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J. of Learning Development in Higher Education     Open Access   (Followers: 40)
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Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education
Number of Followers: 40  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1759-667X
Published by ALDINHE Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Innovative approaches to sustainability skills development: a
           crowd-sourcing workshop

    • Authors: Iain Cross, Alina Congreve
      Abstract: The aim of this interactive workshop was for the learning developers participating to be empowered to engage with these changes in their own institutions. Much of the facilitated discussion looked at new approaches to learning development that support education for sustainability. It comprised a series of mini-presentations of case-studies derived from original research into teaching climate change including 35 in-depth interviews. The workshop drew on the presenters’ research to crowdsource solutions from the learning developer community to key challenges. How can we foster creativity, innovation and systemic thinking in graduates' How can advanced skills for sustainability be scaffolded in the university curriculum' The workshop is designed to be of interest to learning developers with experience in supporting education for sustainability, and those new to the topic.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.995
  • Editorial

    • Authors: Alicja Syska
      Abstract: We are thrilled to present to you the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education’s Collaborative Conference Proceedings and Reflections – a collection of collaboratively written reports from the annual ALDinHE Conference that took place online and in person in June 2022. The conference participants this year had a unique opportunity to interact with the content of the presentations beyond the conference space, by contributing to the presenters’ open documents that gathered audiences’ comments, responses, questions, and suggestions the presenters considered and reflected on after the talk. In this sense, these reports are so much more than conference proceedings – they are an extension of the conference beyond the confines of the physical and temporal spaces demarcated by the event. 
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.994
  • Students’ view of hybrid assessment

    • Authors: Patricia Perlman-Dee
      Abstract: This lightning talk aimed to evaluate and explain the outcome of students’ opinions on a hybrid assessment. It shared with the audience take away learnings, ideas, and tips from a postgraduate formative assessment that was delivered as a group presentation. The students had the opportunity to deliver in three separate formats: complete group delivering face-to-face, hybrid group delivery, and all virtual delivery. The talk discussed the students' perception of ‘best form of delivery’, ‘fairness and equal opportunities’, and acting with professionalism, as well as final outcomes of the assessment.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.993
  • Chicken soup for the soul: promoting well-being and belonging through food
           and cultural competence skills.

    • Authors: Karen Lipsedge, Hilda Mulrooney
      Abstract: This conference paper asked a question - What does well-being and belonging in Teaching and Learning Development look like in practice' The paper presentation focused on two Kingston University initiatives to develop and enhance students’ sense of well-being and belonging: Cultural Food Stories and Cultural Competence skills workshops were explored in the session to create a conversation about how Learning Developers could move into the extra-curricular space to create a sense of belonging through communal dining. Food is universal and has cultural and social meanings (Dunbar, 2017). During the physical separation experienced throughout the pandemic, the Cultural Food Stories initiative explored whether recipe and story sharing could enhance staff and student belonging, while simultaneously honouring cultural diversity. Given the importance of belonging in enhancing student learning, engagement and retention (Tinto, 2017), this is highly pertinent. To enhance student success, it is also essential to equip students with the skills they need to appreciate how cultural differences and similarities help to enhance personal and professional interactions rather than to stereotype or marginalise. The Cultural Competence skills initiative creates tailored workshops to support students’ ability to understand and respect their own and others’ cultural background and values. These strategies help to equip our students with the resilience and skills needed to thrive and be successful professionals in their future careers. In our paper, we argue that wellbeing and belonging are key tools for developing students learning and can be easily incorporated into educational practice. By inviting diverse students to participate within each of these initiatives, their cultural heritage is not only welcomed but also acknowledged explicitly. Attendees will leave with a practical toolkit to embed our Cultural Food Stories and Cultural Competence skills initiatives as part of their teaching and learning practice and devise associated activities that enhance professional development skills and better support all our students, regardless of background.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.992
  • Supporting students with the transition to university in a Covid world:
           expectations and reality

    • Authors: Sonia Hood, Edward Powell
      Abstract: In the spring of 2021 concerns were being raised in the Teaching and Learning community at the University of Reading regarding the incoming cohort of students. With such disruption to their education would they be adequately prepared for university level study' What impact would this, in turn, have on support services, like Study Advice, and retention and progression rates' And what of our returning students' Are they adequately prepared for the academic challenges they will face at the next level of study' As a result, a University wide working group was established to research the issue and offer solutions to support students and staff with the 2021 transition of our new and returning students. This paper will report on the findings from focus groups with year 13 students and 6th form tutors, and questionnaire data gathered from our current students during the summer of 2021. It will highlight the perceived academic strengths and development areas from their various perspectives and their beliefs as to what issues they will face with transitioning to the next level. We will share our University response to this; how we supported students with their academic transition this academic year. Finally, we will report whether our predictions as to what students would present to Study Advice this year materialised; how we believe Covid will continue to affect students in the coming years; and how that in turn will affect demand levels and types of support we as a Learning Development service will offer.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.991
  • Empathy and compassion: towards wellbeing in learning development

    • Authors: Daniela de Silva, Emma Dempsey
      Abstract: Wellbeing, empathy and compassion are increasingly discussed topics in relation to teaching, with one key question being the extent to which empathy and compassion in teaching can impact on student wellbeing as well as outcomes. Wellbeing is a broad spectrum of aspects, including health – physical, mental and emotional, life balance, happiness and fulfilment, and it is not always easy to pin-point which actions can make a difference to the students and their learning journey. This workshop aims to address some of these questions by giving attendees key information from a study skills professional on how they can integrate a compassionate approach into their teaching, followed by a facilitated discussion on this topic to enable attendees to form their own compassionate teaching plans. Using Mentimeter we will exchange ideas about the definitions of empathy and compassion and how they overlap and bring together a common goal in producing learning development sessions to a diverse range of students.    The interactive part of the workshop will continue by attendees being divided into four groups (virtual) and given a jamboard link where the groups will be able to comment on whether compassion and empathy in the hybrid teaching and learning experience in the past academic year, contributed to improved wellbeing in their students’ journey. The groups will comment on wellbeing in the social experience, learning experience, academic performance and overall improved wellbeing in the student experience. The tangible take-aways from the workshop will be a deeper knowledge of empathy and compassion and their role in student wellbeing.    
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi22.988
  • Disrupting the 'sage on the stage'

    • Authors: Anne-Marie Langford
      Abstract: This presentation explored the creation and sharing of resources with students via social media as a way of challenging the authoritative nature of traditional academic skills content (Price et. al, 2017; Gordon and Melrose, 2011). The concept of the ‘Sage on the Stage’ has been replaced in recent years with a more active, student-centred learning environment (Roberts, 2016). Audiograms are bitesize audio-visual explorations of student questions about academic skills, created and distributed collaboratively with our Student Peer Mentors. It had been anticipated that the peer mentors would take the lead in the audiogram creation, drawing on a range of student voices and researching, writing, and recording responses to them in the format of an advice columnist, so that the advice was given student to student. While the student peer mentors had a sense of teamwork around the audiograms’ creation, they felt varying degrees of ownership. Ultimately, the audiogram creation was led, co-ordinated and produced by a staff member. However, desired student outcomes were addressed through collaboration, problem-solving and reflective production (Al Qasim and Al Fadda, 2013; Fernandez et al., 2015; Forbes, 2015 cited in Hopkins, 2020). The peer mentors also acted as coaches who can assist new students with time management, study skills and goal setting (Parsloe and Wray, 2004 cited in Gordon and Melrose, 2011). Student Peer Mentors needed active support and supervision to achieve this. However, the results of the work bring a less formal and more engaging approach to the subject matter.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.987
  • Integrating academic skills in the curriculum: a partnership approach

    • Authors: Emma Smith, Amy Pearson
      Abstract: Supporting our new students to make the transition to higher education, so that they stay with us and succeed beyond their first year, has been a priority focus for the University of Salford over the past 18 months. As an academic skills team, based in the Library, we have carved out an integral role for our service in responding to this challenge. Building on the prior success of a standalone eLearning programme, we have developed an extensive set of eLearning pathways and complementary learning activities designed for academics to easily and flexibly integrate into their course delivery so that every student is connected with the right academic support at the right time. This presentation aimed to share how our active blended learning approach is scalable and allows for local ownership and opportunities for contextualisation by academic colleagues. We explored how we established our role in this strategic project and the value of our partnership working with the academic community and the VLE support team. We hoped to provide helpful examples of how it has worked in practice to support students to learn how to learn at university. Finally, we sought to reflect on the journey so far - acknowledging the bumps and bends in the road - and initiate a discussion about where to go next. The community response to the presentation provided a space for practitioners to reflect on the ways in which e-learning design could facilitate an embedded approach to academic skills at their institutions; it also prompted reflection on the potential for collaboration between learning developers and Faculties. Our final author reflections address some of the questions and challenges raised at the conference, and set out some future aspirations for where this work will go next.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.984
  • Collaborative writing communities for Learning Development research and

    • Authors: Ian Johnson, Karen Welton, Kiu Sum, Victoria Rafferty, Ralitsa Kantcheva, Jane Nodder, Paul Chin, Ursula Canton, Silvina Bishopp-Martin, Ed Bickle
      Abstract: This workshop discussed how collaborative reflection and writing provides us, as a group of Learning Developers, with insights into our role and sense of identity. The wider potential for using collaborative writing to develop topics of mutual interest was also explored. Our reflections on the collaborative writing process arose from our first-hand experience of collaborative writing (Bickle et al., 2021). Therefore, we aimed to introduce participants to the tools we used for our writing and encourage them to experience the tools themselves to stimulate a discussion on the potential and challenges of collaborative writing for LD research and practice. We hoped to increase participants’ understanding of collaborative writing through practice and reflection and provide ideas on how others can initiate a collaborative writing community. The introduction briefly outlined the insights we gained from our study, focussing particularly on the way collaborative writing served as a tool to examine and broaden our identities as Learning Developers. It also introduced the methodologies for creating (collaborative writing) and analysing (collaborative autoethnography) data. Next, participants were invited to try out collaborative writing activities and reflect on their potential use as part of their own practice. We used a Google document (Figure 1) to collect their spontaneous responses to short writing prompts related to the challenges and potential of collaborative writing. Finally, at the end of the session, participants left with tips and techniques on how to develop a collaborative writing group of their own.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.986
  • Student wellbeing and technostress: critical learning design factors

    • Authors: David Biggins, Debbie Holley
      Abstract: In higher education, student wellbeing is now the responsibility of all of us. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the pivot by universities to online learning positioned technology as a panacea, and saw students being signposted to digital resources for digital skills and wellbeing support. Our use of the concept, technostress, is derived from the Student Minds report (2021) entitled ’Life in a pandemic’. It refers to the stress experienced by students when using technology within higher education, given the sector's expectations of their technical abilities. Our paper reported on the results of a digital health and wellbeing survey (n=103) with surprising responses from 80 students to the survey question about technostress. The findings indicate students feel let down by teaching staff who struggle with the mediating tools of their online trade – technology – and show little empathy for those they teach. McDougall and Potter (2018) argue that human-centred approaches, prioritising staff and students’ immediate and lifelong wellbeing rather than the mere use of digital tools, are key to success in developing policies for student wellbeing. The findings indicate that the formulaic approaches offered by academic staff to students in response to their digital health and wellbeing challenges will chime with learning developers championing student support as emancipatory practice. Attendees were invited to reflect on their own experience of technostress and share their considerations as to how to widen understanding of this phenomenon. The presentation concluded by recommending an integrated model for framing student wellbeing underpinned with exceptional learning design and considered the optimum on a continuum for the use of technological tools.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.985
  • Finding balance: the positives and negatives of moving peer mentor
           training online

    • Authors: Jenny Stowar
      Abstract: The Student Academic Mentor (SAM) programme at the London School of Economics has only been in place for five years, and in that time it has rapidly grown in scope and numbers. With the pandemic, training of the largely international cohort of undergraduates moved online and in-person training was removed. This continued in 2020/21. The result is a trained cohort, but a disconnection between the student volunteer and the programme co-ordinator. In a Learning Development context, with the new landscape of HE emphasising hybridity, where do we find the balance between practical necessity and losing our personal touch with students'
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.981
  • Mix and match: student choice in accessing digital or face-to-face
           academic skills support

    • Authors: Oli Johnson
      Abstract: Given the choice, will students opt for a face-to-face or online learning session' The 301 Academic Skills Centre at the University of Sheffield provides academic skills training (including study skills and maths and statistics support) to students in the form of workshops, 1:1 appointments and online resources. The transition to online learning during spring 2020 acted as a catalyst for us to develop our digital offer, which proved extremely popular with students studying remotely. As teaching has returned to the classroom we have been keen to retain some of the positive impacts of our online support and to continue to offer students a choice in how they access our extracurricular service. Throughout the 2021-22 academic year we have provided the option of attending 1:1 appointments and workshops either online or face-to-face, which has provided us with a dataset of student preferences. We have been surprised by the ongoing scale of demand for online training and support and student feedback on the service has provided us with an insight into the reasons behind this demand. This conference session presented   data collected during the 2021-22 academic year to explore how and why some students may prefer an online learning alternative and how we intend to develop this delivery model in the future.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.980
  • The impact of departmental academic skills provision on students'

    • Authors: Louise Frith, Leah Maitland, James Lamont
      Abstract: Student wellbeing in UK higher education is of serious concern, with high rates of stress and anxiety recorded among students (Pereira et al, 2019). This is compounded for international students who speak English as a second or third language. However, international students are an integral part of higher education in the United Kingdom. Strategies that are specifically designed for international students that support wellbeing are somewhat lacking across the sector (Shu et al, 2020).
      The aim of this initiative is to embed academic and communication skills into students’ programmes of study in the form of weekly 2-hour academic skills classes. This small-scale study is based on the experience of teaching MA Education students, 95% of whom are Chinese. Classes focus on developing students’ understanding of critical thinking and writing, supporting their academic reading and ensuring that they understand academic conventions in the UK such as referencing and academic writing structure. Classes also provide another layer of support and social interaction for students which we hope support student wellbeing. We surveyed 40 students about how the classes support their participation and interaction, alleviate anxiety and help to develop their sense of belonging. We followed this up with students interviewing each other on their experiences of academic skills development classes. Members of the teaching team observed the interviews and took notes. This paper will report on our findings and make recommendations for how to further improve support for international PGTs.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.978
  • Magic to conjure up academic skills for dissertation support

    • Authors: Emma Kimberley, Paul Rice, Amy West
      Abstract: This project uses magic to explore dissertation skills with students. Students in a session on preparing for the dissertation learnt a magic trick and then used their experience of learning the trick to reflect and to develop narratives around their dissertation topic focussing on the skills of researching and writing. We compared the results of the intervention group to those of a control group (who were given the same session but excluding the magic trick). The teaching sessions integrated skills essential for completing the dissertation such as critical thinking, linking, metacognitive reflection, and conceptualising the process of a long project. Previous research has suggested that using magic can stimulate curiosity, engage and motivate students, and that they will find the session more memorable (see Moss, Irons and Boland, 2017; Wiseman and Watt, 2020; Wiseman, Wiles and Watt, 2021) The presentation reported the findings from pre- and post-session questionnaires completed by participants to evaluate the use of a magic trick in teaching dissertation skills by:
      Evaluating the effectiveness of using a magic trick to teach dissertation skills.
      Evaluating the use of magic to make skills teaching more memorable.
      Evaluating the use of magic to support motivation and positive emotions around dissertation tasks.
      Evaluating the use of magic to counter some of the negative affects students encounter such as lack of motivation or negative self-efficacy beliefs.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.977
  • The digital writing café - accessibility born from necessity

    • Authors: Nina Kearney, Cara Baer, Michaela Moclair, Jack Pendlebury
      Abstract: The Writing Café is a creative space for students to talk about academic writing across disciplines, and to support them to become better writers, underpinned by the philosophy of inclusion and inquiry. Originally located in a café on campus, in response to the pandemic, the Writing Café transitioned online considering the additional struggles that students might be experiencing as a result of the pandemic. Within days, it had moved online with no interruption of service. Attendance in the Digital Writing Café increased by 50% during lockdown, and the service was highlighted by the Gravity Assist report as one of the most innovative examples of how universities and colleges have responded to the pandemic by providing online support to their students. Due to the successes, the Digital Café now runs concurrently alongside The Writing Café in the Library providing a flexible service to meet the varying needs of the students. Though the Writing Café has always been a space that helps bridge the gap in supporting social mobility, this new flexible approach has seen a drastic increase in engagement from students who identify as from Access and Participation Plan (APP) categories. The presentation explored the evolution of the Writing Café to the new hybrid dual delivery model, with provision located physically at the heart of the campus in our Library café, alongside an online digital provision using zoom. Our Writing Mentors will share their experience and will discuss the impact on our student engagement.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.976
  • Grow your academic resilience

    • Authors: Claire Olson, Helen Briscoe, Maisie Prior
      Abstract: Grow Your Academic Resilience is interactive workshop aimed at equipping students with practical tools to nurture their academic resilience, or their ability to deal with academic challenges and setbacks (Martin and Marsh, 2008). The session helps students recognise the qualities of a growth as opposed to fixed mindset (Dweck, 2006), and supports them to feel confident in dealing constructively with feedback. Students are encouraged to identify strengths they possess and consider the skills they need to achieve their academic goals. Research demonstrates that resilience is an attribute that positively impacts student wellbeing, engagement, and academic achievement (Turner, Scott-Young and Holdsworth, 2017). Consequently, we believe universities play a key role in developing the resilience of students, therefore introducing students to this concept at the earliest opportunity is paramount. Feedback to date has been positive and we aim to grow the number of sessions we deliver. Our objective was to deliver an adapted session and elicit feedback from our peers for future development. Participants took part in a 45-minute workshop as university students. Alongside this, commentary was provided discussing the nature of the activities. Finally, participants were given 15 minutes to share experiences and offer constructive suggestions. Resources were shared, alongside presentation notes. Session Plan:
      Fixed vs. Growth Mindset quiz
      Grow your academic resilience (bespoke worksheet)
      Your feedback plan The session addresses the following Learning Outcomes:
      Understanding what it means to be academically resilient
      Recognising a growth Mindset
      Discovering practical tools to nurture your resilience
      Dealing confidently with feedback
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.975
  • 'Beyond the crisis’: accepting and adapting to the virtual
           academic skills workshop

    • Authors: Laura Key
      Abstract: This lightning talk examined the journey taken to re-create and co-construct the Academic Skills Workshop Programme on offer at Leeds Beckett University, an interactive and inclusive online classroom adapted due to the impact of Covid-19. A 'learning on the go' and 'trial and error' approach involving continuous evaluation was adopted for the creation of the programme, which was informed by staff and student feedback. The approach helped move this new and varied programme beyond the crisis point of Covid-19 towards a more robust online presence for future purpose. Key considerations helping to shape the programme included creating a sense of community and belonging online, co-creating a curriculum that addressed student feedback and needs, and responding to student wellbeing as well as academic skills development. This resulted in the redevelopment of an entire workshop programme, offered to students via BB Collaborate. Sixteen workshops were rewritten as one-hour interactive webinars; asynchronous materials and resources were provided for 24/7 availability; and a central sign-up service was offered via the institute's MyHub interface. Already established principles in online learning were taken into account during the development process (Anderson, 2008; Nguyen, 2015). These adaptations saw a twofold increase of student participation during 2020-2021 (1107 students, 53%) compared to 2018-2019 (410 students, 20%) or 2019-2020 (562 students, 27%). Learnings and successes from this project ranged from being adaptable, available, and offering different formats for learning where webinars were a feature, to seeing online as normal. Challenges that continue to be pondered are the value of F2F classrooms vs online, creating more 'on-demand' learning resources, blog posts, podcasts, and study modules available 24/7 for self-directed learning. The presentation hoped to share our experience as a team, but also to offer an opportunity to hear about broader thoughts and experiences relating to academic skills webinar delivery at HE institutions since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.974
  • Designing for diverse learners

    • Authors: Lee Fallin, Thomas Tomlinson
      Abstract: Learning and teaching are only sustainable if accessible and inclusive. For this reason, we produced the Designing for Diverse Learners Poster: a set of easy-to-follow guidance on developing learning resources to support learners with a variety of needs. This poster has been adopted by many institutions and has had a significant impact on practice for many teaching in higher education. This conference session launched the next version of the Designing for Diverse Learners poster:- a fully interactive and digital version that includes how and why each of these design decisions is made. An accompanying website was demonstrated for the first time, and delegates were invited to consider ways in which it could support their learning and development practice, give feedback and suggest further improvements. The idea of ‘diverse learners’ is fundamental to the poster resource and to its use by learning developers. The practices outlined in our new website will benefit every learner - including those who may require specific adjustments. We hope the new version of the poster and the accompanying website will help support the development of greater access and inclusion in learning development practice.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.973
  • Learning development 2030

    • Authors: Ed Bickle, Steph Allen, Marian Mayer
      Abstract: Whilst the widening participation agenda and the impact of COVID-19 has arguably increased the importance of learning development (LD) within the UK Higher Education Sector, it is widely acknowledged that the role, and indeed title, of the learning developer varies greatly between institutions. Some staff are employed on academic contracts with research requirements, others not. Similarly, some staff are faculty based whilst others are employed within a central team. This means that as Bickle et al. (2021) explain: LD operates in a ‘third space’. The disparity within the profession has meant that the role of the learning developer is multi-faceted, reflected in Hilsdon’s (2011, p.14) definition of LD: “Learning development is a complex set of multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary academic roles and functions, involving teaching, tutoring, research, and the design and production of learning materials […]”. This workshop provided participants with an opportunity to untangle the complex LD web and map out ideas for the future of the LD profession. Acting as newspaper editors, participants got out their crystal balls and produced a front page of a newspaper in 2030 where the main headline has been dedicated to the field of LD. Perhaps a LD staff member has won a prestigious award, maybe LD has received some form of international recognition. After presenting their front pages, participants engaged in a discussion around how as a profession we can achieve some of these aspirations. Participants took ideas with them that they could apply to their own practice.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.972
  • Working outside the box: breaking down barriers with a Learning
           Development Peer Mentor scheme

    • Authors: Sam Thomas, Sheryl Mansfield
      Abstract: Peer learning is simply described as involving students from similar social groupings helping each other to learn (Topping, 2007). A recent document by the European Centre for Supplemental Instruction-Peer Assisted Study Sessions (SI PASS) (2019) highlighted that 32 universities in the UK provide a system of peer support, and these vary both in how they operate and their nomenclature: schemes could be framed as peer assisted learning, peer assisted study sessions or peer mentoring. Our aim was to create a supplementary, peer-led service which provides students with engaging, timely guidance and develops effective learning relationships based on parity and equality (Collier, 2015). We decided to use a similar approach to the Student Learning Assistant model of Price et al. (2019), where the Learning Development (LD) Mentors offer support to students from any disciplinary subject. Eight students were recruited and funded to offer peer support to all students within the institution. All are current second and third year students who work four hours per week supplementing the LD provision via a daily drop-in as well as leading ongoing projects and tasks, including resource development and evaluation. A key driver is reaching students who do not currently use the LD provision by developing resources in physical spaces and digital platforms previously unused in our work (e.g. in student halls and using platforms like Discord and TikTok). We will offer a perspective on the benefits and issues encountered when working with LD mentors, evaluate how the role was co-created with the students and assess the impact it has had on wider student engagement.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.971
  • Effects of reading strategies on reading behaviour and comprehension:
           implications for teaching study skills

    • Authors: Sarah J. White, Shi Hui Wu, Fawziah S. Qahtani, Kayleigh L. Warrington, Faye O. Balcombe, Kevin B. Paterson
      Abstract: We summarised findings of our ESRC funded project “Revealing the Implications of Reading Strategy for Reading Behaviour and Comprehension”. The research employed eye-tracking methods, such that measures of when and where the eyes move reveal what is processed when during reading and skimming. Experiments that include manipulations of text characteristics help reveal how reading strategies affect comprehension of text. Our findings have important implications for teaching of reading strategy study skills. We are excited to engage those working in learning development to explore the implications of our findings for study skills teaching and to inform our programme of research.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.970
  • Re-framing writing (support): centring audience and purpose in a community
           nursing course

    • Authors: Silvia Luisa Rossi, Lauren Cross
      Abstract: This presentation examined the collaboration between our Learning Development team and a community nursing course. It began with the question; “Are our demands of students concerning paraphrasing and referencing reasonable'” The assignment was a formal report on a semester-long group project where students partnered with a community agency. The coordinators worried that students (and lecturers) were over emphasising referencing and the technicalities of paraphrasing, to the detriment of engagement with the community nursing process itself. Our LD team eventually realized that the problem was not one of expectations, but rather a genre-audience mismatch. Although the assignment was called a report, the emphasis on integrating scholarly sources made it more like an academic essay, and the tone and length of the report limited its practical use by most partner agencies. Over time, by emphasizing genre, audience and purpose, we have contributed to a gradual loosening of the hold on the original report format. Last year, we provided feedback on a range of digital deliverables, including infographics, videos, and mind maps, each one designed to meet the specific partner agency’s needs. Our model of providing feedback on the report during one-hour in-person meetings has also evolved into a flexible combination of synchronous and asynchronous collaboration with students. We continue to guide students towards thoughtful, transparent source use, but the conversations around referencing and paraphrasing are now more holistic. In this presentation, we’ll share how our discipline-external perspective has supported meaningful student learning about authentic (and impactful) writing for different contexts.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.969
  • ‘Walk me through your dissertation’: using urban walks to develop
           students’ thinking about research

    • Authors: Chenée Psaros
      Abstract: In the Spring of 2020, during Covid-19 restrictions that were prohibitive for in-person teaching, the Learning Development Unit at a research-intensive university sought ways to support postgraduate taught students who had been learning online. Creative Dissertation Walks were in-person, one-to-one tutorials that ran from May to August for students who were undertaking research. These walks enabled students to book an appointment with an experienced researcher to ‘walk and talk’ (Stansfield, 2019) about any aspect of their dissertation. Borrowing methods from dialogic one-to-one tutorials (Boyd & Markarian, 2015; Wingate, 2019) this project focused on the development of students’ articulation about their thinking around their project and enabled experienced researchers to provide feedback about students’ ideas. The walks took place in a park close to campus because green spaces are thought to improve creativity and generate ideas (Oppezzo & Schwartz, 2014; Keinanen, 2015; Leisman et al., 2016;). Walking improves mental health (Roe & Aspinall, 2011) and in conjunction with meeting another member of the university community in-person, students who participated in the walks stated that they thought the walks had improved their wellbeing and the outcome of their dissertation. This practical session provided delegates with the opportunity to experience how walking and talking can develop thinking and how learning developers might adapt the model for their own context. The session also discussed practical considerations when planning walking one-to-ones and reviewing questioning techniques that lend themselves to an environment that moves beyond the bounded notion of the campus (Leander 2010; Healy et al. 2015).
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.968
  • Learning developers as their own cultural critics'

    • Authors: Christie Pritchard
      Abstract: The values that guide the work of ALDinHE and those associated with us as an organisation include ‘making HE inclusive through emancipatory practice, partnership working and collaboration’ and ‘critical self-reflection, on-going learning and a commitment to professional development’ (ALDinHE, 2022). However, considering this from a relational, or systems thinking perspective; how achievable are these values' Can we truly be inclusive to all' Exploring this notion in my doctoral research, using Bourdieu’s relational framework (Bourdieu, 1992; Bourdieu, 1993; Bourdieu, 1997; Bourdieu & Passeron, 1990) I was confronted with some uncomfortable truths. Education is reproductive in the sense that it selects those with the necessary capital to succeed and nurtures them to develop further. The diversity of student’s prior experience, background and capital to succeed is clear, and Learning Developers know how difficult Higher Education can be to navigate, but how often do we reflexively consider how our work reproduces the cultural system. Conference attendees working in small groups, discussed a brief precis of my Doctoral research, a copy of ALDinHE values and summary of Bourdieu’s notion of autonomy (Bourdieu, 1992). The following questions were posed to prompt discussion.
      How autonomous are we as practitioners and are we able to change the system that reproduces the inequality of society'
      Is being positioned by students as part of their curriculum through embedded practice advantageous all of the time'
      Do we focus on the knowledge and skills students bring, or are we forced to help them adapt to the game'
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.967
  • To embed, not to embed, how to embed

    • Authors: Ian Johnson
      Abstract: The embeddedness of learning development (LD) within the delivery of academic courses is emerging in my doctoral research as a key mediator of how the value of LD work is perceived by its stakeholders. Embedding might be best thought of as ‘epistemological alignment’ between learning developers and academic disciplines: that is, working with the lecturers longitudinally to co-design and co-deliver. Maldoni and Lear (2016) describe this model as ‘embedded, integrated and co-taught’. Learning developers may be embedded in other ways (e.g., physical location, operational or line management) but this does not necessarily equate to embedded provision; it could still operate in practice as a ‘bolt-on’ rather than an integrated element of students’ learning. In my research, embeddedness is discussed highly positively by learning developers across the UK, as well as other stakeholders, yet is grossly undersold in the terms through which universities publicly frame their LD provision on their websites. This mini-keynote, and the discussions that followed, explored practitioners’ experiences of embedding work at their higher education institutions to work towards a richer understanding of good practice. The three discussion prompts were:
      To what extent is LD work embedded at your workplace'
      What benefits and challenges (including surprising ones) have you encountered around embedding'
      Based on your experiences, what good practice advice would you give about embedding LD work'
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.966
  • Insights from a study on non-submission of assignments: How can students
           best be supported'

    • Authors: Samantha King, Alison Loddick, Tim Curtis, Deepak Bhachu
      Abstract: Non-submission of summative assignments has an impact on a significant minority of students but is not well understood (Prinsloo, 2019). At the University of Northampton, 70% of Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) students have a non-submission on their academic profile as they enter Level 4 and nearly 10% of all student assignments overall are not submitted (Coulson and Loddick, 2021). Students who fail to submit initially are offered a second submission point, but their grade is capped at 40%: data suggests that addressing this could close 50% of the GEM (Global Ethnic Majority) attainment gap. A study was initiated in partnership with IFY academic staff to research into the experience and implications of non-submission of assignments for GEM and non-GEM students in IFY. The project aimed to understand the long-term implications in terms of academic outcomes through understanding why students fail to submit and how they recover from this. Data on student outcomes in recent years was interrogated and interviews were planned with current and former IFY students who had failed to submit at least one assignment. These interviews were conducted by existing IFY students to encourage an open dialogue. Following low levels of participation in the research, the project was widened by inviting all undergraduates who had failed to submit at least one assignment to complete a survey with open-ended questions exploring the non-submission. Insights from this study will be reported, which will inform the practice of both Learning Developers and lecturers. If we can offer timely and appropriate support, we may be able to promote assignment submission, which in turn could improve student retention. This would allow more students to achieve their goals and contribute to a sustainable model of higher education.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.964
  • Leadership in learning development: who & how'

    • Authors: Carina Buckley
      Abstract: Learning Development (LD) as a profession is predicated upon the values of collaboration and partnership, sharing practice and critical self-reflection. Working within this ethos, it can be difficult to recognise ourselves as leaders – particularly when the idea of leadership is often tied to line management, and promotion often results in movement out of learning development altogether. How, then, do we recognise leadership in learning development, much less embrace it for ourselves' This presentation outlined findings, derived from interviews with 20 self-selecting members of the LD community, about conceptions and perceptions of leadership in LD. It examined what leadership looks like and who can be a leader by exploring learning developers’ conceptions of professional identity and networking, and confidence in those areas. The aim was to show delegates that the role of a leader has much in common with the values of LD, making it open to anybody with a purpose, a goal, and values. In so doing I posited that this is connected to the theme of wellbeing, as, if we feel recognised and valued for our work, then we are likely to be happier. I hoped to demonstrate that all learning developers have the capacity to be recognised and valued for their leadership.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.965
  • Visual Thinking: Exploring current practices and perspectives re student

    • Authors: Dawne Irving-Bell, Peter Hartley
      Abstract: Despite its importance, student note taking is under-researched and under-theorised. Many studies are outdated, analysing pre-digital behaviour. Hence, we question whether earlier findings still apply (as does van der Meer, 2012). Although we find some innovations useful, such as collaborative note taking (Orndorff, 2015), much recent research is also problematic. For example, consider widely reported claims that students taking longhand notes perform better than students using laptops (Mueller and Oppenheimer, 2014). Recent studies suggest more complex relationships (Luo et al., 2018) but typically adopt short-term experimental approaches. As a result, current advice and guidance for university students tends to be limited, often listing different techniques with relatively little commentary/analysis. This session enabled participants to review progress on this ALDinHE supported project, inviting discussion on issues/development regarding our three main aims to:
      Investigate current students’ note taking practices/preferences and develop transferable models to inform guidance and further research.
      Pilot structured interventions, introducing different methods.
      Produce/disseminate tools/approaches for longer-term investigation and application/adaptation by colleagues elsewhere.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.963
  • TALON: hybrid education

    • Authors: Sandra Abegglen, Clément Bret, Fabian Neuhaus, Krisha Shah, Kylie Wilson
      Abstract: TALON – the Teaching and Learning Online Network – is a University of Calgary project made possible by the Richard Parker Initiative (RPI). TALON is a hub for critical discussion of new and emerging education approaches and tools. Born in the early stages of the pandemic, shortly following the shutdown of in-person classes across the globe, we seek to document the ongoing changes within higher education and share thoughts, ideas, and experiences about online, blended and hybrid education. TALON's initiatives include A-Z resources, monthly newsletters, interviews with academic professionals and students, in-person activations and various publications. Combined, the projects serve as an interactive lexicon for remote teaching and learning. We keep the academic community informed about current developments in the virtual classroom and connected through discussion. Questions such as: What are the opportunities and challenges with hybrid education' What equipment is needed for effective blended learning' How can face-to-face, online, and other 'out of class' activities be integrated to foster student success' What assessment methods work well in a hybrid classroom' Is hybrid learning the future of education' – are addressed and discussed.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.962
  • Supporting student writing and other modes of learning and assessment: a
           staff guide

    • Authors: Sandra Abegglen, Tom Burns, Sandra Sinfield
      Abstract: Academic writing in Higher Education (HE) is contested practice freighted with meaning, never more so than for widening participation students, still placed as ‘outsiders’ and often left feeling unwelcome and ‘un-voiced’. Ironically, as Molinari (2022) argues, universities were originally more diverse in form and content, not heavily ‘literate’ but oral, discursive and creative. As HE has become ostensibly more ‘open’ the system has become more normative, more formally rule-bound, more ‘written’ – and hence more exclusive. A recent example in the UK is the Office for Students’ attack on inclusive assessment, pushing instead for more emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar.   Alongside this tension, many in the Learning Development (LD) community feel that discipline academics do not see the ‘teaching’ of academic writing as part of their pedagogic and assessment repertoire, preferring to send students to LD ‘to be fixed’. However, academics and LDs engaged in discussion and free writing (Elbow 1998, 1999) on this topic at a LondonMet L&T Conference presented views that were more nuanced and sympathetic. There was a deep appreciation of the ‘real’ work that academic writing does with and for students; but also a sense that they did not know how to build writing into their practice(s). And so was born this staff Guide: a playful, creative and yet intensely practical guide for academic staff who want to empower their students to write – often, playfully, experimentally – on their way to ‘becoming’, and becoming academic. Presenting the Guide in the resource showcase allowed us to highlight the continuing centrality of writing. Lecturers and university staff can use it to engage students in ‘writing to learn’ rather than ‘learning to write’.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.961
  • Peer reviewing as community building

    • Authors: Alicja Syska
      Abstract: Peer reviewing is unquestionably the cornerstone of scholarly activity. It is universally seen as one of the very few ways we have to ensure that what gets published has been subjected to rigorous scrutiny by peers. Entering into this dialogue with other experts in the field is of tremendous benefit to authors, even if it hurts sometimes. But it is also so much more than that: peer reviewing helps us develop our own research and thinking capabilities, improve our criticality, and hone the skill of providing constructive feedback. Peer reviewing is an act of service that makes us a better, stronger, and more resilient academic community. Like all acts of service, it relies on the good that is in us: being generous with time and personal resources, being committed to helping others, having a sense of reciprocal responsibility, feeling a constant desire to learn, and being open to dialogic exchange with authors and editors. I believe it is this dialogic exchange that brings us together as a community. As Co-Lead Editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education (JLDHE), the questions I was interested in exploring included:
      How do we ensure that every voice feels valued in peer review'
      How do we encourage sharing diverse perspectives to achieve better publishing outcomes'
      How do we attract peers to reviewing and use their goodwill to build a strong, proud, and sustainable scholarly community in learning development'
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.960
  • Students’ perceptions of blended and remote learning and its impact
           upon sense of belonging

    • Authors: Alicja Syska, Christie Pritchard
      Abstract: Blended learning has been widely recognised for its ‘transformative potential’ (Garrison and Kanuka, 2004) in higher education, especially when it comes to its versatility and increased opportunities for distributed learners. Nonetheless, the technological challenges it poses, alongside issues linked with policy, resources and support structures, have led to considerable resistance to the concept of blended practice. Despite this mixed reputation (Antunes, Armellini and Howe, 2021; Lomer and Palmer, 2021), few studies have attempted to explore students’ perceptions of blended delivery, with most research focussing on staff experience (Torrisi-Steele and Drew, 2013). The session reports on a small-scale evaluative study on student perceptions of blended learning that we conducted in the academic year 2020/21. A critical realist framework that considers both agency and structure has been applied to situate these perceptions while our mixed methods approach offers a multi-layered insight into the captured diversity of experience. The aim of the conference session was to discuss with the participants the implications of the findings for future practice and, more specifically, consider the role of Learning Development in enhancing post-pandemic student experience.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.959
  • Engaging students online: an analysis of students’ motivations for
           seeking individual learning development support

    • Authors: Arina Cirstea
      Abstract: This presentation outlines the key findings of a small-scale research project aimed to explore the motivations for student engagement in self-selecting learning development (LD) online tutorials. The study used a mixed methods approach, including an online survey (n=43) and online interview (n=5). The recruitment invitation was emailed to all users booking a tutorial (n=390) within the project timeframe (October 2020-April 2021). Findings show that the main driver for engagement reported was participants’ limited confidence in their own academic writing abilities, which was consistently linked to attainment. Engagement was further motivated through a range of perceived impacts, including improved confidence and awareness of academic conventions. Participants reported a generally positive attitude towards online delivery, with key benefits including removing access barriers for students with complex commitments, travel and health issues. Conversely, the main downside of online tutorials was seen as diminished interpersonal contact. Qualitative data from both survey and interviews were further investigated using a Discourse analysis framework. One key finding was that the path to LD engagement is often mediated by academic authority figures, who may exert a significant impact on learner self-views. The presentation was designed to initiate discussion on the implications of these findings for learning developers. One area of reflection I planned to submit for the participants’ consideration is how lessons learned from the enforced pivoting to online delivery can underpin the developmental dimension of LD, with the ultimate goal of promoting learner confidence and growth.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.958
  • Bridges and barriers to developing visual literacy

    • Authors: Jacqui Ann Bartram
      Abstract: Presentation abstract As learning developers, we are generally confident supporting academics and students with developing criticality and academic writing skills. However, communication today is multimodal and increasingly visual so our support is expanding to include developing visual literacy, i.e. approaching visual sources critically and using visuals to communicate effectively.   Both the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (QAA, 2014) and many individual subject benchmark statements require students to be able to communicate ‘in a range of formats’ and to ‘non-specialist audiences’ —and yet not all students seem to have the opportunities learn how to do so effectively, despite these national and disciplinary requirements. This presentation reported on the findings from research undertaken as part of an EdD that explored the extent of visual literacy development across an institution and what further enablers and obstacles exist that influence a student’s ability to develop the skills needed to effectively communicate in a visually rich landscape (see Bartram, 2021).    The research began with an institution-wide audit of 1,725 module specifications that categorised each module as explicitly, implicitly, potentially or not apparently developing visual literacy. This audit indicated that choice of degree is the first major bridge or barrier to developing visual literacy a student may face. Only three subjects had the opportunity to develop both critical and creative visual literacy skills in a good proportion (>25%) of their modules (Film, Media & Digital Design, Engineering & Geography, Earth & Environmental Science); two more had a similar number of opportunities to develop only critical skills (History and American Studies) and likewise with creative skills (Biology & Environmental Science and English & Creative Writing – but the majority had only modest or low numbers of modules with opportunities to develop any visual literacy skills. Interviews with academic staff teaching on modules representing all the above categories then considered why visual literacy is or is not developed. Barriers were identified such as resistance to change, lack of staff experience/confidence in teaching and assessing visual communication, and student expectations of assessments. The research found many bridges, such as the increase in public communication assignments to improve employability and the need for more inclusive assessments. It concluded that most barriers could be minimised by providing a range of sample assessment rubrics which emphasise assessment of visual elements. The findings have implications for learning developers who may need to support both students and academics who are not confident developing a new set of academic skills that take them out of their logocentric comfort zone. 
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.957
  • Reading in the digital age

    • Authors: Sarah Robin, Elizabeth Caldwell, Helen Hargreaves
      Abstract: In 2019, Learning Developers at Lancaster University were awarded funding by ALDinHE to conduct a small project into how students read (Hargreaves et al., 2022a). We explored students’ perspectives and practices around reading academic texts in digital format. We analysed how students manage their digital reading, how they interact and engage with texts on-screen, and what influences their choices related to text format. One output of this project is an interactive online resource (see Hargreaves et al., 2022b) based upon insights gained from our students and we would like to present parts of this resource to the ALDinHE community.
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.956
  • Performing communi-tea

    • Authors: Carina Buckley
      Abstract: The morning tea break performs several useful and evidence-based functions, in providing a space for networking and exchanging information, for building relationships, and for reducing stress. However, in a higher education context predicated on outputs and performance, the time spent in talking to colleagues over a cuppa is often considered a wasteful indulgence, and even harder to organise meaningfully with our post-Covid hybrid patterns of working. In an audit culture, how can the qualitative value of social relations be recognised, cultivated and strengthened, so that we might all benefit from the productivity that inevitably follows' Questions:
      How do we make space in our week to get to know each other as people'
      What are the best methods for developing and maintaining a collaborative
      workplace community for hybrid workers'
      Is coffee ever an acceptable substitute for tea'
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.955
  • Wellbeing in the workplace: exploring the VUCA approach

    • Authors: Debbie Holley, Kate Coulson, Carina Buckley, Erika Corradini
      Abstract: This workshop was aimed at aspiring leaders/leaders/those interested in models of wellbeing and resilience. VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity, a leadership model based on the theories of Bennis and Nanus from the late 1980s ( Leaders are often required to navigate uncertainties, paradoxes, conflicts, pressures and ambiguities. The VUCA model calls for new approaches to management centred on a personal approach and is extensively used in intercultural business masterclasses (University of Cambridge; MIT; Jagannath International Management School Kalkaji, India). The model inspires and encourages leaders to move from the idea of the leader who ‘knows all’ towards a vision of developmental leadership. This approach clarifies the leader’s ability to develop others’ capacity to handle problems and make difficult decisions, based on the idea that every individual can contribute their skills. In strategic terms, leading in a VUCA world requires Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Adaptability/Agility. Learning development is starting to embrace this model of leadership, with a new ALDinHE Leadership CoP offering a platform for sharing both theory and practice. The overarching aim of this approach is that of conveying positive energy into the development of meaningful approaches. The VUCA model relies on six key skills, all of which connect to the values of learning development:
      Developing a shared purpose.
      Learning agility.
      Leading through collaboration and influence.
      Confidence in leading through uncertainty.
      Growth mind-set. This was a creative discussion-based workshop and we aim to co-create a JLDHE article with interested participants. We have interested participants from the ‘International Women’s’ day workshop we ran, and we wanted to further broaden out this scholarship opportunity to the learning development community. The ALDinHE Leadership CoP are considering how best to feed into notions of a leadership toolkit to support the community. Attendees of the VUCA workshop were asked to read the following two articles prior to the session:
      ‘Lessons leaders can learn from those living through change’ (HULT Education).
      ‘Leading in a VUCA World: five essential skills to learn in a VUCA world’ (Culpin, 2018).
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.954
  • Editorial

    • Authors: Alicja Syska
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.936
  • A book review of Khan, K., Gurbutt, D. and Cragg, R. (2022) Changes in the
           higher education sector: contemporary drivers and the pursuit of
           excellence. London: Anthem Press.

    • Authors: Retha Schwanke
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.919
  • Decolonising learning development through reflective and relational

    • Authors: Julia Bohlmann
      Abstract: The Decolonising the Curriculum (DtC) movement questions the very values we take for granted as learning developers. If our role is to develop academic literacies and support students to succeed in the curriculum as it is, can we as learning developers be decolonisers' This opinion piece argues that we can and should. It outlines where we can integrate the DtC agenda into our work through reflective and relational practice. The piece stresses the importance of reflection about our role as practitioners within a colonial Higher Education system and of relating to our students as individuals by learning their names and breaking barriers to participation with rapport and community building activities.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.913
  • A new bloom – adding ‘collaborate’ to Bloom’s

    • Authors: Richard Heller
      Abstract: There are a number of opportunities for collaboration, within and between universities, locally, internationally, with industry and with other education providers. University graduates are likely to be placed in a work environment where collaboration is required. Collaboration within higher education institutions has been shown to enhance student learning, and collaborative learning to improve student outcomes. A proposal has been made to add ‘collaborate’ to Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives, to emphasise the importance of collaboration and to encourage its inclusion in the educational process and assessment. Collaborate is sited between ‘apply’ and ‘analyse’ in the revised Bloom’s taxonomy hierarchy, and the new version named the New Bloom. This opinion piece expands on the concept and adds the specific objective of ‘work or share with others’ with keywords ‘share, cooperate, reciprocate, achieve consensus’. It also offers a non-hierarchical representation of the taxonomy, with collaborate as an important feature of each of the other components. Adding collaborate to Bloom’s taxonomy is recommended to emphasise the importance of collaboration and its contribution to each of the other components of the taxonomy.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.906
  • A book review of Khan, K., Gurbutt, G. and Cragg, R. (2022) Changes in the
           higher education sector: contemporary drivers and the pursuit of
           excellence. London: Anthem Press.

    • Authors: Maggie Scott
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.904
  • A book review of Davies, M. (2022) Study skills for international
           postgraduates. 2nd edn. London: Bloomsbury Academics.

    • Authors: Ivan Newman
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.903
  • A book review of Davies, M. (2022), Study skills for international
           postgraduates, London: Bloomsbury Academics.

    • Authors: Silvia Colaiacomo
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.901
  • Improving student engagement using a video-enabled activity-based
           learning: an exploratory study to STEM preparatory education in UAE

    • Authors: Mohammad Zeidan, Xinhua Huang, Ling Xiao, Ruikun Zhao
      Abstract: Student engagement is often labelled the “holy grail of learning” (Sinatra, Heddy and Lombardi, 2015: 1). Higher education educators have been implementing different pedagogical approaches to promote active learning with the aim of improving student engagement. This paper proposes an activity -based learning approach with the use of educational video to promote student engagement. We evaluate if such an approach could improve student learning and engagement with STEM subject from three perspectives: students’ motivation, engagement, and academic performance. The main findings are in supportive of the video-enabled activity-based learning approach to promote students’ engagement within class and for future study. ANOVA tests demonstrate the significant differences in the students’ performance with the use of scientific educational videos. In addition, this UAE based exploratory case study has been conducted in the context of middle eastern students’ learning behavior which adds an interesting cultural dimension. This study contributes to knowledge and STEM educator by providing them with insightful and practical guidance on how to effectively use scientific educational video to enhance STEM education in UAE.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.888
  • Towards ‘employability 3.0’: from practice to praxis

    • Authors: Constantine Manolchev, Allen Alexander, Ruth Cherrington
      Abstract: In addition to higher learning, universities are expected to also ‘do’ employability and help students transition from education to employment. Accordingly, a wide range of approaches have emerged and we, as academics, dedicate substantial efforts to designing and implementing attractive employability offerings for our degree programmes. We spend considerably less time (and have considerably less time to spend) on reflecting whether these provisions are truly transformational. Brazilian philosopher and educator, Paulo Freire, argued that this transformation can only be achieved through praxis. As the combination of action and reflection into an act of radical agency, praxis is authentic being at both the individual and social level. Praxis is the self-determined creation of one’s own future, while accepting accountability to fellow human beings. In this opinion piece we contend that praxis should be placed at the heart of employability of the future – employability 3.0. We propose that employability 3.0 should incorporate but go beyond current best practices such as cross-curriculum ‘connectedness’ and the ‘embeddedness’ of community of practice learning. It should be a programme of active learning and reflection, which enables students to rewrite their futures by improving their wellbeing, employment prospects and place in society.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.874
  • Understanding student preferences for one to one writing appointments

    • Authors: Bryony Parsons, Heather Johnston
      Abstract: The academic writing scheme at the university is a near-peer service, which provides students with the opportunity to book one to one appointments with an academic writing tutor. All academic writing tutors are currently studying for their PhD and offer support to students with planning assignments, being critical, structuring their writing, understanding tutor feedback and referencing. When launched in 2019, all appointments took place in-person in the university library. When Covid-19 hit in March 2020, the service moved online, with appointments taking place over Microsoft Teams. However, with this, we noticed a drop in appointment bookings.
      Within this study, an online survey was conducted, and the 701 responses analysed to investigate students’ preferences in relation to the delivery of one to one writing appointments post-pandemic. The results indicated a preference for in-person appointments to be available, with 55.8% of the respondents choosing this. The main factor was the preference for communicating in-person as it allows for more questions and a natural conversation.
      However, there is clearly still an appetite for appointments to be delivered online, with postgraduate students in particular expressing an interest in this format. Students indicated that the accessibility of appointments for students who are not on campus regularly as the biggest factor for choosing online as their preference.
      It can be concluded that a hybrid model, where students can choose between the two appointment types is most appropriate, which along with increased targeted promotion to specific faculties and year groups, should increase the usage of the service.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.871
  • Interrogating a collaborative instructional approach to academic literacy:
           the missing link in supporting students’ language learning

    • Authors: Kum Khuan Tang, Derek Wong, Gek Ling Lee
      Abstract: In Covid-19’s ‘new normal’ academics have been urged to tear down subject silos and approach teaching collaboratively with renewed interest and increased urgency. An example of this can be found in curriculum-integrated academic literacy instruction which is based on the collaboration between language and content instructors. Case studies frequently report barriers to engaging content instructors in supporting students’ language learning. However, the internal conflicts of language instructors are under-represented: little is known about their subjective experiences and emotions as they go about negotiating and accommodating a collaborative instructional approach. This paper undertakes a narrative inquiry into three language instructors’ stories of teaching discipline-specific academic literacy. In bringing to the fore their reflexive voices on authority, agency and feelings of student resistance, it explores themes around identity and collaboration and underlines a critical missing link that mediates faculty collaboration and student learning. Humanising faculty development and venturing into scholarly enquiry are then proposed as potential ways to empower language instructors to manage the emotional complexities in their collaborative engagements.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.867
  • Spaces and places in online learning: perspectives from students and staff

    • Authors: Richard Henry Reynolds, Timothy Sokolow
      Abstract: This paper is based on work carried out by the two authors during the first six months of 2021 – a period by which the practices of online learning and teaching had become familiarized and - to some extent - even standardized in our institution, as in most others. We are interested first and foremost in the online teaching space as a social space: as an environment designed to facilitate the interactions that adhibit learning and teaching. How suitable are the environments that we have created to achieving such outcomes' Is it reasonable - for example - to describe the environments in which we learn and teach online as ‘spaces’, using the same word (and in virtually the same sense) that we use to describe the familiar physical teaching spaces of bricks-and-mortar locations'   Our primary research involved bringing learners, teachers and digital specialists together into online learning spaces, and then inviting all those present to represent their experiences of the virtual space, using simple analogue tools: coloured pens and paper. The results of these workshops form the basis for this paper. In our conclusion, we attempt to formulate some explanations for the emotionally-inflected nature of these representations of digital learning spaces. Using concepts and approaches from psycho-geography (Augé), social-actor theory (Emirbeyer and Mische) and pedagogic theory (Gourlay, Wenger-Trayner), we begin to outline what might need to happen to the online learning environment as a social space for its full potential and promise to be realised.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.863
  • ‘It can facilitate so much!’ Student writers’ practice of
           self-efficacy to develop their use of formulaic phrases

    • Authors: Mary Davis, John Morley
      Abstract: This study is about student writers’ development of their own approaches to using formulaic phrases from a compendium (Academic Phrasebank). While the essential role of formulaic phrases in academic texts has been well-established in research, teaching about the effective use of these phrases is not widely available, and little attention has been paid to how students learn to employ formulaic phrases in their own writing. Therefore, this research aims to explore this gap in understanding how student writers develop individual approaches to using formulaic phrases through the lens of self-efficacy. Twelve self-selected student writer participants at undergraduate, Master’s and PhD levels were interviewed and asked about how they used formulaic phrases from the resource. Three key findings emerged from the data: firstly, that the resource may support inclusion as an empowering tool to enable student writers to participate confidently in academia; secondly, that students could employ the resource flexibly at different stages of the writing process depending on their individual approach to text construction; thirdly, that it could offer particular support with writing to students who have a specific learning difficulty (SpLD). This paper contributes to understanding these individual student learning processes in the use of formulaic phrases for writing through self-efficacy. The implication for learning development is that making more guidance about formulaic phrases widely available and accessible would be beneficial to students’ writing processes.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.856
  • A home away from home: building an organic online support community for
           Chinese students using WeChat

    • Authors: Xue Zhou, Peter Wolstencroft
      Abstract: Traditional university support structures have generally been predicated on a ‘one size fits all’ approach that stresses a mechanistic, bureaucratic approach. Support is transactional in nature with students accessing it only when needed. Support focuses on both individual tutorial and centralised mechanisms which have proved effective for only some students. This paper proposes an organic student support system that is based around five features: agility in the environment, a tutor-student partnership, informal two-way communication, a student-led community, the inclusion of a knowledge-hub. The student support system in this article is based around Chinese students at a large UK university who felt disenfranchised by the current support mechanisms, so an alternative model was set up using the group-based instant-messaging social media platform, WeChat. The findings of surveys and interviews with Chinese students demonstrated that the featured organic student support system proved extremely successful and is something that could be replicated with other groups of students in the future in UK higher education.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.853
  • Advancing the understanding of the flipped classroom approach with
           students' perceptions of the learning environment: variation between
           academic disciplines

    • Authors: Hilary Ng, Paul Lam
      Abstract: Abundant research supports the benefits of the flipped classroom approach on learning outcomes. Yet how students evaluate the flipped learning environment remains largely unknown. The present study aims to investigate 1) the students’ perceptions of their flipped learning and 2) whether disciplinary differences can be observed in students’ perceptions. Drawing upon the theoretical framework outlined in Brame (2013), our findings illustrated that students (N = 407) from different disciplines do vary their evaluation of the flipped learning environment. Those whose academic disciplines related to the application of knowledge evaluated the four components – exposure, incentive, assessment, and activities – more positively than those whose academic disciplines focus more on theoretical exploration. It is noteworthy that how subject knowledge is developed does not influence perception of the flipped learning environment. Such findings can supplement the traditional outcome-based approach of flipped classroom research by understanding the learning environment. All in all, the findings can point to practical and theoretical implications for designing a flipped classroom environment, highlighting the needs in designing the learning environment.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.852
  • Constructing an academic skills toolkit for embedding academic practices

    • Authors: Pamela Thomas, Nazmin Khanom, Simon Lambe, Bisi Adelaja, Mohamed Mehbali
      Abstract: This case study explores the successes and challenges experienced while creating the Learning Development Toolkit (LDT) for use by academic staff at London South Bank University (LSBU). Based on similar initiatives at Queen Mary University of London (2016) and the University of Derby (2021). LSBU’s LDT is a database of formative academic skills activities which are available for academic staff to adapt and deliver during lectures and seminars. The case study opens by explaining LSBU’s institutional context, including our Educational Framework, and the Centre for Research Informed Teaching’s (CRIT) role in supporting various features: employability, embedded learning development, pedagogy, inclusivity and assessment. The case study also discusses LSBU’s student profile, namely that we have a large proportion of students from non-traditional academic backgrounds. As such, the LDT’s activities have been designed to enhance students’ criticality, analysis and confidence in their academic writing in a more general sense. The LDT is freely available to academic staff on LSBU’s intranet, but our team can advise on its implementation by discussing ways to tailor activities to a given session with individual academics. The LDT has five key areas: critical thinking development, quantitative analysis development, reading development, reflective development and writing development. The case study describes the elements within the LDT and explains how it was developed, tested and revised. It discusses the difficulties faced with building the LDT within LSBU’s existing IT framework but outlines how it ultimately succeeded in generating a comprehensive database of tasks to support student .
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.832
  • The process of adapting an online induction course to support distinct
           student cohorts

    • Authors: Kirsty McIntyre, Jennifer O'Neill
      Abstract: Successful student transition into higher education is fundamental for student retention and future success. We have previously adapted a freely available online induction course to meet the needs of incoming Medicine (MBChB) students. This case study outlines the process of further developing this course in response to student feedback and adapting a new version to support a distinct cohort of students studying Life Sciences (BSc) degrees. Both courses were united in the aim to equip incoming students with an awareness of digital skills and key contacts for support and further training. However, each course was tailored to the specific requirements of the students it was designed to support. We evaluated student engagement with each course using course completion data and analytics. We observed that Medicine students were highly engaged with the course initially, with most students (92%) completing the course. Conversely, Life Sciences students engaged poorly with the course initially (17% completion) but returned to it throughout the academic year to access materials relevant to academic skills development, in part due to prompting from academic staff. We recommend that adopters of this course, or those like it, ensure that courses are designed to meet the specific needs of students. Good time management is essential in ensuring that course implementation deadlines are met and that student input is incorporated into course design. We suggest that course coordinators consider how they might promote engagement with induction materials, both initially and throughout the academic year.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.829
  • Exploring Course Components as Predictors of Academic Success in an Online
           Psychology Course

    • Authors: John Mingoia, Brianna Le Busque
      Abstract: Online higher education is experiencing growth in enrolment and development which creates a need to continually evaluate the efficacy of online course delivery. Prior research reported that performance in online education is equivalent to traditional face-to-face delivery; however, minimal research exists to identify which elements of course design predict academic success. We aimed to identify which specific course components are predictors of (a) final course grade, (b) continuous assessment grade, and (c) major assessment grade in an online, undergraduate psychology course using data collated by the Learning Management System. We also addressed gaps in existing knowledge by exploring group differences within scores on significant predictors of course outcomes to determine whether these varied according to student characteristics. We found the number of times students visited the course site, viewed activities, and posted in activities significantly predicted students’ final course grade, continuous assessment grades, and major assessment grades. The total variance explained by the regression models, was however, relatively low and therefore there may be additional factors not considered in the present study that may predict grades. We also found non-traditional, female, domestic students, enrolled part-time and in an online degree accessed the course site, viewed activities, and posted in activities significantly more frequently than their counterparts. Universities offering online courses should provide students with regular activities and opportunities to participate in course content to promote online learning and academic success.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.824
  • Student perceptions of reading digital texts for university study

    • Authors: Helen Hargreaves, Sarah Robin, Elizabeth Caldwell
      Abstract: An increasingly important aspect of undergraduate study is the ability to deal with reading academic texts digitally. Whilst the literature suggests that students prefer reading print texts (Foasberg, 2014; Mizrachi, 2015) and often have a deeper level of engagement with texts in this medium (Mangen et al., 2013; Delgado et al., 2018), the reality is that, for most students, digital texts are the norm. Study guides often focus on reading strategies that are considered broadly applicable to both digital and print formats. However, the differences between the two mediums are likely to impact on the strategies used, with students developing their own approaches as they gain more experience. In this paper, we present findings from a study exploring students’ perspectives and practices in relation to digital reading. We carried out focus group interviews with 20 students in their second or final year of undergraduate degree programmes. Our analysis reveals that reading texts digitally does indeed form the bulk of students’ reading activity, with ease and speed of accessibility, cost, and environmental considerations influencing this choice, and in some cases, precluding reading in print. However, despite the prominence of digital reading, some aspects of print reading – in particular the scope for more sustained focus, detailed reading and enjoyment of the experience – were highly valued by the students. Students’ approaches to reading digital texts varied depending on reading purpose, but, in general, students had developed a range of techniques to help them navigate digital reading.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi24.817
  • Editorial

    • Authors: Alicja Syska
      PubDate: 2022-03-16
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi23.885
  • The escape room: using a simple text-based game to promote business
           undergraduates’ digital self-reliance

    • Authors: Matt Offord, Sarah Honeychurch, Nick Quinn, Matt Barr, Helen Mullen
      Abstract: This case study aims to highlight the ease of use and effectiveness of an escape room game by describing how it was implemented in an undergraduate business course. The case study demonstrates the simplicity of a straightforward text-based game and how this was used in a large course of online students. Our case study aims to present our experience of implementing the escape room game from a practical perspective. We add to our narrative some descriptive statistics from a student survey conducted after the game. The case study builds on existing work in this field by extending its use beyond small face-to-face sessions to a technique suitable for far larger classes in an online format.
      PubDate: 2022-03-16
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi23.855
  • Supporting university staff to develop student writing: collaborative
           writing as a method of inquiry

    • Authors: Sandra Abegglen, Tom Burns, Sandra Sinfield
      Abstract: There is a feeling in the Learning Development community – and in academia more generally – that discipline staff see the academic writing of students as a problem better ‘fixed’ by others. However, staff at a writing workshop held within a learning and teaching conference revealed positions that were more nuanced, inflected, compassionate and ‘responsible’ than this. Writing collaboratively around the words produced by staff at our workshop, led to new insights into ways that staff could support student writing as an emergent practice. We decided to collect and share the many ways that discipline staff might be encouraged to harness writing in their own curriculum spaces: a staff guide on supporting writing and other forms of learning and assessment emerged. In this paper we discuss collaborative writing as a method of inquiry as we explore the contested terrain of academic writing, challenge the notion of ‘writing skills’, and model a more emergent form of exploratory writing.
      PubDate: 2022-03-16
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi23.839
  • Student engagement and voice in higher education: students’

    • Authors: Xiaomei Sun, Deborah Holt
      Abstract: There has been intense debate about student engagement and student voice in institutions of higher education in the past decade or so. Most of the discussion has been theoretical or based on a cause-and-effect research design. With the aim of gathering student perspectives on student voice and its related mechanisms, this study collected the voice of 13 students, the majority of whom were international students, from one UK university. Participants include undergraduate (n=1), postgraduate taught (n=7), and PhD (n=5) students who voluntarily agreed to have an online interview with the researcher, a PhD intern of the Student Voice team. Findings indicate that participants have an overall positive and supportive view of student voice mechanisms at this institution, although some understandings are not adequate or accurate. Participants’ attitudes towards some commonly used communication channels indicate that they prioritise an interactive and dynamic tool to initiate dialogue with the university. Suggestions are put forward for managerial strategies for a sustainable and inclusive student voice mechanism.
      PubDate: 2022-03-16
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi23.838
  • Between the office and the coffee shop: an examination of spaces used for
           research degree supervision

    • Authors: Doug Specht
      Abstract: The last two decades have seen increased attention given to the role of space within the university campus, with numerous new learning spaces forming part of both the physical and the digital campus. Much of the focus of how these spaces work to create supportive learning environments has been on undergraduate teaching. However, these spaces offer a great opportunity to also enhance the doctoral researcher’s supervision process through the creation of new learning spaces that break away from the traditional office setting. In taking the coffee shop as the antithesis of the office, this paper examines theories around space-making in relation to doctoral research, adding in the experiences of UK doctoral researchers to provoke further thought and discussion about how new spaces within a university and outside the campus might be considered part of the pedagogical approach to supervision. Results suggest that although there is much to be considered, doctoral researchers spend the majority of their time in traditional spaces—where they feel the most comfortable—and become progressively less comfortable the further supervision moves towards public spaces.
      PubDate: 2022-03-16
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi23.828
  • The implications of active blended learning for English teaching in a
           Chinese university

    • Authors: Huan Zhang, Bob Fisher
      Abstract: Blended Learning (BL), which is usually defined as a combination of face to face (F2F) and online instruction, has attracted considerable interest in recent years and has been increasingly adopted within the higher education sector. In this research, a thematic inductive analysis was conducted to explore how the practice of Active Blended Learning (ABL) at a British university, University of Northampton (UON) might inform the BL College English teaching curriculum design at a Chinese university, Henan Normal University (HNU), so that students may enjoy a more enhanced learning experience in both online and F2F contexts. In the study, 10 teachers from different disciplines at UON and 10 College English teachers from HNU were interviewed for between 45 and 60 minutes. The findings of this study suggest that the implementation of BL in College English courses at HNU should be supported by the institution in terms of pedagogical design, policy, staff development, technical infrastructure and small class size.
      PubDate: 2022-03-16
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi23.822
  • A systematic approach to designing English for very specific academic
           purposes materials tailored to a specific course in the main subject of a
           higher degree.

    • Authors: Joe Greenwood
      Abstract: This research looks at an area of materials design where little research has previously been conducted: English for very specific academic purposes (EVSAP). The research looks at related literature in EAP, ESP and ESAP, conducts a multi-stakeholder needs analysis, and incorporates the students into the materials design process itself. An analysis of the assignment brief and an interview with the unit lead of the chosen course in Digital Marketing were conducted, to identify aspects of academic writing and individual teaching activities that were beneficial to the course. The data gained from the interview were then used to create a questionnaire, which was distributed to students for completion. The data from the questionnaire were then processed into units of time; these units were then used to create the material’s structure. Discussion of how to construct a framework for EVSAP materials design is included, as well as the completed framework itself and a rationale for its format. Finally, the conclusion discusses the scope and limitation of the model, such as its application in other contexts or with different cohort sizes.
      PubDate: 2022-03-16
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi23.820
  • Engaging students online: an analysis of students’ motivations for
           seeking individual learning development support

    • Authors: Arina Cirstea
      Abstract: In the context of increased concerns with student engagement across the Higher Education sector, which have intensified subsequent to the rapid transition to online delivery in March 2020, this small-scale research project aimed to explore the motivations for student engagement in self-selecting learning development (LD) online tutorials. The study used a mixed methods approach, including an online survey (n=43) and online interviews (n=5). The sample comprised undergraduate and postgraduate volunteers recruited from from a pool of LD tutorial users (n=390) within the project timeframe (October 2020-April 2021). The generalisability of findings is limited by the low response rate as well as age bias. The main driver for engagement reported was participants’ limited confidence in their own academic writing abilities, which was consistently linked to attainment. Engagement was further motivated through a range of perceived impacts, including improved confidence, awareness of academic conventions, and higher grades. In this context, the main challenge was limited availability of support. Participants reported a generally positive attitude towards online delivery. Qualitative data from both the survey and interviews were further investigated using a discourse analysis framework. One key finding was that the path to LD engagement is often mediated by academic authority figures, who may exert a significant impact on learner self-views. Key recommendations for learning developers include maximising the potential of lessons learned from the enforced pivoting to online delivery to underpin the developmental dimension of LD, with the ultimate goal of promoting learner confidence and growth.
      PubDate: 2022-03-16
      DOI: 10.47408/jldhe.vi23.809
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