Tag Archives: attributes

283 – Student partnerships and employability: case study of the Course Design Consultancy @ SHU – Manny Madriaga, Luci Cockayne, Andrew Squire, Lizzie Webster, Barbara Gonzalez Jaspe, Neil Morris & Chris Corker

This interactive workshop raises questions about the extent of our partnerships with students in their learning.  How are we ensuring that students are reflecting upon their own professional development in volunteering and/or work-based learning activities?   How transparent are we making the skills and attributes students are developing while working in partnership with academic staff? In pondering these questions, this workshop will include a show-and-share of how students and staff within the institution collaborated on a project to enhance student engagement in the curriculum design process this year.  This institutional initiative, Course Design Consultancy, was supported by the Higher Education Academy’s Students as Partners change programme, which is run in partnership with Birmingham City University.  This presentation highlights how both Venture Matrix™ students and Faculty Student Representatives from the Sheffield Business School were recruited to become course design consultants (CDCs).  It will describe the role of CDCs from students who have taken on this role.  The CDCs will share their experience of working with course leaders and course planning teams to first identify areas of improvement to inform course (re)development.  In addition, the CDCs will share their experience of working alongside their student peers and prepping, organising and running of ‘solution-based’ workshops to develop ideas for course improvement.  CDCs will discuss the work involved, particularly in producing CDC Reports which include recommendations based on student ideas taken from workshops.

278 – Collaborative Learning – Mark Boylan, Jackie Cawkwell

Jackie and Mark aimed to facilitate:

  • a developed understanding of the nature of collaboration
  • a map of the experience of collaborative learning
  • an identification of student support needs
  • a cross-course understanding of differences and similarities in practice
  • a possible SEEJ paper
  • an experience of a model of collaborative enquiry to inform practice

Using (literally) brown paper as a way of visualising the experience of collaborative learning, small groups mapped a real-life scenario, identifying strengths and weaknesses of the approach and discussing what student support activities might enhance the student experience. Whilst this methodology offers an effective way of unpicking different elements of a process, or in this case an experience, we did find that it takes more time than you’d think! Consequently we did well on charting the experience and on understanding the nature and different aspects of the experience  but barely began to explore differences and similarities between courses. Nevertheless, the enquiry group on collaborative learning will take this discussion forward into 2013/14, with a possible SEEJ paper and Student as Researchers project. And we also now have 7 or 8 charted and mapped course experiences of students working together!

Everyone who contributed to the Co-Lab will now have their names added to the Enquiry Group email list. Many thanks to all who joined in.

Session outline as in Conference Programme:

Collaborative learning is an important aspect of the student learning experience, taking many different forms, including peer supported learning of various types and assessed group work. Developing and practicing the capacity to collaborate is itself an important life skill as well as a pedagogical approach widely recognised as supporting different and greater learning than individual activity might alone. It is central to problem based and enquiry based learning. It is also often challenging for students and this can be accentuated by socio-economic, disability and other student characteristics. Often the experience of collaborative learning across the course or programme is not sufficiently considered either.

The focus of this Co-lab is on the student experience of collaboration across a range of courses, the experience of progression and on the support needs of students (generally and specifically). There will be a brief introduction to the work of the SHU Collaborative Learning Enquiry Group; we will share the methodology and outcomes from an earlier activity by the Group, adapting a method called ‘Brown Paper mapping’, a technique that allows processes and experiences to be visualised and adapted from industrial and business contexts. We will undertake our own Brown paper mapping exercise, charting the journey of the students and identifying:

  • what is experienced positively by staff and students
  • what challenges staff and students
  • further opportunities for the development of effective approaches to collaborative learning
  • what support students receive and what further support could be offered
  • an agreed number of action points to inform the future work of the Enquiry Group

References:

Boylan, M. & Smith, P.  (2012). Tutor roles in collaborative group work. Student Engagement and Experience Journal, 1(1). Available at: http://research.shu.ac.uk/SEEJ/index.php/seej/article/view/34/Boylan

Falchikov, N. (2001) Peer Tutoring in Higher Education New York, Routledge Falmer.

Lizzio, A. & Wilson, K. (2006). Enhancing the effectiveness of self-managed learning groups: understanding students’ choices and concerns, Studies in Higher Education, 31(6), 689-703

Nortcliffe, A. (2012) Can students assess themselves and their peers? A five year study. Student Engagement and Experience Journal, 1,(2) Available at: http://research.shu.ac.uk/SEEJ/index.php/seej/article/view/29/Nortcliffe

Thorley, L. & Gregory, R. (eds.) (1994) Using group based learning in higher education. Kogan Page.

 

247 – Open Badges: Supporting Learning and Employability by Recognising Skills Development – Ian Glover

Open Badges were developed in 2010 by the Mozilla Foundation, with support from Peer2Peer University and the MacArthur Foundation. They are designed to be a method of validating and certifying knowledge and experience in a less formal manner than degree certificates and grade transcripts, and have been identified as having a high potential impact on education, likely to be felt within the next 2-5 years (Open University, 2012, p. 16-18). Additionally, they have the potential to be a motivational tool to encourage students to take control of their studies and help emphasise the need for extra-curricular experience and achievement. In this way, Open Badges can support employability strategies by providing students with clear targets that are relevant to industry.

Open Badges support linking to evidence to justify their award, meaning that they can aid students in developing portfolios of work and, by making the badges publically viewable, provide evidence of their work to prospective employers. Another major benefit of Open Badges is that they help expose the skills and competencies students have acquired through their studies. Students often overlook this aspect of Higher Education because the focus is on grades, yet it is the underlying skills that are often most valued by employers (McDowell, 2013).

This paper discusses the implications of Open Badge adoption on Higher Education, highlight examples of their use, and stimulate consideration of the potential of this recent innovation. Several existing online systems are available, and these are discussed along with some suggestions on possible uses for Open Badges.

References

McDowell, L. M. (2013). Skills and Labour market change. White Paper. http://www.nelep.co.uk/media/2624/linda-mcdowell-skills.pdf [accessed 04 May 2013].

Open University. (2012). Innovating Pedagogy 2012. White Paper. http://www.open.ac.uk/personalpages/mike.sharples/Reports/Innovating_Pedagogy_report_July_2012.pdf

[accessed 04 May 2013].

Click to view presentation:  247 Open Badges – SHULT13

242 – Practical Strategies for Embedding Employability in the Curriculum – Jeff Waldock

For a variety of reasons, degree programmes are increasingly expected to better prepare graduates for the workplace.  Appropriate mechanisms for achieving this will differ from department to department and from discipline to discipline – but some generally successful principles can be described.  Employability skills comprise practical job seeking (i.e. Career Management) skills, that can be developed through short co- or extra-curricular sessions, and skills such as communication and team working that require longer term development.  Both are important, however this presentation will concentrate on the latter. Successful strategies include the use of work experience (particularly a full-year placement).  Skills in self-awareness are also important – the ability to recognise your own strengths, provide evidence to support this and develop strategies for improvement has a huge impact on gaining employment.  A process of reflection and action planning embedded within the curriculum will help develop these skills.  In addition, appropriate learning, teaching and assessment strategies can enable employability to take place alongside subject skill development.  Courses designed in this way will enable students to develop employability skills – and to recognise that they are doing so – without loss of content. This workshop will discuss the above issues and explore successful strategies for incorporating employability development into your curriculum.  The session will be interactive, and the intention is that you should come away with some specific actions to take to helpd evelop your own practice in this area.  I will be using the ‘Socrative’ classroom response tool to focus discussion and to collate participants’ work.  You can download the app for smartphones and tablet PCs, so come prepared!  (Search the App Store for ‘Socrative Student’)

Click to view presentation:  242 SHU_LTA_19June13_Employability