Tag Archives: course design

POSTER – ‘Designing in’ student engagement: examples for course revalidations

Liz Austen

Parallel session 2, Short paper 2.7  – POSTER

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Poster Outline
The Criminology Subject Group has recently revalidated it’s programme of courses.  What began as a need to conform to a new AAF has evolved into a detailed overhaul of the core and elective content, mode of delivery (from long thin to short fat) and a realignment with the vision and identity of the staff group and wider Department.  Our overall aim is to improve student engagement and ultimately student satisfaction of our provision.  Our influences on course design included:-

  • student feedback
  • guiding principles: knowledge, skills and values
  • course identity
  • globalised experiences
  • employability and innovation
  • teaching and learning strategies
  • research clusters/identity/collaboration
  • departmental visions
  • postgraduate links

These influences will be outlined in terms of their meaning, relationship to the curriculum design process and associated pedagogic literature.  This will include alignment with the QAA guidance on Programme Design, Development and Approval (2013) which suggests that design processes should be iterative, effective, foster creativity, and promote equality. We have learnt from this experience of course design, and this short presentation aims to share some of those lessons with others who may be considering or embarking on a similar process.  Support for course design (e.g. workshops or away days ) internally to SHU or externally is also offered.

International student integration: the students’ view (2014)

Krassimira Teneva

International students expect and value the opportunity to make friends with other students, but are rarely satisfied with their integration with UK peers.

Sheffield Hallam University, like many other universities in the UK, has put in considerable investment in developing and promoting extracurricular activities to encourage UK/international student integration. But while we notice steady improvement in the student satisfaction with their experience of integration, we are still lagging behind other institutions.

This prompted us to undertake an impact evaluation of our social integration work, and investigate further international students’ expectations and experiences of meeting and integrating with UK and other international students. The research involved an online survey sent to all international students and two focus groups run by an external moderator.

The findings from this study unsurprisingly showed that international students wanted to meet and make friends with other international and UK students, but had found integrating with UK students more difficult than expected for a number of reasons. The most interesting finding from the research however shows that international students are happy with the level of support they get to integrate socially, but are dissatisfied with the integration at course level – all students who took part in the research expected they would study alongside UK peers on their course. It is the mismatch from this expectation and the reality of studying in predominantly international (sometimes monocultural) courses that leads to their greatest dissatisfaction. Delivering to this expectation will mean we have to provide a multicultural learning experience to all students, not just international.


291 – Course diversity: best practice is not good practice – Neil Challis, Michael Robinson

Presenter: Dr Mike Robinson (m.robinson@shu.ac.uk) and Prof Neil Challis (n.challis@shu.ac.uk) Strand: Course identity Anticipated outcomes: A better shared understanding of lessons drawn from the More Math Grads project and experience with our own Mathematics course. Session outline:  Every course is different. Subjects are by their very nature different. The students they tend to attract have different outlooks – as do staff who teach on them.  Few would disagree that this diversity is a good thing. At course level, subject-specific diversity can be reflected in all aspects, and as professionals and experts in our field, we try to match the requirements of our subject, the needs and motivations of our students, the skills and motivations of our staff,  to every aspect of our provision: timetable, teaching and learning styles, assessment types, course management, online presence… Such careful course design leads to a good course, which works well, and which students appreciate (and rate highly). Students understand why their course is different from others; far from denigrating this, they often wear it as a badge of pride and as part of their sense of course identity. Inevitably, successful ideas are shared;  copied, adapted, modified, developed. No-one could possibly oppose the spread of good ideas… until someone, somewhere decides it’s officially “best practice”. Instantly, development of ideas stops. New ideas are killed at birth; because they’re at odds with “best practice”. Modification to individual circumstances is severely restricted – meaning that what was once carefully constructed to meet individual needs is now “one size fits all” and suits almost no-one. The irony is that every part of “best practice” began with someone trying something different, at odds with their institutional norm, and ends with stifling the innovation which keeps it fresh. True good practice recognises this, and encourages and celebrates the diversity

Click to view:  291 course diversity – best practice is not good practice

2012 Evidencing a learner centred approach to teaching

Sarah Jolley and Simona Pantiru

Evaluating teaching, learning and assessment methods at module-level is essential, particularly in enhancing academic quality.  However, module evaluations are usually designed and conducted by the University to serve their own purpose of maintaining Academic standards and do not consider student involvement in the research process.  In our project, students were appointed as researchers to gather student perceptions on a large module in the area of sociology.  This module was recently revalidated and it incorporated an applied approach towards teaching research methods after feedback from previous years.  This paper will present initial findings from this ongoing study. 

The research has taken a mixed-methods approach. This encompassed an online survey questionnaire that has been distributed to all 467 first-year students on the module.  To accompany this quantitative data, focus groups were organized for richer, in-depth data to inform positive change on the development of the module. 

The findings of this work will benefit both staff and students.  It offers an opportunity for teaching staff to reflect on our research findings and their own academic practice.  It offers an opportunity for students to feedback on their own student experience at module level to enhance the quality of teaching and assessment of the module for future cohorts.   It also allows student-researchers to gain knowledge of the practicalities of action research methodology and evaluation research through taking part in the project.

Link to: Presention and blog

A7 – (EN27, EN17, EN26, EN29) 11.00

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 Independent study in occupational therapy

Petra Klompenhouwer

Based on student feedback and driven by the changes in health and social care provision the independent study in occupational therapy module has undergone change.

Students for years complained about staff inconsistency in the support of this module. This has been addressed by the formation of a small team of staff working closely together.

Instead of writing a report and reflection on their experiential learning students now prepare their own learning objectives, engage in experiental learning, write a business proposal and reflection. Developing their business and entrepreneurial skills and in the process improving their employability.

Future plans involve the engagement of the Venture matrix in helping students find experiential learning opportunities, offer international exchanges via Erasmus and other means, engaging the business school in the writing of the business proposal, developing a database of clinical questions for students to engage in.

C1 EX15 2012 LTA Conf IS

C1 – (EX15, EX13, EX18, EX04) 14.20