PedRIO and TLS Completed Projects - Student learning and experience

A University for All Ages? An exploration of age-stereotyping and unconscious bias and its impact on the student experience

Marie Lavelle, Dr Cath Gristy and Joanna Haynes (Plymouth Institute of Education)

The University might be considered a space associated with ‘being’ a certain age, constructed not just with learning in mind but also a space where rites of passage from childhood to adulthood are enacted. Yet these assumptions can be problematic; unconscious age-related bias can result in unintentional discriminatory practice and missed opportunities. For those who do not fit into these aged expectations, there is the potential to feel out of place and excluded.  

The project explored and disrupted the notion of time and chronological time in particular. To do this we drew on the concepts of khronos, aion and kairis. Khronos is irreversible time; which has a strict order of before, now, after; it is measurable, it is the empirical material from which our narratives are often constructed. The alternative to this linear idea of time might be described as cyclical time, as in the rhythms of bodies and/or seasons. 

Aion refers to time as experience, duration, lived time and non-linear directionality; the continuous present of intimate intensity; it is the time of personal transformation. Kairos expresses time as an opportunity, 'presencing' and manifestation, it is about timeliness and iterability (Honkanen, 2007; Kennedy and Kohan, 2017). final report

Mature women and the EdD: changing identity and family relationships Louise Webber, Nick Pratt and John Hilsdon (Plymouth Institute of Education and Learning Support and Wellbeing)

This project investigated the impact of postgraduate study on mature women students and their families. It built on previous EdD thesis research with Foundation Degree (FD) students regarding HE study for mature women, identity change and family relationships. Previous findings showed women's identity and confidence changed, this then affected family relationships through a change in roles, changes to childcare approaches, changes in attitude and the perspective of woman students which often rubbed off onto husbands (Webber, 2015). 

Husbands and children were good producers of family capital and provided capital in the forms of social, economic, cultural and emotional capital. There were three reasons why husbands provided family capital (financial gain, the strength of the relationship between husband and wife, and husband previously having experience of HE). 

This project builds on this research and explores whether these findings are similar for women students on Professional Doctorate (PD) programmes. final report

Hovering on the threshold? Tracking intentional and transitional behaviours at the Writing Café

Christie Pritchard, Helen Bowstead and Ben Brilot (Academic Support, Technology and Innovation, English Language Centre and Faculty of Science and Engineering) 

Since opening in January 2014, the Writing Café at the University of Plymouth has become a popular space for students and staff to meet and discuss writing practices and gain support from the Learning Development team and trained student-writing mentors. 

Initial observations of visitors at the threshold of the Writing Café indicated that individuals display a range of behaviours when approaching the space, including directly or indirectly transitioning over the threshold, pausing, and pausing and returning the way they came. 

This project aimed to undertake an analysis of the behaviours displayed at the threshold that surrounds the space and investigate how any barriers can be minimised in order to engender engagement with the support available.  final report

'What works for access, retention, attainment, progression in Higher Education?' HEA-funded literature review 

Dr.Oliver Webb, Dr.Lynne Wyness, and Professor Debby Cotton (Teaching and Learning Support) literature review 

CEP evaluation Becky Turner and Debby Cotton (Teaching and Learning Support) final report.

'Becoming Student'- partnerships and voices. Developing a 'relationships for academic success and transformation' model

Suanne Gibson, Melanie Parker, Ciaran O'Sullivan, Andrew Grace (Plymouth Institute of Education) final report

Examination Feedback Joanne Sellick, Carole Sutton, Kim Stephenson, Jonathan Clark and Wendy Miller (Faculty of Business) final report  and Examination Feedback Toolkit 

Postgraduate Experience Project (PEP) Debby Cotton, Karen Gresty and Mick Fuller 

This HEFCE-funded project was led by Kingston University, and involved a consortium of nine UK universities who explored the experience of postgraduate taught students in STEM subjects. The project funded 40 postgraduate scholarships at Plymouth in 2014-15 and researched the experience of students with and without scholarships to inform future developments. The project developed an advice sheet for PGT students. The phase 1 institutional report . Final report: Widening and sustaining postgraduate taught (PGT) STEM study in the UK: a collaborative project.  PEP project website. 

National Scholarship Programme  Debby Cotton and Pauline Kneale 

This longitudinal study tracked the university journey of students who were the first recipients of the National Scholarship Programme in the 2012–13 academic year. The scholarship targeted students from under-represented groups such as those from low-income families, mature students and care leavers. The project investigated the impact of the scholarship on their academic outcomes.

Using interdisciplinary project-based learning (PjBL) to improve engagement among first year GEES students

Alison Stokes (Faculty of Science and Engineering)

This project explores the potential for Project Based Learning (PjBL) as a student-centered pedagogy in the stage one curriculum in the School of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences. The overarching aim of the project is to evidence the effectiveness of PjBL as a pedagogic strategy, develop an interdisciplinary pilot PjBL activity, and evaluate its success at departmental, faculty and university level. Literature review on project-based learning 

Teaching and learning in The Levinsky Gallery

Sarah Chapman and Jennie Winter (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business/Educational Development) 

Building on a previous project titled ‘Public Arts as Extra Curricular Learning’ which investigated the student learning experience in a university-based contemporary art gallery, the focus of this project is to develop recommendations on how to create links between gallery exhibitions and the formal curricula, therefore enhancing disciplinary learning. Journal Paper- Contemporary Art as Extra- Curricular Learning: Lessons from a University Art Gallery.

Evaluation of two approaches to essay writing support Kimberley Bennett (Faculty of Science and Engineering).

Incorporating writing workshops and formative peer review into the curriculum in marine biology. Final project paper

Risk Management in Research-informed Teaching: An interdisciplinary enquiry

Wei Pan, Karen Gresty and Troy Heffernan (Plymouth Business School, Faculty of Science and Engineering) Journal paper- Research-informed teaching from a risk perspective 

University Students Learning outside Formal Education: Enhancing the Student Experience and Serving the Local community?

Jocey Quinn and Rowena Passy (Plymouth Institute of Education)

The Professional Doctorate: Developing and enacting professional learning across multiple sites of learning

Nick Pratt, Peter Kelly and Ruth Boyask (Plymouth Institute of Education) Journal paper- Pedagogic relations and professional change: a sociocultural analysis of students' learning in a professional doctorate 

The Application of Writing as Method of Inquiry and Pedagogic Practice: the promotion and enhancement of teaching, learning, research and scholarly activity within a framework of continuing professional development

Ken Gale, Rebecca Turner and Liz McKenzie (Educational Development and Plymouth Institute of Education) Journal paper- Action research, becoming and the assemblage: a Deleuzian reconceptualisation of professional practice 

Living at home and commuter students. Kneale, P.,Turner, R.,Collings, J., Webb, O., & Treasure, K. (2018)

Since the introduction of student fees the number of students choosing to stay at home while studying is increasing (Artess, et al. 2014). At the University of Plymouth over 30% of students either live at home or are commuter students (November 2017). 

This report (January 2018)  is a preliminary investigation into the experience of University of Plymouth living at home and commuter students. The needs and performance of these home-based students, those who do not move away from home for HE study, has been the focus of a number of recent studies, and some UK universities are developing and implementing support mechanisms specifically for these students

Making a difference: an interdisciplinary social engagement project

Richard Ayres (PUPSMD) 

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry’s mission is to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of our population and ensure that every student will be able to ‘make a difference’ during their time with the University. 

Working towards these goals, this project provides a range of new inter-disciplinary social engagement activities in which medical and nursing students can participate. Project report 

The Impact of Discontent

Sharon Gedye, Emily Beaumont and Debby Cotton (Educational Development/Plymouth Institute of Education)

The student voice is as central to raising standards in higher education. The ability to complain, both formally and informally, has been promoted and facilitated over the last decade. 

Coupled with the increasing culture of student-as-consumer, this has resulted in a rise in official complaints. This research aims to establish the ways and extent to which complaints are shaping higher education practice in the UK. Presentation- project presented at SRHE 2014 and Vice Chancellor's Teaching & Learning Conference 2015.

Evaluating the impact of cross-professional peer tutoring among nursing and physiotherapy students

Fiona McLeod, Caroline Jamison and Kim Young (Faculty of Health and Human Sciences).
This project aims to evaluate the impact of two peer tutored practical workshops designed to enhance clinical skills and inter-professional understanding among nursing and physiotherapy students. 

The intended outcome is twofold: to inform future teaching practice by enhancing the evidence base associated with cross professional peer tutoring; and, to develop recommendations that will inform future developments associated with this initiative. Final report.

Feed-forward: Exploring the staff and student experience of technology-facilitated feedback - can technology support and engage staff and students in dialogic feedback?

Ricky Lowes (Faculty of Business) 

This project explores the use of new feedback processes within Plymouth Business School, specifically evaluating how Moodle and PebblePad could enhance the feedback experience for staff/students. It will explore the use of dialogic feedback, and evaluate the process and the perceptions of staff and students. Final report 

Situated learning in Architecture and Planning: The pedagogic benefits to practitioners and the improvement of place

Simon Bradbury, Bob Brown and Chris Balch (Faculty Arts and Humanities and Science and Engineering) final report

Understanding student attendance: Informing teaching and learning practice with evidence-based decisions

Sylvie Serpell, Alison Bacon (Faculty of Health and Human Sciences), Xu Wang (Leeds Metropolitan University), Jane Elsley (Bournemouth University) 

The scholarship of teaching and learning and placement learning: impact and evidence

Susan Eick and Lynne Callaghan (Plymouth Schools of Medicine and Dentistry)

Complications and disturbance in university teaching: researching dangerous and troublesome knowledge

Joanna Haynes and Mel Parker (Plymouth Institute of Education) BESA Conference 2014/Paper Sessions- see 'Discomfort, avoidance and shame: Teaching and researching dangerous knowledge' 

Evaluation of Team-Based Learning as a Teaching and Learning Strategy in a Second Year Pre-Registration Evidence-Informed Decision Making Module Dr Jenny Morris (School of Nursing and Midwifery) Final report.