Tag Archives: academic practice

279 – Comparing ‘Home’ and International Students’ perceptions of Inspirational Teaching – Anna Bunyan, Manuel Madriaga

Strand: Supporting Students

Anticipated outcomes: to inform both the institution and the sector, and will be used to enhance to quality of teaching for the benefit of students.

Session outline (or abstract):

This presentation will share evidence from an analysis of student comments derived from the student-nominated Inspirational Teaching Awards scheme at Sheffield Hallam University; now in its third year. It is based on student nominations and student comments taken from the Student Barometer Survey. The student comments inform the selection of award winners. The ethos behind the introduction of the student-nominated inspirational teaching awards was to celebrate and recognise contribution by staff which may otherwise go unrecognised. This study builds upon research done last year by the QESS on evaluating student perceptions of what makes inspirational and transformative teachers. While there is some literature available on what makes an exceptional teacher in higher education (Carnell 2007, Skelton 2009, Devlin and Samarawickrema 2010) and on rewarding teaching excellence (Elton 1998, Carusetta 2001, Palmer and Collins 2006, Gibbs 2007, Chalmers 2011), this work is exceptional in that the student voice is required in nominating inspirational teachers. The findings agree largely with a similar study in another UK university, where being approachable, passionate and knowledgeable are traits which are valued by students (Su and Wood 2012)

In the Student Barometer Survey students responded to a question (200 words max.) on how their experience has been transformed by inspirational teaching and by exemplary learning support. 2690 comments were analysed, of which 2272 were Home students and 418 were international. All student comments were anonymised, collated and analysed with NVivo to identify common themes. The comments were coded at 18 different themes as follows: 1 Approachable; 2 Beyond the Classroom; 3 Challenges students to succeed; 4 Encouraging; 5 Entertaining; 6 Enthusiastic; 7 Friendly; 8 Good teaching style; 9 Influence on practice; 10 Knowledgable; 11 Motivational; 12 Organised; 13 Passion for subject area; 14 Professional; 15 Reliable; 16 Respect for students; 17 Supportive; 18 Up-to-date in research.

The evidence shows that this work is beneficial for all students, regardless of whether they are ‘international’ or ‘home’ students. The research is being carried out by a student researcher in collaboration with experienced research staff.  It is hoped these finding will inform both the institution and the sector and will be used to enhance the quality of teaching for the benefit of students.

 References:

Carnell, E. (20070. Conceptions of effective teaching in higher education: extending the boundaries. Teaching in Higher Education, 12 (1), 25-40.

Carusetta, E. (2001). Evaluating Teaching Through Teaching Awards. New Directions for Learning and Teaching, 88, 31-40.

Chalmers, D. (2011). Progress and challenges to the recognition and reward of the scholarship of teaching in higher education. Higher Education Research & Development, 30 (1), 25-38.

Devlin, M. and Samarawickrema, G. (2010). The criteria of effective teaching in a changing higher education context. Higher Education Research and Development, 29 (2), 111-124.

Elton, L. (1998). Dimensions of excellence in university teaching. International Journal for Academic Development, 3 (1), 3-11.

Gibbs, G. (2007). Have we lost the plot with teaching awards? Academy Exchange, 7, 40-2.

Palmer, A. and Collins, R.  (2006). Perceptions of rewarding excellence in teaching: motivation and the scholarship of teaching. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 30 (2), 193-205.

Skelton, A. M. (2009). A ‘teaching excellence’ for the times we live in? Teaching in Higher Education, 14(1), 107-112.

Su, F., and Wood, M. (2012). What makes a good university lecturer? Students’ perceptions of teaching excellence. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 4(2), 144-155.

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