• Achieving "transparency, consistency and fairness" in English HE admissions: progress since Schwartz?

      Adnett, Nick; McCaig Colin; Slack, Kim; Bowers-Brown, Tamsin; Sheffield Hallam University (Wiley, 2010-10-27)
      In 2004 the Schwartz Review advised English higher education institutions that their admissions systems should: be transparent; select students who are able to complete their courses based upon achievements and potential; use assessment methods that are reliable and valid; minimise barriers to applicants; be professional; and be underpinned by appropriate institutional structures and processes. These five principles were only expressed as recommendations, reflecting the reluctance of policy makers to interfere with individual higher education institutions' admissions policies. This article analyses the results of research that reviewed the progress that English higher education institutions had made in implementing the Schwartz recommendations and assess whether a more interventionist stance is required to achieve fair admissions.
    • Aimhigher: achieving social justice?

      McCaig Colin; Bowers-Brown, Tamsin; Sheffield Hallam University (British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, 2007-09)
      This paper will aim to determine how successful Aimhigher is as a potential mechanism of social justice. It is concerned primarily with the aims and intentions of the programme and how it has developed over a six year period since the launch of Excellence Challenge in 2001. It is not intended as critique of widening participation policies and practices generally; there is an ample body of literature that questions the impact of widening participation and even the notion of barriers to higher education for some groups (see particularly Gorard et al: 2006). The authors of the current paper believe that, while there are caveats about the lack of comparable datasets or 'smoking gun' causal links between intervention and enrolment, such policies are generally successful in raising educational attainment and raising aspirations and awareness of HE among underrepresented groups. The authors draw on their own and others' research that support the notion that Aimhigher in particular makes a positive difference (Bowers-Brown et al 2006, CRE 2005, McCaig & Bowers-Brown 2007, Hatt et al, EKOS,2007). As such, this paper can be seen as 'friendly fire' rather than a full frontal attack on methodological or ideological grounds. However, we will conclude that Aimhigher fails to fulfil its potential to be a force for social justice, in part because of a fundamental weakness in the concept of Aimhigher, and in part because of structural weaknesses in the operation of Aimhigher partnerships.
    • Arts university student mentors and gallery peer leaders: partnerships for learning

      Butcher, John; University of Northampton (HEA Art Design Media subject centre, 2010)
      This case study describes a partnership between University College Falmouth (UCF) and Tate St. Ives (TSI). Framed within a national Enquire project (one strand of a DCMS funded commissioning programme) investigating the learning benefits of gallery education, the report tells the story of a successful collaboration which engaged undergraduate Art student mentors from UCF in a peer leadership project at TSI. The project was evaluated using an innovative action research model to explore peer learning through engagement. Outcomes suggest undergraduate student mentors enhanced their learning in a number of ways: experientially developing the ‘soft’ transferable skills related to employability in the arts; improving their knowledge of employment opportunities in gallery settings; gaining competence in action research.
    • Canoodling with careers: cross-team working in information literacy

      Carnegie, Maria; White, Jonathan; Vivian-Shaw, Vanessa; University of Derby (2014-04-24)
      This workshop will explore how support services can work together to deliver information literacy across an institution. Traditionally Librarians have collaborated solely with Academics to develop and deliver information literacy interventions and support for students, but Librarian teams are very often co-located in teams providing wider services. This can include working in professional teams encompassing careers and employability professionals, learning technologists, study skills/academic skills teachers and IT skills trainers. At University of Derby the Library service is part of the Institute for Learning Enhancement and Innovation, which encompasses all of these services. This workshop will build upon work done by the three presenters, who are based at the Buxton campus, to find linkages between the work of Library Academic Services team of Subject Librarians and the work done by the Careers Consultants. Working together, the presenters found that both teams were developing and delivering sessions around the same core set of digital and information literacy skills, but from different perspectives. This has led to the development and delivery of joint compulsory lectures and workshops, voluntary workshops, and a joint ‘roaming’ service to students based at the multiple sites around the town. Delivered as a workshop, this session will engage participants in a range of group work activities, including: ‘Identifying overlapping skills teaching within support teams’, ‘What makes teams work? How can diverse teams work together on IL?’ and ‘Discussion on issues and good practice sharing’. The first two of these activities will involve a group discussion and a mind mapping activity on the personality and cultural dimensions of working with members of others teams. The good practice sharing will take the form of a ‘speed dating’ style activity where participants move around the room gaining new ideas and passing on experiences. Attending this workshop will allow participants to share good practice and will benefit from identifying opportunities for cross-team working within their own institution. In addition they will gain ideas on how to approach members of other teams to facilitate information literacy projects.
    • A collaborative approach

      Kay, James; University of Derby (JISC, 2014-04-18)
      James Kay, Library Subscriptions & Document Delivery Librarian at the University of Derby, makes the case for a collaborative approach to planning and decision making amongst HE/FE library and information practitioners.
    • Constituting neoliberal subjects? Aspiration as technology of government in UK policy discourse

      Spohrer, Konstanze; Stahl, Garth; Bowers-Brown, Tamsin; Sheffield Hallam University (Routledge, 2017-06-05)
      Since the 2000s, successive governments in the United Kingdom and elsewhere have embraced the idea of raising aspiration among young people as a solution to persisting educational and socio-economic inequalities. Previous analyses have argued that these policies tend to individualise structural disadvantage and promote a deficit view of working-class youth. This paper adopts a novel approach to analysing aspiration discourses combining Michel Foucault's four dimensions of ethics and Mitchell Dean's notion of formation of identities. Applying Foucault's and Dean's work in this way provides a new lens that enables an examination of how policy encourages particular forms of subjectivation, and, therefore, seeks to govern individuals. The findings presented in the paper complicate previous research by showing that raising aspiration strategies portray disadvantaged youth both in terms of deficit and potential, resulting in a requirement for inner transformation and mobility through attitudinal change. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for the identity formation of young people and for conceptualising contemporary forms of governmentality.
    • Contextualised approaches to widening participation: a comparative case study of two UK universities

      Butcher, John; Corfield, Rohini; Rose-Adams, John; University of Derby; University of Northampton; Open University (The Open University/, 2012-01)
      This article reports on institutional research at two contrasting UK universities, each with different foci in relation to widening participation (WP). The researchers sought to explore senior staff perspectives on the WP agenda at a time of unprecedented uncertainty and turmoil in the UK higher education sector. The research consisted primarily of interview data from university leaders responsible strategically for WP activity. The findings offer a nuanced narrative of the policy and practice of widening participation at two contrasting universities. Researchers found that the WP discourse itself is perceived as confused and discredited. Viewing ‘widening participation students’ as a homogenised group risks both the benefits of differentiated responses through discipline or subject areas and the benefits of more student-centred measures of success.
    • Curriculum-based library assessment at De Montfort University

      Cavanagh, Paul; De Montfort University (2012-05-22)
    • A day in the life of a subscriptions and document delivery librarian

      Kay, James; University of Derby (Ubiquity Press, 2016-07-05)
      In his role as part of the Learning Resources Development & Delivery team at the University of Derby, James Kay shares responsibility for acquisitions, serials, e-resources, inter-library loans, online reading lists, copyright and cataloguing.
    • Defining delivery (@Derby): upgrading support for online learners

      Butler, Emma; Ayre, Lucy; DaCosta, Jacqui; University of Derby (2016-03-22)
      Online learning at the University of Derby has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years. As this form of learning has advanced, so has the support from the Library to help develop information and digitally literate students. This short paper will outline the key milestones and on-going support initiatives that characterise an effective collaboration across the University.
    • Defining the nature of blended learning through its depiction in current research

      Smith, Karen; Hill, John; University of Derby; University of Hertfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2018-09-18)
      Blended learning has been a feature of higher education practice and research for almost two decades. This article takes stock of current blended learning research, contributing to the growing number of meta-analyses of higher education and blended learning research more generally, through a review of ninety-seven articles relating to blended learning in higher education published in fifteen journals between 2012 and mid-2017. The review focused on where and when the articles were published; their provenance, scale, scope; methodological approach; the broad research themes; and definition of blended learning used. The review shows that despite its ubiquity, blended learning’s definition is all-encompassing; its spread is global but research is dominated by key players; it is of technical interest; and its research is small-scale, individually focused, seeking to evidence the benefits of blended learning. The article concludes with recommendations of how higher education research could provide institutions with evidence to ensure their ‘best of blends’.
    • Developing students' information and research skills via Blackboard

      DaCosta, Jacqui; Jones, Becky; College of New Jersey; Loughborough University (2007)
      This paper summarizes work undertaken at De Montfort University (Leicester, UK) to develop students’ information and research skills using the Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment. It outlines how a traditionally delivered and assessed program was reviewed and revised in order to produce a blended learning experience for students. The librarians involved undertook this project with students from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences during March/April 2005, teaching two groups in parallel--one group using Blackboard and another using the traditional teaching method. Both groups were given a diagnostic evaluation to gauge their confidence levels with both information skills and using Blackboard, and to obtain their perceptions of their experiences. Both groups underwent a formal summative assessment with one group using Blackboard and the control group having a paper-based assignment. The Blackboard sessions were very popular with students and this method of teaching has subsequently been extended to other modules within the university. Students appeared to be more motivated and appreciated the constant availability of the learning materials. This project was the first example within the university of students undertaking a formal online assessment using Blackboard, and the librarians received a Curriculum Development and Innovation Award. The work was subsequently disseminated within the university, where it was well received
    • The didactic diamond - An information literacy model to explain the academic process in higher education.

      Zijlstra, Tim R.; University of Derby (LILAC Conference, 2018-04-06)
      The foundation for the Didactic Diamond was developed with students of the College of Health and Social Care at the University of Derby – in particular the Chesterfield Campus. A significant number of students are so-called atypical learners (ie. returners to education or non-traditional learners) which led to an identified need to provide more robust study skill guidance. Roberts and Ousey (2011) described "finding and using evidence" as the "bane of student life" in relation to student nurses. The Didactic Diamond seeks to ease this problem by introducing students to the process involved with producing good quality academic work. It is used to explain the process from understanding the question and choosing an appropriate topic; utilising information literacy to find appropriate sources; taking notes on the found evidence to gain critical understanding of the topic; using drafting techniques to improve the academic writing and ensuring that the original question is answered fully and critically by utilising the developed resources diligently. Feedback from students on the Didactic Diamond has been positive, the simple figure acts as a mnemonic and provides students with an introduction to the method with a means to remember which steps to take in their academic process. After utilising the Diamond in one-to-one sessions it has been developed into an Academic Writing session for the University Library’s Enhance Your Learning program and has been successfully delivered to a range of students from different cohorts. The Masterclass provides an opportunity to share the Didactic Diamond with a broader audience interested in Information Literacy and embedding Information Literacy in a broader procedural context.
    • Does Aimhigher work? evidence from the national evaluation

      McCaig Colin; Stevens, Anna; Bowers-Brown, Tamsin; Sheffield Hallam University (Higher Education Research Network, 2006)
      During 2005 the Centre for Research and Evaluation in collaboration with the Widening Participation Policy Unit at Sheffield Hallam University conducted three surveys on behalf of HEFCE to evaluate the impact of Aimhigher . Surveys were sent to all higher education institutions and a sample of further education colleges and work based-learning providers. All three surveys contained a set of core questions for the purpose of comparative analysis. The surveys focused on which activities are delivered through the Aimhigher partnerships, how the activities are perceived to impact on the provider and the apparent effect they have on the progression of target groups to higher education.
    • Enhancing design learning through partnerships: the case of Joinedupdesign for Academies

      Butcher, John; Schaber, Friedemann; University of Northampton (HEA Art Design media subject centre, 2011)
      This case study describes a partnership between the University of Northampton and the Sorrell Foundation’s Joinedupdesign for Academies programme, a pilot scheme aimed at informing the transition of struggling secondary (11-18) schools into re-designed and re-built academies. 12 second year undergraduate Design students participated, working closely with pupils at two secondary schools in Bedfordshire. We explored impact on student learning for employability and undergraduate learning with pupils as clients, as well as the challenge of working with multiple partners including schools. We report Joinedupdesign for Academies as a new model of off-campus learning.
    • Enhancing professional self-esteem: learners’ journeys on a distance-learning Doctorate in Education (EdD)

      Butcher, John; Sieminski, Sandy; University of Northampton; Open University (University of Northampton, 2009)
      This article explores the motivations, experiences and perceived outcomes for Doctorate in Education (EdD) students in their journey through a relatively new form of doctoral education at a distance. The research draws on a range of individual EdD participant voices, both student and graduate, and is timely in focusing on an example of an under-researched but increasingly common phenomenon of part-time distance learning professional doctorates. The aims of the research were: to understand what motivated students to register for an EdD; to explore the factors which successfully sustained them on their journey; to identify common outcomes on completion. The researchers developed a case study of the student EdD journey in its distinctive professional context(s). Data was collected in a number of linked stages including postal surveys, semi-structured interviews, and students’ reflective evaluations at different points. Key themes related to professional postgraduate learner transitions emerge from the data, which contrast with previous work on the traditional PhD and relate to: the deliberate choice by students of a part-time distance learning route; a broader and better-informed understanding of professional outcomes on a professionally-oriented doctorate; the value of flexible support systems for EdD students working in demanding educational roles.
    • From Lampitt to libraries: formulating state standards to embed information literacy across colleges

      DaCosta, Jacqui; Dubicki, Eleonora; Georgian Court University; Monmouth University (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012)
      In September 2007, the Lampitt Law was passed in the state of New Jersey, formalizing the requirements for students transferring between institutions. This led to a 2008 statewide articulation agreement to facilitate the seamless transfer of students’ courses and credits between county colleges and four-year public institutions of higher education. In response to this articulation agreement, three professional librarian groups combined to create information literacy standards utilizing progression as a core principle. The Information Literacy Progression Standards were launched in January 2010. They consist of a four-page document comprising an introduction; the standards defining competencies at a Novice/Introductory (Year 1) level and at a Gateway/Developing (Year 2) level; and some sample assignments demonstrating the Standards in Practice. This article outlines how the Standards were developed and successfully disseminated and implemented. As well as describing the creation of the Standards, the article highlights initiatives at several academic institutions where librarians have attempted to address information literacy at an organizational level, utilizing successful collaborations with faculty and administrators..
    • How might inclusive approaches to assessment enhance student learning in HE?

      Butcher, John; Sedgwick, Paul; Lazard, Lisa; Hey, Jayne; University of Northampton (University of Northampton, 2010)
      This article reports some of the results from an investigation into issues around inclusivity in assessment undertaken at the University of Northampton (2009-2010). The Assess4success research project was conducted within a framework provided by the Higher Education Academy Summit programme on inclusive learning and teaching, and sought to explore the extent to which inclusivity, (a high level commitment in the university’s access and teaching policies), was embedded in students’ experiences of assessment. Drawing on internal quantitative data across the institution suggesting specific groups were more likely to struggle with summative assessment in Year 1, and qualitative data exploring sample student experiences in relation to formative assessment tasks, a series of generic recommendations to enhance the inclusivity of assessment practice both in the host institution and across the sector are offered.
    • Impact assessment in higher education : A strategic view from the UK.

      Ayres, Ruth L.; University of Derby; University of Derby Derby United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Emerald, 2018-01-08)
      This article focuses on the importance of impact in higher education from a strategic perspective, exploring its value to institutions, learners and prospective students in today’s higher education context, using the UK as a case study. The increasing prominence of impact in HEPs is discussed, with consideration given to the operational structures and approaches which can be adopted to enable the monitoring and evaluation of impact in higher education providers.
    • The impact of a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education on university lecturers appointed for their professional expertise at a teaching-led university: 'It's made me braver'.

      Butcher, John; Stoncel, D.; University of Derby; University of Northampton (Routledge, 2011-11-23)
      This article explores the impact of a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (PG Cert.) on new lecturers, appointed for their professional expertise. It focuses on staff perceptions of acculturation into the discourses of university learning and teaching. Drawing on a literature review which reveals (at best) ambivalent evidence of impact, the authors developed a case study investigating impact on staff changing careers into university teaching on the basis of their professional expertise. The data reveal positive outcomes, including the transition into confident and competent HE professionals.