Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal

Did you know that the Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal is edited in CELT? The current issue brings together a series of articles which show the value of student engagement in the curriculum and daily life of universities. Alison Cook-Sather and Peter Felten provide an inspiring introduction to the issue, with their opinion piece which relates pedagogical partnership to feelings of belonging for both students and members of staff. This theme is illustrated starkly in an open and honest piece by Jasmin Brooke, who is a current undergraduate student in the UK. She talks about how she overcame feelings of loneliness and difficulty in integration by engaging with student partnership activities and I applaud her generosity in sharing her experiences; I am sure that many staff and students will identify with her feelings and that it will prompt discussion and planning about ways to provide similar opportunities.

There are three articles which examine the different conceptions of student engagement and the way it surfaces in university activities. Tom Lunt analyses student discourse in an online environment for clues to the ways digital literacy and social capital may relate to student engagement. Sandeep Gakhal et al analyse student satisfaction data to assess differences in experiences of students who attend a UK university depending on whether they are from the UK or other countries and found that student engagement in large classes may have been more of a factor in the data they examined. This has implications for course development and planning. Inger Mewburn considers whether student engagement can be rewarded using digital badges; as well as explaining their use, she shares the results of a pilot study which reveals the complexity of such an initiative.

Our five case studies provide glimpses into a wide range of considerations of student engagement. Within the curriculum, Helen Page et al describe a project to engage Biosciences students in research-informed teaching and its effects on their skills and confidence.  Michael Nelson and Simon Tweddell consider academic staff reactions to the introduction of team-based learning and make some general recommendations for others who may want to implement the approach.

Looking at extra-curricular activity, Katie Strudwick et al have provided a piece written in partnership with student participants, which considers active student engagement in extra-curricular activities and suggest some ways to make this more effective. In another student-staff jointly-authored piece, Licia Calagno et al describe a review of a new personal tutoring system and its impact on student engagement. Katie Carpenter and Claire Kennan share their experience of a cross-disciplinary project in which theatre skills were employed to support students in developing their public-speaking skills.

If you would like to get involved with the journal as an author or reviewers, please do get in touch. We are always happy to discuss ideas at an early stage, and we have a mentoring system in place for novice authors and reviewers, so don’t let lack of confidence dissuade you from considering the journal.

Full Contents list

Cook-Sather, A. and Felten, P. (2017). “Where Student Engagement Meets Faculty Development: How Student-Faculty Pedagogical Partnership Fosters a Sense of Belonging.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 3-11. https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/raise/article/view/cook

Brooke, J. (2017). “Mental Health and Student Engagement – A Personal Account.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 12-15. https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/raise/article/view/brooke

Lunt, T. (2017). “Police, politics and democratic learning communities in Higher Education.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 16 – 39. https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/raise/article/view/lunt

Mewburn, I. (2017). “A PhD should not look like it’s fun: an actor network theory analysis of digital badges.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 40 – 53. https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/raise/article/view/mewburn

Gakhal, S., et al. (2017). “Evaluating student satisfaction at a top-performing UK university.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 54 – 70. https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/raise/article/view/gakhal

Page, H., et al. (2017). “Engaging students in bioscience research to improve their learning experience.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 71 – 80. https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/raise/article/view/page

Strudwick, K., et al. (2017). “Understanding the gap – to participate or not? Evaluating student engagement and active participation.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 81-87. https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/raise/article/view/strudwick

Calcagno, L., et al. (2017). “Building Relationships : A Personal Tutoring Framework to Enhance Student Transition and Attainment.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 88-99. https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/raise/article/view/calcagno

Carpenter, K. R. and Kennan, C. (2017). “Developing Public Speaking Skills in Undergraduates: A Two-Day Event.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 117-124. https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/raise/article/view/carpenter

Nelson., M. and Tweddell, S. (2017). “Leading Academic Change: Experiences of Academic Staff Implementing Team-Based Learning.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 100 – 116. https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/raise/article/view/nelson

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ICED Conference 2016: Purposeful Play workshop followup

This post is intended mainly for those people who attended Claire Hamshire and my pre-conference workshop at ICED 2016. The workshop aim was “To explore the potential of using games and scenarios to provoke and support discussion about quality assurance and quality enhancement”. Thanks to everyone who attended and made it so much fun: we hope you did also achieve the intended learning outcomes, which was “at the end of this session you will be able to use game theory to develop your own simple board games or scenarios to explore potentially challenging topics with staff and students”

To help with this, we have put together some further information about some of the games and activities on this page. Please don’t hesitate to contact either of us to ask questions, tell us how you might use the activities, or propose collaborations.

Claire Hamshire  @clairehamshire

Rachel Forsyth  @rmforsyth

Clinical Reasoning Activities:

Business card suppliers Moo (used for the clinical reasoning activities)

Medical images from the Wellcome Collection (used on the cards) – you need to ask for permission for re-use but it is very likely to be given, in our experience.

Staying the Course

You can find out more about the data used in this game at the Staying the Course website

Accreditation!

You can download the game board and editable versions of the cards, together with some suggested rules, at the JISC DesignStudio site. The game was developed as part of a larger Curriculum Design and Delivery project, partially funded by the UK Joint Information Systems Council. The game pieces were bought very cheaply from eBay. The game is CC licensed and you are free to adapt it with acknowledgement.

Curriculum Planning Cards

These course planning cards can be downloaded in PDF format – they are very simple and the idea could be adapted to use names of activities more commonly in use in your own institution.  There are also ideas for their use on this page.

You can also download additional cards, which we didn’t use in the session, to add a bit more challenge to the planners – to consider how the proposed course might address employability and sustainability issues, or be adapted to be more inclusive. The assessment descriptions can be downloaded in PDF format here. All of these resources are  licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Check my Specs

This game is still under development, but if you email me, I can send you the Game board, as well as the Excel file with the examples in it, which we mail merged into a file to make the stack of cards.

Slides from the session  to download (sorry, large file!)

International day of action against Contract Cheating

Today has been  designated as the International Day of Action against Contract Cheating, with the aim of raising awareness about the issue among all members of the higher education community. Contract cheating is a phrase coined to describe the action of a student getting someone to complete a piece of academic work on their behalf, and then submitting it as if they had done it themselves (I more or less copied that from the Contract Cheating website since I couldn’t think of a better paraphrase – full credit to them). The most commonly used approach is custom essay-writing services, which advertise widely among the student population (Newton and Lang, 2016). In the UK, the QAA published a sobering report on this in August, and has made various suggestions about appropriate actions:

Universities, colleges and sector organisations should work in partnership to tackle custom essay writing services. Ÿ

The possibility of legislative approaches should be investigated. Ÿ

Companies selling advertising space should reject approaches by sites selling custom essays, and search engines should limit access to these sites. (QAA, 2016)

At programme level, colleagues can help to work against this kind of activity by emphasising the ethical and moral implications, reminding students of the penalties of academic misconduct, and encouraging students to seek the support provided by the university for them to do their own work. You can check out our plagiarism resource or contact your faculty link for more detailed support.

Newton, P. M. and Lang, C. (2016). “Custom Essay Writers, Freelancers, and Other Paid Third Parties.” Handbook of Academic Integrity: 249–271.

QAA (2016). Plagiarism in Higher Education – Custom essay writing services: an exploration and next steps for the UK higher education sector. Gloucester. http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/Plagiarism-in-Higher-Education-2016.pdf

MMU launches film to aid students from ‘non-traditional backgrounds’ step into HE

The QAA have just published the report on a project they funded: Student Induction and Transition: Reciprocal Journeys, carried out by Alicia Prowse and Penny Sweasey from CELT. The project, described in an earlier post,  took academic staff from MMU to a local sixth-form college, and invited staff and students from the college back to the university. Their impressions and expectations were recorded and are summarised in the accompanying video, produced by Eleanor Hannan.

Do the experiences of these staff and students match your own? What actions do you, or might you, take to support transition into Higher Education? Do let us know.

Source: MMU launches film to aid students from ‘non-traditional backgrounds’ step into HE

Student summer school in Finland

Our partners in Finland, the Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS), are running  three International Summer School courses for students in August 2016:

  1. Game Development
  2. Introducing and Exploring Intercultural Relations in Everyday Life
  3. Urban Ecology and Design

These are fee-paying courses but may be of interest to students in some areas. Further information about the summer schools can be found at:

http://www.tuas.fi/en/study-tuas/exchange-students/international-summer-school/

 

International week in Turku, Finland

Our partners in Finland, the Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS), are running  International Weeks for colleagues. In April there are two themes running, aimed at teachers:

TUAS Excellence Week of Circular Economy, Digitalization and Entrepreneurship, April 4-8, 2016

TUAS Excellence Week of Health Promotion, Increasing inclusion and Renewing social and health care services April 4–8, 2016

http://www.tuas.fi/en/about-us/international-tuas/international-week/

 

 

And in June, there is a week for professional services staff:

Sharing Excellence Week for Administrative Staff, June 6-10, 2016

 

Please contact Anu Härkönen,  Head of International Affairs at TUAS, if you’re interested in any of these opportunities,  email: anu.harkonen@turkuamk.fi. Your CELT Faculty link will also be happy to discuss internationalisation and the curriculum if you are interested in getting involved with our partners in Finland, Holland, Germany, Spain or Hungary.