Tag Archives: co lab

2012 PPDP and career mentoring

Kent Roach and Ruth Holland

SHU is committed to making PPDP integral to the learning experience of all it’s students, and is developing a framework and toolkit for staff & students to bring this commitment to life.  Being both reflective & forward looking, the PPDP process has a clear relationship with the development of career management and employability skills in students. 

Any general provision for career development in students should include the opportunity to join a dynamic and empowering career mentoring scheme, giving access to committed & highly competent professionals in a range of vocational disciplines. 

It’s benefits to students include: access to specialist skills; advice; insider’s knowledge;  and greater confidence. 

The mentoring process itself involves: identifying learning needs; discussing them; setting goals; taking action; and reviewing & reflecting upon the experience. 

All of which resonate with the core elements of PPDP. 

This session further explores the links between PPDP and career mentoring,  considers it’s place a part of the employability toolkit for SHU students and looks at how staff can be effective ‘enablers’.

D3 – (FU53) 15.30

2012 Education for employment: career learning within the curriculum

Patricia Quinn

Sheffield Hallam University has a longstanding and deserved national reputation for the excellence of its work on the development of its students’ employability. Following on from work undertaken through a successful 5 year Centre for Excellence in Employability a coherent University wide strategy has now been adopted which is to be implemented from September 2012 through a series of enabling frameworks. The Career Management Skills Framework is central to these as it is applicable to every student in the University irrespective of their course or level of study. It comprises a set of core competencies related to an individual’s career planning needs to be delivered through a range of indicative activities integrated in modules across all levels of each course of study. It is designed to enable students to make the most of the graduate skills and attributes they will have developed through their course and co-curricula activities and experiences in a way that should ensure they are able to compete effectively for employment, further study and other life opportunities or develop their own business plans.  It provides students with a toolkit with which they can develop individualised plans through discussions with Faculty academic and support staff and members of the Careers and Employment Service as appropriate.

Much excellent practice already exists in many courses but there are still inconsistencies in the experience of many students. How can we meet the challenges presented by a full roll out of integrated career management activities in remaining courses, to be delivered largely by non specialist staff in a manner that is inclusive of all students, in an already overcrowded curriculum? How do we ensure that robust connections are made with other related curriculum activities such as work based / related learning, individual tutorials with staff, and additional awards.

A5 – (FU54) 11.00

2012 Helping students develop their employability through career mentoring

Annette Baxter, Jeff Waldock and Stef Ashton-Wigman

Through engaging with employers, alumni and professional associations the Careers and Employment Service has recruited professionals from a range of local and national organisations to become volunteer career mentors for students. 

Over the past 2 academic years, the Higher Education Academy Psychology Network and the Royal Academy of Engineering/HESTEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) have awarded research funds to the Careers and Employment Service to develop a career mentoring scheme specifically for Psychology, Engineering and Maths students. 

Through the scheme the students identify their objectives, negotiate the agenda with the mentor, organise meetings and make notes of the meetings and following up on any action points agreed.  By taking this proactive role, students not only gain valuable insights into a job role but develop confidence and take responsibility for developing their personal and professional skills enhancing their capacity to succeed in the graduate employment market.  

Within the session there will be opportunity to hear from both mentors and mentees who have taken part in the scheme over the last 2 years.  Student mentees can share their experiences and talk about the outcomes, benefits and challenges of the programme and mentors will present how they and their employing organisation have benefited from volunteering on the scheme. Faculty colleagues will also be able to talk about the impact on them and their course from involvement and issues of collaboration.

This session will therefore share the learning outcomes from the past two funded research projects and will explore the issues and considerations for other course team considering working with Careers and Employment Service in order to develop and embed career mentoring within their courses.

Click link for presentation:  Helping students develop their employability through career mentoring

B7 – (EN52) 11.50


2012 Creative writing

Elizabeth Barrett, Cathy Malone and Viv Thom

There is increasing interest in the application of creative writing methodologies to teaching and learning in Higher Education (Saunders, 2006, 2007;Bolton, 2010). Drawing on this work, an initiative in the Faculty of Development and Society has been exploring the ways in which creative writing may be used to support teaching, learning and research across a range of disciplines. Led by poet and academic Elizabeth Barrett (from the Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion) the project aims to enrich student experience and achievement as well as support the research practice and professional development of staff. Creative writing, Barrett argues:  ‘creates an alternative way of knowing for both students and teachers; it allows us to engage emotionally as well as intellectually with the disciplines, offering a way of developing empathy and deepening our understanding’. The project has so far involved undergraduate and postgraduate students within the disciplines of education, politics, sociology, interior design, anthropology and international relations. 

This CoLab workshop will provide a taster of some of the techniques used by the project. The session, which will be facilitated by Cathy Malone, Viv Thom and Elizabeth Barrett, is aimed at staff from across the faculty and no experience or prior interest in creative writing is required. We will demonstrate some ways in which creative writing can be used as a trigger (across subject areas) to engage students, enhance knowledge and understanding of a discipline and support the development of research and academic writing skills.

Pressentation: D6 EN51 – Writing

D6 – (EN51) 15.30

2012 Multiple experiences, multiple modes: engaging learners through the production of educational support resources

Cathy Malone, Oksana Fedotova, Melvyn Ternan, Helen Walmesley, Sam Dorrian, Nathan Elliss and Rachel Clarke

The co-lab is based on a recent collaboration between educational developers and academic staff  teaching on BA Animation, and a small-scale qualitative study evaluating this experience.  Using the preliminary research findings as a starting point, we shall consider the value of introducing audiovisual assessment methods into critical-theoretical modules.  Secondly, we shall consider the ways in which the University services can act as partners in pedagogic interventions, expanding students’ work-based learning opportunities and benefitting from their creative input.  The presentation will be illustrated by short screenings of student work.   

The use of multimedia teaching resources has been well documented, particularly in relation to  online tutorials and demonstrations (Sugar et al 2010).  Theories of multimedia learning suggest several advantages of mixed modality presentations (Moreno and Mayer 1999).  Addressing several modes at once (verbal, audio, visual) increases learner engagement, as well as acting as a welcome ‘just in time’  refresher   (Coutinho and Rocha 2010).    More recently,  there has been a shift towards student-produced digital artefacts,  underpinned  by the constructivist views of learning and the appreciation of the participatory nature of contemporary youth culture.  Acting as decision-makers, producers  and evaluators positions the learners at higher stages of Bloom’s taxonomy (Shafer 2010).  Kress et al (2001) argue that this process has a transformative nature, both due to the learner actively reshaping the available semiotic resources, and in terms of the resulting cognitive shifts.  

The first part of the presentation will focus on the curricular developments applying these ideas to a second-year module, traditionally dealing with theoretical texts and academic essay writing.   The second part of the paper describes the work the students undertook after the end of the module, for a number of University clients, including disabled student support, wellbeing, and study support. 

On presenting the preliminary research findings, the seminar participants will be invited to discuss the pedagogic challenges, operational and resource implications and their potential transferability outside media arts disciplines.  


Coutinho, C. P. and Rocha, A. M. M. (2010) “Examining the use of educational video clips on distance education. “, SITE 2010 : Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, San Diego 

Kress, G., Jewitt, C., Ogborn, J. and Tsatsarelis, C. (2001) Multimodal Teaching and Learning: The Rhetorics of the Science Classroom, Continuum 

Moreno, R., and Mayer, R. E. (1999) “Cognitive principles of multimedia learning: The role of modality and contiguity effects”, Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 

Shafer, K. G. (2010). “The proof is in the screencast”,  Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 10 (4) 

Sugar, W., Brown, A. and Luterbach, K. (2010). “Examining the anatomy of a screencast: Uncovering common elements and instructional strategies” The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 11 (3)

C5 – (EN50) 14.20

2012 Interdisciplinary student projects: enhancing students’ research projects

Christine Le Maitre, D Smith, J Langley, E Lockley, J Westerman, K Vernon-Parry, S Choppin, J Wheat and F Caparrelli

Interdisciplinary working and thinking practices are an increasingly important attribute essential in many work places and disciplines. However, the majority of our courses do not bridge across disciplines or embed the skills required to communicate with other disciplines. 

The Engineering for Life Shadow executive as part of a program to encouraging multidisciplinary work connived a program of student based research projects. Applications were invited from all areas of the University to support student projects which involved more than one department or research centre. An initial networking lunch to establish new connections between staff members across the University was held resulting in a number of applications for funded projects. Projects had to involve academics/students from at least two disciplines/departments within the project team. Each project was supported with additional funding to enable purchase of additional items that would not normally be possible from departmental budgets aimed to enhance the student projects. In this initial study 5 interdisciplinary student projects were funded with involvement from across the University.

In order to enhance the students experience and employability as a result of undertaking the interdisciplinary projects the students will  present their work within a mini student conference. This will enable further dissemination of their work and improving communication skills and enhancing their prospects within the ever challenging work environments. 

This workshop will report and reflect on the experiences of these projects and aim to promote discussion of continuation of the scheme and expansion to enable more students to benefit from the working practices and facilities across departments and faculties. Including discussions of further student projects, and an the establishment of an interdisciplinary student club.

C3 – (FU35) 14.20

2012 Defining student engagement

Caroline Heaton and Helen Kay

The term ‘Student Engagement’ is used widely across the HE sector in a variety of contexts, to refer to matters concerning the perceptions, participation, expectations and experience of being a student within Higher Education.  The Higher Education Academy defines Student Engagement as providing opportunities for students to be ‘active partners in shaping their learning experiences’ (http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/student-engagement).  These opportunities can be interpreted in a variety of ways.  For example, the University of Exeter has developed a focus on Student Engagement which concentrates on student-led action research initiatives (http://as.exeter.ac.uk/support/educationenhancementprojects/current_projects/change/) and the University of Lincoln’s ‘Student as Producer’ scheme provides opportunities for students to work alongside staff in the design and delivery of their teaching and learning programmes (http://studentasproducer.lincoln.ac.uk/

The Quality Assurance Agency is about to publish a new chapter within its UK Quality Code for Higher Education (http://www.qaa.ac.uk/AssuringStandardsAndQuality/quality-code/Pages/default.aspx) which addresses engagement in relation to the provision of feedback from students and student participation in quality assurance / enhancement processes.   This is in addition to the chapter: Learning and Teaching which will address students engagement in deep and independent learning. 

This co-lab will introduce and explore the good practice promoted within the codes of practice and will provide an opportunity for participants to consider and discuss their implications for Sheffield Hallam University.  It will include reflection on the various aspects of Student Engagement which are promoted within the sector and consideration of those features of Student Engagement which contribute to the student experience at Sheffield Hallam.  The session will also provide a forum for consideration of how Student Engagement might potentially be defined within an institutional framework.

Link to presentation:  Defining student engagement

B6 – (EN23) 11.50

2012 Getting the most out of library resources: what are your student expectations and how we can work with you to meet them

Claire Abson and Linda Purdy

The co-lab will consider students’ expectations of library resources, drawing on evidence from surveys, focus groups and feedback from staff student meetings. Evidence suggests students expect lecturers to recommend resources and for those resources to be available via the library. 

The co-lab  will then go on to explore the potential benefits of a resource lists and consider best practice to ensure students gain maximum benefits. We will work with attendees to consider the structure and organisation of the list, the terminology used to categorise materials, and the range of resources which could be included. 

The co-lab will draw on examples of good and poor practice and the output from discussions will feed in to development work in LIS, who are currently engaged with procuring and implementing new reading list management software.

Powerpoint presentation: Getting the most out of your library

(A1 – EX21) 11.00

2012 The Digital Frontier: a look at tools beyond the VLE to support learning and teaching

Robin Gissing and Juliun Ryan

Whilst blackboard contains a robust set of tools for learning and teaching, you may be aware that in addition to these there are a vast number of ‘third party’ tools and services available online that offer potential to enhance the learning experience.

This hands-on workshop aims to introduce staff to some of these free and easy to use tools and explore how they can be used to offer new and innovative opportunities to enhance practice through the use of technology.

The workshop’s facilitators argue incorporating such tools constitutes a meaningful opportunity to develop students’ experience, knowledge and understanding of the wider digital landscape. This so-called ‘digital literacy’ is a vital graduate attribute, enabling students to live, learn and work in the 21st century. Its development is something both students and employers alike are increasingly keen to see universities address. Coinciding with the changes to the funding arrangements for students post-2012 we are embarking in an increasingly market driven learning economy. (JISC 2011) and some of these approaches may go some way to enhancing student experience and authenticity.

So, with that in mind, the workshop will provide ideas and specific examples of not only how these tools might be used, but also how one or more of them might be dynamically combined to create new configurations and thus new opportunities for facilitating learning and teaching. An example combination might be; an online interactive presentation tool and combined with a screencasting tool. This might create a video presentation with a more dynamic feel than that of a recorded powerpoint. 

The session will aim to create a social and creative environment for both the presenters and participants, which due to the nature of the session should be accessible to people of all levels of technical skill.

The facilitators will introduce the topics and tools as well as the themes and aims of the session. Attendees will then work together in groups, actively engaging in hands-on exploration of the tools functionalities to inform base pedagogic rationales for the use of those tools.  Attendees are then expected to feed-back to the wider group what they have discovered about the tools.

Attendees will then re-assemble into smaller teams to develop specific examples of how two or more tools can be used in combination in a “building block” approach to essentially develop a new tool which is the combination of 2 or more tools. Feedback of these new tools will then be expressed over a variety of media forms by attendees and the facilitators.


JISC. [online]. 2011. Last accessed 8 March 2012 at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/developingdigitalliteracies

D4 – (EN19) 15.30

2012 Embedding innovative practice: employers as partners in ensuring graduate employability

Tanya Miles-Berry and Nicola Cadet

Criminology has run two successful Employability Fairs, with a third planned for September. This has been assisted with embedding work related learning into our new Programme, and a number of initiatives are now being impacted as a direct result. 

This paper will outline the function of the Fair, how this has provided a number of different learning opportunities for our students to enhance experience and evidence graduate attributes through proactive and meaningful engagement with employers across the sector. 

We offer 2 modules, one at level 5 and one at level 6 where volunteering and employment roles attract credit through space being created for work related activities, complemented with face to face teaching around making links between practice, theory, academic knowledge and reflection to assess their learning and understanding of the volunteer opportunity they have undertaken. 

We also offer simulation modules which have been devised in collaboration with outside agencies, with the whole module, from design, to implementation and assessment being tailored to the graduate attributes identified by employers in our sector. 

The links with Practitioners through the Employability Fair proved useful, in opening opportunities for volunteering and placements in the first instance, with an additional event planned for the Practitioners themselves to identify further opportunities for our students.  

The paper will conclude that staff skills required to broker and foster such relationships are as critical as the skills being developed by students themselves.  Furthermore, the employer offer has to be explicit and transparent.  

It is our contention that ‘Employability Fairs’ can be emulated across the University and once these relationships have been established, further opportunities for collaboration will follow. These opportunities can be developed on a Departmental level and will not necessarily follow the model that we have outlined. 

A number of barriers to success have been established: 

Firstly, as a University wide Agenda, there is a danger that specific agencies may be over saturated with requests due to both duplication and a lack of awareness that an agency has already become involved. This in turn may endanger the initial relationship which has been established and lead to that relationship breaking down. 

Secondly, a number of organisations/individuals may become involved with a specific subject group – even though there is clear potential for cross-departmental or even cross-faculty involvement particularly across joint programmes. 

If we are to encourage true collaboration across both Department and Faculty, we need to ensure that a working policy is devised in order that the relationships which are cultivated on an individual basis are not jeopardised in our quest to secure work based learning opportunities for our students across the University. 

Furthermore, we will argue that fundamental to this policy is the need to ensure that a specific individual is identified within each Department, who will meet across Faculty to ensure that the policy can be developed and sustained.

Click to presentation:  Embedding innovative practice: employers as partners in ensuring graduate employability

A2 – (FU10) 11.00