• Teaching in higher education: working without a map

      Holland, Fiona G.; University of Derby (2012)
      This study explored the complexity of working and teaching within one English post -1992 university from the perspectives of thirteen members of academic staff. Work relationships, work load and perception of the management’s support of teaching were investigated via semi-structured interviews. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) as a theoretical framework. This method offered a way to analyse and interpret the experiences of lecturers working in Higher Education by maintaining a focus on the academics’ own words. Previous research using IPA has been established within health and counselling fields (Smith et al, 2009) and its use within educational settings is emergent (Creanor, Trinder, Gowan et al, 2008; Biggerstaff and Thompson, 2008). The academics interviewed mostly entered higher education with no formal teacher training and many found their initial time in the role to be stressful and poorly managed. Support mechanisms (induction, mentoring, team teaching, teacher training courses) were described as being areas that could all be improved. The dramatic metaphorical language used to describe their entry into the HE system vividly depicted these challenges. The capturing of this highly expressive language offered new insight into understanding the lives of lecturing staff. Participants expressed their working lives with multiple references to the language of war, battle and struggle. Aspects of both vulnerability and tenacity were present in the findings, with the responses to challenges being expressed in both positive and negative ways. Most participants found that the levels of university bureaucracy impeded their teaching effectiveness; they battled with time management and felt tension between the levels of control, audit and freedom within their roles. This was somewhat ameliorated by the satisfaction they gained from teaching their students. The majority described students as consumers who were increasingly demanding and had varied abilities which created challenges for the lecturers. Traditional HE lecture-based techniques were perceived to be less effective in engaging students and most participants actively tried new methods of teaching, despite having little knowledge of theoretical aspects of learning to support this work. Few had experienced formal observation mechanisms and there were mixed responses about the level of support they received from their colleagues around teaching and its associated administrative tasks. The interviewed academics did not perceive that teaching was overtly valued by their superiors as their efforts remained largely unrecognised by those in senior management. Insights into the complex lives of the lecturers gave the researcher scope to create initiatives to promote positive change and make recommendations to senior management that could foster further improvements. In light of the data collected, the induction processes were changed to include more consistent mentoring, peer teaching observation groups (peer learning circles) were coordinated and staff development was organised to facilitate enhanced support for lecturers.
    • Testing the efficacy of a counselling intervention: Facilitating the motivation to learn among Arab high school students and teachers in Israel.

      Hudrog-Shalan, Hana; University of Derby (2017-03-20)
      The motivation of students to learn is one of the most investigated topics in education. Abu Asba (2007) and Assor (2005) have tried to understand the basic factors that enhance motivation and how both teachers and students can benefit from enhancing the motivation to learn. There has been no research that has contributed to the study of motivation in Israeli Arab high schools. The main purpose of the current study was to examine the processes elicited by a counselling intervention designed to enhance motivation, to improve self-image, school climate and student-teacher achievements of high-school students. Thirty students from five 10th grade classes and thirty-five teachers participated in the study. One of the research aims was to formulate a strategy teachers can use when attempting to motivate their students. The study found that it is difficult for teachers to arouse students' intrinsic motivation to learn in a cultural and educational system where motivation to learn is extrinsically controlled. The study also found that motivation to learn increased after students and teachers participated in a counselling intervention program. When students' motivation to learn was elicited, student engagement with the learning processes was enhanced. The findings showed that student and teacher motivation grew and developed when student and teacher self-images improved. Strategies to improve teacher and student self-images included the implementation of teacher training on the subject of learning styles and on the use of relevant instructional styles and the training of educational teams to address teacher and student motivation.
    • Theory-Practice Integration for Clinical Skills Competence among Undergraduate Nursing Students in Ireland: A Mixed Methods Study

      Sharvin, Brian; University of Derby (2017-12-14)
      The nursing literature identifies an ongoing concern regarding undergraduate nursing students’ competency in clinical skills and implies that current methods do not sufficiently enable undergraduate nursing students to effectively transfer and develop clinical skills competency learned in the classroom to the practice setting. The research question for this study was, ‘does a practice based learning aid influence theory practice integration for clinical skills competence among undergraduate nursing students’? The educational approach incorporated a number of components including theoretical learning in the classroom, Simulated Learning (SL) in the Clinical Skills Laboratory (CSL), an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and finally, the use of a practice based learning aid, entitled the Reflective Checklist for Clinical Skills Competence (RCCSC). The practice based learning aid conceptually synthesises reflective theory with a self-grading approach, using a competency scale and a criterion-based clinical skills checklist. A mixed-methods approach incorporating an explanatory sequential design was used for the study. Data was collated at four stages over an eight-month period and included clinical skills competency level data generated from the OSCE, the practice based learning aid and from the researcher’s observations of students at the end of their clinical placement. Qualitative data was generated from the practice based learning aid in the form of written reflective comments. Further data was collated on completion of the clinical placement and included an evaluative questionnaire, the findings of which were further explored using qualitative data from a focus group. The findings included an improvement in clinical skills competency levels recorded at the end of clinical placement when compared to competency levels recorded at the beginning of clinical placement (p≤0.05). The educational approach used and specifically the integration of a practice based learning aid, was identified by students as a key factor in developing and improving their clinical skills competency levels during clinical placement. Three key themes emerged from the qualitative analysis and included factors identified as pre-requisites for learning, factors that were conducive to learning and factors that were unconducive. These themes provided a deeper understanding of the students’ learning experience and support the use of the educational approach employed in the study. Whilst the study is limited in context to one cohort of students the findings from both data sets increase our understanding of how students develop competency in clinical skills. The study concludes that the educational approach employed benefited theory-practice integration by enabling students to transfer learning from the simulated setting to clinical practice and improve their clinical skills competency. The study has particular relevance and implications for nurse educators and practitioners seeking teaching and learning methods to enhance clinical skills competency transfer and transition among undergraduate nursing students. This educational approach could also be adapted by other health care professionals to enhance theory practice integration and skills competency.
    • A therapeutic intervention in a primary school.

      Greenhough, Lynne C.; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2018-01-15)
      As a consequence of interrogating pupil progress data, the primary school in this study identified apparent inequalities in the rates of progress in Reading and Mathematics made by male and female pupils in Key Stage Two cohorts. To address this school improvement issue, the Key Stage Two pupils and the staff who worked with them, were surveyed in order to establish a starting point for action. The surveys indicated that low-achieving female pupils in the school perceived themselves, and were perceived by staff as having low levels of self-esteem and confidence, which were impacting upon their ability to access the learning and impeding their educational progress. A search of the literature on barriers to learning and the range of approaches and initiatives which have been employed to address these, alongside a consultation process with female pupils though a focus group, resulted in identification of the need for the provision of an intervention which would address the issue. Outcomes from an internally–provided school intervention pilot programme resulted in the adoption of a participatory action-research model which allowed the pupils to contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of a single-sex therapeutic intervention, facilitated by a drama practitioner. Through the use of drama and mask techniques the practitioner provided a safe, non-judgemental environment which enabled participants to feel accepted, to express their feelings, to lead activities, to take risks and to develop a wider friendship circle. The intervention was widely commended, with staff and parents/carers reporting a perceived increase in levels of confidence, expanded friendship circles and stronger peer relationships and improved active engagement in learning in the mixed-gender classroom environment. Qualitative data, in the form of individual video evaluations of the intervention indicated the learning which had resulted from participation, most strongly evidenced by the positive comments elicited from the participants both in terms of the techniques employed in the intervention and the outcomes achieved: “…At first you’re the one underneath the mask… Then the mask becomes you… The masks helped me feel more confident …When we did the mask it was like a confidence builder – made you speak your mind and gave you the words to express your feelings better – like if your excited or happy you had the words to say that…this project helped all our group…’cos we’ve learned to be more confident in ourselves and I just feel a lot better…”
    • To develop a universal gamut mapping algorithm

      Morovič, Ján (University of Derby, 1998)
    • To the Ladies of Ogston Hall:the epistolary cultures of Nineteenth-Century gentry women of Derbyshire

      Flint, Alison Claire; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2017-10)
      The broad aim of this thesis is to demonstrate that the Victorian letter is more than the sum of its parts. By focusing on the archival collection of a gentry family from Derbyshire, it asserts that the material remains of a nineteenth-century letter are as important as the words and, as such, have a valuable contribution to make to the understanding of letters and letter writing culture of the period. Furthermore, throughout it is demonstrated that the nineteenth-century familial letter was important as an emotional and material object to both the reader and the sender but, as yet, is an undervalued tool in historical research. It argues against the dominant historical trend to read only the text of letters, and in so doing offers a model that can be adopted and adapted to investigate the nineteenth-century letter. The thesis applies James Daybell’s argument that, in order to understand an early modern manuscript, the historian must be directed both to the physical characteristics as well as to the social contexts of its composition, delivery, reception and latterly its archiving. By taking a case study approach, this thesis examines the unpublished nineteenth-century letters of the Turbutt family collection. Each chapter focusses on a particular aspect of letter writing which affords a greater understanding of the nineteenth-century letter as literary culture as well as material culture. Taking this approach uncovers a wide range of uses for the familiar letter and demonstrates that the letter was vital to the nineteenth-century Turbutt women of the Ogston estate. It is demonstrated that the Turbutt women used letters to perform their role as gentry women, to navigate courtship and the emotional and relational divide, and also determine how the letter writer used the material properties to their advantage and, if so, did the material and literary qualities of letters converge to further this. In so doing this thesis bridges the gap between text and materiality, two areas that have tended to be treated separately and, as such, it contributes to the scholarship of letter writing in the nineteenth century as both literary culture and material culture and also to the letter writing culture of nineteenth-century gentry women. Daybell, The Material Letter in Early Modern England, pp. 1-2.
    • Towards a cogScenography: Cognitive science, scenographic reception and processes

      Penna, Xristina; University of Leeds (University of Leeds, 2017)
      This thesis argues that post-cognitivist frameworks that understand cognition as co-originating between brain, body, and world can contribute to both the production and the knowledge of scenography in a post-representational performance landscape. By imbricating radically embodied and enactive cognitive frameworks, and neuroscience metaphors of consciousness and perception within original participatory scenographic practice (Work Space I, II, and III) I develop further my ‘arts praxis’ (Nelson 2006), what I call the ‘scenographic contraption’. This practical, conceptual, and analytical framework generates participatory encounters between materials, space, and audiences, and is further used as a way of conceptualising scenography and participation within these shifting encounters. I assume three phases of the creative researcher’s condition in relation to the audience–participants, and the cognitive theories I am using for my research design: the ‘ignorant’, the ‘Janus-faced’ and the ‘predictive’ scenographer. I iterate between doing and thinking with contemporary cognitive frameworks towards the development of a theory of CogScenography, which helps us understand and experience scenography as a synergic way of doing-thinking-co-experiencing.
    • Towards an efficient indexing and searching model for service discovery in a decentralised environment.

      Miao, Dejun; University of Derby (2018-05)
      Given the growth and outreach of new information, communication, computing and electronic technologies in various dimensions, the amount of data has explosively increased in the recent years. Centralised systems suffer some limitations to dealing with this issue due to all data is stored in central data centres. Thus, decentralised systems are getting more attention and increasing in popularity. Moreover, efficient service discovery mechanisms have naturally become an essential component in both large-scale and small-scale decentralised systems and. This research study is aimed at modelling a novel efficient indexing and searching model for service discovery in decentralised environments comprising numerous repositories with massive stored services. The main contributions of this research study can be summarised in three components: a novel distributed multilevel indexing model, an optimised searching algorithm and a new simulation environment. Indexing model has been widely used for efficient service discovery. For instance; the inverted index is one of the popular indexing models used for service retrieval in consistent repositories. However, redundancies are inevitable in the inverted index which is significantly time-consuming in the service discovery and retrieval process. This theeis proposes a novel distributed multilevel indexing model (DM-index), which offers an efficient solution for service discovery and retrieval in distributed service repositories comprising massive stored services. The architecture of the proposed indexing model encompasses four hierarchical levels to eliminate redundancy information in service repositories, to narrow the searching space and to reduce the number of traversed services whilst discovering services. Distributed Hash Tables have been widely used to provide data lookup services with logarithmic message costs which only require maintenance of limited amounts of routing states. This thesis develops an optimised searching algorithm, named Double-layer No-redundancy Enhanced Bi-direction Chord (DNEB-Chord), to handle retrieval requests in distributed destination repositories efficiently. This DNEB-Chord algorithm achieves faster routing performances with the double-layer routing mechanism and optimal routing index. The efficiency of the developed indexing and searching model is evaluated through theoretical analysis and experimental evaluation in a newly developed simulation environment, named Distributed Multilevel Bi-direction Simulator (DMBSim), which can be used as cost efficient tool for exploring various service configurations, user retrieval requirements and other parameter settings. Both the theoretical validation and experimental evaluations demonstrate that the service discovery efficiency of the DM-index outperforms the sequential index and inverted index configurations. Furthermore, the experimental evaluation results demostrate that the DNEB-Chord algorithm performs better than the Chord in terms of reducing the incurred hop counts. Finally, simulation results demonstrate that the proposed indexing and searching model can achieve better service discovery performances in large-scale decentralised environments comprising numerous repositories with massive stored services.
    • Towards human-oriented design, architecture and urbanism: shifts in education and practice.

      Hudson, Robert Charles; Campbell, Neil; Tracada, Eleni (University of DerbyFaculty of Arts, Design & Technology, 2015-05)
      The scope of this piece of work is to reflect upon a series of past and recent publications as well as those in progress referring to innovations in architectural education which has already led and/or might lead to major shifts in future practices. This is an opportunity for the author to reflect on concepts and ideas for the future of architecture which is currently undergoing innovative developments by embracing new theories and enduring professional formation according to contemporary trends. This reflective work has been based on publication of research, including ongoing editorial work related to this topic. The author’s ideas and philosophy on human-oriented design and fractal patterns of social life has embraced dynamics of urban developments in modern and future cities. She has succeeded in considering, uniquely interpreting and further developing ideas and theories of established authors, such as Christopher Alexander’s concepts on patterns and principles of design and Nikos Salingaros’ thermodynamic models of the built environment. The author was inspired by teachers and renowned scholars in history, philosophy and practices of architecture; her own teachers’ experiences and their teaching had offered a singular momentum in her personal career path. This long process started when her teachers succeeded in placing urbanism and architecture side by side inside the Faculty of Architecture of Florence back in the 1970s. Hence the author reflects not only on recent publications, but also on others that have been published in the last decade or so. In this report it is evident that materials produced during these years have been essential and invaluable for her later endeavours in learning, teaching and the training of designers and architects in Great Britain and beyond.
    • 'Towards retreat'

      LeGrove, Judith (University of Derby, 2007)
    • 'Towards retreat'

      LeGrove, Judith (University of Derby, 2007)
    • The Transformation of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) into the UK Legal Order: Two Legislative Models

      Platsas, Antonios E.; Georgiado, Katerina (University of Derby, 2014-09-02)
      A number of common law countries such as Canada, New Zealand and the United States have already successfully implemented the CISG. Furthermore, leading civil law countries such as Germany and the Scandinavian countries have also implemented the UN Convention there is reason to believe that if applied by the UK, it will prove beneficial. From a political perspective, the United Kingdom reflects a negative image as being a reluctant participant in international trade law initiatives. UK law does not have a special body of rules applicable to international sales; it has a body of common rules which are not devised for international transactions. This thesis suggests that the CISG may be transformed in the UK legal order through two legislative models: 1. À la carte Model The CISG is an ‘à la carte’ Convention; provisions may be selected from the CISG in the same way we choose a meal from a restaurant’s menu. This is the à la carte model. In other words, the UK when creating the Act transforming the CISG in the UK legal order may amend the UN Convention 1980 in order to adjust it to the UK legal system. In that sense, the UK may declare at the time of ratification, according to Article 92 of the CISG, to either omit part II or III of the Convention. This model comprises of three sub-models and if implemented will be an ‘add on’ to the Sale of Goods Act 1979. 2. Parallel Model In legislative terms, the CISG could exist parallel to the Sales of Goods Act 1979, parties wishing to enter into an international transaction may conclude a contract either on CISG terms or under the Sales of Goods Act 1979. In this model a CISG Act will be required. This model will satisfy both the traders who wish to employ modern law especially designed for international contracts and those who are rather conservative and prefer to employ the old and familiar Sales of Goods Act 1979.
    • Transforming a Research Concept into Commercial Practice: Addressing the ‘Hurdles’ of Single-Species eDNA-based Detection

      Sweet, Michael; Robinson, Louise; Burian, Alfred; Troth, Christopher (University of Derby, 2020-01-15)
      The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) for measuring and monitoring biodiversity has been identified as a novel molecular based method to complement more commonly utilised traditional ecological sampling techniques. It is a time and cost-efficient technique, which is rapidly advancing due to the capabilities of low eDNA detection levels. As the efficiency of the technique has increased, commercial organisations and end-users have gained a greater interest in its application. Despite this, the technique is currently only commercially available from a select few service providers. In the UK, the main target species for commercial scale eDNA-based detection is the great crested newt (Triturus cristatus). Interest has now been sparked for the development of eDNA assays to detect various other species, both for use as a regulated informative tool and a conservation aid. However, many recent studies have highlighted various limitations associated with the use of eDNA-based detection and this appears to be hampering commercialisation of this tool. eDNA-based detection methods remain relatively underdeveloped and un-validated for use as reliable and accurate widespread monitoring programs and other such applications. Here, the so called ‘hurdles’ associated with the development and validation of eDNA-based methods and its use as a fully available commercial service are reviewed and addressed, in order to develop and validate a commercially applicable eDNA assay for the endangered white-clawed crayfish, Austropotamobius pallipes, as a target organism. When designing novel species-specific assays, detailed validation steps need to be undertaken, ensuring they perform under various conditions, habitats, and which sampling methods should be utilised. Currently, more traditional methods used to asses populations of white-clawed crayfish (such as trapping and hand searching) are becoming increasingly more difficult to undertake as the species become rarer and populations more fragmented. Such techniques are therefore expensive (with regard to time spent surveying) and often result in low probability of detection. A new species-specific qPCR assay to detect white-clawed crayfish was developed and tested under various conditions both ex-situ (laboratory and mesocosms) and in-situ (ponds and rivers) to explore the optimum sampling strategy giving the most reliable results. Experiments were also conducted on a wider scale to determine the impact of DNA degradation and seasonal influence on eDNA persistence. Interestingly, this thesis illustrates that sample collection choice is not simple, and the ‘best’ methodology was shown to vary between habitat type. This indicates that great care should be taken when designing any such assays and implementing them in the field. Furthermore, this study highlights that a ‘standard operating procedure’ for eDNA-based detection in the commercial sector may not be possible and this will have to be explored on an assay by assay basis. Alongside case studies from real-world application of the technique, recommendations are made on how this novel eDNA assay can be used for the commercial practice of white-clawed crayfish assessment.
    • Transgressing boundaries

      Oldfield, Elizabeth F. (University of Derby, 2010)