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Teaching, Learning and Assessment Projects

In 2016-17 funding was made available to encourage teams of subject discipline specialists to work together to improve the teaching, learning and assessment on their programmes to address one or more of the following:

  • Areas of underperformance most likely to affect TEF outcomes (NSS, achievement, differential outcomes, graduate outcomes, retention)
  • One or more of the following enabling themes in TL strategy (students as researchers, sustainability, enterprising students)

The following projects are currently underway:

Art, Design & Architecture: Action for impact - led by Professor Song Wu

The “Action for Impact” project is designed to support a wide range of areas of underperformance within ADA; it uses a bottom-up approach, placing responsibility for the idea and implementation to develop, enhance and innovate T&L with the course team. Each team will be allocated a mentor (independent course leader) and overseen by either the Director of Teaching & Learning (T&L) or Departmental Lead for T&L. It is the intention for every course team to have a project which is focused on a specific module, year or area of impact for the course. The projects must have impact in one of the two key areas which impact on outcomes most likely to affect the TEF (NSS, achievement, differential outcomes, graduate outcomes, retention):

  • producing new assessment briefs and activities
  • developing improved lecture, workshop and seminar teaching resources and activities.

 Applied Sciences: Academic Writing and Labster project/VR teaching materials - led by Dr Rob Allan

The "Academic Writing" project focuses on developing students’ scientific academic writing. Evidence from coursework submissions and project dissertations indicates that many students are failing to express themselves as well as they could which has a consequent impact on their marks. This is an issue across all years and all subjects within the School provision. However, if we just consider the final year dissertations many submissions contain quite rudimentary discussions of results some amounting to little more than a page or two. Some students are clearly failing to do justice to their efforts in the lab. It is felt that interventions could generate positive rewards in terms of increased marks both in coursework assessments and exam questions which require extended responses. 

Via the "Labster Project" the School seeks to enhance student performance in Final Year by ensuring that key concepts and practices are thoroughly embedded in Years 1 and 2 of our respective undergraduate programmes. Statistical analysis clearly indicates that certain students are failing to achieve appropriate grades partly due to a limited grasp of fundamental concepts. Tackling this “knowledge deficit” requires a multi-faceted approach, part of which is the use of on-line/Virtual reality resources. 

Business School: Improving UG Student Achievement and Satisfaction through understanding Assessment Criteria – led by Wilma Teviotdale

A number of major courses in the Business School are not on target to meet KPIs on student achievement for firsts and upper second classifications.  A series of focused teaching interventions at UG honours module level from major courses will be undertaken, identifying modules where student achievement is below cohort average; courses selected will be those not on target for KPI for firsts and upper seconds.  These interventions will follow workshops for academic tutors, held by the School’s Learning Development Group tutors, to develop understanding and exemplars of writing specific assessment criteria based on the UG marking guidelines recently reviewed and re-issued by STLC.

Computing & Engineering: Project Based Learning Showcase led by Dr Leigh Fleming

The "Project Based Learning Project" aims to provide a multidisciplinary, industry focussed event for 2nd year undergraduate students which forms part of the curriculum. It will also engage an industrial collaborator to set a live brief for students, it is envisaged that the initial area of the brief will centre on healthcare. This is one of the Areas for Strategic Research Initiatives (ASRIS) that the University is focussed on which also engages the research community in this teaching and learning project.

Education & Professional Development: Assessment for Learning, Embedded critical writing in the undergraduate courses and Discovery approach to UG research led by Dr Liz Bennett, Jane Mullen & Dr Emma Salter

The “Assessment for Learning project” aims to collate ‘good practice’ from the literature and ‘good practice’ from the school to identify ways that SEPD staff could improve their assessment practice. Students’ views will be sought on the style of feedback that they value and find easy to act on, with particular attention given to students who are currently scoring in the 50s. In addition mechanisms to enhance feed forward will be identified. A set of staff and student resources will be created to disseminate good practice and to support the practical aspects of using online marking approaches (rubrics, Grademark comments).

The “Embedded critical writing project” aims to address the difficulties that students have in relation to thinking critically and to explaining their thinking fluently in written form. The project will develop a set of resources that can be used across the undergraduate framework to support improved writing. It will ensure that the resources are designed in collaboration with academic staff and are fully embedded into the undergraduate curriculum by being tailored to particular modules and course needs and that staff are skilled in the use of these resources so that they become able and committed to developing students’ academic writing as a core part of their role.

The "Discovery approach project” aims to prepare students to perform well in their Major Study by supporting them to develop a deep, critical understanding of research design. Although, as with other modules, Research Methods also has the important academic purpose of engaging students intellectually and complementing their curriculum, whichever Course they are following. So in addition to its instrumental purpose the module also needs to perform well in assessment metrics, as well as contributing to these assessment metrics in the Major Study.

Human & Health Sciences: Module Support Project & Inspiring Student Engagement with Team-Based Learning (TBL) project led - by Dr Jane Tobbell & Dr Chris Dearnley

The “Module Support project” aims to intervene, initially, in those modules which are identified as having poor teaching and to work directly with the module team to improve the teaching delivery. A combination of data sources will help to identify those modules on each course that underperform in teaching and so impact on student learning.  The aim is to develop, initiate and pilot the intervention process through this project with the intention that it becomes an ongoing part of the management processes for teaching and learning in the School.  The project will generate outcomes which will be useful to all modules to enable ongoing evaluation and improvement through changes in practice.  

The “Inspiring Student Engagement with Team-Based Learning (TBL) project” will be implemented with interprofessional modules; as it is intended that in learning together students will be better prepared for working together. The overall aim is to build on the team teaching approach undertaken within the modules, to enhance the student experience by the development of exciting teaching that improves consistency whilst allowing for innovation, encouraging deeper learning and increase attainment.

Music, Humanities & Media: Employment and enterprise hub – led by Ruth Stoker

This “Employment and enterprise hub project” is designed to address areas of underperformance including NSS scores, differential outcomes and graduate outcomes through the creation of a resource which will act as a focal point around teaching and learning in employability and enterprise, allowing the School to better support those students who struggle with aspects of employability through the creation of a safe space for learning, and also through the creation of opportunities for students ready to embrace the enterprise agendas.

Teaching and learning project archive

The archive contains pages with reports from previous year's innovation projects alongside externally funded teaching and learning projects

The awards winner 2012, 13, 14, 15
University of the year 2013
QS 4 Star Logo
Athena Swan Bronze Award

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