Learning and Teaching Conference 2023

Parallel Sessions

The focus of the event this year was ’Learning and Teaching: Pedagogy in Practice’. Delegates were invited to book on to a range of sessions based on research and practice, including but not restricted to:

All sessions were one hour long and either focused on a single topic or made up of two to three presentations grouped together.

Session A1 – K203 (Kirtley Building)

Embedding Compassionate Communications skills within the Curriculum

Dr Caroline Harvey and Professor Frances Maratos. College of Health Psychology and Social Care.

This workshop provides an introduction to the pedagogic approach developed by Dr Caroline Harvey and Prof Frances Maratos to embed Compassionate Communication Skills in HE. We will discuss the impact this approach can have on students in terms of enhancing inclusivity and performance in group-based settings such as seminars and group assessments. The techniques and activities we have developed through our work in this area will be shared and we will introduce you to a range of video resources co-created with our students to exemplify compassionate communication in action.

Session A2 – K102 (Kirtley Building)

Supporting international students with the pedagogy to promote academic success

Helen Boulton, Alex Hudson, Michael Croker and Sarah Kimberley. College of Arts, Humanities and Education.

International students are being welcomed to the University of Derby in increasingly higher numbers and they provide a valuable contribution to the success of the University in meeting its future focussed, bold and impactful strategic aims. Ensuring that international students are well integrated into our teaching and learning environments is the cornerstone of that success. But, how do we expect students to know the language of the UK HE classroom? Through professional dialogue, this workshop will build on 6 well-established pedagogical approaches and explore potentially simple changes to classroom practice that could make a big difference to student outcomes.

Session A3 – K103 (Kirtley Building)

Three presentations in a 1-hour session

Digital Media Producers partnership with staff.

Charlotte Gregory-Ellis and Matt Gilooly. Digital Learning - Digital Solutions and Services.

Student Digital Media Producers (DMP), are employed by Digital Learning to co-create with academics, developing digital content for teaching and learning purposes. This role is extremely important for increasing an authentic working environment for the DMPs, allowing them to get ‘real-world’ learning they require for their future. As well as providing academics with professional digital content for their students' learning.

Come along to see how this staff-student partnership works and how you could get involved to begin creating digital learning content for your modules.

Postdigital Learners: A participatory action research project of the digital capabilities of international students on a one-year Master's course in Education.

Dr Jennifer Marshall and Dr Stuart Connor with student co-presenters. College of Arts, Humanities and Education.

A range of literature has sought to document and support the experiences of international students and the associated challenges of a transition to postgraduate study. While recognising the value of such ‘challenge centric’ work, there is also a tendency to reinforce unhelpful dichotomies, deny the agency of international students; reflect and realise a deficit model of thinking and neglect system-wide perspectives. In response, this paper explores participatory approaches to research and system improvement and the value of the postdigital, as a concept and practice, for making sense of the rich, diverse and complex entanglements that constitute learning in contemporary higher education.

New approaches through the practise of drawing: Developing agency through online delivery.

Kay Bolderson and Camilla Clayfield. College of Arts, Humanities and Education.

At the University of Derby all drawing sessions between September 2020 and June 2021 for BA Textile Design students took place online in order to prioritise campus time for studio use. These sessions were delivered synchronously and this change, whilst a challenge for staff and students alike, proved more successful than anticipated and affected student practice in some interesting ways.  This paper seeks to set out these changes, bring together some initial discussion of the impact they have had, and look at how this might affect how drawing is taught within Design courses at university level in the future.

Session A4 – K104 (Kirtley Building)

Three presentations in a 1-hour session

Using Novel Pedagogies for Encouraging Police Engagement With Academic Research.

Jenny Richards and Dr Laura Hammond. College of Business, Law and Social Sciences.

Evidence suggests that police officers find academic research hard to engage with and difficult to make sense of. As the police qualification framework matures, and new recruits enter the service with more academic knowledge, methods to enable police officers to access, engage with, and utilise academic knowledge are key to the professional development of the service. This presentation will summarise novel approaches taken in one UK police force, the feedback received from staff and a reflection on the potential future opportunities for developing further engagement activities, ensuring effective co-operation between police and academics to maximize uptake and use of research.

The application of critical reflection to bridge the theory-practice divide and develop professional agency: a comparative multidisciplinary study in education and nursing.

Dr Michael Marshall, Helen Phipps and Grace Hoskins. College of Arts, Humanities and Education.

In line with the vision of the Public Services research theme, this multidisciplinary project aims to improve the professional education of pre-service teachers and nurses by raising the skill level, status, and agency of professionals as they embark on their careers. The University of Derby’s commitment to the Academic Professional Apprenticeship and the community of practice (Wenger, 1998), enabled this novel multidisciplinary approach to bring professionals together to share, compare and evaluate effective pedagogy in public service professional education.

Pedagogy in academic and researcher development.

Dr Jacqueline Cordell. Research and Innovation.

Academic development of researchers and research practitioners operates as a form of teaching and learning adjacent to, but distinct from, taught student provision. In this talk, the University’s Researcher Development lead (Dr. Cordell) discusses the pedagogy of researcher development at Derby as provided through the Researcher Development Programme. The discussion will focus on the modelling of the programme and its drivers, practices of delivering training on research skills and the research & knowledge exchange landscape, and will invite dialogue on the pedagogy of the programme in its future iterations.

Session A5 – K202 (Kirtley Building)

Three presentations in a 1-hour session

A comparative sentiment analysis of human-generated and machine-generated educational content and their differential impact on students’ experience and learning.

Dean Fido (College of Health, Psychology and Social Care), Gary Fisher (Digital Solutions and Services) and Paula Shaw (Provost Learning Teaching).

AI writing tools such as ‘ChatGPT’ have occasioned great controversy within Higher Education. This project offers a rigorously-measured evaluation of the possibilities – and limitations – of machine-generated text. This project prompted ChatGPT to generate a version of the human-written teaching materials that the University of Derby has produced to deliver to online students. Using a mixed-methods approach, we have subjected two iterations of the same content (one human-generated, the other machine-generated) to sentiment analysis, and evaluate student perceptions thereof. This comparative analysis identifies the key differences between the two and explores the ‘gap’ between human-generated and machine-generated academic content.

A toolkit for student co-creation.

Charlotte Wisson, Cheryl Stephens and Russell Lewis. Student Engagement and Enhancement - Provost Learning Teaching.

Student partnership and co-creation challenges the traditional approach to teaching and learning. Students are no longer passive consumers but active participants in their own learning. When students become engaged members of their university and learning, positive interaction leads to student belonging and student satisfaction (Humphrey and Lowe, 2017). This presentation will showcase best practices where colleagues in both academic and professional service teams at the University of Derby are already engaging in student partnerships. It will also launch a toolkit for student co-creation work to support colleagues in collaborating with students as equal partners.

Connecting the dots: Using community-based research methods to teach students how to reason systemically about health inequalities.

Brenda Caldwell Phillips and David Sheffield. College of Health, Psychology and Social Care.

Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) pairs education with co-learning and action to democratize the knowledge acquisition process (Krishnan et al., 2020). In this presentation, we discuss the development of a pedagogic approach designed to teach undergraduate psychology students about health inequalities. Students will engage in social justice and CBPR methodology workshops, co-created with postgraduate interns. We aim to teach students how to reason systemically and use research methodologies that directly benefit Women of the Global Majority. This project is being developed in partnership with local organizations, with the goal of meeting the psychosocial needs of cancer patients in Derbyshire.

Session B1 – K203 (Kirtley Building)

Can Digital Practice Promote an Equitable Student Experience?

Chris Bell. Digital Solutions and Services.

We know that when we embrace the power of digital practice within an educational setting the learning experience can be transformative at both a collective and an individual level.

This session will explore how we can use digital practice to 'design in' equity and inclusion into the curriculum, such that all students have an opportunity to engage meaningfully with their learning and succeed on their own terms.

Session B2 – K102 (Kirtley Building)

Can you show me what it is not? Non-examples and conceptual variation as pedagogic strategy.

Dr Jack Bryne Stothard and Amy Thornton. College of Arts, Humanities and Education.

Can you show me what it is not? Using examples is a crucial pedagogical approach in concept acquisition but how often do we use non-examples to deepen understanding and knowledge? In this practical workshop, we will explore how non-examples manifest across disciplines and subjects and can improve understanding, knowledge and concept acquisition whilst reducing misconceptions in learning. By putting non-examples into practice, we can deepen our own and other’s subject-specific knowledge and reinvigorate our pedagogy.

Session B3 – K103 (Kirtley Building)

Three presentations in a 1-hour session

Critical Pedagogical Investigation of the Occupation Focused Teaching Tool; creation of a mediating artefact.

Dr Joan Howarth. College of Health, Psychology and Social Care.

The Occupation Focused Teaching Tool is a mediating artefact created to support learning and teaching of a complex threshold concept. Developed for use in pre-registration occupational therapy education, the teaching tool supports students to develop knowledge of a complex concept that is fundamental to the professional practice of occupational therapists. Furthermore, use of the teaching tool enables transformation of student knowledge of occupation into understanding of the concept, enabling them to apply their knowledge in novel clinical scenarios.

Evaluation of an educational toolkit designed to support pre-registration health care students to develop their awareness of person-centred approaches to care.

Dr Emma Hyde (Provost - Learning and Teaching) and Laura Hollinshead (College of Health, Psychology and Social Care).

Health educators often utilise learning technologies to help students to relate theory to practice. This presentation will share the results of an evaluation of the use of a variety of interactive digital objects within a new bespoke toolkit (text, images, videos, infographic) which was used to help engage students with a case study to support critical thinking in relation to person-centred care. Student experience was evaluated using an online survey and focus groups, to gain an insight into how usable the digital toolkit was, how the resources impacted upon their learning, and any accessibility issues.

'You scratch my PAT, and I'll scratch yours': Mapping PAT onto our Programmes.

Dr Henry Lennon. College of Health, Psychology and Social Care.

UoDs personal academic tuition (PAT) model encourages student reflection of “academic progress, university experience and professional aspirations”. However, it is reliant upon students ‘buying into’ coaching as complementary to their university experience. BSc Forensic Psychology has professionalised its PAT offer to help students develop their 'best selves' and maximise employability. Our programme specification's 'soft skills’ are mapped onto semesterly PAT group meetings vis-a-vis ~1hr activities consistent with developmental learning needs. Embedding group PAT sessions into programme curricula proactively makes group PAT sessions ‘relevant’ for students, pre-empts common developmental challenges, standardises provision, and reduces the administrative burden on individual academics.

Session B4 – K104 (Kirtley Building)

Two presentations in a 1-hour session

MSc pilot publication project.

Dr Elizabeth Collier, Heather Brundrett and Catherine Bertenshaw. College of Health, Psychology and Social Care.

Publishing is desirable for all university staff. Education of students and capacity building in relation to research and publication skills is also a fundamental aim of academics. Similarly, opportunities for clinical partners are equally important in helping meet our wider obligation towards dissemination of knowledge. The project that will be presented has designed a model of support that contributes to all these aims and progress to date will be shared with the delegates.

Integrating and evaluating a Compassion and Emotions approach into Level 4 psychology provision.

Dr Carol Stalker, Dr Caroline Harvey and Professor Frances Maratos. College of Health, Psychology and Social Care.

The psychology of emotions and compassion are established areas which are taught as part of the Undergraduate Psychology programme but the application of the approach in education is still being evaluated. Recent research has shown benefits of embedding compassionate approaches within schools and how compassionate communication in higher education has benefits for wellbeing and inclusivity. This presentation explores how current evidence has informed the development, implementation and evaluation of an emotions and compassion approach within undergraduate psychology teaching, the findings and the potential next steps for the study.

Session B5 – K202 (Kirtley Building)

Three presentations in a 1-hour session

Effectiveness of Turnitin as Learning tool: Understanding students’ attitudes and usage of Turnitin as a self-developing tool to avoid plagiarism.

Dr Shiva Sivasubramaniam, Dr Thomas Illingworth (College of Science and Engineering) and Dr Carl Nelson (Nottingham Trent University).

The session aims to provide answers to the question about using as self-learning tools for students. Text matching software (including Turnitin) have been employed by many universities to deter and detect plagiarism. The objective of this study is to understand whether the pre-submission self-check opportunities provided by UoD and other institutions are actually improving students paraphrasing skills, improve understanding the use of citations, and assist them to avoid plagiarism. It will also show the students’ attitudes, and practice about pre-submission self-check facilities.

Participants are expected to bring their mobile phone to use as voting tool.

Enhancing Critical Thinking in Higher Education students: Case study applied to Forensic Psychology students.

Katia C. Vione and Bob Simonovic. College of Health, Psychology and Social Care.

This presentation discusses results and reflections regarding a critical thinking (CT) intervention delivered to level 4 Forensic Psychology students during the learning enhancement week (May 2023). The intervention consists of an asynchronous 60-minute online workshop addressing students' CT skills and confidence. The goal of the intervention is to facilitate students to become critical thinkers using a “how to think” rather than a “what to think” intervention, to encourage, stimulate, and facilitate the acquisition of CT skills. This project contributes towards university strategic research priorities by developing capacity in students and improving models of professional education.

Collaborative Learning with Artificial Intelligence.

Nicholas Bowskill, Paula Shaw, Melody Harrogate and David Hall. College of Arts, Humanities and Education.

Academics are becoming increasingly aware of Artificial Intelligence with the arrival of chatGPT making the technology visible, accessible, and popular. Initiated from a successful bid to the Seedcorn Research Fund at University of Derby, The Collaborative Learning and AI Project is responding to the wider potential of this family of technologies for group work. This presentation will consider ways in which the project might support those academics wishing to explore wider, social, and collaborative applications of these technologies, for research and practice. 

Session C1 – K203 (Kirtley Building)

Time to play detective? Using a crime scene-themed escape room to transform student learning.

Caroline Jones College of Arts, Humanities and Education.

It is Wednesday, July 5, 2023, and a bank robbery has just taken place – but can you figure out who committed the crime? First-year Journalism students at the University of Derby were asked the same question the day their classroom was turned into a crime scene-themed escape room, as part of a session to help them learn the basics of academic writing. This workshop invites you to try the escape room for yourself, as well as to consider how game-based learning might transform your classroom and to discuss best-practice approaches for implementing such activities into your curriculum.

Session C2 – K102 (Kirtley Building)

Numeracy skills support to improve university-wide student retention.

Ovidiu Bagdasar (College of Science and Engineering) and Benjamin Veasey (Provost – Learning and Teaching)

Many students on undergraduate courses struggle even with basic maths skills. Often, this hinders the students' progress, leading to lower confidence and grades; sometimes, this can lead to increasing student anxiety and frustration, with some students dropping out of the courses altogether. This session will present formative assessment interventions developed in collaboration with our technology partner Vretta Inc., and input from University of Derby academics. We will assess how these courses developed student confidence and performance in maths, and we will explore how the use of such digital assessment solutions can reduce student drop-out rates across the institution.

Session C3 – K103 (Kirtley Building)

Three presentations in a 1-hour session

Cultural Awareness in an Undergraduate BioScience module.

Yusra Siddiqui, Caroline Ball and Dr Ian Turner College of Science and Engineering.

This short talk will be a useful example of how decolonisation is being employed to an undergraduate bioscience module. Decolonisation is about looking beyond Western framing and examining how imperialism, colonialism and power have influenced the narrative. Providing a global perspective broadens the knowledge content provided and also helps to relate to the diverse population we have here at the University of Derby, falling in line with our inclusive curriculum strategy.

Reflection on a collaborative approach to curriculum development.

Helen Clarke and Louisa Fawcett-Greaves College of Health, Psychology and Social Care

Preregistration nursing programmes have been redesigned to expand routes to registration, better support student progression, incorporate advances in pedagogic practice, and match contemporary healthcare practice. Borton’s (1970) model will be used to reflect on the curriculum development journey. A collaborative approach was taken, working with multiple stakeholders to coproduce the curriculum and develop a suite of programmes which not only meet NMC (2018) standards, apprenticeship, and University of Derby requirements. The new curricula goes beyond the formal framework of compulsory requirements to incorporate the wider perspectives of nursing within the context of research, innovation, social mobility and sustainable development.

Embedding sustainability into higher education curricula.

Dr Geraldine Lyte, Dr Becky Rawson, Dr Alan Williams, Dr Uche Okere, Mrs Jessica Eve Jackson, Mr James Chircop and Mrs Rachel Spink College of Health, Psychology and Social Care.

Embedding sustainability in learning and teaching is widely acknowledged as an essential step for equipping students with knowledge, skills and attitudes that can help them to contribute effectively for a sustainable future. This presentation will share an example from an online master’s programme in nursing at the University of Derby, where sustainability has been introduced as a core element within one module.

We will also include a brief description of the early findings from a survey among undergraduate and master’s online nursing students about their perceptions of sustainability in healthcare and expectations for sustainability in nursing education.

Session C4 – K104 (Kirtley Building)

Three presentations in a 1-hour session

Double empathy: rethinking social encounters in autism.

Trevor Cotterill College of Arts, Humanities and Education.

Is it time to reframe social encounters when working with autistic students? This presumption invites you to examine the change in approach from defining autism as a ‘social deficit’ located within an individual’s mind. Differences in neurology may well produce differences in sociality, but not a ‘social deficit’. Thus, difficulties in interactions occur because of different ways of experiencing the world and processing information. This presentation invites you to reframe interactive encounters when working with autistic learners and how this in turn may support inclusive pedagogy.

The Dark side of Social Media in Student Learning Within a Business School.

Joseph Eyong College of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Social Media learning and HE business teaching, the bad, the good and the ugly. Where are my students, what are they doing and where do to find them? As the teaching and learning landscape changes into virtual worlds, student managed learning spaces and access to communities of learning, how should teachers respond? The profession just got harder and less interesting - to be or not to be?

Transformation of university students learning process and its impact on teachers' well-being.

Dr Olesya Tomyuk Swiss Hotel Management School (Collaborative Partner).

Unfortunately, educators’ well-being plays a minor role, and higher expectations combined with low emotional feedback from students lead to a higher level of educators’ anxiety, emotional exhaustion, and frequent burnout. This research aims to investigate the main changes in students’ profile (engagement, role of AI tools such as Chat GPT, ability to focus, communication skills etc) and educators' professional transformation with the focus on their well-being (course and class design, new soft and hard skills, emotional intelligence etc.