Vignettes of practice: The Implementation of Weekly Assessment Related Portfolio Tasks to Improve Student Engagement and Achievement During a Student’s 1st Semester at University

 Michelle Morgan; School of Sport and Exercise Science This case study demonstrates the innovative practice used in relation to the implementation of weekly assessment related portfolio tasks used within a 1st year module (K2). This had a positive impact on student engagement, achievement and attendance in lectures; and supported student transition to University (V4 A4). The reasons for adopting a portfolio approach, specifically for this cohort included; engaging students in a routine of attending classes on a regular basis (A1), building relationships with new peers and, encouraging the students to complete their assessments in smaller, bite-sized sections which would potentially be a more familiar approach to them (as closely aligned to BTEC course work approach) (K2 V1). The portfolio tasks related to the topic of… Read moreVignettes of practice: The Implementation of Weekly Assessment Related Portfolio Tasks to Improve Student Engagement and Achievement During a Student’s 1st Semester at University

Vignettes of practice: The Goldilocks Theory for Quantitative Research Methods

Miranda Harris; School of Allied Heath and Community     Teaching is a set of activities, carefully fashioned to facilitate learning (HEA, 2018b) with success typically measured by Student Satisfaction (Office for Students, 2018). By responding directly to student feedback three years ago, on how students engaged with quantitative methodology in Research Methods, I was presented with an opportunity for innovation and transformation using a more student-centred approach in order to prepare students effectively for their dissertations. Interactive workshop approach: Drawbacks of the traditional lecture may be lack of active participation, a potential obstacle to deeper learning (Tofade et al. 2013), and from the Higher Education Provider’s (HEP’s) perspective, difficulty in ascertaining student comprehension, as students may be reluctant to voice queries or areas of… Read moreVignettes of practice: The Goldilocks Theory for Quantitative Research Methods

Vignettes of Practice: Design and delivery of a new Module – GEOG1123 Climate Change People Policy and Action

Dr Sian Evans and Dr Matthew Smith; School of Science and the Environment This case study demonstrates how we designed and delivered a new 15 credit L4 geography module ‘GEOG1123: Climate Change: People, Policy and Action’, with a specific focus on constructive alignment (Biggs, 2003), student engagement (Coates, 2006 p. 17, Kahu, 2013, Bryson, 2014 p.3), and active learning (Prince, 2004, Michael, 2006). The module was developed in line with UW’s Policy & Regulatory Framework, Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015 – 2018 and Technology Enhanced Learning Strategy 2015 – 2019. Our goal was to take the students on a journey of discovery of the topic as well as themselves by developing their personal reflective practice and enhancing their ability to become independent learners. Critical to… Read moreVignettes of Practice: Design and delivery of a new Module – GEOG1123 Climate Change People Policy and Action

Vignettes of Practice: The use of OneNote to Develop Feedback

 Karen Broughton; School of Sport & Exercise Science   This case study demonstrates the inspirational and innovative development of technology to enhance teaching, learning and assessment within a level 5 module for Sport & Business Management degree pathway, and its positive impact upon student learning. This was inspired by the learning and teaching strategy (University of Worcester, 2015) that identified the innovative use of technology to support effective feedback which enhances learning. This case study links to the UK Professional Standards Framework (2011) and focuses on design and support for learning activities (A1), assessing and giving feedback to learners (A3), appropriate methods for teaching, learning, and assessing (K2) and the use of appropriate learning technologies (K4). Prior to the module starting I reviewed the module… Read moreVignettes of Practice: The use of OneNote to Develop Feedback

Library teaching menu and self-audit tool for course teams

Library Services have developed a new tool-kit to support students in the development of study, research and information skills. The tool-kit consists of: – an audit tool for course teams to agree expectations about the skills students should have or develop at each level of a course and to identify how these are articulated to students – a menu of what teaching and support the Academic Liaison Librarians can provide, working in partnership with Departments/course teams. Colleagues are encouraged to get in touch with their Academic Liaison Librarian to discuss embedding skills into the curriculum to support student success.

Research Inspired Teaching at the University of Worcester

The following, drawing on extracts from the University’s 2017 TEF submission, gives an outline of our approach to developing the links between teaching and research. We would very much like to publish some short University case studies on research inspired teaching – please get in touch with Josh Simpson (j.simpson@worc.ac.uk) if you would like to produce a case study for us. Developing Research Skills: Linking Teaching and Research Our Learning and Teaching Strategy commits us to induct all students into research-informed academic communities of the University, both by engaging with the academic research and scholarship of others, understanding research processes, methods, ethics and engaging in their own research, usually through a final year independent research project. We also ensure that courses at level 6 consistently… Read moreResearch Inspired Teaching at the University of Worcester

HEA Fellows meet to enhance role at the University of Worcester

Sean Bracken, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Education (Senior Fellow of the HEA) Lerverne Barber, Associate Head, Institute of Sport & Exercise Science (National Teaching Fellow) Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) is increasingly recognised as a means through which individuals can validate their commitment to high quality learning for students and research informed professional teaching. For Higher Educational Providers (HEPs) there is a growing realisation that fellowship processes provide a cohesive way to reflect organisational commitment to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). These standards provide a shared sector-based approach articulating the expectations in three core areas of action, knowledge and values. However, once one has had fellowship bestowed, it can be challenging to identify what that means for future actions and whether there… Read moreHEA Fellows meet to enhance role at the University of Worcester

Realising Teaching Excellence in Teacher Training

The fifteen PGCE Modern Languages trainee teachers at the University of Worcester have made a great start to the teacher training course. On 29th September 2017, they celebrated the European Day of Languages at the Lacon Childe School in Cleobury Mortimer by teaching French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish to Year 9 pupils. Lessons focused on aspects of culture. Pupils found out about the Oktoberfest in Munich, the festival of lights in Lyon, the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, Italian landmarks, Brazilian and Spanish food and how All Saints Day is celebrated in Mexico. Trainee teachers team-taught the same lesson three times so that all the year 9 groups could experience learning about six different aspects of culture. It was for some trainee teachers their… Read moreRealising Teaching Excellence in Teacher Training

Student information and study skills; a learner journey from pre-entry to level 6 – what can we expect and how do we support students in completing the journey to independence?

This is a report of a project undertaken by Dr Sarah Pittaway from Library Services.  She explores: What is reasonable to expect of level 4 students in terms of study skills when they arrive at University?  The project found that there are wide variations in expectations of the study skills of students before they come to University:  ‘students lack basic academic writing skills’ vs ‘students are expected to have a basic understanding of academic writing’; ‘student lack research skills, including searching for material’ and ‘students are expected to be reasonably internet savvy and able to search’. What study skills are students expected to develop through level 4 and what are the most effective ways of developing this? Some courses focus on textbooks, others on Resource… Read moreStudent information and study skills; a learner journey from pre-entry to level 6 – what can we expect and how do we support students in completing the journey to independence?

Bronze, Silver or Gold – how’s your Blackboard site looking?

Baseline standards for VLE use were introduced in September 2015 and an audit of modules from the 2016/17 academic year has found that 94% of modules now have a tutor enrolled indicating a minimum level of engagement with the VLE. An increase of 2% from last year. A further spot check of 50 random courses found that the vast majority were complying with baseline standard requirements with many exceeding the minimum and providing online learning resources and activities which were engaging and attractive and clearly enhanced the students’ learning experience. With this high level of engagement, we wanted to encourage teaching staff to think about their Blackboard sites and  consider ways that they might provide a better learning experience for their students. With this in… Read moreBronze, Silver or Gold – how’s your Blackboard site looking?