Cultural Norms

This is the way I was taught so this is the way I will teach. Or from the student’s point of view, this is the strategy I used for my pre-university qualifications and it got me here.

Systemic Challenges and Opportunities

High contact time, lots of students, tight deadlines, pressure to publish and get funding. Nobody wants more work but there is a way to integrate evaluation activities with REF, TEF and KEF. Give that a large number of funding bodies require us to provide Impact activities it makes sense to do a formal evaluation that might also lead to a publication.

Pastoral and Well-being initiatives

Mental Health and welfare are key concerns for both staff and students. Over-arching strategies that might be employed and evaluated include for example, Mentoring schemes, induction activities, transition to Honours, transition to post-graduation market.

Case Study 1

Here is a simple idea that we investigated with funding from the Proctor’s Office under the Teaching Development Fund. I had discussed with my Junior Honours students that every time I walked into the lecture it was like being in an Apple Store as all I could see was the back of laptops rather than human faces, I suggested that typing notes led to poorer retention rather than hand-writing. The following week it was exactly the same number of laptops. We obtained ethical permission to run a survey in Qualtrics asking questions about student activity in the previous semester during lectures (including whether they were using Facebook etc.,) and the grade that they achieved in a particular module. Our hope is that they will believe their own data even if they don’t believe my musings – my Research Assistant ditched her laptop in lectures after this.

Case Study 1 Here is a simple idea that we investi…
Digital Poster File

A PDF of our poster presenting the findings is here
Is the pen mightier … a recent article suggests maybe not URL

Case Study 2

In many Schools we deliver feedback and grades via MMS and predominantly we make them available at the same time by the appropriately agreed deadline. Students are often critical of the availability and usefulness of the feedback we receive although many of us doubt that they actually read the feedback and just look at their grade.

We decided to take a second year class in the first semester and for their first assignment give them (a) feedback only, (b) grade only, or (c) feedback and grade. We then looked at their performance in second semester on an equivalent assignment. Group (a) showed the greatest improvement in performance and this was statistically significant (the other two groups also improved but one would certainly hope for that anyway. We have rolled out this model on similar modules throughout our School from 2018 – Abertay University and Glasgow University psychology departments are also trialling this during this current academic year on the basis of our findings.

In MMS this is trivial as we can release Feedback only or grades and feedback so I see no reason for this to not be done in a two-step way with a short time-lag between the two, we adopted three days to allow all of the students to read their feedback (and presumably try to work out what grade they might receive). And added benefit of this is that it is a powerful check that feedback is indicative of performance and, where multiple markers are involved, it is consistent.

Feedback poster
Developing Engagement with Feedback Toolkit URL