18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:43 Page 1 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning The NSS: assessment and feedback Personal and academic tutoring Internationalisation The PESL initiative The Hub Learning and Teaching at Nottingham Spring 2008 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:43 Page 2 Contact 1 Welcome email@example.com 1 Welcome from Prof. David Riley 2 Dr Wyn Morgan discusses his role Web site www.nottingham.ac.uk/asd/thehub 4 News roundup 4 Modulate: on-line SET and SEM 4 Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund: Support for Schools 4 Committee streamlining 5 How much teaching do your students receive? 6 The future of degree classifications 6 Lord Dearing Award for Learning and Teaching 7 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning 7 Introduction 7 Visual Learning Lab 11 Centre for Integrative Learning 12 Spatial literacy in teaching 13 Reusable Learning Objects 14 The NSS: assessment and feedback 14 Overview of the NSS 15 Faculty of Engineering forum 17 Quality Manual guidance on feedback 18 e-Learning support from the IS learning team 19 Personal and academic tutoring 19 Personal development goals 19 Academic tutoring 20 Internationalisation 20 A little transnational meditation 22 The experience of international students 22 Learning and Teaching across Campuses: identical or equivalent? 24 The PESL initiative 24 Engaging with teaching excellence at Nottingham 25 Examples of PESL videos 26 Forthcoming learning and teaching events contents 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:43 Page 1 Welcome Welcome A t the end of the last academic session the University approved a Learning and Teaching Strategy to cover the period up to 2012. The Learning and Teaching Strategy outlines the principles that underpin learning and teaching at the University of Nottingham and identifies actions and targets to to the first help us provide a high quality experience for all students and staff. Production of such a wide-ranging, long-term strategy was a novel and ambitious exercise and required significant time and energy to engage all academics and students in its formulation. It is now on-line at: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/courses- edition of office/curriculum/lts.htm An important part of the strategy is that it goes beyond a simple mission or policy statement and involves actual plans for its implementation. With this in mind, the University has recently appointed a Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr Wyn Morgan. The Hub To date Dr Morgan has been heavily involved in areas such as employability, innovations in learning and teaching, the use of technology, widening participation and internationalisation. One of the developments led by Dr Morgan is The Hub, the University of Nottingham learning and teaching newsletter. It will be published each semester and aims to: be the focal point for the learning and teaching community at Nottingham promote the development and sharing of good practice facilitate access to resources that can support teaching and learning activity discuss national and international learning and teaching issues showcase learning and teaching innovations happening both internally and externally act as a notice board of forthcoming activities The newsletter will be an opportunity to keep the University informed of developments in relation to the Learning and Teaching Strategy, but it does not intend to be a staid corporate publication. It is an opportunity for all staff involved in learning and teaching to actively engage in debate on matters that are of interest to them. If you have comments on any of the articles in this current edition or have something of interest to say about learning and teaching please email: firstname.lastname@example.org I hope that you will find this first edition of The Hub interesting and take up the invitation to contribute to future editions. Professor David Riley PVC Student Experience The Hub Spring 08 1 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:43 Page 2 Wyn Morgan Championing W hen I took on the the successful implementation role of Director of of the Teaching and Learning Teaching and Learning strategy and there is certainly last August, I was aware that more we can do as a university to what lay ahead was a challenging develop and share good practice. teaching yet exciting task particularly as the University emerged from the arduous process of preparing for the RAE 2008. In defining the The development of The Hub is just one of the initial steps being taken to raise the profile of teaching and learning. Engaging and learning range of initiatives and projects I would be involved with and promote, I was keen to do two key things. First, I wanted to be able to with Schools will be a significant part of my programme in the spring term and follows on from a series of informal lunchtime get-togethers for Schools held build on and develop the work last term. Meeting people will in my previous role as Director allow me to discuss their concerns, of E-learning to ensure that ideas and needs so that as the enhancement activities made objectives of the Teaching and best use of the excellent resources Learning strategy are put into and skills we have built up in practice, the impact for Schools Dr Wyn Morgan, Director of Teaching and exploiting new learning and students is closely monitored. technologies. Second, I wanted Plans are being drawn up for Learning, discusses his role to encourage greater discussion, opportunities for academic staff exchange and debate about to exchange views and experiences teaching and learning issues so about teaching and learning and that much of the creative energy include seminars, drop-in sessions and ideas in this area could be and also use of virtual communities. captured to enrich the University’s I am working closely with reputation for teaching and Professor David Riley, PVC for learning. We have a great deal the Student Experience and to be proud of in the area of Matt Gayle, the Student Union teaching and learning but we can Education Officer and I also potentially make much more of have regular engagements with it both internally and externally. a number of support services In essence, my major function such as Information Services, the is to act as a focal point and International Office, Academic champion for teaching and Support and SEDU. learning. The idea behind this is Equally importantly, I am that the high quality work in a talking to academics in Schools, number of areas could not only the CETLs, LSRI and other units be promoted with a higher profile to engage in dialogue and to try but also drawn together so that to link the innovation that is colleagues could learn from each so prevalent here with actual other and develop a dialogue practice in academic schools. surrounding teaching and learning My aim is to encourage all staff issues. This issue of The Hub gives to feel that they are able to talk an indication of the wide variety to me about their ideas and to see of University level activities that how best we can support them in exist, all of which have strong delivering the University’s goals. roots within academic schools. Overall, this is a great What has struck me over opportunity for the University, the last two years in my wider both academic staff and students, University role is that there is to gain through greater use of such a variety of innovation, its creative innovators and thus thought, development and enhance the excellent teaching energy being put into teaching and learning that is already and learning enhancement. taking place. Harnessing enhancement activities from the individual, School and University wide level is crucial to 2 The Hub Spring 08 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:43 Page 3 Overall, this is a great opportunity for the University, both academic staff and students, to gain through greater use of its creative innovators and thus enhance the excellent teaching and learning that is already taking place. Contact Dr. C.W. Morgan, Director of Teaching and Learning and Associate Professor in Economics, School of Economics wyn.morgan @nottingham.ac.uk The Hub Spring 08 3 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:43 Page 4 News Modulate: on-line Teaching Quality SET and SEM Enhancement Fund: Modulate is an IS Connected Campus project which seeks University’s teaching strengths to external audiences via the to develop an on-line system web site. Support for Schools to replace the existing central arrangements for student The design will be sufficiently powerful and flexible to deliver evaluation of teachers and the equivalent functionality and T he University has been awarded £650,000 per school-based mechanisms for information to the on-line annum over three years from the HEFCE Teaching module evaluation. It will deliver systems currently employed in Quality Enhancement Fund. Learning and Teaching questionnaires and results within some schools. The new system Committee is sponsoring projects in a number of areas from the portals and be closely will introduce several important this Fund, such as The Hub, but is also inviting proposals associated with the new student changes such as more widely from Schools. Bids would therefore be particularly welcome record system. It will be capable accessible evaluation data and in regard to the following: of collecting and analysing schools will may wish as a result evaluations of both credit bearing to review some of their existing Developing new programmes that reflect needs in and non-credit bearing forms of policies. Schools, the Students’ the marketplace not currently being fully satisfied. teaching and training across UK Union and teaching staff will all Reviewing taught provision in order to streamline and overseas campuses. be consulted about the policies the overall number of programmes and modules being The objectives are to underpinning the operation offered, while still meeting the School’s recruitment improve the range and quality of the new evaluation system. requirements and academic aims. of the student evaluation data The project is based in the available to teachers, schools Survey Unit and Information Identifying means of reducing the assessment load and senior decision-makers, Services with Janette Burklund on staff and students, while still adequately testing to enhance substantially the (67282) as the Project Coordinator. the learning outcomes of programmes. feedback mechanisms for The core system is scheduled to Introducing flexibility into the curriculum and its students, and to market the go live in September 2009. delivery so as to facilitate student and staff mobility and promote employer engagement. Exploring initiatives with the international campuses regarding joint delivery of programmes and modules. Committee streamlining Looking at alternatives to formal examinations, both for Effective from the beginning recruitment and admissions mobility students and the overall student population. of 2007/08, there has been a within its remit. streamlining of the University Collaborative Courses Considering opportunities for increasing the credit learning and teaching committee Committee has had its remit value of modules in a manner which protects the structure so as to speed up widened (subsuming achievement of academic aims. decision making and minimise the International Committee) Providing students with experiences away from the amount of time academic staff and renamed ‘Transnational University, either as formal academic exchanges, work spend in committees and on Education Committee’. placements, or other skills development opportunities. committee work. A number of The other sub-committees committees have been replaced of Teaching Committee (Taught with ‘task and finish’ groups and Courses Committee, Research Schools may bid for up to £15,000 per annum (for the committee membership has been Degrees Committee, Educational next two years), eg for buying out the time of academic widened to ensure appropriate Development Committee) have staff engaged in the projects; Schools will normally be cross-institution representation, been replaced by ‘task and finish’ expected to provide a matching contribution in terms of particularly from the International groups, set up to deal with staff effort. Campuses. The following changes individual issues as and when Schools are strongly encouraged to participate in have been made: they arise. As well as facilitating the above efforts and to begin drawing upon the funding Membership of the former more flexible decision-making, available to them for this purpose. Requests for funding, Teaching Committee has been this approach is also designed to setting out the amounts required, the timescale involved, considerably overhauled and prevent duplication of membership and the anticipated deliverables of the funded work, should widened and it has been retitled and effort between committees. be submitted to Robert Pearson in the Academic Services ‘Learning and Teaching Committee’. Academic Boards are Division at email@example.com Student Services Committee continuing with additional has been retitled ‘Student Affairs representation from Committee’ and includes International Campuses. 4 The Hub Spring 08 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:43 Page 5 How much teaching do your students receive? A recent Higher Education Policy Institute survey Table 1: Mean scheduled hours of teaching by subject and type of institution of first and second year students in English universities Subject All Russell Post Pre 1992 Other universities Group 1992 (not Russell) found that students typically receive around 14 hours of tuition per week. However, as Medicine and dentistry 21.3 21.3 22.6 20.7 n/a table 1 (see right) shows, subject Subjects allied to medicine 18.8 19.3 18.6 19.3 15.7 variations are wide: students in Biological Sciences 14.8 16.3 13.8 14.8 11.7 clinical and veterinary subjects typically receive just over 20 Veterinary agriculture and related 22.2 26.4 14.6 14.6 27.9 hours teaching per week; at Physical Sciences 17.2 18.9 14.4 17.1 n/a the other extreme, students in Mathematical & Computer Sciences 15.9 17.1 14.4 16.3 15.6 historical and philosophical Engineering & technology 19.3 20.4 16.4 20.2 n/a studies typically receive less than 9 hours. Architecture, Building & Planning 16.4 16.1 16.5 16.6 n/a Total student workload, Social studies 10.9 10.8 11.5 10.4 11.6 which includes private study, Law 11.6 11.8 11.5 11.6 n/a averages around 25.5-26 hours Business & Administrative studies 12.3 13.3 11.9 12.5 11.5 per week. The differences in effort required in each subject Mass Communications & Documentation 12.0 11.8 12.3 12.2 9.6 grouping are again substantial, Linguistics, Classics & related subjects 10.2 10.8 10.2 9.8 9.0 but not unexpected. Moreover, Historical & Philosophical studies 8.4 8.0 9.3 8.1 10.4 the difference between subjects Creative Arts & Design 13.2 10.7 14.0 12.4 13.5 in formal teaching (a ratio of nearly 1:3 between the lowest Education 13.6 9.5 13.9 11.2 14.3 and the highest) reduces All 14.2 14.4 13.7 14.0 n/a substantially when total effort is considered (to less than 1:2). What is perhaps unexpected Table 2: Total workload (hours) by subject and type of institution is that within each subject Subject All Russell Post Pre 1992 Other grouping there is large variation universities Group 1992 (not Russell) in the amount of effort required of students between types of Medicine and dentistry 35.9 36.1 33.5 36.0 n/a institutions. This is illustrated in table 2 (see right). Subjects allied to medicine 30.4 30.2 31.2 29.6 28.1 Does this reflect the student Biological Sciences 25.0 26.7 23.8 25.0 22.6 experience at Nottingham? Veterinary agriculture and related 33.7 37.7 24.0 24.4 41.6 Why is there such variation Physical Sciences 28.0 30.3 24.5 27.4 n/a between subjects? Please send your comments to Mathematical & Computer Sciences 26.0 28.6 23.3 26.0 20.9 firstname.lastname@example.org Engineering & technology 29.2 30.2 26.9 29.6 n/a Architecture, Building & Planning 31.1 33.3 29.8 31.3 n/a Social studies 22.0 23.7 21.8 21.0 22.3 Law 26.5 31.4 23.2 25.4 n/a Further info Business & Administrative studies 20.9 22.6 20.1 21.3 21.8 To see the full report Mass Communications & Documentation 20.3 20.1 20.7 20.2 17.4 The academic experience Linguistics, Classics & related subjects 23.2 25.0 21.7 22.8 19.0 of students in English universities, go to: Historical & Philosophical studies 22.5 24.7 19.8 21.1 24.6 http://www.hepi.ac.uk/ Creative Arts & Design 25.2 24.4 26.0 23.0 24.0 pubdetail.asp?ID=240& Education 25.3 21.4 25.5 22.8 26.7 DOC=reports All 26.0 26.7 24.3 24.8 n/a The Hub Spring 08 5 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:44 Page 6 News Lord Dearing Award for The future of degree Learning and Teaching classifications D egree classifications are to remain as the key Nearly ten years old and still going strong! determinant of student achievement in undergraduate degrees, but by 2010/11 they N ow entering its tenth year, the Lord The longevity and popularity of the award could be supplemented by a Dearing Award for Learning and Teaching can be ascribed to a number of different elements. more detailed transcript than the is more popular than ever with 71 Firstly, it recognises the widest possible variety University currently produces. nominations received for 2007/08. A very of staff who enhance the student learning These are the recommendations welcome trend is the increasing number of experience at Nottingham. Not only do staff who contained in the third and final student nominations which for 2007/08 make teach students receive the award but also staff report of the Burgess Group, up the majority, perhaps indicating a growing who contribute to the learning environment published in October 2007. The appreciation of the critical role of dedicated through the support of teaching and students. Group was commissioned by staff in enhancing the learning environment Secondly, the award recognises any number of Universities UK to investigate and creating a positive and fulfilling experience different forms of teaching and teaching support the issues around measuring for students studying at Nottingham. such as lectures, tutorials, fieldtrips, research and recording student achieve- The Award was updated this year and full degree supervision, writing and studying one-to- ment, due in part to concerns details are available in a handy booklet (available ones, career advice and support, e-learning and about grade inflation and wide from SEDU on request) and on the SEDU the use of new technologies to name a few. variation across universities in website. In brief, the updated Award has a Finally, the award encompasses a broad definition what students have to do to be wider description of eligible staff, a revamped of excellence and equally recognises, for example, awarded a degree classification. set of judging criteria, straight-forward instructions innovation in teaching alongside the efforts Following an earlier about how to write an appropriate personal of expert teachers using traditional methods recommendation to cease statement and the opportunity to submit evidence and approaches. awarding degree classifications, of excellence via a short video clip illustrating an Over a hundred staff have received the which was quickly dropped individual’s approach to learning. It is hoped that award since the outset in 1999. Looking back over following complaints from this update will encourage even more staff to previous winners it is the variety of staff and the the sector, the Burgess Group participate in future years and the judging panel variety of contributions which stand out. Many now recommends that a more is excited by the opportunity to review video of the names from the early days are familiar as detailed transcript, called the evidence. It is also planned that future winners they have gone on to become some of our leading Higher Education Achievement of the Award will be videoed ‘in action’ and the teaching stars, some new and exciting ideas and Report (HEAR), should results showcased on the University website as a technologies pioneered by Dearing winners have accompany the traditional demonstration of the excellence of the learning since become mainstream and familiar, some have degree classification. The environment at Nottingham. received the award twice, some have now retired HEAR will provide a complete and some continue to teach within their discipline and comprehensive record of using specialist approaches and making a positive a students educational impact on students year after year. achievements, giving employers This year looks like it could be a very more detailed information on the special year. The large number of nominations, skills, progress and attainment of the dominance of student nominations and the prospective employees. Different submission of video evidence all suggest the forms of the HEAR will be continuing relevance and importance of the Award. piloted across the country from All organisations need to celebrate the success 2008 before one is adopted for of its staff and the Lord Dearing Award gives the entire sector in 2010/11. the University an annual opportunity to do just The current classification system that. Additionally, it is being increasingly used should stay in tandem with the to promote and demonstrate the excellence of HEAR at least in the “short to the learning environment at Nottingham for all medium term”, the report says, students, something we should rightly be proud of. though the authors hope it will For more details of the Lord Dearing Awards eventually become obsolete. To please contact Claire Kempson or David Burns at see the full report go to: http:// Rebecca Dowsett, a winner in 2007, receives her award SEDU. For a list of winners since 1999 please go bookshop.universitiesuk. from Lord Dearing to www.nottingham.ac.uk/sedu/l-and-t/ ac.uk/downloads/Burgess_ dearing-winners.php final.pdf 6 The Hub Spring 08 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:44 Page 7 CETLs Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning The Visual Learning Lab (VLL) In January 2005 the Higher Education T he VLL is a learning, reinvigorate both students’ and Funding Council for England (HEFCE) teaching and research teachers’ interest. It is generally announced the creation of 74 Centres centre which supports seen to improve motivation and a range of visual learning learner involvement. for Excellence in Teaching and Learning projects across the University Who can use the Visual (CETLs) to promote excellence across all of Nottingham. It is based in Learning Lab? the School of Education. subjects and aspects of teaching and The VLL has funded a number Any member of staff interested in using the VLL for learning in higher education. Funding of of visual learning initiatives supporting and developing their across the University and offers £315 million over five years from ongoing technical and logistical teaching can use the VLL. 2005/06 to 2009/10 for CETLs support to these projects. What visual learning represented HEFCE’s largest ever single What is visual learning? technologies are available in the VLL? funding initiative in teaching and learning. Visual learning promotes The VLL supports a student-centred learning, The funds received by CETLs are being problem-based learning, wide range of visual learning technologies ranging from used to recognise and reward excellent alternative non-linear thinking, hand held mobile devices to learner collaboration through teachers and enable institutions to invest multiple representations, large scale visualisers. Overall it is interested in the use of in staff, buildings and equipment to graphic approaches to any visual methods in teaching expressing new and challenging support and enhance successful learning in ideas, knowledge construction and learning and has a particular interest in the use of video- new and challenging ways. Nottingham is and re-conceptualisation, conferencing in learning and wider accessibility, meta- one of only 16 institutions to host more cognitive skills development teaching as well as the use of electronic interactive flipcharts. than one CETL. It is leading two of the and accommodation of These two technologies individual differences. centres, the Visual Learning Lab and the Visual learning allows are discussed in detail over the next few pages. Centre for Integrative Learning, and is a knowledge and skills development made through partner in a further two initiatives, the interaction with images of CETL in Reusable Learning Objects and any kind and any other visual representations. It incorporates Spatial Literacy in Teaching. visual elements and applications Further info in a variety of ways into www.visuallearninglab. learning and teaching. ac.uk The CETLs discuss their What can visual learning work over the next few pages. add to my teaching? Visual learning can The Hub Spring 08 7 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:44 Page 8 CETLs Dr Brett Bligh explains the use of interactive flipchart technology to enhance student learning Using Thunder to support innovative student presentations A joint project between multiple pages are displayed on while a similar number believed the Visual Learning Lab the wall simultaneously. Copies that the system allowed tutors CETL and the School of of the Thunder sessions can be In a survey, 88% of to convey information in the the Built Environment has made saved in PDF format, ensuring session in interesting ways. innovative use of a new inter- that the results of interactions student respondents Analysis of the use of Thunder active flipchart technology to are persistent. were either enthusiastic within the module is now under- enhance student learning through Envisaged by the VLL as an way, with the prospect of the critical presentations. innovative tool for small student or very enthusiastic system being rolled out and used Critical presentations, group collaboration, tutors from about the potential not only in further modules or ‘crits’, a long-established the SBE saw Thunder’s potential within the SBE but with other and demanding feature of for use in their crits when the of the Thunder system groups of students from the architectural education, involve system was demonstrated at in crits, while a similar Learning Sciences Research small groups of students a VLL dissemination event. Institute and the School of presenting posters and physical Student posters were number believed that History. Thunder’s ability to scale models of proposed displayed within the system support distance learning using work in front of a design jury as pages in the flipchart. Student the system allowed a computer client program composed of tutors, peers groups used the electronic tutors to convey connected over the internet and external professionals. highlighter pens for the is important and timely and The posters are annotated reinforcement and augmentation information in the currently under scrutiny. This by the students during their of information on the slides, session in interesting has potential for use across the presentations to emphasise key to illustrate the points they university campus as well as points of the design, as well as made verbally, to expand upon ways. across our international in response to comments from information in a slide and to campuses. A second Thunder the jury. The effectiveness of creatively draw in response to system has been purchased by the crit as a holistic learning jury intervention. In these ways, the VLL to support ‘walk up and medium means that it remains the system was able to facilitate use’ small group work for students, popular with tutors, but the spontaneous interactions located in the new Hallward lead time and cost of producing between the participants. Library open access centre. the posters has meant that crit Additionally, Thunder’s system Members of the VLL who sessions have increasingly of allowing its users to organise conducted this study will be migrated to Microsoft slides on the wall using a simple presenting their work to the PowerPoint in recent years. drag-and-drop mechanism meant University at an LSRI seminar, The PolyVision Thunder that the presentations were non- which focuses on an analysis of system was conceived in the linear and more responsive in the interaction of both students corporate environment as an nature than a formal PowerPoint and lecturers with the student- interactive flipchart, effectively presentation. generated materials during the the ‘next generation’of inter- In a survey, 88% of sessions. The seminar will be active whiteboard. Interaction student respondents were held at 4:30pm on April 22 in is possible by using a digital either enthusiastic or very the Flexible Learning Room, pen to draw or write on a large enthusiastic about the potential Floor B, Exchange Building, screen called the ‘easel’, while of the Thunder system in crits, Jubilee Campus. 8 The Hub Spring 08 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:44 Page 9 The PolyVision Thunder system in operation The Hub Spring 08 9 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:44 Page 10 CETLs Bringing the Videoconferencing is not what most people think about when they consider ways of utilising new technologies to enhance student learning. It is a technology which has been around for over 20 years. However, its iteration as a learning tool in the HE context is still moving apace. world to our In recent years, teacher training students in the School of Education have benefited from the pioneering work of VLL Co-Director Dr Do Coyle. Dr Coyle and her team set up a whole network of UK and European Schools to allow students to visit doorstep classrooms remotely from a teaching room in Jubilee Campus. These interactive teaching and learning observatories (iTLOs) allow students not only to observe lessons in real-time, but also talk to the teacher afterwards. “iTLOs,” says Dr Coyle, “allow the development of international borderless learning communities, Using videoconferencing to bridge the bringing together teachers, researchers and learners”. This work has been further developed over the past two years gap between University and ‘out there’ in the School of Nursing, the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and the School of Modern Languages and Cultures where staff have worked with the Visual Learning Lab to develop videoconferencing applications within their courses. U niversity learning in almost every subject area involves Modern Language students have been talking to native students reflecting upon the world beyond the University. language speakers of French and German, through partnerships Such learning can become even more powerful when with the INSA Lyon and TU Braunschweig as part of a Cultural students can interact directly with relevant external settings. Exchange Project. Miss Oranna Speicher from the School says, Innovative work supported by the Visual Learning Lab CETL “The project has certainly captured the imagination of students has developed exciting ways of using videoconferencing to allow on both sides of the camera: not only did it add an extra cultural students to travel across the campus, the county and the continent dimension to their learning, it also gave them an authentic without leaving the classroom. It has allowed veterinary students communicative experience.” to observe operations, language students to speak with native Vet School students can observe consultations and animal speakers, and teacher trainees to experience life in the classroom. operations happening in local practices in real time, from their Sutton Bonington campus, and discuss with practising Vets the work that they are engaged in. Nursing students, distributed over several campuses, have been able to ‘attend’ and interact with the same lecture, wherever they are physically located. “Videoconferencing has a major contribution to make throughout Higher Education.” says Professor Roger Murphy, co-Director of the VLL. “Students can easily benefit from all sorts of live interactions with other settings as a way of enriching their learning and contacts with the world beyond the University Campus.” Further info email@example.com Teacher trainers on Jubilee Campus (on screen) feed back to a teacher after a live classroom observation. 10 The Hub Spring 08 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:44 Page 11 The Centre for Integrative learning The Directors of the Centre for Integrative Learning, Integrative Prof. Martin Binks, Dr. Alan Booth and Dr. Angela Smallwood, discuss its role in learning and teaching Learning (CIL) T oday, higher education in the UK is confronted by multiple challenges. It faces constant and rapid change and there are insistent demands from increasingly influential sources, including students, their parents, employers and regional and central government organisations. The massive increase in student numbers over the last twenty Key themes and centre years and the introduction of fees are just two of the elements that activities, include: have prompted students to request, amongst other things, more frequent contact with tutors, improved feedback, greater attention Employability to diverse learning styles, and more curricular relevance to future needs. Their demands also include greater external engagement, ePortfolios work experience, internships and internationalisation of the Problem-Based curriculum. Parents, increasingly aware of the scale of investment Learning involved in their children’s education, not unreasonably expect the provision of a high-quality student experience and a greater rate Entrepreneurship of return in terms of their children’s development. Assessment Employers are placing greater emphasis upon attributes Student Research associated with employability, such as interpersonal skills, initiative, responsibility, opportunity recognition and creativity, alongside the Projects in Teaching development of knowledge and understanding. Governments are The Centre for Integrative and Learning also seeking a higher and more relevant return on investment in Learning (CIL) promotes Networking learning and teaching in the form of more effective employability. approaches to education that Further changes of equal significance will continue to confront encourage students to enrich Higher Education as it becomes increasingly globalised, and the their development by drawing more successful universities will be those that are able to respond connections between different through change and innovation in their own practices. learning experiences. Helping More ‘integrative’ approaches to learning and teaching will be of students to think critically and central importance in supporting responses to changing pressures. creatively across lines and transfer Helping students to Integrative learning seeks to encourage students to take more their learning between contexts think critically and responsibility for connecting and synthesising learning from different is at the heart of the CIL vision. sources and experiences within and outside the curriculum. It helps CIL believes in providing creatively across lines students to break down the compartmentalised approach that many support to academic teachers and transfer their adopt in modular programmes, encourages them to reflect on their and other divisions to stimulate learning, and helps them to recognise, develop and demonstrate the creative experimentation in learning between capabilities they will need to equip them effectively for employment Integrative Learning through contexts is at the and their future lives. project funding and expert staff Curricular approaches that engage students in collaborative group support. If you would like to heart of the CIL vision. work, group presentations, reflective exercises on self and subject, group find out more please email project work, working with practitioners and employers, or bridge integrative.learning traditional and new technologies, encourage the cultivation of @nottingham.ac.uk many of the attributes associated with integrative learning. Facilities The Centre for Integrative The Centre for Integrative Learning and the superb resources Learning currently offers that it is able to deploy are Contact Centre for Integrative facilities on the Jubilee Campus available to all staff and students Learning: Level 1 and new state of the art to support innovations in learning Hallward Library. Email: facilities are situated on Level 1 and teaching and promote the integrative.learning of Hallward Library. To find out wider application of some of @nottingham.ac.uk more please go to the website: the methods and approaches http://www.nottingham.ac. that have been and are being uk/integrativelearning/ developed. The Hub Spring 08 11 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:44 Page 12 CETLs Spatial literacy in teaching Spatially-aware mobile computing 12 The Hub Spring 08 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:44 Page 13 Spatial thinking across a range of Reusable Learning Objects disciplines through the use of new geospatial technologies Capturing creativity in the development SPLINT (SPatial Literacy of multimedia learning IN Teaching) is a collaborative T Centre for Excellence in he Centre for Excellence students are providing valuable Teaching and Learning in Teaching and Learning feedback, for example a nursing involving the University in Reusable Learning student said: of Nottingham, University Objects (RLO-CETL) has been “For me it was the visual College London (UCL) and in operation for two and a half aspect, actually seeing the Leicester University (lead years and in that time it has concept visually was a huge partner). The CETL aims to produced over 180 multimedia bonus for me because it just explore and enhance spatial learning objects that have been made things click. We’d had thinking across a range used by over 5000 students. key lectures and I’d read about of disciplines through the use of new geospatial technologies. RLO-CETL is a multi-institutional things, but I think for me just to The Nottingham arm of SPLINT is primarily concerned with the collaborative project involving see how things worked visually development of tools, techniques and strategies for enhancing University of Nottingham, was what I needed to put the the use of spatial data in curricula using Geographical Information University of Cambridge and whole picture together.” Systems (GIS), Semi-immersive Virtual Reality, and mobile computing. London Metropolitan University. Understanding how RLOs The Nottingham developments represent a collaboration between the At Nottingham, the RLO-CETL is can support learning and School of Geography and the Institute of Engineering Surveying and based in the School of Nursing, which designs are appropriate Space Geodesy (IESSG) pulling together expertise in visualisation, in their educational technology in different learning settings modelling and positioning. research centre (just next to the is important. The evaluation The integration of real-time Global Positioning System data with university bridge into the strategy is focusing not only geographic information on mobile computers offers opportunities for Medical School). on the usability of the RLOs field-based learning. Some of the activities being developed relate to So what are RLOs and how but also on determining how their the positioning data and techniques themselves, others to their wider are they developed? The RLO- use can support students in ways application. One example is the use of spatially-aware mobile CETL defines them as web- that address the wider issues computing to study land use change around the University Park based interactive chunks of such as widening participation, campus. Experimental techniques being developed include the use e-learning designed to address differentiation and diversity. of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), tablet PCs and Head-Mounted a specific learning objective or They are developing tools Displays (HMDs) to allow past environments (such as glaciated goal. It has pioneered a widely that will allow RLOs to be landscapes) and hidden landscapes (such as sub-surface geology) acclaimed community approach adapted and repackaged not to be visualised in real-time out in the field. In addition to serving up to developing RLOs involving only for reuse but also for information relevant to the spatial context of the user such techniques lecturers and students at the repurposing by local tutors. allow the capture of any aspect of the surrounding environment centre of the process rather Creation of multimedia learning including the students’ own experiences of a landscape. than a top down technology objects that can be accessed on Another major focus for Nottingham SPLINT activities is driven process. RLO creation mobile phones or ipods and the development of good practice in the use of 3D visualisation starts with a workshop (with designed specifically for use including the use of a stereo semi-immersive visualisation facility no computers to be seen!) with electronic white boards based in the Sir Clive Granger building. Work flows for the creation where lecturers and students are also areas of development of 3D models of the University campus and key field work sites are work on the content and learning for the RLO-CETL. being developed and integrated into the curriculum. The way in activities using A0 laminated They work with a number which students can orientate themselves in a virtual environment posters to draft and redraft their of partners, including several of and therefore utilise the techniques effectively is of interest, and ideas. Their creative ideas are the Higher Education Academy an early example is the visualisation of possible wind farm locations captured digitally and used as the national subject centres and other in Cumbria as part of a broader basis for the technical production CETLs. They are already working site suitability exercise. carried out by learning with a number of University of Further info An aim of SPLINT at technologists. RLO-CETL funding Nottingham Schools and if you Please contact Nottingham is to explore the has so far enabled over 50 would like to contact them for gary.priestnall application of spatially-aware lecturers and students from more information please email: @nottingham.ac.uk mobile computing and 3D the University to attend these Dr Heather Wharrad or visualisation beyond the disciplines residential and one day ‘reward’ heather.wharrad martin.smith of geography and engineering and workshops free of charge and @ nottingham.ac.uk or @nottingham.ac.uk collaborations are being developed provided bursaries, and technical Dr Richard Windle with other schools including support, for mini projects. richard.windle Archaeology and Art History. Evaluations from Nottingham @nottingham.ac.uk The Hub Spring 08 13 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:44 Page 14 NSS Over the next few pages we explore issues relating to assessment and feedback that have been highlighted by the National Student Survey An overview of the NSS 2008 NSS Questions Students are asked to show the extent of their T he National Student and are now published Survey (NSS) has been on the Unistats website agreement or disagreement with the following in operation since 2005. www.unistats.com. The site statements: It is conducted by Ipsos MORI combines NSS results with and includes all HEIs in England, official statistics on entry Wales and Northern Ireland, requirements, teaching quality, The teaching on my course with some HEIs in Scotland also student results and graduate Staff are good at explaining things electing to take part. Full-time jobs. It aims to help prospective Staff have made the subject interesting final year undergraduate students make informed choices Staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching students are asked to participate of where and what to study The course is intellectually stimulating in the survey in January and and to help HEIs identify areas February, with results published for improvement. Assessment and feedback the following summer. The on- League tables were once The criteria used in marking have been clear in advance line questionnaire, which should heavily weighted towards Assessment arrangements and marking have been fair take no longer than five minutes research performance, but the Feedback on my work has been prompt to complete, asks students the results of the NSS are having I have received detailed comments on my work extent to which they agree with an increasing influence over them. Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things 22 statements about their course For example, in the Sunday Times I did not understand (see right). League Table the NSS is accorded The results were published the third highest weighting of the Academic support on a Teaching Quality nine key performance areas that I have received sufficient advice and support with Information website until 2006, influence the rankings. my studies I have been able to contact staff when I needed to Good advice was available when I needed to make study choices Organisation and management The timetable works efficiently as far as my activities are concerned Any changes in the course or teaching have been communicated effectively The course is well organised and is running smoothly Learning resources The library resources and services are good enough for my needs I have been able to access general IT resources when I needed to I have been able to access specialised equipment, facilities, or rooms when I needed to Personal Development The course has helped me to present myself with confidence My communication skills have improved As a result of the course, I feel confident in tackling unfamiliar problems Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course 14 The Hub Spring 08 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:44 Page 15 Staff from across the University were welcomed to the meeting The Faculty of by Professor Nick Miles, Associate Dean for External Relations, before a series of brief presentations about the NSS and its implications for the University were given by speakers such as Dr Engineering Forum Paul Greatrix (Registrar), Matt Gayle (Students’ Union Education Officer), Dr Wyn Morgan (Director of Teaching and Learning) and Dr Tom Loya (Director, Planning and Management Information). There followed a series of case studies on ‘How to get the best from the survey’ delivered by representatives from a range of Schools, In December the Faculty of Engineering addressing topics such as feedback, assessment criteria and staff management. The meeting highlighted the need for a ‘joined-up’ hosted a forum to discuss the NSS. strategy for learning and teaching which has the support of students. The theme for the forum was Assessment Over the following pages various participants and attendees at the event share their thoughts on the NSS, and in particular on and Feedback assessment and feedback. ʻʻ Exam feedback should be seen as part of a wider system of support for students’ across all modules run by the School, regardless of whether the module has 20 or 200 ʻʻ learning. The full support students. Individual package includes clarity over appointments for a class of the assessors’ expectations 200 students at 10 minutes from the start of each module, each would require 33 contact For someone in the students? Well, without going feedback on coursework hours, which is more than the Theology and Religious into detail, the answer was a assignments, regular total lecture hours for a typical Studies Department, the NSS fairly clear no. opportunities for advice on 10-credit module! For this was a pleasant experience: What then, was it that difficulties (eg office hours), reason, we do not offer third best in the University, made us successful? Our revision guidance and post- individual feedback to a 100% positive answer to size, our students, our staff, exam feedback. students, believing instead the question about whether the Nottingham climate? It In addition to generic that the combination of the course was intellectually was immensely difficult to feedback, School M3 provides generic feedback and solutions stimulating, highest in the separate out the key factors. ‘solutions’ to the exam paper; to the paper allows the university in the fairness of In the end I was left with the either as fully-worked solutions majority of students to work assessment arrangements strong feeling that the crucial (typical for most mathematically out for themselves where and marking. element was the ‘warm glow’, -based modules) or as clear they lost marks. But the smug smirk soon the intangible but real quality statements of the examiner’s disappeared when asked of the relationship between expectations (in the case, to explain to the Forum in staff and students in Theology, for example, of essay-style December why we had done a product of a shared answers). Dr Ed Williams so well. The initial assumption commitment to a difficult I feel that it’s important Director of Studies that what we did would prove but fascinating subject. that any feedback offered to School of Mechanical, to be obviously superior to Which, of course, leads to students must be deliverable Materials & Manufacturing other Schools and Departments a simple conclusion: be careful and should be consistent Engineering soon disappeared when I in prescribing university-wide compared what we did with procedures when the reasons what other Schools did. Were for success in the NSS may be we perhaps exceptional in local and specific. the innovative nature of our assessment, and the rigour of our marking system, the Professor Alan Ford speed with which we gave Dean of the Faculty of Arts feedback back to our Department of Theology The Hub Spring 08 15 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:44 Page 16 NSS ʻʻ Art History as a depart- ment has been providing individual feedback on all forms of assessments (including examinations) for a number of years. The approach adopted reflects a recognition that students are concerned with ‘measuring achievement’. In order to do so, they rely on marks to with how feedback can act as a reflection on both the task just completed and lessons that can be applied to future assignments. In Art History, all Feedback sheets have been re-designed to allow module conveners to provide such feedback. Feedback is used as a formative tool and as a means of assisting students’ indicate their learning process learning. and achievements, and while much emphasis is placed on assessments taking place, Dr Gabriele Neher there has been less concern Art History ʻʻ The NSS matters – to the University, to our students and to staff. It matters for two main reasons: It is telling us how and where we are not fully providing the experience our students expect consistently across the University It is doing us no favours in the UK University league tables. A working group which met in the Autumn has developed a set of initiatives which are Demonstrating that we value excellent teaching. Other, related areas of activity which have a bearing on matters raised by the NSS include: Joining up and co-ordinating our student orientation and induction arrangements Establishing and supporting a new student skills and development framework Enhancing support and development opportunities for students to promote now underway. It is essential to stress that all employability. of these involve partnership with the Students’ Union – it is critical that the student body We face particular challenges in part because through its representatives is involved. of our size and perceived impersonality. One way The initiatives include: or another we have to find means of ensuring that students are engaged, with their studies, Developing data analysis and our with their peers, as members of learning understanding of the data – what are the communities and the University as part of a drivers, what is the context and how can student body but above all with their teachers. we cross reference with our own surveys? This is all about engagement. What happens in the Ensuring wider dissemination of the classroom and the lab matters enormously. What outcomes of NSS and broader discussions happens around the classroom and the School at University and School levels about the matters as much. Part of this is therefore about detail, the meaning and how to respond. closing the gap between student and teacher. This is also about demonstrating our Holding a seminar on NSS issues represents an seriousness of purpose important step towards addressing the challenges Communicating more effectively with presented by the findings of the Survey and students – from the day they apply to is valuable in that it demonstrates that we are when they participate as alumni serious about assessment and feedback, serious about learning and teaching, about the quality Ensuring students have the right of the student experience we offer and deadly expectations about their studies – serious about the NSS. The NSS really matters. providing them with the information and the support they need to navigate and negotiate their undergraduate years Dr Paul Greatrix Enhancing personal tutoring Registrar 16 The Hub Spring 08 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:45 Page 17 Quality Manual guidance on feedback The Quality Manual states that Schools should ensure ʻʻ where feasible that appropriate feedback is provided to students on assessed work in order to facilitate improvement and Recent educational research many Schools are trying to responding devices and other promote learning. has demonstrated that one respond to National Student new technologies to aid inter- Schools/module convenors of the most powerful ways Survey findings, which seem active teaching styles and should specify the nature and of improving learning is to to indicate that our students exploiting old fashioned extent of feedback students can support students with regular, would like better feedback on verbal interactions rather than expect and whether this will be clear and constructive their assessed work? Probably assuming that better feedback accompanied by the return of formative feedback on their that phenomenon is the result needs to involve yet more assessed work. learning as it is progressing. of many factors, and it would tedious report writing. Schools should ensure that This research conducted in be trite to suggest a simple I think it is inevitable that feedback is provided at times the UK is now being used solution. Nevertheless I would high achieving students coming which are appropriate to enable throughout the world by argue that higher education to a prestigious University like the student to benefit from such educators striving to improve teachers have not generally ours will increasingly expect a feedback. the learning of students in any been strong in respect of great deal from an educational manner of different educational providing students with experience for which they are Assessed coursework settings. It has also subsequently regular meaningful feedback, paying large sums of money. I Feedback should be given led to the development of a whilst they encounter and think that there are a number on all forms of coursework where whole ‘assessment for learning’ grapple with new learning of Schools and lecturers, who practicable. Feedback should be movement, which emphasises situations. Much as students are working hard and with written and supplemented where the role of educational might appreciate fuller considerable creativity to appropriate with oral comments. assessment in aiding learning attempts to explain in writing respond to the challenges of rather than just passing why they have done well/ poor NSS results on student Written examinations judgement on it after it has badly in module exams, they feedback. I hope that the Examination scripts should occurred. Teachers, in very many would probably prefer it even feedback, which they get from not be returned to students. settings, are starting to adapt more if they could be given their students in the next few However wherever it is feasible their in-class assessment better feedback during a years, will reassure them that and helpful for students to strategies in order to make module rather than after the their efforts and modifications discuss their examination sure that their students benefit module results are published. are appreciated and meeting an performance with tutors and from useful information which And yes I know all the obvious need. I also hope that with reference to marked scripts, can help them to reflect on how problems associated with effective ideas for improving this should be facilitated. their learning is progressing the massification of higher feedback to students can be All students should be given and hopefully improve their education, and the fact that shared across the University, a clearly advertised opportunity performance. In many cases most classes are getting bigger as we collectively strive to to receive satisfactory feedback this simply involves the and bigger. Educational improve this University as on their examinations. Where development of improved research findings however do a vibrant seat of learning! no other suitable mechanisms in class dialogue between not indicate a straightforward exist for providing feedback the teachers and students, about relationship between class size module convenor should supply what they are trying to learn, and quality of feedback. Many on the Web a generic feedback how well they have learnt it, good teachers (including those report (no more than one side and how they can improve in HE) have over the years Professor Roger Murphy of A4) for each module to the their learning. developed effective techniques Director of the Institute for relevant group of students. What relevance does for providing feedback to Research into Teaching & this have for University of learners in large groups – Learning In Higher Education Nottingham in a context where including using hand held (IRLTHE) Further info http://www.nottingham. ac.uk/quality-manual/ assessment/feedback.htm The Hub Spring 08 17 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:45 Page 18 IS Learning Team e-learning support Andy Beggan outlines the support available from the IS Learning Team A s a centrally funded Team organises monthly (term- e-learning provision, providing unit, the IS Learning time) community meetings for tools and training to support a Team (based at Kings The team provides the 100+ members to promote step change in its utilisation. Meadow Campus) offers a e-learning activities, learn from Projects in the past have included freely available e-learning support to the whole each other, discuss new strategies distance learning (MSc Brewing production and delivery University to facilitate, and provide inspiration. The Science), ‘One Stop Language service to support learning and community also enables the IS Shop’ (Modern Languages and teaching activities across the promote and create Learning Team to engage more Cultures’), Numbers for Nurses University. The team provides rich, engaging and effectively with the academic (Nursing), introduction of a support to the whole University community to help shape and podcasting service and to facilitate, promote and create effective e-learning. direct the support provided. University podcasting website rich, engaging and effective Through strategic Event information and (with nearly 16,700 visits in e-learning. Through strategic on-line support is provided 2007), Xerte (an accessible initiatives, ongoing training/ initiatives, ongoing via el@n, the University’s e-learning production tool), support and individual academic training/support and e-learning support website and on-line assessment (the requests, the IS Learning Team (see above). el@n provides Vet School completed 1,200 provides a full multimedia individual academic practical advice, examples, hours of high stakes summative production service to support case studies and a community assessment in June 2007). e-learning developments at requests, the IS social networking tool to support Examples are freely available via Nottingham and is split into Learning Team provides the education professionals the University’s open courseware four groups: e-learning delivery, and support staff interested website U-Now http://unow. providing training and support a full multimedia in e-learning at Nottingham. nottingham.ac.uk for our e-learning and on-line production service. el@n aims to provide answers assessment systems (WebCT/ and support for anyone QuestionMark Perception); Rich engaged in delivering and Media Group providing video, creating e-learning, whether Further info audio and graphic production; new to e-learning or an Please contact: Andy e-learning production, supporting experienced practitioner Beggan, Team Leader the development of engaging http://www.nottingham. at andy.beggan and interactive e-learning ac.uk/elan/ @nottingham.ac.uk objects and tools; and ed:it, an In support of the or the team directly at e-learning support team based University’s e-learning strategy, IS-LearningTeam within the School of Education. the IS Learning Team also @nottingham.ac.uk To support the growing assists strategic e-learning e-learning user community at initiatives aimed at significantly Nottingham, the IS Learning enhancing the University’s 18 The Hub Spring 08 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:45 Page 19 Tutoring Personal development goals pilot Christopher Barnatt, University Senior Tutor, outlines a new initiative in personal tutoring F ollowing a review of personal and academic University, and in particular to provide an support conducted across the University in additional focus for personal tutoring beyond 2006/07, a new initiative called Personal helping students with particular difficulties. Development Goals (PDGs) is being piloted in 2007/ It is important to stress that Personal 08. This invites students in participating schools to set and reflect on personal development goals with their personal tutor every semester. Schools taking Development Goals are not a one-size-fits-all solution, nor do they involve the implementation of any new IT or other system for staff or students. Academic part in the pilot include the Business School, the School of Sociology and Social Policy, the School of Civil Engineering, the School of Nursing, and Rather, the intention is to ensure that all students in participating schools are offered the opportunity to set and reflect on goals each semester if they tutoring the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. wish. To this end, every school involved in the L earning and Teaching Personal Development Goals may relate pilot has integrated PDGs differently into their Committee has convened to any area of potential student achievement, existing personal tutor system. a Working Group to including skills development, participating in Early experiences of the pilot are encouraging consider the best means of sports activities or student societies, investigating with, for example, over 40% of returning providing academic guidance and employment options and career planning, students in the Business School setting personal support to students outside of and volunteering. development goals at the start of the Autumn term. formal teaching situations. This Personal development goal setting is intended The PDG Pilot is due to be reviewed by support and guidance is being to help students maximise their University Learning and Teaching Committee later this termed ‘academic tutoring’. experience, and to build up an evidence of academic session with consideration to be given The Working Group aims achievements of value when making employment to a potential University-wide roll-out. More to define the essences and key applications. As students set and reflect on goals information can be found in the University Quality elements of academic tutoring, with their personal tutors, the PDG scheme is Manual under Student Support and Development, with a view to formulating a also intended to help improve the quality and or via the Senior Tutor Network website at range of models for Schools consistency of personal tutoring across the www.nottingham.ac.uk/stn. to adopt. This will ensure total transparency of the academic tutoring process for staff and students. Current Practice It is clear that current practice varies considerably, with some Schools relying on the personal tutor to provide academic and pastoral support, to other Schools providing credit bearing tutorial modules in the first year which teach skills to enable engagement with discipline content. Consultation with Schools The Working Group aims to formulate draft academic tutoring guidance, with a view to a formal consultation with the Academic Boards. The Hub Spring 08 19 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:45 Page 20 Internationalisation A little transnational Helen Foster introduces Transnational Education N ew words jump into the English Language seemingly from nowhere all the time and one that you may have come across recently is ‘Transnational Education’ (TNE). If you think this is a new term you’d be wrong, it has been around since the early ‘90’s as a way of describing a whole host of different activities under a banner of offshore education not including traditional international student recruitment. It will probably come as no surprise that the most significant examples of the University of Nottingham’s TNE activities are the overseas campuses, but there are a number of successful joint programmes such as the Thammasat 2+2 scheme in Engineering. There is also the Singapore MBA run by the Business School and the overseas campuses are providing opportunities to run joint courses such as the very successful Pharmacy 2+2 link with the Malaysia campus. The School of Education has been providing postgraduate education in Hong Kong for many years and the modern languages traditional year abroad is also a type of TNE which is also firmly embedded. So, TNE is not a new concept to the University. With increasing competition in the international student market, it is the right time to think about diversifying the types of partnerships we have in order to bring in new streams of students from new markets and to deliver 20 The Hub Spring 08 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:45 Page 21 meditation courses embracing complimentary www.nottingham.ac.uk/ expertise at overseas universities international and if you So, what is the best way to set-up an overseas perhaps creating unique courses do have any questions or teaching partnership? In short, here are 10 top tips that are not available within a if you would like to discuss to think about: single country. opportunities further please Other types of activity contact us at the International Some of the best partnerships arise from strong research include 1+3’s – where a student Office – Helen.Foster links. There needs to be at least one committed academic undertakes a foundation @nottingham.ac.uk or and a committed administrator at each institution. qualification at a partner Vincenzo.Raimo university and then enters @nottingham.ac.uk. In the first instance discuss your plans and get support Nottingham to do an under- from the International Office who can help you with graduate degree (such as the market research, liaising with the partner, drawing Tsinghua agreement with Schools up Memorandums of Understanding and assistance in the Faculty of Arts and Law, with the administration of the scheme. The International Social Sciences and Education). Office also has a library of journal articles and It may also include 1+1’s where ... it is the right time to information about best practice in this area. a master’s student takes the think about diversifying Think long term. The fruits of many partnerships aren’t first year of his course in his immediate and it takes time to get it right and develop home country and then comes the types of partner- the link. to Nottingham to do a self- contained masters degree here. ships we have in order Construct a business plan and understand your A 3+1 is where a student studies partner’s business plan from the outset. Finance for her undergraduate degree to bring in new streams and the International Office can help with this. in the home country which of students from new Outline a communication strategy. It’s very important leads onto a master’s course at Nottingham. The possibilities markets and to deliver to have clear lines of communication open and for both/all partners to understand these. are many and varied and there courses embracing are no set models. Ensure initial development costs, costs of visits, market There are also significant complimentary research, scholarships, staff development costs and staff benefits for academics enabling expertise at overseas time are all included in the business plan. them to: forge new and fruitful universities perhaps Talk to other academics with successful links. The International Office can put you in touch. research partnerships as creating unique courses a spin off from TNE Consider using e-learning tools such as Podcasts, relationships that are not available on-line assessment, virtual classrooms etc. enabling academics to within a single country. Investment in visits to partner institutions and hosting enrich their own teaching your partners at Nottingham is an important component and techniques from having of building links. overseas experiences Ensure that you have done the research in conjunction providing the opportunity with the International Office before you spend too much to travel and to undertake time developing the link; important questions include: joint research do your syllabuses match? How are entry requirements met? How do you ensure that the English Language contributing to the financial ability is sufficient? position of the school A word of warning though, links do take time to set up properly. The International Office now has a new section in it to help with this. A new TNE internal Website is being developed soon The Hub Spring 08 21 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:45 Page 22 Internationalisation The experience of Dr Stephen Doughty, Chair of Learning and Teaching Committee at the Malaysia international students Campus, discusses the international university lecturers inside learning and teaching experience Research project and outside class. However, provides insight into for some, learning in a different, the experiences of independent way is much more international students interesting and intellectually fulfilling. Learning and A valuable insight into Social life in the UK the experiences of international students in the UK is being provided 63% felt that the UK was a tolerant society, with 12% indicating that they felt strongly Teaching across by a research project led by Dr Qing Gu from the School of Education, with Professor Christopher Day (Nottingham) about this. 52% were happy with their social life in the UK, but 19% were not. 36% had Campuses: identical or been involved in clubs and and Dr Michele Schweisfurth societies. 75% had made ‘quite (Birmingham). The two-year a few’ friends since starting ESRC funded project is their current courses. Most investigating the experiences of first year undergraduate international students during their study at the Universities found it relatively easy to mix with international students from their home countries (64%) equivalent? and other countries (67%). of Birmingham, Brighton, Those who had made Nottingham Trent and Sussex. friends with a mixture of UK Preliminary findings have and international students were portrayed a fairly positive relatively more likely to report picture about international a substantial degree of overall students’ feelings of their adjustment to life (50% to 33%) T he first question posed to International Campus staff student life in the UK, although and to study (42% versus 29%) by prospective students is “Is the degree identical to that the journey of their adaptation in the UK compared to those offered at Nottingham UK?” The usual answer provided is to their living and learning who had not. The research that all Nottingham degrees, whether delivered in the UK, Malaysia environments has not always also found that living with a or China, are identical and result in identical degree certificates. been pleasant and stress-free. mixture of UK and international But when it comes to learning and teaching, is ‘identical’ the students helped increase Purposes of studying in the UK correct descriptor to use in relation to cross-campus delivery? students’ confidence in using The large majority of Where courses are delivered on the International Campuses, English in class. students wanted to obtain a particular attention is paid to ensuring parity of student experience. Another key observation degree (75%), improve their As the learning outcomes for courses and modules are identical, as was the nature of the students career prospects (62%) and defined by the approval process, delivery is tailored to achieve this as active social actors, with a broaden their life experiences parity. The assessment methods are similarly verified as being proactive, positive attitude (62%) through their academic of the same standard where modules are assessed between two towards the host society and study in the UK. (or more) campuses. But the delivery of teaching material is clearly their abilities to take control of going to vary, if only because the teaching staff vary. Where a their own process of adaptation. Academic culture module is taught at an International Campus, the lecturers involved The challenges of adapting are not employed as expensive parrots, repeating word-for-word to the British academic culture the material developed at the UK Campus. They are experts in their appear to be more acute for own right and will modify and adapt the material in a way to suit most students than adjusting Further info their lecturing style or the student group they are teaching. This to student life in the UK in http://www.nottingham. is of course no different to the usual practice of one staff member the initial phase of their ac.uk/education/ taking over material from a colleague from one year to the next; undergraduate studies. projects/qg-intercultural- the material is passed on but the next year’s content and style The most dominant concerns experiences/index.php of delivery might be different, yet the learning outcomes remain include adjusting to new ways unchanged and met. of teaching and learning and The environment and location of our International Campuses gaining academic support from sometimes leads to necessary variations in teaching. At the chalk- 22 The Hub Spring 08 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:45 Page 23 Ningbo Campus face, delivery is frequently equivalent rather than identical. At the Malaysia Campus, examples of variations include in Pharmacy where UK students will perform an experiment using opium and Where courses are opioids, but obtaining such material in a country which exercises the death penalty for drug possession is simply not possible. delivered on the Similarly, plant biotechnologists will study tropical plants rather International than UK species and business studies students will use SE Asia companies in case studies. Other similar examples exist and whilst Campuses, particular there will be equivalence in the student experience on the same attention is paid to degree between the International Campuses, there should always remain identical course aims and learning outcomes. ensuring parity of So what answer should be given to prospective students student experience. who ask their favourite question? Are our cross-campus degrees identical or equivalent? In terms of learning and teaching we provide equivalence, in order that the students will receive an ‘identical’ degree. The Hub Spring 08 23 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:45 Page 24 PESL initiative Engaging with teaching excellence at Nottingham We plan to use [the website] as part of our staff induction process and also incorporate its use in our module planning process. This way we hope to be able to ensure we are taking advantage of best practice within the University when it comes to teaching. Prof. Malcolm Cobb Deputy Head of School, Dr Rachel Scudamore discusses the PESL initiative, whilst across School of Veterinary Medicine the page are some examples of the resources available and Science T he PESL (Promoting Enhanced Student Learning) initiative highlights good and innovative teaching from across the University. With (at the time of writing) over engagement which precludes the use of the traditional archival cul-de-sac model of resource display. PESL has developed a transferable model of resource production and effective 250 learning and teaching resources across three dissemination, creating web-based environments websites, contributed by more than 350 staff, PESL that resonate with the experience of teaching. has become the means by which the University The window onto teaching practice is shaped shares it’s good practice. More than 1100 with the academic Editorial Board to ensure Nottingham staff, from across all Faculties, visited appropriate subject matter, tone and focus the websites in the last Semester alone. At a time for the University’s staff. when the value of good teaching is increasingly Recognition is being made nationally: a recognised, PESL provides a shortcut to a well-used recently launched Dyslexia project is currently method for enhancing practice: learning from peers. a HE Academy Subject Centre (MedVed) Watching colleagues at work – the resources featured website. During 2008 new websites on include over 70 videos, typically three to five internationalisation, e-learning, peer review and minutes long, of teaching in action – can be a academic integrity will apply the PESL model to powerful (and somewhat unique) learning augment the array of resources available to staff. experience. Other resources include enquiries Upcoming videos include Sarah Westwater-Wood Further info and case studies, collected under themes such as (Community Health Sciences) demonstrating Visit the PESL website assessment, diversity, and module design. On the using podcasting for giving feedback and Andrew www.nottingham.ac.uk/ main teaching website a Guest Editor (currently Fisher (Philosophy) on student participation in teaching Professor Michèle Clarke, Geography) recommends lectures using interactive handsets. PESL is a their selection. continually updated staff resource. Drop by Key to PESL’s impact is a model of resource and engage with (and perhaps share?) teaching discovery based on a principle of respectful excellence at Nottingham. 24 The Hub Spring 08 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:45 Page 25 sure they are getting them right, and many of them learn during that process. Extracts from videos on the Watch the video at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/teaching PESL and Dyslexia Websites Demonstrations overlays and I format all my work with and visual aids double line spacing and larger spaces between the words and that makes an in lectures improvement. Watch the video at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/dyslexia Assessment: Strategies that in class multiple- dyslexic students choice Prof. Liz Sockett, School of Biology: use when reading Prof. Julian Wiseman, School of Biosciences: The module is assessed I use props a lot in lectures... it’s very important to have something that isn’t Interviewer: How do you find doing through a number of routes, formal just PowerPoint. You can hear people research and having to read lots of examination at the end of the module, starting to get restless because you've journal articles? but also coursework as we go through it. done a lot of PowerPoint. Ryan Beardsley, PhD student, School Dr. Martin Luck, School of The use of props brings you back out to of Physics & Astronomy: What I tend Biosciences: Because the test is talk to people at the front and make a bit to do is pick out a graph or an equation formative as well as summative we need more eye contact with them. and engage with my supervisor verbally to have some kind of discipline put on about it, and I can learn what the paper them to make sure they are learning I am there showing them pictures on the has to say through that discussion and things, but at the same it’s nice if we board and pointing at the board and I am then shore up my knowledge later by can turn the assessment process into a certainly clear and audible to people, but going through it more carefully. learning process. So the questions are I’m side on rather than face on. Using straight forward but they need to discuss props makes me come out here, turn to Michael Shaw, School of Biosciences: with each other to make them and say “Here is a bit of protein”. When I’m reading journals I do find the print too small. I tend to lose track of Watch the video at: where I’ve finished, the lines might jump www.nottingham.ac.uk/teaching or I have to keep going back. I’ve tried bigger fonts and the coloured cover sheets, which does help. Ryan: It’s hard to articulate what I see The use of props brings you when I look at a page, it’s not that the words are fuzzy or hazy or that they back out to talk to people at move particularly, but it kind of shimmers on the page, and it’s quite off- the front and make a bit putting. So I’ve just got some coloured more eye contact with them. The Hub Spring 08 25 18520_THE HUB_v2:Layout 1 7/3/08 08:45 Page 26 Forthcoming learning and teaching events Staff and Educational What do we want our Development Unit SEDU provide a range of courses and workshops on teaching students to be? and learning issues for academic staff, part-time teachers and The Centre for Integrative Should it be an education Postgraduate Research Students who teach. Learning, in association with in disciplinary practice, the School of Education, has equipping students with the 09 April am How to successfully develop e-learning organised an exciting University skills of the mathematician, across your School: a mentoring approach Higher Education Lecture Series physicist, historian or to stimulate a campus-wide economist? 21 April am Designing multiple choice questions conversation about teaching and Should it focus upon personal 24 April 12-2 Making personal tutoring work for you learning and the broader purposes growth and lifelong learning? and your students of a university education in the contemporary world. Should its emphasis be 28 April pm JISC plagiarism detection training upon fostering democratic Today’s university teachers 29 April full day Voice and performance in lecturing and higher education institutions citizenship? 30 April pm Peer observation of teaching: a practical guide are faced with multiple competing How, and how far, is it demands. These pressures possible to hold these 02 May full day Teaching international students can range from the need to together in practice, or to 07 May pm Designing & leading seminars and tutorials demonstrate efficiency, value integrate them successfully? 07 May pm Technicians supporting student learning for money and accountability to ‘stakeholders’; to responding These are just a few of (labs, workshops and practicals) the questions for a university to an increasingly competitive 03 June pm Introduction to problem based learning global market where labour committed to ensuring a high- 17 June full day Assessing more efficiently and effectively market imperatives are quality educational experience. influencing calls for a more If the issues are complex, it is all 24 June am JISC plagiarism detection training the more necessary to address vocational emphasis in the 03 July am Giving that big scary lecture curricula. At the same time them by informed discussion academics are expected to meet and debate involving everyone 30 July pm JISC plagiarism detection training the needs of an increasingly large in our University. and diverse student population ‘What Do We Want Our The JISC session can also be offered on a School basis. and produce research of an Students To Be?’ Higher Please contact David Burns on ext 15770. internationally high standard. Education Lecture Series will bring Amidst this swirl of together leading figures from the For further details of these events, please visit world of higher education, the competing pressure points, www.nottingham.ac.uk/sedu/onlinebooking or call national policy arena, and the and multiplying league tables Jody on ext 15786 or Anthea on ext 66491. business community to address to measure ‘success’, the resort to short-term ‘quick wins’ or these key questions. the tried-and-tested is under- The series runs from March standable. In order to address 2008 until June 2009 and will the dynamic challenges of the begin with Susan Bassnett, IRLTHE Seminar Series 21st century, however, we need to explore more fundamental Professor in the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies and Pro-Vice questions of purpose and values, and do this as a university Chancellor, University of Warwick. 4 June 2008 4 July 2008 The following lecture will be on community. Professor Paul Trowler Dr Sian Preece June 11th by Professor Ronald One of the core values of our Disciplinary differences and Talking Posh, Acting Posh? Barnett, Department of Lifelong university must be to focus upon the Teaching-Research Nexus Language & Gender on a First- and Comparative Education, students. But what qualities or 12:00 – 14:00 Year Undergraduate Academic Institute of Education, University capabilities do we most want B19 in the Dearing Building Writing Programme of London. Lord Dearing will be to cultivate? How can we best (School of Education) 12:00 – 14:00 speaking towards the end of equip students for a world of This talk explores different B40 in the Dearing Building September and Bryan Jackson, constant and rapid change? understandings of disciplinary (School of Education) emda (East Midlands Development To understand how these difference in relation to issues touch directly upon our Agency) will be speaking on the academic practices and values University’s purpose and value 4th February 2009. relating to teaching and research Contact we need to ask ourselves: Everyone is invited to linkages. Structuralist positions For both seminars there attend, but places are limited Should a university so please contact gina.slater are contrasted with more will be a buffet lunch from education today place @nottingham.ac.uk (or call agentic ones. The significance 12:00 – 12:30, with the emphasis upon employment 0115 846 7302) to register your of educational ideology in seminars to start at 12:30 – and serving the broader interest. For further information conditioning appropriate teaching- 14:00. To confirm attendance needs of the economy? and future dates of the Higher research linkages in different please email denise.woods contexts is elaborated and the @nottingham.ac.uk. Should it serve primarily Education Lecture Series please tribalmetaphor of disciplinary as an intellectual training go to www.nottingham.ac.uk/ cultures is interrogated. ground for its own sake? integrativelearning.