Our Research

STEER leads institutional research and evaluation (contributing evidence to strategic objectives) and externally funded research.  Our externally funded research has an impact on national policy and also brings knowledge into Hallam to enhance institutional policy and practice.

Observing the observers: Using digital storytelling for organisational development concerning ‘Critical Whiteness’

 

Funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education Small Development Project grant 2018.

 

This project aims to test the utility of digital storytelling as a) an intervention for mediating difficult conversations about positive cultural and behavioural change, b) a method of data collection, and c) as an innovative way of sharing evidence and expertise.  The focus of the project is the discussion of ‘Critical Whiteness’ within organisational development.  Previous research by the project leaders concluded that the absence of Critical Whiteness discussions may be creating a barrier to addressing the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) attainment gap through curriculum change.  We believe that approaches to address implicit bias often focus on individual rather than organisational responsibility for change.  Thus, Critical Whiteness is an important and often overlooked area of positive cultural and behavioural change within organisations.  This development project will collect and analyse data from one Higher Education Provider and develop a Digital Practice Guide to support the development of further work across the sector. The project runs until July 2018.

Digital stories produced by this project can be viewed here.  The final report has been published by Advance HE and can be found here.

Publications

Austen, L. & Jones-Devitt , S. (2018) Observing the observers: Using digital storytelling for organisational development concerning ‘critical Whiteness’, York: Advance-HE, available at https://www.lfhe.ac.uk/en/research-resources/research-hub/small-development-projects/sdp2018/sheffield-hallam-university-po.cfm


Evaluation of the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme

Funded by the Office for Students (formerly HEFCE), this report evaluates the impact and relevance of the NTFS across the higher education sector.  This research was co-led by Dr Liz Austen (STEER) and Professor Colin McCaig (CDARE) with significant work from Alan Donnelly (STEER) and Dr Christine O’Leary (SHU/SBS). Data was collected from a range of stakeholders between August and November 2017.  The report found that the NTFS was valued across the sector and made recommendations for increased impact within and beyond institutions.

The final report was published in August 2018 and can be accessed here.

Publications

Austen, L. Donnelly, A. McCaig, C. and O’Leary, (2018) Evaluation of the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme: Final Report, Bristol: Office for Students, available at https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/914c7e2b-0879-4531-a2c5-585b7d8b2d3a/ofs2018_ntfseval.pdf


Use and Abuse of the Student Voice: Leaders’ Responsibilities for Making Positive Use of Student Evaluations of Teaching in Higher Education 

 

Funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education Small Development Project grant 2017-2018.

 

‘The Use and Abuse of the Student Voice’ investigates the challenges for academic leaders created by the need to develop education in the context of evaluation of teaching by students. Emerging findings from the project were shared at a national workshop on 20th October 2017 at Sheffield Hallam University. The workshop aimed to help colleagues to make best use of the student voice to recognise and support teaching excellence. The workshop participants’ feedback will also be used to further define and develop the project’s leadership materials.  The full report has been published by Advance HE and can be found here.

Publications

Jones-Devitt , S. & LeBihan, J. (2018) Use and Abuse of the Student Voice: Leaders’ Responsibilities for Making Positive Use of Student Evaluations of Teaching in Higher Education, York: AdvanceHE, available at  https://www.lfhe.ac.uk/en/research-resources/publications-hub/index.cfm/SDP2017-05


Creation and Confidence: BME Students as Academic Partners

 

The project set out to achieve: gaining evidence-based insights into the use of co-design and peer-learning as conduits of confidence-building and belonging of BME students; developing a scalable approach to building confidence and fostering belonging of all students; raising awareness of the need to think differently about explanations of BME underachievement. The team found that the biggest barrier concerned staff engagement as – no matter how much evidence was presented – other facets of institutional provision were identified as having priority, resulting in inertia. Considerable emotional labour was expended in trying to elicit change within a resistant culture. Despite this, there have been some very positive developments and enlightening lessons.

As part of the HEFCE Catalyst funded REACT project (www.studentengagement.co.uk)

Publications

Austen, L, Heaton, C, Jones-Devitt, S. Pickering, N. ( 2017) Why is the BME attainment gap such a wicked problem? The Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change 3 (2) available at https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/studentchangeagents/article/view/587

Jones-Devitt, S., Austen, L., Chitwood, L., Donnelly, A., Fearn, C., Heaton, C., Latham, G., LeBihan, J., Middleton, A., Morgan, M., Parkin, H. J. and Pickering, N. (2017) Creation and Confidence: BME students as academic partners….but where were the staff? The Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change 3 (2), available at https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/studentchangeagents/article/view/580

External Presentations

Liz Austen #LTHEChat Wednesday 7th March 8-9PM (GMT)  “Can we talk about Whiteness?”

Austen, L. and Jones-Devitt, S. (2017) Challenging wicked problems and folk pedagogies to address the BME attainment gap in Higher Education, Equality Challenge Unit, 8th December 2017

Austen, L. and Pickering, N. (2017) Creation and Confidence: BME students as academic partners at Sheffield Hallam University, React Conference Reacting to the ‘Hard to Reach’ Through Student Engagement Initiatives, 2nd May 2017

Austen, L and Heaton, C. (2016) The wicked problem of BME student attainment, Closing the gap: Research and Practice on Black and Minority Ethnic Student Attainment in Higher Education, , University of Kent, Monday 27th June 2016

Dunne, L. Lowe, T. Simns, S. Jones-Devitt, S. Chitwood, L, Morgan, M. Le, T (2016) The REACT Project: Perspectives on enhancing inclusive approaches to Student Engagement, JISC Change Agents Network, 2nd June 2016

Internal Events

Equalities Objectives Launch Event – Stall (February 2018)

D&S Black Minority & Ethnic Student Attainment Keynote & Workshops -Creation and Confidence: BME students as academic partners but no institutional readiness (July 2017)

SHU flipped workshop – The excellent practitioner who once failed to be excellent (and other short stories – including lessons from REACT), LTA Conference (June 2017)

SHU Workshop – How can we close the BME attainment gap? (Dec 2016)

SHU Conference – Minding the Gaps REACTing to improve BME attainment (Nov 2016)

 


Digital Capability and Teaching Excellence

 

 

Funded by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

Publications

Jones-Devitt, S. Austen, L. Irwin, B. McDonald, K. Parkin, H. J. (2017) Are all students ‘hard to reach’ in a digital higher education (H.E.) context? The Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change 3 (2), available at https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/studentchangeagents/article/view/526

Jones-Devitt, S., Austen, L., Parkin, H. J. (2017) Integrative Reviewing: a flexible research process for exploring complex phenomena, Social Research Update, Surrey: University of Surrey, available at http://sru.soc.surrey.ac.uk/

Austen, L. Parkin, H. J., Jones-Devitt, S., McDonald, K. and Irwin, B. (2016) Digital capability and teaching excellence: an integrative review exploring what infrastructure and strategies are necessary to support effective use of technology enabled learning (TEL). QAA Subscriber Research Series. Gloucester: QAA, available at  www.qaa.ac.uk/publications/information-and-guidance/publication?PubID=3115

External Presentations

Austen, L. Parkin, H.J., and Jones-Devitt, S. (2017) How can digital capability promote teaching excellence? Exploring guidelines for digitally-capable teaching excellence, Higher Education Academy Annual Conference, 5th July 2017.

Parkin, H.J. and Austen, L. (2016) Digital capability and teaching excellence: an integrative review exploring what infrastructure and strategies are necessary to support effective use of technology enabled learning (TEL), Heads of E Learning Forum, 8th November 2016

Parkin, H.J. and Austen, L. (2016) Digital capability and teaching excellence: an integrative review exploring what infrastructure and strategies are necessary to support effective use of technology enabled learning (TEL), JISC Student Experience Group Meeting, 12th October 2016

Internal Events

SHU QAA Report launch and workshop – How can digital capability promote teaching excellence? (Nov 2016)


Images attributed to funding/sponsoring body