Pedagogy in Practice (PIP) workshop, 28.3.17
Sandie Donnelly, LiSS
Sandie Donnelly reports on the latest PIP Seminar held at Brampton Road
The staff who attended were great. Engaged, positive, thoughtful and challenging contributions; myself and my colleague, Claire Stewart, certainly got a lot out of it and I hope it was useful for the academic staff too.
Key discussion points included:
Consensus that using exemplars is good practice and surprise that malpractice concerns might make some staff reluctant to share exemplars. The lack of exemplars doesn’t prevent plagiarism. In fact, another advantage of using exemplars is the opportunity presented to talk about and promote academic integrity. Also, interesting that the area with the most malpractice cases has not been put off using exemplars and continues to do so.
Should exemplars only be used in workshops as hard copies and as part of a discussion with an adviser and/or tutor, rather than made available electronically; might that help to mitigate against potential plagiarism? But again, isn’t it more a case of exploring academic integrity with students and trusting the majority. Is there more to be lost in not being able to use exemplars to help majority of students, because of a minority of cases who misuse exemplars?
Interesting discussion around “originality” in the arts. How to help students explore their specific discipline to understand it, be inspired by it, be informed by it, understand how their art has developed, evolved and continues to be shaped and influenced, without students misappropriating materials as their own. Reality that there is so much quick and easy access to materials now, via the web etc, that just denying students access to materials like exemplars in the classroom for fear of lack of originality, won’t stop them finding sources of information elsewhere. Isn’t it better to have the exemplars in the workshops, seminars, studios, etc and then for those to be explored in constructive debates and discussions with academics and advisers to help students understand the balance between appreciation, knowledge and understanding that “educates” and inspires students, and malpractice.
There was discussion around hard copies of dissertations being available for students to access in the library. Digital-only policies for assessment in some areas have meant that whereas students could previously access a number of examples of dissertations across all campus libraries, the bank of dissertations is dwindling in some areas.
Consensus that exemplars are good practice, agreement to work with adviser at Brampton Rd to build up bank of exemplars. Seminar provided evidence of positive collaboration between academic staff and adviser at Brampton Road and desire of all to best support students to succeed.