Vignette of Practice: Using Workbooks to Create Effective Learning Environments

Using Workbooks to Create Effective Learning Environments By Gavin Thomas; School of Sport and Exercise Science   This case study documents the use of workbooks for students studying scientific modules on the sports, coaching and physical education HND, and its positive impact on supporting (A2) and creating effective learning environments (A4). The rationale was to provide an interactive resource in order to enhance engagement and support understanding of complex topics associated with the subject area.     Having been a module leader for several years, I had acquired a comprehensive understanding of the learning outcomes, module syllabus and assessment requirements. This enabled me to create a workbook that integrated the elements of learning from weekly lectures/seminars as well as incorporating essential assessment information (V1). Information… Read moreVignette of Practice: Using Workbooks to Create Effective Learning Environments

Psychology’s approach to engaging students and monitoring attendance

In line with the University’s approach to monitoring attendance/engagement, Psychology introduced a simple process to record attendance/engagement in classes electronically and online via students’ completion of short, password-protected quizzes on Blackboard. The password is available only in the class (it is generally included on a slide), so that only those attending can complete it.  It may be worth highlighting to students that monitoring of attendance is supportive, not punitive, so if they share the password with absent peers they are preventing those students from receiving support that they may need. For example, a question might be: “What is the one ‘take home message’ you’ve discovered today?” Of course, as the object is to measure engagement, the actual answers to the quiz are less important than… Read morePsychology’s approach to engaging students and monitoring attendance

Preparing to teach in physically distanced classrooms: advice, guidance and practical strategies

It’s been a busy summer and here we are already at the start of a new academic year facing what will certainly be a challenging Autumn semester.  As we gear up for new and continuing students to return to campus under the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we all need to be confident about delivering high quality learning and teaching. This is not just a matter of planning online elements of delivery in modules, and it definitely is not simply a question of moving ‘large lectures’ to narrated powerpoints or pre-recorded lectures.  In this blog post we signpost some resources that can help you plan for delivery of learning and teaching in physically distanced classrooms.

A framework for organising and managing a module for blended delivery

Some ideas on basic good practice to help you and your students engage effectively with a module where the teaching is in different modalities.  Covers things like weekly intros, interactivity, managing and resenting content, directed learning, accessibility and what students said they appreciate from their experience of online learning in ‘lockdown’. Open the file in powerpoint mode 2020.09.04 A Framework for Organising and Managing a Module v4  

Top Tips for Course Leaders in Preparing for Blended and Physically Distanced Learning

Tips and Hints for Course Leaders in meeting student expectations for engaging learning in ‘blended’ modules.   Covers very practical issues about checking students’ digital capabilities, building a sense of belonging, establishing course team protocols, setting up simple buddy systems, using your course rep and monitoring engagement with Blackboard.   Top Tips for Course Leaders in Preparing for Blended 7.9.2020

Developing Innovative ‘Extended’ Communities of Practice (CoP) which Enable Students to Produce Inspiring Projects in their Practice Settings

Developing Innovative ‘Extended’ Communities of Practice (CoP) which Enable Students to Produce Inspiring Projects in their Practice Settings By Lisa Porter, Lisa Mauro-Bracken, Dawn Goodall and Rebecca Weston, School of Allied Health and Community     The Work-Based Learning (WBL) level 5 module is premised on students ‘giving back’ to the wider community though the development and implementation of successful projects in their practice settings (A5), to bring about practice improvements which benefit staff and service users (K3; V4). This reflects the values of the University of Worcester’s Strategic Plan (2019) to positively impact the world around us and enhance our relationships with the local community (V4). Through experiential learning (Scott, 2015), (V3; A5) students also develop project leadership skills enhancing their graduate employability.  … Read moreDeveloping Innovative ‘Extended’ Communities of Practice (CoP) which Enable Students to Produce Inspiring Projects in their Practice Settings

Moving Online with Accessibility

Image of braille laptop

With the rapid transition that has been necessary due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a large number of colleagues are looking for ideas, alternatives and suggestions for developing their learning and teaching approaches online. This series of blog posts are aimed at supporting staff looking for ways to incorporate more blended or online learning teaching whether for the short term or long term. What do we mean by accessibility? Over this last year, there’s been a focus on digital accessibility with the introduction of the new Public Sector web accessibility regulations. This requires all institutions to look at how they make their websites accessible for all users including staff and students with accessibility needs. This includes those with specific learning needs but also includes people who… Read moreMoving Online with Accessibility

Vignette of Practice – Universal Design for Learning (UDL): The Benefits of Implementation

Universal Design for Learning (UDL): The Benefits of Implementation By Lisa Porter, Senior Lecturer and Admissions Tutor – FdSc; School of Allied Health and Community     This case study demonstrates innovative and excellent practice: UDL was applied to a module, resulting in significantly increased student satisfaction, achievement and engagement. UDL is a framework which reduces barriers to learning, recognises the diversity of individual learning styles and provides equality of opportunity for all learners (Capp, 2017). It provides a ‘buffet’ of learning rather than a single ‘fixed menu’ approach and contains three core principles: ‘Flexible methods of learning’; ‘Flexible resources to support learning’; ‘Flexible assessments’ (DeMontfort University, 2019). I applied the ‘UDL Self-Assessment and Development Tool’ (DeMontfort University, 2019) to review how ‘universal’ my module… Read moreVignette of Practice – Universal Design for Learning (UDL): The Benefits of Implementation

Supporting Student Transition to UW: 2020

Background Over the past few years we have explored the various issues regarding students transitioning into HE, both at Level 4 or Level 6 and directly to UW or via our partners.  Given the particular circumstances we are faced with this year, it seems useful to revisit some of the outcomes of this work as well as to look across the sector at the work others are doing to make transitions as easy as possible for new students. This piece then, outlines the issues facing us in terms of students’ transitioning to us in September and provides an overview of the steps our staff – and others across the sector – are taking in order to ensure that they join us ready to engage appropriately… Read moreSupporting Student Transition to UW: 2020