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10:00-11:00 Session 3A: Workshop slot 1 (pre-booking required)
Location: Senate Room
Four Essential Strategies to 'Greenify' your Course

ABSTRACT. "In a time when human behaviours are critically damaging the ecologies of the planet, the climate crisis has become the most urgent and ubiquitous issue of our lifetime. This human-caused climate crisis is a socio-ecological one; and educational practice in response to this issue has never been more critical.

The University of Glasgow made a declaration of climate emergency in 2019. In 2020, the University committed to a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In line with this movement, a key internal driver of our new 2021-2025 Learning and Teaching Strategy includes: “Evaluating our programmes, our teaching practices and our associated investments in technology in terms of their connection with, and impact on, sustainability and in particular, climate change”.

In this context, this interactive workshop aims to support colleagues to embed sustainability into the foundation of all of their teaching, regardless of the discipline, level, or content. We will do this through workshopping four essential and adaptable strategies with a range of existing course curricula and contexts.

The four strategies will be briefly outlined, illustrated, and then put to work in short break-out sessions (a member of the newly formed Community of Practice in Sustainability in Teaching and Learning will accompany each break out group to ensure thorough facilitation). The strategies are summarised as: 1. Teaching materials (relating to use of paper, single use plastic bottles and cups, etc.); 2. Course content (relating course content to situated and ecological factors); 3. Course delivery (understanding the carbon footprint of student travel, digital fora and cloud usage); and 4. Language use (embedding critical and contemporary discourse into the every-day course communications. The workshop will conclude with a synthesis of applications which will enable participants to easily translate and build upon these strategies into their own contexts and courses. "

10:00-11:00 Session 3B: Full-length presentations
Location: Hunter Halls
Using opinion mining to understand and respond to student feedback on teaching

ABSTRACT. This paper shows how learning analytics and more specifically, opinion mining technology, can be used to enhance students’ learning experience. Universities seek and gather opinion and feedback from students about the courses they have taken through student evaluation of teaching (SET) surveys. Feedback from students to their teachers is one way in which students and teachers interact with each other. Therefore, how teachers respond to feedback can have an impact on their relationship with their students and on learning and teaching quality. There are several cognitive challenges in interpreting student feedback reports, including information overload, pattern recognition and ambiguity. Better understanding of the vast amount of survey output will lead to better responses to that feedback. An opinion mining tool (app) has been designed for this purpose as part of this project. Opinion mining can be used to gain additional understanding and insights from the large amount of student feedback in a way that mitigates the cognitive biases of the teacher. The app allowed us to explore the relationship between structured and unstructured data. We analyse student feedback on five courses with and without the aid of this opinion mining app. In particular, we were able to explore the relationship between the Likert scores and textual comments. This revealed insights which were not obtained from reading the feedback before it was analysed by the application.

Love thy Peer: Can we enhance dissertation experience through peer support?

ABSTRACT. "Dissertation is a critical aspect of student experience within a degree programme. While this can be an exciting experience, students suggested that they missed discussions with peers. Students can also feel isolated and despair when facing obstacles, especially in an online environment. So, we pose a question - how students can be actively involved in addressing this issue?

We have established a peer support system for dissertation students, which can be used in all kinds of teaching environments, including online and face-to-face. The findings of this research are in line with the existing literature on peer support and confirms positive outcomes such as alleviating anxiety and students feeling supported. This finding is especially true at the beginning of dissertation writing process. We also find that the timing of these sessions is very important. Further, the structure of sessions is crucial as appropriate activities can really help students to open and engage in discussion with each other and get more out of such peer support initiatives.

Our design of peer support for dissertation in an online environment and analysis of its effectiveness will contribute to both practice and scholarship. In our presentation, we will explain how this peer support initiative was carried out in several planned sessions and breakout activities. After each session, students were given survey questionnaires which are analysed to shed light on effectiveness of this initiative.

All findings will be presented at the conference which will be useful in enhancing academic practice in the HE Institutions. The analysis would explain how to involve student more effectively; the benefits, challenges, shortcomings of peer support and how it can be improved. This will be one more initiative that has been tried during this pandemic, which can continue as a positive force even in normal times.

References: Byrom, N. (2018). An evaluation of a peer support intervention for student mental health. Journal of Mental Health, 27(3), 240–246.

Collings, R., Swanson, V., Watkins, R. (2014). The impact of peer mentoring on levels of student wellbeing, integration and retention: A controlled comparative evaluation of residential students in UK higher education. Higher Education, 68(6), 927–942. Crisp. D. A., Rickwood, D., Martin, B. (2020) Implementing a peer support program for improving university student wellbeing: The experience of program facilitators. Australian Journal of Education. Devenish, R., Dyer, S., Jefferson, T., Lord, L., Van Leeuwen, S. & Fazakerley, V. (2009) Peer to peer support: the disappearing work in the doctoral student experience, Higher Education Research & Development, 28:1, 59-70.

Littlefield, C. M., Taddei, L. M., & Radosh, M. E. (2015). Organic collaborative teams: The role of collaboration and peer to peer support for part-time doctoral completion. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 10, 129-142. Retrieved from

McLaughlin C.J., Sillence E. (2018). Buffering against academic loneliness: The benefits of social media-based peer support during postgraduate study. Active Learning in Higher Education. September. Topping, K.J. (1996). The effectiveness of peer tutoring in further and higher education: A typology and review of the literature. High Education 32, 321–345. "

10:00-11:00 Session 3C: Short talks
Using Microsoft Teams to support active small group learning and teaching
PRESENTER: Jennifer Malcolm

ABSTRACT. At the University of Glasgow Dental School, first year Undergraduate Dentistry is dominated by learning Biological and Medical Sciences. Traditionally, these subjects are taught face-to-face in large class sizes (80–90 students). In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, all in-person courses were adapted for remote-delivery. This response primarily involved embedding learning materials within our Learning Management system for asynchronous access. While this approach offered students flexible access to course materials, we were cognisant of the importance of synchronous interactions for promoting successful student engagement, integration and a sense of community learning. We considered this especially important for first-year dental students starting in September 2020, many of whom were attending University and living away from home for the first time. We used Microsoft Teams to provide a safe, professional space for students to meet, work and learn together. The emphasis was on active learning using a variety of synchronous and asynchronous activities aligned to learning outcomes. We started with a simplified approach and built technological capabilities over time. Induction Icebreakers allowed students to meet and practice the digital skills required to use the technology effectively. Asynchronous activities included discussion forums and uploads of individual pieces of work (virtual microscopy annotations, anatomical drawings). Synchronous activities included a virtual escape room and collaborative student-led projects to produce a range of outputs to support peer-learning. Student engagement was high, as was the quality of their outputs, which were not formerly assessed. Lecturers found the platform time efficient and effective for delivering feedback. This platform and associated formative activities provided students with new opportunities to practice and demonstrate attainment of learning objectives. Furthermore, students had opportunities to develop a wide-range of additional employability skills, including digital, communication, team-working skills and self-directed learning.

Developing and Refining Course Content while Remote Working

ABSTRACT. "The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a range of changes on working practices and intra-team collaboration within higher education which have had an effect on the planning, development, and delivery of teaching materials. The requirement across the University to adapt content to better fit a blended-teaching approach provides an excellent opportunity to update and improve learning materials.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Global Mental Health (GMH) team have collaboratively produced a range of new learning materials, including a 4-week Massive Open Online Course on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and a 10-week SFC Funded Micro-Credential on the Impact of Trauma on Mental Health, in addition to adapting the existing Programme content to meet student needs. This presentation will highlight some examples of innovative practice which will be useful in guiding other educators to design and refine their learning materials.

Remote working has made co-ordination of course development challenging. To overcome this, the GMH team relied on a range of technological tools, including MS Teams, OneNote, and Excel. Previous experience of effective working with the MVLS and Wiley Digital Learning Teams led to a OneNote template for course development being established. Steps within the template were developed, and once a draft created, the content within the step could be iteratively refined by different team members. All the learning materials under development were fully visible and editable to everyone simultaneously.

In addition, a regularly updated open access spreadsheet allowed for progress to be clearly and effectively tracked across multiple courses, which helped motivate and encourage team members as they could physically observe the progress being made through the collaborative process. MS Teams further facilitated the sharing of information and requests for help or guidance.

The process outlined above has proven equally useful in refining existing course content. "

Learning and Teaching in pseudo-physical spaces

ABSTRACT. The move to online teaching during the ongoing COVID19 pandemic required the broad and rapid adoption of alternative teaching methods, and a technology stack which supported this delivery. The need for consistency at various levels of the university meant that, generally, teaching settled on a status quo of using video conferencing software for lesson delivery, and tools such as Microsoft Teams to organise work by staff. While this delivery mechanism provided many benefits, some aspects of physical teaching were lost, and the platforms used for online learning and teaching often did not produce a satisfactory analogue. We have trialled an alternative model for running online lab sessions using, a video conferencing system largely developed as a response to working at home during the pandemic, which aims to provide many benefits of interacting in person by replicating aspects of physical space (a model we refer to as pseudo-physical). For example, provides a digital "space" users navigate as if in a video game, with audio and video shared between users based on proximity. Pseudo-physical spaces should offer an online interaction that "feels" more physical in fulfilling their most fundamental design requirements. As a result, these online spaces may offer a teaching experience more closely resembling a traditional style of learning than the technology stack standardised in the early pandemic. To test this improvement, was deployed as a teaching tool to multiple cohorts of students with experiences of both in-person and online education. It was also deployed to staff members as an online office to investigate its benefits in the support of a "normal" working environment. We collected data from students and staff using this space to contrast their experiences and preferences of pseudo-physical learning and teaching against the physical and online models they have experienced.

Assessing first-year beginners’ perceptions of online games in enhancing their experience of foreign language grammar

ABSTRACT. "Gamification is defined as the use of game design elements in non-game contexts and has been increasingly adopted in educational settings in order to enhance students’ engagement and motivation. Motivation is key to foreign language (FL) learning, including grammar learning, and gamification is therefore particularly interesting to explore in relation to this field. A number of advantages of gamification of FL learning have been reported including: increased motivation and student participation, more use of the target language (TL) and less anxiety over expressing oneself in the TL. Grammar learning can be very challenging for learners, particularly when they have never been taught it formally before. Yet a lack of enjoyment of grammar can lead to a lack of student motivation and participation, two issues which have also been compounded by the exclusively online format caused by Covid-19. Therefore, this semester I included online games to my beginner’s Spanish course in order to enhance students’ experience of grammar learning with a view to increase their engagement with and motivation for this topic. For this purpose, two types of games assessing students’ understanding of Spanish grammar were used: non-competitive Moodle games (Cryptex, Millionnaire, Snake and Ladders), and competitive Kahoot grammar quizzes. Interviews were subsequently conducted as part of a qualitative study in order to assess students’ perceptions of if and how the games enhanced their experience learning grammar, with a focus on enjoyment, motivation, and engagement. Although this study focuses on FL grammar learning, motivation and student engagement are issues faced across the disciplines. Its findings will therefore be of interest to a wide audience. Finally, students’ opinion of the Moodle games will be useful to provide feedback in order to improve those games, with the potential to enhance students’ experience of Moodle on a wider scale."

10:00-11:00 Session 3D: Short talks
Location: Kelvin Gallery
Building a learning community using feminist pedagogy for a 3 week MVLS course

ABSTRACT. "Building a learning community with a mixed programme cohort in under 3 weeks for a PGT course with a primarily teamwork-based assessment component entirely virtually was a daunting prospect. While there is a plethora of advice out there what does this look like in practice? This presentation outlines how this 10-credit course was transformed to accommodate increased student numbers (from 13 to 35), and the pivot to online learning due to the pandemic. The course assessment comprised a group poster and presentation (70 %) on a Current Trend in Biomedical science and a reflective portfolio (30 %), all to be done entirely online within 3 weeks. Approaching this redesign, all aspects were considered through the lens of the significant upheaval and multifaceted effects of the pandemic with feminist pedagogical practice incorporated (Webb, 2002); The aim was to decentralise power from the lecturer to the wider student group, and facilitate a collaborative learning community primarily using Teams while creating an authentic teaching presence (Rogers, 2002). This community is essential both for the main weight bearing assessment, but also as learning creation and meaning-making occurs through student relationships and interactions that also foster student resilience. Teams created an informal power-sharing environment, where students were able to be affirmed and to support each other (using ‘reactions’ as low-stakes, low-energy connections), while also providing immediacy in endorsing student interactions. The course structure facilitated student co-creation of a code of conduct, their own teams, and identification of a current trend and approach, but the creation of an effective community learning environment manifested authentic student interactions across the cohort. This presentation will take stock of how effective these adaptations were in creating a constructive learning community within a 3-week course. "

Big Panda / Wee Panda: A mentoring programme in Physics & Astronomy for all students

ABSTRACT. "PANDA is a new peer mentoring programme established at the start of the 2020 academic year for all students in the School of Physics and Astronomy. In this scheme, current students from Level 2 or above are matched up to new students to mentor, buddy-up with, or otherwise provide an additional layer of pastoral support to them. All new students who are either entering 1st/2nd year as undergraduates or entering one of the School's taught postgraduate degree programmes are welcome to join. A mentoring scheme will help mentors develop their communication, coaching and leadership skills and self-confidence – all important personal assets for employability. Mentors may build long-lasting networks with other mentors and mentees. This mentoring scheme will also help mentees in their transition to studying Physics & Astronomy at the University of Glasgow and develop their self-confidence. It helps to alleviate stress and fears, increase the sense of belonging to our community, and build relationships (Carragher & McGaughey 2016). Finally, it fosters a sense of belonging in our School (Fayram et al 2018), enhances the development of a solid community spirit, facilitates sharing knowledge and experience across academic years, and strengthens the mental wellbeing of our students. While the benefits of a peer mentoring programme are numerous for mentors, mentees, and for the School, the circumstances of this academic year made the need for such a programme even more obvious and urgent than before. More than 100 students chose to take part at the start of the academic year. In this presentation I will describe how the programme was set up, with a focus on good practice that can be shared across disciplines, and I’ll discuss the first impressions after less than a year. Is it working? What do our students say? How will we be taking this further?

Carragher, J., McGaughey, J. The effectiveness of peer mentoring in promoting a positive transition to higher education for first-year undergraduate students: a mixed methods systematic review protocol. Syst Rev 5, 68 (2016).

Fayram, J., Boswood, N., Kan, Q., Motzo, A. and Proudfoot, A. (2018), ""Investigating the benefits of online peer mentoring for student confidence and motivation"", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 312-328. "

Supporting Veterinary Medicine undergraduates to recognise and manage unconscious bias
PRESENTER: Lubna Nasir

ABSTRACT. "It is well established that human behaviour, beliefs and attitudes are shaped by automatic and unconscious cognitive processes. Recently in the medical sciences there has been a focus on how unconscious biases based on certain patient characteristics may: (i) result in behaviour that is preferential toward or against specific patients; (ii) influence treatment decisions, and (iii) adversely influence the patient–clinician relationship. Furthermore, as our university campuses become more diverse, it is important that students are aware of how their own unconscious biases may impact on others. To help raise awareness of how an individuals unconscious bias may impact others, we created a unconscious bias training resource for Veterinary undergraduates as part of the core first year BVMS curriculum. The resource reviews cognition concepts and offers strategies to overcome unconscious biases. Embedded with the training programme are short videos of scenarios that student may encounter within a clinical setting. In an attempt to encourage students to think more deeply about unconscious bias, students were required to complete the training and quiz and to then write a reflective piece on unconscious bias based on own experiences or scenarios from within the training resource. The reflection forms part of assessed professional Development Plan portfolio. In this paper, we describe the implementation of a training resource aimed to raise awareness of unconscious bias in veterinary medicine and discuss student evaluation and feedback of the training module across 2 student cohorts. "

The use of television documentary review and group discussion for intercultural learning between nursing students in Glasgow and Singapore.

ABSTRACT. "Background/Objectives The University of Glasgow delivers nurse education to students in Scotland and Singapore. In normal circumstances, our Singapore students would visit Glasgow for a four week Overseas Immersion Programme each July. Due to COVID19, this was not possible in 2020. Simultaneously, our 1st year Glasgow students were unable to attend practice placements so were receiving some of their 2nd year theoretical content early. Both student groups were covering materials relating to social policy. The impact of COVID19 provided us with an opportunity to deliver live joint sessions with students in Glasgow and Singapore.

Method Both student groups (approx. 130 students) were asked to view a BBC documentary called ""The people vs. the NHS: who gets the drugs?"" which focused on access to PReP for HIV prophylaxis. They were provided with guidance on how to view the documentary and how to make notes. At a set time, students were then brought together online and split into breakout rooms which consisted of a mixture of Glasgow and Singapore students and a facilitator. A number of discussion questions were provided followed by a brief summary with the whole group at the end. Feedback was gathered via a questionnaire.

Results The feedback from students was positive with them finding the session both helpful and enjoyable. Students reported the benefits of sharing their experiences with colleagues from each other's location. Issues around small technical problems, initial interaction at the start of the group and the time difference were also provided in the feedback.

Conclusions Overall, we feel that this session was beneficial to both sets of students. It allowed intercultural exploration of different health care systems and around a sensitive issue regarding how these systems allocate their resources. Students enjoyed the social aspect of the interaction as well as the educational benefit. "

11:00-11:30 Session 4: Posters & networking
Location: Bute Hall
Anonymous question platform for students (Padlet)

ABSTRACT. "Padlet is an app/website that allows posting of information and media to supplement lecture course material. It also allows students to respond and post themselves. The ability to do this anonymously is one aspect that seem to lead to greater engagement than non anonymous platforms.

Since being introduced to an honours physics lecture course in 2018-19 the use of Padlet has been somewhat successful in increasing the level of engagement with the class. The format used is to post supplemental material to that in the lecture course inviting comment and encouraging students to post their own questions. Padlet only records the number of users who have posted, not the number who have viewed content, however the number of students engaging has been very encouraging. In the current session the number engaging has been slightly down, however in using Zoom for remote lectures the chat function there has been used fairly extensively. There students are no anonymous, however there is still considerable use of Padlet. So Zoom chat used for synchronous engagement whilst Padlet better for asynchronous engagement. A Teams channel for the course set up for the remote teaching was also intended for asynchronous communication though was used much less by students.

In student questionnaires very positive comments have been received, especially regarding the anonymity. There is definitely a place for this platform and the range of questions and interactions indicate it is used to clear up simple conceptual questions but also more advanced and off topic queries."

Belonging and Engagement for a Successful Transition to Higher Education

ABSTRACT. "Belonging and Engagement for a Successful Transition to Higher Education, was a final year undergraduate project carried out at the University of Glasgow. This study aimed to identify factors impacting a student’s sense of belonging and engagement as they transition to higher education, as well as emphasizing any common trends identified from students. For undergraduate students, one of the most crucial points in their journey through higher education is a successful transition (Parker et al., 2017, Strayhorn, 2012). The transition period for students occurs in their first few weeks as they are adjusting to the new and different world of higher education. Studies have shown that most students who leave higher education early do so at the beginning of their course (Thomas et al., 2017) as well as indicating that students that do not have a successful transition are more likely to drop out of higher education than their peers who had successfully adapted to university life (Kantanis, 2000, McInnis et al., 2000). This highlights the importance of a successful transition and making it a crux of higher education (Thomas et al., 2017). Data was obtained via questionnaires distributed to two different first-year cohorts over two consecutive years. Each cohort received one survey in the first few weeks of their transition period and another at the end of their first semester. An additional survey was also issued to second-year students with the aim of identifying any changes in their belonging and engagement since their first year. The key findings from the study performed at the University of Glasgow included that female students initially entered higher education with lower self-confidence in their academic abilities than their male peers. Additionally, social integration and students’ relationship with staff were highlighted as crucial factors during students transition period. Finally, the study suggests that a sense of belong requires ongoing intervention, beyond the transition period.

References; Kantanis, T., 2000. The role of social transition in students': adjustment to the first-year of university. Journal of Institutional Research, 9(1), pp.100-110. McInnis, C., James, R. and Hartley, R., 2000. Trends in the first year experience: In Australian universities. Parker, H., Hughes, A., Marsh, C., Ahmed, S., Cannon, J., Taylor-Steeds, E., Jones, L. and Page, N., 2017. Understanding the different challenges facing students in transitioning to university particularly with a focus on ethnicity. New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences, (12). Stayhorn, T. L., 2012. In: College students' sense of belonging: A key to educational success. New York: Routledge, pp. 17-25 Thomas, L., Hill, M., O’Mahony, J. and Yorke, M., 2017. Supporting student success: strategies for institutional change. What works student retention and success final report. "

Approaches to introductory coding in undergraduate physics degrees

ABSTRACT. "Coding has become a highly sought-after skill in STEM careers over recent decades [1]. Consequently, the Institute of Physics recommends that undergraduate physics students enhance IT skills, such as coding and becoming familiar with a programming package [2]. While some undergraduate students will have encountered coding during their secondary school education, for many students, their first experience with coding often occurs in their first years at university [3]. The research study explored the opinions of pre-honours level physics students regarding the coding tasks they undertake as part of their laboratory sessions at the University of Glasgow. By accumulating data through the use of surveys and a focus group, information relating to the difficulties that students face whilst learning to code, as well as suggestions for future teaching methods were able to be identified and analysed. The main difficulties that students encountered were understanding the coding language, writing syntactically correct code and correcting errors. Students without prior coding experience were subjected to these difficulties more than their peers with experience. Furthermore, second year students expressed that their experience of coding in Year 1 had not prepared them well for Year 2. It was therefore found that a more comprehensive introduction to the basic concepts of coding should be provided in first year, with no prior coding knowledge assumed. Additionally, students found that there was a lack of formal teaching which could be mitigated by introducing coding lectures to the physics courses. Likewise, students expressed a need for more guidance by means of coding demonstrations and tutorials.

[1] Aho K et al 2014 Introducing programming into the physics curriculum at Haverhill High School using the R Language Proc. Am. Soc. Eng. Educ. (Bridgeport, April 2014) [2] Institue of Physics, 2011. The Physics Degree: Graduate Skills Base and the Core of Physics. [online] Available at: <> [3] Martin R F 2016 Undergraduate computational physics education: uneven history and promising future J. Phys. : Conf. Ser. 759 012005 "

Cultivating accessible learning communities: the role of GTAs and small group teaching

ABSTRACT. Initiating and maintaining a course cohort through online teaching can be extremely challenging though also presents unique opportunities to foster accessible and active learning. Small group teaching can provide a valuable and collaborative space for community construction as well as impetus for creative exploration of course themes. As highlighted by Muzaka (2009), the flexible approach of GTAs to delivering course material has great strengths in the small group setting, providing collaborative, adaptive and student-centred environments. The diversity of our GTA cohort in Geographical and Earth Sciences (GES) compliments this flexibility and is key in constructing and maintaining effective learning spaces. Our model for iterative teaching development empowers student and GTA voices within the community of practice. We reflect on a positively-received year of online tutorial and lab-teaching, foregrounding the value of GTAs in achieving this. Utilising local examples from small group teaching, we offer a framework to increase opportunities for student and GTA involvement in curriculum co-design, working towards an inclusive learning environment.

References Muzaka, V. (2009) The niche of Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs): perceptions and reflections. Teaching in Higher Education, 14:1, 1-2.

Student-led Design, Delivery and Evaluation of Interactive Online Resources to Support Analytical Chemistry Teaching, Focussing on Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)

ABSTRACT. "Analytical chemistry is the process of quantifying compounds in mixtures and matter. It has an important role to play in real-world processes and industries, such as fundamental scientific research, drug manufacturing, environmental monitoring, and quality control of food production. Employers expect chemistry graduates to have a good working knowledge of analytical techniques, and therefore effective teaching of this field in higher education is extremely important. However, a review of chemistry teaching at the University of Glasgow showed that it is difficult for students to identify analytical chemistry learning outcomes, partly because it is often used in practical settings without a focus on background theory. In order to address this challenge, an interactive online learning resource was designed, created, and delivered to Final Year students, focussing on the analytical technique of thin layer chromatography (TLC). The resource (consisting of four short lecture recordings and associated quizzes) was developed using the online HTML5 tool, Recordings were designed to introduce background theory, practical concepts, and real-world applications of TLC in an accessible and engaging way.

The impact of this new resource on the student learning experience was evaluated. Students reported feeling more confident about carrying out TLC having engaged with the resource and reflected that the material helped understanding of background theory. Students felt that the resource should be introduced into the chemistry degree course at an early stage (from Year 1), to provide a platform of knowledge on which to build in subsequent years.

Not only does this SoTL project (and associated resource) fill a gap in the teaching of TLC in chemistry at Glasgow, but it also acts as case study for how practical aspects of STEM subjects can be supported and enhanced through stepwise, interactive online learning. "

Entrusting and Empowering: Embedding GTA's in course development

ABSTRACT. "Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs - a term encompassing Tutors) are numerous (currently 115 in the SoLS alone), heterogenous in skills and experience and provide an important support role. However, there is a lack of empirical data on how to best prepare this group for teaching roles (Reeves et al., 2016). The United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (Advance HE, Guild HE, Universities UK, 2011) offers a route-map for skills and responsibilities you should acquire to develop as an educator. The Experiential Learning cycle (Kolb, 1984) provides a pedagogical framework for the learning involved for each stage, yet progressing through these stages can be limited by lack of opportunity, particularly abstract visualisation and active experimentation. In the School of Life Sciences, one GTA role is support for laboratory teaching, engaging directly with students in practical laboratories: assisting with the acquisition of practical skills and background concepts. For the academic year 2020/21, most laboratory classes had to be delivered by remote simulations. With laboratory teaching forming the backbone of many courses, conversion of this material was a formidable challenge. In our digital poster, we will show, including through the use of images and video content, how we, as experienced GTAs, were entrusted with selected aspects of remote adaptation of some laboratory content using the Lt cloud-based learning platform. Working in partnership with course co-ordinators, we benefitted from a spiral of experience and learning, developing skills in learning design and evaluation of teaching resources. Our input facilitated the re-evaluation and update of existing course material for a more tech savvy audience to encourage more interactive learning (Cornell, 2020), which will have long term benefits. With high quality material produced we are upskilled and better prepared for career progression. We suggest these emergency measures indicate possible future conceptual and formal structures for the GTA role in supporting learning technology.


Advance HE, Guild HE, Universities UK, 2011. The UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education. [pdf] Advance HE, Guild HE, Universities UK. Available at: [Accessed 19 March 2021].

Cornell, B., 2020. How can we best use Graduate Teaching Assistants during the Covid-19 pandemic? Blog, [blog] 15 June. Available at: [Accessed 19 March 2021]. Reeves et al., 2016

Kolb, D.A., 1984. Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development. [pdf] Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Available at: [Accessed: 19 March 2021]

Reeves, T.D., Marbach-Ad, G., Miller, K.R., Ridgway, J., Gardner, G.E., Schussler, E.E., and Wischusen, E.W., 2016. A Conceptual Framework for Graduate Teaching Assistant Professional Development Evaluation and Research. CBE – Life Sciences Education, 15(2), pp.1-9. "

Using Mentimeter to capture the efficacy of Bitesized Teaching in Small Animal Primary Care

ABSTRACT. "Bitesized Teaching is a new and accessible method used during informal clinic-based teaching. It was introduced in human hospitals to incorporate learning opportunities into the working day for staff with limited time. Bitesized teaching requires no technology and lends itself to a variety of environments with basic facilities. Reports have shown this form of learning has been well received by learners and has a significant impact on knowledge recall than case-based teaching. It has been shown to improve knowledge, competence and confidence across a range of clinical topics. In 2020, we introduced Bitesized teaching to the Small Animal Primary Care rotation to give the final year veterinary students the opportunity to share their knowledge of a particular topic related to small animal medicine. Students each prepare a short (<10 minute) oral presentation summarising a clinical condition. Due to COVID-19, presentations are conducted via Zoom videoconferencing. Students also produce a handout that lists the key points of their presentation and is shared with their peers. A short Mentimeter questionnaire is used before and after each presentation by the rest of the group/tutor which provides the presenter with immediate and anonymous feedback on how effective their teaching was. Mentimeter has expanded functionality compared to other audience response systems which allows students to receive focused peer feedback and relevant response statistics. This informal style of teaching has achieved high levels of student interaction and generated stimulating clinical discussions amongst staff and students. Overall student feedback about Bitesized teaching has been positive. Students have gone on to use their Mentimeter data as evidence in their professional portfolios and the handouts are a reliable resource for use in exam revision and as new graduate vets. We have found that using Mentimeter also cuts down on administrative demands for staff on the rotation. "

13:30-14:30 Session 7A: Workshop slot 2 (pre-booking required)
Location: Senate Room
NUMBAS online assessment – an introduction to creating exams and resources and editing questions

ABSTRACT. "‘Numbas is an open-source e-assessment system aimed at mathematics and other numerate disciplines. It generates SCORM 2004-compliant, self-contained assessment packages.’ ( It is freely available, has Moodle integration, works on phones and tablets as well as computers, has strong randomization and maths presentation/calculation capabilities and can include videos, images and interactive diagrams. It was originally developed for use in undergraduate degree courses in mathematics. See here for frequently asked questions: The workshop presenters are Elizabeth Petrie (using Numbas for 2 years for maths assessment in Geographical & Earth Sciences), Frances Docherty and other members of the School of Chemistry (Numbas users in Chemistry, including lab and smart worksheet development) and Christian Lawson-Perfect (Numbas developer and e-Learning officer at Newcastle University). The Numbas documentation is generally good – this workshop will provide an opportunity to ask questions while trying out first steps, and ask the expert about possibilities relating to your interests. The workshop will begin with a short introduction, then the students will have the opportunity to move to different facilitated spaces: 1) tech acclimatisation and any Numbas login troubleshooting, and a demonstration of what a simple test looks like. 2) ‘setting up my first exam’ using existing questions created by the presenters which illustrate the range of Numbas possibilities and downloading the exam for Moodle integration. 3) creating or editing your own question and ‘can Numbas do X?’ We would expect students to progress from one room to another during the workshop, but at different rates. There will be advance registration and a numbers cap for the workshop, with a question on any previous experience and individual learning goals, so the spaces may be tweaked depending on interest."

13:30-14:30 Session 7B: Full-length presentations
Location: Hunter Halls
Staying Connected: A Toolkit for Effective Groupwork

ABSTRACT. "Group-work is increasingly common in higher education and develops essential graduate skills in collaboration, communication and problem solving, skills commonly sought by employers (Daly et al, 2015). However, the group work process can be challenging for students (Chang & Brickman, 2018; Wilson et al, 2018), and staff face the challenge of supporting groups remotely in the pivot to online learning. Drawing on the outcomes of previous projects (Graham & Pringle Barnes, 2020) and the University group work policy (2018), we worked as a team of UG and PGR students and staff to evaluate current group work resources and develop recommendations to establish which practices are working and where there are gaps in provision. The paper will discuss key findings from this evaluation and present a toolkit we co-created on effective group working in an online learning environment, based on the recommendations. The toolkit comprises videos, activities and student testimonials on group organisation, communication, collaboration, reflection, and seeking support. We sought feedback from UG and PGT students and staff on how the toolkit can support online collaboration and improve the group work experience. We will present our emerging findings, which suggest that the resources are helpful to students in initiating group organization and allocating tasks, and useful to staff in signposting support within their course or programme.

References Chang, Y., & Brickman, P. (2018) ‘When Group Work Doesn’t Work: Insights from Students’, CBE—Life Sciences Education, 17(3), ar52. doi: 10.1187/cbe.17-09-0199 Daly, A., Hoy, S., Hughes, M., Islam, J. and Mak, S. M. (2015) ‘Using Group Work to Develop Intercultural Skills in the Accounting Curriculum in Australia’, Accounting Education, 24(1), 27-40. doi: 10.1080/09639284.2014.996909 Graham, C. & Pringle Barnes, G. (2020) ‘Evidencing Engaging and Effective Group Work’, University of Glasgow 13th Learning and Teaching Conference, 13th February, Glasgow. University of Glasgow (2018). Policy for Assessed Groupwork. Swingler, M.V., Wehbe, L., Cleland-Woods, H., & Pringle-Barnes, G. (2021). Staying Connected: A Toolkit for Effective Groupwork Wilson, L., Ho, S., & Brookes, R. (2017) ‘Student Perceptions of Teamwork within Assessment Tasks in Undergraduate Science Degrees’. Assessment & Evaluation In Higher Education, 43(5), 786-799. doi: 10.1080/02602938.2017.1409334 "

Community and the Pandemic PhD: Reaching Researchers During Lockdown

ABSTRACT. "The pandemic hit postgraduate researchers hard. With neither the structured learning of undergraduates and PGTs, nor the full institutional and professional frameworks of employees, these researchers have navigated the storm with fewer road markings to guide the path. Across the university, support networks have been reaching out in digital space, with greater or lesser success. This talk shares some of these projects, and what we can learn from them about building PGR community and connection.

Focusing on interventions loosely linked through the RIS Researcher Development team it will first suggest that uptake of institution-led virtual community building has been strongest when forged into research-relevant settings. Actively building rapport in training courses, writing retreats, expert-led chat cafes, or competitions like 3MT mitigates the awkwardness that can fetter unstructured or drop-in social mixers. Timely targeting (for example introducing monthly careers talks) and careful attention to inclusive online practices, maximises the potential of these events. Secondly it will highlight the need for opportunities tailored to the ‘lurker’. A regular friendly face facilitating and recording a drop-in space for pre-curated and on-the-spot questions can reach researchers otherwise uncomfortable with highly participatory virtual settings. This format has worked well both for wellbeing support and for fostering open communication channels between researchers and senior management. Finally it will explore the potential of researcher-led initiatives to build peer-to-peer communities in formats that fall flat in top-down delivery.

The loss of physical communities this year has been testing for everyone in and supporting the doctoral journey. However the move online has challenged Higher Education to pro-active thinking about how we cultivate our culture of support. As we look ahead to a return to campus, there are things to be learned – and things to be retained – from this year in digital space. "

13:30-14:30 Session 7C: Short talks
A transferable approach to augment practical teaching; experiences from the veterinary post mortem facility

ABSTRACT. "The veterinary post mortem (PM) facility at the University of Glasgow’s School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) is central to teaching in veterinary pathology and veterinary public health across the undergraduate veterinary curriculum. The skills students acquire are of such importance for veterinary graduates that they are specified as Day One Competencies by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

Historically face to face small group teaching around an animal carcass and/ or abattoir derived tissues has been our default methodology. The abrupt cessation of face to face teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, against a background of increasing difficulty sourcing suitable teaching material, has, however, exposed hitherto unseen vulnerabilities in this model. To investigate whether livestreaming could augment face to face teaching in our subject, and in alignment with the themes of enhanced graduate employability, flexibility in learning, inclusivity, and easing transitions outlined in the Learning and Teaching Strategy, we have piloted the interactive livestreaming of a lesson traditionally delivered face to face. This has been enabled by a Learning and Teaching Development Fund (LTDF) small bid “Can livestreaming augment the observation of veterinary post mortem examinations; a pilot study” approved by the MVLS Ethics Committee (application 200190190). Focusing on the central skill of carrying out a post mortem examination, utilising a voluntary survey followed by a focus group, we have sought to compare the experiences of students who had attended both face to face and livestreamed versions of this practical session.

During this short presentation we will summarise the outcome of this study and explore themes that could inform future development of this innovative modality. We will also describe the equipment used, which is readily available, and its linkage to the familiar Zoom platform, to enable colleagues to take advantage of this highly transferable approach."

Academics, technicians and students: co-creating a remote mini-project in Life Sciences

ABSTRACT. "During this pandemic year, Level 3 Human Biology and Physiology students have had no exposure to laboratory work due to COVID-19 restrictions, yet the development of core skills in practical investigation are important for Life Science graduates. To address this issue, teaching and technical staff decided to run mini-projects outside the laboratory setting to help these students attain course ILOs and graduate attributes. Usually, students would carry out a small-scale investigative practical project at the end of semester 2. Working in small groups of 5-6 students, staff-guided planning for these projects begins early in the semester. Students develop their own experimental hypotheses and methods, with data collection carried out over the course of a scheduled experimental week towards the end of the semester. Support sessions interspersed throughout semester 2 offer guidance and enable staff to respond to learning needs that arise. As all students are active-participants in the design process, mini-projects are an example of co-creation in learning, as described by Bovill and colleagues (2016). This year data was collected at home using laboratory techniques approved by the safety committee. This presentation will discuss the preparation for, and delivery of, mini-projects as a collaborative process between academic staff, laboratory technicians and students. In discussing the successes and challenges that arose in adapting them for remote working, we will promote the often-overlooked role of laboratory technical staff in teaching provision. As well as being key to risk assessments and facilitating home-delivery of equipment, laboratory technicians were available for troubleshooting during the data collection phase. Using MS Teams, group Zoom calls, and the Lt cloud-based learning platform to provide support and facilitate interactions allowed academic staff, technical staff, and students to continue in a collaborative approach throughout all stages of the projects. Communicating directly with lab technicians empowered students to feel in control of their projects, supporting development of graduate attributes and professional skills.

Bovill, C., Cook-Sather, A., Felten, P., Millard, L., & Moore-Cherry, N. (2016). Addressing potential challenges in co-creating learning and teaching: overcoming resistance, navigating institutional norms and ensuring inclusivity in student-staff partnerships. Higher Education, 71(2), 195–208. "

The Use of Virtual Resources to Simulate Lab-based Human Cadaveric Dissection Teaching during COVID-19: A Case Report from the Level 3 BSc in Anatomy Programme
PRESENTER: Ourania Varsou

ABSTRACT. "Background: In our institution, the BSc in Anatomy programme involves extensive hands-on human cadaveric dissection that is undertaken during Level 3 with about 60% of formal contact hours devoted to such lab practicals. With the pandemic, as the course coordinators, we had to identity alternative virtual methods to deliver this lab-based anatomy teaching and its associated skills. A lack of such teaching could limit our students’ prospective career choices and it was vital to ensure its effective delivery.

Technology innovation and learning points: Since September 2020, we have been using a 3D real-time virtual anatomy atlas (Primal Pictures Anatomy.TV) coupled with cadaveric dissection videos (Wolters Kluwer Grant’s) to simulate lab-based teaching. We embedded the above resources in Moodle to promote an immersive learning experience through our Virtual Learning Environment. Anatomy.TV allows for interactive exploration of 3D models that, in turn, helps students learn the different anatomical structures and their interrelationships. However, Anatomy.TV has limited static real-life cadaveric images and the models are virtual animations lacking realistic colour and texture. The models also show ‘perfect’ anatomy without any normal anatomical variation. For the above reasons, we also supplemented teaching with Grant’s dissection videos which explain how to dissect different anatomical regions of human cadavers using a stepwise approach. The dissection videos allow students to learn the practical skills associated with dissection. However, this is a passive approach to learning practical skills by watching videos and the manual dexterity is still missing as an element.

Potential Future Avenues: In the post-pandemic Higher Education setting, for our programme, it will be beneficial to adopt a blended learning approach by combining on-campus cadaveric dissection, which is challenging to replicate online in terms of manual dexterity and practical skills, while also using a 3D virtual anatomy atlas for consolidation of such lab information."

Addressing awareness, enjoyment and engagement with significant global species (pigs, poultry and fish) learning and teaching in the veterinary undergraduate curriculum.

ABSTRACT. "Research hypothesis “Active learning modalities will increase awareness, enjoyment of and engagement with pig, poultry and fish medicine”. From a food security perspective these species are of global significance however, due to unavoidable curriculum constraints teaching of intensive medicine of pig, poultry and fish is compressed into a 1 week module in BVMS4. The information dense lecture format used previously has resulted in student feedback which suggests poor engagement in turn resulting in assessment aligned surface learning. By employing an active learning modality and utilising Zoom with breakout rooms, we intend to maximise student interest and engagement so encouraging deep learning. By creating a vibrant and interactive learning environment we anticipate that students will engage with the topics and will potentially consider them as realistic career paths. In order to free student time for flipped classroom type active learning, lecture content was condensed, prerecorded and uploaded to Moodle. Case based materials were made available to the students on Moodle ahead of the ALA sessions. For each of the 3 species, each student had a specific task(s) to prepare. Initial preparation was done independently but the tasks were completed as a group (6 students per group). At each session the subject specialist moved in and out of the breakout rooms to facilitate the group work. To complete the session everyone returned to the main hall and presented their group responses. This ensured that all students had exposure to all case materials and could benefit from the knowledge and experience of the subject specialist. To assess whether this new teaching modality accomplished our expectations we assessed the student response at each step in the process. Using pre-development student feedback (BVMS5) as well as feedback from the current cohort (BVMS4). Qualitative data analysis will be presented to identify future developmental themes. "

13:30-14:30 Session 7D: Short talks
Location: Kelvin Gallery
Working in Partnership to Promote a Blended Learning Community

ABSTRACT. "This short talk is based on a LTDF project to create an online learning community for students in School of Modern Languages and Cultures. The project was a partnership between staff and students to create a sustainable alternative to the face to face events that are key to building a sense of community within the School. Research has long shown that a sense of community is important to reduce dropout rates amongst students (Tinto 1993), and Rovai (2002:8) points out that colleagues teaching online ‘must plan on enhancing social presence’ in order to foster feelings of connectedness amongst learners. Drouin and Vartanian (2010:154) underscore the importance of maximizing the number of opportunities for communication in order to foster a strong sense of community and this project aimed to do that by creating opportunities for social interaction beyond the classroom.

We’ll begin with a brief overview of the project, focussing primarily on the ‘buddy’ scheme we ran for first years. A group of students who worked on the project will then talk about some of the events they organised and will outline the guidance they have created to ensure their experiences can be adapted for next academic year.

The project speaks directly to the focus on enhancement and inclusion in the L&T Strategy and this talk offers practical examples to ensure the deep levels of engagement that characterise our on-campus teaching can be adapted as part of the move towards blended learning."

[Withdrawn] Communal Commonplacing on English Literature 1B

ABSTRACT. "This short presentation introduces ‘communal commonplacing’, an online activity that I pioneered in 2021 on English Literature 1B, as a way to encourage active and collaborative learning among first year students, a group that may find online learning particularly daunting. The communal commonplacing task, which ran across 6 weeks of semester, was designed as a simple weekly online activity for students, one that fostered group working and communication skills, both within and outside seminars, and simultaneously was assessment-oriented, and supported students in developing their ideas for their assessed essays. In this talk, I will introduce the concept of communal commonplacing, explain how and why I set up this activity on English Literature 1B, and outline the positive outcomes of the activity, as well as areas for future improvement and enhancement. The activity is eminently scalable, and transferable across subjects (especially, but not exclusively, essay-based subjects), and, while it was designed to support online learning, it could very easily be incorporated into blended or in-person teaching. I hope, therefore, that this talk will encourage colleagues from a wide range of subjects to consider adopting the activity onto their courses in the future. "

Organisational compassion during the Covid-19 pandemic: improving teaching and learning experience
PRESENTER: Nicolas Dupire

ABSTRACT. "It is needless to remind ourselves of the difficulties that many teaching staff and students have had to go through during the past year, however one thing is certain: the need for compassion is real.

Organisational compassion is widely defined as a three-stage process of noticing, feeling and responding to people’s suffering at the workplace (Kanov et al, 2004). Differing from empathy, compassion is an interpersonal process that often requires tangible actions to alleviate one’s suffering. As well as increasing performance, compassion has shown to lead to various positive outcomes for an individual, such as reduced levels of stress, feelings of encouragement, increased job satisfaction and higher commitment towards the organisation (Guinot et al, 2020; Lilius et al, 2008; Eldor & Shoshani, 2016).

As part of a dissertation research project, we explored the effects of the compassionate measures set by the University of Glasgow (UofG) on teaching staff and students’ emotional wellbeing during the Covid-19 crisis. In this presentation, we will discuss key findings based on interviews with UofG students and staff, identifying outcomes associated with compassionate measures. The initial findings indicate that apart from the expected outcomes (e.g. feelings of belonging and encouragement), the various compassionate measures put in place by the University were sometimes perceived as lacking compassion and thus resulting in negative outcomes for individuals. As such, it is suggested that for the full benefits of compassion to be felt by students, it is eminent to firstly consider strategies for improving the delivery of compassion at an institutional level. For that to happen, teaching staff must themselves be treated with compassion, which could lead to compassion towards students. This presentation will also show how even during a time where people are self-isolating and not reaching out, different measures and acts of compassion can improve the teaching and learning experience for both teaching staff and students. "

A Study on the Performance of Active Learners and Effectiveness of Active and Blended Learning at the University of Glasgow Singapore

ABSTRACT. "In this study, we identified active learners in the Mechatronics and Mechanical Design Engineering Programme at the University of Glasgow Singapore and studied their performance from 2012 to 2015. We used the course Mechanics of Materials and Structures, a level 3 course, that is both at taught at the University of Glasgow and the University of Glasgow Singapore (UGS) to identify the active learners. In this course, the learners are encouraged to collaborate by creating questions and answer others’ questions by using the online tool PeerWise ( Through the students’ participation in PeerWise, the active learners are identified and then their course exam performance and overall level 3 performance (GPA) are studied. The results of the study revealed that students with higher levels of activity, as determined from PeerWise, not only scored significantly higher marks on the exam but also obtained higher overall GPA during their Level 3 of their degree programme.

In addition, we present a study on the active and blended learning approach to encourage student engagement and active learning in the course Mechanics of Solids and Structures, a level 4 course for the UGS Mechanical Design Engineering Programme. The students are required to watch lecture videos and tutorials before attending the lecture. During lecture sessions, first, a short lecture is conducted at the start of the lecture session, next the students are asked to solve problems together with their classmates, and finally, the solutions are presented and discussed with the students. The results of the study showed that the learning outcome of the course improved. However, the active and blended learning can be unpopular among the students and can affect the teaching evaluation. "

15:00-16:00 Session 9A: Workshop slot 3 (pre-booking required)
Location: Senate Room
Using the MarkR software package to improve your feedback

ABSTRACT. Over the last four years, we have developed the MarkR R package to automatically generate feedback documents with rich content from minimalist spreadsheets and feedback templates. Examples of the minimalist spreadsheet are available in a previous presentation ( The spreadsheets allow markers to save time in generating individual feedback, while the templates allow us to add reflection about class performance and other information such as rubrics. Feedback documents are generated at the end of the marking process for the whole class, rather than for each script as it is marked. Traditionally feedback sheets are edited in a word processor and hence require that all substantive content be decided before the marking process starts. There can then be a significant cost when a marker needs to update feedback such as recalibrating a categorical rating, identifying a systematic misunderstanding about content, or updating an explanation that the marker learned to articulate better as they progressed. In the past, we shared additional documents with students that summarised these reflections, but with MarkR we can present reflection and rubrics that are enriched with examples from the current assessment, in a single document alongside individualised feedback. In the School of Psychology, we have used MarkR to make feedback for practical and essay-based coursework and for exams and have received positive student comments on the detail of feedback from students while our own perceptions are that MarkR saves time to focus on producing better quality individualised feedback. In this workshop, we will show examples of our feedback generated with MarkR and teach attendees how to generate feedback by customising MarkR templates using their own previous feedback files. Attendees will need to bring along previous feedback sheets and install the software before the workshop but require no other experience of R.

15:00-16:00 Session 9B: Full-length presentations
Location: Hunter Halls
Student staff partnership: co-creation of an inclusive Equality and Diversity teaching resource

ABSTRACT. "The School of Life Sciences Equality and Diversity (E&D) project at the University of Glasgow was created to embed the values of E&D into the Level 1 and Level 2 Biology courses and to raise awareness about E&D issues in academic environments and beyond. The resource was co-created by six student interns and three staff members and integrated to make the curriculum more inclusive and empowering for the 950 participating students. The educational materials were built around the nine protected characteristics embedded in the Equality Act, 2010. The main aim was to equip the students with the tools to break down barriers they may encounter throughout their career in the life sciences and beyond. The educational material consists of case studies, role model interviews, quizzes, and interactive problem-based learning sessions facilitated by graduate teaching assistants and staff and delivered by a virtual learning environment. Additionally, a mobile app was developed in collaboration with an external app developer to enhance in-class learning and to be accessible to the external higher education community and beyond. The project team aimed to determine whether the educational resource enhanced student understanding of E&D and related issues. Second-year life science students acted as a baseline group for this project. They were asked to participate in online anonymous pre- and post-questionnaires to determine the resource's effectiveness and how it influenced the cohort. The results were obtained by semantic analysis showed that the teaching resource enhanced student understanding about E&D. The main aims of this study material were to encourage the development of critical consciousness and thinking in students by sharing good practice and encouraging a mindset change about E&D. Furthermore, the resource highlights the importance of collaboration and partnership in higher education, and it perceives learning and teaching as a practice that contributes to personal, collective, and societal growth.


Interactive, Engaging and Fun: a story of SoTL success in pivoting online

ABSTRACT. "Using the creativity of a final-year Chemistry SoTL student, fully online and interactive teaching resources were designed, created, deployed, and evaluated. Knowing the difficulties posed by the Covid-induced remote learning pivot, especially for students transitioning into first year, we wanted to create a welcoming and fun learning environment whilst designing resources to reduce cognitive load and stress. Our project student, using reflective practice and pedagogy, led the design with an informal and whimsical approach, using the power of gifs and, to build relatability and a sense of connection. is tool {HTML5 (aka H5P)} for creating interactive customised on-line experiences and we successfully used this to substitute two face-to-face lab experiments.

We will show how easy it is to learn to create interactive on-line multimodal learning resources. These resources can be imbued with a local flavour to create a sense of belonging (e.g. using in-house videos/photos of UofG on-campus learning facilities and/or equipment). By using interactive elements and by embedding fun (e.g. positive reward cycle for “quizlets”)., we have found that these e-units can both engage and maintain attention throughout.

Whilst we are showing how we have applied this methodology to the creation of e-learning units for our Quant-1 chemistry labs, this approach can be utilised easily in any discipline. Our scholarship evidences overwhelming support for this approach to student learning and engagement. "

15:00-16:00 Session 9C: Short talks
Skills on Screen

ABSTRACT. "The Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (DPLP) is a one year, vocational, postgraduate-taught programme, undertaken by those wishing to practise law in Scotland. The DPLP is the bridge between academia and practice, and is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland.

As such, we focus on practical skills within a legal context, such as negotiation, advocacy, client interviewing and teamwork. Pre-pandemic, we successfully delivered a blended programme. One course was taught via Zoom, all assessments were submitted and marked via Moodle and we had an extensive library of e-modules and filmed resources.

However, the conversion to online delivery across all DPLP courses posed unique challenges, including how to successfully teach practical legal skills in a wholly online environment.

The first challenge was to ensure that our 155-strong team of tutors, the majority of whom are external, practising solicitors and advocates, were fully trained on online delivery and assessment.

Further, our students take part in tasks including simulated court hearings, mock client interviews and negotiations. How could we assess factors such as eye contact and body language through a screen? How could we ensure that students still met the Law Society of Scotland’s “day one ready trainee” standard by the end of the programme, despite the fact we had never taught, assessed or even met them face-to-face?

In this presentation, we will briefly discuss these and other challenges faced by the DPLP during this unprecedented year. We will also evaluate the effectiveness of our approach to these challenges and lessons learned for the future. "

Developing a school-wide framework for blended and online learning and teaching (BOLT)

ABSTRACT. "In April 2020, the Adam Smith Business School made the decision that all learning and teaching for the academic year 2020-21 would move to a blended/online model, with students able to achieve all ILOs by completing asynchronous activities and synchronous events being used to add value, help with student support, and for community building activities.

In order to make this transition, a working group of early TELT-adopters from within ASBS was formed in order to assess requirements. Working quickly, and with little time to consult externally, this group drew on their existing knowledge and worked iteratively in order to ensure that colleagues could quickly develop the necessary skill-sets for BOLT. The result was a Framework for Blended and Online Learning and Teaching (BOLT) for use across the School.

This framework included a set of principles for BOLT; a learning design planner that guided educators through the process of online course design; a short, one-page school standard “checklist”; worked examples of courses designed by experienced TELT staff; and a range of resources and workshops to further support all staff.

This presentation will provide a brief overview of the BOLT Framework: explaining the principles underpinning it and giving an example of it in use in a current course to show the Framework working in practice. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions about the process of designing the framework and how it was implemented and adapted over the following academic year. "

‘Tik Tok for teaching: piloting short form mobile videos during the pandemic’

ABSTRACT. "Within the context of the pivot to online learning during the pandemic, there have been notable instances of teaching innovation which suggest that rather than just ‘getting by’, educators are in many ways thriving within the new online and blended learning environment. This paper will look at one such example within the context of a range of innovative practice in Arts: the use of short informal portrait mode videos shot on mobile phone in the style of popular social media platform ‘Tik Tok’ to enhance teaching and support assessment.

The paper is the outcome of a pilot run by the Digital Education Unit and Scottish Literature, who have trialled this style of video in a range of situations this semester, from rapidly summarising weekly learning in a Massive Open Online Course, introducing educators to students in a distance learning environment, through to supporting assessment in Level 1 Undergraduate teaching. As well as showcasing examples, the paper will reflect on the potential benefits of using short mobile phone videos for communicating with students and creating a sense of teaching presence in contrast to other methods of communication. For example:

- building ‘presence’ in online teaching through informal asynchronous video material

- responding quickly to student needs through fast production and turnaround of material

- helping support student assessment

- using video to offset ‘information overload’ and communicate essential class information in brief

This paper also aims to share tips for recording short-form videos for teaching, make suggestions on where short-form videos may be particularly effective, and offer practical advice and next steps for educators to produce their own videos. Finally, we aim to to reflect critically on challenges, from gathering student feedback to negotiating issues of accessibility and inclusive learning that may arise from decisions about hosting."

Flipping the Class: When a COVID Adaptation Becomes Innovative Practice That’s Here to Stay (NB: This session includes optional advance materials - see abstract)

ABSTRACT. Participants are invited to view these materials before attending the session if they wish:

"‘Flipping the classroom’ is “an approach to teaching with independent and asynchronous study of content by students and active learning during scheduled class time” (Evans et al., 2019). During Covid restrictions, we ‘flipped the classroom’ for our on-campus students to optimally integrate online teaching with opportunities to interact and collaborate with guest presenters, core teaching staff and one another.

Students historically relied on weekly face-to-face lectures for their core learning. The 2020-21 cohort were provided with specific instructions on how to best integrate learning from Moodle and live sessions. ‘Note-taking activities’ embedded throughout the online content encouraged students to pro-actively prepare for regular facilitated interactions. These interactions were hosted within online tutorial sessions, on Teams Class Spaces as asynchronous forums, and during live zoom sessions. Some lecture-style sessions were still offered to expand upon key ILOs and consolidate learning.

This change in practice brought about some reassuringly positive feedback. One student commented “group activities were really good for bringing classmates together and finding reassurance with learning” and all students reported that they were satisfied with the opportunities available to engage with the Programme team.

The majority (86%) of students recognised that Moodle activities were core learning materials targeted at achieving ILOs. Student feedback reinforced the value of investing in constructively aligned, linked to library reading lists, fully accessible. Comments included, “the Moodle resources had an appealing, accessible design” and “I was able to study at my own pace…the variety between videos, quizzes, and graphs was engaging.”

Adaptations provided students with opportunities to enjoy and optimise their learning during facilitated engagements. “I liked that we got to interact with other students a lot…and to hear other peoples’ opinions and thoughts.” Student feedback from February 2021 will be shared, and a range of easy to implement suggestions offered."

15:00-16:00 Session 9D: Short talks
Location: Kelvin Gallery
Student transition to university education and university transition to new delivery modes: tracing student experiences through reflective writing

ABSTRACT. "Student transitions have been a focus of scholarship (e.g., Gale & Parker 2014; O’Donnell et al. 2016) and featured prominently in the previous University’s L&T strategy. However, first-year undergraduate students starting in September 2020 have also faced the university’s transition to online learning and teaching. To capture their experiences, we adopted a longitudinal diary-interview method with 5 first-year students across both semesters, the application of which was twofold. Firstly, we aimed to understand how students transition to university in a time of crisis. Although the necessary changes to teaching delivery marked a huge transition from the university’s perspective, for these students it was their only experience of higher education to date. Therefore, we explored what lies at the core of students’ transition to university. Secondly, we aimed to evaluate the usefulness of reflective writing as a tool for self-development, which could be adapted in areas of the University perhaps where reflective writing is not currently taught.

The key questions we investigated are: - How do students perceive transition to university in the new reality? - How can reflective writing help students in transitions, in the current situations and beyond?

Our findings, based on students’ identification of significant moments/events in their learning this year, highlight how personal, organizational, content-related, and social dimensions of student transitions (Trautwein & Bosse 2017) are inter-related. As a result, we discuss some ways in which the university can play in facilitating their ideological becoming as learners. To this end, we consider if and how reflective writing can be used as a tool of support for school leavers starting a university degree. We outline recommendations for the use of diary method in developing students’ reflective practice.

References Gale, T. and Parker, S., (2014) Navigating change: a typology of student transition in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 39(5), 734-753.

O’Donnell, V., Kean, M. and Stevens, G. (2016) Student transition in higher education: Concepts, theories and practices. Higher Education Academy. Available at:

Trautwein, C. and Bosse, E., (2017). The first year in higher education—critical requirements from the student perspective. Higher Education, 73(3), 371-387. "

Student-staff partnership for co-creating tutorial based feedback approach

ABSTRACT. We propose to use in-class tutorials as a tool for improving assessment and feedback by involving past and current students in the preparation of the tutorials, assessment, and delivering tutorial-based feedback. We prepared a set of tutorials for 4 different courses, each from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-year courses of the Electronics and Electrical Engineering degree program at Glasgow College UESTC. The student partners (ex-students on the same course) delivered the tutorial to the current students and prepared a formative assessment based on tutorial topics on which the current students were assessed. After the assessment, the students completed an online survey to inform about the need for feedback on particular parts of the assessment. The feedback was provided in the form of an updated tutorial in which the tutorial contents were tailored according to the student feedback. Finally, the effectiveness of this approach was evaluated from the student survey questionnaire and the final examination, where questions covered in tutorials were benchmarked against non-tutorial-based examination questions. There are interesting results on how the student interest and involvement in similar projects could vary across the different stages of their studies. We believe this type of student partnership has proven to be more involving and efficient and could be applied to most of the courses at the university level for improving the assessment and feedback.

Peer-assisted learning (PAL): "What's in it for me?". Psychology students' perspectives surrounding attendance and non-attendance at PAL
PRESENTER: Jude Stevenson

ABSTRACT. "One of the best ways to learn something is to talk about it with someone else. Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) is a student-lead resource that has been active in the School of Psychology for several years. Student volunteers support fellow students with the aim of encouraging engagement in peer discussion that can be routinely employed in their learning. While evidence exists about the effectiveness of PAL (e.g., Longfellow et al, 2008) PAL can only be effective if students actually attend and engage with PAL. We want to step back and investigate what factors influence whether students decide to attend, or not attend, PAL. Our study will attempt to meet the following aims: (1) When students have attended PAL, what did they use it for, how useful it was, and what would motivate them to use this resource again in the future to support their learning; and (2) When students have never attended PAL, to understand what factors influenced this decision, and what might encourage them to attend PAL in the future. This presentation will present the findings of this survey in relation to the key issues currently present in the undergraduate Psychology experience. Findings will also be considered in relation to face-to-face versus online PAL sessions. Our results can inform how to challenge barriers to PAL attendance, how PAL is marketed to students, and how PAL volunteers can best support attendees. "

The effectiveness of secondary feedback in a formative essay assignment: Evidence from a postgraduate taught social sciences course

ABSTRACT. "Formative assessments are increasingly regarded as valuable opportunities for student learning (Biggs 1999; Nicol & Macfarlene-Dick 2006; Black & William 2009). Several studies show that formative assessments can improve summative test scores (Dobson 2008; Kibble 2011; Mitra & Barua 2015). To be effective, however, the feedback contained in formative assessments must be clear, constructive, and timely (Nicol & Macfarlene-Dick 2006). In this project, we examine how the provision of feedback by two instructors affects student performance. On the one hand, such secondary feedback may offer an additional ‘data point’ for students to gauge their performance against relevant learning outcomes while increasing the amount of information available to students about their learning. On the other hand, two pieces of feedback may convey different messages, thereby confusing students and reducing the overall effectiveness of the feedback. To study these competing hypotheses, we administer a randomized control trial in a postgraduate taught social science course. Half of the class is randomly assigned to obtain feedback from both instructors. Serving as control group, the other half receives feedback from one marker only. Using differences-in-means tests, we compare grades obtained on the subsequent summative assessment between the treatment group and the control group. The results of our study provide novel insights into an underappreciated dimension of feedback.

References: Biggs, J. (1999). What the student does: Teaching for enhanced learning. Higher Education Research & Development 18(1): 57-75. Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability 21(1): 5-20. Dobson, J. L. (2008). The use of formative online quizzes to enhance class preparation and scores on summative exams. Advances in Physiology Education 32(4): 297-302. Kibble, J. (2011). Voluntary participation in online formative quizzes is a sensitive predictor of student success. Advances in Physiology Education 35(1): 95-96. Mitra, N. K., & Barua, A. (2015). Effect of online formative assessment on summative performance in integrated musculoskeletal system module. BMC Medical Education 15: 29. Nicol, D. J., & Macfarlane‐Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self‐regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in higher education, 31(2), 199-218. "