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Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning The NSS

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           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
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                           Contact                      1   Welcome
           thehub@nottingham.ac.uk                      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
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                                                                                                                   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: thehub@nottingham.ac.uk
                                                           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
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     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



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     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




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     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 robert.pearson@nottingham.ac.uk
                                                                           Student Services Committee        continuing with additional
                                                                       has been retitled ‘Student Affairs    representation from
                                                                       Committee’ and includes               International Campuses.



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     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
     thehub@nottingham.ac.uk                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




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     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



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                                                                                                                       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



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     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
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                                                      The PolyVision Thunder system in operation



                                                                        The Hub Spring 08     9
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     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
                                                                                                                                  vll@nottingham.ac.uk


     Teacher trainers on Jubilee Campus (on screen) feed back to a teacher after a live classroom observation.




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     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.



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     CETLs




     Spatial literacy
     in teaching




     Spatially-aware mobile computing




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     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



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     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




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                                                                               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



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     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




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                                                                                                                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




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     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



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                                                                                                                                           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.



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     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



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  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



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     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-



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                                                                                                           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
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     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
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                                                                                                  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
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                                              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.

				
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