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INNOVATE. Summer 2008

Learning about learning from the learners

Learning about learning from the learners.

The University of Huddersfield Research and Knowledge Transfer Magazine

LOGISTICS PLANNING

Engaging the “Xbox generation” of learners.

S

chool pupils between the ages of eleven and fifteen years are becoming known as the ‘Xbox generation’. These young people have grown up surrounded by technologies such as gaming consoles, the Internet and e-mail, as well as rapidly advancing mobile phone capabilites, which all play a large part in their leisure activities. Researchers in the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield have been studying how secondary schools are using technologies to support the learning experiences of the ‘Xbox generation’. They have then used their findings to suggest how Higher Education institutions might develop their teaching methods for the future to harness technologies to improve engagement, reduce discontinuities in the learning experience between the secondary and university sectors, so easing the transition, and to recognise the preferred learning methods of the new generation. Mary Sheard and Jebar Ahmed, who between them bring broad experiences of virtual and tangible learning environments in schools and in industries such as banking, have worked with six secondary schools in four local government areas. Learning from this work will be of value to all organisations who will be involved in the education and development of this next generation.

Methods of teaching employing technology were found to be more effective where they were designed from the learners’ viewpoint as opposed to the teachers’. For instance, the over-use of PowerPoint is likely to cause the learners to disengage due to the dominance of ‘linearness’. Whereas interactive methods, such as concept mapping, can improve engagement as well as supporting higher levels of concentration, perseverance and deeper learning. It was also found that the approach that underpins the use of technology in schools was more geared towards learner engagement. Learners in the schools were using the technologies mainly for accessing information, organising their work and for improving their work through correcting and re-drafting. They were used less frequently to structure ideas or as a tool for critical evaluation. Also, though this group of learners used technology extensively in their social networks, its use in collaborative problem solving in schools appeared to be surprisingly less effective. The findings of this study were disseminated via the British Educational Research Association Conference in London and the Association of Learning Technology Conference in Nottingham, both during September 2007, and workshops held at the University of Huddersfield. For further information please contact: Jebar Ahmed at j.ahmed@hud.ac.uk

> Project Manager Jebar Ahmed j.ahmed@hud.ac.uk

> Researcher Mary Sheard m.sheard@hud.ac.uk

Maximising customer service at lower cost 07204

Summer 2008


Introduction.

INNOVATE. Summer 2008

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INNOVATE. Summer 2008

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Welcome to the third edition of Innovate, the University of Huddersfield’s Research and Knowledge Transfer publication. >Professor Andrew Ball

Our theme for this edition is ‘working together’. Our features illustrate how staff at the University are working with colleagues in different organisations to find new efficiencies, and develop new methods and approaches for real problems.

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n this edition you will read how our engineers are looking at methods to use canals for the cooling of nearby buildings, through a combination of mathematical expertise and cutting edge underwater technology.

Our logistics staff are working with businesses to implement new logistics planning techniques, and have already saved companies time and money through their findings. Applying our research to improving how medical staff can gain new skills, our healthcare specialists have devised an innovative interactive web-based learning resource that helps clinical staff choose the most appropriate dressing to treat patients with common skin and soft tissue wounds. While helping the learners this also has efficiency implications – incorrect treatment can result in complications which are costly to treat, and cause patients unnecessary discomfort. Researchers in the School of Education and Professional Development have been working in secondary schools to see what changes are taking place as schools adapt to teaching students who have grown up surrounded by game consoles, the Internet and e-mail. This may impact on us all as this generation moves into the workplace. Across the University the theme of working together has received support too, with staff from different departments collaborating to develop new areas and applications of their research: The Academy for the Study of Britishness, The Institute for Applied Criminology and Forensic Science, and ‘Bench to Bed’. In this edition we give you a very brief introduction to them, but we will report on their research and successes in future issues.

Contents 02. 03. 05. 07. 09. 11.

Introduction Logistics Planning Canal cooling Advanced practice in wound care Funding for the future Learning about learning from the learners

Since the last issue of Innovate the first of our new Professors have joined the University. Professor Bob Cywinski joins the School of Applied Sciences and Professor Liza Lim joins the School of Music, Humanities and Media. Professor Cywinski is a former Head of Condensed Matter and Pro-Dean for Research in Mathematics and Physical Sciences at Leeds University, where he used a technique called neutron scattering to study properties of materials. He is a passionate believer in communicating science and, as ‘The Quantum Cowboy’, has taken part in a series of films aimed at explaining quantum physics to 12 and 13 year olds. Professor Liza Lim is one of the most sought after composers of her generation, with works performed by some of the world’s pre-eminent ensembles, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Für Neue Musik Zurich and the Elision Ensemble, Australia. I look forward to bringing you further information about both Professor Cywinski and Professor Lim and their work in future Innovate features. Professor Andrew Ball Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise University of Huddersfield

For further information about work related to the articles in this edition of Innovate, or any other queries, please contact the Business Gateway team at business@hud.ac.uk or contact 01484 473666.


Logistics planning

INNOVATE. Summer 2008

The Applied Logistics Research Unit in the Department of Logistics and Hospitality Management at the University of Huddersfield has research staff and doctoral students funded by industry to investigate and implement innovative logistics planning techniques.

LOGISTICS PLANNING

INNOVATE. Summer 2008

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What is Logistics? Logistics is about getting the right thing to the right place at the right time at the right price – or the movement of a physical product (with defined physical characteristics including dimensions and weight) through a process of storage and transportation over a period of time from manufacture to either another added value process or to a user. The inherent simplicity of the logistics process makes it ideal for computer based modelling applications. The research staff and students in the Applied Logistics Research Unit have a number of forthcoming assignments and look forward to tackling new logistics planning problems through extending their range of logistics models and applying existing models in further industrial sectors. If you have a planning problem or wish to discuss training, or consultancy, with the team, please contact The Division of Transport and Logistics on 01484 472614 or 01484 473346 or by e-mail to logistics@hud.ac.uk

Maximising customer service at lower cost

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any European organisations have found that logistics costs have increased over the last few years due to factors outside their control such as higher interest rates, increased traffic congestion and environmental requirements to recycle waste. To combat these cost increases and to either maintain or improve customer service levels, a number of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers have focused on logistics planning to achieve a competitive advantage. In the last twelve months research staff and students in the Applied Logistics Research Unit at the University of Huddersfield have worked with sponsors providing a number of innovative logistics models. Examples include: ‘gravity models’ to determine appropriate warehouse locations, ‘warehouse simulation models’ to determine the flows and resources required to operate warehouses, ‘dynamic stock management models’ to minimise stock levels, ‘vehicle replacement models’ and ‘vehicle routing and scheduling models’. After operational testing and a short training period, each logistics planning model is handed over to the client to use within their operation. In every case, client monitoring has proved that logistics planning provides improved operational efficiencies resulting in cost reductions and improvements in customer service levels.

For example, the ‘vehicle routing and scheduling model’ focuses upon maximising the driver’s shift time within the current legal driving constraints and other defined parameters such as specific delivery time windows. Shift time is now the critical commercial vehicle cost driver, rather than the traditional method of minimising mileage. The vehicle operators may monitor each vehicle at any time by means of a webbased tracking and tracing system. Unique components of this model include databases containing driving time for each road link at fifteen minute intervals for each day of the week throughout the year, drop or collection time index for each customer location and individual driver efficiency index for each geographical zone - all obtained from a commercial source and verified from tracking and tracing actual delivery operations using satellite technology. Such data ensures that forecastable traffic congestion and other potential operational delays are taken into account. In trials to date, the majority of deliveries have been done on time on the first attempt providing improvements in customer service levels and using fewer vehicles, thus reducing operating costs.

In addition the model eliminated the widely held operational myth that transport planning activity could only be undertaken by highly paid specialist vehicle schedulers. After the model has been handed over to the client for daily use the schedulers who use the tool find they are able to improve upon the solution provided because they have relevant knowledge (data) not originally provided as input.


INNOVATE. Summer 2008

Canal cooling

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INNOVATE. Summer 2008

CANAL COOLING Engineering staff from the University of Huddersfield are developing new models that allow canals to be used for the cooling of nearby buildings, using both complex mathematical equations and cutting edge underwater technology.

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s organisations strive to address their carbon footprint, this research contributes to environmental impact as well as the value of the research from an engineering and mathematical modelling point of view.

extraction to its return. We have three sites – CSB, Lockside and Canalside West – all with different water extraction/return configurations. We therefore have a unique site with which to study the problem.”

Current legislation regulates the amount of water that we can recycle back into the canal and we are only allowed to heat the water within Dr John Fieldhouse, a design engineer with particular parameters to avoid thermal pollution. experience in a broad range of engineering problem solving, is heading up a team of engineers If the water temperature is raised above 28oC, and mathematicians to study the use of water it becomes deoxygenated and fish and plant life from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal to cool the suffocate. Currently, the water in the perimeter University’s computing facilities; this research of the discharge plume shouldn’t rise above 3oC being in partnership with British Waterways and of the intake water. Estate Services. British Waterways currently use a mathematical The canal, which runs through the campus, has model which is one dimensional and assumes been used to cool the main computers stored in water is flowing; water in canals is stationary. the basement of the Central Services Building Some of the University buildings currently use (CSB) on the Queensgate Campus. Dr Fieldhouse this approach which has allowed us to measure explained, ”As a University we are keen to ensure the discharge plume using the novel application our new developments are as ‘green’ as possible, of a thermal camera. This has demonstrated that and this is one approach we have been the current model is inaccurate for canal waters investigating further. and significantly more complex than originally anticipated. “British Waterways own all the canals throughout the UK and allow people to use the water in the Using canal water rather than powered air chillers canals for various purposes, one of which is is a more economical and a more environmentally cooling buildings and apparatus,” explains appropriate cooling solution. We need to John.“The computing facilities in the CSB have develop further the current models so that an air conditioning network that takes in water British Waterways can ensure they can support and runs it through heat exchanges to cool the environmentally acceptable ways of cooling building. The water is then dumped back into the buildings. This also makes good business sense canal. Thanks to Adrian Lee, Site Services Energy as British Waterways are able to extend their Manager, we have excellent records of how much services for the use of canal water in this way. water we use and the condition of the water from

The research team at Huddersfield have been asked to conduct nationwide research in order to produce a more exacting mathematical model which is far more accurate and capable of correctly informing them how much energy the canal can accept, without giving concern about canal water life. The challenge has been to create a model sufficient to give the right information to the right people but still be readily understandable. The information needs to be accessible enough to be used by non-engineers, and yet be capable of providing the quality and quantity of data required for use by technicians. We are currently in the process of testing our model using a laboratory scale model of the canal and in other situations across the UK. Potential beneficiaries of the new system we are developing include users such as HSBC, the new Huddersfield Technical College site, and a major new shopping development. For further information contact can be made via Simon McKenna at: SCE_Enterprise@hud.ac.uk. Research staff: Dr John Fieldhouse (Project Coordinator), Dr Chris Talbot (Mathematical Modelling), Dr Rakesh Mishra (Thermal Analysis), Adrian Lee (Energy Manager)

>Dr John Fieldhouse

“British Waterways own all the canals throughout the UK, and allow people to use the water in the canals for various purposes, one of which is cooling buildings and apparatus.”

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Advancing practice in wound care

INNOVATE. Summer 2008

INNOVATE. Summer 2008

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ADVANCING PRACTICE IN WOUND CARE Crossing the boundaries of interprofessional learning in tissue viability Clinical staff need to be able to choose the most appropriate dressing to treat patients with common skin and soft tissue wounds to their lower extremities (hips, thighs, legs, ankles and feet). Incorrect treatment can result in various complications which costs the NHS millions of pounds each year.

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r Karen Ousey, Principal Lecturer in Nursing and Dr Caroline McIntosh, Senior Lecturer in Podiatry, both of the School of Human and Health Sciences, have developed an innovative interactive web-based learning resource that focuses on the assessment and management of such wounds. This resource is primarily designed for nursing and podiatry students; however, any health professional with an interest in tissue viability (the prevention and management of acute surgical wounds, pressure ulcers and all forms of leg ulceration) may find it beneficial. The resource was developed as part of research carried out by Dr Ousey and Dr McIntosh on effective wound care. An international conference in Yokohama in Japan in May 2007 saw them present their work, including a CD that they have developed to support trainee practitioners. Staff from the University of Drammen, Norway were sufficiently impressed for Karen and Caroline to visit them to discuss the possibility of future collaborative work.

The current web-based product now includes interactive case studies that assist in the bridging of the theory-practice gap whilst providing valuable details for any practitioner. Each scenario gradually builds up a picture of the case, allowing selection of appropriate treatment and then providing feedback on selection – thus allowing students to deliver care in a safe environment.

Included within the resource are links to national and international guidelines and position documents that promote the use of evidencebased practice in wound care. Integral to the tool are quizzes and discussion forums that allow the user to test their own knowledge and to be able to discuss tissue viability issues with other colleagues and peers.

The user is offered a choice of care interventions and as they implement these, they are guided as to whether or not this was the most appropriate treatment choice. If the user should choose an inappropriate intervention, the web-based package will provide an overview of how this might have affected the patient. They will then be encouraged to return to the choices and select a more suitable intervention. Users are able to visualise the likely outcomes of their chosen intervention without the risk of harm to the patient. Information contained within the package is based on best practice in wound management and supported by evidence and research.

The web-based tool is unique in that it promotes a truly multi-professional approach to tissue viability. Additionally, it provides the user with a learning resource that can be accessed at a time that is suitable and fits into the demands of real life. The team is also looking at other web-based materials that provide support to those in the profession around the most appropriate treatments in particular circumstances. Discussions with the NHS are underway on how this approach and these resources may be developed further. For further information contact: Dr Karen Ousey at k.j.ousey@hud.ac.uk Dr Caroline McIntosh at c.mcintosh@hud.ac.uk

>Dr Karen Ousey >Dr Caroline McIntosh

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Funding for the future

INNOVATE. Summer 2008

FUNDING FOR THE FUTURE

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INNOVATE. Summer 2008

Working together, developing innovative approaches

Academy for the Study of Britishness

Bench to Bed

Institute for Applied Criminology and Forensic Science

The Academy for the Study of Britishness brings together academics from three Schools within the University. The Academy aims to co-ordinate an extensive range of research activities related to Britishness within the University, advise and influence local and national policy-makers on issues such as British citizenship, identity and community cohesion and draw on expertise across the University to develop programmes and materials relating to the teaching of Britishness in schools, particularly history and citizenship education programmes and youth education programmes in the community.

Bench to Bed (B2B) will offer a testing and evaluation platform for products, practices and technologies aimed at the Healthcare Sector.

The Institute for Applied Criminology and Forensic Science will bring together academics from within the Schools of Applied Sciences, Computing and Engineering, and Human and Health Sciences. The Institute, once established, aims to be unique in its research and problem solving capability, by bringing together crime related knowledge and science, leading to the development of innovative approaches to crime and security challenges.

One of the first examples of activity was a conference entitled Britishness, Identity and Citizenship: The View from Abroad, which focussed on themes of post-colonial and post-imperial citizenship and identity; the historical legacy of empire; British diasporas and the impact of dual citizenship. Contemporary debates focussed on the value and legacy of Britishness both in the UK and abroad.

Three new research initiatives have gained support from the University’s Investment Fund. The Fund aims to support step change in some of our research areas; either through facilitating new collaborations across the University or by supporting a new area to grow.

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It is the academics’ intention to explore and expand the Academy’s external partnerships, such as the current collaboration with the British Council to develop teaching and learning materials for primary, secondary and Further Education markets. For further information contact: Professor James W McAuley 01484 472691

The platform comprises a microbiology-testing capability, and is able to facilitate and deliver product evaluation in a clinical setting. Following a research and development phase, in-use evaluations are a key factor in achieving fast-track status via the Health Protection Agency’s Rapid Review Panel. A key aspect in achieving this will be a network of collaborating organisations, clinicians and researchers. Strategic secondments of expert clinicians to the University’s School of Human and Health Sciences provide a direct route in facilitating hospital trials. The platform will overcome the current protracted journey from bench testing to bedside trials that can slow or indeed halt the adoption of a new product. Initial work will concentrate on the University’s expertise in infection control, tissue viability and wound care, moving and handling.

The incorporation of criminological knowledge with forensic science and ballistics-related research is expected to underpin funding bids such as the EU FP7 Freedom, Justice and Security programmes. Other research priorities will include radicalisation, counter terrorism, organised crime, cyber crime and fraud, violence and advances in DNA and detection technologies. Short professional training courses are planned aimed at the police, SMEs and community safety practitioners.

It is proposed that the facility is able to work with new practices and products arising from within the University as well as providing a service to outside organisations.

This unique combination will be able to provide expert witnesses and expanded forensic science including analysis and expert advice in DNA, drugs, trace evidence, explosives, body fluids and firearms. In short, the Institute will be a Huddersfield-based one-stop-shop for research and training in crime reduction.

For further information contact: Dr Paul Humphreys 01484 472771

For further information contact: Professor Alex Hirschfield 01484 473676


11.

INNOVATE. Summer 2008

Learning about learning from the learners

Learning about learning from the learners.

The University of Huddersfield Research and Knowledge Transfer Magazine

LOGISTICS PLANNING

Engaging the “Xbox generation” of learners.

S

chool pupils between the ages of eleven and fifteen years are becoming known as the ‘Xbox generation’. These young people have grown up surrounded by technologies such as gaming consoles, the Internet and e-mail, as well as rapidly advancing mobile phone capabilites, which all play a large part in their leisure activities. Researchers in the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield have been studying how secondary schools are using technologies to support the learning experiences of the ‘Xbox generation’. They have then used their findings to suggest how Higher Education institutions might develop their teaching methods for the future to harness technologies to improve engagement, reduce discontinuities in the learning experience between the secondary and university sectors, so easing the transition, and to recognise the preferred learning methods of the new generation. Mary Sheard and Jebar Ahmed, who between them bring broad experiences of virtual and tangible learning environments in schools and in industries such as banking, have worked with six secondary schools in four local government areas. Learning from this work will be of value to all organisations who will be involved in the education and development of this next generation.

Methods of teaching employing technology were found to be more effective where they were designed from the learners’ viewpoint as opposed to the teachers’. For instance, the over-use of PowerPoint is likely to cause the learners to disengage due to the dominance of ‘linearness’. Whereas interactive methods, such as concept mapping, can improve engagement as well as supporting higher levels of concentration, perseverance and deeper learning. It was also found that the approach that underpins the use of technology in schools was more geared towards learner engagement. Learners in the schools were using the technologies mainly for accessing information, organising their work and for improving their work through correcting and re-drafting. They were used less frequently to structure ideas or as a tool for critical evaluation. Also, though this group of learners used technology extensively in their social networks, its use in collaborative problem solving in schools appeared to be surprisingly less effective. The findings of this study were disseminated via the British Educational Research Association Conference in London and the Association of Learning Technology Conference in Nottingham, both during September 2007, and workshops held at the University of Huddersfield. For further information please contact: Jebar Ahmed at j.ahmed@hud.ac.uk

> Project Manager Jebar Ahmed j.ahmed@hud.ac.uk

> Researcher Mary Sheard m.sheard@hud.ac.uk

Maximising customer service at lower cost 07204

Summer 2008


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