The project aims to enhance student understanding through the implementation of an experiential learning environment where real-time video feedback provides students with the opportunity to self and peer evaluate through observation of their performance. The redevelopment will also encourage students to reflect on their learning and performance away from the studio. Dance students have a tendency to be goal orientated in their approach to learning technique (Barr, 2009). Given that feedback is what makes formative assessment formative (Race, 2006), the additional intervention of immediate visual feedback within a dance class provides students with the opportunity to connect their kinaesthetic perception of what they are doing with the actual live performance as witnessed by the tutor, creating the opportunity for the student to evaluate their own performance (and that of their peers) in a guided and safe environment. Through continued practice and furthering student understanding of evaluating, reflecting and applying their improved understanding to practice, it is anticipated that this pilot project will evidence the effectiveness of video as a tool for feedback. If the outcome proves positive, the findings can be implemented and applied to choreography and pedagogy modules, reducing reliance on the teacher and encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning. The lecturer's role becomes one of supporting the development of individuals as they encounter problem-solving at a more complex level through learning from practice, and are given space for critical reflection (Campbell & Norton, 2007).
Many of the teaching methods currently used in Higher Education Institutions focus on content delivery and do not encourage or support exploration, discovery and learning through play. As a result, graduates are not necessarily equipped with the skills for innovation and entrepreneurship when they enter the workforce. The area to be explored during this project is to see how the concept of play can be integrated more successfully into the curriculum to support Enquiry Based Learning.
It is well known in child development that play is a critical area of learning. It is also well known that in the commercial area of design the concept of play is central to creativity and innovation. This can equally be argued for research in general where new insights stem not just from knowledge of the state of the art but also from imagination and play. This project is called Deliberate Play as the aim is to emphasize its importance for learning, but also to give an indication into the way in which play can be incorporated into the curriculum to support the delivery of theory. It also takes some inspiration from the leading research in the area of Deliberate Practice.
My colleague Amanda Bennett and I are creating an online information literacy module initially aimed at the university's many franchise students but which, it is hoped, can be embedded into any Cardiff Met course. The key information literacy skills learned from the module will be vital not just to the learning experience and academic success of the students but also to their future employability. Our project will include research of relevant literature; analysis of existing modules at other institutions; the creation of an online module and it's dissemination to staff and students throughout Cardiff Met.
The project seeks to explore the relationship between learning and teaching strategies and strategies aimed at widening participation. This is consistent with current WAG policy which seeks to maximise the economic, social and cultural impact of HE institutions upon individual learners and the wider community. The project seeks to build upon a relatively new partnership being developed with the People and Work Unit. The People and Work Unit is a charity based in South Wales which through research, evaluation and high quality demonstration projects, identifies and addresses economic and social issues. The People and Work Unit has a proven track record of success at a grass roots level with regard to combating low levels of expectancy and engaging people drawn from a variety of age groups in educational activity.
The project will involve a scoping study to identify learning needs specific to community based education development and widening participation practitioners who are employed by the People and Work Unit. .
The data from the scoping study to enable the development of pilot learning programmes that enhance the effectiveness of the education development and widening participation practitioners partnerships.
Specifically generic: Developing a model for optimising student outcomes from generic Masters modules for specialist healthcare professionals
This project is focusing on the development of a model for delivering generic modules so that they have specific appeal to a range of students from different professional backgrounds, with apparently specific learning requirements. Masters degrees by their very nature are specialist, but this threatens their viability as demand can be relatively low. One solution to this problem is to incorporate generic modules which are delivered to a groups of students from a range of awards, which then become financially appealing. They require the students themselves to devise their learning outcomes and learning activities. This approach differs substantially from traditional module frameworks, which can be to the detriment of student engagement and satisfaction, and staff can also be reticent about the approach. This project seeks to identify, through interviews with staff and students with and without experience of the approach, the associated strengths and weaknesses. This will allow a model of delivery to be developed that can address concerns to ensure that programmes considering adopting such techniques can do so with confidence.
Student attendance vs student performance. What can it teach us in the design of virtual learning material?
This project will investigate delivery and assessment characteristics of modules that show little or no relationship between student attendance and performance against those with a high relationship between attendance and performance. The differences will be used to provide guidelines for the design of e-learning material. This is based on the assumption that an insignificant relationship between attendance and performance is a factor of design and delivery of modules and their assessments.
Part of the data collection for the project will be based on further development of a pilot computer system that has been developed and used at the Cardiff Scool of Management where student attendance data was collected on various modules, especially on the MBA. This was done using a portable inexpensive and easy to use barcode reader, scanning student ID cards. The data was fed into spreadsheets alongside with student marks from various assessments and the information helped us in many ways including student retention, providing records of student engagement at exam boards, curriculum design etc