Tag: Teaching & Learning

Enhancing extended scientific writing skills (HWB)

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)

Department of Biosciences and Chemistry

This project had a working hypothesis that the BAME attainment gap within Biomedical Sciences may be partly due to BAME students having under-developed skills in extending writing.  This project aimed to investigate two areas: the underlying reasons behind any differences in extended writing skills of BAME students compared to white students; the impact of an intervention offered to all students, not just BAME, in a level 5 module. The intervention included 3 workshops that supported extended writing in coursework and exams. 

The preliminary conclusion from this study is that an intervention aimed at all students to improve extended writing skills contributes to closing the BAME attainment gap, particularly for students with English as a 2nd language, but that student engagement is a limiting factor in the effectiveness of this strategy.

The project identified that there is a Gender gap within the BAME attainment gap. It was highlighted that male students’ attainment is lower than females and that male students are less likely to attend support sessions. The department plans to continue to raise awareness among staff and further conversations will take place for positive action interventions.

The department is now repeating the project again within the 2018/19 academic year. The purpose of this is to collect more data to confirm findings in a second data set with full ethical approval to allow the data to be published. The academic skills intervention has taken place.

For further information contact the project lead Dr Caroline Dalton, c.f.dalton@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Writing Skills Group

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing: Department of Social Work and Social Care and Community Studies

The department is revisiting a previous writing skills group to see if the re-introduction of the programme would be helpful and achievable within current resources. The successful work was published by departmental colleagues in 2014 and has had some success in the past but foundered on a lack of suitable staffing resource. Peter Nelson & Cal Weatherald (2014) Cracking the Code—An Approach to Developing Professional Writing Skills, Social Work Education: The International Journal, 33:1, 105-120, DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2012.740453.

For further information contact the project lead: Dr Alison Purvis a.purvis@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

HWB BAME Working Group

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)

The BAME Working Group is a group within the HWB faculty that meets every six weeks to discuss key actions in relation to BAME attainment. The group has two specific responsibilities: explore the use of enabling language in assessment briefs and other types of key information and communication to students; undertake a review and analysis to address the over-representation of BAME students in cases of Academic Misconduct and Fitness to Practise. The overall role of the group is that it is an enabler, which supports the range of BAME thematic work across the Faculty. The project aims to have a reduction of the average BAME attainment gap across the faculty of Health and Wellbeing. However, this data is still pending.

The terms of reference and model of the cross-faculty working group could easily be shared with other faculties.

For further information contact the project lead Dr Alison Purvis, a.purvis@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

Staff understanding of Public Sector Equality Duty

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

Department of Law and Criminology (DLC)

This project was built around a training session for all DLC staff. Within the design of the project, materials and resources were designed and circulated for the department to feedback on. The aim of the training session was to increase the awareness of staff on the issue that their teaching materials and assessments could be aligned in order to ensure that the Department helped the University meet the PSED. Unfortunately the training session did not go ahead due to difficulties with scheduling however the resources that were produced appear to have been useful.

The Law & Criminology session has potential to facilitate staff knowledge and insights into the PSED and the workshop could readily be rolled out to other departments within the faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities and other faculties.

The session is scalable to a large cohort, and could be run cross-departmentally etc.

For further information contact the project lead Jamie Grace, j.grace@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

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