees with our South East Asian Partner. The paper will focus on the importance of developing an effective partnership based on true collaboration and the lessons learned in how to support overseas based top up degree students.

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Detailed Outline
This case study will be of use to anyone exploring how to foster effective collaborative educational partnerships to ensure student success.

Exploring the ‘flying faculty’ transnational educational model, the case study based paper aims to share lessons learned by the Sheffield Hallam University and South East Asian partnership from the delivery of three business top up degrees since September 2012. Through the planned joint delivery of the paper with the South East Asian Partnership local Course Leaders, the sharing of key stories and learning from both partners will be explored.

Evidence will be drawn from a variety of sources such as:
• Student feedback
• Comparative student performance statistics
• SHU and South East Asian Partnership course team and tutor feedback

The paper will explore the importance of developing a transnational collaborative partnership that is based on true collaboration and mutual accountability to ensure student success, including the importance of:
• Developing a SHU/South East Asian Partner student community
• Developing a SHU/South East Asian Partner course team identity and community of practice
• Providing an integrated phased student induction and study skills support programme
• Maximising the benefits of ‘flying faculty’ – SHU staff face to face and on-going online relationships with students and the South East Asian Partnership team.
• Supporting the front line: Local tutor engagement and professional development opportunities

Recognition will also be given to Department of Service Sector Management for their support and guidance as a result of their collaborations with the South East Asian Partner since 2005.

The paper presented will not be final as it is intended that a final paper will be developed after the inclusion and consideration of 14/15 academic results and student feedback. It is intended that the final paper will contribute to the SHU academic community through the development of recommendations for future international collaborative partnerships.

Broadening worldview and facilitating cultural exchange in a student project with the ‘Global Friends’ programme.

Dave Sayers & Andrew Bromley

Parallel session 1, Short Paper 1.10

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Short Abstract
This talk will report on a new collaboration between the module ‘English as a World Language’ (Humanities dept, English group), and the ‘Global Friends’ programme (run by Student & Learning Services). The presentation will review student feedback on this initiative, and consider its possible application in other teaching settings.

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Detailed Outline
This paper will review the results of a new initiative at SHU. In the module ‘English as a World Language’ (Humanities dept, English group), students conduct an individual research project which involves interviewing someone from a country where English is widely spoken but not as a first language. Meanwhile the ‘Global Friends’ programme is run by Student & Learning Services to facilitate socialising between British students and international students. The initiative has been to guide students into the Global Friends programme, initially as a way to find interviewees for their projects, and hopefully with a view to spurring more sustained contacts in the longer term. The presentation will review feedback on this initiative, and consider its possible application in other teaching settings.

English as a World Language is designed to introduce first-year English students to the various ways that English is used around the world. Their coursework is an individual project, designing and executing a semi-structured interview, with one respondent from a country where English is widely used. They could have simply been instructed to find someone themselves, perhaps in a public place, but that would have squandered an opportunity for sustained engagement, and deeper learning. The Global Friends programme pairs students up individually with international students, with a view to socialising in informal settings. At the very least this should make for a more conducive interview – and therefore more effective learning – but should also lead to more sustainable social relationships, and therefore a broader form of cultural learning.

The collaboration between the module and Global Friends is new, and so this presentation will be reporting on its first run, including structured feedback from the student researchers and their interviewees, and a consideration of how such collaboration could map on to other teaching.

Evaluating Motivational Interviewing Workshop training for academics and support staff to enhance student engagement

Trevor Simper & Ray Nolan

Parallel session 2, Short Paper 2.10

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Short Abstract
The aim of this work is to evaluate the effectiveness of a basic level of training in the approach of Motivational Interviewing with some follow-up coaching- as a potentially useful tool for academics and student support staff to enhance student engagement in and out of the classroom.

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Detailed Outline
Dr Trevor Simper will provide a conceptual context and guidance around the approach of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and its potential application to teaching and learning. Ray Nolan will critically discuss the benefits derived from completing a 2-day introductory workshop on MI.

MI is an approach used in the addictions and healthcare field proven to be effective in facilitating behaviour change (Miller, Rollnick & Butler, 2008) examples include: substance abuse, diabetes and weight management. Central to the approach of MI is a four-step process; engaging, evoking, focussing and planning between client and practitioner (Miller & Rollnick, 2013). In the context of this study MI helps student identify solutions to their own problems and engender engagement which is fostered through accurate empathy. Thus the benefits of MI in teaching and learning arise from improved educator-learner engagement. This supports the learner and equally promotes self-directed learning in the classroom as well as personal and professional development outside the classroom. MI can be connected with ‘self-determination theory’ (Ryan and Deci, 1986) which essentially asserts that autonomous motivation to perform a given behaviour is stronger than extrinsically motivated reason for change.

The approach of MI was interpreted and applied with a variety of learners in one to one and group sessions; support within professional academic advisor sessions, one to one dyslexia support sessions and group teaching within module seminars at level 6 (year three undergraduate). The effectiveness of the approach, relative to the tutors experience will be discussed alongside initial impressions from students in relation to engagement- in this ongoing psr/research activity.

The results from this investigation are suggestive of how a brief introduction to motivational interviewing with coaching and feedback can enhance engagement with learners. Specific techniques or ‘micro-skills’ such as: Open Questions, Affirmations, Reflections, Summaries (OARS) and E-P-E (Elicit Provide Elicit) are contextualized to classroom and non-classroom settings and discussed briefly.

DECI, E.L. RYAN, R.M. (1986). The empirical exploration of intrinsic motivational processes in L. Berkowitz (ed) Advances in experimental social psychology Vol.13, pp39-80 new York, academic Press
MILLER, W.R. ROLLNICK, S. (2012). Meeting in the middle: motivational interviewing and self-determination theory. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 9:25.
MILLER, W.R. ROLLNICK, S. (2013). Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change. NY: Guilford Press
MILLER, W.R. ROLLNICK, S. BUTLER, C (2008). Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change. NY: Guilford Press

Democracy in the Classroom: the Importance of Environment and Attitude in Student-Led Seminars

David Koehler

Parallel session 2, Short paper 2.9

Short Abstract
This presentation builds upon previous empirical research into the effectiveness of student-led seminars for teaching critical theory. This paper presents reflections upon the success of this format, drawing upon the educational philosophies of John Dewey and Carl Rogers to explain how and why this format is successful.

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Detailed Outline
This presentation builds upon previous empirical research into the effectiveness of student-led seminars for teaching critical theory, which used focus groups to compliment the standard module evaluation questionnaires. In the previous research, feedback showed that creating a democratic learning situation helped students to engage with difficult theoretical texts. Students at Coventry University were asked to give 10 minute introductory presentations and then participate in a 40 minute group discussion as part of a second-year Democracy and the Media module.

The current phase of this research includes subsequent experiences at Birmingham University leading seminars on Modern Social Theory and Global Sociology. Here a slightly different format was used where students break into small discussion groups for 25 minutes, then present the results of their discussion to the rest of the class, and finally a plenary discussion is held with the class as a whole. Again, student feedback has shown that this student-led format is a successful way to help students engage with difficult texts.

This paper briefly presents the results of these experiences and reflects upon the success of this format, drawing upon the educational philosophies of John Dewey and Carl Rogers. John Dewey is useful for drawing attention to the role of the environment in creating a successful learning situation, and Carl Rogers draws our attention to the importance of a teacher-facilitators attitude in fostering a positive relationship with students. This paper will argue that these aspects of teaching are often underplayed, yet are crucial in the success of creating a democratic classroom, which is arguably the principle for student-led learning.

Learning beyond borders: Pioneering interdisciplinary learning and teaching approaches to promote socially responsible design practices

Roger Bateman, Claire Craig, Eve Stirling & Glyn Hawley

Parallel session 2, Short paper 2.9

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Short Abstract
Social design is the use of the design process to bring about social change. In this session, staff and students share their experiences of participating in a pioneering interdisciplinary approach to social design at Sheffield Hallam University. Key learning will be highlighted including: how can learning and teaching practices be socially situated, what makes a holistic learning and teaching experience and what happens when learning and teaching moves beyond the classroom to bring transformation to real world issues.

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Detailed Outline
Social design highlights design-based practices towards collective and social ends rather than predominantly commercial or consumer-orientated objectives. This session describes the key learning that arose from the implementation of a pioneering approach to the teaching of social design practice in the MA Design Programme (Graphics, Product, Interiors, Jewellery & Metalwork, Packaging, Illustration & Fashion) at Sheffield Hallam University. Staff reflections on the process of crafting the learning experience will be situated alongside the student voice of how it felt to participate in the module and to work alongside people in real-world scenarios.
Taking the conference themes of valuing informal learning spaces and designing learning experiences holistically the session particularly highlights the value of situating learning beyond the classroom in real-world contexts. Holism here relates to the recognition that learning is socially situated, that it draws on the individual strengths and resources the student brings and that by involving practitioners from different specialisms learning has the potential to bring about real-world transformation and change beyond the boundaries of the subject discipline.

Engaging practice-based learners

Aileen Watson, Andrew Fowler & Jacky Burrows

Parallel session 2, Short paper 2.8

Short Abstract
This session will consider the design and delivery of an academic module studied by volunteers working for Yorkshire and Humberside Circles of Support and Accountability. Our aim is to explore the use of blended learning in engaging practice-based students utilising our own experience and student feedback.

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Detailed Outline
This paper will explore the challenges of engaging practice-based learners in a blended learning experience, with specific reference to a joint project between Sheffield Hallam’s Department of Law and Criminology and Yorkshire and Humberside Circles of Support and Accountability (YHCOSA). This project involved a group of YHCOSA volunteers engaging in a standalone academic module entitled ‘Working with Sex Offenders’, which aimed to improve their volunteering through integrating theory and practice. Students completed the course by engaging in one face to face session and twelve online lectures delivered by Sheffield Hallam, and four face to face sessions delivered by YHCOSA. The project had a number of specific challenges including the wide geographic distribution of students, the range of their previous academic experience, and the challenging nature of the subject material and volunteers’ specific roles; however the paper will also address broader issues relevant to blended learning including establishing course identity, sustaining motivation, and maximising potential. It will therefore consider the specific learning needs of practice-based adult learners and maximising the effectiveness of the blended/hybrid of model of face to face teaching and technology-facilitated learning for them, as well as ways of increasing motivation and student satisfaction such as formal and informal reward and recognition and ensuring adequate support (see for example, Ausburn, 2011).

The blended learning approach can be regarded as both a practical solution to the learning needs of geographically diverse, practice-based learners and a theoretically sound mode of engaging adult learners, especially those learning for practical application. The authors take the view that the project’s blended learning approach fits well with Knowles’ model of androgogy (see for example Atherton, 2013) and in particular allows students to learn in a constructivist manner, thus facilitating deep learning (e.g. Sharpe, Benfield, Roberts, and Francis, 2006). The paper will therefore consider blended-learning through those lenses.
The paper will conclude with ideas for future directions including the role of evaluation for transformative practice and the increasing focus on blended learning as part of the wider agenda of ‘flexible learning’ (HEA, 2015)
ATHERTON, J. S. (2013). Learning and Teaching; Knowles’ andragogy: an angle on adult learning [onlline] Last updates 10 February 2013
AUSBURN, L. J. (2011). Course design elements most valued by adult learners in blended online education environments: an American perspective. Educational Media International, 41, 327-337
HEA (2015). Flexible Learning [online].
SHARPE, R. BENFIELD,G,. ROBERTS, G., and FRANCIS, R.(2006). The undergraduate experience of blended e-learning: a review of UK literature and practice.

Using Facebook to enhance collaborative learning for media law students in journalism

Dr David Clarke & Julie Gillin
@shuclarke / @juliegillin

Parallel session 2, Short paper 2.8

Short Abstract
In 2014 a Facebook page was launched to support teaching and learning for Level 6 and 7 journalism students studying media law. This paper explores how the site provides a secure, private learning environment in which students and staff can discuss and share examples of journalistic practice.

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Detailed Outline
The Media Law Facebook page is being used to promote TEL (technology enhanced learning) to provide a safe environment where L6 and 7 students studying Media Law, Regulation and Court Reporting can benefit from collaborative and social learning. At the same time it supports digital literacy skills and ethical practice that are essential to journalists.
The FB site allows them to develop their knowledge of media law and practical court reporting in a professional, supportive context. The module leader facilitates the site which is moderated by colleagues from the teaching staff. Both staff and students contribute content and reflect on their experience reporting upon the criminal courts and coroner’s inquests in Sheffield and South Yorkshire.
Social media use can been seen as disruptive and confusing when there are too many competing platforms, particularly Blackboard (Halverson, 2011). While staff recognise the benefits of social media, at the same time we have concerns about ethical and legal practice online and about privacy. This is of particular significance in the light of the recent Leveson Inquiry into the conduct and ethical practice within the print media.
Journalism educators are faced with the challenge of trying to prepare journalism students for a rapidly changing professional landscape (Rohumaa and Bradshaw, 2011) in which social media is an essential tool and platform. This presents challenges in that we also are required to control their use of social media as students of the university following SHU Social Media Guidelines.
As a result, the journalism team have discussed our individual and group use of Facebook and other social media and agreed a best practice policy.
This development in teaching and learning practice is ongoing and is being used as a template for best practice in related modules and disciplines. Student feedback on their experience of the module will be collected and analysed for use in future research and publications.

HALVERSON, E.R. (2011) Do social networking technologies have a place in formal learning environments ? On the Horizon 19:1, p62-7.
ROHUMAA, L., and BRADSHAW, P. (2011) The Online Journalism Handbook: skills to survive and thrive in the digital age. London: Pearson

Curiouser and curiouser: How curriculum change can inspire a creative approach to information skills development

Angela Davies & Deborah Taylor

Parallel session 2, Short paper 2.7

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Short Abstract
This paper describes the activities of HWB librarians to adapt their teaching approaches in the light of changes to teaching and learning. It will describe how university TEL initiatives were used to develop a holistic programme with a wider range of methods and resources, inside and outside the classroom.

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Detailed Outline
Information advisers in the Health and Wellbeing team at SHU operated an established and embedded information literacy programme for students at all levels of study. Due to changes in teaching and learning at SHU introduced for the academic year 14/15 we needed to adapt our approach to align with new course structures and module content.

This paper outlines the actions information advisers undertook to introduce a new programme of IL teaching and support. The opportunity to start from scratch encouraged a critical review of past practice, provided an impetus to capitalise on good practice in the sector and led to greater collaboration with academics to ensure we were contributing to desired graduate outcomes and delivering tangible impact.

We will set our activities in the context of curriculum change. For our purposes , we were able to draw on university initiatives such as Changing the Learning Landscape – a framework designed to assist colleagues in identifying different teaching approaches. This gave us a tool to analyse current practice and we will describe how this led us to develop new and creative approaches to skills development both inside and outside the classroom.

We will outline how we structured the new approach into an Information Literacy framework focussed on student led sessions, with the aim of inspiring a curiosity to learn more. “Skills not tools” and “self discovery” became our driving mantras. We will share top tips and will discuss lessons learned from two programme deliveries in 14/15. . We hope the presentation will generate a lively discussion and we will encourage participants to share their own experiences.

Working with Student Interns to Enhance our SHU Maths Support Provision

Neil Challis, Jeff Waldock & Sarah Woodall

Parallel session 2, Short paper 2.7

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Short Abstract
Since 1992 Maths Help has provided drop-in Maths support for all students. Recently a process of re-invigoration has begun, supported by a student intern project to gather usage and non-usage data, and generate ideas on how to enhance provision. This talk will generate discussion which will contribute to that process.

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Detailed Outline
Since 1992 the SHU Maths Help service has provided drop-in support in mathematics and statistics, to supplement support within course modules for students who, although generally well qualified for HE, are inadequately prepared mathematically. Such students may be at risk of failure to fully achieve, or even to satisfactorily progress. The service receives, on average, over 1200 visits per year.

The need for the service is well established. In 2011, the Advisory Council on Mathematics Education estimated that “of those entering higher education in any year, some 330,000 would benefit from recent experience of studying some mathematics (including statistics) at a level beyond GCSE, but fewer than 125,000 have done so.”

In summer 2014 two student interns worked with Mathematics staff to gather evidence and identify opportunities for enhancing Maths Help. The resulting evidence is being used to plan a revised, improved and extended service. Key outcomes are:

• Funding for Maths Help needs to be placed on a firm footing.
• Maths Help should be more closely coordinated with other forms of academic support.

• We should exploit the potential that exists for wider use of the service, by students across all four faculties
• We should therefore establish closer links between Maths Help staff and academic staff across other disciplines.
• Opportunities for better publicity for the service should be investigated.
• In particular, Maths Help should be highlighted in the SHU prospectus, at open days and in the SHU OFFA Access Agreement.

• The opportunity exists for final year Mathematics students to assist Maths Help tutors.
• We will consider additional modes of support e.g. targeted sessions, appointments, virtual support, to complement the current face-to-face drop-in support which students have stated to be important in improving confidence.

This session will consist of a short talk followed by open discussion of these and related points.

Lawyer in London: inspiring students through extra-curricular work-related learning activities

Teri-Lisa Griffiths & Jill Dickinson
@TerilisaCareers / @Jill_Dickinson1

Parallel session 2, Short paper 2.6

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Short abstract
This paper focuses upon work-related, extra-curricular learning activities which have been designed and delivered in conjunction with a global employer, and analyses students’ engagement both with the activities themselves and their wider learning. In doing so, it evaluates collaborative methods between teaching staff, the Careers Service, and employers and their impact on students.

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Detailed outline
In recognition of current thinking that ‘targeting graduate employability skills… [is] not confined to career departments’, this paper utilises the example of the extra-curricular, Lawyer in London event to help illustrate effective, inter-professional collaboration between the careers service, teaching staff and an international law firm.
The event’s purpose was many-fold including: encouraging students to both reach their career potential and further invest within their course and developing both their confidence and also their familiarity with the working environment. The paper will also acknowledge the wider context of organisations recognising the need for greater diversity, particularly in the legal sector.
The initiative itself was inspired by the University’s developing relationship with Freshfields, as part of the Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme.
With an overarching focus on the tripartite relationship between the university, employer and student, the paper outlines the practicalities of creating such pilot, extra-curricular schemes including: accessing funding, stakeholder-identification and emgagement and selecting/preparing students for the process.
Whilst the paper briefly outlines the event itself and the activities included, its main focus analyses and evaluates how the event met the team’s wider aims of encouraging student motivation, developing student employability and developing effective working methods between different stakeholders.
An important component comprised the feedback gained to help provide an insight into the viability, design and implementation of future events, and further development of the University’s relationships with external partners.
In outlining their conclusions, the authors suggest how others could utilise the idea of an inter-professional collaboration for the benefit of their own programmes and suggest how extra-curricular events may have a wider impact on students’ learning and career motivation.