Learning and Teaching Development Grants: Evaluation Findings for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
From Case Studies Wiki
In spring 2009, we, the Learning and Teaching Services Evaluation Team, put together a report on the evaluation findings from Learning and Teaching Development Grant projects initiated between January 2004 and March 2009 in each Faculty, along with non-Faculty projects such as those in the English Learning and Teaching Centre.
The report was sent to key decision makers such as the Faculty Directors of Learning and Teaching and the Faculty PVCs. However, we felt that University staff generally might be interested in learning about the LTDG projects, and so we decided to post a copy of the report here on the TeachingCommons wiki (adapted for this purpose).
In the section called University-funded project findings (LTDG) you’ll find the general introduction for the report including an overview of the LTDG projects evaluations, and a summary of the evaluations findings for LTDG projects for each Faculty and for non-Faculty projects.
LTDG projects in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
- 'Using museum and gallery collections in History teaching', History, Karen Harvey
- 'Multimedia work for students of English, English', Richard Steadman-Jones
- 'Rethinking team teaching: Redevelopment of Actualités Françaises', French, Audrey Small
- 'Using a multimedia approach to music education', Music, Dr David Patmore
- 'Developing research-based feedback policies and practices that are valid in a specific departmental context', English, Dr Robert McKay
- 'Web-based learning resources for archaeologists', Archaeology, Jane Rempel and Colin Merrony
- 'Mobile technology and field training in archaeology', Archaeology, Robert Johnson
- 'Development of an intercultural awareness module', Modern Languages, Lesley Walker
Independent Research and Study Skills
A key theme for projects has been to develop students’ independent research and study skills. Several projects have introduced hands-on opportunities for students to experience research activities in ‘authentic’ situations, whether in the field (Johnson, Archaeology), or via access to archive and library material (Harvey, History, and Patmore, Music). Two projects used educational technology in the form of a MOLE resource (Patmore) and handheld mobile devices (Johnson) to facilitate this research.
The concept of adopting Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) as an approach to student research has been furthered by a more recent project (Small, French), which used IBL activities to prepare student for independent inquiry during their language year abroad. Evaluations of these projects have found that students are largely positive about undertaking inquiry, and project leaders have found that students have improved their abilities, although they have not always understood the role of inquiry in their degree (Small).
McKay’s project in English identified barriers to independent study by investigating student use of written feedback, and suggested factors mitigating against successful learning from feedback. This has led to new forms of support for students to understand feedback.
Several Social Sciences and non-Faculty projects also explore issues relating to Research and Teaching.
Multimedia Production by Students
A further strategy for galvanising students’ independent study has been to introduce multimedia production as an alternative form of academic communication. Steadman-Jones (English) facilitated group project work to produce a multimedia product of the student’s choice, and Harvey (History) involved students in the making of a film about researching museum artefacts, which was in turn shown to subsequent cohorts of students. Evaluation to date suggests that student video production can be motivational, but time is needed for students to learn the necessary skills.
Educational Technology is also a theme developed in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (particularly Stokes’s project on podcasting).
Two projects experimented with strategies for integrating teaching across modules involving multiple members of staff. Small (French) developed a MOLE site and orientation sessions to encourage students and staff (including French language lecteurs) to identify with a module, build a shared understanding of its aims and integrate these with teaching and assessment. Rempel (Archaeology) set out to help students gain a more integrated experience of their first year and develop their disciplinary identity, again through a MOLE site and a team teaching approach.
Small’s project evaluation suggests that the strategies used had an impact on student understanding of the module, and the department has subsequently identified further strategies to assist in this.
Teaching Teams is also a theme developed in the Faculty of Engineering.
Themes developed in other Faculties
- Educational Technology: Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Science
- Transition to HE, induction and First Year: Faculty of Engineering
- Professional Skills: Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health
- Professional Practice and Public Engagement: Faculty of Social Sciences
- LTDG: Evaluation Findings for Faculties – overview (link)
- University-funded projects findings (LTDG) - Reports by Faculty (link)
- Faculty of Arts and Humanities: LTDG projects Jan04-March09 - matrix (file)
- TeachingCommons blog posts (link) - coming soon
This report was put together Luke Desforges & Martine Delbauve (LeTS Evaluation Team). For further information about evaluation findings from LTDG projects, or for LeTS support for the evaluation of L&T developments, please contact Luke Desforges – firstname.lastname@example.org