Tag Archives: WRL

284 – Exploring ways of using formative feedback to improve student engagement with simulation modules – Vicky Thirlaway, Amy Musgrove

It is now well established that courses should seek to use Assessment for Learning, rather than Assessment of Learning, and that the form of assessment can have a significant impact on the student experience (the “backwash” effect described by Biggs (1996)). A key component of any assessment for learning strategy is to include authentic assessment tasks which the students can see have a relationship to the “real world” (McDowell, 2012; Gikandi et al., 2011). Fostering student engagement with a “make believe” scenario is a challenge: the activities must be perceived to be “credible” if students are going to engage with them.

Simulation can be an effective way of allowing students to contextualise their learning and develop the skills they will need to turn theory into practice. It can, therefore, have a role to play in developing employability skills.

Research demonstrates that formative assessment and feedback can significantly improve student performance (Black and Wiliam, 1998) and arguably, this is even more crucial when the assessment measures skills of application that the student may not have had to demonstrate in their previous educational experiences (Ramaprasad, 1983; Sadler, 1989 cited in Jordan, 2012).  Tutors often feel that students fail to engage with formative assessment, and take little notice of feedback provided (Orsmond et al., 2013).

This presentation will argue that cohorts of students are primarily strategic learners, and therefore are reluctant to engage with learning activities that do not directly feed into assessment, even where they acknowledge the validity of the exercise (Coles, 2009). It will be suggested that “formative” assessment should be compulsory and, therefore, must be part of the totality of summative assessment on the module. We have some experience of embedding compulsory formative assessment and feedback within a simulation exercise. The presentation will evaluate the successes and shortcomings of our experience, and consider alternative ways of providing formative feedback within the simulation whilst maintaining the authenticity of the task and the credibility of the summative assessment.


Biggs JB (1996) “Assessing learning quality: Reconciling institutional, staff and educational demands” Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 21: 5–16.

Black, P and Wiliam, D (1998) “Assessment and classroom learning” Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice” 5(1): 7-73

Cauley, K, M and McMillan, J. H (2010) “Formative Assessment Techniques to support student motivation and achievement” The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 83:1, 1-6

Carless, D, D. Salter, M, Yang, and J. Lam. (2011) “Developing sustainable feedback practices” Studies in Higher Education 36, no. 4: 395–407.

Clark, I (2008) “Assessment is for Learning: Formative Assessment and Positive Learning Interactions” Florida Journal of Educational Adminsitration & Policy 2(1): 1-15

Clarke, I (2012) “Formative Assessment: Assessment is for self-regulated learning” Educ Psychol Rev, 24, 205-249

Coles, C (2009) “The Role of New Technology in Improving Engagement among Law Students in Higher Education”, Journal of Information, Law & Technology (JILT), 3, <http://go.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/2009_3/coles>

Duncan, N. (2007) “Feedforward’: Improving students’ use of tutors’ comments.” Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 32, no. 3: 271–83.

Gikandi, J. W, Morrow, D and Davis, N. E (2011) “Online formative assessment in higher education: A review of the literature” Computers and Education, 57, 2333-2351

Handley, K, Price, M and Millar, J (2011) “Beyond ‘doing time’: Investigating the concept of student engagement with feedback” Oxford Review of Education, vol37, No.4, Aug 2011, 543-560

Jordan, S (2012) “Student engagement with assessment and feedback: Some lessons from short-answer free-text e-assessment questions” Computers and Education, 818-834

Mann, S.J. (2001) “Alternative perspectives on the student experience: alienation and engagement” Studies in Higher Education, 26(1): 7-19

McDowell, L. ‘Assessment for Learning’ in L. Clouder & Broughan (eds) (2012) “Improving Student Engagement and Development Through Assessment” London: Taylor & Francis

Orsmond, P, Maw, S, Park, S, Gomez, S & Crook, A. (2013): Moving feedback forward: theory to practice, Assessment & Evaluation in HigherEducation, 38:2, 240-252

Parkin, H. J, Hepplestone, S, Holden, G Irwin, B and Thorpe, L (2012) “A role for technology in enhancing students’ engagement with feedback” Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, Vo.37, No.8, Dec 2012, 963-973

Price, M, Handley, K and Millar, J (2011) “Feedback: Focusing attention on engagement.” Studies in Higher Education, Vol.36, No.8, Dec 2011, 879-896

Schartel, S. A (2012) “Giving Feedback: An integral part of education” Best Practice and Clinical Anaesthesiology, 26, 77-87

Wingate, U (2010) “The impact of formative feedback on the development of academic writing” Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, vol.35, No.5, Aug 2010, 519-533

284 Final power point SHU conference

254 – The development of a relationship centred community nursing programme – Patricia Day and Jill Gould

The specialist community nursing programmes were recently revalidated to meet the increasingly complex needs of clients in the community. Content was influenced by and in some instances pre-empted government policies based on client-centred care (DH 2010, DH 2011b, DH 2012). National agendas regarding children, families and the elderly highlight the demand for transformational nursing practitioners to lead services (DH 2011, DH 2013).

Research into effective interactions with clients has begun to change the face of health care. There is now less emphasis on advice giving and more on client autonomy, self-care and choice (DH 2012, DH 2012b). The new curriculum is based on the premise of ‘making every contact count’ (Cummings and Bennett 2012) and the latest evidence based approaches to engage with clients and work collaboratively with them. The programme innovatively meets the professional requirements for specialist practice (NMC 2001 and NMC 2004) through a skills based approach and the close connection between theory and practice. The spirit of motivational interviewing (Miller and Rollnick 2013) underpins the curriculum enabling students to work in partnership with clients in making lifestyle changes and to increase self-efficacy to optimize health outcomes.

A spiral curriculum means that the foundations of person-centred care and behaviour change taught in the first semester are built on in in the later stages of the programme. This includes exploration of complex client need and the leadership and teaching skills required to transform practice. The new programme has been delivered and positively evaluated by two student cohorts, with two further cohorts in progress. This session explores our experience of delivering the new programme and how a cohesive interdisciplinary delivery and spiral structure have contributed to excellent evaluations and high student achievement.

Cummings J and Bennett V (DH) (2012) Developing the culture of compassionate care: creating a new vision for nurses, midwives and care-givers

DH (2010) Liberating the NHS

DH (2011) Health Visitor Implementation Plan 2011–15

DH (2011b) The Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2012/13

DH (2012) Liberating the NHS: Developing the Healthcare Workforce From Design to Delivery

DH (2012b) Health Visitor Teaching in Practice: A Framework Intended for Use for Commissioning, Education and Clinical Practice of Practice Teachers (PTs)

DH – Department of Public Health Nursing (2013) Care in local communities – district nurse vision and model

Francis R (2013) Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry Executive summary TSO

Miller W and Rollnick S (2013) Motivational Interviewing New York Guilford Press

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2001) Standards for specialist education and practice

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2004) Standards of proficiency for specialist community public health nurses 

Presentation:  254 LTA conference presentation 2013 SCPHN and CSP

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


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

2012 Enhancing student engagement and employability: experiments with Web 2.0 technologies


Evidence from an evaluation of student perspectives on work-related learning with South Yorkshire Police has demonstrated that the quality of the work-related learning experience is dependent upon strong support structures to manage the complexities that arise in the world of professional work and potentially come into conflict with the demands of the academic environment. In response to this, virtual support has been embedded into a work-related learning module via the use of blogs/journals to aid both academic and professional development yet challenges persist in the effective engagement of students within this process. This presentation will outline the provisional findings of a project designed to generate a better understanding of how and why students engage/disengage with different types of 2.0 technologies at SHU.

D5 – (EN40 and EN47) 15.30


2012 History in practice: embedding employability in the humanities curriculum

Alison Twells

SHU’s commitment to providing work-related learning for all students has posed particular challenges for some non-vocational subjects, such as the Humanities. This paper explores the changing fortunes of the external work-related project in History, once part of a Level 6 Community History module which attracted a small but dedicated student following, and which has now been re-developed to deliver employability at Level 5 of the History programme. The paper will consider discipline-specific ways of developing employability and will review student feedback on the value of such modules, particularly in terms of developing skills and confidence, inspiring ideas for future fields of employment, and promoting a different sort of pride in and ownership of their work.

Presentation:  C4 FU06 History of Practice LTA ppt

C4 – (FU06, FU08, FU30, FU32) 14.20

2012 What alternatives are available when placement opportunities are limited?

Chris Hill


Facing a reduction in opportunities for direct placement experience, it is difficult to maintain a dissemination of that experience throughout Built Environment undergraduate cohorts. However, using student presentations of the learning outcomes individually identified with their experience can allow all students to gain a wide variety of current practices in their chosen field. The expectations of students on vocational courses includes a thorough preparedness to enter the ‘world of work’, the correlation with this from employers expectations brings employability to the centre of the curriculum. The divide between notional academic and work related realms is seen to be artificial: the academic work reflects the workplace; the workplace develops the academic disciplines. The opportunity to experience the variety of the workplace, from the professional practice in London to the Local Authority in Derbyshire, the subcontractor in Rotherham to the Olympics village project, is hugely valuable to the student. Few individuals, beyond the tutor, can hope to visit all these first hand, but by allowing the whole cohort to witness the presentations made by returning students, the whole cohort can be exposed to the experience, described from a first hand and student perspective. The variety of experiences presented helps all students, those who have gained experience and those who have not had that opportunity. This benefit is seen in development of interpersonal skills such as reflection and communication. 

Experience of undergraduate Built Environment disciplines in combining explicit links between learning outcomes and professional body requirements has maintained an academic and professional standard for this practice. Cumulative academic conference publication supports the scholarly nature of this work.

C1 – (EX04, EX13, EX15, EX18) 14.20