Tag Archives: Learning experiences

Ready, Steady, Learn!

Dr David Smith & Dr Graham Holden
@dave_thesmith / @GrahamJHolden

Parallel session 4, CoLab 4.1

This workshop builds on a session devised and developed by Graham, and Professor Ranald Macdonald which then ran with academic staff at the University of Manchester.

Short Abstract
Come teach with us, share your practice and add a little bit of flavour to your teaching. Participants will be asked to design or redesign a teaching session. We’ll award points to all the sessions and feedback to develop further ideas and implementation. At the end of the workshop the session with the most points wins a tasty teaching prize.

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Detailed Outline
We believe that good learning experiences are challenging, risky, unpredictable, experimental, and are, above all, fun! These experiences occur individually as well as in groups, and everyone brings different knowledge, skills and experiences to the table.
In this workshop we will explore the metaphor of cooking in teaching and learning (hence the title) as this incorporate features that make learning more engaging. Learning, like food, can become dull and bland and the addition of an extra ingredient or combining ingredients in a different way can transform the experience. These changes don’t have to mean a complete redesign of the learning experience but can be about adding an extra dimension at the right time. Like any good meal it is the combination of a well-planned menu, good quality ingredients and the skill of the cook that makes the difference.

This session will explore the key elements of active learning and quality design of the learning experience; we will share ideas and techniques that promote engagement. We will do this be drawing on principles for active learning, our own experiences and examples from the University’s Inspirational Teachers. The best experiences, though, are those of the participants, so we ask you to come prepared to explore your own practices and to share your reflections with others. By the end of the session we will have a collection of recipes for engaged student learning and the beginnings of what we hope will be an active learning cookbook.

Beyond the Classroom Experience: the use of events for graduate employability

Chiara Orefice & Ifeyinwa Aniunoh

Parallel session 1, Short Paper 1.6
Listen to the presentation (opens in new window)
Short Abstract

Organisations are increasingly using events to deliver their strategic objectives. This research investigates the extent to which events are used for achieving employability purposes in UK universities using Sheffield Hallam University as a case study. Using qualitative and quantitative approaches, it analyses specific employability-focused events to assess their value in delivering the employability agenda.

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Detailed Outline
Organisations, including higher education institutions, are increasingly making use of planned events to deliver their strategic objectives, one of which is graduate employability. In Getz’ s (2011) view, planned events are organised activities by conscious human design, targeting many stakeholders for achieving a set goal. Although some research studies on graduate employability show that higher education institutions in the UK make use of events to deliver their employability agenda (Universities UK, 2014; Lowden et al, 2011), so far there has not been any previous research on the extent to which these events achieve the desired employability objectives.

Sheffield Hallam University is one of the leading UK universities that engage in planned events as a complementary tool for achieving their employability objectives. This research aims to investigate the extent to which events fulfil this strategic goal. Through review of relevant literature and qualitative and quantitative research it explores prevailing employability concepts and models and their application in higher education in the UK; it analyses the role of events in achieving strategic organisational objectives; and finally, it analyses selected employability-focused events with a view to identifying how these events have created learning experiences that lead to enhanced employability among university students.

Around 200 questionnaires were administered among students of Sheffield Hallam University at a number of faculty-based career fairs, conferences and workshops, ICE Club Extra sessions, Balloon Kenya and Venture Matrix events. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were used to elicit employability-focused event experiences from selected student union representatives, representatives of Venture Matrix and Career and Employability staff of Sheffield Hallam University. Findings contribute to the improvement of the use of events for achieving employability-related learning and skills among UK university students.

The discussion focuses on the development of skills which include intellectual; subject-specific; professional; SHU Key Skills (such as Communication – writing skills, visual communication skills, information skills; information technology; working with numbers; working with others; improving own learning; and solving problems). These relatively align with the range of employability skills and attributes indicated by graduate employers as being required of labour market participants (Lowden et al, 2011; Harvey et al, 2002; CBI, 2009).