Spotlight on Digital Capabilities

Photo of York Minster

At the beginning of June I attended the latest UCISA Spotlight on Digital Capabilities in York. In its fifth year, this conference has been jointly organised by UCISA Digital Capabilities Group and Digital Education Group, so the conference has strong themes that tie in with the work around Digital Learning and Teaching here at University of Worcester. Kicking off the conference was Darrell Woodman on the the Art of Bring Brilliant, introducing ideas around positive psychology and challenging us all to be more grateful for the positives we have in our lives. This certainly resonated with me as I’m interested in how we adopt Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset and apply this and other positive psychology methods to developing staff and student’s digital capabilities. A clear… Read moreSpotlight on Digital Capabilities

Creating a positive student survey culture: closing the Course Experience Survey feedback loop

As a University, we place a lot of emphasis on working in partnership with students, to create a positive learning community in which students are fully engaged and motivated. Student surveys can play a significant part in helping create and sustain that partnership. Overall, we are good at student surveys, our NSS response rate is well above the national average and last year our results went up on all questions. Moreover, our NSS results for student voice are very positive – the 2018 results put us as 25/151 HEIs in terms of satisfaction on this set of questions. However, looking at the breakdown for individual questions by Institute (now School) shows variation – with three Institutes scoring very highly and three showing significant room for… Read moreCreating a positive student survey culture: closing the Course Experience Survey feedback loop

Addressing Assignment Bunching

Recent student feedback, through the Course Experience Survey, and the SU Change Week initiative had identified ‘assignment bunching’ as something students would like to see addressed. So, what can be done? There are probably three key things course teams can consider to address this issue: taking a course level view of formative and summative assessment deadlines; helping students to manage their time effectively; planning an assessment strategy that involves some assignments requiring continuous engagement with reflection on learning. These are inter-related.  Some are relatively easy to adopt, whilst others will take more time.  They all start form the principle that a student’s learning experience is (and should be) of an integrated course, rather than a set of modules that are designed and developed in isolation… Read moreAddressing Assignment Bunching

Nursing and Midwifery Council of Deans #150 leaders programme 2018

Two nursing and one midwifery student successfully applied to complete this student leadership programme, which offers innovative ways for developing future healthcare professionals, including leadership training, networking and mentoring. There were over 750 applicants for the 150 places UK wide. The 2 nursing students are now the School Representatives for the School of Nursing and Midwifery and acting as excellent role models for all course representatives within the School, offering leadership, guidance and support. The midwifery student has also been nominated in 2 further categories of this programme: Top #150 Leaders Mentoring Partnership and Midwife. Student reflection on the impact of the #150 Leaders Programme (Evie Poole, 3rd year Adult Nursing) Why did you want to apply for the leadership programme? I wanted to join… Read moreNursing and Midwifery Council of Deans #150 leaders programme 2018

New National Teaching Fellow for 2018

The University of Worcester has a new National Teaching Fellow –  our sincere congratulations go to Dr Richard Woolley who has been awarded this accolade in the 2018 round. Richard is Deputy Head of the School of Education, having worked in HE since 2003, initially in initial teacher education, then at Worcester as Head of Centre for Education Inclusion (2011 – 2017). He believes passionately in the role of education in helping individuals to realise their potential, to access opportunities for learning and to foster a sense of self-confidence and self-worth. Richard has been engaged in addressing issues relating to diversity, inclusion and social justice in education for thirty years, exploring the relationship between values education and contemporary social issues. The focus of Richard’s teaching,… Read moreNew National Teaching Fellow for 2018

Retention and Success initiatives

During the course of last year it was clear that there were a great deal of on-going initiatives aimed at improving student retention and success. We are now seeking examples of any evaluated initiatives which we can gather together and make available to anyone in the University with a responsibility for improving student retention and success Information is provided using the form and a completed example is available of a tried and tested’ module level intervention. You should typically include the following key elements: 1. Level of the intervention (School, Course or Module) 2. Your reasons for taking action 3. A description of what you did 4. The evidence which demonstrates the positive effects on retention and/or success 5. Resources Please send completed submissions to Will… Read moreRetention and Success initiatives

New resources to support student transitions

September marks the start of an exciting and life-changing journey for thousands of young and not-so-young people, as they start university.  Many students, however, struggle with the initial transition from school or college into university, and within the first few weeks question whether higher education is for them. In response to this challenge, Student Minds has collaborated with Canadian organisation TeenMentalHealth.Org (led by internationally-renowned psychiatrist Dr. Stan Kutcher) to ensure that this period of transition is met with information, support and guidance through the development of two new online resources for UK students. These resources support many of the priorities set out in Universities UK’s Step Change framework, aimed at supporting HEIs to take a whole organisation approach to the mental health of their students,… Read moreNew resources to support student transitions

EDULEARN18: 10th Annual Conference Review

EDULEARN18: 10th Annual Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies 2nd – 4th July 2018, Palma de Mallorca, Spain EDULEARN is one of the largest international education conferences for lecturers, researchers, technologists and professionals from the educational sector. Every year the conference brings together more than 800 experts from 80 countries to present their projects and share their knowledge on teaching and learning methodologies and educational innovations. Antonio Gracia, a member of the EduLearn organising committee, opened the conference. He set the tone through his narrative of educational change and finding ways to succeed in an ever-changing landscape. Sunanna Chand (Remake Learning) gave an insightful keynote on the fourth Industrial Revolution due to rapid technological advances. Organic communication is needed rather than hierarchical communication to solve complex… Read moreEDULEARN18: 10th Annual Conference Review

Vignette of Practice: Alternative Models of Practice Education for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy

Alternative Models of Practice Education for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy  by Dr Yvonne Thomas, Principal Lecturer – Allied Health Professions, Institute of Health and Society    The following case study identifies the development of a range of alternative practice education (PE) models, including Role-Emerging Placements, International Placements; Student-Led Clinic and two pilot Collaborative Learning in Placement (CLiP) placements that have been established in Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy programmes. Through effective leadership, the adoption of a range of alternative practice education models within both programmes has been promoted to students and to professional colleagues in practice. In 4 years the feedback from students and practice educators supports the effectiveness of Role-Emerging Placements to promote student confidence and competence. One of the crucial elements has been in… Read moreVignette of Practice: Alternative Models of Practice Education for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy

Transforming Feedback: reflections on the International Assessment in Higher Education Conference, 28 June 2018, Manchester UK

This was a great conference – some really excellent analysis and research on assessment feedback which has significant implications for re-considering how we do things.  Professor David Carless, University of Hong Kong gave a thought-provoking keynote drawing on his work with David Boud, Deakin University/ University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, on enabling uptake of feedback. The main theme of the conference was improving the effectiveness of feedback for students.  The starting point for this is to re-conceptualise feedback as a process, and to develop student feedback ‘literacy’: the understandings, capacities and dispositions needed to make productive use of feedback information. Feedback is a process in which learners make sense of comments and use these to enhance their work or learning strategies (Carless and Boud, 2018)… Read moreTransforming Feedback: reflections on the International Assessment in Higher Education Conference, 28 June 2018, Manchester UK