Arts and Humanities Conference 2016: session twelve abstracts

12.1: How to prepare undergraduate students for a successful PGCE application
Evelien Bracke, Swansea University

I have run a highly successful Literacy through Classics project at Swansea University. This work placement project allows History and Classics students to gain an introduction to the theory and practice of teaching. Students teach ancient cultures and languages in local primary and secondary schools with an emphasis on the improvement of literacy. Since the start of the project, more than 150 students have taught approx. 500 pupils in 13 schools. Students can either take part as volunteers or through modules in years 2 and 3. Together with the students, I have created a website which holds all our resources: I complement the practical experience with a series of workshops and one-to-one sessions on writing a good PGCE application. The project has since acted as a best practice case study at Swansea University, and has featured in an HEA report on equality and diversity in Classics teaching. I regularly provide information to colleagues setting up similar projects.

This practical workshop explores the practical details, as well as pitfalls and challenges of starting up teaching projects and modules in any subject area of Arts and Humanities. One of the students taking part in the teaching project will join me to give her/his perspective on how the teaching is helping to shape their PGCE and teaching ambitions.

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12.2: ‘The Cross Channel Film Lab’ case study: Bringing together students, staff and professionals
Art & Design
Katharine Nicholls, Falmouth University

That each new assessment point should be approached by the student with an increased understanding of what it means to work to a ‘professional standard’, forms the basis of the employability-focused Animation and VFX subject area and underpins expectations on both sides of the student/staff equation. The idea that the responsibility to maintain the necessary cutting edge industry links could and should be shared with the students is the suggestion arising from this snapshot of undergraduate involvement in a dynamic international collaboration. The case study looks at a particular workshop from the feature film development project, The Cross Channel Film Lab, in which undergraduates worked with lecturing staff and professional VFX consultants to help advise director/producer teams on how they could utilise visual effects in their films.

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12.3: Peer-assessment and feedback in divergent and creative tasks
Josh Robinson, Cardiff University

This session explores the use of (formative) peer-assessment and -feedback in tasks that are both divergent (in that there is no single optimal solution) and creative (in that they require learners to identify and define a problem, rather than to solve an already-defined problem). Drawing both on recent pedagogical research in the areas of self- and peer-assessment and of creativity, and on my own reflective practice in the light of introducing peer-feedback (in the form of a (summatively) assessed (formative) peer-feedback exercise) into a second-year English Literature module, informed by both qualitative and quantitative student evaluations, I present some tentative conclusions as to the potential for the use of peer-assessment and feedback in facilitating quality learning and inspiring students, and outline some possible directions for future investigation.

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12.4: High impact pedagogies and student engagement in learning: Implications for Arts and Humanities
Carol Evans, University of Southampton

The proposed research presentation is based on ongoing mixed method cross-sectional and longitudinal research with undergraduate students from different academic departments over the last five years. The research has involved qualitative (in depth interviews, focus groups) and quantitative (structured questionnaires and psychometric measures on locus of control and need for achievement) approaches to student academic success. The research has looked at cohorts of high-achieving and failing students to see how they are different; academically, socially and in terms of their approach to learning. The findings suggest that many students have formed their approach to learning before leaving school and so any third level pedagogical strategies must influence differing student motivational and conceptual/ideational approaches to learning and study in the initial months of college entry. Finally, strategies will be proposed for improving student retention and progression which will be relevant for students from all types of third level colleges.

12.5a: Developing our practice through the learning design studio approach
Roger Rees, University of Surrey

The complex, contingent and dynamic nature of learning and teaching have always made improvisation and innovation both necessary and challenging. The proliferation of technologies and digital practices offer exciting possibilities for teaching and learning and professional practice in Arts and Humanities but also means that educators work within a context of even greater complexity.

In this context the value of applying design-led approaches is increasingly recognised. The Department of Technology Enhanced Learning (DTEL) at the University of Surrey have developed a range of ways of applying design thinking and tools to support creative and innovative pedagogical development. These include modules which can be followed for continuing professional development or as part of a MA in Higher Education.

This workshop will introduce this approach, particularly by allowing participants to explore some key ideas and tools. We will also briefly discuss relevant examples of projects that have been developed using it.

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12.6a: ‘Have you read the small print? - Challenges and ethics of TEL in HE
Hilary Cunliffe-Charlesworth and Christopher Hall, Sheffield Hallam University

This session takes place in a virtual court. The petitioner represents academics who are being asked to use social media in their teaching while a respondent represents the position of a ‘university’. The claimant has concerns regarding the use of social media and forms Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) on grounds including privacy, ethics and sustainability. The respondent notes the advantages and contemporary uses of TEL and social media in supporting and developing students within the extended classroom to become active learners and more employable graduates. Participants are invited to raise their own viewpoints and experiences that have emerged regarding the use of social media and TEL in higher education teaching. Various examples and issues are raised as evidence.

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12.7: How to build a less formal online learning space
Sarah Crowson & Simon Denison, Hereford College of Arts

The session aims to create a shared definition of how less formal learning spaces might be useful in a range of educational contexts. This presentation unpacks an example of how free commercial software can be used to create a participatory and collaborative online learning space which supports learners accessing academic content as part of a L5 'Critical Studies' programme. Particular emphasis is placed on how the site has developed as a flipped classroom and reflective space, which can be adapted according to a specific need. The session aims to make explicit the way in which spaces such as these can support learners from non-traditional academic backgrounds and learners in receipt of DSA.

During the session, a 'live' site will be designed and developed in collaboration with delegates.

12.8: Breaking ranks: forging partnership across boundaries of discipine and status
Dance, Drama & Music
Jacqueline Smart, Kingston University

This paper employs the ‘Partnership Values’ elucidated in the HEA’s Framework for Partnership in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education as a critical framework for reflective analysis on the cross-disciplinary, staff-student project, Taking Race Live (Kingston University, 2014-15). While I touch on all the values, my main focus is on inclusivity, reciprocity and empowerment. I will examine how the project team initially interpreted these terms, how we came to understand them better through their practical application within our project methodology and how we are taking them forward in the various follow-up activities to which Taking Race Live gave birth.

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Publish date

Thursday, 3 March, 2016

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