Session 5.1: What drives student participation in online tutorials?
Mrs Diane Butler, Dr Lynda Cook, Dr Vikki Haley-Mirnar, The Open University
Formerly OU Life sciences tutorials were small group, face to face, student centred events where Associate Lecturers facilitated learning based on previously studied material. Events were highly student centred. The move to online, large group, lecture style events have inevitably resulted in a decline of active student participation.
The change to online tutorial provision presents us with a unique dilemma. Online tutorials reduce some barriers to attendance and offer flexibility but by their nature they may be less useful to the student since the opportunity for active participation in learning is lessened. In this session we will attempt:
• To share views on the importance of student participation in tutorial events and the specific challenges this raises where synchronous tuition is online.
• To investigate ways of evaluating students participation in online tutorials and look at methods which foster greater participation.
Session 5.3: Getting a leg up over the coding barrier: pre-start programming bootcamps for Stage 2 students
Ms Frances Chetwynd, Dr Fiona Aiken, Mrs Helen Jefferis, Mr John Woodthorpe
In this presentation we will explain how a programming bootcamp has been implemented, at the Open University, UK, for students on Computer Science qualifications who are transitioning from Stage 1 to Stage 2 studies. In addition, the on-going quantitative analysis of both data on, how students engaged with different elements of the bootcamp programme, as well as data on their performance at Stage 2, will be discussed. We would be pleased to hear from conference delegates who have run skills bootcamps in any of the STEM disciplines.
Session 5.4: On your marks: quick but accurate grading of lab books
Engineering and Materials
Dr Chris Trayner, University of Leeds
A technique is described which allows lab books to be marked immediately after each week's lab without overloading the marker. It allows far faster feedback than the typical practice of marking at the end of term. This also frees up the marker in May/June to concentrate properly on exams. The technique works with large student numbers; it has been used with over a hundred. It marks with adequate accuracy for courses where the lab books count no more than 50% of the module mark, and could be extended for larger percentages.
Session 5.5: Lessons learned: An application of flipped teaching in an undergraduate course
Dr Tara Shirazi, Mr Graeme Pate, Kingston University
This session will focus on the findings from an intervention in which the traditional lecture format in an undergraduate course was changed to a flipped teaching model. The researchers will present the rationale, the method and the outcomes of the intervention with the aim of explaining how and why flipped teaching was used as a tool to engage a cohort of students taking an undergraduate course. There will be a presentation of the method, materials and resources used followed by a discussion of the findings. The audience will be encouraged to think about ways of implementing some of the methods to their own courses and ways of assessing the outcomes.
Session 5.6: What drives student participation in online tutorials?
Dr Vikki Haley-Mirnar, Dr Catherine Halliwell, Dr Julie Robson, The Open University
Following the introduction of online only modules in the STEM faculty at the Open University, we wanted to canvass tutor perceptions of this new style of delivery of modules, and assess the impact this has had on their support of students. Tutors on 5 modules across science disciplines were asked to complete a questionnaire addressing various aspects of their tuition and their perceptions of how students were engaging with the online only material.
In this session we will share the findings of our research project, highlighting some of the key themes identified and reflecting on the variability of some of the findings based on the module and previous experience of online tuition by the tutors.
Session 5.7: Adapting Objective Structured Practical Examinations (OSPE’s) to assess laboratory science skills
Dr Derek Scott, Professor Alison Jenkinson, University of Aberdeen
Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE) assessments of theoretical, practical and problem-solving skills at multiple stations are used in clinical assessment to examine practical skills. Although medical science disciplines rarely use this successful assessment style, we have adapted this format to formally examine a wide range of communication and science laboratory practical skills to prepare students for research projects and enhance employability. We have steadily expanded the range of disciplines being examined by varying the tests used. This session will introduce the concepts involved and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of setting up and delivering structured practical exams for science courses.
Session 5.8: An evaluation of the role of assessments at Higher Education on student learning
Dr Siobhan Lynam, Dr Moria Cachia, university of West London
Undoubtedly assessments at Higher Education lead to some kind of learning, however, research has found that the quality of that learning varies according to the assessment used. Well-designed assessments can positively motivate and engage students. In order to meet the challenge of designing appropriate assessments an awareness of the assessment factors that influence student engagement is vital.
This presentation will report on the results from a qualitative focus group study that addressed this issue. The paper will present the study results and open up discussion on both the student and teaching factors that influence student engagement with assessments.