This year's learning and teaching conference is an opportunity to share good practice from across the institution and our partners’, raise awareness of innovative teaching practices and provide a forum for staff to discuss pedagogic developments. The event is open to all staff from across the University and partner colleges and we would also welcome student representation.
The conference will focus on how, through assessment and feedback, we ensure our students embrace the challenge of higher learning. We will also explore how we respond to student feedback and enhance teaching and learning practice so they may 'learn independently, explore new avenues with confidence, and think in a critical, creative, and enterprising manner, enabling [them] to function effectively in a complex and ever-changing society' (The University of Hull Graduate Attributes, 2018, pg 1).
PVC Professor Becky Huxley-Binns
This presentation will explore some of the challenges presented by the 4th Industrial Revolution and what these challenges might mean for the development of programmes at the University of Hull.
Becky will consider the ways that current higher educational norms are evolving in the light of the integration of the digital, biological and technological, causing a blurring of reality. This is an era of huge disruption, but the predictions are that it will result in an improvement in global quality of life, a reduction on global inequalities and a raising of global income.
So, what is our role in helping students prepare for their future? How can we ensure a high-quality academic experience for a fairer, brighter future? We need to think of creative solutions to encourage our students to do the same. We need to consider the knowledge that they learn and the skills they develop. There may have to be a paradigm shift from knowledge as the backbone of the higher education experience, to a recognition and reflection of what human traits will be needed when machines ‘know’ what we do – and more.
Isobel Hall, Student Union President
This presentation will explore research conducted by Isobel Hall, President of Education 18/19 and President of Hull University Union 19/20, sharing the student perspective on assessment and feedback and how this could be better improved at the University of Hull.
Isobel will give insight into what students find to be the biggest challenges when completing assignments, what they want to see from their feedback and what support they typically access during this time.
If we can understand the needs of students better, then we can ensure students have their best chance at success whilst studying with us.
Julie Rippingale, Dr Gill Hughes, Christine Smith, Education Studies Youth Work and Community Development Students and Graduates Partner organisations and employers (names to be confirmed)
Chang and Moore (2017: 9) state that:
"Within the current climate, UK higher education institutions are facing a challenging time operating against a backdrop of financial, cultural and political change...universities will need to work more closely than ever with policy, business, non-governmental organisations and multiple communities that make up the society we live in."
Higher education plays a major role through partnership working towards shaping graduate futures, whilst also significantly contributing to social impact, a key characteristic of HEI anchor institutions such as Hull. This paper offers insight into the pedagogical approaches on the YWCD programme to assessment, feedback and collaborative working in research led learning and teaching.
This paper will be co-presented with students/graduates and placement partners/employers offering vignettes to discuss the impact that assessment and feedback has through creative and innovative approaches to achieve the University of Hull Graduate Attributes. The vignettes demonstrate how students locate themselves personally, academically and professionally, how they build communication skills and receive support to understand and demonstrate leadership and collaborative ways of working.
Ersoy (2017: 3 cites Facer and Pahl, 2017) suggesting that ‘...universities...have recently been asked to become more proactive in...collaborating with citizens, public institutions and community organisations’. This paper is informed by an innovative partnership approach between academics, students and employers who historically co-produced the YWCD degree programme and continue to refresh the curriculum. It aims to produce academically rigorous content, which is context relevant and will equip students to address a rapidly changing society through real world experiences. YWCD sector organisations provide both placement and employment opportunities for our graduates resulting in outstanding progression into professional employment or post graduate study within 6 months of completing their studies.
Evidence will demonstrate transparent assessment criteria with supportive feedforward approaches providing tools for students to manage themselves and others. This contributes to enabling students to develop self-management skills using TESTA (Transforming the Experiences of Students Through Assessment) ensuring that assessment methods and content are balanced and spread across the academic year.
The paper articulates students’ contributions to social impact through partnership working in their professional practice placements utilising innovative assessments designed to build knowledge, understanding and application of theory to practice across a wide range of troubling issues such as poverty, inequality, oppression and exclusion. Academic and professional feedback, both formative and summative, enables students to build specialist knowledge, research skills and demonstrate Graduate Attributes.
Dr Mossy Kelly, Physics
We recently implemented a feedback system in a physics teaching laboratory that resulted in the following positive outcomes:
a) An increased score in the MEQ question “I received helpful comments on my work” and “Feedback on my work was timely” from a historical average of 2.1 to 1.2.
b) The word “feedback” was used in every open comment on the MEQs for the module. 98% of the comments were positive.
c) Inter, intra, and extra-rater reliability scores show that every student statistically improved in writing skills.
The feedback system combined the educational philosophy of Prof. Paul Black, with specifically designed software – namely the use of API tools in order to communicate with students automatically.
The system worked based on the principle of “Feedback only, no grade”. In a second year physics teaching lab–students were asked to write bi-weekly lab reports on closed inquiry, procedurally autonomous investigations. Students were given previous year’s lab reports with which to work from. Students wrote a lab report every two weeks. Within a week of submitting, the students received feedback in the form of a Panopto podcast. The students were not shown their grade by default, however if they wanted to see their grade – they were asked to fill in a self-reflection canvas quiz. The quiz would then automatically unlock the students’ grade on Canvas.
In this talk, I will give details of exactly how the system worked, how it was evaluated, and how it can be rolled out to a wider environment.
Dr Julie Castronovo, Psychology; Kate Bridgeman, LTE
In Higher Education, feedback is often associated with student dissatisfaction, as it has been repeatedly documented nationally over the last few years in the National Student Survey (NSS). Our NSS results indicate that our students experience a “feedback gap”, with commonly found low numerical scores for student satisfaction regarding assessment and feedback across a significant number of departments. These low scores generally reflect three main types of concern in students: fairness, transparency and consistency in feedback (Robinson et al., 2013). Feedback has been shown in the literature to be enhanced with the use of rubrics in assessment (see Cockett & Jackson, 2018; Brookhart, 2018 for reviews). Rubrics correspond to assessment criteria articulating an assignment’s expectations, but also importantly performance level descriptions and scoring indicators for each assessment criterion/rubric. Rubrics have been repeatedly found to be positively viewed by students, even more so when they are combined with in-text commentary (Nordrum et al., 2013), as rubrics are notably seen as providing greater marking and feedback consistency (see for a review, Cockett & Jackson, 2018). Importantly, rubrics have also been shown to promote and support student learning by 1) increasing transparency in allowing clear communication of assessment expectations to students; 2) reducing anxiety regarding assignments; 3) aiding the feedback process for academics; 4) improving student self-efficacy as rubrics facilitate self-assessment; and 5) supporting student self-regulation, as rubrics enable planning, self-assessment and enhance students’ use of feedback, especially when rubrics are used consistently across a programme (see for a review, Panadero & Jonsson, 2013; Cockett & Jackson, 2018).
Evidence of the positive impact of the use of assessment rubrics can also be found on the ground at the University of Hull. Indeed, some departments at the UoH, such as Sport, Health and Exercise Science (SHES), where assessment rubrics have been used and embedded across programmes for several years, high student satisfaction on assessment feedback has repeatedly been found with assessment and feedback NSS and MEQ results in the top quartile or above average.
The suggested workshop would aim at first presenting to staff in the audience what rubric assessment is. This would be done following an evidence-based approach with presentation of the literature and UoH data suggesting the significant positive impact of rubric assessment on students’ learning and experience. A rubric marking exercise* would then be proposed to staff in the audience for them to have a first-hand experience of rubric marking, with then the possibility to directly assess and address questions such as inter-rater reliability, consistency of marking, etc. Mentimeter would finally be used at the end of the workshop to gather feedback on staff’s willingness to introduce rubric marking in their module/programme, on facilitators and barriers for the use of rubric assessment, etc.
Lisa Jennison, Paramedical, Perioperative and Advanced Practice; Paul Chin, Library Skills Team; Soolmaz Lashgary, Student
The aim of this workshop is to share an example of collaborative working, which resulted in targeted interventions designed to improve the students’ academic attainment. The workshop will include feedback from a student, with academic and skills team staff contributions. It will explore use of leadership and collaboration skills to:
With a cohort of 300 nursing degree students, this is a large module and students were not performing well in terms of attainment. Issues included negative student feedback on the assignment task and a significantly high number of summative assessment referrals (fails) of 52/282 final submissions.
Module data were reviewed from these sources: Module and External Examiner’s report, AMREP, MEQs, Mentimeter, PASS (Peer Assisted Student Service). The module leader was able to identify compounding issues including an overall problem with basic study skills. The module assignment consisted of a 4000-word essay. Students experienced difficulty in achieving the word count and meeting all of the assessment criteria. Population data shows a significant number of students are from the local culturally diverse area and some do not speak English as their first language.
In consultation with Fiona Ware (library skills team) 2 lectures were introduced, focusing on searching and referencing skills, with a formative Canvas quiz using multiple choice questions (MCQs) to underpin lecture content. Utilising Benita Wilson’s (lecturer) expertise, 2 workshops on academic writing were added to the timetable. The assessment was modified to a 3000 word assignment, with amended criteria based on PASS and MEQ student feedback. The ‘Mentimeter’ online tool facilitated student engagement and timely feedback.
Assessment results demonstrated that referrals/fails rates have been reduced from 18.4% to 13.2%. Grades within the 50-59% mark have increased from 36 to 71 submissions. Students reported positively on the addition of online module resources. It would appear that measures taken have improved both summative and formative student experiences, related to the assignment task. This is evident from both quantitative and qualitative data sources. Other programmes of study could potentially benefit from taking similar approaches to those outlined here.
Bioscience Education Research Group: Professor Graham Scott (presenting), Dr Lesley Morrell, Dr Katharine Hubbard, Dr Dom Henri
During the last 15 years members of the Bioscience Education Research Group have been innovative in their assessment and feedback practices. We have focused upon the use of iterative assessments (both formative and summative) as a means of increasing student engagement, success and self-confidence whilst simultaneously increasing the feedback available to students. Wherever possible this is done without increasing the assessment burden of staff, or in fact decreasing it, and feedback times are always considerably shorter than the university ‘target’ of 4 weeks.
In this presentation we will provide a brief overview of a number of our successful innovations. Specifically we highlight the use of Canvas to provide iterative formative tests that act as gateways to subsequent summative assessment (Hubbard unpublished, pre-certificate students); student use of tutor feedback on the work of peers to enable them to gauge the quality of their own work (Morrell, 2014 Bioscience Education, finalists); and, the value of a feedback conversation between tutors, students and their peers as a means of improving the quality of work and student confidence (Scott, 2017 Higher Education Pedagogies, finalists). We set this practice in the context of our work on student perceptions of their learner autonomy (Henri et al, 2018 Higher Education, all undergraduate stages) and highlight key principles that we believe might be incorporated into future modules.
Professor Marina Mozzon-McPherson and Hongshan Yu, Confucius Institute. Jack Graham and Jennifer Heaney, Chinese Studies students
This presentation will examine the learning journey of two students in Chinese Studies and their teachers with feedback as the golden thread which informed and transformed the students’ ability to self-regulate and self-determinate and had an impact on their academic performance. The teaching of Chinese in this specific study was truly interdisciplinary involving various forms of art from poetry to music, tai chi, history, and the explicit use of soft skills such as engaging a large audience, self-discipline, teamwork, intercultural sensitivity, leadership.
Informed by research in transformative pedagogies, this scholarly work will demonstrate step by step how the skills of coaching used by the teachers were fundamental to take feedback forward into an insightful and interactive new direction where both teachers and students worked in partnership to co-construct learning and reach the agreed goal. The final outcome was an ambitious performance at a prestigious national Chinese competition in London, The Bridge Competition. Both students won distinctive individual awards respectively for best performance and most creative.
This presentation includes the qualitative analysis of thick data gathered during the whole learning journey of the two students, interviews with some of the immediate family who attended the national event, and the reflections of the teachers as they engaged in this innovative, interdisciplinary approach to teaching.
John Harrison, Dr Rebecca Kendall and Joe Hancock, Careers, Entrepreneurship & Study Abroad
Embedding employability within programmes is a significant contributing factor in supporting our students to secure meaningful and purposeful employment upon graduation. The skills and attributes set out by strategy provide some guidance as to the nature of what is required. However, without an understanding of the ever evolving employability discourse, graduate recruitment trends and labour market context, can we really have a significant positive impact on the employment outcomes of our graduates?
The careers, entrepreneurship and study abroad team invite you to take part in an interactive workshop which will allow you to further your understanding of current employability trends, developments in graduate recruitment processes and labour market intelligence –from a national and local perspective. Furthermore, the Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) survey was replaced by the Graduate Outcome Survey (GOS) last year. This has resulted in one of the most significant metric changes within the sector in recent times. Consequently, the changes bring with them increased obligations and responsibilities for the University. With this in mind, the workshop will also detail the systematic changes to the way graduates are surveyed and the institution’s role in data provision and obligations under the new model.
By understanding the way graduate employment is measured, coupled with a broader understanding of employability and graduate recruitment developments, we hope that participants can begin to identify opportunities within curriculum to embed employability which is meaningful, purposeful and reflective of current (and future) market trends.
Dr Jacquie White and Colin Johnson, Faculty of Health Sciences Office; Kate Bridgeman, LTEFHS Students: Lee Parkin, Shannon Heryng, Dhruvika Varun, Marlyn Rajakumar, Leona Feeney
In the academic year of 2017/2018, feedback from a range of institutional data sources, both evidence based and anecdotal, identified the students learning environment as a key area for improvement. At around the same time early discussions around working with students as partners were taking place. Partnership working with students is becoming more established in Higher Education (HE) due to a range of wider economic factors and policy changes. A prime example of this is increased competition and the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) which have changed the nature of relationships between institutions and students from that of passive, to students being active agents in their learning (Healey et al, 2014 and O’Thomas, n.d.). From the institutions perspective, feedback from students is invaluable in this new era of the TEF.
There are a range of benefits to working collaboratively with students which include the development of knowledge and skills which can enhance their employability prospects, the ability to influence change, a deeper understanding of learning, enhanced engagement, motivation and enthusiasm and the sense of shared responsibility (Jisc, 2016 and Bovill 2010). At a local level participating in partnership working will also equip students with skills and activities that are recognised and can contribute to the Hull Employability Awards.
This discussion paper will outline the journey so far with stakeholders including staff and students discussing their experiences of working in a partnership capacity and providing a report on project findings up to now.
Simon Grey and Dr Neil Gordon, Computer Science and Technology
This paper considers how to encourage and engage students with their studies, enabling them to become more effective self-managers. This is particularly relevant for level 4 modules at the transition to university, where the greater focus on independent learning, and the increased autonomy compared to school and college can leave students floundering.
This paper considers two case studies, of how technology can enable and support portfolios of continuous activity and assessment, to help guide students as to where to focus their time and efforts, whilst rapid (automatic) feedback can help maintain their engagement. The first case study is from a bespoke programming tutor, the second is an example of assessing mathematical topics using the Canvas VLE.
These gamification approaches (low risk, immediate response, multiple attempt) enable scalable and adaptable approaches to teaching, learning and assessment, and have had positive feedback from students through student-staff forums and module evaluations. The portfolio approach spreads workload for students –and staff –and can help in avoiding the bunching of assessment that can otherwise happen. However, there are practical issues when it comes to mitigation, extensions and other regulations. The paper will include discussion of these aspects and approaches to address them.
Dr Michael Varney, Law & Claire Williams, Organisational Behaviour and HRM
Over the 2018/19 academic year LTE has been running a university-wide pilot of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) classroom interaction tool, ‘Mentimeter’. With a wide range of question types available, using Mentimeter has enabled teaching staff to successfully interact with students in a variety of pedagogies. The anonymous nature of the interactions has also been a key enabler for empowering students to engage both honestly and meaningfully.
The use of Mentimeter in learning, teaching and assessment has proved to be highly valued by staff and students alike. This session will be delivered by two of the pilot participants, exploring the different use cases from participants across the faculties.
Dr Katharine Hubbard, Biology; Dr Caroline Douglas, Sport Health and Exercise Science (SHES)
The aim of university education is to create capable graduates, who are able to communicate clearly, self-regulate and have confidence in their skills and abilities. Final year dissertation projects are commonly seen as a ‘capstone’ experience of the degree, which should develop a range of discipline specific skills and more general graduate attributes. However, the dissertation experience is often a ‘private’ form of learning that is focused on a very narrow topic, so we may be missing opportunities to develop graduate attributes and wider skills in the traditional dissertation.
We have been running a mixed-methods project to evaluate the impact of the Student Thesis Conference run by Sports Health and Exercise Science (SHES). This conference is attended by students of all years, with students completing increasingly demanding tasks at the conference, thereby providing a programme focussed assessment strategy and a spiral curriculum for research-led teaching.
The Conference has been partially responsible for the high NSS scores within SHES, and our research highlights a range of benefits that students gain from the conference experience (Douglas et al., 2018). Our research indicates that the primary benefit of the conference is to facilitate the development of an undergraduate Community of Inquiry (Garrison, Anderson and Archer, 2000) which is missing in the traditional dissertation experience. We also demonstrate the conference increases student confidence (particularly for female students), and allows students to develop a sense of pride in their work. We will explore the implications of our research, and provide suggestions of how to implement similar strategies in the forthcoming curriculum review.
Catherine Frear and Adele Sewell, Bishop Burton College
In an ever increased digital society where we give our feedback to students online it is important that the messages we send to students are phrased in such a manner that can be understood clearly. Transactional analysis Berne (1964) if used within the classroom, can be a powerful tool to support feedback given to students and increase motivation. Through the use of the essential core concepts of transactional analysis a motivational environment can be prompted. Focusing on the relational approach where the student-tutor dyad is at the centre (Rogers 1978). Utilising techniques of ego states, strokes, games and scripts, this interactive workshop will explore some of the principles of transactional analysis by establishing the basic principles of the theory. These will then be discussed in terms of how to increase efficiency of student feedback to enable students to progress in their learning.
Victoria Burton, Psychological Health, Wellbeing and Social Work; Kate Bridgeman, LTE
This paper will outline and discuss a recent pilot which has taken place with final year social work students in the Faculty of Health Sciences in which optional peer marking workshops for students have been introduced.
The pilot was borne out of responses to previous feedback from the National Students Survey (NSS) and Module Evaluation Questionnaires (MEQs) which highlighted the need for improvement within the assessment and feedback metric. In addition to this, students have expressed difficulty with embedding and understanding the grading criteria particularly around the higher level technical characteristics such as analysis and synthesis at both module and programme level. The work of Williams (2005) and O’Donovan et al (2004) acknowledges a gap between markers and student expectations of assessment.
The pilot was centred around effective assessment and feedback practice (Ferrell, (2012) which incorporates critical and independent thinking, communication and knowledge management. The work of Turnbull and Morris (2011) demonstrates implementing a similar initiative to this pilot with positive outcomes.
Two optional workshops took place of which 21 students attended out of 60. A marked essay was provided to students to read. This had been circulated well in advance of the workshop. The task was outlined and grading criteria was provided. A group discussion took place where the concept of grading was explained. Students were then given 30 minutes to read the assignment after which they were asked to mark the essay in pairs or small groups.
A full group discussion then took place with students asked to explain and justify how they had graded the piece of work, what had stood out and what mark they had awarded. Once the academic revealed the mark which had been awarded a further critical discussion followed. Mentimeter was used to elicit feedback from students on the activity with a view to informing future development. Members of the audience will be asked to speculate on how students grading compared with academics using Mentimeter before the findings of the pilot are presented. What do you think happened?
Dr Mark Fogarty, Faculty of Health Sciences Office
This paper will outline and discuss an informal pilot which took place in a Sports Science module in which audio feedback was provided to students instead of the traditional written feedback.
The pilot arose due to some negative qualitative feedback from Module Evaluation Questionnaires (MEQs) and feedback from a student with specific learning requirements which prompted reflection on academic feedback practice. Reflection considered what students were getting out of their feedback, how long it took to do, what was the potential impact of the written words being used in feedback to students and their ability to interpret and use the feedback effectively. How many of us really consider how our comments might be interpreted by students?
This interaction drove the identification of several potential alternative methods of feedback from which audio was selected as an approach to trial. Research found several positive research papers and case studies around the use of audio feedback. An exploration of free to use software and tools took place which helped to establish that the integration of video screen capture software with the ability to record audio comments over would work more effectively than other methods. This would support the aim of being able to discuss specific issues with a student’s piece of work which would appear less critical in the spoken form due to the intonation being heard as opposed to misinterpretation arising from written feedback.
Panopto was used to provide feedback to a group of level 4 students. In evaluating this, the overall MEQ data between the 2016 and 2017 cohort was relatively similar in terms of the overall module performance and the specific scores related to feedback. However, there were no negative qualitative comments relating to the timing of the feedback which there had been previously. Anecdotal feedback from students suggested that they found this style of feedback much more supportive than the traditional form they’d received earlier in the module.
There are also benefits to academics in using audio to provide feedback in the form of time efficiencies due to being able to speak more quickly than type. As an example the time spent marking using traditional methods ranged from 45min-1hr compared to 30-35mins using Panopto for audio feedback. The quality of feedback was improved because sections of text could be highlighted and more in-depth feedback provided around specific points. It was also easier to articulate and provide clearer instruction on how to progress critical thinking within the student population.
Nikki Davies and Christine Hill, Registry Services
This session will provide an overview of the exams scheduling process in terms of how we build the exam timetable. We will also be asking for feedback from colleagues about what an ideal exam timetable would look like and how this can ensure the best possible outcomes for students. There will also be an opportunity for an interactive task to produce a sample timetable.
Dr Helen Fenwick & Alison Price-Moir, History
The transition from college/school/workplace to University can be a challenging one for any student. This paper will explore the methods that have been deployed through the first trimester History curriculum to inculcate core academic and disciplinary specific skills in a wide variety of students. Continuous assessment of seminar participation with the subsequent submission of individual write-ups has allowed students to focus on speaking and writing in an academic and subject specific context, and to receive regular feedback to help improve their performance and understanding of what is expected of a student studying History at level 4.Having these tasks as (small-stakes) summative assessments requires students to complete and submit their work. This paper will demonstrate how these small risk assessed tasks have raised the overall performance on the final summative essay on this one module, how this compares to the take-up of non-assessed formative work on concurrent modules, and will explore issues of attainment and attendance across the cohort. This will be placed alongside an overview of the challenges, but largely rewards, that are reaped from seminar participation which is now integral to all levels of teaching and learning in History’s provision. The paper will explore student feedback on participation from all levels, and will highlight findings that suggest that, by the final year, students often ask for this form of assessment.
Seminar Participation was key to the overall programme design during Curriculum 2016, and came about as a result of a very successful Faculty workshop led by Kay Sambell looking at ‘assessment for learning’ rather than assessment of learning (Sambell 2013). The pedagogical concept was adopted to solve a number of problems that had been identified including declining results, a more diverse cohort of students and issues identified in relation to attendance, engagement and attainment.
Dr John Dixon, Computer Science and Technology
With the financial cost of higher education now regularly exceeding £50k before maintenance in the UK, students are more concerned than ever that their degree must offer value for money when they enter the jobs marketplace (Lambert &Herbert, 2017). The work-experience trap is a commonly cited drawback to a lengthy stay in education where, commonly, real-life practice is side-lined or ignored in favour of “toy problems” (Fincher and Finlay, 2016) easily marked coursework and assessments which encourage fact regurgitation in limited areas. Employers across the globe want their applicants to have workplace experience and practiced soft skills (Hamilton et al. (2015), Kranov &Khalaf (2016), Prinsley &Baranyai (2013)) but few students coming out of higher education can fulfill these requirements (McKinnon &McCrae, 2012).
By giving teams of students real projects with real customers in a trust-based, hands-off configuration, students build soft skills, confidence and experience which are key to improving graduate futures (Patel, Brinkman &Coughlan, 2012). However, the traditional approaches of relying on industrial placements in a climate of rising tuition fees is a challenge; students would prefer to start earning after three years or improve their employability through a Masters level qualification instead (Thompson, Edwards &Hardy, 2005).
Computer Science at the University of Hull have established a capstone Commercial Development Practice module as part of the 4th year of the MEng programme. This module takes the place of a conventional 40-credit Masters-level dissertation and offers students who are not focussed on continued academic study the opportunity to gain invaluable practice in planning, designing, creating and testing real, production-ready software for real clients.
This work is conducted part-time in dedicated on-campus offices alongside other studies with an allocation of approximately 40 working days over two trimesters. The teams of students are supervised both academically (assessment, feedback, reflective practice and academic input) and through an externally contracted commercial manager (guidance and industrial input). However, within that framework, the teams are self-organising and have the opportunity to make mistakes and learn in a safe environment.
Data collected from 2015-2018 shows the huge impact students feel this opportunity has on their capability and employability, and offers an insight into best-practice for driving graduate futures and experience across STEM areas and for higher education in general.
Katie Moran & Alfie Hunt, 3rd year psychology student; Chloe Bradshaw-Coulson, 2nd year psychology student; Dr Shane Lindsay, Psychology; Dr Stuart McGugan, LTE; Chris Awre, Information Services
The extent to which undergraduate students see themselves as partners and producers in their university’s research practice has been examined by Brew (2006) who found that students often feel ‘at arms-length’ from the university research community. This may indicate a lack of deep reflection on the purpose of exposing undergraduates to research by academics supervising undergraduate research activities (Wilson et al 2012).
Yet, the final year undergraduate research project presents an authentic learning opportunity to empower students to become members of a research community. It also represents a significant opportunity for students to explore career directions, build transferable skills and enhance resumes.
This paper shares the experiences of students undertaking an undergraduate psychology degree, who are asked to complete a capstone research project in their final year, which for many is their most significant achievement following three years of study.
Students reported difficulty accessing previous student’s work to build upon and use as exemplars. They also reported a need to feel a greater sense of recognition and to document their hard work.
Working in partnership with students, we report on a student-led project to create a stronger identity of students as producers of research. In collaboration with the University Library we set up a student journal of undergraduate research and a digital archiving process for previous projects. This archiving process was inspired by recent developments of “Open Science” for the need for more open and transparent research practices and sharing of resources. We evaluate these shifts of identity and a greater level of engagement through student recognition of their value as producers of scholarly outputs, and through contributing to the enterprise of psychological science. The approach adopted could be applied to any other discipline.