Excellence and Innovation Fellowships (current)

Excellence and Innovation Fellowships 2019/20

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

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