Fellowships (current)

Excellence and Innovation Fellowships 2019/20

Peter Matthews & Niamh Mullen, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures and the Language Centre

The Academic Listening Project

Aural processing in one-way and two-way communication plays a significant role in student education in higher education (HE).

Listening skills enable knowledge transmission through lectures; facilitate deep learning and positioning in discussions and seminars; and are key to successful interactions in tutorials and oral feedback.

However, little scholarly attention has been dedicated to identifying and understanding the challenges non-native English speaking (NNS) international students face when they encounter these spoken genres in the HE environment.

As the University of Leeds aims to increase international student numbers while simultaneously improving the student education experience, more attention needs to be given to the realities of the listening experience for NNS international students, their impacts on teaching and learning, and the support the University provides to both students and subject lecturers.

This project aims to investigate the significance of second language listening, in English, in the student education of NNS international students from student and lecturer perspectives, to identify any challenges NNS students encounter when listening to spoken genres and to investigate the causes of these challenges and their impacts on student education.

Based on the findings from focus groups with students and lecturers and longitudinal studies with individual students, ways in which the University of Leeds can provide support for NNS international students and their lecturers will be suggested and developed.

For further information, please contact P.R.Matthews@leeds.ac.uk and N.Mullen@leeds.ac.uk

Bronwen Swinnerton, School of Education

Learning Analytics

The University of Leeds is in the process of developing a Learning Analytics Strategy and Code of Practice to govern the University’s implementation of learning analytics systems to support student education.

Working alongside, but independent of, this implementation, this project will critically evaluate the implementation and use of learning analytics at the University of Leeds.

This project will assess whether the university aims and objectives have been met, and to address some of the potential issues already highlighted in the literature related to the implementation and use of learning analytics in a Higher Education Institution.

The objectives are:

  • To work alongside, but independent of, the implementation of the learning analytics system, to ensure appropriate consideration of the challenges surrounding ethical and data issues.
  • To disseminate the findings of current research on learning analytics and its implementation, in appropriate formats to inform the implementation and the key stakeholders, including staff and students.
  • To engage staff and students in the wider university learning analytics project.
  • To critically evaluate through quantitative and qualitative research methods the implementation and impact of the use of learning analytics at Leeds, by examining the processes and activities involved.

The Fellowship is 30% for three years and will consist of a number of sub-projects including:

  • Longitudinal study of staff and student perceptions and use pf learning analytics
  • The collection and use of data
  • The development and use of dashboards
  • Impact of learning analytics.

Joy Robbins and Milena Marinkova, the Language Centre

Assessing the impact of online rubrics for feedback and assessment 

This year-long Fellowship will explore how students engage with online rubrics. Our aim is to develop an evidence base for the learning impact of online rubrics for formative feedback and summative assessment.  

Student views will be explored through qualitative thematic analysis, and as partners, students will be mentored to critically engage with assessment practice during the study and after on their degree pathways throughout the university. 

In addition to empowering students, the Fellowship will promote opportunities for staff engagement with digital assessment literacy and with ideas on how to exploit online rubrics as learning tools, in line with current and new findings.  

Martin Iddon, Scott McLaughlin and Mic Spencer, School of Music

Teaching Musical Composition in the Twenty-First Century

In the past ten years, the world of composition has changed radically: young composers are increasingly concerned with gender, ‘race’, and ability, questioning the centrality of craft or value, seeing no reason to avoid the ‘popular’, asking what connection they can have with a wider social sphere.

They are less concerned with ideas of ‘high art’, or autonomy, or with being labelled ‘composers’ at all.

In this context, the project’s underpinning aim is to refresh of the taught curriculum in music composition at Leeds completely, revitalising modules at Levels 1, 2, and 5.

By extension this impacts upon one-to-one teaching at Level 3 and at PGR level. It ties composition teaching directly to the wider world of performance and to performance within the curriculum.

It achieves this through the development of a suite of podcast resources, workshop sessions with leading professional performers, a series of seminars and conferences focussing both on the teaching of composition and artistic practice more generally, and the publication of a textbook and of pedagogical research and reflection.

It commits to diversity through the integration of marginalised voices: female, black, gay composers are represented, and the importance of their subject positions to the music they compose(d) highlighted; other work is viewed through the critical lenses of, inter alia, whiteness, masculinity, and/or queerness.

It connects young composers with professional performers, and provides them with recordings of their music performed by leading instrumentalists, vital to securing their first commissions.

Bridgette Bewick, School of Medicine

Pedagogical wellbeing and the Leeds Curriculum: The embodiment of wellbeing and the university experience

Universities are spaces that inspire students to achieve high quality learning outcomes and sustained personal development.

They are also places where young people report more mental health problems and lower wellbeing than their non-student peers.

One solution is to embed wellbeing into the university curricula. An understanding of how to embody pedagogical wellbeing is necessary if universities are to deliver improved student mental health and wellbeing outcomes.

This two year Fellowship will develop pedagogical wellbeing by investigating how to facilitate and develop embodiment of wellbeing in the Leeds Curriculum.

The Fellowship will promote best practice by identifying and distributing examples of effective pedagogical wellbeing, and identifying opportunities to develop and extend current provision.

The views and experiences of students and staff are central to this Fellowship. We invite contributions from students and staff from across the University.

If you would like your School to be involved and/or you’d like to receive regular updates on the project email Bridgette b.m.bewick@leeds.ac.uk.

Andrew Mearman, Business and Ruth Payne, Languages, Cultures and Societies

Exploring links between induction, exit and retention – ELIXIR

The ELIXIR project investigates possible links between student retention and current induction practices, speaking directly to the University’s aim to provide positive, life-changing experiences to all students.

The project will explore successful induction practices across the University, in order to identify baseline induction provision and more specialist School and Faculty level provision.

By raising the profile of induction practice, the project will promote the creation of induction materials and of an Induction Lead Network that oversees a new repository for key resources.

Overall, the project will provide informed support that will assist colleagues and optimise students’ experience of induction.

The project aims to review current literature on student induction, transition, retention and student success, and their interconnections.

In doing so, we aim to raise awareness of how good practice is maintained and adopted. We will do this by engaging key stakeholders in discussions about future practice.

By auditing existing good practice at Leeds and elsewhere we aim to collate information that reflects accurately students’ experience of their move to the university, and to gather ideas and innovative practice from our immediate colleagues.

By working closely with academic and professional services, and with students themselves, we ultimately aim to re-energise existing induction materials and showcase new resources that provide clear support to colleagues and students for the crucial transition to university life.

For more information contact: A.J.Mearman@leeds.ac.uk or R.Payne@leeds.ac.uk

Sam Wilson, School of Computing

Using assessment mapping as a tool for curriculum evaluation and development
The Leeds Expectations for Assessment and Feedback (LEAF) aims to improve the quality of assessment and feedback across the University.
As part of LEAF the assessment mapping exercise will see all assessment and feedback across all module and programmes mapped against aspects of LEAF.
This information is valuable both for the students, in order to make informed decisions about their  learning, and for the University, to allow for development in the curriculum and its assessment and feedback practices.
This project will provide tools to support stakeholders in LEAF and assessment mapping to make informed decisions using the data collected from the assessment mapping exercise to drive curriculum development and improvements in assessment and feedback practices.

Nina Wardleworth, School of languages, Cultures and Societies

Student Success Academic Lead

This two-year fellowship (60%) will develop the University of Leeds’ strategy on Inclusive Curriculum design.

It will develop an Inclusive Curriculum design toolkit and implement framework/baseline standards in this area.

The aim of the fellowship is to reduce the gaps in degree attainment linked to students’ race, gender, age and socio-economic background and to improve the student experience.

This fellowship will promote opportunities to share knowledge and best practice internally and to work with colleagues at other institutions to develop Inclusive Curriculum best practice nationally.

I will begin the fellowship by surveying existing Inclusive Curriculum design at Leeds.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss your work in this area: n.a.wardleworth@leeds.ac.uk

Excellence and Innovation Fellowships 2018/19

Dan Trowsdale, School of Mechanical Engineering - Co-Creation of design for learning

As academics we are all designers, we design modules and courses to deliver learning.  We also design activities and opportunities for learning. We design exams and other methods to assess learning.

Over the past few years the complexity of designing for learning has increased massively.  Digital technologies are changing how we teach and how students study.

It appears that this new world of opportunity continues to provide limitless opportunities to engage new curriculum models, and deliver feedback and assessment. Curriculum requirements for the modern graduate add to this complexity and such requirements may be; research based learning, attributes for employability, ethics and responsibility or global and cultural insight.

Complex poorly undefined problems such as this are perfect for the application of design thinking and other design methods.

In this project I plan to explore visual, social and participatory methods in the process of design for learning. How might we include students, colleagues and other stakeholders in this important process and what impact that might this have on the quality of the teaching and learning experiences for tutors and tutees.

For more information contact: D.B.Trowsdale@leeds.ac.uk

Helen Sadig and Cecile De Cat, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies - Building a civic curriculum: Helping local schools better support EAL children through enhanced student impact and teacher CPD

Increasing diversity in schools is reflected in the rise of pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) for whom many are academically disadvantaged.

The highly successful Students into Schools (SiS) scheme offers students the opportunity to discover and respond to this growing civic need. However, many students are unaware of the needs of EAL pupils, and unprepared to provide adequate language support.

This project aims to address this need and achieve civic impact on two fronts: by providing language training to maximise the effectiveness of the SiS scheme in terms of EAL support, and by offering that training to teachers as a continuous professional development opportunity.

In order to inform the development of this training programme, data will be collected through teacher interviews, student questionnaires and reflective journals.

The main objectives of this programme are to:

  1. raise awareness of the importance of language for learning;
  2. give students a better understanding of how language works;
  3. raise awareness of the language needs of EAL pupils.

This project aims to achieve real regional impact in the local community and place language support firmly at the centre of the SiS agenda.

For more information contact Helen Sadig H.C.Sadig@leeds.ac.uk or Cecile De Cat C.DeCat@leeds.ac.uk

Excellence and Innovation Fellowships 2017/18

Samantha Pugh, School of Physics and Astronomy - Reimagining university assessment by learning from secondary education (RUALSE)

This project is inspired by the recent A-level reforms that have moved A-levels from modular teaching and assessment to final, synoptic exams.

It presents a golden opportunity for the University of Leeds to also move away from modular assessment to a more holistic, programme level assessment, by focusing on the capabilities and attributes of graduates, and therefore a programme assessment framework based on programme learning outcomes.

Investigations will centre around whether a programme-based assessment framework is feasible in a variety of disciplines across the university. It will also be informed by feedback from teachers on the impact of A-level reform on teaching and learning practices in secondary education.

For more information contact: S.L.Pugh@leeds.ac.uk

Kelvin Tapley, School of Chemistry - Maximising and exploiting assessment criteria through inclusive co-construction (ME-ACTIC)

This project aims to look at ways for all staff and all students to have a shared understanding of and to be using clear assessment criteria that have been developed through a co-construction model. Additionally, the project will be investigating the benefits of clearly understood criteria being used to enhance learning, via peer- and self-reflection/assessment.

For more information contact: K.Tapley@leeds.ac.uk

Maria Kapsali and Scott Palmer, School of Performance & Cultural Industries - Mobile phones and digital creativity

This research project explores the use of mobile phones in creative learning and skill development. The project was conceived as a response to the ubiquity of mobile devices in everyday life and the apparent ambivalence of educators towards phone use during class time. Indeed, mobile phones can be seen as both inimical and conducive to the learning process, depending on the cultures of use that may develop within any particular setting.

This project asks the following questions: How might mobile phones contribute to digitally mediated forms of creativity? How can the potential use of mobile phones as tools for learning and creative expression relate to existing cultures of use within the student population of the University of Leeds? And, in what ways might learning and creative activities involving mobile phones allow us to advance alternative conceptualisations of attention?

To begin with, the questions will be approached in relation to the performing arts and will be extended to other subject areas with the aim to articulate both discipline-specific and cross-disciplinary findings.

A range of research methods will be employed, including practical workshops, playful experimentation, questionnaires, seminars and interviews, and several aspects of the mobile phone will be explored, including basic functionalities and bespoke apps, such as Sonolope and My Tours.

A website that captures more of this evolving LITE project plus other resources and news can be found here.

For more information contact: s.d.palmer@leeds.ac.uk or m.kapsali@leeds.ac.uk

Jacqueline Houghton, Clare Gordon and Graham McLeod, School of Earth and Environment - Investigating the impact of screen-based virtual reality environments on students’ spatial thinking skills

This project builds on the existing, successful Virtual Landscapes project (www.see.leeds.ac.uk/virtual-landscapes/) that develops screen-based virtual reality environments to enhance the training students receive in preparation for geological mapping fieldwork and to help them develop 3D visualisation skills.

A geological map expresses the 3D relationship between the rocks and the landscape in a 2D form.  To map, understand and interpret the outcrop patterns of the rocks on a geological map it is necessary to be able to visualize the 2D map in 3D.

Our interactive 3D geological map block models demonstrate the 3D interaction of the geology with the landscape and the outcrop patterns produced.  These block models can be enlarged, rotated, walked and flown around.  Our mapping training worlds are virtual landscapes, with rock outcrops, which can be mapped in a similar way to real world examples.

Our project aims to develop new and improved mapping training worlds, based on feedback from students on the current worlds, to develop further the geological map 3D block models, and to investigate how to test the impact of these on students’ mapping and spatial thinking skills.

For more Information contact: J.Houghton@leeds.ac.uk or C.E.Gordon@leeds.ac.ukor G.W.McLeod@leeds.ac.uk