Tag: Completed

Enhancing personal tutor effectiveness to increase student engagement and attainment

Sheffield Business School (SBS)

Department of Management

The department ‘repurposed’ and developed their APA (personal tutor) approach to one which fosters a relationship with the student that engenders belonging, identity, aspiration and visualisation, and a sense of community. From this, joint APA/student case studies will be developed. More specifically these case studies will demonstrate how they have overcome and are continuing to overcome barriers to BAME attainment and help to develop role models from BAME students and alumni. Anecdotal evidence in conjunction with course-specific data analysis also suggests that where a student-centric, individualised approach to support is taken by the course team, there are higher levels of attainment and completion. This supports the next outcome below. The department’s activity this year has spurred the development of initiatives for the new academic year.

A number of the 2018/19 initiatives are potentially transferable and scalable but they are currently still in the pilot stage.

For further information contact the project lead Ann Norton, p.a.norton@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Placements Uncovered: Phase 1

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)

Health and Social Care Departments

A small cross-faculty working group was tasked with organising a staff conference related to BME attainment. On investigation, no significant academic attainment gap for health and social care students was identified, however BME students were over-represented in Fitness for Practice and Academic Misconduct cases, with a higher than expected number of placements fails on some of our programmes. In early 2018 a qualitative project was launched, “Placements Uncovered” which explored the challenges facing BME students when they undertake health and social care placements. Following ethical approval, the project team investigated via several focus groups the challenges of placements seen from the perspectives of BME students, academic staff, clinical supervisors and student union advisors. With data from 8 focus groups, the department now have an emerging picture of the barriers facing BME students and are gaining an insight into the support they require to successfully negotiate their clinical placements. While recognising the small sample involved in this qualitative work, and that some students highlighted positive placement experiences, the findings do nevertheless raise some concerns. They suggest areas for further staff development as well as the need for awareness-raising for students and placement staff.

For further information contact the project lead Jackie Parkin, j.parkin@shu.ac.uk and Julie Nightingale, j.nightingale@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Exploring BAME students’ experiences with placements

Sheffield Business School (SBS)

This project aimed to explore BME engagement and experiences with the placement system from level 3-6. It aimed to identify the challenges students may face before and during placement and highlight what support/help can be provided to encourage students to apply for placements. The initiative strived to listen to the students and to put the students at the heart of the project.

The completed evaluation report for the project can be found here.

For further information contact the project lead Sabiyah Rafiq, sr8051@exchange.shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Supporting BAME student teachers through enhanced placement allocation and mentoring support

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Teacher Education (TEd)

Through a combination of mentoring and tailored placement allocation/advice, the project aimed to encourage reduce the time taken to complete placements and/or interrupt or withdraw from their placements. This was done through the implementation of two interventions: a mentoring scheme and a placement allocation and selection. The project outcomes have resulted in the department’s Placement Policy being updated. A number of changes have been made in order to better support BAME students whilst on placement, e.g. early visits, rapid evaluations. In addition to this, a BAME mentoring scheme for BA teacher educations routes has been implemented from September 2018.

Placement policy changes are replicable and compliant with the new general equality duty which was introduced in April 2011.

For further information contact the project lead David Owen, d.h.owen@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Summer school for students from low socio-economic backgrounds

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

Department of Law and Criminology

The first stage of the project was to evaluate the feasibility of running a school based on the Third World Transition Programme (TWTP) at Browns university in the US and then run a summer school for sixth form pupils in June 2018 in partnership with HEPPSY+. Seven Law & Criminology students were employed as ambassadors for the duration. The perceived wisdom was that if we can show potential students what is on offer at university, more of them may apply (not necessarily to Hallam). The longer-term goals are to: build networks with local schools and colleges; establish regular taster events and possibly buddy system for sixth form pupils with UG students; establish potential for pre-induction orientation event; increase the social and ethnic diversity of our student population.

Informal observations highlighted that the summer school appeared to go very well, despite a major transport problem. However, it is suggested that it was a valuable experience for both sixth form students and student ambassadors.

Once the process established, it should be relatively straightforward to establish a range of summer schools with ongoing relationship development and events for sixth form pupils (with potential to include other groups).

For further information contact the project lead Tanya Miles-Berry, dstmb@exchange.shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Inclusive Student Engagement

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Humanities

This project aimed to improve all students’ attainment and compare student-staff views on what works to promote good attainment. It then looked to compare Humanities lecturers’ and students’ perceptions of student engagement; identify barriers to engagement, with particular attention to BAME students.

The project initially identified disparities between staff and students’ perceptions of what types of engagement achieves good results in HE. Barriers to engagement were also identified which may provide an understanding for the discrepancies between staff and student perceptions. From this, BAME-specific barriers to engagement in Humanities could be identified which related to other issues reported by students on attention to diversity, student awareness of diversity and group dynamics around inclusivity.

The final outcome is still pending. Students suggestions for reducing barriers were collated.

The initiative has the potential to be both replicated and scaled up across the university. The project can be replicated on a larger scale for upcoming Level 4 students as a way to raise awareness on academic citizenship. It will also be scalable across the faculty or university, particularly as the UK Engagement Survey takes place annually and longitudinal evaluation of impact may be possible.

For further information contact the project lead Ana Maria Sanchez-Arce a.m.sanchez-arce@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Addressing BAME student voice

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion (DECI)

Using graduate intern researchers, the aim of the project was to establish common understanding of BAME concerns, enable open discussion and implement measures to positively inform the Course Improvement Plans (CIPs). This included opening up discussion with known BAME student communication channels; further developing discussion with ECI students to identify specific issues/challenges/support needs; developing intelligence to inform departmental actions. The overall aim is to enhance student perceptions of belonging and togetherness. As a result of this project, the department established recommendations they believed were needed to enable not just BAME students but all students’ success at university.

Highlighted below are the priorities at a course and departmental level. These were:

  1. Decolonising curriculum: More work is required from academics to research scholars and introduce diverse text.
  2. Representation: Recruitment of more positive role models and opportunities to showcase this such as guest speakers of BAME backgrounds)
  3. Training: More cultural awareness, staff training on unconscious bias, institutional racism and acknowledgement of privilege/positionalities and how this impacts students.
  4. Promotion: A greater emphasis on promotion of opportunities within the department such as scholarships and bursaries and graduate internships.
  5. Changes: Early and timely dissemination of changes to course structures and assessments; more consideration around student experience and their feedback in regard to modules being in different rooms every week.
  6. Placement s: Continue to offer a variety of placements such as those in a non-education based setting
  7. Recruitment: More BAME representation in staff diversity whether this is academics or student support services
  8. Research: Open forums where non-BAME and BAME students can discuss issues, speak freely and as a result improve cross-racial interaction.
  9. Undergraduate to postgraduate progression: More workshops around confidence, readiness and promotion of master’s and PhDs
  10. Commuter student experience: There are a large number of commuter students within our department and we need to reconsider our view of the traditional student experience and rethink what we offer to our students.

The articulation of actions using CIPs is replicable across all courses. The initiatives identified in the CIPs provide an accessible means to communicate innovations.

For further information contact the project lead John Wrigglesworth j.wrigglesworth@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Staff awareness raising campaign

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion (DECI)

Prompted by a series of awareness raising activities, Sheffield Institute of Education (SIoE) staff were supported to draw on their education research background to identify improvements that can be made to close the BAME attainment gap on their courses. Whilst each course now has at least one BAME-related action on their course improvement plan (CIP) annually, a survey in March 2018 showed that course leaders were yet to be using CIPs to record their actions relating to the BAME attainment gap. Using this as a baseline, an annual survey will be conducted, and the results compared to March 2018 (and correlated with the attainment gap). The articulation of actions using CIPs is replicable across all courses. The initiatives identified in the CIPs provide an accessible means to communicate innovations.

For further information contact the project lead John Wrigglesworth j.wrigglesworth@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Juliet Ellis, A Case Study – Role model for BAME filmmakers

Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts (STA)

Department of Media Arts & Communication (MAC)

The aim of this project was to support young people to access filmmaking courses in order to diversify the student body – which in turn can impact on retention and success. A short film documentary was made which portrays Sheffield based BAME filmmaker Juliet Ellis as a positive and accessible role model for young, BAME female filmmakers in a way that is informative and educational to all. The aim is to work with SHU feeder colleges’ media courses to show the documentary to their students and assess their aspirations before and after the screening. MA Filmmaking students in the Department of Media Arts & Communication have been involved in the production of the documentary. A version of the documentary was screened and discussed and shared with the members of the NAHEMI (http://nahemi.org/) Talking Shop symposium at Lincoln University in June 2018. Participants will be followed up at the start of the new academic year to obtain specific feedback. Other media projects where the project lead is from a BAME background have the potential to be similarly adapted into ‘role model’ initiatives. The scalability of the model is unlimited as long as there are inspirational BAME individuals to lead projects and provided there are the facilities and resources to film them.

For further information contact the project lead Colin Pons, c.pons@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Raising aspirations to study: Ambassador Celebration event

Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts (STA)

Department of Art & Design

Diversification of the student body is anticipated to lead to greater BAME retention and success. We supported Ignite Imaginations (https://www.igniteimaginations.org.uk/) by sponsoring 20 young people to take part in the Art and Cultural Ambassador programme. The department hosted the programme’s end-of-year celebration in the Head Post Office.  As part of the event, the Ambassadors had the opportunity to work with current BAME Art & Design students and alumni.  Through real stories and taster activities, the department hopes to raise aspirations and promote BAME young people studying Art & Design in Higher Education. The project is currently in the process of being evaluated through a short questionnaire completed by the young people and their families.

For further information contact the project lead Claire Lockwood c.lockwood@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

© 2019 ACHIEVE

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑