Student Education Catalyst Projects

Asa Roast, Geography

Title: Games as an educational tool in Social Science

This project proposes to share experiences of existing practices of using games in education, examine new applications, and build a resource library of games which can serve a pedagogical function in social sciences education.

By ‘games’ we mean small-scale practices of play structured around shared rules: this encompasses conventional board games, but also simple roleplaying games, problem-solving exercises, and frameworks for creative thinking.

This project will take the form of a one-day workshop event held in Spring 2020 which will bring together teaching staff, postgraduate researchers, and taught students.

The day will be structured around the participants playing a series of games of different formats, followed by discussion of their experiences, and a reflective session at the end which will produce advice and recommendations for educators at the University of Leeds wishing to incorporate games into their teaching.

A report will be written of this event, and shared online through a webpage which will also include links to game resources and practical advice on implementing them in the classroom.

Andrew Kirby - School of Medicine

Title: The ‘Germ-Bugs’: co-design of an arts-based microbiology teaching resource

With this project, we hope to optimise learning of microbiology by increasing subject accessibility, comprehension and retention.

To develop microbiology teaching resources in collaboration with students, to maximise their uptake and educational impact.

And develop prototype illustrated stories relating to two bacterial pathogens which would form part of a collection of illustrated narratives on bacterial pathogens called The GermBugs.

Use these illustrated stories in co-design groups with medical students from the Medical Student Infection Society (Andrew Kirby and Jane Freeman).

Produce a report summarising findings and recommendations from the co-design group.

Estela Jankauskaite, Arkadiusz Zadka, Shivendra Pratap Singh & Joanne Dickinson, Business School (student-led)

Title: Accelerating Leeds Students Consulting Skills

We want to equip Leeds University students with transferable skills that will help them to secure a job at top consulting firms and succeed in their professional lives.

Leeds Consulting Society has developed a structured method to help students increase their professional network, commercial awareness and prepare students for applying to top consultancies.

There are three major parts to ensuring Leeds University students secure jobs in top consultancies: a) Skills Workshops – supporting students in writing a consulting CV and Cover Letter overseen by successful applicants, – organising commercial awareness and business acumen sessions, – preparing students for the psychometrics tests b) Networking – proactively connecting students with Leeds Alumni working at top consultancies, – organising skills session accompanies by employees from top consulting firms, – broadening students’ access to networking events across the UK. c) Case Study Interview Preparation – Providing adequate Case Studies for each session – Facilitating F2F workshops where students work in pairs, – Coaching students on ways to solve consulting Case Study questions.

Hayley Whitefoot, Engineering and Physical Sciences

Title: Serious Games Academy

There is currently no gaming software module in our Engineering programmes and we would like to create an opportunity for students to develop such skills via a Serious Games Academy, in which students will teach students how to use the software and co-create games.

This would allow students the opportunity to learn the software, put their ideas into action, work with like-minded students and develop an important skill for employment relating to this.

With this project we want to successfully support the use of Serious Games by students and staff by producing guidance and support about their functionality and benefits.

To allow students and staff the opportunity to learn how to use Unity and therefore co-create serious games via online and offline methods and to encourage informal peer-learning alongside formal learning.

To facilitate skills development in games technology, including games engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine and to encourage students and staff to work collaboratively on ideas and projects.

As well as to establish a community of gamers at the University of Leeds To combine expertise in gamification/serious games from across the University and to enable students to connect more easily with like-minded students, thus increasing student engagement.

Also to give students the opportunity to learn a new skill that particular employers are looking for To provide students with the option of learning an additional digital skill.

Helen Durham, School of Geography

Title: Faculty of Environment Pedagogic Research Group

Currently the School of Geography, School of Earth and Environment and Institute of Transport Studies have a number of discipline research clusters, groups and institutes but no local forum for exchanging good practice in student education and scholarship.

There are a growing number of academic staff on Teaching and Scholarship pathways and, as a SFHEA, I wish to initiate a pedagogic research group to support and develop colleagues in the Faculty of Environment who wish to undertake scholarship and pedagogical research.

This pedagogic research group will follow a similar model to PRiSM -Pedagogic Research in Mathematics and Physical Sciences.

Jen Dyer, Alice Owen and Tessa Grant, Earth and Environment

Title: Third Sector curricular and co-curricular connections

The overall aim of the project is to raise awareness of third sector employment opportunities across the Faculty of Environment.

This will be achieved through the following objectives: mapping where the third sector is already integrated into curricular and co-curricular activities; identifying barriers and opportunities for further integration of 3rd sector organisations into curricular and co-curricular activities.

Also by developing recommendations for raising awareness of third sector employment opportunities across the Faculty; exploring how to include 3rd sector organisations in faculty structures analogous to Industry Advisory Boards  and planning to implement recommendations where possible for the 2020/21 academic year

Jenny Brady - Disability Services/ OD&PL

Title: Inclusive Learning and Teaching Development- SALIP Training Event

School Academic Leads for Inclusive Practice (SALIPs) are key to the successful implementation of the baseline standards of inclusive learning and teaching as they will enable colleagues to understand inclusivity in their context and the benefits to students and staff.

Through this project, we are aiming to affect a culture shift as many traditional approaches to teaching and assessment put certain individuals at a disadvantage due to disability as well as linguistic, educational and cultural background.

Inclusivity matters in the design and delivery of teaching and assessment, and must be supported by the wider culture of the organisation.

Establishing localised champions will help to spread awareness and encourage colleagues to amend current approaches, while the ILTD group will continue to take an overview and work strategically.

Julie Peacock, Geography

Title: Sustainable and inclusive fieldwork provision

The goal of this project is to ensure our residential fieldwork provides an inspirational educational experience for the students while increasing environmental sustainability and inclusivity.

Therefore, ensuring our teaching and research on the impacts of climate change are balanced with our actions and students continue to be attracted to our degree programme.

With fieldwork options closer to home this increases inclusivity as cost and time away from home would both be reduced.

Katrina Firth - Engineering, Environment and Maths and Physical Sciences

Title: Managing the ‘Second Year Slump’

The School of Computing SAER identified the transition needs of students going from year 1 to year 2 as well as the low satisfaction rates for year 2 students as action points.

This project will initially focus on this group of students but will also look at the issues for both Engineering and Environment students.

Previous work around this issue has been carried out in FBS by Sue Whittle, however the needs of computing students in transition periods are likely to be different and need addressing directly.

Laura Grassick, Lucy Taylor, Katie Gathercole, Indira Banner, Education

Title: ‘Student perceptions of teaching and learning within undergraduate education programmes’

The project seeks to explore the perceptions of teaching and learning, and the needs of Level 2 undergraduate students in the School of Education.

This will help the School better understand how students’ experiences and understandings of teaching and learning align with what they encounter on their programmes.

Outputs from the research will inform improvements to teaching and learning on School programmes, which we hope will also be relevant to other Schools/faculties.

Maria Hussain, Business School

Title: Understanding challenges of ‘Internationalisation at home’ efforts

This project seeks to build on faculty-led internationalisation efforts at the business school through exploration of the challenges to gaining sustained engagement in such activity from UK students.

Following two IaH projects at LUBS; Cultural Insight Wednesdays (CIW) and ‘Student Intercultural Projects Initiative’ (ISPI).

It is clear that much work is yet to be done to understand and address real challenges in creating optimal opportunity for UK and international student to collaborate and engage with such efforts.

The project will aim to generate deep insights into UK student perceptions of intercultural/ IaH opportunities available and possible avoidance or resistance.

Niamh Tooher - Quality Assurance

Title: Decolonising the Curriculum

The aspiration of this curriculum decolonisation project is to facilitate the creation of a diverse, inclusive curriculum that enables students from all backgrounds and with a plurality of experiences to engage with and benefit from.

Furthermore, we would like the principle of curriculum diversity to be embedded in the development and review of programme content within all faculties.

Students are critical agents in initiating this change and we aim to entrench the spirit of co-creation and collaboration.

Omar Vukusic - school of Languages, Cultures and Societies (student-led)

Title: Learning Arabic dialect/s: An investigation of students’ learning needs

The project aims to help meet students’ needs regarding the teaching of spoken variants of Arabic, and to support staff in developing a portfolio of Arabic modules that meet those needs.

In previous student-staff meetings, when the demand to learn Arabic dialect(s) has been raised, staff members enquired about the details of how this provision can be made in a way that supports our learning.

However, students have not yet provided details such as: which dialect(s) are needed, at what level and in what format, as separate modules versus an integration in the curriculum of the current modules.

The project aims to seek answers for these questions.

Rachael O'Connor - School of Law

Title: Reverse mentoring as a tool to create inclusive, international learning communities

The project will gather primary data from students within the School of Law in order to run a pilot reverse mentoring scheme which will involve international students “mentoring” members of academic staff in the School.

International student numbers have grown significantly in recent years and are set to increase further in line with the University’s internationalisation strategy and government agenda.

As such, piloting new initiatives such as this, which, if successful, will be transferable to other Schools across the University and beyond, is more important than ever in attempting to create inclusive, international learning communities and cultures within the University.

Sarah Underwood, Business School

Title: Investigating the pedagogical needs of professional students

With the introduction of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), there is an increasing demand from the University to deliver professional education courses.

This is coupled with demand from external organisations to provide life-long learning opportunities for their staff as they grapple with the ever-changing business environment.

However, although some of this activity is currently underway within the University, there is a lack of understanding about how best to approach these kinds of courses and a lack of academic staff who are comfortable delivering to this learner group.

This project is setting out to achieve: 1. Understand the differences between the educational needs of professional students and other more ‘traditionally’ represented groups 2. Develop a narrative of the pedagogic needs of professional students as a distinct group of learners within the University environment 3. Create a case book of good practice – both from within the University and from external sources 4. Generate pedagogic research on the basis of differentiated need 5. Work towards building a training programme for academic staff to understand, and better engage with, this group of learners

Sarah Wenham - Careers

Title: Employability Leadership Within An Academic Setting: A Investigation Into The Influence, Areas of Responsibility and Developmental Needs of The Academic Employability Lead Role.

The ‘Academic Employability Lead’ is currently a role that is undertaken by an interested academic member of staff at a School or Faculty level.

However the scope and responsibilities of that role varies widely across the University and there is currently no ‘agreed’ role descriptor that can help to lead and support those staff, and others who work alongside them.

In 2016-17, a University-wide working group was established to undertake a review of a number of academic leadership role descriptors for student education.

The role of Academic Employability Lead however, was not part of that review process.

As Employability is imperative across the University in relation to its contribution to measurements such as TEF, LEAF, Graduate Outcomes and NSS, it is vital that the role is now reviewed in order to further understand its position as a key influencer within each School.

Stacey Mottershaw, Business School

Title: ‘Listening Rooms’

To explore LUBS WP student perceptions of success and the factors that influence this.

For this project, it is important that we avoid making assumptions about success.

It is expected that replicating the listening room methodology used by Heron (2019) will be an effective way for us to reduce researcher bias and to hear genuine student voice.

Using the listening room methodology, researchers ask pairs of participants to have a recorded discussion, guided by a series of prompt cards.

The researcher is not in the room, but is on hand in case of any queries.

Using this approach gives researchers privileged access to conversations and provides an alternative method for listening to genuine student voice. Heron (2019, p.11) noted that participants believed the project to be “a worthwhile and valuable use of their time” and that the project demonstrated that the university cared about the complexity of their experiences.

This project will recruit ten pairs of participants, and record conversations of approximately one hour.

There will be six prompt cards created in conjunction with student representatives.

Participants will be provided with a ten-minute timer to enable them to cover each topic in the time allocated

Ross Gillespie - School of Medicine (student-led)

Title: Eight Minutes to Save a Life 2019

In Autumn 2018, the Clinical Skills Education Team, School of Medicine, and seven medical students collaborated to design a community teaching project that trained over 80 medical students as teachers.

These volunteers taught basic lifesaving skills to over 1000 local residents at 6 events across Leeds, from Victoria Square and LUU to Hyde Park Parkrun, Leeds City Council and the Worsley Building.

This project aims to develop the community teaching skills programme to train students as educators in relevant topics to target pressing health education needs in local communities.