Spring 2014 ISSN 2050-9995 (Online)
Want to get PUBLISHED in 2014? The Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice aims to provide a supportive publishing outlet to allow established and, particularly, new authors to contribute to the scholarly discourse of academic practice (both generally and in their discipline area) through the publication of papers that are theory based and supported by evidence, as well as through the publication of Opinion Pieces and ‘On the Horizon’ papers on emerging work. In relation to the general ethos of the Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, the journal exists not only for the publication of papers within our thematic scope but also as a collegiate and developmental platform for new authors, those new to journal reviewing, and for scholars who are seeking to gain experience in journal editing and publishing. This developmental ethos manifests itself in a range of activities and opportunities that currently include the following: • Direct support for authors who are seeking to publish their first paper • Peer support for those new to reviewing • Editorial internships • Special issues • Joint copyright The editorial team for the journal will be looking for other ways in which to use the journal itself as a development platform for academic practice within the area of academic writing, reviewing, and publishing, and are open to suggestions from reviewers, contributing authors, potential guest editors and the wider academic community. The editors welcome submissions of articles, research notes, opinion pieces and book reviews. The types of articles we will publish include:
Original research Reflective analysis papers Review papers Case studies and also Interactive papers
For further information visit www.JPAAP.napier.ac.uk Or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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4 Comings and Goings ENMCA 5 Vice Principal (Academic) Update Developing our New Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy to 2020 6 Academic Professional Development Page 7 HEREN Update 8 Re-constructing ‘Culture of Learning’ – International Student Experiences in China and the UK 9 The Alison Alexander Memorial Debate: An Inter-University Student Mental Health Nurses’ Event 10 Developing Partnerships and Work Experience Opportunities 11 Curriculum for Excellence: A Study of Art & Design and the Impact on Higher Education Research Repository @ Napier 12 LTA Resource Bank Updates 13 Book Review 14 Diary Dates 15 Conference Reports and Travel 19 Around the Faculties 20 SIG Teaching Fellows Community Meeting 21 2+2=5? Visiting Scholars from China 22 Grants Panel Update 23 Teaching Fellows Journal Editorial Team
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I currently chair the Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Committee, whose role is to contribute to developing and enhancing the student learning experience in Scottish Higher Education Institutions through its support for and promotion of quality enhancement1. Much of the work of the committee is conducted through Enhancement Themes (ETs), a key element of the Quality framework in Scotland. The Themes aim to enhance the student learning experience by identifying specific areas for development and engaging staff and students to share good practice and collectively generate ideas and models for innovation in learning and teaching. Scotland’s collective and collaborative approach to enhancement is considered to be world leading. Ten years on from the initial Theme, we have learned that the optimal means of eliciting sectoral engagement with ETs is to ensure that the Theme has resonance for staff and students and is aligned to institutional strategies. Thus the ETs are deliberately broad high-profile subject areas; e.g. Graduates for the 21st Century drove considerable development around graduate attributes and led to the follow-on theme Developing and Supporting the Curriculum, with its focus on curriculum development in light of an increasingly diverse student population and the changing school curriculum. While national approaches promote and support enhancement, real gains are made through the ownership of enhancement within our institutions, where each individual staff member works to continually improve their teaching and the learning experience of students. Thus enhancement may be considered as a process that embraces attitudes, behaviours and mind-sets of staff. It demands reflection, it requires knowledge of and engagement with advances in teaching and learning, and it requires passion for and commitment to providing a rich, varied and stretching learning environment for every student. As our students face complexity, assailed by a seemingly infinite amount of knowledge, an uncertain and mobile labour market, and the likelihood that they will change career paths on several occasions during their working life, so do we as staff face real challenges to enable and deliver high quality learning opportunities and experiences in this environment. And the curriculum in its broadest sense is at the heart of such challenge. The recognition that many of the issues we face as communities can best and perhaps only be addressed through multi-disciplinary approaches requires that students, secure in disciplinary knowledge, understand the value of interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and inter-professional approaches, acquire communication approaches that allow them to talk with each other across discipline boundaries, and learn how to work effectively with others. Technology has given us opportunities to consider more radically how, where, and when we teach, and it allows us to develop new processes related to learning in virtual, digital and physical environments in such a way as to improve student access and engagement. Extending our reach of contributors to curriculum development to draw in our students, employers and others more closely and bring their expertise and perspectives into the curriculum will enrich our learning environment. Consideration for our Edinburgh Napier students’ potential employment futures should maintain our focus on enhancing and developing the curriculum in the years ahead to ensure that our students have unrivalled learning experiences and our graduates thrive. 1 www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/sheec
Comings and Goings Dr Fiona Smart is a Lecturer in Academic Practice. She joined the team in the Office of the Vice Principal (Academic) in January 2014. Fiona leads the Customised Study module in the MSc Blended and Online Education programme and the Assessment, Evaluation and Support module in the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education programme. Fiona is also a supervisor for participants undertaking the MSc Blended and Online Education dissertation. Fiona is the representative for the Office of the Vice Principal (Academic) within the Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences, a role which enables her to work collaboratively across the Faculty and its Schools to promote pedagogic excellence. Fiona is passionate about education, understanding its capacity for transformative change at the level of the individual, and more widely within society as a whole, including business and professional communities. In a range of roles in both England and Scotland, Fiona has been able to convert this passion into accredited
provision which exceeded standards and raised aspirations. Fiona’s areas of interest are broad. Central to them is her belief that knowledge exchange Dr Fiona Smart and discovery, formal and informal, are key in maintaining a vibrant HE environment within which everyone – staff and students – is always learning. Welcome also to Anne Tierney, who joined the Office of the Vice Principal (Academic) on 31 March. And finally we’ll be saying a sad farewell to Karen Aitchison on 25 April as she leaves us for pastures new. Karen is leaving Edinburgh Napier University to work with other institutions and public bodies in the sector and beyond on a consultancy and project basis. We wish Karen well in her new position.
Angela has contributed to discussions in each Faculty about where we, as an institution, go from here in terms of mentoring and coaching for academic purposes. We are interested to see how colleagues
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We continue to have opportunities to present the ENMCA work at national and international conferences, with contributions accepted for the International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED) conference in Stockholm in June, where we will present jointly with colleagues from Elon University in North Carolina and the University of Auckland, and for the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) Spring Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference 2014 in Newcastle in May. In the meantime, Elaine Mowat, Caroline Turnbull and Angela Benzies continue research with ENMCA participants and mentees, focusing in particular at the moment on the persistence of reported benefits from mentoring and coaching interventions. The team is aiming to disseminate the research findings by publishing in an international journal – look out for an update in the autumn edition of the tfj. Ed in
It’s very exciting to see the Edinburgh Napier Mentoring and Coaching Award continue to attract interest from across the University. The 2013/14 cohort is full, comprising five men and seven women: three colleagues from the Business School, four from Health, Life & Social Sciences, two from Engineering, Computing & Creative Industries and three from Professional Services. We are delighted to welcome Lesley McNiven from Corporate Learning & Development (CLD) in Human Resources & Development to assist us with running the action learning sets, which we are all finding to be such a valuable learning opportunity. Other CLD colleagues are continuing to support our use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) within our learning and practice, which is a fascinating journey into greater selfknowledge and understanding of others in relation to our work.
Angela Benzies and Elaine Mowat
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Vice Principal (Academic) Update Alistair Sambell We are entering an exciting period for the University as we consult on the Academic Strategy to 2020, with the new strategy setting high ambitions for our students and ourselves. Active Learning figures prominently in the new strategy, encouraging us to look at how we really engage our students in deep and challenging learning, moving further away from traditional lecturing and didactic approaches by exploiting innovative assessment, technology and peer support. We have already set out our ambition to link research and teaching much more explicitly, aligning research activity with teaching in Schools. Developing students as researchers at all levels will now be a priority as we reflect on our curriculum and teaching approaches. Viewing our teaching from an holistic student perspective has been the principle behind the programme focus we have been adopting, and the Programme Focus Working group, led by Karen Aitchison, will be reporting to ASEC and Academic Board in May to set the direction for the next stage of this work. In due course, we will be asking each programme team to articulate their assessment and feedback strategies and their approach to
the development of the University’s graduate attributes in relation to employability and enterprise, internationalisation and students as researchers. We have been working closely with the Napier Students’ Association to strengthen our partnership working, and with their commitment and enthusiasm much has been achieved this year; for example, in student engagement and the rep system, increased involvement in sports and societies, as well as their well-publicised Wednesday afternoon campaign. The Digital Futures work, led by Keith Smyth, has recently reported back with a series of short- and long-term recommendations for the use of technology in learning that will be considered within the emerging Academic Strategy. External reviews of our activity continue to figure prominently. The REF submission last November, led by Alison McCleery, may seem like a distant memory but even while we wait for the results in December this year the insight it has given us is already providing a basis from which we will build our research activity as we plan for REF 2020. Preparations for our ELIR in early 2015 (the QAA’s Institutional Review of our academic standards and student learning) are also well under way and being led by Rowena Pelik, again working with colleagues throughout the University.
Developing our New Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy to 2020 Rowena Pelik Growing out of the consultations and conversations surrounding the University strategy, the shape of the new Learning, Teaching and Assessment strategy is emerging. The new strategy will take us to 2020 and will support programme teams in delivering our commitment “to provide a distinctive learning experience of the highest quality” and “outstanding teaching in every area of our portfolio”. The LTA strategy will stress Active Learning and encourage co-creation and the adoption of the principles of Assessment for Learning. Our approach to developing learning at Edinburgh Napier will be underpinned by sound pedagogic practice and it will be innovative and challenging. We will continue
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to develop the provision of a holistically considered and planned student learning experience through strong programme identities. Our programmes will stress the centrality of graduate employability, entrepreneurialism and professionalism for our students’ learning experience; they will develop research thinking, curiosity and enquiry, ensure that our students encounter the inter-cultural and international or global dimensions of their discipline, and will aim to make optimum use of digital technologies to support and deliver learning. We will build a strong and lasting academic community embracing all our students, our staff, our partners and our alumni.
Academic Professional Development Page
! e t u Enro Get ENRoute to Professional Recognition! Rachel Murray ENRoute is the University’s new professional development framework, which enables staff to be recognised for their achievement in teaching and supporting learning. It is accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and underpinned by the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). Academic Practice (in the Office of the Vice Principal (Academic)) and Academic Professional Development (in Human Resources & Development) have shared responsibility for ENRoute. The responsibility of Academic Professional Development is the provision of support, development and mentoring for applicants and also support and guidance for mentors and other ENRoute applicant ‘supporters’. Since October, we have been developing our provision and piloting a number of approaches, and we are grateful to the Teaching Fellows who have participated with other staff as applicants and as ENRoute applicant supporters. Details of the range of support available are provided in the next section and include workshops, dropin sessions, the Fellowship Mentoring scheme and an applicant retreat. We will now continue to support fellowship applicants while we evaluate our approaches in order to best support professional recognition going forward. The Learning, Teaching and Assessment staff conference is on Friday 13 June 2014 at Craiglockhart Campus. With the title: Engaging our students, enhancing our practice and evidencing our professionalism, the day will include a significant focus on professional recognition. The conference will be opened by the Principal Andrea Nolan and include input from Vice Principal (Academic) Alistair Sambell and from Dr Sally Bradley of the Higher Education Academy. During the day, you will have the chance to investigate opportunities for gaining recognition of relevance to you and to celebrate the success of
our colleagues who have recently gained recognition for their achievements. The conference will conclude with the convivial launch of the University’s new professional recognition framework, ENRoute. We hope to see you there!
ENRoute Support Workshops for applicants and potential applicants Pathways to professional recognition through teaching and supporting learning These are short awareness-raising sessions aimed at anyone interested in the development of staff engaged in teaching or supporting learning, including potential applicants and managers of all levels. These sessions offer an overview of the different pathways and the support available. Fellowship of the HEA: making your claim These workshops are for those aiming for any category of Fellowship. Whether you are aiming for Associate, Fellow or Senior Fellow, there is a workshop for applicants at each of these categories. The sessions consist of information, advice and activities that will help applicants on the road to developing their application. Rendezvous We all know that sometimes we need a quiet space away from our desk in order to knuckle down to some reflection time! This event is a drop-in session offering applicants already working on an ENRoute application a space away from their desk and the usual distractions. We also welcome enquiries from potential applicants. We’ll provide coffee, friendly advice and encouragement; all you need to do is bring your laptop and yourself!
Academic Professional Development Page continued Residential fellowship retreat We are also piloting a residential writing retreat to offer applicants an intensive few days away to focus and progress their application. We will give an update on how it went and views from retreaters in the next edition! Fellowship Mentoring Scheme Fellowship mentors are experienced colleagues who work with ENRoute applicants to guide, challenge and encourage them as they develop their applications. A dozen mentoring pairs are now working together through the ENRoute Fellowship Mentoring Scheme, and we look forward to developing this activity further over the coming months.
Workshops for those supporting applicants through the process Shared understanding This workshop is aimed at those who will be supporting colleagues through ENRoute to ensure alignment and
consistency in the advice, guidance and support they provide and the criteria and standards applied. Mentoring colleagues towards professional recognition These are special development sessions for those who will be mentoring colleagues for Fellowship applications via ENRoute. They offer participants the chance to explore the purpose, process and outcomes of Fellowship mentoring and consider some of the practical and ethical issues. Assessors’ training An assessors’ training and moderation workshop will be facilitated by Academic Practice colleagues for ENRoute assessors. Further enquires For specific enquiries or more information please go to the ENRoute website or contact Rachel Murray, Academic Professional Development, on email@example.com or 0131 455 6347.
HEREN Update Mark Huxham
The HEREN rises like a phoenix? The Hub for Educational Research at Edinburgh Napier (HEREN) was established some years ago to help encourage and support pedagogical research at the University. We enjoyed some successful events, which were well attended by Teaching Fellows and by colleagues from outside the Teaching Fellows community. Recently, HEREN has been rather quiet. In order to start a conversation about the future of HEREN and of the desirability of a future REF submission in education and of pedagogical research in general here at Edinburgh Napier, I chaired an open meeting on 11 March. Many thanks to colleagues who came along and to those who sent their thoughts and comments beforehand. We had a useful and wide-ranging discussion. An important consensus emerged – that our main objective should be to ensure the best possible teaching and learning environment for our students. This, of course, should be informed and supported by scholarship and pedagogical research, but we need to remember that the students come before the research. The conversation reflected the fear that a focus on
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high-impact research (of the kind suitable for REF submission) could exclude some colleagues and even be detrimental to students (for example, if it meant good teachers abandoned the classroom). So whilst those present did think we should enhance educational research here at Edinburgh Napier, and that a REF submission might well emerge from this, we should be cautious that such an ambition does not distort our values. So where next? Joan McLatchie has kindly stepped forward and volunteered to lead on a new Teaching Fellow conference, with a focus on pedagogical research, planned for next January. We hope this event will be the right time to launch a new HEREN or its replacement. The event will welcome contributions showcasing the full range of pedagogical research at Edinburgh Napier, from funded, high-impact studies through to small-scale intervention and reflection. So please start planning your attendance and contributions now. And, in the meantime, we will continue the discussion about the best ways of conducting and celebrating pedagogical research in the University.
Feature Re-constructing ‘Culture of Learning’ – International Student Experiences in China and in the UK A Teaching Fellow funded cross-Faculty project Dr Monika Foster A cross-Faculty Teaching Fellow funded project, Reconstructing ‘culture of learning’ – international student experiences in China and the UK, led by Dr Monika Foster, has been awarded further funding to complete data analysis and publish the results. The project explores our understandings of the impact of cultures of learning on students studying abroad in China and in the UK. The project is informed by the University Strategy 2009–2015 strategic objective of becoming “an international university” and the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Strategic Plan objective to “support universities and colleges in bringing about strategic change to enhance the student learning experience” (HEA 2008–2013 Strategic Plan, Feb 2008:6). The project team includes colleagues Monika Foster and Vivien Zhou from the School of Marketing, Tourism & Languages and colleagues Iain McDonald and Richard Firth from the School of Arts & Creative Industries, bringing a rich methodological background and different subject expertise together. The study began in spring 2013 and focuses on the learning experiences of students from China studying Business in the UK and students from the UK studying Design in China. Specifically, it examines the complexity underpinning the concept of culture of learning and students’ evolving perceptions as they go through the experience of study abroad. In the research literature
regarding international students’ learning experiences, a frequently studied theme is the ‘Chinese culture of learning’ as contrasted by the ‘Western/UK culture of learning’. This essentialist approach tends to reduce culture of learning to a static, nationally-bound object that exists a priori. This project attempts to add some understandings to this theme by drawing on the qualitative data generated through reflective journals, video diaries and in-depth interviews. The emerging findings point to the cultures of learning associated with China and the UK as being constructed and re-constructed from multiple perspectives rather than being ‘a static object’. Furthermore, students’ perceptions of their own culture seem to evolve and become clearer through the experience of another culture of learning and, in that way, students’ intercultural awareness seems to be greatly enhanced by the experience of study abroad. The findings will help draw recommendations for developing student mobility through exchanges and study abroad programmes and for how the evolving students’ perceptions of culture of learning can be captured as intercultural awareness, one of the key skills for global citizenship. The outputs include presentations at conferences such as the Intercultural Communication Research Cluster conference in June 2013 and forthcoming presentation at the HEA Annual Conference in July 2014, a session at the staff conference in June 2014 as well as publications.
Want to find an old tfj article... Well now you can! All back issues of the tfj are now online and fully searchable. You’ll find all the current editions as well as all those previously published online. You’ll be able to search within one issue or search all the issues together to find articles of interest. The previously published online articles follow a simple design format but we hope you’ll enjoy revisiting issues and articles previously published in the tfj.
Go to http://issuu.com/teachingfellowsjournal
Feature The Allison Alexander Memorial Debate: An Inter-University Student Mental Health Nurses’ Event Margaret Conlon
The event was named after Allison Alexander, a lecturer and Teaching Fellow at Edinburgh Napier who died suddenly in the summer of 2013. Allison had an enormous influence on mental health nursing students as well as on the wider world of mental health education and strategy. Her loss was felt profoundly amongst teaching staff and students alike. The debate developed from roots of previous events held in the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Care. On two occasions, staff members had engaged in formal parliamentary style debating contests for an audience of peers, students, service users, carers and practitioners. The motion for the Inter-University Debate was: The benefits system supports the process of recovery. It was developed by the students who were keen to consider the role of the mental health nurse in its broadest sense. So, rather than the nurse being simply someone who cares for and supports an individual experiencing mental illness, the contemporary role of the nurse also involves being a professional who is informed, knowledgeable and cognisant of health, social care and societal issues. The research for the motion involved
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the students learning about UK welfare rights as well as European developments in health care. There were two strong pedagogical principles that informed the process of developing the debate. These were that it was student led/student centred and that there was balance of representation between the two partner universities. Lecturers from both universities worked together to keep these principles in focus and organise the practicalities and processes necessary to ensure the successful staging of the debate. The students did the hard work! They demonstrated great interest and commitment. Maxine Wood, Student Engagement Officer at Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association, and Claire Lumsden, Student Representation Coordinator from the Students’ Association of UWS, supported the students in four ‘boot camp’-style workshops. These workshops focused on helping the students to decide on the topic, developing their debating skills and planning their team’s arguments and counter-arguments. The students were extremely positive about the input from Maxine and Claire and, I think, also grateful that the teaching staff were taking a long-arm approach! This was a lively and hotly contested debate, demonstrating to the wide audience that student mental health nurses are able and willing to grasp the net of dilemmas related to their practice in a way that demonstrates higher-order skills. With help from the voting buttons, the audience participation was excellent. Challenging questions were delivered to both sides, but the home team secured a win in the end, albeit by a very slim margin!
than the nurse being simply someone who cares for and supports an individual experiencing mental illness, the contemporary role of the nurse also involves being a professional who is informed, knowledgeable and cognisant of health, social
This was a teaching and learning initiative in which two teams of mental health nursing students from the University of West of Scotland and Edinburgh Napier University went head to head in a debating competition. The event was held on 10 December 2013, on World Mental Health Day and in Scottish Mental Health Week, in front of an invited audience of 150 people mainly drawn from service users and carers, students, lecturers and staff from various organisations connected to mental health.
care and societal issues.
Feature Developing Partnerships and Work Experience Opportunities Bryden Stillie In 2012, I began to develop links with Edinburgh City Council (ECC) Instrumental Services to explore opportunities for work experience for Music students studying our Instrumental/Vocal Teaching (IVT) modules. No formal work experience had ever been offered on the BA Popular Music, and former opportunities offered on the BMus programme were no longer in place. Due to management changes at ECC, together with restrictions put in place relating to PVG clearance, it initially proved difficult to get placements arranged, and so in 2012/13 only four students benefitted from the experience. This year, I was able to pay for 10 PVG checks for students through funding provided by a TF project grant. An additional 10 PVG checks were funded by the Faculty Placement Coordinator through the Employabilty Project. As a result, I was able to increase the number of shadowing placements, which ensured that all students on the IVT modules could access this opportunity. To launch the project, Linda Lees (Arts and Learning Manager, ECC) invited students to attend the Instrumental teachers’ October in-service day and students met the member(s) of staff that they would shadow. By the beginning of November, all IVT students had been placed and were shadowing Instrumental teachers. Students were asked to shadow instructors a minimum of three times but some managed to fit in six sessions. Students experienced a number of different teaching settings including one-to-one, group classes and ensemble work. Some were lucky enough to have some mentored teaching opportunities. Others concluded their placements by participating in school Christmas concerts, playing alongside the pupils that they had taught. Feedback from students highlights that it has been a highly valuable experience that has enabled them to work with a potential employer, to develop understanding of the workplace environment in schools and to develop their professional network. Feedback and conversations with the members of ECC staff indicate that they have also had an extremely positive experience, which has encouraged them to reflect on their own teaching practice. Sometimes I don’t compliment pupils enough. Anna reminded me to do so.
It helped me to evaluate my own skills/lack of skills and approach to my work. The partnership has also provided work experience for MA Sound Production students who recorded and produced the front-of-house sound for the ECC Resonate concert series. These concerts also provided performance opportunities in the Queen’s Hall for Jazz Improvisation students. We have also gained teaching placements with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s (SCO) Vibe Project and their Creative Ensemble community music projects, and two students have recently taken on Arts Administration roles with the SCO.
Future developments The shadowing experience informed content of one assessment but was not directly assessed. As the ECC partnership develops I plan to embed the shadowing experience as a stand-alone assessment. On 6 January, I attended the ECC in-service day to speak to Instrumental staff about the music programmes that we offer at Edinburgh Napier, the shadowing project, future plans to develop the project and plans to develop a PGCE in Instrumental Teaching. The presentation was well received and it was heartening to see a number of our alumni, who are now employed by the instrumental service, at the event. In return for the opportunity that ECC instructors have given our students, I will be running music software CPD training for them in August. Year 4 students will soon begin working on ECC Youth Music Initiative projects. These provide music experiences for a variety of groups in the community and will offer our students a different type of teaching experience. Reflecting on project implementation, it is clear that initially it required a great deal of hard work and perseverance to establish the partnership and to set up the shadowing project. A number of unexpected opportunities emerged from the partnership that greatly enhanced the student experience on a number of programmes. The partnership is clearly providing a highly valuable experience that better prepares students for the workplace and strengthens the link with a potential employer.
Feature Curriculum for Excellence: A Study of Art & Design and the Impact on Higher Education Iain Macdonald In 2002, Education Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority and the Scottish Government began the development of a new 3–18 curriculum which was to be “a forward looking, coherent curriculum that provides Scotland’s children and young people with the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for life in the 21st century” (Education Scotland 2013). As the first Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) cohort near the point when they leave school, the Higher Education Academy Scotland have undertaken a research scholarship initiative to engage subject specialists in higher and further education to examine the impact that the Curriculum for Excellence might have on undergraduate programmes. Art and design is often undervalued amongst its more academic subjects, but with creativity established as a central theme of CfE, has art and design finally been recognised as an important subject in interdisciplinary learning? At Forester High School and Portobello High School in Edinburgh, art and design teachers are finding that the CfE is not so different to their current practice, but it is more focused on process. I think the biggest difference is there’s probably more focus on process and actually getting the kids to understand what they are learning from the process… getting them to talk about it, write about it and evaluate their work and learn what works and doesn’t work. Head of Art, Portobello High School
about how to assess CfE work, especially digital moving image media, despite the advice that they should work to existing equivalents as a default: Scottish National 5 is Intermediate 2, Scottish National 4 is Intermediate 1. The effect of increasing assessment on pupils is well documented (Atkinson 2008), and despite the core values of pupil-centred learning some of the most resistant issues that teachers face remain. The perennial pressure on timetabling art and design classes may force teachers to approach student independent learning out of necessity rather than conviction. We do try to get them to think for themselves, and that to me is a lot of what Curriculum for Excellence is about. It’s about being a responsible individual, and being confident as well. Head of Art, Forrester High School This is a narrow study of only a small sample of Scottish secondary schools. The response and approach to the application of CfE will vary across Scotland. This study illustrates how existing pedagogies of art and design can embrace CfE and be enhanced to meet the needs of higher education.
Iain’s full article was originally published in NSEAD AD magazine (http://www.nsead.org/home/index.aspx). You will also find it in Edinburgh Napier’s Research Repository (http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/). Reference Atkinson, D. (2008) Pedagogy Against the State. International
At the time of writing, many teachers were still concerned
Journal of Art & Design Education. 27(3) 226–240
Research Repository @ Napier Lyn Gibson The Repository@Napier is an Open Access showcase for the published research output of the University. Developed in 2007, it was launched as a live service in 2008. The Repository aims to increase the impact of research by making it more visible and more discoverable, and it thereby improves its citation rate. Depositing in the Repository helps to meet the open access agreements of funding bodies. It also keeps a record of publications in one place with enhanced, accurate bibliographic data.
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Edinburgh Napier University staff and research students are required to place in the Repository post-refereed, accepted texts of documents being published, together with texts of papers given at conferences; data sets, programs, images, scores, music, theses, and exhibition catalogues should also be lodged in digital format. The Repository team within Information Services looks after the Research Repository on behalf of the University and its research community. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LTA Resource Bank Updates Impact of VLE (Moodle) on final marks Sandeep Chowdhry
PeerWise: an easy to use online tool highly recommended Anne Waugh
In September 2013 trimester 1, an Engineering Design module was taught to 2nd year students. The module was taught over a period of 13 weeks, and there were 93 students in the class. The final coursework comprised a 2000-word report worth 60% of the module assessment. To meet the learning needs of the large class, a blended teaching approach was used. Lectures and tutorials were delivered face to face. In addition, students had to participate in a weekly online activity on Moodle. Based on the lectures, each week students had to post one question and its answer on the Moodle discussion board. The question had to be unique as much as possible and help the other students. Students were allowed to refer to the lecture slides, Moodle resources, books and other online resources; all the learning resources including lecture slides, videos and images were provided on Moodle. All students had access to all the discussion boards. At the end of each week, the best posts were announced on Moodle. The final marks obtained by the students took into account their Moodle visits during the trimester. The online activity was assigned 20% of the final mark to encourage the students’ participation. Read more on the LTA Resource Bank
Add to Resource Bank... We would like to invite you to submit examples of your work for publication in the LTA Resource Bank. The Resource Bank has been designed as an open education resource and is available internally and externally.
PeerWise requires students to write, answer and evaluate multiple-choice questions (MCQs), which enables meaningful and engaging online activity in any size of student group. Although MCQs are argued to encourage rote learning, Fellenz (2004) introduced multiple choice item development assignment (MCIDA) as a form of learning and assessment which focuses on enabling higher levels of learning with successful outcomes. PeerWise facilitates these processes electronically. Studies show that student activity correlated positively with learning. Three characteristics of student learning using PeerWise were reported: • Writing MCQs promoted active learning • Collaborative learning occurred during peer sharing, evaluating, and discussion of MCQs • Frequent formative assessment with constructive and explanatory feedback facilitated ‘deepened’ learning. I found this to be the case for a large group (210) of overseas students, who also evaluated it very positively. The accompanying resources posted in the Resource Bank include an introduction to PeerWise for teachers with links to YouTube videos, an introductory PowerPoint presentation for students and a Moodle book with a stepby-step guide to logging in and using PeerWise. Do give it a go and let me know how you get on! Reference Fellenz, M. (2004) Using assessment to support higher level learning: the multiple choice item development assignment.
We are looking for examples of learning, teaching and assessment practice which highlight activities that have enhanced the student experience or that are innovative. As part of your submission, you will be asked for a description of the activity, an outline of its impact on learning, teaching and/or assessment and a brief reflective commentary, as well as how the activity may be used by colleagues. As the information is available externally, you will also be asked to assign a Creative Commons Licence to your case study. You will find the submission form and further instructions at: http://staff.napier.ac.uk/services/vice-principalacademic/academic/LTA/Pages/Welcome.aspx. Contact Anastasia Dragona (email@example.com)
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 29(6), 703-719.
Read more on the LTA Resource Bank
To reflect the new University strategy, we are currently looking for case studies on: active learning & assessment; cocreation; enquiry-based learning. If you have been involved in work on any of these, we would love to hear from you.
Book Review Anne Waugh
Saunders, M., Trowler, P. and Bamber, V. (Eds.) (2011) Reconceptualising Evaluation in Higher Education: The Practice Turn. Open University Press. ISBN: 9780335241606
This edited book focuses on evaluative practice in Higher Education (HE) rather than evaluation of HE. Using case studies to facilitate international comparisons, it explores four levels of evaluative practice, namely within the context of national systems, large-scale programmes, institutions and self (or small teams). The case studies in part one examine nation-wide evaluative practices and their regulatory role in education by setting standards that enable crossinstitutional comparisons to be made, their outcomes being judgements that attribute value, worth or quality to specified activities. Examples from the UK include meeting standards set by, e.g., the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and the Research Excellence Framework (REF). While recognising their primary intention is to assure the quality of practice, they highlight that outcomes influence not only policy development but also everyday institutional practices. Part two considers evaluative practice related to largescale programmes of work; the Centres of Excellence in Teaching and Learning in England (CETLs) and the Scottish Quality Enhancement Framework (QEF) form two of the case studies. Evaluation of this type seeks evidence of the value of (worthwhile) investment in their projects, which can also be used to determine policy. Chapter 13 focuses on the QEF, including its constituent Subject Reviews, Enhancementled Institutional Review (ELIR) and programme of Enhancement Themes that will be familiar to most readers. The QEF is distinctive in that it promotes “a shift in emphasis from quality assurance based on audit, compliance and concrete data to an emphasis on ownership, partnership, openness and development of improved practice amongst HE professionals” (p.
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106). Its components are reviewed along with the shift in institutional culture that may be required for enhancement-led approaches to succeed. At institutional level, variations in evaluative practice are illustrated by case studies reflecting the increasing interest in quality of aspects of academe in recent years. However, as education is supported by large central investment, e.g. HEFCE and the Scottish Funding Council, institutions must demonstrate accountability for prudent fiscal spending, which can lead to tension between self-regulation and external quality audit of provision. The outcomes may therefore be “highly political and of strategic importance to the institution” (p. 157), especially when linked to funding. In turn, this can strongly influence the culture and approach institutions adopt to such activities. Chapter 16 provides useful insight into the strengths, weaknesses and ‘fit for purposeness’ of league tables. Self evaluative practice can provide more freedom at the level of individuals and teams; the case studies in this section highlight how this can foster creative approaches to learning and teaching. One of these illustrates the use of Appreciative Inquiry – action research initiated at the ‘chalk face’ as an effective quality-enhancement tool. In summary, this book begins with an analysis of national evaluative practices before considering institutional and finally individual (or team) practice, making it useful for understanding evaluation of one’s own or team practice within a national and institutional context. Underlying assumptions and intended and unintended consequences within each domain are explored, along with the impact of differences in institutional culture and approaches adopted towards evaluative activities. Chapters 5 and 16 provide insight into wider aspects of the National Student Survey, Chapter 13 can be recommended for anyone involved in forthcoming Subject Reviews, ELIR and those engaged in Enhancement Themes activity, and Chapter 22 illustrates how Appreciative Inquiry can be used as an enhancement-led approach for programme evaluation. The final chapter provides a summary which includes useful tables that integrate the analyses and conclusions from the preceding chapters. In addition, this book is a valuable resource for those who require critical insight into assumptions that underpin the domains of evaluative practice and their potential outcomes.
International Conference on Teaching and Education Sciences – ICTES 2014
Identity, constructions of knowledge, transformative pedagogies, the role of educational institutions.
Hong Kong 16–17 June 2014
Call for papers is now open. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 May 2014. See website for futher information: http://iafor.org/iafor/conferences/the-europeanconference-on-education-2014/
The 2014 International Conference on Teaching and Education Sciences (ICTES 2014) will be held 16–17 June 2014 in Hong Kong. ICTES 2014 aims to bring together researchers, scientists, engineers, and scholar students to exchange and share their experiences, new ideas, and research results about all aspects of Teaching and Education Sciences and discuss the practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted. The conference will be held every year so makes an ideal platform for people to share views and experiences in Teaching and Education Sciences and related areas. Call for papers is now closed. See website for further information: http://www.ictes.org
The European Conference on Education 2014 Thistle Hotel Brighton 9–13 July 2014 The International Academic Forum in conjunction with its global university partners is proud to announce the Second European Conference on Education, to be held 9–13 July 2014 at the Thistle Hotel Brighton. In this conference – one of a series of three held in 2014 on transforming and changing education – participants are invited to explore the educational borderlands of becoming and belonging, including geography, ‘difference’, culture, educational discourses, policies and practices, and so on. Abstracts should explore and challenge the ways in which education can transform and change, and be transformed and changed, through the borderlands of becoming and belonging, addressing one or more of the following sub-themes:
HEA Annual Conference Aston University 2–3 July 2014 The 10th Annual Conference of the Higher Education Academy will take place 2–3 July 2014 at Aston University. Bringing together individuals and groups engaged in enhancing the student learning experience, the conference will feature a series of keynote lectures, oral presentation, poster, discussion and workshop sessions. The conference will focus on the future of the student learning experience and explore how we are preparing for it; it will look at how current policy and practice is (or is not) equipping us for the opportunities that lie ahead and what may need to be done to both adapt to and create new learning environments. The conference will also ask what the next ten years hold, what will change, what needs to change and how we can prepare for that change. Call for papers is now closed but bookings are open. The early bird rate closes on 1 May 2014, and conference bookings close on 5 June 2014. See website for futher information: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/annual-conference
Diary Dates are coordinated by Kate Durkacz (K.Durkacz@napier.ac.uk) and Joan McLatchie (J.McLatchie@napier.ac.uk) – contact them with any dates you would like added. Visit: http://staff.napier.ac.uk/services/vice-principalacademic/academic/TFscheme/Pages/DiaryDates.aspx
Conference Reports and Travel Pictured to the far left: Cathleen Aspinall and Michael Crossan with Angela Benzies.
Meeting at the University of Auckland Angela Benzies While on holiday in New Zealand, I had the opportunity to meet with Professional Teaching Fellows (PTFs) of the School of Nursing at the University of Auckland, the contact having been initiated by Cathleen Aspinall, Coordinator of the group, in summer 2013. PTFs are relatively new in Auckland, so there is interest in looking at practice elsewhere as colleagues in Auckland are developing the role. As Edinburgh Napier’s Teaching Fellows Coordinator, I presented details of the Edinburgh Napier Teaching Fellow Scheme, and we discussed ideas for shaping the future, including how we may develop the relationship between the two groups. Later that day, I met with Barbara Kensington-Miller of the University of Auckland’s Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education. Barbara already has links with Edinburgh Napier through being a member of the editorial team for the Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice as well as having visited in 2013, when she and some Teaching Fellows discussed details of the academic peer mentoring programme run by Barbara in Auckland and the Edinburgh Napier Mentoring and Coaching Award (ENMCA). Since that meeting in Edinburgh, Barbara, Angela, Elaine Mowat of Academic Professional Development and Peter Felten of Elon University, US, have had a proposal accepted for the International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED) conference in Stockholm in June, so meeting up in March provided a useful opportunity to prepare. Being able to have our conversation in the warm sunshine of a New Zealand autumn was an added bonus!
Professional Development in Higher Education: Staff Enhancing Teaching Fiona Smart On 27 February 2014, Edinburgh Napier University hosted a one day mini conference for the Quality Assurance Agency Scotland. The event was framed within the context of the Developing and Supporting the Curriculum Enhancement Theme and set out to explore: • the direction of travel in professional development • approaches to accreditation • what we mean by ‘professionalism’.
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Left: The Doubtful Sound from Wilmot Pass, New Zealand.
After an opening address by Rowena Pelik, Director of Academic Strategy and Practice at Edinburgh Napier University and Chair of the Developing and Supporting the Curriculum Enhancement Theme, the conference keynote session was delivered by Professor Maria Slowey of Dublin City University. After overviewing the changing context for Higher Education in Eire, Professor Slowey reported on data gathered from a study undertaken within eight educational providers in the Dublin region. The study sought the views of academic staff in relation to teaching, innovation and changing student needs and their perspectives on staff development priorities in order to enhance the learning experience for students. Professor Slowey used the findings of the study to question how much engagement in professional development is ‘enough’, how to work positively with the changing nature of the student body and how to foster a supportive climate for teaching in higher education. It stimulated interesting discussion and reflection. Workshops facilitated by Dr Sam Ellis and Alison Nimmo of Glasgow Caledonian University followed with Dr Ellis taking the opportunity to focus attention on peer mentoring, observation and review, whilst Alison Nimmo engaged us in the task of exploring the language of the UKPSF, which she argued to be especially nebulous when thinking about the meaning of professional values. She illustrated her thinking by getting participants to unpick the meaning of ‘respect’, an activity which prompted lively debate about the role of the lecturer in terms of being professional or being a professional. A fantastic lunch provided the opportunity to network with colleagues and members of the Scottish Heads of Education Development. The afternoon was opened by Dr David Ross, University of the West of Scotland, followed by Dr Ann Pegg, The Open University. Together the two presentations enabled participants to consider alternative approaches to gaining a Higher Education Academy Senior Fellowship, facilitating consideration of different journeys to the same goal. The event concluded with a useful panel discussion on what needs to change in the support given to HE teachers to facilitate their professional development.
Conference Reports continued A Report on Symposium: International Futures: Enhancing the Student Experience Edinburgh Napier University, 10 December 2013 Monika Foster This half-day symposium was organised by two Senior Teaching Fellows, Dr Monika Foster and Alison Varey, with support from Academic Professional Development. It provided an opportunity for colleagues and students to get together to discuss and influence the University’s vision for the internationalisation of the curriculum at a time when the University is reviewing its Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy for 2020. The symposium’s aim was to discuss ways forward to achieve a coherent approach which involves students, academics, professional services staff and management and to plan how to enhance the learning experience for all our students. It was guided by the Principal’s definition of internationalised curriculum: Offering a curriculum which engages students in learning that opens geographic, social and cultural boundaries. Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal The symposium was over-subscribed, with 60 representatives attending from across the University, including the Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association. The symposium was opened by the Principal, Professor Andrea Nolan, and Vice Principal (Academic), Professor Alistair Sambell, with concluding remarks from Vice Principal (Internationalisation), Professor John Duffield. Discussion sessions were led by facilitators representing the breadth of the University’s activity in internationalisation and revolved around five themes, underpinned by the University’s academic signature:
• Enhancing our learning, teaching and assessment approaches in support of internationalisation: on and off campus and online • Developing a curriculum to enable global citizenship • Supporting the international student experience • Enhancing student and staff mobility • Developing staff to support the internationalisation agenda. The symposium’s contribution to the discussion on internationalisation of student experience and curriculum is wider than the discussion on the day. Please visit the symposium’s website, http://www2. napier.ac.uk/ed/staffconference/dec2013_international, which includes the summary documents guiding the discussions capturing the breadth of expertise in internationalisation internally and externally as well as the outcomes of the symposium. The intention is that these outcomes will serve as drivers of the work on the internationalisation strategy.
Conference Reports continued Academic Cooperation Association – European Policy Seminar Mobility Windows and the Internationalisation of the Curriculum Brussels, 5 December 2013
• Most of the funding of mobility windows was included in the fees charged to students undertaking particular programmes of study. Reference
Ferencz, I., Hauschildt, K., and Garam, I. (eds.) (2013) Mobility Windows from Concept to Practice Bonn. ACA Papers on
Janis Deane Dave Smith and I, in our roles as Curriculum Development Advisors in the Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences, joined our colleague Alison Varey from the School of Computing in attending the Mobility Windows seminar. This was funded by the Graduate Employability Project (GEP) running across the whole University for the next two years. The aim of the seminar was to share good practice in maximising opportunities for student movement to other countries for study, internship or thesis work. A mobility window was defined as: a period of time reserved for international student mobility that is embedded in to the curriculum of a study programme. Ferencz, Hauschildt and Garam, 2013:12 Some of the key points arising included: • There was no single view of internationalisation. • Internationalisation could include formal, informal and hidden aspects of the curriculum; internationalisation at home was a phrase much used throughout the seminar. • Instead of a content-focused approach to internationalisation, we were asked to consider learning outcomes and impact. • The main approaches to curriculum development for internationalisation were add-on, infusion and transformation. Challenges for us: • Student mobility needs careful curriculum development to be linked to assessment and credit-bearing. • There has first to be the development of a ‘product’ to market abroad, such as a specific module. • Later comes the need to develop links and partnerships with employers or universities abroad. • Development of contacts and partnerships requires a long lead time and key staff to monitor and maintain links in a sustainable way. • All ACA studies defined a mobility window as 90 days or longer; puzzlingly, no mention was made of short 2–4 week windows, which would probably be of most use for our student demographic.
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International Cooperation in Education.
Report on LLAS e-Learning Symposium Southampton, 23–24 January 2014 Christine Penman and Sibylle Ratz We attended the 9th e-learning symposium organised by the Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies in Southampton. The keynote addresses were inspiring and we harvested very interesting ideas from some of the 40 parallel sessions. The conference keynotes provided new insights into the rationale for use of technology, the wealth of technological resources shared by teachers’ communities on Twitter, and the increasing role played by MOOCS in the branding of universities. Many of the parallel sessions referred to a specific technological tool and described the pedagogical context in which it was embedded. We made a presentation on the use of Moodle Glossary as a co-constructed resource for vocabulary-building for learners of German and French; this is a helpful resource, which lends itself to a number of class activities and which could be used in a variety of other academic contexts. Among the avenues which we thought worth exploring further were: • Voxopop, a free online tool for the creation of talk groups which allows students to record messages, listen to their peers and record questions on recorded extracts (described in the use for students’ short reports on experience during the year abroad) • the use of CAT (computer assisted translation) tools to teach translation • the use of Google documents for synchronous writing or for student–tutor interaction in a series of scaffolded e-learning activities designed to stimulate self-regulation • the free use of social media as a didactic tool (students as users and reporters) • the use of description tasks and subtitling with short video clips (Clipfair Studio). One of the plenary speakers pointed out that language educators often pioneer creative applications of new technology. This symposium confirmed the current dynamism of that community.
Conference Reports continued The Fourth International Interdisciplinary Conference on Perspectives and Limits of Dialogism in Mikhail Bakhtin Hamilton, New Zealand, 15–19 January 2014 Kendall Richards I presented at the Fourth International Interdisciplinary Conference on Perspectives and Limits of Dialogism in Mikhail Bakhtin, hosted by the University of Waikato at the Waikato-Tainui tribal complex near Hamilton, New Zealand, on 15–19 January 2014. I presented a paper based on research originally funded by a Teaching Fellow grant from 2010. The title of the paper was: Exploring and using perspectives of key academic assessment terms through a dialoguebased ‘anti-glossary’ approach. First impressions were of the incredible surroundings of an essentially rural setting within a Maori tribal complex. The dialogical theme of Bakhtin at the boundaries was reinforced by these surroundings and by the rich Maori cultural dialogue woven throughout the conference proceedings. There was also an amazing diversity of international delegates from Russia to Brazil and multiple places in between. The setting and accommodation in the site meant that nearly all of the delegates were on one site, and opportunities for networking and dialogue were enhanced by the generous communal areas of the accommodation. This also led to the regular sight of pre-eminent scholars in the field of Bakhtinian dialogue whipping out guitars, fiddles and other instruments for impromptu ‘jamming’ sessions in a multitude of styles and languages.
The conference schedule was particularly packed, leading to the dilemma of trying to decide which session to attend out of three concurrent ones. The keynotes and presentations attended opened up a world of dialogic and socio-cultural research and practice from a wide array of educational settings. The scene for this was set by the opening keynote presented by Prof Craig Brandist reflecting on Bakhtinian Pedagogy in Historical Perspective. My presentation was well attended and seemingly well received with an invitation to write a chapter in a book and the opportunity to submit the presentation to a journal for blind peer review.
Going to a conference soon? We love to share the experiences that you’ve had at conferences. If you are planning a conference visit soon please get in touch and let us know and we’ll ensure there is space in our next issue for your article. Remember that there are Teaching Development Fund Grants avaialble to apply for. The purpose of grants from this fund is to support your activities in the role of Teaching Fellow and to help develop and share effective learning, teaching and assessment expertise for the benefit of the university and our students. For applications and amounts awarded from the last grants panel, see page 22. Details of how to apply can be found at http://staff.napier.ac.uk/services/vice-principal-academic/academic/TFscheme/Pages/grant.aspx
Around the Faculties Office of the Vice Principal (Academic)
Colleagues in the OVP (Academic) have been busy contributing to the new LTA, Academic and University Strategies. We have been collaborating with Human Resources & Development colleagues in promoting and implementing ENRoute, and we are also involved in a number of internal initiatives such as the Programme Focus Working Group and PDT project, as well as the Steering Group for the Strategic Investment Plan for TEL in the Business School. The Digital Futures work is coming to a close, with Faculty events held last November and a final, wrap-up event planned. The Digital Futures Symposium held on 19 December was a success and helped consolidate the Working Group’s outcomes and recommendations. External collaborations are continuing, with colleagues involved in projects with organisations such as the QAA, and an exciting upcoming collaboration on provision to Chinese universities as part of our rethinking our Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education international delivery. The OVP (Academic) is planning to change its name to a more appropriate title descriptive of its function as a pedagogic, strategic, innovative enhancement centre. There will be a consultation on a new name in the next few months. Anastasia Dragona, A.Dragona@napier.ac.uk
The Business School
A School of Management team led by Dr Jackie Brodie has been awarded a Teaching Fellow grant to assess the value of using videos to support internationalisation of the curriculum. Dr Monika Foster was invited by the HEA to advise on the ‘Framework for action’ for internationalisation in HEIs. She is one of 15 people invited to this work nationally. A cross-Faculty Teaching Fellow funded project, Re-constructing ‘culture of learning’ – international student experiences in China and the UK, led by Dr Monika Foster has been awarded further funding. This project was presented by Monika and Dr Vivien Zhou at a Research Seminar held by the School of Marketing, Tourism & Languages. Joan McLatchie also presented at this seminar. Her research paper was entitled Power and control in transnational education: a critical discourse analysis. See page 8 for more details. Joan McLatchie, J.McLatchie@napier.ac.uk
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Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences
Janis Deane, Curriculum Development Adviser, is active in the Graduate Employability Project, a two-year programme funded by the SFC. Anne Waugh joined an HEA Special Reference Group looking at standards for Biosciences in Nursing Education (BiNE) and now acts as Critical Reviewer for the draft standards. Her attendance was enabled by a Teaching Fellow Grant. Teaching Fellow funding has also enabled Charlotte Chalmers and Elaine Mowat to further investigate marking of essays ‘face to face’, through interviews with students and staff to obtain their views. Margaret Conlon reports that following the success of the Inter-University Student Mental Health Nursing Debate, students are developing the debate content for submission to an academic journal (see page 9 for more details). On 28 May, ‘Tinderbox Day’ will be hosted by the Teaching Fellows in the School of Life, Sport & Social Sciences to celebrate and examine all things LTA. It is open to all, and if you wish to present or attend please contact Prof Mark Huxham, firstname.lastname@example.org. Paddy Perry, P.Perry@napier.ac.uk
Faculty of Engineering, Computing & Creative Industries
Following support from our Academic Board, the Faculty of Engineering, Computing & Creative Industries is excited to be piloting a peer observation scheme running during Trimester 2 of this session.
The Scheme was launched on 5 February at an event hosted by Bryden Stillie (Senior Lecturer, Teaching Fellow and Director of Student Experience in SACI), with around a dozen participants volunteering to support the pilot. The beauty of the scheme developed by Bryden, Mark Taylor (Lecturer, SEBE) and Euan Winton (Lecturer, SACI) is that the matching of reviewers and reviewees is done via a community site in Moodle, very much reducing the time that would normally be associated with identifying and contacting someone you wish to observe or have observe you. The site is quickly developing into a rich resource including tips for undertaking observations, feedback proformas, examples of schemes operated elsewhere, etc. The team hope to report on the success of the pilot at the start of the new academic session; we will, of course, keep the Teaching Fellows Community informed of the outcomes. Caroline Turnbull, C.Turnbull@napier.ac.uk Bryden Stillie, B.Stillie@napier.ac.uk
Angela Benzies and Caroline Turnbull
Technology Enhanced Learning Keith Smyth
We are pleased to report that SIG-M currently has about 20 members and the events programme is going well. Non-members are welcome to events – advertised through HR Connect – and it has been interesting to see a number of line managers take up this opportunity. Maureen Wilson and Marie Ogilvie of Listen Well Scotland (LWS), a charity which offers listening courses to a variety of organisations including the NHS, presented their ‘taster’, entitled The Importance of Listening in Authentic Communication, on 6 February. The event was well attended, with a mix of colleagues from across many different areas and functions within the University. LWS provided a blend of presentation and listening exercises, inviting us not to take notes but just to listen. Anecdotal participant feedback indicated that the concepts and techniques presented had been heard, retained and successfully used in the period following the event. The relevance to Edinburgh Napier’s mentoring and coaching work was clear, as was the importance of practising good listening more generally. Those participating were presented with certificates of attendance. There will be a networking event, as part of the final workshop of the Edinburgh Napier Mentoring and Coaching Award (ENMCA), on 7 April.
Members of SIG-TEL continue to be active in a number of technology-enhanced learning, teaching and assessment initiatives across the University, including Digital Futures, the e-Portfolio replacement project, and various School and Faculty developments. There have been some recent changes in membership, and the group extend their thanks to Karen Strickland (formerly of the OVP (Academic)) who has taken up a new post as Assistant Head for the School of Nursing at Robert Gordon University. If you would like to get involved in SIG-TEL, please contact the representative for your department or Faculty: Keith Smyth (OVP (Academic); Joan McLatchie (The Business School); Robert Mason (Faculty of Engineering, Computing & Creative Industries); or Karen Campbell (Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences).
Teaching Fellows Community Meeting Teaching Fellows met up on Wednesday 5 February 2013. Some of those that attended are pictured below left to right: Back row: Keith Smyth, Paddy Perry, Mark Huxham, Robert Mason, Julia Fotheringham. Front row: Janis Ross, Margaret Conlon, Angela Benzies, Sally Smith.
Monika Foster and Alison Varey
An event facilitated by SIG-I and organised by the SIG’s convenors, Monika and Alison, was the International Futures Symposium which took place on 10 December. For further information please refer to the report on the symposium on page 8.
Contribute to the next issue As ever, we welcome suggestions for articles for the tfj and invite you to email us at tfj@napier. ac.uk at an early stage to discuss your ideas and help the editorial team to plan the next edition. We’re always looking for features, conference reports, student focus articles written either by yourself or involving a student, book reviews and much more. To find out more about how to contribute visit: http://staff.napier.ac.uk/tfj-contribute
Student Focus 2+2 = 5? The International Classroom and how our Overseas Chinese Students Experience Transition to our 3rd and 4th Year Accounting Programmes Rachel Holmes Look, you’ve got the wrong end of the stick here! I want to know what the notional tax credit is for my investment income. I’d also like to know if Christmas hampers for our clients are deductible for tax purposes in my business. Required Advise Mr Smith on his tax situation. Exam Paper Extract: Level 9, Taxation XYZ University – 2012 The above extract might pose some challenges for a student attending Edinburgh Napier University not having grown up in the UK. For example, a student who had not wrestled with the concept of ‘notional tax credit’ will struggle to answer the question asked. But consider the challenge for the overseas student. Not only do they have to grasp terms like ‘notional tax credit’ but also idiomatic language relating to the ends of sticks! On top of that, any overseas student looking up ‘hamper’ in the dictionary will find that it has something to do with ‘prevention’ or ‘holding back’ rather than a basket of goodies in the festive season. Christmas itself carries cultural connotations, and the classic tax rule regarding hampers for business clients potentially loses its relevance for those without a cultural background in Scotland or the UK. My doctoral research project explores how our overseas Chinese students experience their transition from their home and university in China to Edinburgh Napier University accounting degree programmes in the Business School. I hope to understand what motivates our Chinese students to cross the planet to come to university in Scotland to face the challenges of language and different learning structures, culture and administration.
Our Chinese students arrive as direct entrants onto the 3rd or 4th year of our accounting degree programmes. Along with other direct entrants – say from local colleges – they face assimilating into already established learning communities in their peer group. All direct entrants have to cope with this feature of their transition to university, but literature shows that overseas Chinese students face not only these challenges but others too. These might relate to differences in cultural background, learning cultures, language and just the anxieties that come from being in a completely new environment. I hope to find out what the experiences and challenges are for our students in the accounting suite of degree programmes and what factors help them manage or overcome them. A pilot study for my research project began in March with a workshop-orientated focus group followed up by interviews with Chinese students from our current 4th year. Ethical issues will be addressed by including only students whom I am not currently teaching. Thus concerns for student welfare and about the validity of data arising from any perceived lecturer–student power relationships are, hopefully, mitigated. I aim to follow up the focus groups with more indepth interviews with individuals from the group. The interviews will be informed by the results of the focus groups and allow for confirmation, or otherwise, of the findings and themes arising in the focus group. As someone new to research, I’m finding my DBA an excellent traineeship for how to be a researcher. At the same time, it allows me to explore questions I have in the classroom about how my Chinese direct entry students are experiencing our teaching and educational offering. I hope that the results, in addition to allowing me to submit a successful doctoral thesis, might inform the LTA strategies of Edinburgh Napier University.
Visiting Scholars from China Xiao Jun Cui In February, we had a group of visiting scholars who observed teaching at Edinburgh Napier. They are all lecturers in Chinese Universities and their visit was funded by their respective Universities, offering them the opportunity to gain some experience and understanding
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about teaching and learning in the UK, as the education system and the teaching and learning methods are different in many ways between the UK and China. This may lead to further collaboration between the visiting universities and Edinburgh Napier – more information to come, so watch this space!
Grants Panel Update The Grants Panel considered 17 new grant applications in December 2013.
There is a small amount of funding still available for any applications where funds can be spent by July 2014. All Teaching Fellows are welcome to apply.
Mentee experiences of mentoring interventions for the development of academic practice
Multi-disciplinary Honours Project Teams
Problem-based learning for postgraduate engineering students
Innovative assessment at Masters level
A study of overseas community engagement with design as an enhanced student learning experience
TrackerPlus: using patterns of engagement to enhance the student journey
The value of videos to support internationalisation in the Entrepreneurship Curriculum
Attendance at conference: Teaching the intercultural in contexts of student mobility, 12-13 June 2014, University of Bologna, Italy
Transforming the experience of students through assessment: a pilot study within SNMSC
Presentation at the International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED), June 2013, Stockholm
Meetings at University of Auckland, March 2014
Developing adult nursing skills videos to support student learning
Moodle flashcard generation: an application for reference guidance
SEDA conference presentation: Mentoring for professional recognition
Amount Awarded £570
Teaching Fellows Journal Editorial Team Angela Benzies Senior Teaching Fellow Teaching Fellows Coordinator t: (0131) 455 6105 e: A.Benzies@napier.ac.uk
Ruth Lough Teaching Fellows Administrator t: (0131) 455 6360 e: R.Lough@napier.ac.uk
Kirsteen Wright Publications Officer t: (0131) 455 3217 e: K.Wright2@napier.ac.uk
Anastasia Dragona Information and Project Officer t: (0131) 455 5018 e: A.Dragona@napier.ac.uk
Kate Durkacz Teaching Fellow School of Engineering & the Built Environment t: (0131) 455 2349 e: K.Durkacz@napier.ac.uk Joan McLatchie Senior Teaching Fellow School of Marketing, Tourism & Languages t: (0131) 455 4341 e: J.Mclatchie@napier.ac.uk
Edinburgh Napier University • Office of the Vice Principal (Academic) Sighthill Campus • Sighthill Court • Edinburgh • EH11 4BN email: email@example.com web: http://staff.napier.ac.uk/TeachingFellows Read the current and back issues online: http://issuu.com/teachingfellowsjournal
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The Spring 2014 issue of the Edinburgh Napier University Teaching Fellows Journal