List of papers (please click on title or scroll down for more information)
- 1 Introducing London Noise: Online pedagogical approaches to university record labels
- 2 Semi-automating feedback of formative and summative programming assignments
- 3 Short activities and regular break to boost engagement in online learning
- 4 Real-time online scenario based CPD learning in mechanical ventilation to bridge the theory practice gap
- 5 ‘The Street’ using drama-based patient pathways to improve student nurses’ perceived confidence in holistic assessment
- 6 Learning through the pandemic: First Year students’ perceptions
- 7 Online active teaching approach for problem-based module
- 8 Student engagement in online delivery of mathematics and statistics modules
- 9 Variables affecting online learning: Covid-19, Self-efficacy, locus of control, general anxiety
- 10 Making hybrid teaching active, not reactive
- 11 Preparing students for graduate roles post Covid-19. You may have a plan already?
- 12 Deploying practice-based remote and blended learning communities in a pandemic
- 13 Alternative online practicals during Covid – are these as effective post pandemic?
Introducing London Noise: Online pedagogical approaches to university record labels
University record labels (URL) are a popular vehicle for capturing student interest by releasing their music through a culturally appealing imprint. Examples of successful University-based labels include Mad Dragon (Drexel, USA), Vermilion Records (QUT, Australia), and CAM Records (University if Colorado USA). Developing and maintaining a record label within a large institution such as a university comes with a variety of questions concerning mechanical ownership and issues surrounding intellectual property that do not map conveniently to standard university policies. As a result of such challenges, there are a wide range of approaches taken by URL’s. Integration of a record label can vary according to how close a university wants to partner with such an enterprise.
In this paper, we introduce London Noise (UWL, UK) and explain our pedagogical approach to recording and releasing student work, by using online class groups to engage with and promote their fellow student artists. Our approach is to integrate the record label into the framework of the Music Management course design. With a deeply embedded, pedagogically driven structure developed through a URL, we can develop simulated learning experiences using up to date information to solve real-world issues. Such an entrepreneurial learning approach means that our students are taking an active role in their education and are using constructed challenges to deliver, promote, and administer student-based music. Instead of using quickly out of date case studies featuring already successful artists. We aim to provide a safe environment where students can use real-time record label data to assess industry trends and generate strategies that place our students at the forefront of music industry innovation.
Semi-automating feedback of formative and summative programming assignments
Arguably, student assessments are a central element in the academic environment. Assessments serve both to generate marks as representation for student ability, and as valuable feedback mechanism to students themselves. However, reviewing and marking is work-intensive, especially for large cohorts.
In computing subjects, modules focused on creating computer code come with a particular set of characteristics: First, program code can be difficult to mark in isolation because even short code can exhibit complex behaviour too difficult to predict by merely looking at it. Consequently, the fastest way to test code on edge case handling, input value limitations, etc., is to execute it. Second, as a deliverable, it is comparatively trivial to automate a code correctness test by comparing actual code output to expected results for sets of pre-formulated input parameters. In software development, this concept is referred to as unit-testing.
Comprehensive frameworks products for evaluating code in an educational setting have been available for a number of years. This presentation will discuss the implementation of unit testing for semi-automated marking for a level 5 module on Functional Programming with 150 students submitted via Blackboard Ultra. The presentation will outline core premises and constraints, discuss the actual application, and review success based on efficiency and practicability.
It will be argued that in principle, such automated marking gives lecturers a practical opportunity to offer students regular formative feedback on programming tasks by shifting lecturer workload away from reviewing program code towards the provision of regular and varied tests. It will be further argued that this may give students more control and motivation over their incremental learning progress. It will further be concluded that to achieve such goals, a more comprehensive solution will be needed that is operated directly by the students and contains few to no manual steps needed by the lecturer.
Mediating Role of Resilience on the performance of Nursing Students in the Intensive Care Course
Intensive Care Course students experienced unprecedented challenges when completing the double-module course. This 9 months course is designed for registered nurses working within an adult intensive care environment. COVID-19 has taken the world by surprise; even the most sophisticated healthcare systems were struggling to cope with the volume of patients and lack of resources. Due to the pandemic, the course was moved online and promoting resilience amongst the students through a very supportive environment was paramount to ensure students’ engagement and success. The challenges of getting students to engage have intensified during remote learning and the online platforms can create added communication barriers. This paper explores the strategies used to overcome the barriers to student engagement in Online learning and to improve the students’ experience with a virtual classroom
Short activities and regular break to boost engagement in online learning
I care about the practicality of my teaching. I teach postgraduate students in nursing who are already working as registered nurses and would like them to be confident and safe when looking after their patients. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I had to adapt my teaching to online delivery. Although active learning is important in a face-to-face class, it is easier for the student to disengage when online. Young, Robinsons and Albert (2009) found that at 30min there is a drop in student attention, but this can be re-established by including regular breaks. Therefore, during my teaching I made sure to include activities and regular break to support the learning experience of my students. For the module I am teaching, I had to deliver a particularly long session on how to assess HEENT (Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose, Throat) which stimulates me to adopt these techniques. The breaks can be short, but these will allow the student to stand up and move away from the screen.
While teaching HEENT examination I set 5 breaks over the 4 hours session. I also organised group activities where the students discussed 5 different questions (1 per group) for 5 minutes. This allowed the students to interact with each other and engage while giving regular breaks from my teaching. The interactive window, despite being short, is demonstrated to be popular among students showing good interaction and enhancing learning (Huxham, 2005). Young, Robinsons and Albert (2009) believes that this might not re-established their attention as well as a break. As such, I planned the interactive window on the returning from each break. Furthermore, I also facilitated short quizzes throughout the lecture, thus interrupting my teaching and stimulating engagement. As I set to improve my practice, I believe these principles can be translated to face-to-face teaching too.
Real-time online scenario based CPD learning in mechanical ventilation to bridge the theory practice gap
Transitioning to online CPD learning in intensive care nursing has provided both challenges to student experience and opportunities to develop new ways of thinking around student engagement, learning, and making online experiences meaningful.
Through working clinically in the pandemic in a specialist intensive care unit, I recognised a theory practice gap around mechanical ventilation practice in intensive care nurses undertaking the ICU course modules. As a joint appointment between a specialist NHS trust and UWL I have developed a practical approach to scenario-based learning using real time patient examples to build on asynchronous learning as part of the UWL flex approach to online learning.
Students complete online bitesize lectures on the theoretical concepts of mechanical ventilation in intensive care prior to the study day, then attend a live taught session on Collaborate from the intensive care unit of the NHS hospital.
Each patient example is anonymised to preserve confidentiality (NMC 2018). The students are then presented with the clinical profile, with videos of the graphics from the mechanical ventilator, clinical observations, and physical assessment findings. Students are then given opportunities to evaluate current ventilation settings against contemporary evidence base and plan for changes in the ventilation. This is then discussed against the real-time plan for the patient made by the MDT at that time. This stimulates group discussion around the theory to practice application of research evidence and national/international good practice guidelines on mechanical ventilation.
Through the challenges presented by the pandemic, an online learning opportunity not previously available to CPD students when completing face to face teaching has been developed. This mode of delivery of Mechanical ventilation has now run four times and has been highly evaluated by students in informal and formal module evaluation.
‘The Street’ using drama-based patient pathways to improve student nurses’ perceived confidence in holistic assessment
The College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare has developed an anthology of short films, titled The Street, which is bespoke to UWL. Each film presents hypothetical drama-based patient scenarios that enriches simulation teaching. The scenarios follow fictional residents of ‘the street’ through 3 years of their lives, which includes changes in their health conditions and in their socioeconomic circumstances. The films are being used to bridge the gap between the standardised patient and real patients, providing relevant context that challenges nursing students to consider variables and determinants, such as deterioration in health and socioeconomic factors, alongside clinical considerations, to improve holistic practice and overall patient care.
This study aimed: to explore whether the use of drama-based patient pathways (DBPP) in nursing education improves first- year nursing students’ perceived self-confidence when performing a holistic assessment; the effectiveness of DBPPs versus paper case studies at improving students’ confidence; and investigate student perspective on the DBPP used in their learning session.
The study took a constructivist and social-cultural learning theoretical approach. This involves a basic assumption that learning through reflecting on action allows learning to occur by direct engagement in an authentic situation. Application of knowledge relating to past experiences and conceptual understanding allows students to distil perceptions into abstract concepts. Cognitive development in knowledge is constructed through interactions among participants in social practice (Vygotsky and Kozulin, 1986). The theoretical content of the teaching session was applied using a blended learning approach which combined synchronous and asynchronous learning across a cohort of students where some had teaching delivered online and others face to face, within the context of the University of West London FLEX pedagogy.
Learning through the pandemic: First Year students’ perceptions
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant access restrictions to the university site have led to a significant change in the student learning experience. The new entrants starting their undergraduate degrees in September 2020 had a first-hand experience of online learning at the onset of their educational experience in lieu of the face-to face learning.
The students at the School of Computing & Engineering at the University of West London were introduced to the ‘UWL Flex’ as an online learning platform.
This study aimed to quantify student perceptions and experiences for those new entrants on the Built Environment and Computing courses.
An anonymous survey was administered to all students towards the end of the modules. Open-ended responses were sought from the students and their perceptions on online delivery mode of study were recorded. Students were encouraged to comment on digital competence, socioeconomic circumstances, access to technological tools, one to one tutorial support and prior knowledge.
The findings showed that the overall strengths of online learning outweighed the limitations at both entry levels. It was also found that the Level 3 students valued more one-to one support than their Level 4 counterparts.
Online active teaching approach for problem-based module
The sudden shift from traditional to e-learning education has encouraged researchers to evaluate and review the available active teaching and learning models (Amador, 2019; Nikolai et.al., 2018; Barreiros et.al., 2020; Singh et.al., 2019; Rodis & Locsin, 2019; Park & Choi, 2014) to propose and create active online teaching and learning methods. It is surprising to find that there is little research done on Electrical and Electronic Engineering students to evaluate engagement with these methods. Therefore, this research explored effective strategies used with Electrical and Electronic Engineering foundation students to develop active online teaching and learning. The research also addresses the learning support given through the pandemic period to keep students thoughtfully engaged and motivated while enabling a safe, non-judgmental environment where views and perspectives are encouraged.
The teaching model used for Applied Engineering Project (AEP) module merged the problem-based learning model (Hydrie et.al., 2020) with the just-in-time teaching model (or flipped classroom). The problem-based learning model was the most appropriate learning model to deliver the APE module’s learning outcomes. Whereas the strategy of using the just-in-time teaching model shifted the focus of teaching from knowledge transmission to knowledge structuring by students and encourage the use of tasks. The teaching approach includes group discussion, teacher’s explanation, previous student exemplars (Hendry et.al., 2016), peer assessment and one-to-one sessions. The delivery was supported by the University’s e-learning platform (Blackboard Ultra). Near the end of the module, a student questionnaire was administered. The results were promising and enabled me to enhance the tools used for more active learning approaches. I found that the benefits of active learning in student learning in terms of student engagement, ownership of learning, and development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills easily outweigh the additional effort required, and are clearly relevant to other approaches to teaching.
Presentation & Prensetation NEW
Student engagement in online delivery of mathematics and statistics modules
As for many other disciplines, the abrupt move to online teaching a bit over a year ago forced us to rethink student engagement in our mathematics and statistics modules beyond the traditional whiteboard.
Whilst challenging, this has also been a unique opportunity for us to test tools and ideas that have been available for some time but were, perhaps, not considered seriously pre Covid.
In this presentation, I will discuss some practical tools and techniques that have been used over the past year to engage our students in the online learning environment. This includes the use of different types of quizzes, tablets, and online forums.
In addition to reporting on my own experience of advantages, disadvantages, scopes, and limitations, I will make some suggestions for future developments. In particular, I will be contemplating how the past year’s experiences can be used to enhance student engagement in mathematics and statistics learning once we return to face-to-face teaching.
Variables affecting online learning: Covid-19, Self-efficacy, locus of control, general anxiety
The current study investigated the potential variables affecting online learning including perceived self-efficacy, locus of control (LOC) which refers to perception of individuals about whether they are in control of the events in their lives, general anxiety disorder and the way these affects general satisfaction with their course. The data was collected from a sample of 57 students who participated in an online survey.
The results were analysed using multivariate ANOVA and moderated regression analyses. The findings showed that: 1) Self-efficacy was a significant moderator of the effect of internal LOC on General satisfaction. At high level of self-efficacy the internal LOC, which is the belief one is in control of the events in their lives significantly and positively predicted general satisfaction, 2) Students who reported high general anxiety were the student effected from COVID-19 more than those who reported low general anxiety, 3) The general satisfaction was affected as a result of COVID-19 related anxiety and 4) Furthermore moving from face-to-face to online learning also affected satisfaction. Student who reported high satisfaction also reported positive effects of change to online or no change in their performance while those reported low satisfaction reported negative effect of performance as a result of moving online. However, the direction of this relationship could not be determined. Lastly, students with highest general satisfactions attended the highest number of online sessions.
These findings support previous studies that investigated perceived self-efficacy and LOC in online learning and inform about the contribution of other variables to online learning. The findings can be used to inform online teaching methodologies and further highlights the importance of dispositional variables when considering the design of online teaching.
Making hybrid teaching active, not reactive
Profound change hit Higher Education (HE) globally in Spring 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing campuses around the world to close for in-person teaching and move most educational activities online. While online delivery is not new to HE, the resulting lockdowns have clearly accelerated modes of education that were previously much less common. As campuses emerge from lockdown conditions, many institutions are now looking to forms of hybrid teaching to bring in-person and online students together in real-time, in order to bridge gaps in what can be effectively provided.
Hybrid teaching can be more complex on many levels than singular modes of delivery, but it can also offer advantages and opportunities for teachers and learners alike. This presentation looks at a set of investigations into hybrid teaching in HE. Sikora and Pates conducted a series of experiments into ‘Blended Synchronous Learning’ in 2016 and 2017 to bring a remote guest speaker into a seminar for London-based undergraduate Aviation students.
Rutherford launched an institution-wide project at City, University of London in 2021 to investigate providing synchronous teaching to students who are either in-class or online. Both initiatives have been centred around active learning and inclusivity.
Has the pandemic inadvertently gifted HE teaching an opportunity to evolve and start fulfilling the promises of active learning? This session explores that question, offers lessons learned and emerging thinking on hybrid teaching, plus a chance for participants to contribute to a new podcast series by the session presenters that will explore hybrid teaching’s challenges and opportunities.
Preparing students for graduate roles post Covid-19. You may have a plan already?
Online teaching and learning are not replacing, but are complementary to enhance methods of learning, participation and application of acquired knowledge, skills and practical experience.
Covid-19 has been an agent to synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning, speeding up the use of tech, new media and participatory experiential learning. A plethora of tools have made it possible to deliver content that once would have been provided the traditional way of teaching and learning in class, with peers and led by teacher/lecturer.
By building awareness of different ways of learning, students have a wider option on reflecting what works best for their learning. By tapping into the diverse experiences our students bring to their academic journey and by using scenario-based examples enables students to relate and share their views. I provide a brief example of the career management module I designed, planned activities for and implemented assessments, both formative and summative.
In the context of work ethics, liaising with clients, working with team members, tools such as embedded video, breakout rooms and Padlet have been useful for engaging participation, peer to peer support, sharing of cultural perspectives and country specific norms. For this particular session, “what would you do differently?” and dilemma discussion were prompts.
By setting follow up statements, participation is further encouraged, where the opportunity to reflect on decision making, values and work ethics is provided. For webinars and sharing resources, blackboard collaborate has facilitated synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning, allowing practitioners to embed additional resources to enhance learning and upskilling via access to LinkedIn learning for example. By facilitating the exploration of wider university services and resources, active online learning extends students to navigate the depth of information available, but also, recognising alternative support whereby being on campus offers an environment for an active student life.
Deploying practice-based remote and blended learning communities in a pandemic
This paper looks at practice-based remote and blended teaching in the Broadcast and Digital Journalism and Media and Communications programmes, reflecting practices adopted during the pandemic in professional environments. It focuses particularly on Broadcast Journalism newsdays, and on the Live Radio and Outside Broadcast module.
The current pandemic has created a “reflection-in-action,” moment for educators (Schön 1983). How do we create successful online learning communities, and should we retain them, or elements of them, after the pandemic? Higher Education should be well placed to deploy effective online learning, seen as part of a life-long journey, as well as the central activity of individual modules and relevant professional disciplines. However, this requires the acceptance that a learning community is not a fixed artefact, but a “live” dynamic process which evolves and shifts (Hod et al 2018). We need to be flexible and adapt. Because of this, learning landscapes can benefit from a close relationship with technology and innovation (Bielaczyc & Collins 1999).
We look at two examples in FMD. The Journalism programme
created a cross-cohort remote learning community for Newsdays, able to adapt between blended and remote teaching. Levels 5 and 6 students worked together, producing live news bulletins across TV and radio, and news for online and social media. In Live Radio, students produced programmes initially entirely remotely, moving to a blended approach as lockdown eased, though continuing to include remote contributions, including internationally.
In both cases, technology formed the spine of the learning community, linking participants, their workflow, collaboration, and output. For staff, this has provided a potential blueprint for future working, and provoked debate about the definition of a classroom. For students, it has provided continuous learning opportunities, empowered teamwork, seen improvements in student inquiry and skill acquisition, and instilled a greater appreciation of what it means to be “work ready” (Watkins & Marsick, 1993).
Alternative online practicals during Covid – are these as effective post pandemic?
Pre-Covid, the focus of the majority of learning and teaching within the forensic science degree courses was practical based. This was centred around essential forensic science laboratory skills as well as those critical to crime scene investigation. Professional accreditation requirements had enhanced the portion of these key skills taught on our degree courses.
With Covid lockdown came the rapid conversion to online forms of learning and teaching. This catapulted the experimentation of alternative online versions of laboratory and crime scene practical skills on forensic science degree courses across the UK. Experimentation with the use of alternative practicals by the forensic science team at UWL both within learning and teaching and assessments has been embraced during current times.
This study provides some examples of online alternative practical skills that were embedded within UWL forensic science learning and teaching. The question is, should we embrace some the online practical spirit post Covid?