• 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.
    • Transgressing boundaries

      Oldfield, Elizabeth F. (University of Derby, 2010)
    • Treatment beyond treatment: exploring the effects of two complementary interventions on patient reported outcomes of gynaecological cancer

      Sowter, Heidi M.; Montague, Jane; Bali, Anish; Archer, Stephanie (University of DerbyFaculty of Education, Health and Sciences, University of Derby, 2013-10-30)
      Gynaecological cancers (which include cancers of the ovary, cervix, uterus, vagina, endometrium, vulva and fallopian tube) account for 19% of all female cancers, and there are approximately 942,000 new cases diagnosed per year worldwide. Treatment for gynaecological cancer is often multi modal and consists of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Current government policy has highlighted the need to focus on improving patient reported outcomes, including the patient experience of all aspects of cancer (including treatment), and the quality of life (QoL) of patients living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis. This thesis focuses on the effects of two different complementary interventions available to patients who were undergoing active treatment for gynaecological cancer at the Royal Derby Hospital between 2010 and 2012. Patient reported outcomes were explored in terms of the patients’ experience of the interventions and their reported levels of quality of life. The first study in this thesis explores the patient experience of an enhanced recovery programme (ERP) which was implemented for gynaecological cancer patients undergoing surgery at the Royal Derby Hospital in 2010. Previous research has found that ERPs (which complement traditional surgery) can decrease length of hospital stay, and they are now being implemented nationwide. However, there is a paucity of research into the patient experience of ERPs, especially in the field of gynaecological cancer. This study utilised a qualitative methodology to explore the experiences of 14 gynaecological cancer patients who took part in the ERP at Derby. Each patient was interviewed using a semi-structured format and the transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The analysis highlighted that patients highly value the programme, and four main themes, fundamental to their experience, emerged from the data: taking part in the programme, the role of home, managing expectations and individual experiences outside of the programme. The second part of this thesis explores whether yoga can improve the quality of life (QoL) of patients undergoing treatment for gynaecological cancer when used as a complementary therapy. Previous research has found that participation in yoga can improve QoL in the breast cancer population, although there have been no similar studies conducted with UK gynaecological cancer patients to date. The study presented here utilised a randomised controlled design; 44 patients receiving treatment for gynaecological cancer were randomly allocated into a control group or a 10 week yoga intervention group. Outcomes were measured using the EORTC QLQ C30 questionnaire pre and post trial alongside visual analogue scales that were incorporated into a weekly diary. The results suggest that there was no significant effect of yoga on QoL, although there was encouraging data from one set of tests within the analysis, which suggested that patients on the yoga arm were seeing more improvement in QoL over time compared to the controls. Methodological improvements to clinical trials investigating complementary interventions are discussed in light of the results of this study. The overall findings of these two studies highlight that the utilisation of mixed methods is efficacious when exploring the effects of complementary interventions on the patient reported outcomes of those with gynaecological cancer. The use of qualitative methods to explore the patient experience of the ERP allowed for an in-depth, unique analysis to take place which was specific to the service delivered at The Royal Derby Hospital. The findings and recommendations from this part of the research have been incorporated into the on-going development of the pathway; it has indicated that more use of qualitative methods is needed in health services research to ensure that the patient experience is being fully explored, in line with the current government policy. Similarly, the second part of the research reported here indicates that further research in the area of yoga and gynaecological cancer is warranted. This requires a narrower focus with regards to both cancer type and point of treatment, to ensure that the number of variables is controlled. In addition, appropriate measurement and analysis techniques need to be considered (such as the generalised additive model used in this research) to preserve the richness of the data as this has not been considered (or utilised) in the many previous pieces of research in the area.
    • Undergraduate learning in therapeutic radiography

      Jackson, Christine Sylvia (University of Derby, 2002)
    • Understanding the Authorial Writer: a mixed methods approach to the psychology of authorial identity in relation to plagiarism.

      Elander, James; Stupple, Edward J. N.; Flay, Mike; Cheung, Kevin Yet Fong (University of DerbyCentre for Psychological Research, University of Derby, 2014-07-08)
      Academic writing is an important part of undergraduate study that tutors recognise as central to success in higher education. Across the academy, writing is used to assess, develop and facilitate student learning. However, there are growing concerns that students appropriate written work from other sources and present it as their own, committing the academic offence of plagiarism. Conceptualising plagiarism as literary theft, current institutional practices concentrate on deterring and detecting behaviours that contravene the rules of the academy. Plagiarism is a topic that often elicits an emotional response in academic tutors, who are horrified that students commit these ‘crimes’. Recently, educators have suggested that deterring and detecting plagiarism is ineffective and described moralistic conceptualisations of plagiarism as unhelpful. These commentaries highlight the need for credible alternative approaches to plagiarism that include pedagogic aspects of academic writing. The authorial identity approach to reducing plagiarism concentrates on developing understanding of authorship in students using pedagogy. This thesis presents three studies that contribute to the authorial identity approach to student plagiarism. Building on the findings of previous research, the current studies used a sequential mixed-methods approach to expand psychological knowledge concerning authorial identity in higher education contexts. The first, qualitative, study used thematic analysis of interviews with 27 professional academics teaching at institutions in the United Kingdom. The findings from this multidisciplinary sample identified that academics understood authorial identity as composed of five themes; an individual with authorial identity had confidence; valued writing; felt attachment and ownership of their writing; thought independently and critically; and had rhetorical goals. In addition, the analysis identified two integrative themes representing aspects of authorial identity that underlie all of the other themes: authorial identity as ‘tacit knowledge’ and authorial identity as ‘negotiation of identities’. The themes identified in the first study informed important aspects of the two following quantitative studies. The second study used findings from the first study to generate a pool of questionnaire items, assess their content validity and administer them to a multidisciplinary sample of 439 students in higher education. Psychometric analyses were used to identify a latent variable model of student authorial identity with three factors: ‘authorial confidence’, ‘valuing writing’ and ‘identification with author’. This model formed the basis of a new psychometric tool for measuring authorial identity. The resultant Student Attitudes and Beliefs about Authorship Scale (SABAS) had greater reliability and validity when compared with alternative measures. The third study used confirmatory factor analysis to validate the SABAS model with a sample of 306 students. In addition, this study identified aspects of convergent validity and test-retest reliability that allow the SABAS to be used with confidence in research and pedagogy. The overall findings of the combined studies present a psycho-social model of student authorial identity. This model represents an important contribution to the theoretical underpinnings of the authorial identity approach to student plagiarism. Differing from previous models by including social aspects of authorial identity, the psycho-social model informs future pedagogy development and research by outlining a robust, empirically supported theoretical framework.
    • What constitutes a demonstration of effectiveness in the use of hands-on healing from the healers’ perspective?

      Parker-Eames, Martyn; Knibb, Rebecca C.; Johnson, Ashley A. (University of Derby, 2013-05-29)
      As the awareness and use of hands-on healing modalities achieve greater popularity they have slowly edged their way into the sphere of biomedical practices. Proponents of biomedicine, as the gatekeeper of medical interventions in Western societies, have argued that hands-on healing modalities show accountability for effective and safe practice. There is at present no accepted measure that demonstrates effective-based practice for these healing modalities. If hands-on healing is to receive greater acceptance, and possibly integration within biomedical practices, these issues need to be addressed. Research of this nature is blighted by there being no dedicated science, so although there is an abundance of published research it is dispersed or difficult to access, leading it to be unsuccessful in generating awareness. Historically, research evaluating effectiveness of hands-on healing has focused on predetermined outcomes from biomedical diagnosis. This has placed the focus of hands-on healing on the healee, and neglected aspects of the healer, leading to limited available research detailing the perceptions of healers. The research enquiry was performed around the charity, the Healing Trust. The Healing Trust training program was completed to acquaint the author in how hands-on healing is performed within the charity. Ten experienced healers, who are members of the Healing Trust, were interviewed regarding their practices of hands-on healing. Discussion was focused on how healers perceived what constituted an effective intervention from performing hands-on healing on a healee. Respondents answered a set of open-ended questions from which they were encouraged to expand on their experience of practicing hands-on healing. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using Grounded Theory to create a generalised theory of perceptions of effectiveness. Within the thesis a discussion is presented that theorises that effectiveness is perceived as enacting a ‘change’ within the healee that is acknowledged by both the healer and healee as a therapeutic outcome. Therapeutic outcomes of this calibre are not accepted by biomedicine as genuine markers of success, due to their lack of objective measurement. If hands-on healing is to acquire better recognition there needs to be a consensus as to what effectiveness means, and how to measure it.
    • Youth mentoring across professional settings: a pedagogic approach to social inclusion

      Morgan, Shaun (University of DerbyICeGS, 2012-10-01)
      Youth mentoring is often used to engage increasing numbers of disaffected and marginalised young people. As such, this research explores the extent to which key workers, across a range professional settings, adopt and integrate mentoring practices into their primary role. The research suggests that key workers recognise an informal and caring dimension to their primary role and use the term mentoring to capture the diversity of this activity. However, the attempt to facilitate integration into mainstream values and norms suggests that key workers and youngsters are actually engaged in a form of social pedagogy; undertaking social action to promote the personal development and general wellbeing of the youngster. As a piece of qualitative action research – based primarily on semi-structured interviews with key workers and young people – this inquiry also explores the extent to which practitioner mentoring, or social pedagogy, is successful as a transformation strategy – that is, the extent to which young people alter their attitudes, behaviours and beliefs as a result of being supported in this manner. The findings suggest that the informality of the interactions, a shared activity, the strength of the relationships and the duration of contact, are important aspects of social pedagogy/youth mentoring. The research has clear implications for practitioners, since the development of a ‘pedagogic perspective’ introduces a body of social theory into work previously undertaken intuitively. This, in turn, requires practitioners across professional settings to; engage with ‘clients’ on an a personal level to build trust and rapport, develop pedagogic opportunities that facilitate access to mainstream activities and, finally, maintain meaningful relationships until social inclusion is secure.