Author: Ralph Lowerson

Using Mentimeter to promote student engagement and inclusion – Davina Hill & Kelly Fielden

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mentimeter logo

Providing an inclusive, safe and varied learning environment is central to promoting engagement across a diverse student population. Browser-based interactive presentation programmes such as Mentimeter can be used to achieve this in a way that reaches multiple learners simultaneously through their own portable devices and grants them anonymity.

We used this session to present our research on student perceptions of two features of Mentimeter: interactive multiple choice quizzes and the option for students to ask open anonymous questions during class.  We found that students across two different levels, subject areas and contexts (anonymous questions and quizzes) recognised the value of Mentimeter in promoting engagement and inclusion.  All students were in favour of Mentimeter being used again.  Students perceived the quizzes to be fun, to consolidate learning, break up the lecture, and increase focus, while users of the anonymous open questions saw value in the potential for less vocal students to have their voices heard.

Participants in the Pedagogy in Practice session had the opportunity to take part in a quiz and an anonymous question and answer session, both of which were held remotely across campuses in Carlisle, Ambleside and Lancaster.  This allowed the participants to interact with the software from a student’s perspective.  Full functionality was accessible to all via Skype. Anonymous questions from the floor were used as the starting point for discussion around participation in quizzes by students with learning disabilities, by students of different ages and at different levels of study. We offered practical guidance on using interactive presentation software across various contexts. We concluded that technology-enhanced learning tools such as Mentimeter are effective in promoting student engagement and participation, and suggest that an optimal approach is to use these in combination with verbal question and answer sessions to suit a diverse population of learners.

To view the Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, please click here

PIP Practice in Pedagogy Seminars

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Due to the success of PIPs last academic year we are running a series of seminars again for staff to meet and share practice on teaching and learning themes face-to-face. They will take the form of a short presentation by the lead, followed by an opportunity for discussion.  All staff are welcome whether you teach or support student learning, and you are encouraged to share examples of successful practice as well as challenges to which you have found solutions, or that are yet to be solved!  Bring your lunch

Thursday 14th December 1 – 2pm

“Sharing TEL tips to develop our digital capabilities” Sandie Donnelly

Lancaster Room SB204 Sentamu Building
Whether you’ve got some TEL tips to share or you want to make more use of technology in learning and teaching, please join our TEL PIP to share expertise, Christmas treats and find out about software available to staff and students at UoC.
Monday 18th December 12 – 1pm

“Use of Mentimeter to promote student engagement and inclusion” – Davina Hill & Kelly Fielden

Via VC Carlisle (SKF05) Skiddaw Building & (AXB002) Alexandra Building Lancaster and skype option available

The provision of an effective learning environment is central to promoting engagement and is a key component of the Teaching Excellence Framework. Mentimeter, a technology-enhanced learning tool can be used to achieve this in a way that reaches multiple learners simultaneously and grants them anonymity. We will use this session to describe our research on student perceptions of Mentimeter, offer practical guidance on using interactive presentation software to promote engagement and inclusion, and provide a forum for discussion. We will focus on two features of Mentimeter: interactive multiple choice quizzes and the option for students to ask open anonymous questions during class

Link to book on to PIP seminars:https://cumbria.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/pedagogy-in-practice-seminars-29th-november-14th-18th

Assessment Briefs

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We have updated the Good Assessment Guides – now called Assessment Briefs. They can be found using the following link:

https://v3.pebblepad.co.uk/spa/#/public/94jgbwjqG6jcsqfkdGg8Zj3GRh

On here you will find information and tools to help you with group work, creative assessment, inclusive assessment, marking and moderation and feedback. Save the link and check back periodically as the resource will develop and expand.

Nicky Meer, PFHEA reflects on Barriers to Fellowship

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Nicky Meer, looks back on her recent PFHEA accreditation.

Although the HEA does not define who ‘ought’ to be a fellow, many have found that colleagues outside of a narrow norm can face barriers to accreditation. Some face barriers through their own self-belief: ‘I am just a technician/learning advisor/library staff… so I wouldn’t be able to get it’.  And others may face barriers due to subconscious or unintended assumptions made by those who create schemes or resources that help people compile their submissions. This could result in specific language patterns used or narrow examples given, potentially making people outside of this feel it’s not for them.

To read the full article on the HEA Blog, click here

12 Apps of Christmas

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Welcome

What is the 12 Apps of Christmas?
The 12 Apps initiative was created and first run by Regent’s University London in December 2014. The aim was to provide participants with a short online continuing professional development giving participants a daily opportunity to explore a mobile app that has been recommended by one of the 12 Apps contributors.

How the 12 Apps of Christmas work?
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting the 20th of November, a post is published at 10am on the 12 Apps of Christmas course page.
The post will contain suggestions of how to use that days app and how it might work effectively for you in a professional/learning/teaching context. Each post contains short task to help you get started with the app. The tasks take no more than ten minutes a day, although there is an optional ‘Further Tasks’, which takes more time and helps you to explore other potential uses.

Who is it for?
This online course is also open to anyone that has an interest in new technologies and would like to explore mobile apps. This online course is geared towards all University of Limerick staff that have an interest in using new technologies in their working context.

The Twitter hashtag #UL12apps during the course. After the live course, the materials will be left up to refer back to later.

On successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Reflect on how apps can be used within their learning/teaching/professional context.
  • Discuss opportunities and challenges with their peers on the use of new mobile technologies.
  • Trial a specific app for learning/teaching/research in their own context based on an informed rationale.

How to take part

Go to the following link http://bit.ly/2h9bX5r and fill in your account details. Once you have created your Sulis (Learning Management System) login you can join the 12 Apps of Christmas site by going to the following link https://tinyurl.com/ydb5sn3k.

The AHE conference

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Assessment in Higher Education Conference

The AHE conference

The AHE conference has grown from a half-day University of Cumbria event at the Carlisle campus to an International sector-leading two-day programme held at various locations around the UK. 2017 saw the 6th conference which was held in Manchester. The aim of the conference is to showcase research-informed practice in the areas of assessment and feedback. Each conference has attracted increasing numbers of delegates from over 25 countries. The atmosphere is one of friendliness and sharing practice. It’s an inspiring mix of people, countries and institutions and there is always something new to learn. Please make a note of June 2019 for the next one. In the meantime we have….

The one-day conference

On the ‘off’ year a one-day conference is held. Next year, 28th June 2018, the theme is Transforming Feedback: Research and Development. The keynote for this one-day event is David Carless who will be discussing Feedback for the longer term: Developing student feedback literacy.

Feedback continues to be a challenge for institutions so this is an area ripe for research and evaluation of practice. For more details, please go the website:

https://aheconference.com/transforming-feedback-research-and-development-conference-2018/

The call for contributions is now out so if you feel you have any relevant research or case studies, please send in an abstract. The deadline for submissions is Monday 15th January 2018.

For the latest information and updates on how you can contribute please follow us on twitter.

@AheConference

HEA Updates

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Pleased to announce the latest staff to gain HEA recognition either through the CPD or PgC route, especially the D4 (Principal Fellow) which is the University’s 2nd D4.

D4: Principal Fellow of the HEA

Nicky MEER, Academic Developer

D3: Senior Fellow of the HEA

Fiona BUCHANAN, Law

Anne GAGER, Education

D2: Fellow of the HEA

Kamal AHMED, Education

Katie BANKS, International Coordinator, LiSS

Dr Elaine BIDMEAD, research fellow, CACHET

Kerrie BROOKS, Law

Laura COLLINS, Mental Health Nursing

Laura DAGLISH, Drama

Lisa DORRIGTON, Children’s Nursing

Kelly FIELDEN, Occupational Therapy

Carly HAWKINS, Adult Nursing

Amanda HILL, Social Work

Dr Davina HILL, Zoology

Dr Claire HOLT, Conservation

Tania HOPLEY, Social Work

Gail JEFFERSON, Medical Imaging

Judith KELLY, Mental Health Nursing

Alex LEEK, Policing

Matthew MADDOCK, Paramedic Science

Christopher MARQUIS, Medical Imaging

Richard MARSH, Project Management

Rebekah POWELL, Career Ahead Coordinator

Jason ROSCOE, Counselling

Francis SIMPSON, Policing

Claire VUCKOVIC, Education

Steve WALKER, WCF/YCD

Assessment for Social Justice

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Assessment for Social Justice: i-LEAD Discussion article

The continued use of numerical assessment grading relies on the assumption that the judgements made about our students’ work are fair, equitable, objective and just. There is however a very large amount of research data to suggest that this is not the case. Given that assessing students’ work is not scientifically measurable, HE assessment processes have been moving towards criteria-based grading in an attempt to mitigate the subjective practices of assessment (Sadler 2005).

In practice this has resulted in what Sen (2010) argues is a tension between proper procedures and ‘lived realities’. Are we creating a culture in which assessment procedures are highlighted and
enforced at the at the expense of learning outcomes? Or in assessment terms, creating clear, unambiguous, neutral conditions and procedures for assessment must naturally lead to fair assessments?

Jan McArthur’s thoughtful and challenging paper on assessment for social justice (2015) discusses many themes regarding ‘Fairness’ and ‘Just’ assessment focusing on the distinction between procedural and outcome processes for social justice. She also argues that a procedural approach to social justice is important in order to ensure fair and equitable processes but that these do not in themselves result in fair and equitable outcomes.

Building on this distinction we can identify ‘best practice’ assessment processes and grading systems to ensure consistency and equity of student experience but this happens within a specific system and a specific society. It could be argued that any educational system is intrinsically biased towards a set of values and beliefs that reflect a society’s dominant ideology (Fraser and Honneth 2003) and therefore those students who are most comfortable and familiar with that ideology may therefore be expected to do better in a system that embeds and embodies it. A similar argument has often been used to critique the notion of I.Q tests and what constitutes ‘general knowledge’ (Jensen 1980).

For assessments to be truly fair and/or equitable they need to go beyond a set of coherent and ‘sameness’ procedures to explore the lived realities of our students in order to ensure our assessment design and grading systems actively address ways to reduce injustice and advance justice through more flexibility and less culture-bound criteria.

Discussion Question:

To what extent have these values and beliefs consciously or subconsciously manifested themselves into our values and thus fed into our curriculum and the assessment process and therefore student outcomes?

 

Applying for Principal Fellowship

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Applying for Principal Fellowship

Hi, my name is Nicky Meer and I am a Senior Lecturer in Academic Development within AQD. On September 15th 2017 I was awarded a Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) and this blog is written to give you a better understanding of the process of applying for PFHEA and what you need to do.

The application is not very long at 7-8000 words in total. In order to achieve a PFHEA you must be able to demonstrate and evidence: ‘a sustained record of effective strategic leadership in academic practice and academic development as a key contribution to high quality student learning’. How you do this and the examples that you use are unique to you and your work activities, no two applications are the same but you will all have to complete the process which is in three parts:

1.Record of Educational Impact (REI)

This is simply a list and timeline of all of your significant achievements, activities, responsibilities etc. that demonstrate your leadership and the strategic nature of your work within learning and teaching in Higher Education. In my application I included activities such as gaining HEA institutional accreditation, my VC awards for excellence in learning and teaching, my external examiner roles and my pedagogic publications and conferences etc. You may want to include projects that you lead on, areas of decision-making you are involved in, international and/or partnership work or similar. All of the activities listed here will form the narrative (RAP) in part two.

2.Reflective Account of Practice (RAP)

The bulk of your application is a reflective narrative of the significant activities as listed in your REI. This is split into four sections with the maximum word limit being 2000 for each section. Within this narrative you must evidence all the criteria for D4 as per the UK Professional Standards Framework (https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ukpsf).

3.Three Advocate Statements

Your application is authenticated by the inclusion of three advocate statements from people who are familiar with your work and who have read your application and will support your claim. These statements are very important and there are detailed guidelines to help your advocates write them effectively. Your advocates must meet the following criteria between them: Be a Fellow (Senior or Principal), be able to comment on the ways in which you have directly influenced their own practice, be external to your institution and be from a Higher Education provider. Getting these statements is difficult. I asked six people and luckily got three back pretty quickly and used them, I am still waiting for one a month after I gained accreditation!

If you are interested in applying for PFHEA, please contact me for an informal chat and advice (n.meer@cumbria.ac.uk) I look forward to seeing many more PFHEA at the University of Cumbria.

Inclusive learning and teaching resources

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In light of the funding changes for students with disabilities we have developed a working collection of resources, ideas, support, reports and case studies about inclusive practice in Higher Education. It has been developed from a project to support academic staff following the changes to the Disabled Student Allowance. The purpose of resource is to enhance and improve the ways we design and deliver teaching, leading to accessible learning for all our students.

There are a range of practical activities for you to use in various settings such as large group teaching, assessment and giving feedback. There are links to comprehensive resources collected from other universities, reports from the HEA (Higher Education Academy) and a section containing information from recent conferences about inclusive practice.

The case studies section is a work in progress. We hope this is where academic staff will contribute research/ideas or practical activities that can be shared across all departments. Examples of case studies from Sheffield University have been included in this section as a starting point. A case study template has been emailed to departments or you can download it from the site.

The site is designed so that it can be easily updated and modified. We hope that with your support the wealth of experience here at the University of Cumbria this site will expand and develop over time.