Tag Archives: student support

Evaluating Motivational Interviewing Workshop training for academics and support staff to enhance student engagement

Trevor Simper & Ray Nolan

Parallel session 2, Short Paper 2.10

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Short Abstract
The aim of this work is to evaluate the effectiveness of a basic level of training in the approach of Motivational Interviewing with some follow-up coaching- as a potentially useful tool for academics and student support staff to enhance student engagement in and out of the classroom.

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Detailed Outline
Dr Trevor Simper will provide a conceptual context and guidance around the approach of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and its potential application to teaching and learning. Ray Nolan will critically discuss the benefits derived from completing a 2-day introductory workshop on MI.

MI is an approach used in the addictions and healthcare field proven to be effective in facilitating behaviour change (Miller, Rollnick & Butler, 2008) examples include: substance abuse, diabetes and weight management. Central to the approach of MI is a four-step process; engaging, evoking, focussing and planning between client and practitioner (Miller & Rollnick, 2013). In the context of this study MI helps student identify solutions to their own problems and engender engagement which is fostered through accurate empathy. Thus the benefits of MI in teaching and learning arise from improved educator-learner engagement. This supports the learner and equally promotes self-directed learning in the classroom as well as personal and professional development outside the classroom. MI can be connected with ‘self-determination theory’ (Ryan and Deci, 1986) which essentially asserts that autonomous motivation to perform a given behaviour is stronger than extrinsically motivated reason for change.

The approach of MI was interpreted and applied with a variety of learners in one to one and group sessions; support within professional academic advisor sessions, one to one dyslexia support sessions and group teaching within module seminars at level 6 (year three undergraduate). The effectiveness of the approach, relative to the tutors experience will be discussed alongside initial impressions from students in relation to engagement- in this ongoing psr/research activity.

The results from this investigation are suggestive of how a brief introduction to motivational interviewing with coaching and feedback can enhance engagement with learners. Specific techniques or ‘micro-skills’ such as: Open Questions, Affirmations, Reflections, Summaries (OARS) and E-P-E (Elicit Provide Elicit) are contextualized to classroom and non-classroom settings and discussed briefly.

DECI, E.L. RYAN, R.M. (1986). The empirical exploration of intrinsic motivational processes in L. Berkowitz (ed) Advances in experimental social psychology Vol.13, pp39-80 new York, academic Press
MILLER, W.R. ROLLNICK, S. (2012). Meeting in the middle: motivational interviewing and self-determination theory. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 9:25.
MILLER, W.R. ROLLNICK, S. (2013). Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change. NY: Guilford Press
MILLER, W.R. ROLLNICK, S. BUTLER, C (2008). Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change. NY: Guilford Press

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.


2.5 UG Leadership Development programme

Author – Francesca Walker, Senior Lecturer, Lancashire Business School, University of Central Lancashire (UK)

The research undertaken by the University of Central Lancashire’s Business School into the reasons why students were opting out of placements Beyond Placement Extinction (2010) revealed the level of support that the student of the 21st Century requires in order to obtain not just a work placement, but also a graduate role.  As a direct result of this research, a number of support and development mechanisms were put into place across the school.  One of these mechanisms is the highly ambitious programme, LaunchPad.

Developed in 2010 and run for the first time in 2011, LaunchPad is an extra-curricular leadership development programme for students within the Lancashire Business School.  The programme is highly competitive and is open to only the most committed students who are chosen via an intense selection programme.  Students entering the second year of their studies can apply for one of the 20 places; if successful they then remain on the programme until graduation.

During the two-year period the students will develop a range of skills including:

  • Team working
  • Leadership
  • Self-awareness
  • Personal branding
  • Effective communication
  • Networking
  • Problem solving

Each student is required to undertake either a 48 week placement or a ‘live’ project in which they work with a company on an identified issue.  Included within the LaunchPad programme is an overseas study tour.  Another major element of LaunchPad is that it provides successful students with an additional qualification, a Certificate in Leadership from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and membership of the IoD, together with an industrial mentor.

The workshop aims to provide delegates with:

  • Some key messages to those delegates working with or wishing to further develop highly motivated students;
  • An opportunity to learn how we gain employer mentors;
  • The opportunity to share good practice;
  • An interactive experience in which views are shared and recorded;
  • A number of visual tools to access which show (a) the views of employers and (b) how creative students in a highly competitive market need to be.

260 – A Cyber Campus Assessment Study – Louis Nisiotis, Martin Beer, Elizabeth Uruchurtu

Strand: The Technology-Enhanced Course.

 Anticipated outcomes: This paper aims to present the findings of an assessment study conducted for the needs of my PhD research. This study investigates the extent to which the SHU3DED cyber campus functionality can support communication, collaboration, co-existence and active participation (3CP) among users in the virtual world.

Session outline: Education has been identified as a very important component of life, allowing people to develop the knowledge and skills required by the industry (Warnock, 1978). Due to chronic illness, impairments, medical conditions or other reasons, some students face environmental and/or social barriers that restrict or exclude them from physically attending University. This research thus, investigates the use of Multi-User Virtual Environments as an alternative way of supporting students who have been away or cannot physically attend University on regular basis.

By developing an inclusive learning environment capable to promote social collaboration, active participation and the ability to improve the student experience (Brunswick, 2009), we aim to address user requirements, support and enhance distant learning experience and eliminate some exclusion barriers over the network using a state of the art 3D environment.  For this reason, SHU3DED cyber campus prototype has been developed as a proof of concept and to conduct experiments with.

In order to use the prototype to conduct such an empirical study, it is necessary to assess and evaluate its functionality, for which a series of experiments have been performed. The aim of these experiments was to investigate the extent to which the functionality of the prototype developed, can support a particular set of attributes that we identified that have potential influences in the promotion of inclusion of all students in a virtual environment that provide flexible modes of representing activities, enables learning for all situation and does not have “a “poor relation” to physical inclusion anymore.” (Sheehy, 2010). The attributes under investigation are Collaboration, Communication, Co-existence and Active Participation (3CP) of users in the virtual world.

This paper shall present the results of this study in order to initiate a constructive discussion around the potential use of cyber campuses in teaching and learning to support the technology-enhanced course. The results of this study are very positive.

Session activities for engagement: Discussion based on the study results, literature evidence, benefits / drawbacks and educational potentials of the use of cyber campus in teaching and learning.

References: Official SHU3DED Website: http://www.learninvw.com


BRUNSWICK, N. N. 2009. Inclusive Education.

SHEEHY, K. 2010. Virtual environments: Issues and opportunities for researching inclusive educational practices. Researching Learning in Virtual Worlds, 1-15.

WARNOCK, M. 1978. The Warnock Report, Special Education Needs. Available: http://www.educationengland.org.uk/documents/warnock/.


259 – A Virtual Tour of the SHU3DED Cyber Campus – Louis Nisiotis, Martin Beer, Elizabeth Uruchurtu

Strand:The Technology-Enhanced Course. Anticipated outcomes: This CoLab workshop proposal aims to foster a virtual activity and discussion around the ability of Multi-User Virtual Environments to support teaching needs and facilitate learning.

Session outline: Cyber campuses are specially designed meeting points that operate on Multi-User Virtual Environments, where users can gather virtually and exchange learning materials, communicate and collaborate in a state of the art 3D environment (Prasolova et al., 2006). Facilitated on networked computerized systems, cyber campuses offers navigational spaces that support a variety of multimedia presentation techniques (Kallonis and Sampson, 2010), synchronous interaction and communication, enhancing the socialization among users (Freitas et al., 2010). By incorporating advanced graphics and communication technologies, cyber campuses support real time interaction between users and objects designed in the virtual world (Cronin, 2011), providing the “immersion” feeling to the user of actually being there (Beer et al., 2002).

Cyber campuses are considered an effective vehicle for learning support (Livingstone et al., 2008), so the need arises to identify the aspects of the teaching and learning process that this solution enhance as compared to traditional E-Learning. In particular, it is necessary to identify the factors making this model a strong solution to use for learning support and to what extent it enhances the learning experiences of people who are away from University. To investigate this, the SHU3DED Cyber Campus has been developed to conduct experiments with.

SHU3DED is a cyber campus prototype developed for the needs of my research, using the opensimulator virtual world package, to use as a proof of concept and to conduct a series of empirical studies with. The cyber campus has been developed following best practice applied in other cyber campuses, but the main driver was the “virtual school” concept as demonstrated by the Occupational Therapy Internet School (OTIS) project. This was an innovative and sophisticated system for its time (1999), capable of managing educational resources, handles communications and support educational activities through a virtual environment over the Internet. SHU3DED aims to develop this functionality in a modern virtual environment, for which MOODLE Leaning Management System (LMS) has been used and we will further explore some of the advances made learning support.

Having almost completely replicating the OTIS project theory and practice, we can say that SHU3DED is what OTIS project should have look like if it was implemented using the technology of today.

In this proposed workshop, attendees will be gathered in a lab setting, allocated a pre-configured workstation and participate in a virtual tour of SHU3DED cyber campus using a virtual representation of them selves (Avatar). During this tour, demonstration of the various facilities that cyber campus offers for teaching and learning support will be performed to initiate a constructive “in-world chat” discussion among the attendees through the chat facilities that are provided by the system. This discussion will be based on the potential context and setting they could use such solution for their teaching needs and how it could possibly enhance the learning experience of their students.

Session activities for engagement: A virtual navigation and communication among users activity, facilitated in the SHU3DED virtual world.

References: Official SHU3DED Website: http://www.learninvw.com


BEER, M., SLACK, F. & ARMITT, G. Community Building and Virtual Teamwork in an Online Learning Environment.  Proceedings of the 36th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS’03), 2002.

CRONIN, P. 2011. An exploratory case study in the use of Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVE) to support and enhance a community of practice. Master of Science in Technology & Learning, University of Dublin.

FREITAS, S., REBOLLEDO-MENDEZ, G., LIAROKAPIS, F., MAGOULAS, G. & POULOVASSILIS, A. 2010. Learning as immersive experiences: Using the four-dimensional framework for designing and evaluating immersive learning experiences in a virtual word. British Journal of Educational Technology, Vol 41, pp. 69-85.

KALLONIS, P. & SAMPSON, D. 2010. Implementing a 3D Virtual Classroom Simulation for Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Computers in Education. Putrajaya, Malaysia.

LIVINGSTONE, D., KEMP, J. & EDGAR, E. 2008. From Multi-User Virtual Environment to 3D Virtual Learning Environment. Alt-J, Vol 16, 139-150.

PRASOLOVA, E., SOURIN, A. & SOURINA, O. 2006. Cybercampouses: Design Issues and Future Directions. Visual Computer Journal.