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Issue 39 | Autumn 2015

Forum

enhancing learning and teaching

Strategies for effective learning

A new learning and teaching strategy

Review of the pedagogy roll out The science of learning

Programme-level progression

Flipping Classrooms Examples of effective teaching


2 Forum issue 39

Forum

Forum is published biannually by

the Learning and Teaching Forum

https://www.york.ac.uk/staff/

teaching/community/peer-support/forum/

Editor: Claire Hughes

claire.hughes@york.ac.uk

Sub-editor: Ruth Mewis

ruth.mewis@york.ac.uk

Editorial Committee: Sara Perry.

Design and print: Design Solutions

www.york.ac.uk/design-printsolutions

Contents

3 News

6 Progression in modular

degree programmes

8 Book review: Make it

Stick

10 Archaeology’s

Assessed Seminars

13 Using technology to

propel student learning

14 Flipping classrooms

16 Sharing practice

18 Student self-reflection,

interaction and teacher

corrective feedback:

L2 Chinese writing pilot

project

22 Derwent Global

Community

24 Learning and Teaching

Calendar of Events

Centre pull out

The York Pedagogy:

What and why, how

and why

For a large print, black and

white text version, please

contact learning-andteaching-forum@york.ac.uk

Editorial

AIt is with great pleasure that I welcome

you to the first issue of Forum for which

I have acted as Editor. Before going

on I want to thank Paola Zerilli for all of her

excellent work on the magazine in the last few

years. Paola’s input has ensured that Forum

remains a valuable (and stylish) resource for

all involved in teaching at York.

The theme of the current issue, Strategies for effective learning,

was inspired by our new Learning and Teaching Strategy. Perhaps a

good place to start reading this issue would be the centre pull-out

in which John Robinson (York’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning,

Teaching and Students) sets the scene by explaining the basis for the

Strategy. To me, the introduction of a new university-wide Learning

and Teaching Strategy gives us a fresh, new way to think about our

degree programmes. If our existing programmes are already in line

with the Strategy, I think it tells us the sorts of values and principles

within them that we should be communicating to our students. For

some programmes, it will perhaps help us to identify areas where

we need to make subtle changes to ensure that the most effective

learning is taking place. Whatever the case, this issue of Forum

comes at a time when many of us will be thinking about what the

Strategy means for our teaching. With that in mind, the articles

you will find in the following pages highlight aspects of our existing

teaching which already align with the strategy but also introduce

examples of good practice which are based on best evidence from

educational research. Applying the ‘best evidence for effective

learning design, practice and support for learning’ is a key principle

in the new Strategy and it is our intention that future issues of

Forum will continue to provide summaries of best evidence from

educational research and examples of related practice to inform

future developments in teaching.

We hope that this and future issues of Forum will be a valuable

resource as we prepare to welcome in our new Learning and

Teaching Strategy.

Claire Hughes

Editor

The Writing Centre

The Writing Centre offers undergraduate and postgraduate taught students a neutral

space where they can discuss their writing and related skills with an experienced

writing tutor. The Writing Centre supports the development of student’s confidence in

their academic skills and therefore their independence as academic learners. Distance

learning students can access our services remotely.

Departmental Writing Support

The centre also offers bespoke writing support sessions for departments. These

sessions discuss writing using relevant discipline specific exemplars and marking

criteria which help develop students’ understanding of departmental expectations of

writing and improve their confidence in writing.

For more information about the support the Writing Centre can offer please contact

Maddy Mossman madeleine.mossman@york.ac.uk.


Forum issue 39 3

News

Vice-Chancellor Teaching

Awards 2015

Congratulations to colleagues who have been awarded Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching

Awards this year. The scheme recognises and rewards colleagues (academics,

learning support staff, teaching ‘teams’ and postgraduates/postdocs who teach) who

demonstrate excellence in teaching and/or learning support at York.

●●

Ms Jenny Gibbons, Teaching Fellow, York Law School

●●

Professor Rex Godby, Professor, Department of Physics

●●

Mr Richard Grimes, Director of Clinical Programmes, York Law School

●●

Dr Peter Knapp, Senior Lecturer, Hull York Medical School

●●

Dr Aleksandra McClain, Lecturer, Department of Archaeology

●●

Professor Peter O’Brien, Professor, Department of Chemistry

●●

Professor Colin Runciman, Professor, Department of Computer Sciences

●●

Mr James Taylor, PGWT, Department of Archaeology

●●

Dr Lars Waldorf, Senior Lecturer, York Law School

New Learning and

Teaching webpages

You may have noticed the Learning

and Teaching web pages for staff have

undergone some changes. Following a

review, the structure of the pages has

been updated to make the site easier

to navigate, whilst new content is also

being developed. View the new site at

www.york.ac.uk/staff/teaching.

The restructure means you may

need to update any existing links or

bookmarks you have to the Learning and

Teaching pages.

New content to support your

teaching

New additions to the site include a

‘Community’ section, containing news,

blogs, events and workshops taking place

for teaching staff. There is also a new

‘Core themes’ section which will provide

‘the basics’ for key areas of teaching,

as well as a ‘Developing your teaching’

section, containing all development

opportunities available for you at

York. The site continues to provide full

information around learning and teaching

policy and procedures.

The site is now divided into seven areas:

●●

Core themes

●●

Support services

●●

Community, news and events

●●

Developing your teaching

●●

Rewarding teaching excellence

●●

Strategy, policy and procedure

●●

Teaching committees and contacts

The site redevelopment doesn’t end

here and the teams within the Academic

Support Office are working on further

new content so keep an eye out for

future updates.

We hope you find the new pages

useful. We’re keen to hear your feedback

so please email Christine Comrie, Digital

Editor in Internal Communications, with

your thoughts on the new site: christine.

comrie@york.ac.uk.

York

Technology-

Enhanced

Learning (TEL)

Handbook

launched

The York Technology-Enhanced

Learning (TEL) Handbook is now

available online at https://bitly.

com/ytelhb. The Handbook is aimed

at both new staff and experienced

practitioners, with emphasis on

student engagement and student

work that underpins the York

pedagogy. The Handbook includes

recommended approaches to

using Yorkshare, a baseline model

for structuring Yorkshare module

sites to support learning, advice on

accessible digital resource creation

for inclusive practice, designing and

facilitating online learning activities,

digital assessment and forms of

feedback, and evaluation of learning

and teaching using technology.

Written from a pedagogical and

practical perspective, the York TEL

Handbook features case studies of

practice at York and walkthroughs

of online learning interventions.

Each section in the Handbook

has a single-page checklist as a

quick prompt for practice and can

assist you in identifying further

opportunities for the effective use of

learning technologies.

Supporting ongoing professional

development, the York TEL

Handbook is aiming to be a resource

that will support the whole learning

and teaching community at York.

As such, we welcome feedback on

the Handbook, in particular where

we can provide further advice, and

comments showing the impact it

has made on your practice. Please

take a few moments to provide

feedback and suggestions at http://

bit.ly/ytelhb-feedback.


4 Forum issue 39

News

Annual learning and

teaching conference

The 2015 conference, attended by over

150 delegates, was on the theme of One

size does not fit all ensuring all students

reach their potential. A variety of

workshops were run by York colleagues

exploring the conference theme,

including topics such as making the

curriculum more accessible to disabled

students and personalising feedback.

Summaries of the sessions and

resources can be found on the website:

http://yorkforum.org/the-annual-ltconference/.

Next year’s conference will take

place in Week 9 of the summer term:

Tuesday 7 June 2015. The theme will

be Value added graduates: enabling our

students to be successful. The call for

contributions is now open. If you’d like

any further information or to contribute

please email, learning-and-teachingforum@york.ac.uk.

Funding opportunities 2015/16

Rapid Response Funding is available this academic year, in the form of grants of up to

£3,000 in support of small-scale short-term projects, initiatives or purchases to enhance

the quality of learning and teaching by addressing a clearly-identified need or issue.

Funding is limited, and grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

All members of staff involved in delivering or supporting learning and teaching are

eligible to apply. There is a short application form which can be submitted electronically

at any time. For further information, see

www.york.ac.uk/staff/teaching/support/funding/.

Forum workshop series 2015/16

Forum run a series of lunchtime

workshops each term on a variety of

themes, and we encourage you to come

along to contribute to the discussion

and find out more about the pedagogy

and practice of other university

departments.

The workshops are designed and run

by colleagues and delivered in a variety

of ways. There is innovative learning and

teaching practice taking place every day

at the University and Forum workshops

are an opportunity for you to find out

about them and experiment.

This year Forum are mindful of

university developments and changes

around learning and teaching and we

want to assist colleagues as much as we

can. As such, the 2015/16 workshops will

be on the three key thematic strands of

(1) York Pedagogy in Action, (2) Spotlight

on Faculties and (3) Engagement with

Learning Theory. If you have ideas for

spring or summer workshop sessions to

assist in the development of these

strands please do get in touch.

The autumn term workshops are now

open for registrations.

Autumn series:

Workshops run from 12.30-2.00pm with

refreshments available from 12.15pm.

Feel free to bring your own lunch.

●●

Monday 2 November 2015 (week 6)

Rethinking feedback in light of the

York Pedagogy, Heslington Hall

●●

Monday 16 November 2015 (week 8)

Engagement with learning theory:

Experiential learning and inter-cohort

mentoring, Ron Cooke Hub

If you want to find out more please see

the website, http://bit.ly/1ECayY8, or

if you have any suggestions for future

workshops, please contact us on learningand-teaching-forum@york.ac.uk.

New

online

Research

Integrity

Tutorial

The University has developed a

new online Research Integrity

Tutorial. This tutorial has replaced

the Academic Integrity Tutorial

as the compulsory progression

requirement for all postgraduate

research (PGR) students (PhD,

EngD, Masters by research) from

the 2015/16 academic year. PGR

students must complete the

online tutorial before their first

Thesis Advisory Panel and this

will be automatically registered

in e:vision under Supervision

meeting records and research

details. The tutorial is tailored

to the specific needs of PGR

students and has been designed

to familiarise them with the

University’s principles, policies

and procedures in relation to

research integrity and ethics.

It is hoped that completion of

the tutorial will help to further

cultivate the highest standards

of rigour and integrity in the

University’s postgraduate

research community.

The Research Integrity Tutorial

is located in the Yorkshare

VLE module list of all PGR

students and a demo version is

available in the VLE for all staff.

It is recommended that staff,

especially PGR supervisors,

familiarise themselves with the

Research Integrity Tutorial. There

will be a number of orientation

sessions organised for staff and

students relating to the tutorial.

Contact stephen.gow@york.

ac.uk for information on the

Research Integrity Tutorial.


Forum issue 39 5

News

Academic Acculturation:

Addressing mismatches in expectations between staff and students

regarding student performance in academic interactions

As students and teaching staff

come from increasingly diverse

educational and cultural backgrounds,

it would seem that a course on initial

expectations management could serve

to address feelings of staff frustration

and student confusion regarding

behaviours in academic interactions

such as seminars, lectures, workshops

and supervisions.

On the 8 week Department of

Education pre-sessional programme

run by the Centre for English Language

Teaching, departmental staff and

students came together for a 90

minute workshop with the aim of

aligning staff and student expectations.

The workshop also served to establish

relationships between staff and

students and to raise staff awareness

of the challenges students face in

adapting to the demands of unfamiliar

academic interactions.

The workshop began with students

defining different academic interactions

(seminars, lectures, workshops and

supervisions), discussing a perceived

rationale for these and predicting how

they would be expected to prepare for

and behave during these situations.

The students then interviewed staff to

establish similarities and differences in

expectations and went on to discuss

what challenges these staff expectations

represented for them. They then

shared these with the staff members

who considered how they could adapt

teaching in order to assist students in

overcoming these challenges.

A simple, time efficient way to save

on future frustration and confusion.

Please contact CELT, celt@york.

ac.uk or Victoria Jack,victoria.jack@

york.ac.uk for further information

about academic acculturation sessions.

Environment Department

post-doc wins teaching prize

Paul Tobin wins national prize for teaching excellence

Sitting suited and booted at an awards ceremony in a posh

London hotel, it was a real privilege to be awarded this

year’s Higher Education Academy/British International

Studies Association PGWT Prize for Teaching Excellence.

I was lucky to have incredible supervisors and fellow

students around me during my PhD, but during some of

the inevitably more isolated parts, teaching felt liberating.

Not just because it was an opportunity to break the

solitude of writing, but because it was a chance to be

creative.

New technology and group debates were the

foundations of my teaching style during my PhD. For

example, I tasked my students with creating ‘Twitter

Summaries’. Students were asked to define one of the core

concepts discussed during the seminar in 140 characters

or less, in order to improve concision and identify key ideas. In another seminar – which

took place at the same time as the UN’s climate negotiations – I allocated each student

a different country to role-play, as part of a model UN debate. Rather than finding a

utopian solution to climate change, the discussions were often directionless, just like

in real life. The students said that the activity made the real negotiations a lot more

comprehensible and human.

Both the Politics Department where I wrote my PhD, and the Environment

Department where I am now a post-doc, encourage early career researchers to try new

teaching methods. Moreover, the excellent York Learning and Teaching Award (known

as ‘Preparing Future Academics’ when I did it) encouraged me to try out new methods,

and I would encourage every PhD student to do it. I feel really proud to be awarded this

year’s Prize, and so grateful to the University for enabling me to win it.

Postgraduate

Taught Special

Interest Group

The Postgraduate Taught SIG

provides an open forum for

academic staff and support

staff involved in taught masters

programmes to discuss significant

issues which affect or contribute to

the teaching, learning and overall

student experience.

The group will meet at the

following times:

●●

Autumn: Tuesday 8 December

2015, Chemistry, C/A/102

●●

Spring: Wednesday 16 March

2015, Chemistry, C/A/102

●●

Summer: Tuesday 21 June 2016,

Heslington Hall, HG21

All meetings take place from 12.30-

2pm and lunch is provided.

If you would be interested in

joining the group, please contact

Janet Barton, janet.barton@york.

ac.uk.


6 Forum issue 39

Progression in

modular degree

programmes:

making them greater than

the sum of their modules

Modular degree programmes

offer students richness

in choice but are also

accompanied by

concerns regarding

cohesion and progression.

Here Claire Hughes

explores these issues

and discusses

approaches to defining

and mapping the

expected progression in

our degree programmes.

A coherent learning experience in

a modular system

A modular higher education system

brings with it increased student choice,

opportunities for more immediate and

continuing feedback, and is believed

to promote learner autonomy and

interdisciplinarity (Goldschmid and

Goldschmid, 1973; Walker, 1994). Despite

its clear benefits this more individualised

learning experience is not, however,

without its criticism. Some question

whether teaching and assessing in

discreet packages always provides

students with the learning experience

needed to develop higher level thinking

skills and promote lifelong learning.

Educational theory, such as that

detailed in the Science of Successful

Learning (Brown et al, 2014), tells

us that a balanced, progressive and

coherent learning experience which

provides students with opportunities

for ‘retrieval and interleaving’ is the

best way to develop capable graduates.

This tells us that the learning within

a degree programme will be greater

Don’t blame me for the

factual errors … blame the internet

than the sum of that within each of its

modules if the teaching within each

module represents a stepping stone in

a well-defined progression. It is easy to

see why achieving this could be difficult

in a system which offers students the

freedom to develop their own bespoke

programmes of study.

The expected progression?

Programme-level thinking is clearly

essential for guaranteeing that balanced,

progressive and coherent learning

experience under the modular system. The

University Strategy clearly recognises this

by putting ‘programme design (and student

work) at the heart of our new pedagogy’.

Every programme will have distinctive

and clear objectives, and each stage of

study will be designed to offer progress

towards those programme objectives.

Carefully designed student work will

enable students to make progress.

Students will understand the work they

are expected to do and how that work

will contribute to the achievement of the

programme objectives.

The ‘careful, collaborative design of

a small number of concise, powerful,

stretching yet achievable learning

outcomes for each programme’ will define

what students should be able to do when

they graduate and establishes the skills

set that our teaching should be aimed

towards developing. Our new pedagogy

also wants students to understand the

expected progression from incoming

first year to capable graduate and how,

through their individualised, modular

programmes of study, they will achieve

the programme learning outcomes.

The benefits to students of

understanding the expected progression

towards programme learning objectives

are well-articulated in the new Learning

and Teaching Strategy and include an

understanding of ‘the coherence of

their programme’ and ‘their stage of

development within it’, but there are

also likely to be advantages for teaching

staff. In addition to providing a framework

for the design of new modules and the

preparation of feedback that informs the

learning progression, educational research

suggests that so-called curriculum

(progression) mapping can be ‘a vehicle

for collaboration’ and increases the

feeling of collegiality amongst academic

staff (Uchiyama and Radin, 2009). The

potential benefits are clear but defining

and visualising the expected progression

in a way that is beneficial for students

and teaching staff may seem at first like

a daunting task, especially for existing

programmes. Much can, however, be

learnt from processes that have come

before this.

Due to extensive auditing for

generic skills in recent years most of

us probably now have a good idea of

where transferable skills sit within

our programmes. Whilst defining the

pathway towards degree-specific learning

outcomes differs in that it requires an

understanding of where discipline/

subject-specific skills are taught, the

mapping process is essentially the same

as that developed for generic skills. There

is a wide range of educational research

on generic skills auditing that could be of

use in this new endeavour. Sumison and

Goodfellow (2004), for example, describe

an approach to generic skills auditing

which is based on the premise that skills

development requires training, practice,

monitoring and assessment (Gibbs et al,

1994). Their auditing process required


Forum issue 39 7

Progression skills:

eg use of sources,

argument, development

Expected skills:

eg text structuring

1st year 2nd year 3rd year

Year 1

Year 2

2 (ii) 2 (i) 1st

increasing level of attainment

Year 3

Progression mapping marking criteria – The level of attainment required to achieve

a given degree grading increases as the students move through the year groups.

increasing level of attainment

module coordinators to complete a

survey indicating if generic skills were

‘1. Assumed, 2. Encouraged, 3. Modelled,

4. Explicitly taught, 5. Required or 6.

Evaluated’. This provides a depth of

information that can be used to check if

students are being offered opportunities

for utilising newly gained skills or

‘retrieval and interleaving’ (Brown et al,

2014) before they are assessed. A survey

of the relevant literature reveals other

examples (eg Tariq et al, 2004) where

similar methods are advocated.

A progression in expectations

Whatever way (and to what extent)

we define and communicate the

expected progression in our degree

programmes it may seem appropriate

to accompany this with a progression

in our expectations when it comes to

assessment. If students are expected

to improve and/ or develop new skills

as they move through our degree

programmes is it unfair to judge them

against the same criteria in years 1, 2

and 3 and beyond? Progression maps

could be of great use in helping us to

define our assessment schedules as

they will allow us to identify where

the skills included in our programme

learning outcomes are taught, practiced,

monitored (Gibbs et al, 1994) and

ultimately provide guidance on when

they can be assessed. This idea has links

to the call for the programme-level

coordination of assessment detailed in

the new Learning and Teaching Strategy.

In the Environment Department

here in York we recently introduced

programme-wide assessment criteria

which map the expected progression

in skills from incoming first year to

graduating BSc, MSc or MEnv student.

We have a different set of assessment

criteria for each year of study. Whilst

the skills being assessed remain the

same, the expectations for some skills

increases as students move through

the year groups whilst that for some

(assumed) skills remains the same. This

means that whilst students may obtain

a 1st class degree for a piece of work

in first year, the same piece of work

would only obtain a 2(i) in second year

(and so on) if there is no evidence of

progression. In addition to the marking

criteria for each year of study we have

also developed progression matrices

which use colour-coded blocks to show

students clearly how they are expected

to progress in each skill.

Whilst research has shown that

programme-wide marking criteria are

not appropriate for all programmes

of study (Price and Rust, 1999),

mapping the expected progression in

subject-specific skills in this way has

a clear advantage in that it is linked

to assessment which is a big student

motivator. Students are perhaps more

likely to engage with the progression

maps, and hence have a greater

understanding of the coherence of

their programmes, if they are linked to

assessment. For some students simply

knowing that there is a progression

in expectations when it comes to

assessment should be a big motivator to

improve as they move through the year

groups. In the Environment Department

first year students are introduced to

the criteria against which they will be

assessed throughout their degree during

the first few weeks of the autumn term

in peer-marking sessions. This means

that our students have a map of the

expected progression right from the

very start of their degree programme.

In summary, the programme-level

thinking that sits at the heart of our

pedagogy should bring with it great

benefits for both students and teachers.

In implementing this aspect of our new

pedagogy much can be learnt from the

sharing of ideas across the university

and experiences of generic skills auditing

detailed in educational literature.

Progression mapping marking criteria – The

expectation in some skills increases whilst

others are expected to be well-developed

when students arrive at university.

References

Brown, P. C., Roediger, H. L. and McDaniel, M. A.

(2014) Make it Stick: The Science of Successful

Learning. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

Gibbs, G. Rust, C., Jenkins, A. and Jacques, D.

(1994) Developing students’ transferable skills.

Oxford: The Oxford Centre for Staff Development.

Goldschmid, B. and Goldschmid, M. L (1973)

Modular instruction in higher education: a review.

High. Edu. 2. p15-32

Price, M. and Rust, C. (1999) The experience of

introducing a common criteria assessment grid

across an academic department. Qual. High. Edu.

5. p133-144

Sumison, J. and Goodfellow, J. (2004) Identifying

generic skills through curriculum mapping: a

critical evaluation. High. Edu. Res. Devel. 23.

p329-345

Tariq. V. N., Scott, E. M., Cochrane, A. C., Lee, M.

and Ryles, L. (2004) Auditing and mapping key

skills within university curricula. Qual. Assur. Edu.

12. p70-81

Uchiyama, K. P. and Radin, J. L. (2009) Curriculum

mapping in higher education: a vehicle for

collaboration. Innov. High. Edu. 33. p271-280

Walker, L. (1994) The new higher education

systems, modularity and student capability. In

Jenkins, A. and Walker, L. (eds) Developing Student

Capability Through Modular Courses. Routledge.

Claire Hughes

is a Lecturer in

Environmental

Chemistry and

marine scientist in

the Environment

Department in York. Claire is a

member of the University Learning

and Teaching Forum Committee. In

terms of teaching she is particularly

interested in developing ways to ensure

and communicate programme-level

coherence and the promotion of

student-centred active-learning in

science education.

c.hughes@york.ac.uk


8 Forum issue 39

Book Review

Brown, P. C., Roediger III,

H. L., & McDaniel, M. A.

(2014). Make it Stick: The

Science of Successful

Learning. Cambridge,

Massachusetts and

London, England: The

Belknap Press of Harvard

University Press.

‘All the right

content, but not

necessarily in

the right order’

Sam Hellmuth

This book conveys a few basic principles

which promise to enhance your students’

performance. The authors assume that

we as teachers know our stuff, in terms

of content – they are suggesting practical

ways to deliver that content better. Most

of the principles involve doing more or

less the same things as we do now, but

in a slightly different order: for example,

instead of a mid-term test, split things

out into a series of mini-tests; instead of

only testing on the most recent material,

mix up the questions so you test again

the things you did a few weeks ago, as

well. The authors quote a US lecturer

(p38-39): “I now recognize that as

good a teacher as I might think I am, my

teaching is only a component of their

learning, and how I structure it has a lot

to do with it, maybe even more.”

Why make time in your busy life to

read (some of) this book?

●●

The content is practical. You can read

one chapter and apply the principles

in it to your own teaching right away.

It will offer solutions to problems you

have in your teaching.

●●

The principles are based on research

evidence, including classroom

intervention studies, not just lab

experiments. There is a very good

chance they will work, and students

will do better.

●●

The ideas here are counter-intuitive –

you might arrive at them by yourself,

but you probably won’t. The ideas are

rather refreshing, as a result.

Make it Stick:

The Science

of Successful

Learning

Sam Hellmuth, Department of Language and Linguistic

Science, and Richard Waites, Department of Biology,

share their perspectives on the 2014 book Make it

Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.

●●

It is a quick and easy read. My first

instinct was ‘why read a whole book

on this rather than the review article

they already published’ (Roediger,

Putnam, & Smith, 2011)? In fact the

many examples clarify how the

principles work, in different contexts,

and I found myself instinctively

applying them in my head to the

modules I will be teaching this term.

●●

You don’t need to read the whole book

– you can dip in. I found chapters 2-4

most relevant. Chapter 1 is an overall

position statement, so you could start

straight in with chapter 2. The last

chapter is a ‘how to’ manual, so just

read the ‘tips for teachers’ (p225-

239).

●●

The principles in this book underpin

the new York Pedagogy. If you have

wondered what the new Learning and

Teaching Strategy means when it talks

about “carefully-designed student

work”, then this book will give you

practical principles of ‘careful design’

to follow.

●●

In most of the studies reported in the

book, student evaluations of courses

which adopted these principles

improved significantly.

The proof of the pudding will be in the

eating of course. I am about to restructure

a first year core module in line

with the principles here, so let’s see. If

you do the same, I’d love to hear about it.

Reference List

Roediger III, H. L., Putnam, A. L., & Smith, M.

A. (2011). Ten Benefits of Testing and Their

Applications to Educational Practice. In

J.P.Mestre & B. H. Ross (Eds.), The Psychology

of Learning and Motivation: Cognition in

Education (pp. 1-36). San Diego: Elsevier

Academic Press.


Forum issue 39 9

Bazza’s on work experience he wants

to be a surgeon. As he prefers ‘hands

on’ to book learning we’re letting him

help with your op.

Making it stick in Biology

Richard Waites

I already give one lecture where I try to

explain how to make it stick. Mistletoe is

a parasitic plant that grows in the tops of

trees. The question is how does mistletoe

end up in this preferred location and

what makes them stick? The answer

is that the seed-containing fruits of

mistletoe often pass rapidly through

the birds that consume them, and the

sticky remnants of the fruit fix the seeds

to the tree prompting germination. This

is a successful strategy that has coevolved

to the benefit of both mistletoe

and birds. A series of experiments

proves this point, and I expect students

to understand and recall them. When

reflecting on the success of my teaching

through examination scores and student

evaluations, it appears I am much less

successful than the mistletoe at making

it stick.

In reading Make it Stick, I have

learnt that the best ways to teach are

known and understood, but have been

underused and undervalued in my

approach. There are many convincing

examples demonstrating that the best

teaching is embedded in the principles

of testing, practice and mastery. The

examples from a sporting context are

familiar to me. I know where and when

I am most likely to drop the ball I am

attempting to catch, but the hours

spent rectifying this problem have had

little impact on my overall

catching ability and have

even had a negative effect

on my confidence. Through

experience I know my

catching improves when the

practice is varied and often,

but not prolonged, and that

this can be a long term gain.

This is all common sense to

me, so why is my approach

to teaching so different? It is

likely that I misunderstand

teaching and this is probably a

result of the way I was taught.

Seeds turn up in many

of my first year lectures in

three different modules.

Students find out how Mendel

laid out the principles of

genetics using mutant pea

seeds. They also hear how

Darwin struggled with his

abominable mystery of plant

evolution that has much to

do with the striking success of seeds.

I also explain how our future depends

upon developing better varieties of

seed crops. For some students these

are difficult topics, and it is often

hard for students to grasp them

all sufficiently well. But all biology

students need a foundation in genetics

and evolution, and I would argue they

need to know about plants too, and in

particular why seeds are important. In

biology we typically deliver practical

labs, workshops and tutorials as well

as lectures. This is an opportunity for

different interactions with students

and a variety of ways for students to

work and practice at what they need

to learn. Problem solving, experimental

design and testing hypotheses should

help make them better biologists, but

I realise I haven’t yet designed this

work around the different interactions

we offer sufficiently well to embed the

key principles I discuss in my lectures.

I think Make it Stick offers me good

advice on how to do this effectively

without increasing my workload.

My challenge is to find variety in the

practice that will help students to

better engage in their learning. If I can

do this, examination and evaluation

scores should both rise, although I

may never reach the heights the

mistletoe achieves.

Sam Hellmuth

teaches phonetics

and phonology as

a Senior Lecturer

in the Department

of Language and

Linguistic Science, and is a Senior Fellow

of the Higher Education Academy. She

was Chair of the Learning and Teaching

Forum (2012-2015) but is now looking

forward to working as a tutor on the

new York Professional and Academic

Development scheme.

sam.hellmuth@york.ac.uk

Richard Waites

is a Professor in

the Department

of Biology where

he teaches plant

biology, genetics

and developmental

biology mainly to first year students. He

is also Chair of Biology Board of Studies.

richard.waites@york.ac.uk


10 Forum issue 39

Archaeology’s

Assessed Seminars

In this article Michelle Alexander, Steve Ashby

and Nicky Milner showcase one of the flagship

Archaeology undergraduate modules, Assessed

Seminars, taught at the end of the third year,

which engages with many of the concepts within

the new York Learning and Teaching Strategy,

and in particular student-led learning.

The module allows us to assess the

final stages of our students’ ‘ascent’

through three years of higher

education, building on knowledge, skills,

and confidence acquired through diverse

modes of learning and assessment across

their seven previous terms of study. Its

basis is carefully conceived in pedagogic

terms: the value of independent research

has recently been reaffirmed by the HEA

(Thomas et al, 2015), while the power

of teaching through active learning is

well established (eg Jenkins, 1992), and

the combination of verbal and written

assessments allows students to engage

with material in diverse ways (Brown &

Glasner, 1999). Moreover, Kremer and

McGuinness (1998, 46) have lauded the

benefits of student-led or leaderless

groups; that is, learning groups in

which a power structure or hierarchy is

deliberately suppressed, and where all

participants are encouraged to play an

active part in the life of the group.

Student-led learning

The Department of Archaeology’s

‘Assessed Seminars’ aren’t just studentled

seminars, they are student-designed

seminars. The module runs over two

terms. The first term is led by the module

leader who initially lectures on the key

concepts of their chosen module theme

(eg Sustaining the Historic Environment,

or Human Impact on Past Ecosystems)

and following this, the lecturer supports

the students in choosing and researching

their own seminar topic within that

theme. Each student then designs a

seminar ‘worksheet’ around a question

or a debate, sets up two presentation

topics for two other students to present,

and provides the reading for them.

The worksheet is uploaded onto the

Yorkshare VLE for their classmates to

access. This seminar design is essentially

the way a lecturer would normally

prepare a seminar-based module, but

by giving the students the task they

are challenged to engage fully with the

process of research, and the construction

of a debate. The rationale for this

type of teaching is outlined during an

introductory session attended by the

entire year group, so that students

understand the benefits of active

participation in their own learning, and

the introduction of new transferable

skills, such as chairing and organisation.

The second part of the process is the

assessment, and over a period of three

weeks, the group of approximately 12

students runs 12 seminars. The module

leader is present throughout to assess

the seminars but they do not speak,

reinforcing the idea that students have

to take full responsibility and ownership

of their learning. Each student must

chair their own seminar, and within

their allotted hour they will introduce

the topic, introduce each presenter,

ensure presentations are kept to time,

ask follow-up questions, encourage

all students to contribute to the

discussion, and conclude at the end.

Each presentation should reflect good

preparation, wide reading, and in-depth

knowledge and understanding, and

they should be critical and analytical,

rather than simply descriptive. The

presenter should be aiming to stimulate

further discussion and debate, which

will be directed by the chair. In addition,

presentation style is important –

students need to think carefully about

the structure and design of their

PowerPoint, and need to speak clearly,

slowly, audibly, and engagingly.

Assessment requirements

The students are told that the success of

their presentation depends on:

●●

skill and diligence in preparation;

●●

their own grasp of the material;

●●

their skill as a chairperson;

●●

full collaboration of their fellow

students in doing the reading and

preparing good papers, which will

benefit all.

During this process, examiners

(members of staff) will mark both the

chair and the presenters, as well as

noting the contributions from other

students. Finally, students each write

a two-part reflective critique on their

seminar. Part 1 provides an account of

what happened in the seminar and how

it could have been improved, indicating

Archaeology’s Assessed Seminar module already meets the criteria

set out in C1.2 of the strategy, particularly:

“… Carefully-designed student work will engage, challenge and

enthuse our students by drawing directly on activities known to

enhance learning, for example spaced and interleaved practice,

retrieval of previously-learned material in new contexts,

collaboration, and development of transferable skills.”


Forum issue 39 11

the nature of the topic, the problems

posed, the material presented, the

opinions expressed, and the chairperson’s

conclusions. The students should reflect

on how successful they thought the

seminar was. If it didn’t live up to their

expectations – why not? How would

they approach the exercise differently

now that they’ve been through it once?

Part 2 should provide views on further

development of the intellectual content

of the seminar, with suitable additional

referencing and data as appropriate. They

can restructure or even rewrite their

seminar as they see fit, incorporating any

further reading and consideration of the

topic. In this way the report is reflexive

not only in terms of the seminar, but also

as a learning experience.

The assessment is weighted:

●●

Seminar worksheet 20%

●●

Chaired seminar: 20%

●●

Presentation 1: 20%

●●

Presentation 2: 20%

●●

Critique: 15%

●●

Seminar contribution: 5%

Student development

This module was first introduced into the

Department of Archaeology over 30 years

ago, and it has survived changes in staff,

modularisation, and a growth in cohort

from less than 10 students in the 1980s

to between 75-100 students today. The

reasons for this are clear: it engages and

challenges students to think critically and

communicate clearly (see Beachboard

& Beachboard, 2010); it promotes

research-led teaching (Zamorski,

2002); it encourages collaboration

(Bruffee, 1999); and it offers experience

in transferable skills, such as giving

professional-style presentations, chairing,

time management, self motivation and

reflection (see Fallows & Steven, 2000).

Student feedback demonstrates

that the students acknowledge the

acquisition of new skills (cf. Beachboard

& Beachboard, 2010), and appreciate the

confidence-boost which independent

learning provides to them. Staff also enjoy

teaching it. Each module is directly linked

to their research interests. Furthermore,

because this module is the culmination of

the undergraduate degree, it is a possible

to see a clear progression in terms of

personal development and confidence.

Comments from alumni reflect this, and

illustrate how the skills developed in this

module have helped them in professional

situations, such as meetings, interviews,

and public speaking.

References

Beachboard, M.R. & Beachboard, J.C., 2010.

Critical-Thinking Pedagogy and Student

Perceptions. Informing Science: the International

Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, 1.

Available at: http://inform.nu/Articles/Vol13/

ISJv13p053-071Beachboard548.pdf.

Brown, S. & Glasner, A. eds., 1999. Assessment

Matters in Higher Education: choosing and

using diverse approaches, Buckingham: Open

University.

Bruffee, K.A., 1999. Collaborative Learning: Higher

Education, Interdependence, and the Authority of

Knowledge, Johns Hopkins University Press.

Fallows, S. & Steven, C., 2000. Building

employability skills into the higher education

Current student

feedback 2015

●●

Best seminars I’ve had in uni,

everyone talking and being

engaged.

●●

This was one of the best

modules, loads of fun and

very interesting.

●●

More than any other module, this

one seems most clearly to reflect

effort put in – to success and

achievement.

●●

Thoroughly enjoyable. I enjoyed

how the running and formulation

of our seminars was put into our

hands – but the support from

staff was always there.

●●

I feel this module was effectively

run and aided my personal

development as a scholar.

curriculum: a university-wide initiative. Education

+ Training, 42(2), pp.75–83.

Jenkins, A., 1992. Active learning in structured

lectures. In G. Gibbs & A. Jenkins, eds. Teaching

Large Classes in Higher Education. How to

Maintain Quality with Reduced Resources. London:

Kogan Page, pp. 63–77.

Kremer, J. & McGuinness, C., 1998. Cutting the

cord: student-led discussion groups in higher

education. Education + Training, 40(2), pp.44–49.

Thomas, P.L., Jones, R. & Ottaway, J., 2015.

Effective practice in the design of directed

independent learning opportunities, Higher

Education Academy QAA Report.

Walker, A. et al, 2015. Essential Readings in

Problem-Based Learning, Purdue University Press.

Zamorski, B., 2002. Research-led Teaching and

Learning in Higher Education: A case. Teaching in

Higher Education, 7(4), pp.411–427.

Michelle Alexander

is an early career

Lecturer in

Bioarchaeology in

the Department of

Archaeology. She is

the Chair of the Teaching Committee,

responsible for reviewing teaching

quality in the Department and oversees

the appointment and training of

postgraduates who teach. Michelle

is particularly interested in engaging

students with rapidly evolving research

in archaeological science through the

use of innovative teaching practice.

michelle.alexander@york.ac.uk

Steve Ashby is Senior

Lecturer and Chair

of Board of Studies

in Archaeology. He is

supervisor on York’s

PGCAP Programme,

and member of

the Board of Studies for Academic

Practice. Steve has three interests in

teaching about the past (1) its use as

a case study in the integration of the

sciences, arts and humanities; (2) its

use as a vehicle for developing critical

thinking, and (3) its use for discussing

contemporary attitudes to politics,

economics, and identity.

steve.ashby@york.ac.uk

Nicky Milner has

been Chair of Board

of Studies, Chair

of Archaeology

Teaching Committee

and is now Deputy

Head of Department,

in overall charge of teaching in the

department. She has an interest in

promoting research-led teaching in

the department and encouraging novel

methods of engaging students.

nicky.milner@york.ac.uk


University of

York Learning

and Teaching

Conference

Value added graduates:

enabling our students

to be successful

Tuesday 7 June

2016

SUCCESS

The conference will

demonstrate and explore ways

in which the degree itself

can be the primary contributor

to the development of students’

capabilities. It will highlight best

practice in the enhancement

and embedding of employability

and enterprise within learning

and teaching, encompassing

programme and module design,

problem-based learning,

collaborative learning, work-based

learning, employer engagement,

and assessment.

Suggested workshop themes:

• shaping a York graduate: defining,

embedding and measuring core

skills and attributes through

programme design

• the inclusion of employability

related module and programme

learning outcomes and assessment

practices reflecting a distinctive

York pedagogy

• the role of active learning and

problem based learning in

developing transferable skills

Posters: Any learning and teaching themes.

• helping students to recognise

and articulate skills in the

context of the workplace

• the role of learning technologies

and social media in the

development of key skills

• the benefits of reflective formative,

peer and self-assessment

• the incorporation of the new

University Employability Strategy

within programme design.

Invitation to contribute

We are inviting colleagues to

contribute workshops and

poster presentations.

The deadline for submissions is

Wednesday 20 January 2016

(Week 3, Spring Term).

Further information about this

conference and the call for

contributions is available

on the website:

http://bit.ly/1iRfi7Y

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS


Forum issue 39 13

Using technology to propel

student learning

Matt Cornock, e-learning team, explores how learning

technologies support students independent study.

Module lecture content may

introduce new concepts for

students to learn or inspire

students to think differently about the

world in which we live. Whether the

lecture is delivered in a room, is written in

a textbook or delivered virtually using a

recording, it is always only the first step in

the learning process that is subsequently

carried forward by carefully designed

student work. In this article I explore how

learning technologies support students

through exposure, understanding and

application of lecture content.

Approaches to independent study

One of the risks Brown et al (2014)

suggested of independent student

work, is the tendency for students to

assume learning is taking place through

absorption of module content by rereading,

highlighting and rote approaches.

Essentially these can be categorised as

ineffective and inefficient study practices

that focus on memorisation techniques.

As Brown et al (2014) noted, through

lack of application, students may fail to

acknowledge what they do not know

by not recognising gaps in their own

understanding of module content.

In my own research into students’

use of lecture captures as part of their

studying practice, I have seen innovative

ways that students have identified their

own knowledge gaps using this form of

resource. Some will re-watch the lecture,

capturing points they missed; some will

use flash-cards and quiz-making apps

to test themselves; others will revisit

the recording as they would a textbook,

applying their knowledge during other

learning activities and assessment. Yet,

these approaches are devised by students

themselves, diverse and undirected,

each in their own way striving to make

sure they have engaged with the module

content as best they can.

Structuring independent study

By including structured online activities

throughout a module, lecturers can

support students in their identification

of knowledge gaps and test their

understanding of lecture content. The use

of online quizzes, as demonstrated

through a case study from Language

and Linguistics (http://bit.

ly/1EdHaYb), enables students to

self-assess their level of knowledge

and understanding of the lecture

content, retaking the test as

many times as they like. For the

module, and indeed the programme

design, enabling students to grasp

the fundamentals of the discipline

was crucial to their subsequent

progression. There are added

advantages for lecturers too, using

results from online quizzes to judge

how well the cohort is interpreting

lecture content and providing remedial

resources if necessary.

Whilst the use of formative tests or

quizzes is not new, utilising learning

technologies to deliver these learning

activities provides a way for immediate

feedback and a framework for further

independent study. Feedback in

online quizzes may highlight common

misinterpretations, direct students to

further reading, or encourage students

to revisit course content. Whilst this

feedback is by no means personal, it is

still personalised to the knowledge and

understanding of each student.

Repeatedly applying learning

The use of quizzes supports students’

recall and checks their interpretation of

new ideas. However, as Brown et al (2014)

suggested from a cognitive psychology

perspective, learning can be improved

by revisiting concepts and applying them

to different problems over time. Taking

advantage of the flexibility of online

learning design, student engagement

can be sustained outside of face-to-face

contact time to achieve this.

As an example, a case study from

the Department of Politics (http://bit.

ly/1eNS3sI) involved students in an

extended role-play representing country

officials responding to an international

humanitarian and military crisis. Resources

through a range of media were provided

online and the Yorkshare blog tool was

used to capture progress in the simulation

for later reference during assignment

writing. Ongoing learning took place as

students undertook self-directed research,

analysing and interpreting the weekly

resources and applying their understanding

to role-play scenarios. In this case, the

student work is effortful, dependent

upon both understanding and repeated

application of course content, and above

all guides students in effective use of their

time through a structured learning activity.

Designing with learning

technologies

Our newly launched York Technology-

Enhanced Learning Handbook (http://

bit.ly/ytelhb-nl) provides guidance on

the design and delivery of online learning

activities as embedded components of a

taught module. Discover approaches to

supporting student work with learning

technology and share your ideas on

Twitter: #yTELchat.

Reference

Brown, P.C., Roediger, H.L., McDaniel, M.A. (2014).

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.

Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Matt Cornock is the

Lecture Recording

Coordinator and an

E-learning Adviser

within the Academic

Support Office and

has co-edited the York

TEL Handbook with Rosie Hare.

matt.cornock@york.ac.uk


14 Forum issue 39

Flipping classrooms!

The potential for flipped learning

approaches in implementing the new

Learning and Teaching strategy

Bill Soden explores the potential for flipping our teaching as a

means to more interactive classrooms.

The York Learning and Teaching

strategy highlights the use of

technology to “…optimise the

contribution to learning and the guidance

of students’ independent study”,

suggesting at the same time that online

resources /asynchronous activities can

be a means to creating different types of

interactions in class. Those familiar with

the term ‘flipped classroom’ will make a

connection here. This article examines

the ‘flipped classroom’ technique, and

explores its potential in relation to several

aspects of the York pedagogy.

The concept of ‘flipping’ learning and

teaching activities originated in the USA.

It involves ‘inverting the classroom’ so

that activities traditionally taking place

inside the class now take place outside

the class, and vice versa. Sceptics might

claim that this broad definition suggests

no more than a simple re-arrangement of

teaching activities. It is argued, however,

that its emphasis on increased interactive

group activities in class with direct

computer based instruction outside the

classroom means that flipped learning

results in an extension of the curriculum

(Lowell Bishop & Verleger, 2013).

‘Flipping’ content seems attractive

Outside classroom:

Independent study

Learning theory

Behaviourism

Monologic

discourse-

Text as transmission

Developing

foundational knowledge

●●video clips eg YouTube video

lectures and scaffolded tasks

●●online resources using

VLE platform

Figure 1: The Flipped Classroom and learning theory

in higher education, particularly in

response to criticisms of behaviourist

transmission of information via the

traditional lecture. The development of

an accessible and reliable internet, along

with online media tools has also made

it much easier to deliver teaching via

asynchronous instruction materials. The

attraction of flipped learning, however,

is best understood in its ability to draw

on a range of learning theories such as

active learning, problem-based learning,

peer assisted learning and cooperative

learning. ‘Flipping’ provides students

with foundational knowledge which

is then applied in interactive tasks in

class aimed at engaging with higher

order skills (see Figure 1). By increasing

student engagement through a student

centred approach, flipped instruction

fits well with currently valued teaching

philosophies.

Scholarly findings from research

studies on the flipped classroom are

limited at the moment (Lowell Bishop

& Verleger, 2013) and it is not in the

scope of this article to evaluate them.

A useful review by Estes (Estes, Ingram

& Liu, 2014) indicates positive findings

from several studies in US and Canadian

Inside classroom:

Teacher-student-peer interaction

Learning theory

Active learning

Cooperative learning

Constructivism

Dialogic discourse

Applying foundational

knowledge in group work

●●through interactive discussion

●●through problem-solving

universities, but these seem to be limited

to flipped lecture approaches in Maths

and hard science disciplines.

Flipping learning effectively can,

however, place serious demands on

teaching staff. According to the ‘flipped

network’ (see Estes. M. D., Ingram, R., &

Liu, 2014), teachers need to create:

●●

flexible physical environments

and flexible learning /assessment

schedules;

●●

a learner centred learning culture;

●●

intentional content focused on

developing higher order learning skills.

Flipping a large lecture event may result

in chaotic classroom situations in large

steeped lecture rooms with hundreds

of students. The prospect of classroom

chaos will not tempt too many lecturers

into wholesale flipping of lecture delivery,

but versions of flipped learning have

been going on for some time with smaller

groups. Stannard (2015), with group

sizes between 15 and 30, created open

access to online lecture resources to

create more class interaction in a module

on an MSc in Computer Science and

Multimedia Education at the University

of Westminster. He reported success not

only in terms of better student progress

/ completion but also in promoting the

programme itself. In my own MATESOL

(MA in Teaching English to Speakers of

Other Languages) modules (20 students),

I have experimented with moving ‘lecture

style’ material out of the classroom to

make room for more interactive tasks.

An example might be assigning several

YouTube clips with scaffolded tasks on

specific language teaching methods to

small groups of students to complete.

In class, students are re-grouped to

discuss their observations and share their

knowledge, before whole class discussion

of the various teaching methods. A


Forum issue 39 15

FLIPPED

transmission mode of learning may still

feature in pre-class study, but crucial

contact time focuses on application of

knowledge, and sharing of ideas. This

experiment, however, highlighted for me

three key challenges for flipped learning,

and the York pedagogy which I enlarge

upon below.

The York Pedagogy: This way of

working aims…to improve the

design and availability of resources

to support students’ work in relation

to key concepts and skills

By some definitions, setting reading

tasks for classroom discussion is not

flipped learning, but designing audio/

visual materials to address higher and

lower order cognitive skills is a challenge.

Providing focused, quality materials

for pre-class study demands expertise

in use of technology such as screen

capture video or podcasting tools. These

are helpful for creating engaging videos

and online resources, but while some

members of staff will already be using

such tools, not everyone is equally

comfortable with them.

The York Pedagogy: Interactions

between students and staff will

be designed to encourage, inform

and propel students’ work

Increased and improved interaction is

a central pillar of the York pedagogy,

but we will not improve interactions

simply by moving lecture material out

of the classroom. The onus has to be on

task design that leads to higher quality

interaction. This may mean careful

attention to student groupings, the ability

to design tasks that engage with higher

order learning, but above all the ability to

ask the right kind of questions. Adopting

a ‘dialogic’ teaching approach may be

appropriate here (Alexander, 2006).

The latter includes the ability to bring

student and teachers together in sharing

ideas in a reciprocal and supportive

manner. Dialogic teaching encourages a

cumulative knowledge process in which

contributions from students and teachers

build upon one another. In this way,

the focus for teachers is on reducing

‘known-answer’ questions, providing

more open questions, using appropriate

‘wait time’ and knowing how and when

to use ‘uptake’ questions that build on

student contributions. The key to all this

may be a better awareness of how to

evaluate student responses, but early

research into dialogic teaching in higher

education indicates that it would be a

mistake to suppose all teaching staff are

equally familiar with or adept at using

such techniques (Hardman, 2008) .

The York Pedagogy: The design of

programmes and student work will

support the students’ development

as autonomous learners

Developing autonomous learners is

another pillar of the York pedagogy, but

flipped classrooms depend on learners

who are already to some extent selfregulating.

Arguably, learners only

develop these orientations and skills

gradually. Variable student motivation

may also result in variable ‘homework’

preparation, which could undermine

the approach. And creating the space

for more interactive discussion is only

a first step, since students arriving with

different levels of preparedness require

organisation into different groupings,

with tasks catering for a varying pace

of learning. We must have faith in our

students, but also find ways to ensure

that more of them are proactive, willing

to question, seek collaboration, and

engage with peers. These are familiar

challenges when working with students

from diverse educational backgrounds,

with ‘traditional’ expectations of teaching

delivered by the expert. More interactive

teaching may not bed in quickly

with students from less interactive

learning cultures where the teacher is

still regarded as the leading source of

information (Johnson et al, 2015).

To conclude, flipped learning is a

version of blended learning which aligns

well with elements of the York pedagogy,

but which leaves many questions

unanswered in terms of how to package

and deliver material, how to make the

most of interactive class time, and how to

support autonomous learning. It is clearly

not a quick fix technological solution.

References

Alexander, R. (2006). Towards dialogic teaching:

Rethinking classroom talk. York: Dialogos.

Bishop, J., & Verleger, M. (2013). The Flipped

Classroom : A Survey of the Research.

Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the

American Society for Engineering Education,

6219. [Online] Available at: www.asee.org/

public/conferences/20/papers/6219/view

[Accessed 4 July, 2015].

Estes. M. D., Ingram, R., & Liu, J. C. (2014).

A review of flipped classroom research,

practice, and technologies. International

HETL Review, 4. [Online] Available at: https://

www.hetl.org/feature-articles/a-review-offlipped-classroom-research-practice-andtechnologies

[Accessed 3 August, 2015].

Hardman, F. (2008). Promoting human capital:

The importance of dialogic teaching. The

Asian Journal of University Education., 4(1),

pp.31–48.

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and

Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015

Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The

New Media Consortium.

Stannard,( 2015). The flipped classroom- 20

minute lecture. [Online] Available at: www.

teachertrainingvideos.com/the-flippedclassroom-lecture.html

[Accessed 15 June, 2015]

Bill Soden is a

Lecturer in the

Department of

Education and

leader of the

MATESOL. He joined

the University in 1999 after a career

in teaching and teacher training in

ELT in Europe, Hong Kong and Oman.

He is interested in feedback in higher

education (2014), and technology

in teaching and assessment. He has

contributed to several annual York

Learning and Teaching Conferences,

focusing on: plagiarism (2005), EAP

(2010), screencast feedback (2012) and

formative feedback (2015).

bill.soden@york.ac.uk


16 Forum issue 39

Flipping a Chemistry Lecture Course

Andy Parsons discusses

the introduction of a new

Biochemistry module which

gave the Department of

Chemistry the opportunity

to innovate by using flipped

teaching.

Last year, a newly introduced

Strategy to Synthesis in Organic

Chemistry module included a lecture

course on Retrosynthetic Analysis,

abbreviated RSA. (This is a technique for

determining how to prepare valuable

chemicals, such as medicines, in the

laboratory.) I deliver this 6-lecture course

in the Autumn Term for the chemists,

but the same course was required in the

Spring Term for the biochemists (and the

chemistry lecture course could not be

moved to later in the year). So, should we

repeat the same lecture course, or take

the opportunity to introduce a ‘flipped’

activity with the same contact time? No

surprise, we decided on the latter.

Some of the reasons behind this

decision included:

●●

the content of the lecture course

(RSA) is well suited to lecture flipping

– it requires students to develop indepth

problem solving skills;

●●

the pre-workshop material had

already been developed – videos

(produced using Camtasia) of the

lectures were available, along

with numerous practice-makesperfect

worked examples, including

examination question walkthroughs;

●●

the cohort was small (18 students).

Before the module started, an email was

sent to the students briefly explaining

the concept of flipped teaching and that

the contact time would be spent working

on problems in three 2-hour workshops.

The importance of students engaging

with the pre-workshop material was

emphasised. In advance of each of the

workshops, the students were required

to look through the appropriate videos

(posted on the VLE) and to fill in the

gaps in a handout, and to make their

own notes. Each face-to-face workshop

session started with a very brief review

of the key concepts covered in the

videos, followed by students working in

small groups (of four to five) to tackle

problems. This was an opportunity to

focus on areas that were known to be

challenging to students, to apply the

concepts to biochemistry examples, and

for students to ask questions and discuss

the videos.

What was especially rewarding was

the opportunity to get to know this

group of students and see their progress

and confidence grow. The student

engagement was exceptional – all of the

students looked at the screencasts (this

was tracked on the VLE), every student

came along with annotated notes prior

to each session and there were many

questions about the material in the

videos. The group problems made it

more collaborative, and perhaps gave

a friendlier environment than they

were expecting.

At the end of the course students

were assessed by a written examination

question, after-which they were asked to

complete a feedback form. The feedback

results are summarised below.

Student comments included:

“I felt I was more in control of how I learn”

“A lot better doing questions during contact

time than just learning the content”

“Encouraged self-motivation and better

engagement with the course”

“Fantastic change of pace from usual

lectures, making learning incredibly

engaging”

There were also some constructive

suggestions for ways to improve the course,

including further examination practice,

which will be introduced next year.

In terms of examination grades it is

difficult to determine if the biochemistry

students had a better grasp of the course

material than the chemists, because,

for example, the two groups of students

tackled different examination questions.

However, the biochemists scored a very

respectable average, not out of line with

that for chemistry students taught using a

traditional lecture format.

So, would I encourage others to ‘flip’?

Certainly, for the right topic, and for a

relatively small group of students, I have

found it can be very rewarding. Students

benefitted from seeing the lecture material

on a video (which they can stop, rewind,

fast-forward, play at different times as

needed) and then have contact time in

which to discuss their thoughts on the

video and to answer problems. It is a lot

of work preparing the videos and running

the interactive sessions (perhaps more

demanding than presenting a traditional

lecture), but, variety is important in learning

and it can empower students to take control

of their own learning.

Flipping a Chemistry Lecture Course

Question Score out of 5*

The flipped lecture course was well organised and presented 4.67

The flipped lecture course was interesting and enjoyable 4.67

The workload was reasonable 4.50

The assessment was fair 3.81

I would like to see more courses use flipped teaching 4.22

*Where 5 = strongly agree, 4 = agree, 3 = neutral, 2 = disagree and 1 = strongly disagree

Andy Parsons is

the Deputy Head

of Department in

Chemistry, the

Undergraduate

Admissions Tutor for

both Chemistry and Natural Sciences,

and the Chemistry Subject Specialist for

Natural Sciences. He is a co-author of

Chemistry3, the leading undergraduate

Chemistry textbook for year 1 students

and his teaching has been recognised

by a Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award

and a Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

Higher Education Teaching Award.

andy.parsons@york.ac.uk


Forum issue 39 17


18 Forum issue 39

Student self-reflection,

interaction and teacher

corrective feedback:

L2 Chinese writing pilot project

Dan Li discusses a Rapid Response Funded pilot project

increasing student engagement and promoting reflective

learning in the process of feedback.

Project aims and rationale

Corrective feedback (CF) is formal or

informal information given to learners on

their performance on various tasks. It has

been regarded as a controversial topic

in second language (L2) teaching (Ferris,

2010). On the one hand, L2 teachers have

voiced concerns that students are not

sufficiently using CF in their writing; on

the other hand, students have expressed

feelings of frustration or confusion once

they receive feedback (Lee, 2011). This

tension prompted me to think about how

to increase student engagement and

enhance the effectiveness of feedback.

Chinese is a tonal language, which

means that a pitch affects the meaning

of a sound; Chinese characters, unlike an

Student Draft 1 with

3 underlined areas

which s/he found

problematic

Repeat the Feedback

Loop as needed

or feasible

Figure 1: The

Feedback Loop

The

Feedback

Loop

Teacher CF

written/oral

alphabet, are a system of symbols. In this

respect, progress in Chinese for European

students is slower than for a new European

language. It is essential that students

develop learning skills while they acquire

linguistic knowledge. The ability to take

charge of one’s own learning is not inborn

but must be acquired either by natural

means or by formal learning (Holec, 1981).

Taking this into consideration, I

decided to integrate reflective learning

into my teaching design. Recent empirical

studies have suggested that noticing

is an important cognitive process in L2

writing (Qi and Lapkin, 2001, Mackey

2006). Findings showed positive effects of

noticing in the composing stage and the

reformulation stage, where ESL (English

Teacher CF with a

focus on students’

underlined areas

Student revision and

Draft 2 (same topic)

as a second language) learners compared

their writing with a revised version. I linked

the findings with teaching L2 Chinese and

considered noticing as a self-reflective

skill; students were encouraged to notice

the gaps in their linguistic knowledge in

the composing process and monitor their

progress. I created the ‘Feedback Loop’,

a feedback method with an interactional

dimension, which recognises the value

of involving students and promotes

independent learning. The project aims are

three-fold:

●●

to help students use CF more

effectively through increased

engagement in the process of

feedback;

●●

to facilitate the development of selfreflective

skills, in particular, noticing

of L2 form;

●●

to help teachers give more effective

CF based on individual differences.

The pilot project

This pilot project took place within the

context of Chinese Level 3 Course running

for nineteen weeks in 2014-2015 at LFA.

The group consisted of five students who

have studied Chinese for at least three

years, are able to write expository essays

in 200-300 characters. In the academic

year, some writing tasks were treated as

summative tests and others as formative.

Students were asked to write two or three

drafts with time lags. They were asked

to underline three grammatical areas in

their draft that they found problematic

before handing in. I provided written

and oral feedback in class with a focus

on the underlined areas. The students

had time to think about and process the


Forum issue 39 19

corrections before their second draft. They

were encouraged to reflect upon their L2

writing proactively and keep their drafts

in a portfolio. By doing so, the students

were learning to take more control of

their language study. I was able to direct

my attention to individuals’ underlined

areas and track language developmental

patterns. Oral feedback was prioritised in

class regarding pervasive errors in order

to help the students look at problematic

areas. An interactional dimension was

added to the Feedback Loop and this

repeated as feasible (see Figure 1). At the

end of Summer Term, the students were

invited to a retrospective interview to talk

about their experiences.

Initial findings

As stated earlier, the Feedback Loop

started with students identifying

problematic areas before handing in. In

draft 1, they found particular difficulty

Working at your own pace

needs very careful monitoring

using Chinese-specific structures ba

(used to express passive voice), shi…

de (used to emphasize) and verbal

complement (used to express a result

of an action or a situation). Pervasive

errors were related to these structures.

In draft 2/3, more accurate uses of

these structures were identified. Results

showed a positive relationship between

noticing, CF and L2 written product. In

the interview, students expressed that

“ba is very hard to figure out… even

looking up in the Google translator is

not reliable… [Underlining the part] just

to say this is where I need help most.”

They became more aware of the benefits

of noticing and valued the interactional

dimension in the feedback process.

Moreover, non-underlined common

errors were identified in draft 1 with

particular reference to location words

and changes were tracked in draft 2/3. In

draft 1, the errors were not noticed, which

may result from the gap in grammatical

knowledge and the superficial similarity

between L1 (first language) and L2. I

provided oral CF and organised training

activities for awareness-raising in class.

Improvement in draft 2/3 showed that

the students became aware of the

problematic areas and were able to

reconstruct sentences in Chinese. In the

interview, a student recalled that the

interaction dimension in the process of

feedback was helpful: “[If] a sentence

was not marked, I wouldn’t read it.

If a sentence was marked, I read the

comment, couldn’t really remember. I

hear the comments again face to face (in

class), which motivates me more… okay,

I’m wrong. This is how we use it”.

From a teacher’s perspective, the use

of the Feedback Loop method did not

increase marking time; on the other hand,

the interactional dimension helped me

to respond to my students’ needs in a

more timely fashion. More time was spent

on coding and analysing the L2 data.

Personally, I found this method appealing

because it helped me gain a deeper

understanding of students as individuals

in relation to language learning styles and

developmental patterns; furthermore,

the analysis of the L2 data deepened

my understanding of aspects of Chinese

grammar, which had an impact on my

teaching approaches, particularly on how

to teach problematic structures for L1

English students and design different task

types respectively.

Although the cases of this pilot project

represent highly individual responses

to the feedback practice, they provide

evidence of progress in relation to

students’ self-reflective skills, interaction

and teacher CF. Further work is needed to

examine the relationship between student

engagement and the effectiveness of

CF, the role of noticing in classroom

settings. As Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick

(2006) point out, a number of principles

of good feedback include the facilitation

of reflection and self-assessment, which

is considered vital to development of

independent learners. In this respect,

teacher-student and teacher-researcher

dialogues are encouraged in order to

gain a broader understanding of and

generate knowledge of different feedback

methods and learner differences. The

Feedback Loop method could be adapted

by teachers in a wider range of languages

and of other disciplines in order to exploit

its potential and unpack pedagogical

benefits and challenges.

This project received Rapid Response

Funding.

References

Ferris, D. (2010). Second language writing

research and written corrective feedback in

SLA intersections and practical applications.

Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32,

181-201.

Holec, H. (1981). Autonomy and foreign

language learning. Oxford: Pergamon.

First published in 1979, Strasburg: Council

of Europe.

Lee, I. (2011). Working smarter, not working

harder: revisiting teacher feedback in the

L2 writing classroom. The Canadian Modern

Language Review, 67(3), 377-399.

Mackey, A. (2006). Feedback, noticing and

instructed second language learning. Applied

Linguistics, 27(3), 405-430.

Nicol, D. J. & D, Macfarlane-Dick. (2006).

Formative assessment and self-regulated

learning: a model and seven principles of good

feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education,

31(2), 199-218.

Qi, D. S. & S, Lapkin. (2001). Exploring the role

of noticing in a three-stage second language

writing task. Journal of Second Language

Writing, 10, 277-303.

Dan Li is the

Programme

Coordinator for

Chinese language

course. She joined

LFA, the Department

of Language & Linguistic Science in

January 2013. She is interested in

second language development, with

a particular interest in feedback on

writing and corrective feedback.

dan.li@york.ac.uk


20 Forum issue 39

One size does not fit all, but

we can offer a framework for

alterations: tailoring mental

health social interventions

for diverse contexts

Meredith Fendt-Newlin and

Martin Webber received a

Rapid Response Fund grant

to develop learning materials

to teach students how to

adapt evidence-based social

interventions for use with

service users from diverse

cultural backgrounds and

within resource-poor

environments.

Diversity in Social Work practice

Social workers in professional

practice work with some of the most

disadvantaged and marginalised

individuals, families and communities,

often at the most difficult points in

their lives. Working with diversity

and becoming a culturally competent

practitioner is a key aspect of social

work training and is in line with current

legislation and evidence. The College

of Social Work emphasises nine key

domains within the Professional

Capabilities Framework (PCF),

demonstrating all aspects of learning

and explaining how social workers

should expect to evidence their skills in

practice. One of the nine PCF domains is

the capability to recognise diversity and

apply cultural competence principles in

practice.

Another key element of social work

practice is the analysis, implementation

and critical reflection of intervention

models for use in different contexts

and with service users with diverse

needs. Paying particular attention to the

evidence base, we ask students, ‘what

worked and how do you know?’ But

this question is increasingly difficult to

answer, as the evidence base in social

work is slim when compared to more

easily measurable psychological and

medical interventions. What sets social

work apart from many other professions

concerned with mental health is the

seemingly unlimited ways its work

can be demonstrated. The idea that

social interventions should be based on

evidence has been tempered by the fact

that each individual or family is unique

and it is difficult to specify approaches.

Filming role play in Sierra Leone by Way

Out Arts

A framework to adapt social

interventions

Offering a framework in how to adapt

approaches that have been proven

effective is one solution to address this

need in social work education. However,

to date there has not been guidance

on how to translate effective social

interventions and currently no such

toolkit for social work training exists.

Researchers in the International

Centre for Mental Health Social Research

(ICMHSR) are bringing together

colleagues at the University of York and

internationally to generate evidence that

informs social policy and mental health

social work practice by developing and

adapting social interventions across

economic and cultural contexts.

With a grant from the Rapid Response

Fund, we developed teaching and learning

materials that provide a framework and

guidance in adapting evidence-based

social interventions for use with service

users from diverse cultural backgrounds

and within resource-poor environments.

Mental health nurses sharing case studies that

describe cultural experiences of service users

and families

“Social work students need to be better prepared to enter the

workforce and support the increasing number of migrants and

individuals from diverse backgrounds in York, North Yorkshire

and the UK.”


Forum issue 39 21

adapted social intervention in practice,

these videos capture diverse practice

experiences. Combined with training

manuals and workbooks this offers a

comprehensive toolkit for adapting social

interventions in diverse contexts and with

service users with a variety of needs.

Resources

Links to videos and training resources:

http://bit.ly/1JJI6Vr

Link to blog post about the visit to Sierra Leone

and filming: www.icmhsr.org/2015/07/22/

latest-news-on-our-work-in-sierra-leone/

Video production by Sierra Leone based

youth arts organisation, Way Out Arts. Postproduction

editing by York based company

Digifish Limited.

The training greatly helped me to know

to connect myself and my clients to other

people or organisations for support.”

Sierra Leone Mental Health Nurse

*The feasibility study in Sierra Leone was

part-funded by the Wellcome Trust [ref:

105624] through the Centre for Chronic

Diseases and Disorders (C2D2) at the

University of York. Model adaptions and

training programme development was funded

by the Maudsley Charity.

By teaching social work students not only

that it’s possible to use social interventions

in diverse settings and with a multitude

of client groups, but also giving practical

lessons in how to adapt interventions

for their future practice, the materials

produced by this project offer a massive

step forward for the field of social work.

Using a real-life case exemplar

Students learn best by using real-life

exemplars to understand how models

can be adapted and used effectively

in their own practice, offering a

research-enriched teaching and learning

opportunity. For this reason, we chose to

develop teaching and learning materials

that reflect adaptions of a social

intervention from a high-resourced to

low-resourced setting.

The Connecting People Intervention

(CPI), developed by a team of

researchers and led from the University

of York, is a social intervention model

that aims to support people with mental

health problems to enhance their social

networks. Members of the research

team initially developed the CPI and

accompanying training materials for use

with UK-based practitioners. However,

there were challenges around which

contexts and client groups the CPI was

most applicable to, which is what led us

to explore adaptations in Sierra Leone*,

Malawi and India.

The CPI adaptation created coproductively

in Sierra Leone with

local stakeholders has been used as

a real-life exemplar, set within the

framework and guidelines for adapting

social interventions generally. Meaning

“connections that may bring benefit” in

one of the local languages, the Sababu

Model incorporates elements of social

interventions such as building trusting

relationships, communication skills with

service users and families, assessing an

individual’s assets in addition to their

needs, and networking in the community.

Learning and teaching materials

The work in Sierra Leone improves and

extends training materials previously

developed in the UK. For example,

we were able to develop step-bystep

methods to be undertaken by

practitioners, a more concrete template

that is non-prescriptive and can be

adapted for a variety of contexts. This

approach is particularly useful in social

work teaching.

Filmed over two weeks during training

and practice observation in Sierra Leone,

members of the research team worked

with local (to Freetown and York) film

crews to develop a series of videos that

will be used in this autumn’s social work

teaching programme. Using interactive

learning such as role-plays, small group

work and discussions how to use the

Meredith Fendt-

Newlin, is a

researcher and PhD

candidate in the

International Centre

for Mental Health

Social Research (ICMHSR), University

of York, where she is supervised by Dr

Martin Webber to undertake research

projects in a range of diverse contexts

and countries. Having previously studied

health psychology at King’s College

London and University College London,

and serving on the Board of Directors and

Trustees for two community development

organisations in Africa, Meredith is

passionate about empowering people

through social innovation to improve

mental and physical health care in low

and middle-income countries.

meredith.newlin@york.ac.uk

Martin Webber,

is a registered

social worker with

experience of working

with adults with a

learning disability

and mental health problems. Director of

the International Centre for Mental Health

Social Research (ICMHSR), University of

York, Martin is passionate about achieving

social change through high quality

social work and social care practice

that is informed by rigorous research

evidence. His teaching interests include

research methodology and the practice

implications of developing and evaluating

of social interventions with vulnerable

and marginalised people.

martin.webber@york.ac.uk


22 Forum issue 39

Derwent Global

Community

Eleanor Brown and Lynda Dunlop secured Rapid Response

Funding to explore developing capabilities through a nonformal

learning community focused on international

development and human rights.

It is widely acknowledged that higher

education offers great opportunities

for students to develop as learners,

as future employees and as citizens.

Much of this learning and development

takes place outside of the structures of

the formal classroom and yet there is

little evidence about the ways in which

these spaces best create conditions for

students to develop their capabilities

and interests, and flourish as positive

members of a just society. Universities

are in a position to ‘provide the enabling

spaces and conditions for development

and learning in the way that individuals

cannot do alone’ (Walker, 2006, p.

37). With this in mind, Derwent College

established its first living-learning

community (Derwent Global Community,

DGC) in September 2014. Living-learning

communities are structured with the

express purpose of encouraging students

to connect ideas from different disciplines

and of creating long-term, sustained

social interactions (Zhao and Kuh, 2004).

DGC is a college-based living learning

We will be using role play

to look at the causes and

consequences of the French

Revolution … so who wants

to be an aristocrat?

community led by students around the

theme of international development,

social justice and human rights (https://

www.york.ac.uk/colleges/derwent/

derwentglobalcommunity/).

Research conducted in the USA has

found that there are positive outcomes

for students in relation to retention,

engagement with learning and academic

performance as a result of involvement

in a learning community (Stassen, 2003;

Lenning and Ebbers, 1999). However,

living-learning communities are less

common in the UK, and universities tend

to provide opportunities for informal

learning through a wide range of student

organisations and societies. The DGC

differs from these in that the conditions

for an informal learning community, led

by students, have been created by the

college through provision of structured,

non-formal (ie non-credit bearing and

optional) education, such as workshops

and networking events with local

organisations. The aim is to foster political

engagement and a sense of community

and commitment from the students,

offering opportunities for students to

develop and grow in a safe and supported

environment. Learning and confidence

growth is facilitated through providing a

broad range of ways to engage.

Community building

The theme of the learning community was

decided based on the ethos of the college

and the partnerships and collaboration

that had been developing for several years

within it. The theme was described as a

focus on ‘International Development and

Human Rights’. It was set as broadly as

possible, with the idea that the students

would be able to narrow this down and

focus on aspects that they were most

interested in. Students were invited

before the start of their first term to sign

up to live in one residential block, which

was allocated to the Global Community,

“I think by the end I was more

willing to express my ideas but I

think it pushed me to find other

ways to express my ideas…just

finding other ways so that my

ideas can be heard”

as it became known. Eleven students

signed up to this: three UK students,

three international students and two

European students on full degree courses

and three visiting international students

in the UK for one term. In addition, the

opportunity was opened to all students

in the college to get involved on a nonresidential

basis. Over 30 students turned

up to the information session, from all

years, and of these, several second and

third years and postgraduate students

became fully involved with the group,

and a small number of other students

engaged sporadically with the activities.

This has drawn on support from the

Department of Education, the Human

Rights Defenders from the Centre for

Applied Human Rights, and local nongovernmental

organisations (NGOs).

We held a number of networking

meetings, discussion groups and

workshops to enable students to explore

ideas associated with human rights and

international development. The students

then took a series of actions that aimed

to raise awareness of associated issues

amongst the wider student body. These

included a cine forum, operation empty

cupboard, a series of events organised to

raise awareness about issues associated

with asylum and migration including a

debate, quiz, clothes swap and arts night.


Forum issue 39 23

As the academic year drew to a close,

we interviewed students to find out

about their experiences and development

through their participation in the Derwent

Global Community. They highlighted

enablers and barriers to their participation

in the community and discussed their

sense of commitment, and ways in

which they felt able to act and bring

about change through participation in

the Global Community. The interviews

aimed to explore the ways in which they

had developed their capabilities, ie their

sense of agency and their ‘freedom to

achieve well-being’ (Sen, 1992, p. 48). In

these interviews, students discussed ways

in which they had developed wellbeing

though the Global Community through

their own personal development and

through the development of a community.

A key development area was the way they

developed ways to negotiating different

perspectives on complex issues:

“Good experience with the difficulty of

trying to do stuff around human rights

and development, which obviously is a

really difficult topic to ever say we are an

educated group … about, then I think in

the discussions we’d have…I got a good

understanding … of how that is going to

be a challenge if I go into this sort of line of

work, where people have moral stances

on it and there are ethical stances.

Everyone’s got a different viewpoint,

actually.”

This tested communication skills

within a non-hierarchical community

where everyone’s voice was equal, but

decisions were made through consensus.

This meant that students had to work

hard to collaborate:

“I think by the end I was more willing to

express my ideas but I think it pushed me

to find other ways to express my ideas…

just finding other ways so that my ideas

can be heard.”

In addition to learning to communicate

with each other, students found it

valuable to learn from others in the wider

community working on these issues:

“I think it’s good that I’m more aware of

the opportunities that there are in York

with these organisations and I think it’s

nice to meet a lot of people who care

about the same kind of things, and I also

helped to organise some of the events …

and that was really helpful.”

Through a highly participative and

experiential pedagogy with a focus on

critical reflection and challenging social

inequalities, it could be argued that the

first year of the global community was

a chance for some students to enhance

their capabilities and feel empowered to

work towards social change. The nature

of their engagement conformed to ideas

from popular education (Freire, 1972) and

transformative learning theory (Mezirow,

2000). The students’ commitment to

being part of a community and the

opportunity to challenge their own

perceptions and assumptions and

consider different perspectives in dialogue

with their peers opened up new spaces for

learning.

Reflections on DGC

Our observations and preliminary analysis

of interview data from students suggest

that this type of initiative can enable

students to develop capabilities that could

prepare them for participating more in

society and working towards social justice

and social change. However, there were

also occasions when the activities were

not sufficiently critical of the status quo,

or where participants took away only

a superficial understanding of complex

issues. Moreover, the numbers of people

involved were low. The core group

reduced from around 30 at the original

meeting to only nine, and participants

in the activities run by the group ranged

from three to thirty, but tended to be

less than ten. There are certainly things

to be learned for future cohorts and a

clear range of aspects to be explored

further through interviews with the

students themselves, in order to more

deeply understand their perspectives and

interpretations. Indeed, as we prepare

for the new cohort arriving and the

second year of DGC, there are already

lots of students taking interest in livinglearning

communities, which are available

in both Derwent and Halifax this year.

With student-led activities and a broad

scope we don’t know how Derwent Global

Community will develop this year, but with

lots of freshers applying we are looking

forward to another eventful year.

References

Freire, P., 1972. Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Translated by Myra Bergman Ramos. New York:

Continuum.

Mezirow, J., 2000. Learning to Think like an

Adult: Core concepts of transformation theory. in

Mezirow, Jack and Associates (ed.) Learning as

Transformation: Critical Perspectives on a Theory

in Progress. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. pp.3-34

Sen, A., 1999. Development as Freedom. Oxford:

Oxford University Press.

Stassen, M. L. A., 2003. Student outcomes:

the impact of varying living learning models.

Research in higher education, 44(5), pp. 585-613.

Walker, M., 2006. Higher Education Pedagogies.

Maidenhead: The Society for Research into Higher

Education and Open University Press.

Zhao, C-N. and Kuh, G. D. (2004). Adding

value: Learning Communities and Student

Engagement. Research in Higher Education, 45,

(2), pp. 115 – 138.

Eleanor Brown

is a Lecturer at

the University of

York, where she

is based in the

Centre for Research

on Education and Social Justice.

She teaches and supervises on

undergraduate and postgraduate

courses and her research interests

are in transformative learning, critical

pedagogies, international volunteering

and development education in nonformal

settings. She is also the Head of

Derwent College, where she has strategic

lead on college ethos and direction.

eleanor.brown@york.ac.uk

Lynda Dunlop is a

Lecturer in Science

Education based in

the University of York

Science Education

Group (UYSEG). She

has a background

in teaching science and philosophy at

the secondary level and now teaches

on undergraduate and postgraduate

education programmes. Her research

interests are in science education in

primary and secondary schools, and in

the teaching of ethical and controversial

issues associated with science.

lynda.dunlop@york.ac.uk


24 Forum issue 39

Learning and Teaching calendar of events:

Autumn Term 2015 and Spring Term 2016

Week 5 w/b 26 October 2015

Friday 30 October 13.00-15.30 Ron Cooke Hub, RCH/Lakehouse

Supervision 101: the art of spinning plates

Week 6 w/b 2 November 2015

Tuesday 3

November

Tuesday 3

November

11.00-12.00 Law and Management Building LMB/023

Staff Turnitin awareness session

12.00-14.00 TBC

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Network

Week 7 w/b 9 November 2015

Friday 13 November 9.00-12.00 Ron Cooke Hub, Meeting Pod 1

Consistency and fairness: maintaining equity in

assessment, marking and feedback practice

Week 8 w/b 16 November 2015

Monday 16

November

13.00-14.30 Ron Cooke Hub, RCH/017

Intercohort mentoring

Week 9 w/b 23 November 2015

Thursday 26

November

9.00-13.00 HG21, Heslington Hall

Annotation and feedback

Week 10 w/b 30 November 2015

Thursday 3

December

12.00-14.00 TBC

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Network

w/b 7 December 2015

Monday 7 December 9.00-16.00 HG21, Heslington Hall

Assessment, marking and feedback on writing in

the Sciences

Tuesday 8

December

Spring term

12.30-14.00 Chemistry, C/A/102

Postgraduate taught Special Interest Group

Week 1 w/b 4 January 2016

Thursday 7 January 15.00-16.00 Derwent D/L/049

Staff Turnitin awareness session

Week 2 w/b 11 January 2016

Tuesday 12 January 12.00-14.00 TBC

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Network

Week 5 w/b 1 February 2016

Tuesday 2 February 11.00-12.00 Law and Management Building

LMB/044

Staff Turnitin awareness session

Week 10 w/b 7 March 2016

Thursday 10 March 15.00-16.00 Alcuin, AEW/106

Staff Turnitin awareness session

Friday 11 March 12.00-14.00 TBC

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Network

w/b 14 March 2016

Wednesday 16

March

Summer term

12.30-14.00 Chemistry, C/A/102

Postgraduate taught Special Interest Group

w/b 14 March 2016

Tuesday 7 June 9.30-16.30 Exhibition Centre

Learning and Teaching Conference: Value added

graduates: enabling our students to be successful

Key to the calendar

Events organised by the

Learning and Teaching

Forum. Open to all staff and

PGWTs. For further information,

see https://www.york.ac.uk/

staff/teaching/community/

events/; to register, contact

learning-and-teachingforum@york.ac.uk.

If you are

unable to attend an event but

would like a copy of the

materials, please let us know.

Freestanding workshops

offered by learning

support colleagues. Please

contact janet.barton@york.

ac.uk for further details or to

book your place.

Taught Masters Special

Interest Group: for further

information, see https://www.

york.ac.uk/staff/teaching/

community/peer-support/

postgraduate-taught/; to

register contact

janet.barton@york.ac.uk

Academic Integrity: Staff

Turnitin awareness

sessions. Please contact

alison.mckay@york.ac.uk

for further details or to book

your place on a session.

Scholarship of Teaching

and Learning Network:

Organised on the model of a

“journal club,” this network is

for colleagues who are

interested in engaging with key

and emerging evidence-based

and philosophically influential

pedagogical literature. Please

contact academic-practice@

york.ac.uk for details.

28280 – www.york.ac.uk/design-print-solutions

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