Tag Archives: support

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.

025 – Using a cultural lens to explore challenges and issues in culturally diverse schools for Teach First beginning teachers: implications for future teacher training – Dr Alison Hramiak

Presenter: Dr Alison Hramiak, Owen 429, ext 6023 A.Hramiak@shu.ac.ukTheme: Supporting StudentsAnticipated outcomes: Dissemination of innovative good practice that better prepares students for placements by developing courses that better suit their requirements.

Session outline (or abstract):

This short paper explores the challenges and issues faced by Teach First teachers during their first year of teaching in a culturally diverse school, and describes the strategies they employ to overcome them. Using a variety of methods, both qualitative and quantitative data are collected, focussing on the perspectives of the teachers over the course of the academic year. Three common themes emerged from the findings; firstly, there is evidence from all data sets that cultural challenges exist for the participants, and that they have developed strategies for overcoming them during the course of the year. Secondly, the cultural gap revealed by the data is not necessarily seen as one between staff and pupils, but exists more between curriculum and pupils. Thirdly, while cultural differences have caused some problems for the participants, they have come to recognise that although they cannot change the whole culture of the school and its pupils, they can make a difference in their classrooms. The cultural lens provided ideas to better prepare future trainees for this type of situation in schools, and also added to a growing body of knowledge in this area. This in turn enables us to develop our future courses for such trainees in ways that better suit them, with more appropriate curriculum topics, and prepare them better for placement in doing so. Such enhanced preparation would also be applicable to other teacher training routes, and as such could be extrapolated to other situations such as PGCEs and Schools Direct Initial Teacher Education. In better preparing our own trainees for their work in schools, we might also better prepare ourselves as HE tutors in teacher training – an aspect of this work that would be worth further study. To engage with these changes, we may need to see culture differently, than we have previously done, and raise our awareness, and those of our trainees to the issues that might arise in situations like the one described here.

Session activities for engagement:

Interactive power point presentation that includes some short activities for audience to get them thinking about their own course and practice and how they might improve this in the light of the findings from this study.


AU, K. H. & BLAKE, K. M. 2003. Cultural Identity and Learning to Teach in a Diverse Community. Journal of Teacher Education, 54, 192-205.

BOURDIEU, P. 1983. The Forms of Capital. In: HALSEY, A. H., LAUDER, H., BROWN, P. & STUART WELLS, A. (eds.) Education Culture Economy Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

BRUNER, J. 1996. The Culture of Education, Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press.

EUN, B. 2011. A Vygotskian theory-based professional development: implications for culturally diverse classrooms. Professional Development in Education, 37, 319-333.

GAY, G. 2010. Acting on Beliefs in Teacher Education for Cultural Diversity. Journal of Teacher Education, 61, 143-152.

GORARD, S. & TAYLOR, C. 2004. Combining Methods in Educational and Social Research, Maidenhead, OU Press.

HAGGARTY, L., POSTLETHWAITE, K., DIMENT, K. & ELLINS, J. 2011. Improving the learning of newly qualified teachers in the induction year. British Educational Research Journal (BERJ), 37, 935-954.

HOBSON, A. J., MALDEREZ, A., TRACEY, L., GIANNAKAKI, M., PELL, G. & TOMLINSON, P. 2008. Student teachers’ experiences of initial teacher preparation in England: core themes and variation. Research Papers in Education, 23, 407-433.

MARX, H. 2011. Please Mind the Culture Gap: Intercultural Development During a Teacher Education Study Abroad Program. Journal of Teacher Education, 62, 35-47.

MCDONOUGH, K. 2009. Pathways to Critical Consciousness: A First-Year Teachers’ Engagement with Issues of Race and Equity. Journal of Teacher Education, 60, 528-537.

MUIJS, D., CHAPMAN, C., COLLINS, A. & ARMSTRONG, P. 2010. Maximum Impact Evaluation The Impact of Teach First Teachers in Schools Final Report. Manchester: University of Manchester.

NASH, R. 1999. Bourdieu, ‘Habitus’, and Educational Research: is it all worth the candle? British Journal of  Sociology of Education, 20, 175-187.

RUEDA, R. & STILLMAN, J. 2012. The 21st Century Teacher A Cultural Perspective. Journal of Teacher Education, 63, 245-253.

SLEETER, C. E. 2001. Preparing Teachers for Culturally Diverse Schools. Journal of Teacher Education, 52, 94-106.

25 It’s a balloon Sir! sept 2012 alison hramiak

270 – Midwifery PALS (Peer Assisted Learning) – Cathy Malone

Peer learning or student-to-student mentoring schemes have been introduced in many HEIs in the last decade to help students settle into university life and help them in their learning and personal development (Hampton & Potter, 2009). The peer support scheme developed at Manchester University (PASS/SI) which integrates study support and social induction now has over fifty affiliated schemes in UK universities and involves thousands of students in peer support. Many advocates of these schemes concur with Vygotsky (1978) who suggests that students learn best from and with their peers and stress the benefits available for student participants, leaders and staff (Falchikov 2001) However, peer assisted learning schemes may sometimes be met with doubt (Longfellow et al., 2008).  In this short paper student leaders will report on the initial findings of a pilot peer supported learning scheme in Midwifery that has been running in the last year.  Volunteer student leaders will provide a brief account of the scheme, and present initial student and staff perceptions of the benefits and challenges. Questions will be posed for audience discussion on the issues, benefits and opportunities for student support.Presentation:  http://prezi.com/j6lmhiais6mo/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

270 LTA Power Point ALDHE

248 – An evaluation of the role of virtual support technologies in enhancing the student experience of work-related learning – Corina Bradbury

This presentation will report the findings from a Students’ as Researchers project centred around the engagement and disengagement of Level 6 Criminology students with virtual support technologies. The research aims to capture the students’ perspectives around the usefulness and applicability of the web 2.0 technologies in the form of blogs/journals, designed to aid the academic and professional development they gain from their participation in work related learning activities with various public, private and voluntary sector employers and organisations in and around South Yorkshire. Such organisations include South Yorkshire police and SOVA.

The project, funded and supported by Sheffield Hallam University “Students as Researchers scheme’, was conducted from a student-led approach by the Student Researcher, and supported and overseen by two staff members of the Criminology teaching team.

With the main researcher being a current student at the University, the objective was to obtain a clearer and more in-depth response around the students experience and attitude towards utilising these virtual technologies during their course progression. This presentation will highlight the initial qualitative findings of the project, gained from telephone interviews with two students and a focus group session with eight research participants. This will also discuss the perspective of the student researcher on her experiences and challenges involved with being in the student-researcher position.

The research findings will be used to inform improvements to the student experience and for potential future developments for the Criminology curriculum at Sheffield Hallam University.

248 corine bradbury Learning and teaching conference 2013-248 corina bradbury


288 – Course community: students are people too – Neil Challis, Michael Robinson

Presenter including contact details: Prof Neil Challis (n.challis@shu.ac.uk) Strand: Course identity Anticipated outcomes: A better shared understanding of lessons drawn from research as part of the More Math Grads project and experience with our own Mathematics course. Session outline:  When students arrive at university, they have often left their familiar – and familial –networks. This is self-evidently true for those who leave the home town and family to come to Sheffield, but it is just as true that a mature student who has lived all their life in Sheffield will find themselves in an unfamiliar environment, with new people and new challenges. Drawing on our work with the More Maths Grads project, working with students and staff from four institutions, and our experience with our own course, we start this presentation with the belief that perhaps the most important element of a “good course” is the development of a strong sense of community. This yields several important benefits, crucially including a happier and more motivated student body. In turn this provides students with a vital support network, both academic and pastoral, which reduces staff workload in the long run, and a sense of belonging and a sunnier disposition when it comes to the National Student Survey. A sense of community may include many different identities, but in an academic context the most critical is that within the course. Crucially, such a community needs to include the student’s peers, students from other years, and the staff. A subject group identity can be encouraged in a variety of ways and in this presentation we will give examples of different ideas which have worked at Sheffield Hallam or elsewhere. These include both curricular and extra-curricular activities, the physical environment, online tools, and the attitudes which staff have towards the students.

Click to view:  288 course community – students are people too

274 – The role of Classroom Assistants in supporting the needs of overseas students – Stephen Hughes & Lawand Qadir

Healthcare in Iraq has suffered over the last decade, and there has been a decline in the number of doctors, nurses and other health professionals. In the new Iraq, the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) focus is on developing capacity, capability and infrastructure. Consequently, they have been looking to the UK to help support the education and training of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals and to rebuild the health system so that it mirrors the multi-professional model of many western countries. At the end of 2011, the Iraqi MoH agreed a programme of courses with the Faculty of Health & Wellbeing to begin delivery in 2012 which integrates English language tuition with nursing and radiotherapy.   The Iraq Healthcare Project course delivery teams have collaborated with the English language delivery team to provide content that simultaneously develops language and skills in the healthcare specialty. The Classroom Assistant (CA) role has played a vital role in supporting the successful delivery of these courses.  Since SHU is striving to internationalise its provision, as highlighted by the SHU Internationalising the Learning Context Conference 2012, faculties may start to have large numbers of overseas students. However, there are concerns (1) whether  a Secure English language Test (SELT) such as IELTS can be used as a predictive score to measure a  students’ ability to cope with the academic demands of UKHE (Yen and Kuzma, 2009, Abasi and Akbari, 2008) and (2) with the retention of high academic standards (Hughes, 2010, QAA, 2009, Rust, 2003). This workshop will provide the opportunity to learn more about how this CA role has supported relatively low language proficiency students, and may prompt participants to explore ways of developing similar roles in their own faculty to enhance the learning experience for both students and staff.

274 2013 Conference – FINAL

240 – Creating and sustaining Peer Supported Learning (PSL) groups – Jeff Waldock

Both through observation and experience it is evident that a powerful student support mechanism is the small scale peer support groups (PSG) that often form naturally within the course cohort.  This poster describes a mechanism for encouraging the development of such groups. As part of a first year module on the mathematics programme, students work in small groups on a project during semester 1, leading to a report, poster and presentation.  The purpose is twofold – firstly to initiate a peer support group from day 1, and secondly to help students develop some key employability skills, such as team work, organisation, leadership, interpersonal skills and communication.  A final year student volunteer is recruited to facilitate this group, through the Peer Assisted Learning scheme.  This scheme has been in operation for four years, having been initiated through a project funded by the Centre for Promoting Learner Autonomy.  The final year PAL leaders, most of whom have been on industrial placement, develop additional employability skills and an enhanced CV through engagement with this process. This poster will summarise the scheme and provide evidence, in the form of student reflective comments, on its benefits. PAL Leader: “It’s certainly made me more confident speaking up in front of a group of people I don’t know. It gave me a good idea of how people work together in a group too, something that you don’t notice as much if you’re actually working within the group.” First year student: “I learnt that to meet new people isn’t as hard as I thought and that we having a group of friends to bounce ideas from one another is a good thing.”

Click to view poster:  240 SHU_LTA_2013_Waldock_PSL

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 A duty of care and a duty to care: care in the tutor/student realtionship

 Jenny Cavalot and Jayne RevillWe will give examples from our respective experiences of how care in the tutor-student relationship has been expressed in constructs, from large modules in lecture settings to individual interactions outside formal teaching, covering the nature and impact of each particular expression of care. 

We will then cover why we believe care matters in the relationship between tutors and students.  We will question our effectiveness in delivering our duty of care.  

We will also argue that SHU has a wider duty to care.  As the first major organisation most undergraduates will experience as independent adults, students’ experience of SHU as key stakeholders/ customers/ consumers will be formative in developing their views about effective organisations, alongside any taught topics and employability strands.  If students have a meaningful experience of care, we will argue that they are more likely to take this into their future lives than an abstract taught concept.  We will point out the risks of incoherence between taught subjects and student experience.  For undergraduates who do not study business, their student experience may be their major source of  learning about effective organisations, and be even more influential.

D1 – (RE45, EX41, EX48, EX49) 15.30

2012 Implementing the Academic Advisor role across the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing

John Freeman, Dawn Hadden, Mel Hogan and Claire Marsden

The team are leading a project which will ensure that academic support is provided for all Level 4 students in HWB for 2012/13.  

One of these University’s Student Experience priorities was to provide individual academic support for all students. Each undergraduate student will have a named Academic Advisor. These roles need to be established to ensure the provision is delivered consistently and to a high professional standard.  

Research demonstrates consistently that one innovation that would improve the quality of their University experience is more contact time, through group or individual teaching sessions, or time with a personal tutor. (National Union of Students, 2011). Building a key relationship with a named member of academic staff plays an influential role in a number of different ways, Concerns exist in relation to time demands, caseload and a sense of personal tutoring not being valued or given the same kudos as research and teaching. 

The NUS Charter on Personal Tutors outlines expectations of HEI’s. Among these are that all students should be entitled to a named personal tutor who they meet at least once a term. Staff providing this role, which may include understanding assessment feedback, should be trained and supported, and that support be equitable and adaptable. 

Our Thunderstorm presentation will outline who the Project Team are, the timeline and rationale for the project and discuss how the AA role was implemented. This work has wider implications for all staff, particularly Academics and student-facing staff, particularly those providing any form of student support. 

Two questions that may contribute to a discussion would be: 

  • Will the new Academic Advisor role improve the student experience and if so, how?

What can Course Leaders, Academics and teams learn from the implementation of the role that will benefit students across the University?

Click to presentation:  Implementing the Academic Advisor role across the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing

D1 – (EX41, EX48, EX49) 15.30