Update from Neil Withnell, Associate Dean Academic Enhancement, SFHEA
Results from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) submission from the University will be known by the end of May.
The TEF is “rated” according to the aspects of quality below
Aspects of Quality
Student Outcomes & LearningGain
Teaching, assessment & feedback (NSS)
Academic support (NSS) & non-continuation (HESA)
Employment / further study, including highly skilled (DLHE)
As can be seen by the table the emphasis is on three key areas – NSS, DLHE and non-continuation (retention). With this in mind we need to focus our attention into these key areas and we have negotiated working with the Higher Education Academy to start to address employability and retention. A small number of colleagues from within the School will be able to attend bespoke workshops that run at the end of May. It is anticipated that actions from these workshops will be deployed across the School.
As a School we need to continue the great work that is already in place, and look at areas that we could improve on.
Suggestions for improvements include:
NSS – feedback to be clear and to enable feed forward, assessments that are fit for purpose,
DLHE – internships, job-shop, engagement with students to ascertain their destination on leaving,
Retention – coaching for personal tutoring, early retrieval, enhanced induction, keeping warm activities, wellbeing support.
Whilst this list is not exhaustive a good learning experience, quality feedback, opportunities for employability and support to remain on the programme are areas that we all have an influence.
Well it’s the end of the #BYOD4L week and what a frenzied, inspiring week it has been. The course has challenged my thinking, expanded my network of colleagues and forced me to get back into the habit of blogging. So it was definitely worth it! If you haven’t had time to join in, don’t worry because the course materials and the Google+ community are open all year. Today’s theme is creating so read on to explore learning through ‘making’ using smart devices.
“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns”Edward de Bono
I don’t think I could add anything to this statement, nuff said!
Here are three ways you can facilitate creating using digital applications:
Lee Dunn (@leeandrewdunn) has a creative module where groups of students produce outputs to demonstrate their social learning around the question ‘What is the point of education?’. Outputs have included narrated presentations, animations and streaming media. More information can be found here.
Mentimeter is a great tool for quizzes and feedback. You could collate the thoughts of a cohort around a specific topic e.g. leadership, racism, professionalism via a word cloud which can be a powerful visual to debrief. You could then return to their word cloud at a later date in the course to see if they have shifted their thinking. Here’s an example where we asked people to add three words to describe their experience of the BYOD4L course. You can still add your thoughts to this BYOD4L word cloud here and see the live results here.
My action plan after this week is to continue blogging, although it will be more like every fortnight rather than every day! If you want to contribute a blog post to this site, just get in touch, the more the merrier! Don’t forget we hold a weekly drop-in if you want to chat through any teaching & learning ideas or need support. We also have coaching and mentoring schemes available for your development as a teacher.B
Well we are now on day 4 of the Bring Your Own Devices 4 Learning course and the aim of these blog posts are to help you in your teaching and academic practice. I must say I’m finding today’s post the most difficult to write so far but I think that’s because writing a blog every day is hard! Anyway, I hope you are finding these useful and don’t forget to check out the main BYOD4L course for more information.
Collaborative working underpins teaching and research. As a successful teacher you will regularly collaborate with colleagues and encourage collaborative behaviours in your students. The digital world has revolutionised collaboration, enabling us to interact and work with others more frequently and efficiently. Don’t get me wrong, face-to-face collaboration is still important in making the magic happen, but online tools can augment, consolidate and occasionally create a meaningful collaborative relationship.
There are so many tools and ways we can collaborate, here’s just 3 examples to get you started:
The Google suite (docs, slides, sheets, spaces etc) is brilliant for collaborating. For example this teacher shared via Twitter that her students were creating collaborative lecture notes (see image below). I regularly use Google to collaborate on bid writing, teaching sessions and drafting papers so the possibilities are endless!
Padlet is a fantastic tool for collaborative and active learning. For example you can split large groups up and each smaller group can be adding to the same Padlet that you can show at the front of class. No more death by flipchart feedback! More examples can be found here.
You might have come across the presentation tool Prezi before but did you know you can collaborate in real time on presentations? I’ve used this in the past to create conference workshop presentations, see this example. We were working real time on Prezi and phoning each other to discuss critical points.
What you use or encourage your students to use to collaborate is guided by the activity. From sharing files and folders using cloud storage systems (think Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive) to generating collaborative mindmaps (think Spiderscribe, Popplet) digital collaboration can be used throughout your daily activities. Personally, I’m going to investigate the potential of Twiddla which seems a bit like Padlet but allows you to annotate and draw on the canvas. What are you going to collaborate on? Share your ideas and examples in the comments below, via #BYOD4L on Twitter or via the Google+ community
Take a look at the resources and scenarios on the BYOD4L website around today’s theme of curating to get started. Curating is my favourite day of the course as it gives me the chance to talk about improving productivity in our day-to-day activities!
By 2018, video will account for over 2/3 of mobile usage (Socialnomics 2017) with over 400 hours of video content being added every minute! The research world is no different to the rest with Altmetric tracking over 17 million mentions of 2.7 million different research outputs in the last year. There is too much content available for anyone to consume so how do we navigate this overwhelming amount of information? Knowledge curators is the answer. Our students need us to help guide them to the best, most relevant sources for them to learn effectively. And we need to help each other to save precious time in our busy lives.
I still go back to Clay Shirky’s analogy of information overload and how we have all learnt to navigate a bookshop despite the amount of information on offer. Here are three of my favourite curation tools with examples of how they can be used in your teaching and to manage your own daily activities:
What to curate really depends on your interests and how you want to engage with your students. Maybe curating video playlists via YouTube would be useful (see this great example from David Garbutt on End of Life Care videos). Or maybe your students could do with more context for resources encountered on their learning journey (check out this new tool Wakelet which gives you the power to add a narrative to your group of links). Or maybe you just need to do something to help you keep on top of all the latest developments in your field (cue Feedly, see the video in point 1 above). The key is that you don’t need to create all of your content from scratch, just try out a tool to curate existing knowledge in a meaningful way.
Missed yesterday’s post about connecting? Check it out here
Today’s theme is all about communicating with your colleagues and students to create an active and engaging learning experience. Again I will use the golden circle to explore the topic with you…
Excellent communication is at the core of every successful learning environment. As well as the golden circle, I love the Made to Stick communication model by Chip and Dan Heath who said
“A sticky idea is understood, it’s remembered, and it changes something”
They have some great free resources on the website by the way including a ‘Teaching that sticks’ resource so check it out. Communicating with our colleagues and students means creating sticky conversations, sparking ideas and generating interest in a subject.
In addition to the ways we explored connecting yesterday, here are three examples of highly effective communication in teaching:
We are expecting our students to learn new things throughout their studies. I firmly believe that we should not expect our students to go anywhere we are not willing to go ourselves. We learn and perform best when we are stretching ourselves (see the comfort-stretch-panic model from Karl Ronke). So challenge yourself and try something new in your next session. Experiment with something that is outside your comfort zone and be excited by communicating in a new way.
What tools are you using to communicate at the moment? What new ways are you going to try? Share them in the comments below, via #BYOD4L on Twitter or via the Google+ community
Well folks we are into day 1 of the Bring Your Own Devices 4 Learning open course and today the theme is about connecting. Each day I will post some information using the ‘Start with why‘ golden circle from Simon Sinek to help you engage with your students and develop yourselves as digitally savvy teachers. There is a useful mapping of the BYOD4L course to the UK PSF here so feel free to use it to reflect on your development. Please ask questions, share your ideas, tips and experiences in the comments below, via Twitter #BYOD4L or via the Google+ community.
Take part in the #BYOD4Lchat each evening at 8pm if you can
Connecting with your students is a vital step in engaging them with your programme(s). This short video from successful programme leaders at Salford demonstrates how important connection is and how connection can result in positive NSS scores. In today’s world we have the ability to connect with people we may never meet in person and develop mutually beneficial relationships. We can bring our contacts into the classroom, connect our students with them and in return we can learn from the connections our students bring.
How do you connect with your students at the moment and what value does it bring?
The most common questions I get asked are: What if I’ve got nothing interesting to say? and Why would anyone want to connect with me? My view is that if you are sharing using a stance of generosity (think Little Miss Helpful) then your connections and conversations will be meaningful and engaging. If you come across a resource (article, video, blog) that you find interesting, share it with your network and I’m sure they will find it interesting too. Ask questions, challenge or give feedback to the people in your network to keep the conversation going. Participation in the network is where the magic happens so dive in and have a go!
A few weeks ago, we hosted a creative workshop on using stop motion animation. Facilitated by Ginny Koppenhol @GinnyKoppenhol founder of Zoom Creations, we investigated the art of animation and even had a go at creating our first films – albeit in a very short time frame so please forgive the sound and focus errors in the video below!
It was a great day that helped us to think about our messaging in a simple and fun manner. With a bit of practice, stop motion animation is an excellent way to communicate and can be used very effectively in teaching. One of the staff attending the day said…
I enjoyed one of the most engaging training days ever with colleagues from health and social care and from library services. We participated in an animation course which enabled participants to try out different techniques in the course of the day. Finally we made brief animation films in groups of 2 or 3. Each one was very different, and for a first attempt, remarkably successful. The day gave everyone a taste for more. In fact I met a fellow participant in the corridor the other day and we decided we’d like to create a small animation group within the school to help develop our own skills and share them with our colleagues. Dr Fiona MacVane Phipps, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery
If you want to have a go yourself, it’s really easy using a mobile phone, tablet or a PC (see the apps listed below). If you want to create animated videos but don’t fancy using stop motion, check out the alternatives below which can draw and animate for you.
Producing video guidance for students who are in the process of developing their essays is something I have been committed to and blogged about since I undertook my postgraduate certificate in academic practice. At that time, I was a new academic, but I instinctively understood the benefit of formative feedback. Since then, I have learned a great deal from working with both undergraduate and postgraduate students. There are two principles which need to be explored, the first is the benefit of formative feedback, i.e. before an assignment has been submitted for grading, and secondly the value of video casting.
The importance of when we provide knowledge.
If you wanted to travel from Land’s End to John O’Groats, you are likely to look up the route on a map and you may even check with others what routes they would recommend. An alternative would be to drive to John O’Groats, and upon your arrival be informed by a ‘smart-alec’ that they knew of a route, which would enabled you to arrive three hours earlier. Admittedly, there is benefit in life to learning where we went wrong, but often, much greater learning can happen if we can avoid spending too much time repairing our mistakes.
In my experience, the main reason academics give for not providing formative feedback is the fact it is time consuming. They are right, it is. Nonetheless, I would argue that the time invested at the formative stage, makes grading much easier, as the work submitted is of a better standard. This also serves to save students the anguish of failing to achieve and having to resubmit work, which negates the time they then have available for their next assignment. Thus, we hamper students who have most to learn, as they have to complete work for their next and previously failed assignments simultaneously. However, this is not just about students who need extra support. As a doctoral student, my supervisors provide formative feedback on my draft chapters. Why would I not want the same support for my students?
It’s not what you do it’s the way that you do it
The human brain is a marvellous organ, but most of us cannot retain or recall each piece of information we impart or receive in any conversation. In tutorials, students will ask me to repeat something I said, but it was not stored in my short term memory. I encourage students to use their phones to record our tutorials so they can revisit what we discussed. However, they then have to make sense of what I was actually referring to once they are back at home. I also have déjà vu as I find myself repeating the same information to numerous students, as I try to find ways to assist them to ‘get it’, i.e. to understand what they are yet to fathom.
I first used ‘screencastomatic’ (Salford staff use this link) to assist students completing an ethical approval form for a module assignment. I got lots of positive feedback which reflected the value of the student being able to repeat any part of the video when it was most needed. So, I decided to have a bash at providing video advice and guidance on a student’s draft assignment. This was a lengthy and detailed process and the examination of an introductory paragraph became a half hour video. This level of detail could not be given to each student for each paragraph, but it will form part of an additional resource that they can use. It enables the student to access visual and audio information which they can revisit as they begin to construct their own introductions. So far, the feedback has been very positive from both students and colleagues. This has encouraged me to plough ahead and there will be more videos online in the coming weeks. I would encourage other tutors to do the same, the students really value the time we give to vary the support they can access.
I become acquainted with the logic model back in 2009 during a project which involved evaluating the impact of digital media on engaging young people in looking after their sexual health. Evaluation was something I never experienced before, hence it was certainly clear that I had to pick a model that resonated with my interests and skills. The logic model seemed ‘logic’ to me as it explained the relationships between what ‘we do’ and what ‘we get’ as a result of our actions, likewise in system planning and development (my field of work).
The logic model is as much an evaluation method of efficiency and effectiveness of a project as a way to provide a common roadmap or purpose to all the members involved. The approach is situated within the theory driven evaluation. The theory-based approach is an umbrella term for two types of evaluation: realist evaluation and the theory of change. The former is concerned with identifying mechanisms (how change occurs) that work within a specific context (external constraints or setting) to achieve an outcome (results wanted) (Figure 1).
In this blog, I am going to focus on the ‘beauty’ of the theory of change, a concept that in research is often used synonymously with the logic model. There are various logic models developed including the Weaver’s Triangle (Figure 2) and the Wisconsin Model (Figure 3). The Weaver Triangle is visually limited in showing the relationships among aims – outcomes – outputs, therefore used in smaller projects with a limited number of activities.
Figure 2: Weavers Triangle
The Wisconsin model is the most common logic model used.
Figure 3: Example of the Wisconsin Model
According to the model, programmes have Resources, Activities, Outputs and Outcomes, explained below.
Resources, also named Inputs are essential for activities, including human resources, time, technology etc
Activities are the actions taken as part of the project
Outputs are the result of activities with the selected audience
Outcomes refer to the difference made by the programme
Impact is the ultimate change planned and achieved within organisations/community.
The benefits of the logic model
Serves as a focal point for discussion regarding evaluation as it outlines ‘when’, where’, and ‘how’ to find information.
Connects activities with outcomes helping to avoid integrating actions with no intended effect.
Focuses communication amongst the team on issues that are important.
Identifies categories of data sources essential to support project operations.
Allows planning the bigger picture – simplifying reality into key actions.
The iterative process permits making changes and refining the model as the project progresses
Generates evidence-based knowledge.
Personally, I used the Wisconsin model because it enabled me to see the wider picture but also draw relationships. For example, I used it to compile a toolkit for a charity to evaluate the impact of their digital services. It provided a clear guide on how to plan and generate evidence-based data. Furthermore, I used the model as a blueprint for a realist evaluation on the impact of social media on patients’ information provision, networking and communication. It enabled me to find some logic and relationships amongst disconnected Context-Mechanism-Outcomes.
Most common pitfalls
Creating the logic model can be difficult and time consuming. There is a fine line between oversimplifying relationships and not adding enough detail. Furthermore, researchers argue that the logic model – unlike realist evaluation – focuses mainly on ‘what works’ not capturing the pitfalls of projects.
Establish the aims and objectives of the initiative and which aspects of the project could be evaluated. The outcomes of the project will then reinforce the questions that need to be asked to achieve them.
Select the stakeholders that are going to be part of the evaluation initiative. Stakeholders can include students, funders, project staff, administrators, collaborating agencies and other parties that may have an interest in the programme effectiveness.
Decide which part of the project you aim to evaluate: inputs, outputs or outcomes. You can choose to evaluate all aspects of the project or only some of them.
Develop an evaluation question.
Select indicators – Indicators provides clear signal whether a project or the participants are making any progress towards the outcomes.
Choose appropriate methods
Decide and test the resources used
Analyse and write report
Knowlton, L. W., & Philips, C. C. (2009) The Logic Model Guidebook: Better Strategies for Great Results Los Angeles: Sage Publications, Inc.
ACE provides an innovative community supporting all academics in the School to deliver excellence in teaching through a creative pedagogical approach which
Supports best practice in Teaching & Learning
Recognises and rewards excellent practice
Champions creative pedagogy and flexible learning
Researches into effective Teaching & Learning
The activities of ACE are determined by the ACE Steering Group. The group comprises representatives from all Directorates within the School as well as university and student representation.
The group have already begun to consider ways in which investment in embedding creative ways of offering education can improve outcomes and also have a positive impact on resources such as accommodation and staff time. Members are also exploring how educational experiences can be enhanced with use of technology, increased digital awareness and skills and other creative ways of encouraging learning.
All staff in the School are encouraged to join in with ACE activities according to your interests and professional development plans. You are also welcome to join the ACE Steering Group or feed in your ideas for what the group should provide to help your development as an educator.