Tag Archives: identity

The Essence of Belonging: Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union ethnographic research into student communities (2014)

Jessica Baily, Emily Connor & Emmet Cleaver, SHU Students’ Union

Sheffield Hallam Students Union conducted a research project on the theme of ‘belonging’. The Education Officer and Welfare and Community Officer ran a series of filmed student interviews from a large range of demographics to discover exactly how students at Sheffield Hallam found their sense of belonging to their course, campus, sports team, society or within the institution. Following the interview, students were issued with cameras and were required to visually ‘capture’ this sense of belonging in a series of photographs. The research culminated in ‘The Belonging Hub’, a room and event at the Students Union of the students photographs coupled with a video documentary displaying all of their responses.

Following on from Sheffield Hallam Students Union’s research into how students forge a sense of belonging with their course, society or institution, this session was designed to engage staff with an approach to understanding how to create communities in the classroom. Using the research as a basis for discussion, participants will relate and apply the student perspective into the various challenges of teaching from classroom engagement, attendance and feedback. Members will hopefully leave with an understanding of the kinds of atmospheres students work best in and have ideas of how to replicate if not recreate these climates in their own practices.

306 – Two projects in Creative Arts Practice (2013) – Jerome Harrington, Tim Machin

Consisting of two back-to-back presentations this session will discuss two projects that have taken place with Level 6 Creative Arts Practice students (ACES). The projects were conceived to run concurrently with the shared ambition to develop the students sense of identity of their own developing art practice, within the context of this relatively new course.  Both projects instigated discussions which have continued over the year, and have influenced the students final exhibition at Creative Spark.   Jerome Harrington This project involved the production of a map which locates and visualises the position of individual practices within the year group, and locates these practices in relation to the larger sphere of art and design.    The students worked collectively to plot the position of their own work and that of their peers on a large collaged wall ‘map’.  This process of co-construction created a forum in which ideas were shared, and ignited debate regarding the identity of individual practices, as well as that of the course. The project, revealed the diversity of interests and working methods in this year group, and subsequently helped the students to foster clusters of related research interests.     Tim Machin Following Jerome’s project, the students were challenged to test their emerging notion of practice through exhibiting a piece of their work in the wider university. Students were asked to find a location which would add something to their work – for example, a context which subtly changed the meaning or reception of the work, or a space enabling them to work on a more ambitious scale. The project posed significant practical issues (around estates, health and safety) but in encouraging students to engage with these, offered genuine experience of the challenges of exhibiting art work in public spaces.

263 – Using e-learning to enhance personal and professional development: how reflective blogs can illustrate transformational learning – Emma Taylor, Claire Craig

The module Occupational Approaches to Health   and Wellbeing is a distance learning (DL) module that considers how the   Lifestyle Redesign Model can be applied in the context of health promotion.   The module delivery was structured over five teaching sessions that involved   online collaboration between the students.    The module had a small cohort of 10.
Students were also asked to complete a reflective blog after each session.   The blog was a shared one which allowed other students to read and comment on   it. The students were given directed questions, relating to the session   content, to reflect on in their respective blogs

 Why   did I choose this module?
How does policy impact on both your personal and professional life?
New knowledge and you: has the earning impacted on you personally in any way?
How can you integrate behaviour change principles into your work?
What now? Reflect on your new knowledge both personally and professionally.
What transpired over the period of the module was a clear development of the   students both professionally and personally.

Students consistently applied the principles from some of the sessions to   their work and shared the successes and frustrations of this on their blogs.   Peers offered encouragement via the blogs which initiated further blog   dialogue between the students and supported each other in applying their   learning in practice.

What was particularly interesting was how students started to apply the   theories being taught to their personal lives and also shared these in their   blogs (e.g. joining weight loss programmes). What was apparent was the   support from the other students in making these changes in their lives.   Students that blogged would receive   comments from tutors and students which seemed to motivate them to add   further comments.  The tutor could have   moderated the discussions should this have been necessary.

Student feedback was very positive and so the use of reflective blogs has   been introduced in all the DL modules on the course to help with personal and   professional development.

ref: Cranton (2010) Transformational learning in an online environment. International Journal of Adult Vocational Education & Technology 1(2). 1-9.

 263 Using e-learning to enhance personal and professional development

262 – Building an online course identity: an example from a post graduate course in occupational therapy – Susan Elizabeth Walsh

Strand: Course Identity

The MSc Occupational Therapy (post graduate) course is delivered entirely online using Blackboard VLE.  Although online learning can have advantages for students in  allowing more flexibility across distance and time (Helbers et al 2005) and possibilities for different styles of communication (Casimiro et al 2009), the development of an online course identity can be problematic in the absence of the usual physical and visual cues available in classroom learning (Murphy 2004). We encouraged the development of an online course identity from the start in a number of ways: identifying students’ own learning needs and aspirations to build a sense of personal commitment to the course; recognising and valuing students personal, academic and professional contributions to build social cohesion and commitment to each other and introducing students to the wider academic and support team in the faculty to create a sense of belonging to a vibrant academic learning community. With an e-learning technologist, we developed a range of creative and interactive e-learning resources and activities to use in the two week induction period and the first module of the course. We utilised Salmon’s 5 stage model of online learning (Salmon 2004), in particular the ‘access and motivation’ and ‘online socialisation’ stages, to structure the e-learning resources and activities.

.The anticipated outcomes of this presentation are to:

  • Evaluate a range of e-learning resources and activities used during the induction and first module of the course in promoting course identity.
  • Apply pedagogical theory, in this case Salmon’s 5 stage model of online learning, to underpin the way that e-learning resources and activities are utilised.
  • Consider the wider relevance of the approach to other post-graduate courses.

The session will include demonstration of some of the e-learning resources and activities and how these contributed to the formation of course identity.

 References:

Helbers, D, Rossi, D, Hinton, L (2005) ‘Students use of an on-line learning environment: Comparisons of group usage within a first year Health Communications course’, Student in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development, 2 (1) P 20-33

Casimiro, L.  (2009) ‘Grounding theories of W(e)Learn: A framework for online interprofessional education’, Journal of Interprofessional Care, 23(4), pp 390-400

Murphy, E. (2004) ‘Recognising and promoting collaboration in an online asynchronous discussion’, British Journal of Educational Technology, 15 (4)

Salmon, G. ( 2004). E-moderating: The key to teaching and learning online. London and New York: Taylor and Francis.

305 – Professional Identity of Social Work – Chandi Patel

This paper is concerned with academics, students and key stakeholders experiences of social work courses particularly in relation to professional identity, professional practice and employability. Periodically social work education has been criticised for its failure to prepare students for the real world of social work practice. The arguments being that there exists a gulf between academic teaching and actual practice. It has been suggested that this impacts on service user experiences and the employability of social work graduates. The paper will explore the development and the consolidation of professional identity of students during the course of their journey from admissions to graduation.   Practice education will be explored as a key area in social work as it is designed to bridge the gap between the theoretical world of academe and the real world of professional practice. This comprises 50% of curriculum time and provides students with the opportunity to apply validate and integrate what is learnt in the university. How students engage with the practice components and make links to theory is a critical area that needs addressing. The further development of practice education also leads to better partnership working between students, employers and higher education institutions and in the enhancement of the quality of Social work programmes. The needs of the service users (clientele) will be examined within the context of their involvement in the student journey from admission to graduation. Currently service users are involved in the recruitment of students, the design of the curriculum and its delivery, the assessment of students and quality processes.  This paper has been developed by the Head of Department of Social Work, Social Care and Community Studies, in conjunction with key stakeholders including students, practice assessors and service users. It will be jointly delivered with a student and service user/lead.

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

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

268 – Let’s have a party: The contribution of celebration to developing course identity – Karen Soulby

This paper will discuss and explain how an initiative started 5 years ago to celebrate the level 6 Tourism Management students end of studies.  This loosley termed ‘graduation ball’ become a high point in the calendar for students who were facing the stressful end of course assessments.  It’s value as a motivational tool quickly became evident.  The unintended benefits which have been felt  are  the development of a space in which students are able to express their experiences of the course, their appreciation of teaching staff to student development, reflective time on the changes which have occurred over the course of their studies and time to think about the future.  Teaching staff have felt closer relationships with students and have had a clearer view of the  perception and value which their teaching gives to students.

268 SOULBY lta conference ks

2012 Please – see ME!

Melanie Levick-Parkin

There is evidence in student experience research that students value the feeling of being treated and seen (by teaching staff) as an individual, not just a number. This desire/ expectation is confounded by the fact that as consumers we are moving from an era of mass communication to a time of (expecting) targeted, data selective and social media driven communication. 

This feeling of the personal can be difficult to achieve on a programme with large and expanding student numbers.

  • What sytems are in place, which hinder or help in providing this experience?
  • What is the pedagogic value in striving for it and do we understand the potential impact it can have on fulfilling the students learning potential and distance they can travel. 

The poster will be a three colour portrait graphic design on plain stock, using typography pictorially in order to communicate the intended meaning. There will be body copy set in a smaller area of the main print in order to further explain the issue depicted.

Presentation:  EN55 Virtual meeting and tutorial Spaces

(EN55) 14.00

2012 Creating course identity through social networking platforms

Panni Poh Yoke Loh

This paper will present initial findings from a student-led research project investigating the challenges in creating a sense of course identity amongst students.  This work is exploratory, informed by focus groups and one-to-one interviews with students on an undergraduate English course.  The research project derived from a lack of student use of Blackboard and the need therefore to examine whether there is student desire for a different or enhanced interactive toolkit incorporating social networking facilities.  The research set out to establish the type of interactive toolkit that would best suit student and staff needs. We also question whether it would be feasible for students to administer an interactive toolkit not only for them to build a sense of community, but also to engage in dialogue with staff to enhance their student experience.  

Bryson (2007) has written much about the fundamental importance of student engagement and its effect on student retention and academic success. Recent articles within the Guardian Higher Education Network support the notion of student involvement and combining sustainability into the curriculum by adding a sense of excitement and understanding.  The use of social media can be significant here, particularly in enhancing student engagement and building a sense of course identity amongst students. 

It is hoped the findings from this project will inform both students and practitioners, specifically in informing innovative change in course practice to enhance student engagement.

Link:  Presentation and blog

D7 – (EN22, EN11, EN28, EN56) 15.30