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Issue 39 | Autumn 2015

Forum
enhancing learning and teaching

Strategies for effective learning
A new learning and teaching strategy
Review of the pedagogy roll out The science of learning
Programme-level progression
Flipping Classrooms Examples of effective teaching

2 Forum issue 39

Forum
Forum is published biannually by
the Learning and Teaching Forum
https://www.york.ac.uk/staff/
teaching/community/peer-support/forum/
Editor: Claire Hughes
claire.hughes@york.ac.uk
Sub-editor: Ruth Mewis
ruth.mewis@york.ac.uk
Editorial Committee: Sara Perry.
Design and print: Design Solutions
www.york.ac.uk/design-printsolutions

Contents
3 News
6 Progression in modular
degree programmes
8 Book review: Make it
Stick
10 Archaeology’s
Assessed Seminars
13 Using technology to
propel student learning
14 Flipping classrooms
16 Sharing practice
18 Student self-reflection,

interaction and teacher
corrective feedback:
L2 Chinese writing pilot
project

22 Derwent Global
Community
24 Learning and Teaching
Calendar of Events
Centre pull out
The York Pedagogy:
What and why, how
and why
For a large print, black and
white text version, please
contact learning-andteaching-forum@york.ac.uk

Editorial

A

It is with great pleasure that I welcome
you to the first issue of Forum for which
I have acted as Editor. Before going
on I want to thank Paola Zerilli for all of her
excellent work on the magazine in the last few
years. Paola’s input has ensured that Forum
remains a valuable (and stylish) resource for
all involved in teaching at York.
The theme of the current issue, Strategies for effective learning,
was inspired by our new Learning and Teaching Strategy. Perhaps a
good place to start reading this issue would be the centre pull-out
in which John Robinson (York’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning,
Teaching and Students) sets the scene by explaining the basis for the
Strategy. To me, the introduction of a new university-wide Learning
and Teaching Strategy gives us a fresh, new way to think about our
degree programmes. If our existing programmes are already in line
with the Strategy, I think it tells us the sorts of values and principles
within them that we should be communicating to our students. For
some programmes, it will perhaps help us to identify areas where
we need to make subtle changes to ensure that the most effective
learning is taking place. Whatever the case, this issue of Forum
comes at a time when many of us will be thinking about what the
Strategy means for our teaching. With that in mind, the articles
you will find in the following pages highlight aspects of our existing
teaching which already align with the strategy but also introduce
examples of good practice which are based on best evidence from
educational research. Applying the ‘best evidence for effective
learning design, practice and support for learning’ is a key principle
in the new Strategy and it is our intention that future issues of
Forum will continue to provide summaries of best evidence from
educational research and examples of related practice to inform
future developments in teaching.
We hope that this and future issues of Forum will be a valuable
resource as we prepare to welcome in our new Learning and
Teaching Strategy.
Claire Hughes
Editor

The Writing Centre
The Writing Centre offers undergraduate and postgraduate taught students a neutral
space where they can discuss their writing and related skills with an experienced
writing tutor. The Writing Centre supports the development of student’s confidence in
their academic skills and therefore their independence as academic learners. Distance
learning students can access our services remotely.
Departmental Writing Support
The centre also offers bespoke writing support sessions for departments. These
sessions discuss writing using relevant discipline specific exemplars and marking
criteria which help develop students’ understanding of departmental expectations of
writing and improve their confidence in writing.
For more information about the support the Writing Centre can offer please contact
Maddy Mossman madeleine.mossman@york.ac.uk.

Forum issue 39 3

News
Vice-Chancellor Teaching
Awards 2015
Congratulations to colleagues who have been awarded Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching
Awards this year. The scheme recognises and rewards colleagues (academics,
learning support staff, teaching ‘teams’ and postgraduates/postdocs who teach) who
demonstrate excellence in teaching and/or learning support at York.
●● Ms Jenny Gibbons, Teaching Fellow, York Law School 
●● Professor Rex Godby, Professor, Department of Physics
●● Mr Richard Grimes, Director of Clinical Programmes, York Law School 
●● Dr Peter Knapp, Senior Lecturer, Hull York Medical School 
●● Dr Aleksandra McClain, Lecturer, Department of Archaeology
●● Professor Peter O’Brien, Professor, Department of Chemistry
●● Professor Colin Runciman, Professor, Department of Computer Sciences 
●● Mr James Taylor, PGWT, Department of Archaeology
●● Dr Lars Waldorf, Senior Lecturer, York Law School 

New Learning and
Teaching webpages
You may have noticed the Learning
and Teaching web pages for staff have
undergone some changes. Following a
review, the structure of the pages has
been updated to make the site easier
to navigate, whilst new content is also
being developed. View the new site at
www.york.ac.uk/staff/teaching.
The restructure means you may
need to update any existing links or
bookmarks you have to the Learning and
Teaching pages.
New content to support your
teaching
New additions to the site include a
‘Community’ section, containing news,
blogs, events and workshops taking place
for teaching staff. There is also a new
‘Core themes’ section which will provide
‘the basics’ for key areas of teaching,
as well as a ‘Developing your teaching’
section, containing all development
opportunities available for you at
York. The site continues to provide full

information around learning and teaching
policy and procedures.
The site is now divided into seven areas:
●● Core themes
●● Support services
●● Community, news and events
●● Developing your teaching
●● Rewarding teaching excellence
●● Strategy, policy and procedure
●● Teaching committees and contacts

The site redevelopment doesn’t end
here and the teams within the Academic
Support Office are working on further
new content so keep an eye out for
future updates.
We hope you find the new pages
useful. We’re keen to hear your feedback
so please email Christine Comrie, Digital
Editor in Internal Communications, with
your thoughts on the new site: christine.
comrie@york.ac.uk.

York
TechnologyEnhanced
Learning (TEL)
Handbook
launched
The York Technology-Enhanced
Learning (TEL) Handbook is now
available online at https://bitly.
com/ytelhb. The Handbook is aimed
at both new staff and experienced
practitioners, with emphasis on
student engagement and student
work that underpins the York
pedagogy. The Handbook includes
recommended approaches to
using Yorkshare, a baseline model
for structuring Yorkshare module
sites to support learning, advice on
accessible digital resource creation
for inclusive practice, designing and
facilitating online learning activities,
digital assessment and forms of
feedback, and evaluation of learning
and teaching using technology.
Written from a pedagogical and
practical perspective, the York TEL
Handbook features case studies of
practice at York and walkthroughs
of online learning interventions.
Each section in the Handbook
has a single-page checklist as a
quick prompt for practice and can
assist you in identifying further
opportunities for the effective use of
learning technologies.
Supporting ongoing professional
development, the York TEL
Handbook is aiming to be a resource
that will support the whole learning
and teaching community at York.
As such, we welcome feedback on
the Handbook, in particular where
we can provide further advice, and
comments showing the impact it
has made on your practice. Please
take a few moments to provide
feedback and suggestions at http://
bit.ly/ytelhb-feedback.

4 Forum issue 39

News
Annual learning and
teaching conference
The 2015 conference, attended by over
150 delegates, was on the theme of One
size does not fit all ensuring all students
reach their potential. A variety of
workshops were run by York colleagues
exploring the conference theme,
including topics such as making the
curriculum more accessible to disabled
students and personalising feedback.

Summaries of the sessions and
resources can be found on the website:

http://yorkforum.org/the-annual-ltconference/.

Next year’s conference will take
place in Week 9 of the summer term:
Tuesday 7 June 2015. The theme will
be Value added graduates: enabling our
students to be successful. The call for
contributions is now open. If you’d like
any further information or to contribute
please email, learning-and-teachingforum@york.ac.uk.

Funding opportunities 2015/16
Rapid Response Funding is available this academic year, in the form of grants of up to
£3,000 in support of small-scale short-term projects, initiatives or purchases to enhance
the quality of learning and teaching by addressing a clearly-identified need or issue.
Funding is limited, and grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
All members of staff involved in delivering or supporting learning and teaching are
eligible to apply. There is a short application form which can be submitted electronically
at any time. For further information, see
www.york.ac.uk/staff/teaching/support/funding/.

Forum workshop series 2015/16
Forum run a series of lunchtime
workshops each term on a variety of
themes, and we encourage you to come
along to contribute to the discussion
and find out more about the pedagogy
and practice of other university
departments.
The workshops are designed and run
by colleagues and delivered in a variety
of ways. There is innovative learning and
teaching practice taking place every day
at the University and Forum workshops
are an opportunity for you to find out
about them and experiment.
This year Forum are mindful of
university developments and changes
around learning and teaching and we
want to assist colleagues as much as we
can. As such, the 2015/16 workshops will
be on the three key thematic strands of
(1) York Pedagogy in Action, (2) Spotlight
on Faculties and (3) Engagement with
Learning Theory. If you have ideas for

spring or summer workshop sessions to
assist in the development of these
strands please do get in touch.
The autumn term workshops are now
open for registrations.
Autumn series:
Workshops run from 12.30-2.00pm with
refreshments available from 12.15pm.
Feel free to bring your own lunch.
●● Monday 2 November 2015 (week 6)

Rethinking feedback in light of the
York Pedagogy, Heslington Hall

●● Monday 16 November 2015 (week 8) 

Engagement with learning theory:
Experiential learning and inter-cohort
mentoring, Ron Cooke Hub

If you want to find out more please see
the website, http://bit.ly/1ECayY8, or
if you have any suggestions for future
workshops, please contact us on learningand-teaching-forum@york.ac.uk. 

New
online
Research
Integrity
Tutorial
The University has developed a
new online Research Integrity
Tutorial. This tutorial has replaced
the Academic Integrity Tutorial
as the compulsory progression
requirement for all postgraduate
research (PGR) students (PhD,
EngD, Masters by research) from
the 2015/16 academic year. PGR
students must complete the
online tutorial before their first
Thesis Advisory Panel and this
will be automatically registered
in e:vision under Supervision
meeting records and research
details. The tutorial is tailored
to the specific needs of PGR
students and has been designed
to familiarise them with the
University’s principles, policies
and procedures in relation to
research integrity and ethics.
It is hoped that completion of
the tutorial will help to further
cultivate the highest standards
of rigour and integrity in the
University’s postgraduate
research community.
The Research Integrity Tutorial
is located in the Yorkshare
VLE module list of all PGR
students and a demo version is
available in the VLE for all staff.
It is recommended that staff,
especially PGR supervisors,
familiarise themselves with the
Research Integrity Tutorial. There
will be a number of orientation
sessions organised for staff and
students relating to the tutorial.
Contact stephen.gow@york.
ac.uk for information on the
Research Integrity Tutorial.

Forum issue 39 5

News
Academic Acculturation:

Addressing mismatches in expectations between staff and students
regarding student performance in academic interactions
As students and teaching staff
come from increasingly diverse
educational and cultural backgrounds,
it would seem that a course on initial
expectations management could serve
to address feelings of staff frustration
and student confusion regarding
behaviours in academic interactions
such as seminars, lectures, workshops
and supervisions. 
On the 8 week Department of
Education pre-sessional programme
run by the Centre for English Language
Teaching, departmental staff and
students came together for a 90

minute workshop with the aim of
aligning staff and student expectations.
The workshop also served to establish
relationships between staff and
students and to raise staff awareness
of the challenges students face in
adapting to the demands of unfamiliar
academic interactions.
The workshop began with students
defining different academic interactions
(seminars, lectures, workshops and
supervisions), discussing a perceived
rationale for these and predicting how
they would be expected to prepare for
and behave during these situations.

Environment Department
post-doc wins teaching prize
Paul Tobin wins national prize for teaching excellence
Sitting suited and booted at an awards ceremony in a posh
London hotel, it was a real privilege to be awarded this
year’s Higher Education Academy/British International
Studies Association PGWT Prize for Teaching Excellence.
I was lucky to have incredible supervisors and fellow
students around me during my PhD, but during some of
the inevitably more isolated parts, teaching felt liberating.
Not just because it was an opportunity to break the
solitude of writing, but because it was a chance to be
creative.
New technology and group debates were the
foundations of my teaching style during my PhD. For
example, I tasked my students with creating ‘Twitter
Summaries’. Students were asked to define one of the core
concepts discussed during the seminar in 140 characters
or less, in order to improve concision and identify key ideas. In another seminar – which
took place at the same time as the UN’s climate negotiations – I allocated each student
a different country to role-play, as part of a model UN debate. Rather than finding a
utopian solution to climate change, the discussions were often directionless, just like
in real life. The students said that the activity made the real negotiations a lot more
comprehensible and human.
Both the Politics Department where I wrote my PhD, and the Environment
Department where I am now a post-doc, encourage early career researchers to try new
teaching methods. Moreover, the excellent York Learning and Teaching Award (known
as ‘Preparing Future Academics’ when I did it) encouraged me to try out new methods,
and I would encourage every PhD student to do it. I feel really proud to be awarded this
year’s Prize, and so grateful to the University for enabling me to win it.

The students then interviewed staff to
establish similarities and differences in
expectations and went on to discuss
what challenges these staff expectations
represented for them. They then
shared these with the staff members
who considered how they could adapt
teaching in order to assist students in
overcoming these challenges.
A simple, time efficient way to save
on future frustration and confusion.
Please contact CELT, celt@york.
ac.uk or Victoria Jack,victoria.jack@
york.ac.uk for further information
about academic acculturation sessions.

Postgraduate
Taught Special
Interest Group
The Postgraduate Taught SIG
provides an open forum for
academic staff and support
staff involved in taught masters
programmes to discuss significant
issues which affect or contribute to
the teaching, learning and overall
student experience.
The group will meet at the
following times:
●● Autumn: Tuesday 8 December

2015, Chemistry, C/A/102

●● Spring: Wednesday 16 March

2015, Chemistry, C/A/102

●● Summer: Tuesday 21 June 2016,

Heslington Hall, HG21

All meetings take place from 12.302pm and lunch is provided.
If you would be interested in
joining the group, please contact
Janet Barton, janet.barton@york.
ac.uk.

6 Forum issue 39

Progression in
modular degree
programmes:
making them greater than
the sum of their modules
Modular degree programmes
offer students richness
in choice but are also
accompanied by
concerns regarding
cohesion and progression.
Here Claire Hughes
explores these issues
and discusses
approaches to defining
and mapping the
expected progression in
our degree programmes. factual
A coherent learning experience in
a modular system
A modular higher education system
brings with it increased student choice,
opportunities for more immediate and
continuing feedback, and is believed
to promote learner autonomy and
interdisciplinarity (Goldschmid and
Goldschmid, 1973; Walker, 1994). Despite
its clear benefits this more individualised
learning experience is not, however,
without its criticism. Some question
whether teaching and assessing in
discreet packages always provides
students with the learning experience
needed to develop higher level thinking
skills and promote lifelong learning.
Educational theory, such as that
detailed in the Science of Successful
Learning (Brown et al, 2014), tells
us that a balanced, progressive and
coherent learning experience which
provides students with opportunities
for ‘retrieval and interleaving’ is the
best way to develop capable graduates.
This tells us that the learning within
a degree programme will be greater

Don’t blame me for the
errors … blame the internet

than the sum of that within each of its
modules if the teaching within each
module represents a stepping stone in
a well-defined progression. It is easy to
see why achieving this could be difficult
in a system which offers students the
freedom to develop their own bespoke
programmes of study.
The expected progression?
Programme-level thinking is clearly
essential for guaranteeing that balanced,
progressive and coherent learning
experience under the modular system. The
University Strategy clearly recognises this
by putting ‘programme design (and student
work) at the heart of our new pedagogy’.
Every programme will have distinctive
and clear objectives, and each stage of
study will be designed to offer progress
towards those programme objectives.
Carefully designed student work will
enable students to make progress.
Students will understand the work they
are expected to do and how that work

will contribute to the achievement of the
programme objectives.
The ‘careful, collaborative design of
a small number of concise, powerful,
stretching yet achievable learning
outcomes for each programme’ will define
what students should be able to do when
they graduate and establishes the skills
set that our teaching should be aimed
towards developing. Our new pedagogy
also wants students to understand the
expected progression from incoming
first year to capable graduate and how,
through their individualised, modular
programmes of study, they will achieve
the programme learning outcomes.
The benefits to students of
understanding the expected progression
towards programme learning objectives
are well-articulated in the new Learning
and Teaching Strategy and include an
understanding of ‘the coherence of
their programme’ and ‘their stage of
development within it’, but there are
also likely to be advantages for teaching
staff. In addition to providing a framework
for the design of new modules and the
preparation of feedback that informs the
learning progression, educational research
suggests that so-called curriculum
(progression) mapping can be ‘a vehicle
for collaboration’ and increases the
feeling of collegiality amongst academic
staff (Uchiyama and Radin, 2009). The
potential benefits are clear but defining
and visualising the expected progression
in a way that is beneficial for students
and teaching staff may seem at first like
a daunting task, especially for existing
programmes. Much can, however, be
learnt from processes that have come
before this.
Due to extensive auditing for
generic skills in recent years most of
us probably now have a good idea of
where transferable skills sit within
our programmes. Whilst defining the
pathway towards degree-specific learning
outcomes differs in that it requires an
understanding of where discipline/
subject-specific skills are taught, the
mapping process is essentially the same
as that developed for generic skills. There
is a wide range of educational research
on generic skills auditing that could be of
use in this new endeavour. Sumison and
Goodfellow (2004), for example, describe
an approach to generic skills auditing
which is based on the premise that skills
development requires training, practice,
monitoring and assessment (Gibbs et al,
1994). Their auditing process required

1st year

2nd year

2 (ii)

3rd year

Progression skills:

Year 1

Expected skills:

Year 2

eg use of sources,
argument, development
eg text structuring

increasing level of attainment

Forum issue 39 7

2 (i)

1st

Year 3

increasing level of attainment

Progression mapping marking criteria – The level of attainment required to achieve
a given degree grading increases as the students move through the year groups.

module coordinators to complete a
survey indicating if generic skills were
‘1. Assumed, 2. Encouraged, 3. Modelled,
4. Explicitly taught, 5. Required or 6.
Evaluated’. This provides a depth of
information that can be used to check if
students are being offered opportunities
for utilising newly gained skills or
‘retrieval and interleaving’ (Brown et al,
2014) before they are assessed. A survey
of the relevant literature reveals other
examples (eg Tariq et al, 2004) where
similar methods are advocated.
A progression in expectations
Whatever way (and to what extent)
we define and communicate the
expected progression in our degree
programmes it may seem appropriate
to accompany this with a progression
in our expectations when it comes to
assessment. If students are expected
to improve and/ or develop new skills
as they move through our degree
programmes is it unfair to judge them
against the same criteria in years 1, 2
and 3 and beyond? Progression maps
could be of great use in helping us to
define our assessment schedules as
they will allow us to identify where
the skills included in our programme
learning outcomes are taught, practiced,
monitored (Gibbs et al, 1994) and
ultimately provide guidance on when
they can be assessed. This idea has links
to the call for the programme-level
coordination of assessment detailed in
the new Learning and Teaching Strategy.
In the Environment Department
here in York we recently introduced
programme-wide assessment criteria
which map the expected progression
in skills from incoming first year to
graduating BSc, MSc or MEnv student.
We have a different set of assessment
criteria for each year of study. Whilst
the skills being assessed remain the
same, the expectations for some skills
increases as students move through

the year groups whilst that for some
(assumed) skills remains the same. This
means that whilst students may obtain
a 1st class degree for a piece of work
in first year, the same piece of work
would only obtain a 2(i) in second year
(and so on) if there is no evidence of
progression. In addition to the marking
criteria for each year of study we have
also developed progression matrices
which use colour-coded blocks to show
students clearly how they are expected
to progress in each skill.
Whilst research has shown that
programme-wide marking criteria are
not appropriate for all programmes
of study (Price and Rust, 1999),
mapping the expected progression in
subject-specific skills in this way has
a clear advantage in that it is linked
to assessment which is a big student
motivator. Students are perhaps more
likely to engage with the progression
maps, and hence have a greater
understanding of the coherence of
their programmes, if they are linked to
assessment. For some students simply
knowing that there is a progression
in expectations when it comes to
assessment should be a big motivator to
improve as they move through the year
groups. In the Environment Department
first year students are introduced to
the criteria against which they will be
assessed throughout their degree during
the first few weeks of the autumn term
in peer-marking sessions. This means
that our students have a map of the
expected progression right from the
very start of their degree programme.
In summary, the programme-level
thinking that sits at the heart of our
pedagogy should bring with it great
benefits for both students and teachers.
In implementing this aspect of our new
pedagogy much can be learnt from the
sharing of ideas across the university
and experiences of generic skills auditing
detailed in educational literature.

Progression mapping marking criteria – The
expectation in some skills increases whilst
others are expected to be well-developed
when students arrive at university.

References

Brown, P. C., Roediger, H. L. and McDaniel, M. A.
(2014) Make it Stick: The Science of Successful
Learning. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Gibbs, G. Rust, C., Jenkins, A. and Jacques, D.
(1994) Developing students’ transferable skills.
Oxford: The Oxford Centre for Staff Development.
Goldschmid, B. and Goldschmid, M. L (1973)
Modular instruction in higher education: a review.
High. Edu. 2. p15-32
Price, M. and Rust, C. (1999) The experience of
introducing a common criteria assessment grid
across an academic department. Qual. High. Edu.
5. p133-144
Sumison, J. and Goodfellow, J. (2004) Identifying
generic skills through curriculum mapping: a
critical evaluation. High. Edu. Res. Devel. 23.
p329-345
Tariq. V. N., Scott, E. M., Cochrane, A. C., Lee, M.
and Ryles, L. (2004) Auditing and mapping key
skills within university curricula. Qual. Assur. Edu.
12. p70-81
Uchiyama, K. P. and Radin, J. L. (2009) Curriculum
mapping in higher education: a vehicle for
collaboration. Innov. High. Edu. 33. p271-280
Walker, L. (1994) The new higher education
systems, modularity and student capability. In
Jenkins, A. and Walker, L. (eds) Developing Student
Capability Through Modular Courses. Routledge.

Claire Hughes
is a Lecturer in
Environmental
Chemistry and
marine scientist in
the Environment
Department in York. Claire is a
member of the University Learning
and Teaching Forum Committee. In
terms of teaching she is particularly
interested in developing ways to ensure
and communicate programme-level
coherence and the promotion of
student-centred active-learning in
science education.
c.hughes@york.ac.uk

8 Forum issue 39

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‘All the right
content, but not
necessarily in
the right order’

Make it Stick:
The Science
of Successful
Learning

Sam Hellmuth, Department of Language and Linguistic
Science, and Richard Waites, Department of Biology,
share their perspectives on the 2014 book Make it
Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.

Sam Hellmuth
This book conveys a few basic principles
which promise to enhance your students’
performance. The authors assume that
we as teachers know our stuff, in terms
of content – they are suggesting practical
ways to deliver that content better. Most
of the principles involve doing more or
less the same things as we do now, but
in a slightly different order: for example,
instead of a mid-term test, split things
out into a series of mini-tests; instead of
only testing on the most recent material,
mix up the questions so you test again
the things you did a few weeks ago, as
well. The authors quote a US lecturer
(p38-39): “I now recognize that as
good a teacher as I might think I am, my
teaching is only a component of their
learning, and how I structure it has a lot
to do with it, maybe even more.”
Why make time in your busy life to
read (some of) this book?
●● The content is practical. You can read

one chapter and apply the principles
in it to your own teaching right away.
It will offer solutions to problems you
have in your teaching.

●● The principles are based on research

evidence, including classroom
intervention studies, not just lab
experiments. There is a very good
chance they will work, and students
will do better.

●● The ideas here are counter-intuitive –

you might arrive at them by yourself,
but you probably won’t. The ideas are
rather refreshing, as a result.

●● It is a quick and easy read. My first

instinct was ‘why read a whole book
on this rather than the review article
they already published’ (Roediger,
Putnam, & Smith, 2011)? In fact the
many examples clarify how the
principles work, in different contexts,
and I found myself instinctively
applying them in my head to the
modules I will be teaching this term.

●● You don’t need to read the whole book

– you can dip in. I found chapters 2-4
most relevant. Chapter 1 is an overall
position statement, so you could start
straight in with chapter 2. The last
chapter is a ‘how to’ manual, so just
read the ‘tips for teachers’ (p225239).

●● The principles in this book underpin

the new York Pedagogy. If you have
wondered what the new Learning and
Teaching Strategy means when it talks

about “carefully-designed student
work”, then this book will give you
practical principles of ‘careful design’
to follow.
●● In most of the studies reported in the

book, student evaluations of courses
which adopted these principles
improved significantly.

The proof of the pudding will be in the
eating of course. I am about to restructure a first year core module in line
with the principles here, so let’s see. If
you do the same, I’d love to hear about it.
Reference List

Roediger III, H. L., Putnam, A. L., & Smith, M.
A. (2011). Ten Benefits of Testing and Their
Applications to Educational Practice. In
J.P.Mestre & B. H. Ross (Eds.), The Psychology
of Learning and Motivation: Cognition in
Education (pp. 1-36). San Diego: Elsevier
Academic Press.

Forum issue 39 9

Making it stick in Biology
Richard Waites

I already give one lecture where I try to
explain how to make it stick. Mistletoe is
a parasitic plant that grows in the tops of
trees. The question is how does mistletoe
end up in this preferred location and
what makes them stick? The answer
is that the seed-containing fruits of
mistletoe often pass rapidly through
the birds that consume them, and the
sticky remnants of the fruit fix the seeds
to the tree prompting germination. This
is a successful strategy that has coevolved to the benefit of both mistletoe
and birds. A series of experiments
proves this point, and I expect students
to understand and recall them. When
reflecting on the success of my teaching
through examination scores and student
evaluations, it appears I am much less
successful than the mistletoe at making
it stick.
In reading Make it Stick, I have
learnt that the best ways to teach are
known and understood, but have been
underused and undervalued in my
approach. There are many convincing
examples demonstrating that the best
teaching is embedded in the principles
of testing, practice and mastery. The
examples from a sporting context are
familiar to me. I know where and when
I am most likely to drop the ball I am
attempting to catch, but the hours
spent rectifying this problem have had
little impact on my overall
catching ability and have
even had a negative effect
on my confidence. Through
experience I know my
catching improves when the
practice is varied and often,
but not prolonged, and that
this can be a long term gain.
This is all common sense to
me, so why is my approach
to teaching so different? It is
likely that I misunderstand
teaching and this is probably a
result of the way I was taught.
Seeds turn up in many
of my first year lectures in
three different modules.
Students find out how Mendel
laid out the principles of
genetics using mutant pea
Bazza’s on work experience he wants
seeds. They also hear how
to be a surgeon. As he prefers ‘hands
Darwin struggled with his
abominable mystery of plant
on’ to book learning we’re letting him
evolution that has much to
help with your op.

do with the striking success of seeds.
I also explain how our future depends
upon developing better varieties of
seed crops. For some students these
are difficult topics, and it is often
hard for students to grasp them
all sufficiently well. But all biology
students need a foundation in genetics
and evolution, and I would argue they
need to know about plants too, and in
particular why seeds are important. In
biology we typically deliver practical
labs, workshops and tutorials as well
as lectures. This is an opportunity for
different interactions with students
and a variety of ways for students to
work and practice at what they need
to learn. Problem solving, experimental
design and testing hypotheses should
help make them better biologists, but
I realise I haven’t yet designed this
work around the different interactions
we offer sufficiently well to embed the
key principles I discuss in my lectures.
I think Make it Stick offers me good
advice on how to do this effectively
without increasing my workload.
My challenge is to find variety in the
practice that will help students to
better engage in their learning. If I can
do this, examination and evaluation
scores should both rise, although I
may never reach the heights the
mistletoe achieves.

Sam Hellmuth
teaches phonetics
and phonology as
a Senior Lecturer
in the Department
of Language and
Linguistic Science, and is a Senior Fellow
of the Higher Education Academy. She
was Chair of the Learning and Teaching
Forum (2012-2015) but is now looking
forward to working as a tutor on the
new York Professional and Academic
Development scheme.
sam.hellmuth@york.ac.uk
Richard Waites
is a Professor in
the Department
of Biology where
he teaches plant
biology, genetics
and developmental
biology mainly to first year students. He
is also Chair of Biology Board of Studies.
richard.waites@york.ac.uk

10 Forum issue 39

Archaeology’s
Assessed Seminars
In this article Michelle Alexander, Steve Ashby
and Nicky Milner showcase one of the flagship
Archaeology undergraduate modules, Assessed
Seminars, taught at the end of the third year,
which engages with many of the concepts within
the new York Learning and Teaching Strategy,
and in particular student-led learning.

T

he module allows us to assess the
final stages of our students’ ‘ascent’
through three years of higher
education, building on knowledge, skills,
and confidence acquired through diverse
modes of learning and assessment across
their seven previous terms of study. Its
basis is carefully conceived in pedagogic
terms: the value of independent research
has recently been reaffirmed by the HEA
(Thomas et al, 2015), while the power
of teaching through active learning is
well established (eg Jenkins, 1992), and
the combination of verbal and written
assessments allows students to engage
with material in diverse ways (Brown &
Glasner, 1999). Moreover, Kremer and
McGuinness (1998, 46) have lauded the
benefits of student-led or leaderless
groups; that is, learning groups in
which a power structure or hierarchy is
deliberately suppressed, and where all
participants are encouraged to play an
active part in the life of the group.
Student-led learning
The Department of Archaeology’s
‘Assessed Seminars’ aren’t just studentled seminars, they are student-designed
seminars. The module runs over two
terms. The first term is led by the module
leader who initially lectures on the key
concepts of their chosen module theme
(eg Sustaining the Historic Environment,
or Human Impact on Past Ecosystems)
and following this, the lecturer supports
the students in choosing and researching
their own seminar topic within that
theme. Each student then designs a
seminar ‘worksheet’ around a question
or a debate, sets up two presentation
topics for two other students to present,
and provides the reading for them.
The worksheet is uploaded onto the

Yorkshare VLE for their classmates to
access. This seminar design is essentially
the way a lecturer would normally
prepare a seminar-based module, but
by giving the students the task they
are challenged to engage fully with the
process of research, and the construction
of a debate. The rationale for this
type of teaching is outlined during an
introductory session attended by the
entire year group, so that students
understand the benefits of active
participation in their own learning, and
the introduction of new transferable
skills, such as chairing and organisation.
The second part of the process is the
assessment, and over a period of three
weeks, the group of approximately 12
students runs 12 seminars. The module
leader is present throughout to assess
the seminars but they do not speak,
reinforcing the idea that students have
to take full responsibility and ownership
of their learning. Each student must
chair their own seminar, and within
their allotted hour they will introduce
the topic, introduce each presenter,
ensure presentations are kept to time,
ask follow-up questions, encourage
all students to contribute to the
discussion, and conclude at the end.
Each presentation should reflect good
preparation, wide reading, and in-depth

knowledge and understanding, and
they should be critical and analytical,
rather than simply descriptive. The
presenter should be aiming to stimulate
further discussion and debate, which
will be directed by the chair. In addition,
presentation style is important –
students need to think carefully about
the structure and design of their
PowerPoint, and need to speak clearly,
slowly, audibly, and engagingly.
Assessment requirements
The students are told that the success of
their presentation depends on:
●● skill and diligence in preparation;
●● their own grasp of the material;
●● their skill as a chairperson;
●● full collaboration of their fellow

students in doing the reading and
preparing good papers, which will
benefit all.

During this process, examiners
(members of staff) will mark both the
chair and the presenters, as well as
noting the contributions from other
students. Finally, students each write
a two-part reflective critique on their
seminar. Part 1 provides an account of
what happened in the seminar and how
it could have been improved, indicating

Archaeology’s Assessed Seminar module already meets the criteria
set out in C1.2 of the strategy, particularly:

“… Carefully-designed student work will engage, challenge and
enthuse our students by drawing directly on activities known to
enhance learning, for example spaced and interleaved practice,
retrieval of previously-learned material in new contexts,
collaboration, and development of transferable skills.”

the nature of the topic, the problems
posed, the material presented, the
opinions expressed, and the chairperson’s
conclusions. The students should reflect
on how successful they thought the
seminar was. If it didn’t live up to their
expectations – why not? How would
they approach the exercise differently
now that they’ve been through it once?
Part 2 should provide views on further
development of the intellectual content
of the seminar, with suitable additional
referencing and data as appropriate. They
can restructure or even rewrite their
seminar as they see fit, incorporating any
further reading and consideration of the
topic. In this way the report is reflexive
not only in terms of the seminar, but also
as a learning experience.
The assessment is weighted:

in transferable skills, such as giving
professional-style presentations, chairing,
time management, self motivation and
reflection (see Fallows & Steven, 2000).
Student feedback demonstrates
that the students acknowledge the
acquisition of new skills (cf. Beachboard
& Beachboard, 2010), and appreciate the
confidence-boost which independent
learning provides to them. Staff also enjoy
teaching it. Each module is directly linked
to their research interests. Furthermore,
because this module is the culmination of
the undergraduate degree, it is a possible
to see a clear progression in terms of
personal development and confidence.
Comments from alumni reflect this, and
illustrate how the skills developed in this
module have helped them in professional
situations, such as meetings, interviews,
and public speaking.
References

Beachboard, M.R. & Beachboard, J.C., 2010.
Critical-Thinking Pedagogy and Student
Perceptions. Informing Science: the International
Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, 1.
Available at: http://inform.nu/Articles/Vol13/
ISJv13p053-071Beachboard548.pdf.
Brown, S. & Glasner, A. eds., 1999. Assessment
Matters in Higher Education: choosing and
using diverse approaches, Buckingham: Open
University.
Bruffee, K.A., 1999. Collaborative Learning: Higher
Education, Interdependence, and the Authority of
Knowledge, Johns Hopkins University Press.
Fallows, S. & Steven, C., 2000. Building
employability skills into the higher education

●● Chaired seminar: 20%

Current student
feedback 2015

●● Presentation 1: 20%

●● Best seminars I’ve had in uni,

●● Seminar worksheet 20%

●● Presentation 2: 20%
●● Critique: 15%
●● Seminar contribution: 5%

Student development
This module was first introduced into the
Department of Archaeology over 30 years
ago, and it has survived changes in staff,
modularisation, and a growth in cohort
from less than 10 students in the 1980s
to between 75-100 students today. The
reasons for this are clear: it engages and
challenges students to think critically and
communicate clearly (see Beachboard
& Beachboard, 2010); it promotes
research-led teaching (Zamorski,
2002); it encourages collaboration
(Bruffee, 1999); and it offers experience

everyone talking and being
engaged.

●● This was one of the best

modules, loads of fun and
very interesting.

●● More than any other module, this

one seems most clearly to reflect
effort put in – to success and
achievement.

●● Thoroughly enjoyable. I enjoyed

how the running and formulation
of our seminars was put into our
hands – but the support from
staff was always there.

●● I feel this module was effectively

run and aided my personal
development as a scholar.

Forum issue 39 11

curriculum: a university-wide initiative. Education
+ Training, 42(2), pp.75–83.
Jenkins, A., 1992. Active learning in structured
lectures. In G. Gibbs & A. Jenkins, eds. Teaching
Large Classes in Higher Education. How to
Maintain Quality with Reduced Resources. London:
Kogan Page, pp. 63–77.
Kremer, J. & McGuinness, C., 1998. Cutting the
cord: student-led discussion groups in higher
education. Education + Training, 40(2), pp.44–49.
Thomas, P.L., Jones, R. & Ottaway, J., 2015.
Effective practice in the design of directed
independent learning opportunities, Higher
Education Academy QAA Report.
Walker, A. et al, 2015. Essential Readings in
Problem-Based Learning, Purdue University Press.
Zamorski, B., 2002. Research-led Teaching and
Learning in Higher Education: A case. Teaching in
Higher Education, 7(4), pp.411–427.

Michelle Alexander
is an early career
Lecturer in
Bioarchaeology in
the Department of
Archaeology. She is
the Chair of the Teaching Committee,
responsible for reviewing teaching
quality in the Department and oversees
the appointment and training of
postgraduates who teach. Michelle
is particularly interested in engaging
students with rapidly evolving research
in archaeological science through the
use of innovative teaching practice.
michelle.alexander@york.ac.uk
Steve Ashby is Senior
Lecturer and Chair
of Board of Studies
in Archaeology. He is
supervisor on York’s
PGCAP Programme,
and member of
the Board of Studies for Academic
Practice. Steve has three interests in
teaching about the past (1) its use as
a case study in the integration of the
sciences, arts and humanities; (2) its
use as a vehicle for developing critical
thinking, and (3) its use for discussing
contemporary attitudes to politics,
economics, and identity.
steve.ashby@york.ac.uk
Nicky Milner has
been Chair of Board
of Studies, Chair
of Archaeology
Teaching Committee
and is now Deputy
Head of Department,
in overall charge of teaching in the
department. She has an interest in
promoting research-led teaching in
the department and encouraging novel
methods of engaging students.
nicky.milner@york.ac.uk

2016

University of
York Learning
and Teaching
Conference

SUCCESS

Value added graduates:
enabling our students
to be successful
Tuesday 7 June

T

he conference will
demonstrate and explore ways
in which the degree itself
can be the primary contributor
to the development of students’
capabilities. It will highlight best
practice in the enhancement
and embedding of employability
and enterprise within learning
and teaching, encompassing
programme and module design,
problem-based learning,
collaborative learning, work-based
learning, employer engagement,
and assessment.

Suggested workshop themes:
l shaping a York graduate: defining,
embedding and measuring core
skills and attributes through
programme design
l the inclusion of employability
related module and programme
learning outcomes and assessment
practices reflecting a distinctive
York pedagogy
l the role of active learning and
problem based learning in
developing transferable skills

l helping students to recognise
and articulate skills in the
context of the workplace
l the role of learning technologies
and social media in the
development of key skills
l the benefits of reflective formative,
peer and self-assessment
l the incorporation of the new
University Employability Strategy
within programme design.

Posters: Any learning and teaching themes.

Invitation to contribute
We are inviting colleagues to
contribute workshops and
poster presentations.
The deadline for submissions is
Wednesday 20 January 2016
(Week 3, Spring Term).
Further information about this
conference and the call for
contributions is available
on the website:
http://bit.ly/1iRfi7Y

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

Forum issue 39 13

Using technology to propel
student learning
Matt Cornock, e-learning team, explores how learning
technologies support students independent study.

M

odule lecture content may
introduce new concepts for
students to learn or inspire
students to think differently about the
world in which we live. Whether the
lecture is delivered in a room, is written in
a textbook or delivered virtually using a
recording, it is always only the first step in
the learning process that is subsequently
carried forward by carefully designed
student work. In this article I explore how
learning technologies support students
through exposure, understanding and
application of lecture content.
Approaches to independent study
One of the risks Brown et al (2014)
suggested of independent student
work, is the tendency for students to
assume learning is taking place through
absorption of module content by rereading, highlighting and rote approaches.
Essentially these can be categorised as
ineffective and inefficient study practices
that focus on memorisation techniques.
As Brown et al (2014) noted, through
lack of application, students may fail to
acknowledge what they do not know
by not recognising gaps in their own
understanding of module content.
In my own research into students’
use of lecture captures as part of their
studying practice, I have seen innovative
ways that students have identified their
own knowledge gaps using this form of
resource. Some will re-watch the lecture,
capturing points they missed; some will
use flash-cards and quiz-making apps
to test themselves; others will revisit
the recording as they would a textbook,
applying their knowledge during other
learning activities and assessment. Yet,
these approaches are devised by students
themselves, diverse and undirected,
each in their own way striving to make
sure they have engaged with the module
content as best they can.
Structuring independent study
By including structured online activities
throughout a module, lecturers can
support students in their identification
of knowledge gaps and test their
understanding of lecture content. The use

of online quizzes, as demonstrated
through a case study from Language
and Linguistics (http://bit.
ly/1EdHaYb), enables students to
self-assess their level of knowledge
and understanding of the lecture
content, retaking the test as
many times as they like. For the
module, and indeed the programme
design, enabling students to grasp
the fundamentals of the discipline
was crucial to their subsequent
progression. There are added
advantages for lecturers too, using
results from online quizzes to judge
how well the cohort is interpreting
lecture content and providing remedial
resources if necessary.
Whilst the use of formative tests or
quizzes is not new, utilising learning
technologies to deliver these learning
activities provides a way for immediate
feedback and a framework for further
independent study. Feedback in
online quizzes may highlight common
misinterpretations, direct students to
further reading, or encourage students
to revisit course content. Whilst this
feedback is by no means personal, it is
still personalised to the knowledge and
understanding of each student.
Repeatedly applying learning
The use of quizzes supports students’
recall and checks their interpretation of
new ideas. However, as Brown et al (2014)
suggested from a cognitive psychology
perspective, learning can be improved
by revisiting concepts and applying them
to different problems over time. Taking
advantage of the flexibility of online
learning design, student engagement
can be sustained outside of face-to-face
contact time to achieve this.
As an example, a case study from
the Department of Politics (http://bit.
ly/1eNS3sI) involved students in an
extended role-play representing country
officials responding to an international
humanitarian and military crisis. Resources
through a range of media were provided
online and the Yorkshare blog tool was
used to capture progress in the simulation
for later reference during assignment

writing. Ongoing learning took place as
students undertook self-directed research,
analysing and interpreting the weekly
resources and applying their understanding
to role-play scenarios. In this case, the
student work is effortful, dependent
upon both understanding and repeated
application of course content, and above
all guides students in effective use of their
time through a structured learning activity.
Designing with learning
technologies
Our newly launched York TechnologyEnhanced Learning Handbook (http://
bit.ly/ytelhb-nl) provides guidance on
the design and delivery of online learning
activities as embedded components of a
taught module. Discover approaches to
supporting student work with learning
technology and share your ideas on
Twitter: #yTELchat.
Reference

Brown, P.C., Roediger, H.L., McDaniel, M.A. (2014).
Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Matt Cornock is the
Lecture Recording
Coordinator and an
E-learning Adviser
within the Academic
Support Office and
has co-edited the York
TEL Handbook with Rosie Hare.
matt.cornock@york.ac.uk

14 Forum issue 39

Flipping classrooms!
The potential for flipped learning
approaches in implementing the new
Learning and Teaching strategy
Bill Soden explores the potential for flipping our teaching as a
means to more interactive classrooms.

T

he York Learning and Teaching
strategy highlights the use of
technology to “…optimise the
contribution to learning and the guidance
of students’ independent study”,
suggesting at the same time that online
resources /asynchronous activities can
be a means to creating different types of
interactions in class. Those familiar with
the term ‘flipped classroom’ will make a
connection here. This article examines
the ‘flipped classroom’ technique, and
explores its potential in relation to several
aspects of the York pedagogy.
The concept of ‘flipping’ learning and
teaching activities originated in the USA.
It involves ‘inverting the classroom’ so
that activities traditionally taking place
inside the class now take place outside
the class, and vice versa. Sceptics might
claim that this broad definition suggests
no more than a simple re-arrangement of
teaching activities. It is argued, however,
that its emphasis on increased interactive
group activities in class with direct
computer based instruction outside the
classroom means that flipped learning
results in an extension of the curriculum
(Lowell Bishop & Verleger, 2013).
‘Flipping’ content seems attractive
Outside classroom:
Independent study

in higher education, particularly in
response to criticisms of behaviourist
transmission of information via the
traditional lecture. The development of
an accessible and reliable internet, along
with online media tools has also made
it much easier to deliver teaching via
asynchronous instruction materials. The
attraction of flipped learning, however,
is best understood in its ability to draw
on a range of learning theories such as
active learning, problem-based learning,
peer assisted learning and cooperative
learning. ‘Flipping’ provides students
with foundational knowledge which
is then applied in interactive tasks in
class aimed at engaging with higher
order skills (see Figure 1). By increasing
student engagement through a student
centred approach, flipped instruction
fits well with currently valued teaching
philosophies.
Scholarly findings from research
studies on the flipped classroom are
limited at the moment (Lowell Bishop
& Verleger, 2013) and it is not in the
scope of this article to evaluate them.
A useful review by Estes (Estes, Ingram
& Liu, 2014) indicates positive findings
from several studies in US and Canadian
Inside classroom:
Teacher-student-peer interaction

Learning theory

Learning theory

Monologic
discourseText as transmission

Dialogic discourse

Behaviourism

Developing
foundational knowledge

●● video clips eg YouTube video

lectures and scaffolded tasks
●● online resources using
VLE platform

Figure 1: The Flipped Classroom and learning theory

Active learning
Cooperative learning
Constructivism

Applying foundational
knowledge in group work

●● through interactive discussion
●● through problem-solving

universities, but these seem to be limited
to flipped lecture approaches in Maths
and hard science disciplines.
Flipping learning effectively can,
however, place serious demands on
teaching staff. According to the ‘flipped
network’ (see Estes. M. D., Ingram, R., &
Liu, 2014), teachers need to create:
●● flexible physical environments

and flexible learning /assessment
schedules;

●● a learner centred learning culture;
●● intentional content focused on

developing higher order learning skills.

Flipping a large lecture event may result
in chaotic classroom situations in large
steeped lecture rooms with hundreds
of students. The prospect of classroom
chaos will not tempt too many lecturers
into wholesale flipping of lecture delivery,
but versions of flipped learning have
been going on for some time with smaller
groups. Stannard (2015), with group
sizes between 15 and 30, created open
access to online lecture resources to
create more class interaction in a module
on an MSc in Computer Science and
Multimedia Education at the University
of Westminster. He reported success not
only in terms of better student progress
/ completion but also in promoting the
programme itself. In my own MATESOL
(MA in Teaching English to Speakers of
Other Languages) modules (20 students),
I have experimented with moving ‘lecture
style’ material out of the classroom to
make room for more interactive tasks.
An example might be assigning several
YouTube clips with scaffolded tasks on
specific language teaching methods to
small groups of students to complete.
In class, students are re-grouped to
discuss their observations and share their
knowledge, before whole class discussion
of the various teaching methods. A

FLIPPED

transmission mode of learning may still
feature in pre-class study, but crucial
contact time focuses on application of
knowledge, and sharing of ideas. This
experiment, however, highlighted for me
three key challenges for flipped learning,
and the York pedagogy which I enlarge
upon below.

The York Pedagogy: This way of
working aims…to improve the
design and availability of resources
to support students’ work in relation
to key concepts and skills
By some definitions, setting reading
tasks for classroom discussion is not
flipped learning, but designing audio/
visual materials to address higher and
lower order cognitive skills is a challenge.
Providing focused, quality materials
for pre-class study demands expertise
in use of technology such as screen
capture video or podcasting tools. These
are helpful for creating engaging videos
and online resources, but while some
members of staff will already be using
such tools, not everyone is equally
comfortable with them.
The York Pedagogy: Interactions
between students and staff will
be designed to encourage, inform
and propel students’ work
Increased and improved interaction is
a central pillar of the York pedagogy,
but we will not improve interactions
simply by moving lecture material out
of the classroom. The onus has to be on
task design that leads to higher quality
interaction. This may mean careful
attention to student groupings, the ability
to design tasks that engage with higher
order learning, but above all the ability to
ask the right kind of questions. Adopting
a ‘dialogic’ teaching approach may be
appropriate here (Alexander, 2006).

The latter includes the ability to bring
student and teachers together in sharing
ideas in a reciprocal and supportive
manner. Dialogic teaching encourages a
cumulative knowledge process in which
contributions from students and teachers
build upon one another. In this way,
the focus for teachers is on reducing
‘known-answer’ questions, providing
more open questions, using appropriate
‘wait time’ and knowing how and when
to use ‘uptake’ questions that build on
student contributions. The key to all this
may be a better awareness of how to
evaluate student responses, but early
research into dialogic teaching in higher
education indicates that it would be a
mistake to suppose all teaching staff are
equally familiar with or adept at using
such techniques (Hardman, 2008) .
The York Pedagogy: The design of
programmes and student work will
support the students’ development
as autonomous learners
Developing autonomous learners is
another pillar of the York pedagogy, but
flipped classrooms depend on learners
who are already to some extent selfregulating. Arguably, learners only
develop these orientations and skills
gradually. Variable student motivation
may also result in variable ‘homework’
preparation, which could undermine
the approach. And creating the space
for more interactive discussion is only
a first step, since students arriving with
different levels of preparedness require
organisation into different groupings,
with tasks catering for a varying pace
of learning. We must have faith in our
students, but also find ways to ensure
that more of them are proactive, willing
to question, seek collaboration, and
engage with peers. These are familiar
challenges when working with students

Forum issue 39 15

from diverse educational backgrounds,
with ‘traditional’ expectations of teaching
delivered by the expert. More interactive
teaching may not bed in quickly
with students from less interactive
learning cultures where the teacher is
still regarded as the leading source of
information (Johnson et al, 2015).
To conclude, flipped learning is a
version of blended learning which aligns
well with elements of the York pedagogy,
but which leaves many questions
unanswered in terms of how to package
and deliver material, how to make the
most of interactive class time, and how to
support autonomous learning. It is clearly
not a quick fix technological solution.
References

Alexander, R. (2006). Towards dialogic teaching:
Rethinking classroom talk. York: Dialogos.
Bishop, J., & Verleger, M. (2013). The Flipped
Classroom : A Survey of the Research.
Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the
American Society for Engineering Education,
6219. [Online] Available at: www.asee.org/
public/conferences/20/papers/6219/view
[Accessed 4 July, 2015].
Estes. M. D., Ingram, R., & Liu, J. C. (2014).
A review of flipped classroom research,
practice, and technologies. International
HETL Review, 4. [Online] Available at: https://
www.hetl.org/feature-articles/a-review-offlipped-classroom-research-practice-andtechnologies [Accessed 3 August, 2015].
Hardman, F. (2008). Promoting human capital:
The importance of dialogic teaching. The
Asian Journal of University Education., 4(1),
pp.31–48.
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and
Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015
Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The
New Media Consortium.
Stannard,( 2015). The flipped classroom- 20
minute lecture. [Online] Available at: www.
teachertrainingvideos.com/the-flippedclassroom-lecture.html [Accessed 15 June, 2015]

Bill Soden is a
Lecturer in the
Department of
Education and
leader of the
MATESOL. He joined
the University in 1999 after a career
in teaching and teacher training in
ELT in Europe, Hong Kong and Oman.
He is interested in feedback in higher
education (2014), and technology
in teaching and assessment. He has
contributed to several annual York
Learning and Teaching Conferences,
focusing on: plagiarism (2005), EAP
(2010), screencast feedback (2012) and
formative feedback (2015).
bill.soden@york.ac.uk

16 Forum issue 39

Flipping
Flipping a
a Chemistry
Chemistry Lecture
Lecture Course
Course
Andy Parsons discusses
the introduction of a new
Biochemistry module which
gave the Department of
Chemistry the opportunity
to innovate by using flipped
teaching.

L

ast year, a newly introduced
Strategy to Synthesis in Organic
Chemistry module included a lecture
course on Retrosynthetic Analysis,
abbreviated RSA. (This is a technique for
determining how to prepare valuable
chemicals, such as medicines, in the
laboratory.) I deliver this 6-lecture course
in the Autumn Term for the chemists,
but the same course was required in the
Spring Term for the biochemists (and the
chemistry lecture course could not be
moved to later in the year). So, should we
repeat the same lecture course, or take
the opportunity to introduce a ‘flipped’
activity with the same contact time? No
surprise, we decided on the latter.
Some of the reasons behind this
decision included:

●● the content of the lecture course

(RSA) is well suited to lecture flipping
– it requires students to develop indepth problem solving skills;

●● the pre-workshop material had

already been developed – videos
(produced using Camtasia) of the
lectures were available, along
with numerous practice-makesperfect worked examples, including
examination question walkthroughs;

●● the cohort was small (18 students).

Before the module started, an email was
sent to the students briefly explaining
the concept of flipped teaching and that
the contact time would be spent working
on problems in three 2-hour workshops.
The importance of students engaging
with the pre-workshop material was
emphasised. In advance of each of the
workshops, the students were required
to look through the appropriate videos
(posted on the VLE) and to fill in the
gaps in a handout, and to make their
own notes. Each face-to-face workshop
session started with a very brief review
of the key concepts covered in the
videos, followed by students working in
small groups (of four to five) to tackle
problems. This was an opportunity to
focus on areas that were known to be
challenging to students, to apply the
concepts to biochemistry examples, and
for students to ask questions and discuss
the videos.
What was especially rewarding was
the opportunity to get to know this
group of students and see their progress
and confidence grow. The student
engagement was exceptional – all of the
students looked at the screencasts (this
was tracked on the VLE), every student
came along with annotated notes prior
to each session and there were many
questions about the material in the
videos. The group problems made it
more collaborative, and perhaps gave
a friendlier environment than they
were expecting.
At the end of the course students
were assessed by a written examination
question, after-which they were asked to
complete a feedback form. The feedback
results are summarised below.

Question

Score out of 5*

The flipped lecture course was well organised and presented

4.67

The flipped lecture course was interesting and enjoyable

4.67

The workload was reasonable

4.50

The assessment was fair

3.81

I would like to see more courses use flipped teaching

4.22

*Where 5 = strongly agree, 4 = agree, 3 = neutral, 2 = disagree and 1 = strongly disagree

Student comments included:
“I felt I was more in control of how I learn”
“A lot better doing questions during contact
time than just learning the content”
“Encouraged self-motivation and better
engagement with the course”
“Fantastic change of pace from usual
lectures, making learning incredibly
engaging”
There were also some constructive
suggestions for ways to improve the course,
including further examination practice,
which will be introduced next year.
In terms of examination grades it is
difficult to determine if the biochemistry
students had a better grasp of the course
material than the chemists, because,
for example, the two groups of students
tackled different examination questions.
However, the biochemists scored a very
respectable average, not out of line with
that for chemistry students taught using a
traditional lecture format.
So, would I encourage others to ‘flip’?
Certainly, for the right topic, and for a
relatively small group of students, I have
found it can be very rewarding. Students
benefitted from seeing the lecture material
on a video (which they can stop, rewind,
fast-forward, play at different times as
needed) and then have contact time in
which to discuss their thoughts on the
video and to answer problems. It is a lot
of work preparing the videos and running
the interactive sessions (perhaps more
demanding than presenting a traditional
lecture), but, variety is important in learning
and it can empower students to take control
of their own learning.

Andy Parsons is
the Deputy Head
of Department in
Chemistry, the
Undergraduate
Admissions Tutor for
both Chemistry and Natural Sciences,
and the Chemistry Subject Specialist for
Natural Sciences. He is a co-author of
Chemistry3, the leading undergraduate
Chemistry textbook for year 1 students
and his teaching has been recognised
by a Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award
and a Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Higher Education Teaching Award.
andy.parsons@york.ac.uk

Forum issue 39 17

18 Forum issue 39

Student self-reflection,
interaction and teacher
corrective feedback:
L2 Chinese writing pilot project
Dan Li discusses a Rapid Response Funded pilot project
increasing student engagement and promoting reflective
learning in the process of feedback.
Project aims and rationale
Corrective feedback (CF) is formal or
informal information given to learners on
their performance on various tasks. It has
been regarded as a controversial topic
in second language (L2) teaching (Ferris,
2010). On the one hand, L2 teachers have
voiced concerns that students are not
sufficiently using CF in their writing; on
the other hand, students have expressed
feelings of frustration or confusion once
they receive feedback (Lee, 2011). This
tension prompted me to think about how
to increase student engagement and
enhance the effectiveness of feedback.
Chinese is a tonal language, which
means that a pitch affects the meaning
of a sound; Chinese characters, unlike an

alphabet, are a system of symbols. In this
respect, progress in Chinese for European
students is slower than for a new European
language. It is essential that students
develop learning skills while they acquire
linguistic knowledge. The ability to take
charge of one’s own learning is not inborn
but must be acquired either by natural
means or by formal learning (Holec, 1981).
Taking this into consideration, I
decided to integrate reflective learning
into my teaching design. Recent empirical
studies have suggested that noticing
is an important cognitive process in L2
writing (Qi and Lapkin, 2001, Mackey
2006). Findings showed positive effects of
noticing in the composing stage and the
reformulation stage, where ESL (English

Student Draft 1 with
3 underlined areas
which s/he found
problematic

Figure 1: The
Feedback Loop

Teacher CF with a
focus on students’
underlined areas

Student revision and
Draft 2 (same topic)

Teacher CF
written/oral

●● to help students use CF more
effectively through increased
engagement in the process of
feedback;
●● to facilitate the development of selfreflective skills, in particular, noticing
of L2 form;

The
Feedback
Repeat the Feedback Loop
Loop as needed
or feasible

as a second language) learners compared
their writing with a revised version. I linked
the findings with teaching L2 Chinese and
considered noticing as a self-reflective
skill; students were encouraged to notice
the gaps in their linguistic knowledge in
the composing process and monitor their
progress. I created the ‘Feedback Loop’,
a feedback method with an interactional
dimension, which recognises the value
of involving students and promotes
independent learning. The project aims are
three-fold:

●● to help teachers give more effective
CF based on individual differences.
The pilot project
This pilot project took place within the
context of Chinese Level 3 Course running
for nineteen weeks in 2014-2015 at LFA.
The group consisted of five students who
have studied Chinese for at least three
years, are able to write expository essays
in 200-300 characters. In the academic
year, some writing tasks were treated as
summative tests and others as formative.
Students were asked to write two or three
drafts with time lags. They were asked
to underline three grammatical areas in
their draft that they found problematic
before handing in. I provided written
and oral feedback in class with a focus
on the underlined areas. The students
had time to think about and process the

corrections before their second draft. They
were encouraged to reflect upon their L2
writing proactively and keep their drafts
in a portfolio. By doing so, the students
were learning to take more control of
their language study. I was able to direct
my attention to individuals’ underlined
areas and track language developmental
patterns. Oral feedback was prioritised in
class regarding pervasive errors in order
to help the students look at problematic
areas. An interactional dimension was
added to the Feedback Loop and this
repeated as feasible (see Figure 1). At the
end of Summer Term, the students were
invited to a retrospective interview to talk
about their experiences.
Initial findings
As stated earlier, the Feedback Loop
started with students identifying
problematic areas before handing in. In
draft 1, they found particular difficulty

Working at your own pace
needs very careful monitoring

using Chinese-specific structures ba
(used to express passive voice), shi…
de (used to emphasize) and verbal
complement (used to express a result
of an action or a situation). Pervasive
errors were related to these structures.
In draft 2/3, more accurate uses of
these structures were identified. Results
showed a positive relationship between
noticing, CF and L2 written product. In
the interview, students expressed that
“ba is very hard to figure out… even
looking up in the Google translator is
not reliable… [Underlining the part] just
to say this is where I need help most.”
They became more aware of the benefits
of noticing and valued the interactional
dimension in the feedback process.
Moreover, non-underlined common
errors were identified in draft 1 with
particular reference to location words
and changes were tracked in draft 2/3. In
draft 1, the errors were not noticed, which
may result from the gap in grammatical
knowledge and the superficial similarity
between L1 (first language) and L2. I
provided oral CF and organised training
activities for awareness-raising in class.
Improvement in draft 2/3 showed that
the students became aware of the
problematic areas and were able to
reconstruct sentences in Chinese. In the
interview, a student recalled that the
interaction dimension in the process of
feedback was helpful: “[If] a sentence
was not marked, I wouldn’t read it.
If a sentence was marked, I read the
comment, couldn’t really remember. I
hear the comments again face to face (in
class), which motivates me more… okay,
I’m wrong. This is how we use it”.
From a teacher’s perspective, the use
of the Feedback Loop method did not
increase marking time; on the other hand,
the interactional dimension helped me
to respond to my students’ needs in a
more timely fashion. More time was spent
on coding and analysing the L2 data.
Personally, I found this method appealing
because it helped me gain a deeper
understanding of students as individuals
in relation to language learning styles and
developmental patterns; furthermore,
the analysis of the L2 data deepened
my understanding of aspects of Chinese
grammar, which had an impact on my
teaching approaches, particularly on how
to teach problematic structures for L1
English students and design different task
types respectively.
Although the cases of this pilot project
represent highly individual responses
to the feedback practice, they provide

Forum issue 39 19

evidence of progress in relation to
students’ self-reflective skills, interaction
and teacher CF. Further work is needed to
examine the relationship between student
engagement and the effectiveness of
CF, the role of noticing in classroom
settings. As Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick
(2006) point out, a number of principles
of good feedback include the facilitation
of reflection and self-assessment, which
is considered vital to development of
independent learners. In this respect,
teacher-student and teacher-researcher
dialogues are encouraged in order to
gain a broader understanding of and
generate knowledge of different feedback
methods and learner differences. The
Feedback Loop method could be adapted
by teachers in a wider range of languages
and of other disciplines in order to exploit
its potential and unpack pedagogical
benefits and challenges.
This project received Rapid Response
Funding.
References

Ferris, D. (2010). Second language writing
research and written corrective feedback in
SLA intersections and practical applications.
Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32,
181-201.
Holec, H. (1981). Autonomy and foreign
language learning. Oxford: Pergamon.
First published in 1979, Strasburg: Council
of Europe.
Lee, I. (2011). Working smarter, not working
harder: revisiting teacher feedback in the
L2 writing classroom. The Canadian Modern
Language Review, 67(3), 377-399.
Mackey, A. (2006). Feedback, noticing and
instructed second language learning. Applied
Linguistics, 27(3), 405-430.
Nicol, D. J. & D, Macfarlane-Dick. (2006).
Formative assessment and self-regulated
learning: a model and seven principles of good
feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education,
31(2), 199-218.
Qi, D. S. & S, Lapkin. (2001). Exploring the role
of noticing in a three-stage second language
writing task. Journal of Second Language
Writing, 10, 277-303.

Dan Li is the
Programme
Coordinator for
Chinese language
course. She joined
LFA, the Department
of Language & Linguistic Science in
January 2013. She is interested in
second language development, with
a particular interest in feedback on
writing and corrective feedback.
dan.li@york.ac.uk

20 Forum issue 39

One size does not fit all, but
we can offer a framework for
alterations: tailoring mental
health social interventions
for diverse contexts
Meredith Fendt-Newlin and
Martin Webber received a
Rapid Response Fund grant
to develop learning materials
to teach students how to
adapt evidence-based social
interventions for use with
service users from diverse
cultural backgrounds and
within resource-poor
environments.

Mental health nurses sharing case studies that
describe cultural experiences of service users
and families

Diversity in Social Work practice
Social workers in professional
practice work with some of the most
disadvantaged and marginalised
individuals, families and communities,
often at the most difficult points in
their lives. Working with diversity
and becoming a culturally competent
practitioner is a key aspect of social
work training and is in line with current
legislation and evidence. The College
of Social Work emphasises nine key
domains within the Professional
Capabilities Framework (PCF),
demonstrating all aspects of learning
and explaining how social workers
should expect to evidence their skills in
practice. One of the nine PCF domains is
the capability to recognise diversity and
apply cultural competence principles in
practice.
Another key element of social work
practice is the analysis, implementation
and critical reflection of intervention
models for use in different contexts
and with service users with diverse
needs. Paying particular attention to the
evidence base, we ask students, ‘what
worked and how do you know?’ But
this question is increasingly difficult to
answer, as the evidence base in social
work is slim when compared to more
easily measurable psychological and
medical interventions. What sets social
work apart from many other professions
concerned with mental health is the
seemingly unlimited ways its work
can be demonstrated. The idea that
social interventions should be based on
evidence has been tempered by the fact
that each individual or family is unique
and it is difficult to specify approaches. 

Filming role play in Sierra Leone by Way
Out Arts

A framework to adapt social
interventions
Offering a framework in how to adapt
approaches that have been proven
effective is one solution to address this
need in social work education. However,
to date there has not been guidance
on how to translate effective social
interventions and currently no such
toolkit for social work training exists.
Researchers in the International
Centre for Mental Health Social Research
(ICMHSR) are bringing together
colleagues at the University of York and
internationally to generate evidence that
informs social policy and mental health
social work practice by developing and
adapting social interventions across
economic and cultural contexts.
With a grant from the Rapid Response
Fund, we developed teaching and learning
materials that provide a framework and
guidance in adapting evidence-based
social interventions for use with service
users from diverse cultural backgrounds
and within resource-poor environments.

“Social work students need to be better prepared to enter the
workforce and support the increasing number of migrants and
individuals from diverse backgrounds in York, North Yorkshire
and the UK.”

Forum issue 39 21
adapted social intervention in practice,
these videos capture diverse practice
experiences. Combined with training
manuals and workbooks this offers a
comprehensive toolkit for adapting social
interventions in diverse contexts and with
service users with a variety of needs.
Resources

Links to videos and training resources:
http://bit.ly/1JJI6Vr
Link to blog post about the visit to Sierra Leone
and filming: www.icmhsr.org/2015/07/22/
latest-news-on-our-work-in-sierra-leone/
Video production by Sierra Leone based
youth arts organisation, Way Out Arts. Postproduction editing by York based company
Digifish Limited.

The training greatly helped me to know
to connect myself and my clients to other
people or organisations for support.”

*The feasibility study in Sierra Leone was
part-funded by the Wellcome Trust [ref:
105624] through the Centre for Chronic
Diseases and Disorders (C2D2) at the
University of York. Model adaptions and
training programme development was funded
by the Maudsley Charity.

Sierra Leone Mental Health Nurse

By teaching social work students not only
that it’s possible to use social interventions
in diverse settings and with a multitude
of client groups, but also giving practical
lessons in how to adapt interventions
for their future practice, the materials
produced by this project offer a massive
step forward for the field of social work.
Using a real-life case exemplar
Students learn best by using real-life
exemplars to understand how models
can be adapted and used effectively
in their own practice, offering a
research-enriched teaching and learning
opportunity. For this reason, we chose to
develop teaching and learning materials
that reflect adaptions of a social
intervention from a high-resourced to
low-resourced setting.
The Connecting People Intervention
(CPI), developed by a team of
researchers and led from the University
of York, is a social intervention model
that aims to support people with mental
health problems to enhance their social
networks. Members of the research
team initially developed the CPI and
accompanying training materials for use
with UK-based practitioners. However,
there were challenges around which
contexts and client groups the CPI was
most applicable to, which is what led us
to explore adaptations in Sierra Leone*,
Malawi and India.

The CPI adaptation created coproductively in Sierra Leone with
local stakeholders has been used as
a real-life exemplar, set within the
framework and guidelines for adapting
social interventions generally. Meaning
“connections that may bring benefit” in
one of the local languages, the Sababu
Model incorporates elements of social
interventions such as building trusting
relationships, communication skills with
service users and families, assessing an
individual’s assets in addition to their
needs, and networking in the community.
Learning and teaching materials
The work in Sierra Leone improves and
extends training materials previously
developed in the UK. For example,
we were able to develop step-bystep methods to be undertaken by
practitioners, a more concrete template
that is non-prescriptive and can be
adapted for a variety of contexts. This
approach is particularly useful in social
work teaching.
Filmed over two weeks during training
and practice observation in Sierra Leone,
members of the research team worked
with local (to Freetown and York) film
crews to develop a series of videos that
will be used in this autumn’s social work
teaching programme. Using interactive
learning such as role-plays, small group
work and discussions how to use the

Meredith FendtNewlin, is a
researcher and PhD
candidate in the
International Centre
for Mental Health
Social Research (ICMHSR), University
of York, where she is supervised by Dr
Martin Webber to undertake research
projects in a range of diverse contexts
and countries. Having previously studied
health psychology at King’s College
London and University College London,
and serving on the Board of Directors and
Trustees for two community development
organisations in Africa, Meredith is
passionate about empowering people
through social innovation to improve
mental and physical health care in low
and middle-income countries.
meredith.newlin@york.ac.uk
Martin Webber,
is a registered
social worker with
experience of working
with adults with a
learning disability
and mental health problems. Director of
the International Centre for Mental Health
Social Research (ICMHSR), University of
York, Martin is passionate about achieving
social change through high quality
social work and social care practice
that is informed by rigorous research
evidence. His teaching interests include
research methodology and the practice
implications of developing and evaluating
of social interventions with vulnerable
and marginalised people.
martin.webber@york.ac.uk

22 Forum issue 39

Derwent Global
Community
Eleanor Brown and Lynda Dunlop secured Rapid Response
Funding to explore developing capabilities through a nonformal learning community focused on international
development and human rights.

I

t is widely acknowledged that higher
education offers great opportunities
for students to develop as learners,
as future employees and as citizens.
Much of this learning and development
takes place outside of the structures of
the formal classroom and yet there is
little evidence about the ways in which
these spaces best create conditions for
students to develop their capabilities
and interests, and flourish as positive
members of a just society. Universities
are in a position to ‘provide the enabling
spaces and conditions for development
and learning in the way that individuals
cannot do alone’ (Walker, 2006, p.
37). With this in mind, Derwent College
established its first living-learning
community (Derwent Global Community,
DGC) in September 2014. Living-learning
communities are structured with the
express purpose of encouraging students
to connect ideas from different disciplines
and of creating long-term, sustained
social interactions (Zhao and Kuh, 2004).
DGC is a college-based living learning

We will be using role play
to look at the causes and
consequences of the French
Revolution … so who wants
to be an aristocrat?

community led by students around the
theme of international development,
social justice and human rights (https://
www.york.ac.uk/colleges/derwent/
derwentglobalcommunity/).
Research conducted in the USA has
found that there are positive outcomes
for students in relation to retention,
engagement with learning and academic
performance as a result of involvement
in a learning community (Stassen, 2003;
Lenning and Ebbers, 1999). However,
living-learning communities are less
common in the UK, and universities tend
to provide opportunities for informal
learning through a wide range of student
organisations and societies. The DGC
differs from these in that the conditions
for an informal learning community, led
by students, have been created by the
college through provision of structured,
non-formal (ie non-credit bearing and
optional) education, such as workshops
and networking events with local
organisations. The aim is to foster political
engagement and a sense of community
and commitment from the students,
offering opportunities for students to
develop and grow in a safe and supported
environment. Learning and confidence
growth is facilitated through providing a
broad range of ways to engage.
Community building
The theme of the learning community was
decided based on the ethos of the college
and the partnerships and collaboration
that had been developing for several years
within it. The theme was described as a
focus on ‘International Development and
Human Rights’. It was set as broadly as
possible, with the idea that the students
would be able to narrow this down and
focus on aspects that they were most
interested in. Students were invited
before the start of their first term to sign
up to live in one residential block, which
was allocated to the Global Community,

“I think by the end I was more
willing to express my ideas but I
think it pushed me to find other
ways to express my ideas…just
finding other ways so that my
ideas can be heard”
as it became known. Eleven students
signed up to this: three UK students,
three international students and two
European students on full degree courses
and three visiting international students
in the UK for one term. In addition, the
opportunity was opened to all students
in the college to get involved on a nonresidential basis. Over 30 students turned
up to the information session, from all
years, and of these, several second and
third years and postgraduate students
became fully involved with the group,
and a small number of other students
engaged sporadically with the activities.
This has drawn on support from the
Department of Education, the Human
Rights Defenders from the Centre for
Applied Human Rights, and local nongovernmental organisations (NGOs).
We held a number of networking
meetings, discussion groups and
workshops to enable students to explore
ideas associated with human rights and
international development. The students
then took a series of actions that aimed
to raise awareness of associated issues
amongst the wider student body. These
included a cine forum, operation empty
cupboard, a series of events organised to
raise awareness about issues associated
with asylum and migration including a
debate, quiz, clothes swap and arts night.

“I think by the end I was more willing to
express my ideas but I think it pushed me
to find other ways to express my ideas…
just finding other ways so that my ideas
can be heard.”
In addition to learning to communicate
with each other, students found it
valuable to learn from others in the wider
community working on these issues:
“I think it’s good that I’m more aware of
the opportunities that there are in York
with these organisations and I think it’s
nice to meet a lot of people who care
about the same kind of things, and I also
helped to organise some of the events …
and that was really helpful.”

As the academic year drew to a close,
we interviewed students to find out
about their experiences and development
through their participation in the Derwent
Global Community. They highlighted
enablers and barriers to their participation
in the community and discussed their
sense of commitment, and ways in
which they felt able to act and bring
about change through participation in
the Global Community. The interviews
aimed to explore the ways in which they
had developed their capabilities, ie their
sense of agency and their ‘freedom to
achieve well-being’ (Sen, 1992, p. 48). In
these interviews, students discussed ways
in which they had developed wellbeing
though the Global Community through
their own personal development and
through the development of a community.
A key development area was the way they
developed ways to negotiating different
perspectives on complex issues:
“Good experience with the difficulty of
trying to do stuff around human rights
and development, which obviously is a
really difficult topic to ever say we are an
educated group … about, then I think in
the discussions we’d have…I got a good
understanding … of how that is going to
be a challenge if I go into this sort of line of
work, where people have moral stances
on it and there are ethical stances.
Everyone’s got a different viewpoint,
actually.”
This tested communication skills
within a non-hierarchical community
where everyone’s voice was equal, but
decisions were made through consensus.
This meant that students had to work
hard to collaborate:

Through a highly participative and
experiential pedagogy with a focus on
critical reflection and challenging social
inequalities, it could be argued that the
first year of the global community was
a chance for some students to enhance
their capabilities and feel empowered to
work towards social change. The nature
of their engagement conformed to ideas
from popular education (Freire, 1972) and
transformative learning theory (Mezirow,
2000). The students’ commitment to
being part of a community and the
opportunity to challenge their own
perceptions and assumptions and
consider different perspectives in dialogue
with their peers opened up new spaces for
learning.
Reflections on DGC
Our observations and preliminary analysis
of interview data from students suggest
that this type of initiative can enable
students to develop capabilities that could
prepare them for participating more in
society and working towards social justice
and social change. However, there were
also occasions when the activities were
not sufficiently critical of the status quo,
or where participants took away only
a superficial understanding of complex
issues. Moreover, the numbers of people
involved were low. The core group
reduced from around 30 at the original
meeting to only nine, and participants
in the activities run by the group ranged
from three to thirty, but tended to be
less than ten. There are certainly things
to be learned for future cohorts and a
clear range of aspects to be explored
further through interviews with the
students themselves, in order to more
deeply understand their perspectives and
interpretations. Indeed, as we prepare
for the new cohort arriving and the

Forum issue 39 23

second year of DGC, there are already
lots of students taking interest in livinglearning communities, which are available
in both Derwent and Halifax this year.
With student-led activities and a broad
scope we don’t know how Derwent Global
Community will develop this year, but with
lots of freshers applying we are looking
forward to another eventful year.
References

Freire, P., 1972. Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
Translated by Myra Bergman Ramos. New York:
Continuum.
Mezirow, J., 2000. Learning to Think like an
Adult: Core concepts of transformation theory. in
Mezirow, Jack and Associates (ed.) Learning as
Transformation: Critical Perspectives on a Theory
in Progress. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. pp.3-34
Sen, A., 1999. Development as Freedom. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
Stassen, M. L. A., 2003. Student outcomes:
the impact of varying living learning models.
Research in higher education, 44(5), pp. 585-613.
Walker, M., 2006. Higher Education Pedagogies.
Maidenhead: The Society for Research into Higher
Education and Open University Press.
Zhao, C-N. and Kuh, G. D. (2004). Adding
value: Learning Communities and Student
Engagement. Research in Higher Education, 45,
(2), pp. 115 – 138.

Eleanor Brown
is a Lecturer at
the University of
York, where she
is based in the
Centre for Research
on Education and Social Justice.
She teaches and supervises on
undergraduate and postgraduate
courses and her research interests
are in transformative learning, critical
pedagogies, international volunteering
and development education in nonformal settings. She is also the Head of
Derwent College, where she has strategic
lead on college ethos and direction.
eleanor.brown@york.ac.uk
Lynda Dunlop is a
Lecturer in Science
Education based in
the University of York
Science Education
Group (UYSEG). She
has a background
in teaching science and philosophy at
the secondary level and now teaches
on undergraduate and postgraduate
education programmes. Her research
interests are in science education in
primary and secondary schools, and in
the teaching of ethical and controversial
issues associated with science.
lynda.dunlop@york.ac.uk

24 Forum issue 39

Learning and Teaching calendar of events:
Autumn Term 2015 and Spring Term 2016
Key to the calendar
Week 5 w/b 26 October 2015
Friday 30 October
13.00-15.30
Week 6 w/b 2 November 2015
Tuesday 3
11.00-12.00
November
Tuesday 3
12.00-14.00
November
Week 7 w/b 9 November 2015
Friday 13 November
9.00-12.00
Week 8 w/b 16 November 2015
Monday 16
13.00-14.30
November
Week 9 w/b 23 November 2015
Thursday 26
9.00-13.00
November
Week 10 w/b 30 November 2015
Thursday 3
12.00-14.00
December
w/b 7 December 2015
Monday 7 December 9.00-16.00
Tuesday 8
December

12.30-14.00

Ron Cooke Hub, RCH/Lakehouse
Supervision 101: the art of spinning plates 
Law and Management Building LMB/023
Staff Turnitin awareness session
TBC
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Network
Ron Cooke Hub, Meeting Pod 1
Consistency and fairness: maintaining equity in
assessment, marking and feedback practice
Ron Cooke Hub, RCH/017
Intercohort mentoring
HG21, Heslington Hall
Annotation and feedback
TBC
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Network
HG21, Heslington Hall
Assessment, marking and feedback on writing in
the Sciences
Chemistry, C/A/102
Postgraduate taught Special Interest Group

Spring term
Week 1 w/b 4 January 2016
Thursday 7 January
15.00-16.00
Week 2 w/b 11 January 2016
Tuesday 12 January
12.00-14.00
Week 5 w/b 1 February 2016
Tuesday 2 February
11.00-12.00
Week 10 w/b 7 March 2016
Thursday 10 March
15.00-16.00

Derwent D/L/049
Staff Turnitin awareness session
TBC
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Network
Law and Management Building
LMB/044
Staff Turnitin awareness session
Alcuin, AEW/106
Staff Turnitin awareness session
TBC
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Network

Friday 11 March

12.00-14.00

w/b 14 March 2016
Wednesday 16
March

12.30-14.00

Chemistry, C/A/102
Postgraduate taught Special Interest Group

9.30-16.30

Exhibition Centre
Learning and Teaching Conference: Value added
graduates: enabling our students to be successful

Summer term

Events organised by the
Learning and Teaching
Forum. Open to all staff and
PGWTs. For further information,
see https://www.york.ac.uk/
staff/teaching/community/
events/; to register, contact
learning-and-teachingforum@york.ac.uk. If you are
unable to attend an event but
would like a copy of the
materials, please let us know.
Freestanding workshops
offered by learning
support colleagues. Please
contact janet.barton@york.
ac.uk for further details or to
book your place.
Taught Masters Special
Interest Group: for further
information, see https://www.
york.ac.uk/staff/teaching/
community/peer-support/
postgraduate-taught/; to
register contact
janet.barton@york.ac.uk
Academic Integrity: Staff
Turnitin awareness
sessions. Please contact
alison.mckay@york.ac.uk
for further details or to book
your place on a session.
Scholarship of Teaching
and Learning Network:
Organised on the model of a
“journal club,” this network is
for colleagues who are
interested in engaging with key
and emerging evidence-based
and philosophically influential
pedagogical literature. Please
contact academic-practice@
york.ac.uk for details.

w/b 14 March 2016
Tuesday 7 June

28280 – www.york.ac.uk/design-print-solutions