Tag Archives: experiential learning

Putting students in the hot seat: Using a Viva to assess and engage students in career development planning.

Karen Soulby

Parallel session 2,  Thunderstorm 2.2

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Short Abstract
This paper looks at a module which has been designed holistically to use informal experiential learning and a module assessment package, a Viva, which requires students to actively engage in their own employability journey. The positive outcomes of this have been improved student engagement in their career development plans, high levels of student satisfaction, and improved student self-confidence.

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Detailed Outline
In response to the Sheffield Business School employability imperative, a student centred module was introduced onto the BSc Tourism Management programme. Entitled ‘Tourism Industry Experience’ the aim of the module is to focus students in their efforts to begin their career path and development at level 5. As each student has differing career goals, and the impetus to achieving these goals needs to come from within the individual the emphasis of the module was that it should be student driven and created. Formal lectures and seminars were eschewed as it was felt they may encourage students to rely on directed content which was against the aims of the module. With minimal input to outline the requirements of the module, the module leader sets the task for the students to individually research by a number of means possible, desirable career pathways, suitable employers, desirable jobs including the knowledge and skills required and a first-hand experiential account of that job. Students are encouraged to project their career path into the next 10 years and design a plan in order for them to achieve their goal. The module makes use of informal learning spaces and uses a field trip to an international industry B2B event to inspire students. An innovative assessment strategy, seldom seen at UG level, the Viva, was used. Students are asked to present their career plan over 15 minutes to the module leader without the use of technology and ideally without notes. A mock event is videoed to allow students to reflect on their performance.
This presentation will examine what happened when students were deprived of their pens, phones, tablets, laptops etc. and asked to talk about themselves and their future in an interview situation. Despite student protests when faced with the challenge, the benefits of the student focus of the exercise were clear.

The outcomes of the module were:

• High levels of student engagement in their career development process
• High levels of student achievement
• High levels of staff satisfaction
• Positive student feedback
• High levels of student stress and anxiety

3.3 Bringing experiential learning into the lecture theatre

This session will demonstrate how to engage through the use of 3D objects can be used in learning.

A mini version of the experience outlined below will be delivered. Attendees will be asked about their knowledge of biomolecules (it is hoped and expected this will be at GCSE level). Objects (DNA models) will be handed around and attendees will be asked to identify features. Their observations will be shared in the group.

Paper Background: Core to all degree streams within Bioscience are the concepts of interactions between objects (biomolecular structures). As such teaching methods relying on traditional PowerPoint presentations can display these biomolecules as flat 2D representations. Many of the concepts require an understanding of function in 3D understanding. Although some students have the ability to picture 3D objects in their minds eye this is not true for all. 3D scale molecular models where included into the lecture format as a form of experiential learning. These activities were supplemented with standard lecture slides containing animations and movies and e-learning based resources.

Thinking: New concepts were introduced through the use of ICT. Media animations, web based content and strong links to core texts were used.
Doing: A range of activities were utilised to engage the students with the models and allow them to apply their new knowledge through self-directed small group discussions.
Feeling: In order for the students to take owner ship of the knowledge specific situations and examples were used for the students to see where their learning could be applied.
Reflecting: Finally the students are given time and encouraged to writing in their own words the key points and theories that have been discussed.

This approach resulted in high level of student engagement in the sessions and student feedback was highly positive.

243 – Creating and Manipulating Images using Maths and a Spreadsheet – Jeff Waldock

Experiential or active learning is a powerful mechanism for enhancing student motivation and engagement.  At one level it can demonstrate real-world applications of abstract theory, deepening and embedding understanding of it; at another it can represent realistic work-related learning. The mathematics programme at SHU is distinctive in the sector because in addition to developing subject-specific skills it focuses on developing real practical skills in applying mathematics, with graduates better prepared for the workplace.  This presentation will describe one specific mathematical modelling activity in which students research mathematical algorithms to implement a variety of effects on a digital photograph.  The mathematics involved can be very simple, such as using addition to brighten an image – or more advanced, requiring two dimensional calculus for sharpening an image. Students are very familiar with using spreadsheets, and therefore an Excel add-in has been developed which can take a digital image and import the individual pixel values into the worksheets of a workbook.  Existing skills can be used to carry out the necessary effects; the add-in provides a mechanism for recompiling a jpeg image from the worksheets. Because an image can be compiled directly from the worksheets, this paves the way for more creative use to be made of mathematical skills in generating images from scratch.  Students have found this to be a great way to explore their creative side – something rare in a mathematics programme.  Examples of images created using mathematics in this way will be shown, including the development of movies generated by running successive images together.  The experiences of a group of final year undergraduate students who have used the software will be described and some possible extensions and other applications explored.

Click to view presentation:  243 SHU_LTA_19June13_Digimages

235 – Empowering students to develop their employability by applying their course learning in a module – Anne Nortcliffe, Jacky Stallard, Matthew Love, Students

Bad experiences of assessment in the form of tests and exams can turn them away from learning (Berry, 2008). Engagement and attainment increases when students know that assessment will promote their learning (Black et al., 2003; Pat-El et al., 2013). Assessment for learning engages and empowers students because they can see their learning develop (Stiggins, 2002). Project-based learning results in assessment which is learner-centered due to its experiential approach and its capacity to scaffold students as they develop their professional skills (McLoughlin and Luca, 2002); an example of this being project management skills . Applied as group assessment to solve authentic challenging problems, Project-Based Learning requires students to adopt processes for identifying and analysing important activities, and then planning and pursuing these activities (Solomon, 2002). Complex problems encourage collaborative learning techniques amongst students as they identify, analyse and organise their solutions (Barkley et al., 2005). This workshop will provide a hands-on opportunity for module and course leaders, and students to correlate course/module learning outcomes with graduate employability skills and will involve the design of an authentic Project-Based Learning assessment framework used to assist students in collaboratively developing their professional skills. The workshop also provides an opportunity to hear from module tutors, a course leader and students on how such approach has empowered students to draw together course learning by providing realistic solutions for the project management of a development of sustainable technology for attendance monitoring.

235 workshop LTA PMCD v2

303 – Developing a coherent and progressive approach to careers education in HE – Katharine Price Edwards & Shawna McCoy

The aim of this presentation is to share recent experience and best practice in providing a coherent and progressive careers education within the Criminology team at Sheffield Hallam University.  This will specifically be informed by the perspective of an MA Student on placement at Sheffield Hallam University as a Careers Guidance Practitioner and Associate Lecturer. The approach within Criminology this academic year has been holistic in the sense that we aimed to provide careers education on a number of different levels – careers management, self-identity, social identity, power, culture and hierarchy in society and in the work place, experiential learning, work-based learning, careers guidance as part of the curriculum, expansion of co-curricular activities, etc.   Trying to create and provide opportunities for student engagement has been extensive.  Our approach has also been inclusive, developing strong relationships with other specialist teams to promote student accessibility.  The challenge continues to be getting ALL students (or at least a majority) interested and engaged.   Student engagement and feedback has varied, and the presentation will reflect our achievements, our progress and areas for improvement, which will not only inform our approach going forward but explore how our lessons can be informed and inform other areas. The hope is that we can encourage an open discussion about the different approaches to careers education, learn and reflect on our experience, and promote the development of more coherent and progressive forms of careers education so that we can continue to ensure we provide an excellent student experience.

Visit the link to view the presentation:  303 Developing a coherent and progressive approach to careers

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