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ISSUE 42 | SUMMER 2017

The York Pedagogy:
innovative teaching
and learning

level learning
as partners
Contents Editorial
3 News
elcome to issue 42 of Forum! This
4 The York Pedagogy: is the ‘conference issue’ which
Rolling out and focusses on workshops and
rolling on
presentations from the 2017 Annual Learning
5 The York Pedagogy: and Teaching Conference which took place
at the University of York on 20th June. The
innovation and
reflection conference focussed on the York Pedagogy and
especially on how departments around the
8 Programme-level
models of skills
University have gone about ‘making it work’.
development For me, the conference really highlighted how much the York Pedagogy
has stimulated great innovations in teaching and it is that which we focus
10 Improving engagement
through student on in this issue of Forum.
partnerships The Faculty Plenary sessions which took place at the end of the day at
the conference gave us the opportunity to reflect on the challenges and
12 Designing authentic
assessment tools for opportunities associated with the York Pedagogy. The conference had
experiential learning already given me the opportunity to have many interesting discussions with
14 Enabling active colleagues from different departments and faculties throughout the day.
learning through Upon reflection during the Plenary session I realised that these discussions
technology: were so productive because the Pedagogy has given us a common
Transforming the
framework and language that make it easier to share practice across
student experience
through user-led design the University. All of our programmes now have Programme Learning
Outcomes, a Statement of Purpose, a Programme Map and a Programme
16 An app for applicants
Leader, and we all have in mind the programme-level thinking and sense
18 Engaging in the York of progression that the Pedagogy has asked us to adopt. It is this idea of a
Professional Academic
common approach that has stuck with me since the conference, and I hope
Development (YPAD)
scheme: recognition this continues to help us communicate our approaches to ‘making it work’
and reflection across the University as we settle into this new way of thinking and develop
19 What is excellence?
new and existing programmes into the future.
This is my last issue of Forum as Editor and I wish Ruth Penfold-
20 Interview with Anne Mounce (Sociology) best of luck as she takes on this role. I hope you
Phillips, National
Teaching Fellow enjoy reading about the Pedagogy-inspired innovations in teaching from
around the University in this current issue!
22 Learning and Teaching
Claire Hughes
23 InnoConf16: Enhancing Editor

24 Support, development
and recognition for
teaching and learning

For a large print, Forum is published biannually by the Learning and Teaching Forum at the University of York
black and white text Editor Claire Hughes
version, please contact Sub-editor Phil Robinson-Self
learning-and-teaching- Editorial Committee Helen Bedford, Glenn Hurst, Sara Perry. Design and print Design and Print Solutions
Front Cover image John Houlihan

2 Forum issue 42 | university of york

New graduate training course in ViCEPHEC2017:
sustainable chemical manufacturing Variety in
Increasing demand for series of five interactive and
chemicals worldwide, multidisciplinary workshops
Education and
depleting resources, stricter on Sustainable Chemical Physics Higher
legislation and the rising
cost of waste disposal
Manufacturing was
designed comprising:
Education 2017
are placing increasing nn What is green The premier national
pressure on the chemical chemistry? conference in higher
and related industries. For education in chemistry is
nn Business case
any organisation to survive coming to the University
for green
in the current climate, the of York from Wednesday
issue of sustainability must nn Biorefining waste 23rd August to Friday
be fundamental to the way nn Running a sustainable 25th August 2017 www.
it operates. The RenewChem chemical company This
initiative within the Green conference is free for
nn Safer chemicals for
Chemistry Centre of staff and students to
healthy buildings
Excellence was established the workshop series. The attend. Contributions will
to support the chemical These workshops all workshops prompted include presentations,
industry in the transition to incorporated industrial case a considerable amount workshops, posters,
green manufacturing and studies, providing access of open discussion and and a new ‘Labsolutely
circular economy. As part to real business issues, and feedback was very positive Fabulous’ practical
of this project the GCCE were delivered by experts with attendees particularly session. Glenn Hurst is
held a workshop to consult both from departments praising the industrial chairing this conference
with industry and identify across campus and industry. perspective, team work and and more detail can
the skills, knowledge and Attendance was high and interactive aspects. be found here: https://
experience they would like with 50 individuals; The GCCE plans to run the
their new employees to primarily graduate students course again next year watch?v=mDJ-9mt3OsY
have in order to meet these and PDRAs, from across with a blend of new and Email vicephec17@york.
demands. Building on this a campus engaging with existing content. to register.

university of york | issue 42 Forum 3

Rolling out and rolling on
and my Department has great laboratory and Programme Maps we’ve adopted for
John Robinson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor demonstrators so students don’t really our undergraduate programmes, and are
for Teaching, Learning and Students. need much of me there. But the redesign now developing for PGT, capture how
I’ll have to do is more driven by the big things fit together, how student work

ollowing programme improvements increase in class size than reflection on propels learning in a connected, carefully
in my Department, led by an how to improve. designed way. The Pedagogy emphasises
enthusiastic, York-Pedagogy-savvy The Pedagogy itself brings about PLOs and maps because together they are
team, I need to change my autumn-term programme changes, but so do the compact enough to express and maintain
module: where previously I taught a class planning contexts of student demand those connections as things change. The
of about twenty students, now there will and the behaviour of competitors, the PLOs and maps are a framework, not rigid
be 120. This isn’t because everyone has preparedness of students, developments and brittle, but supple and durable. The
suddenly realised how great my teaching in the discipline. Just as with my single Pedagogy’s continued influence will be
is! No, the cohort are funnelled through module, so whole programmes are subject through those flexible design tools: as
my module because of how it fits in the to landscape slips, and curricula, teaching we reflect on teaching year-by-year, the
learning ladder, how it advances the methods and teachers have to adapt. maps will help us see new possibilities for
Programme Learning Outcomes, how This issue of Forum contains examples boosting student learning in particular
the skills developed there give leverage to of innovations arising from the York modules, and when the landscape reshapes
other learning. Although as PVC Teaching, Pedagogy. I have seen these and many from an external cause, the framework –
Learning and Students, this is just the sort other examples as people have engaged PLOs and maps – will stretch and flex to the
of thing I want to happen as the Pedagogy with the Pedagogy and its opportunities new shape while ensuring those internal
rolls out, as module leader, to be honest, for collaborative reflection. But I know connections of learning are thought about
it’s a bit of a pain. Where previously the too that changes have mixed effects. The and maintained or redesigned.
lectures were almost seminar-like, and I real strength of the Pedagogy should Success depends on creativity and
could spend a few minutes regularly with be, will be, that as change comes from collaboration. Sitting in on away-days and
each student in the lab, now I’ll be more many directions, student-work-centred, other activities, I’ve been impressed at how
distant. Of course, there are ways to adapt: coherent programme design will continue programme teams and in some cases whole
lectures to larger classes offer many to be at the heart of our adapting curricula. departments have used discussion over
opportunities to vary teaching methods, The Programme Learning Outcomes programme maps to rethink how students
experience their learning. But I’ve also
seen how the realisation of the programme
maps as dynamic documents has to be
improved. To that end, we are prioritising
development of the programme catalogue.
The front end of this online system will
support programme teams in using maps
straightforwardly and efficiently. We will
also continue to rely on programme leaders
to keep thinking through and challenging
colleagues about the richest possible
student experience on the way up the
learning ladder.
Our programmes will go on changing,
and module leaders like me will have to
keep updating our materials and delivery
methods. Sustaining the Pedagogy means
ensuring that what graduates will be able
to do remains clear, concrete and well-
justified (the PLOs – what and why), and
their route there – the learning ladder –
uses the best learning methods, carefully
deployed (the Programme Map – how
and why). The examples in this issue of
Forum are inspirational and show how we
can continue building the quality of our
students’ learning experience.

4 Forum issue 42 | university of york

Enhancement, innovation and reflection
Katy Mann Benn, a Project a fresh approach to central support, University Teaching Committee, the work
building educational development of the York Pedagogy has provided example
Manager in the Learning capacity and embedding rich connections after example of generous, principled
Enhancement team, reflects across different teams. collegiality. Indeed, six academics and a
That institution-wide scale is number of support staff have received
on the learning process of the sometimes difficult to appreciate – but it ‘making a difference’ awards for their
York Pedagogy. is worth taking a moment to do so. The contributions and generation of excellent
undergraduate ‘roll-out’ applied the process collaboration from their departments and

joined the York Pedagogy project 17 of the York Pedagogy to 247 programmes. departments have been successful in buying
months ago as the project manager Over 200 staff have been directly involved out time to work on the Pedagogy and to run
and as a ProPEL (Programmes to in the implementation of the Pedagogy, pilots and enhance programmes further.
Propel Effective Learning) contact for leading and working in programme I have been privileged to attend a
several departments. Striking features teams, supporting departments, number of departmental away days,
were the scale of the project and the reviewing documents and co-designing where such collaboration is a pleasure
amount of people actively involved, both and facilitating new ideas. Throughout to see. The image featured shows one
centrally from various teams and across this astonishing amount of work, what among many: Computer Science hard at
the full breadth of academic departments. has really impressed me has been the work mapping out their curricula, with
The timeframe in which the project aims collaboration, camaraderie, hard work over 40 departmental colleagues present
were to be achieved also seemed very and the willingness of colleagues to share along with their ProPEL contact. It was
challenging, and the sheer volume of their expertise generously. Whether this is inspirational to see how the department
programmes at times felt overwhelming, in terms of programme leaders or central worked as a team to consider the many
a feeling which will no doubt have been staff donating their time and wisdom, facets of their programmes, and to locate
shared by others. However, despite the experienced academics coming forward particular areas to enhance further. Such
ascent being steep, with collective energy to help with the work of reviewing and collegiality produces strong, vibrant and
and determination the undergraduate approving programme documentation, or coherent programmes of study. Equally, in
Pedagogy process has been successful in the continuing efforts of our colleagues on a productive cycle, the structure of team
the first phase of implementation. That working is also enhanced by the process
success is due to programme leaders and of consideration. This is something
programme teams working together to reflected in the literature, where it has
produce stretching programme learning been frequently argued that increased
outcomes, reflecting on how existing collaboration and collegiality operates
modules map to new PLOs, capturing this both as a by-product of, and a condition
in a map and then developing ambitious for, effective curriculum mapping and
enhancement plans. The York Pedagogy design (Uchiyama and Radin, 2008; Wang,
emphasises strong programme leadership 2015; Lam and Tsui, 2016).
as one of its core concepts, supported
by central staff and engaging whole Enhancement and innovation
programme teams more effectively in Another aspect of the Pedagogy which
curriculum design. The institution-wide has been inspiring is the depth and
scale of the Pedagogy has also required Thinking about employabiilty breadth of innovation prompted by the

university of york | issue 42 Forum 5

process of reflecting on programmes, York have undertaken TESTA and used the
of mapping modules and identifying results to inform improvements in feedback
possible enhancements. and assessment. Two departments are
Several key enhancement themes have currently undertaking the TESTA process,
emerged during the undergraduate roll- while two further departments have
out. Various departments are working to expressed an interest in using the tool to
enhance progression and student work review their approach to assessment.
with written assignments; to introduce
assessment and practice opportunities The main themes arising from TESTA
for group work; to embed employability reports undertaken to date include:
skills throughout the degree; piloting nn reducing the possibility of students
nn the timeliness of feedback (particularly
peer assisted learning schemes; working taking a strategic approach to
in relation to its usefulness as a tool for
on improving feedback mechanisms; and assessment choices.
aligning assessment to the programme
nn ensuring progression is demonstrated There are some differences by
learning outcomes. Again, the scale of the
through assessments throughout the Faculty in the themes emerging from
work being pursued has been impressive;
programme, TESTA reports. Broadly speaking, the
so, too, has the passion for student
learning among our staff which is clearly nn the appropriateness of assessment main themes from programmes in the
driving these enhancements. In the formats (including high volumes of Faculty of Arts are: developing a shared
following sections of this article, I want to exams in some programmes and high understanding of programme aims
draw attention to the work being achieved volumes of coursework in others, with for staff and students; ensuring the
in three of these streams of enhancement. assessment through group work also appropriateness of assessment formats
noted as an area for review), and clarity of assessment criteria and
TESTA nn the high number of assessment formats reviewing both the timeliness of feedback
Transforming the Experience of Students (in terms of range), and opportunities to provide formative
through Assessment (TESTA) is an nn the clarity of assessment criteria, feedback. For the Faculty of Social
approach to curriculum review which aims Sciences, the main themes arising from
nn the quality of feedback.
to improve the quality of student learning programmes are: improving consistency,
through addressing programme-level quality and timeliness of feedback;
TESTA outcomes for a number of
assessment. The TESTA approach has been reviewing the high number of assessment
programmes also noted the following as
used with more than 100 programmes in formats, and enhancing student
discussion points:
over 40 UK universities, and in Australia, engagement. For the Faculty of Sciences,
nn streamlining programme aims and PLOs, the two emerging themes are ensuring
India and the USA. TESTA works with
academics, students and managers – and nn developing a shared understanding of progression is demonstrated through
for students, academics and managers programme aims for staff and students, assessments throughout the programme
– to identify study behaviour, generate nn improving programme coherence and reducing the volume of assessment.
assessment patterns to foster deeper and structure,
TESTA is led by Dr Lucy Hodgetts,
learning across whole programmes, and nn engaging students more effectively, who is also a Faculty Co-ordinator
debunk regulatory myths which prevent nn reducing the volume of assessment, within the Pedagogy team. Please
assessment for learning. Co-ordinated
nn balancing formative and contact her if you would like to run
programme-wide assessment policy and TESTA or find out more.
practice is required to address both these summative assessment,
issues (Gibbs, 2016). nn providing opportunities for
Twelve departments at the University of formative feedback, Peer assisted learning
During the pedagogy process a number
of departments have identified the
potential of introducing peer-assisted
Academic writing
Referencing and bibliography
learning schemes. The School of Social and
Motivation to study
Political Sciences (SPS) ran a small Peer
Managing my mental health Assisted Learning (PAL) pilot scheme this
Planning and managing how I use my time year, having identified a need to support
Using software relevant to my degree students in navigating the differences
Finding and accessing library resources between individual academic departments
Making the most of my contact time and cultures and to develop great
Academic integrity confidence in their written, analytical and
Note-taking in lectures presentation skills.
Managing my finances SPS found students raised similar issues
Maths skills to help with my degree flagged in the Freshers’ survey data 2016/17
Living with others
(see figure 1):
Eating well
PAL provides an opportunity for
Living healthily
cross-year support whereby higher-year
Managing my disability
Using laboratory equipment
students are fully trained to facilitate
small collaborative study groups of
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
lower-year peers. Based on learning
Figure 1: Freshers' survey data: what matters to students through exploratory discussion, sessions

6 Forum issue 42 | university of york

For more information on PAL
please contact Tamlyn Ryan
on ext 1134 or via

Employability skills
Several departments have reflected on
employability skills, considering the
extent to which these skills are explicitly
PLOs on show at the Learning and developed within their programmes.
Teaching Conference Innovative ideas were showcased as part
of the recent Learning and Teaching
also provide opportunity for session conference here at York from Sociology
leaders to share their own experiences and Environment.
of studying at the University of York. Publicising the Pedagogy
Discussion is based on information Publicising the Pedagogy
students have already been introduced It is exciting to see the outputs of the
and programme level discussions. This
to, either through lectures or through Pedagogy starting to emerge in publicity
journey is, in a sense, also just starting: the
recommended reading. As a result, materials for the undergraduate
Pedagogy is not a process that comes to an
PAL session leaders are engaged in programmes. The UG prospectus and
end, but a shared vision for our programmes
encouraging discussion and critical webpages emphasise how carefully
that continues into the future. Equally,
thinking rather than delivering any the programmes of study have been
postgraduate programmes are still in the
new material. Student participants are designed. Webpages will include the
process of being reimagined through the
encouraged to compare notes, clarify Programme Learning Outcomes and
Pedagogy. Here, too, there are challenges
what they read and hear, analyse, student ambassadors will be using their
but impressive successes, with 287 sets of
critique, question and seek verification PLOs at open days. Departments have been
Programme Learning Outcomes completed,
of their understanding. Participants innovative with ideas on how to utilise
a shared language being built, and, certainly
and leaders benefit from consolidating the PLOs and SoP for marketing purposes,
not least, intensive thought being given to
their knowledge and gaining deeper producing banners, leaflets and videos
postgraduate programmes. The Pedagogy
conceptual understanding. Sessions depicting how the programmes have been
has been difficult at times (some would
also include study skills and learning expertly designed. Meanwhile, attractive
argue that genuine, engaged programme
strategies which are integrated into the posters have been produced showing the
development nearly always is), but it has
activities leaders use in the sessions.A programme learning outcomes, which will
also been immensely rich, rewarding – and
systematic review of evaluative studies be used at open days.
the seeds planted are already beginning
on PAL concluded that PAL is an effective The conference this year provided an
to bear fruit in the learning experience of
pedagogical intervention that raises the opportunity to showcase some of these
our students. And at the end of the day, that
achievement of students and increases emerging outputs as well as sharing the
experience is worth climbing a mountain for.
student retention (Dawson et al 2014). challenges we have all faced along the way.
Five departments (Philosophy, History, Looking back feels like we have all been
Electronics, Maths and Sociology) have on a mountain hike, relying on collegial Dawson, P., van der Meer, J., Skalicky, J., & Cowley,
opted in to a UTC pilot for 2017-18, led support, struggling at times, learning a K. (2014). On the Effectiveness of Supplemental
and coordinated by Tamlyn Ryan and common language and developing processes Instruction: A Systematic Review of Supplemental
Francis Duah. which will enable future developments Instruction and Peer-Assisted Study Sessions
Literature between 2001 and 2010. Review of
Educational Research, 84(4), 609-639.
Lam, Bick Har and Tsui, Kwok Tung, 2016. Curriculum
mapping as deliberation – examining the alignment
of subject learning outcomes and course curricula.
Studies in Higher Education 41(8), pp.1371-1388.
Uchiyama, K.P. and Radin, J.L., 2009. Curriculum
mapping in higher education: A vehicle for
collaboration. Innovative Higher Education, 33(4),
Wang, Chia-Ling, 2015. Mapping or tracing?
Rethinking curriculum mapping in higher education.
Studies in Higher Education 40(9), pp.1550-1559.

Katy Mann Benn has
worked in higher education
for the past 20 years,
predominantly in the UK
but also in Trinidad, New
Zealand and Italy. Katy is
a Project Manager in the
Publicising the Pedagogy Learning Enhancement Team at York.

university of york | issue 42 Forum 7

models of skills
Claire Hughes and Abigail Parrish discuss models of learning and how they can be used
to define effective pathways of programme-level skills development.

romoting progressive development least ensuring consistency in approaches to others, and Yeagley et al. (2016) found
towards the programme learning towards teaching and assessing this to be an effective model of learning
outcomes (PLOs) defined under specific skills across modules. As part for chemical information skills. For us,
the York Pedagogy requires us to define of a University Strategic Learning and these models have provided a starting
clear programme-level strategies for key Teaching Fund project we have been point for establishing optimal approaches
skills development. In the Enhancement exploring optimal programme-level towards the development of key skills at a
Plan we put together in the Environment models of face-to-face and online skills programme-level.
Department under the Pedagogy development to propel learning towards
we proposed to introduce key skills our PLOs in the degree programmes run Proposed approaches
training pathways, involving face-to- in the Environment Department. The design of the skills training pathways
face learning activities complemented that we are planning to embed into our
by an online skills hub, across the core Models of learning core modules requires us to first define
modules that sit within our degree There are a range of proposed models of the sub-skills that make up each of our
programmes. Jessop et al. (2013: p74) learning/curricula design including spiral PLOs, define the expected progression
state that this sort of programme-level (Grove et al., 2006; Coelho and Moles, across the years of study (ie the model
approach ‘clarifies the interconnectedness 2016), blocking and interleaving (Taylor and of learning) and then establish the
of units of study (modules), emphasising Rohrer, 2010), stepping stone (Yeagley et nature of the learning activities and
that an undergraduate degree is subject al., 2016) and combinations thereof. In identify the modules in which they will
to a curriculum design process where the a spiral curriculum skills are introduced sit. For example, we are planning to teach
whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. It and then revisited at a later stage but at research skills by first giving our students
is clear that the design of skills training an increasingly higher level and degree opportunities to undertake lecturer-
pathways for a degree programme has a of connectivity to the wider subject area defined experiments or field sampling
major impact on the student experience (Bruner, 1960). Coelho and Moles (2016) in year 1 (modules a, b and c), and then
and ultimately learning (Walsh and found that a spiral curriculum has its engage them in research design first as
Nixon, 2016). challenges but it benefits student learning groups (modules d and e, year 2) and then
Gibbs (2012: p27) suggests that there by providing opportunities to revisit and as individuals in the dissertation (module
is ‘currently a rapid retreat from modularity' consolidate learning. Blocking involves f, year 3). This gradual unpacking of the
towards more programme-level planning’. concentrating on one specific skill until ‘research design box’ and increasingly
The benefits of this approach are it is mastered and then moving on to the student-led approach is similar to a spiral
numerous and include improvements in next skill. Repetition is a key feature of model of learning. In contrast, we believe
the student experience through greater blocked learning. In contrast, interleaved that skills such as the use of sources
sense of coherence and progression, practice involves learning new skills should follow more of a stepping stone
easier interpretation and action- while at the same time practicing those approach whereby students are first
planning in light of NSS results, greater previously taught. Studies (eg Taylor and equipped with the toolkit needed to find
communication within programme-teams Rohrer, 2010) have shown that interleaving and incorporate relevant sources in their
and fewer teaching ‘silos’ (from Gibbs, leads to higher test scores than blocked work (induction activities, year 1), before
2012). Whilst the benefits are clear there learning but impairs practice session they can go on to the critical analysis of
are numerous challenges involved in performance. A stepping stone curriculum source content (module g, year 2) and then
‘retrofitting’ a programme-level approach assumes that students need to develop identify knowledge gaps (module h, year
into an existing modular programme, not certain skills before they can move on 3). This sort of core skills training can

8 Forum issue 42 | university of york

Programme learning Skill being Modules/learning then be complimented by opportunities
developed activity/resources for practice in other core and optional
outcome: modules and via online activities,
Plan, design and execute providing our students with a strong
research as an individual or as part learning experience.
of a team to address environmental Establishing the optimal models of
questions and problems using individual skills development in this way
critically-selected, field survey and Collecting §§ Undertake lecturer- provides us with a means by which we can

Year 1
laboratory methods at appropriate data in the defined research easily communicate the journey towards
temporal and spatial scales lab and in the [Modules a, b and c] PLO development to our students. It also
[Creator of new knowledge] field
gives those involved in curriculum design
Model of learning: Designing §§ Design and undertake a guide on how to achieve programme-
research an authentic field level skills development within our
as part of a project as a group modular programmes. Overall this
group [Module d] approach brings greater clarity in terms
? of exactly how ‘the whole is greater than the
Year 2

§§ Design and undertake
sum of its parts’.
Spiral Stepping Blocking Interleaving Other
authentic laboratory
stone experiments as part
of a group [Module e] References
Bruner, J. (1960) The Process of Education.
§§ Online guidance Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard
§§ Students become familiar with and tests University Press.
undertaking lecturer-defined Coelho, C.S. and D.R. Moles (2016) Student
research in year 1. Research design Designing §§ Design and undertake perceptions of a spiral curriculum. European
is a black box initially. research an authentic Journal of Dental Education, 20, 161-166.
individually individual project
Year 3

Gibbs, G. (2012) ‘Implications of and Dimensions
§§ The box is unpacked as the students
[Module f] of Quality in a Market Environment’. Higher
go through the years of study Education Academy.
starting at the end of year 1. First §§ Online dissertation-
Grove, N.P., J.W. Herschberger and S.L. Bretz
as groups and then as individuals. specific guidance (2006) Impact of a spiral organic curriculum
on student attrition and learning. Chemistry
Education Research and Practice, 9, 157-162.
Jessop, T., Y. El Hakim and G. Gibbs (2013) The
whole is greater than the sum of its parts:
a large-scale study of students’ learning in
response to different programme assessment
patterns. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher
Education, 39, 73-88.
Skill being Learning activity/ Taylor, K. & Rohrer, D. (2010). The effects of
Programme learning
developed resources interleaved practice. Applied Cognitive Psychology,
outcome: 24, 837–848.
Obtain, synthesise and Nixon, S. and B. Walsh (2016) ‘Curriculum design;
critically evaluate complex stepping stones or stumbling blocks to learning?’
information on environmental Paper presented to Liverpool John Moore’s
Finding §§ Training in the use University Learning and Teaching Conference,
science and related areas from a wide Liverpool UK, 15 June 2016.
and using of search engines for
range of reliable sources
sources finding sources, initial Yeagley, A., Porter, S., Rhoten, M. and Topham,
[Independent learner] B. (2016). The Stepping Stone Approach to
evaluation and formatting
Teaching Chemical Information Skills. The Journal
in text citation and
Year 1

of Chemical Education, 93, 423−428.
Model of learning: [Induction activities]
§§ Online resources and Claire Hughes is a Lecturer
tests providing in Environmental Chemistry
and marine scientist in the
formative feedback
Environment Department
at the University of York.
? Critical
§§ Critical evaluation
training [Module g]
In terms of teaching she is
particularly interested in
Year 2

Spiral Stepping Blocking Interleaving Other of source developing ways to ensure and communicate
stone §§ Online guidance and
content programme level coherence and the
tests providing
promotion of student-centred active learning
formative feedback in science education.
Identifying §§ Compiling information Abigail Parrish is an
Students need to be able to
knowledge from sources to establish Associate Lecturer in
effectively find relevant sources
gaps current knowledge and Environment working on
before they can go on to any
Year 3

identify knowledge gaps the York Pedagogy project
critical analysis and knowledge and has a background
[Module h]
gap identification in Education. A former
§§ Online guidance secondary teacher, her
and examples education research focuses on student choice
and motivation.

university of york | issue 42 Forum 9
best practice

Improving engagement through

student partnerships
The York Pedagogy emphasises
active student engagement
supported by focused, quality
staff contact time. The pedagogy
gives us the opportunity to re-visit
student learning on our modules
and to make changes which
enhance engagement.
Caroline Chaffer and Jill Webb
consider how student partnerships
can be used as an approach to
addressing issues of student
engagement on a core module in
the Management School.
What is student partnership? learning, teaching and assessment, which However, it can be difficult to measure
Student partnership can be defined as a focuses on ways in which partnerships can the success of partnership in a particular
“collaborative, reciprocal process through develop active learning; and partnerships module, as the focus tends to be on the
which all participants have the opportunity for curriculum design and pedagogic learning activities and curriculum rather
to contribute equally, although not consultancy, where students go beyond than on the ways in which students engage
necessarily in the same ways, to curricular giving survey-based feedback on course with faculty (Healy et al., 2014). We wanted
or pedagogical conceptualization, decision design and are actively engaged and to think carefully about how we are using
making, implementation, investigation, or consulted in the design process.  student partnerships within our module and
analysis” (Cook-Sather, Bovill and Felten, identify the extent to which we could work in
2014, 6). Why student partnerships? partnership with students more extensively
Partnerships have been conceptualised Healy et al. (2014) argue that using student across the module with a view to enhancing
in a variety of ways; Healy et al. (2014) have partnerships as a way of thinking about student engagement.
developed a model for partnerships which the process of student engagement has
distinguishes four areas for potential two primary benefits: firstly, partnerships A case study
partnerships: Learning, teaching and encapsulate the reciprocity of learning Feedback suggests that students value our
assessment; Subject-based research and where students and faculty enter into module and like the way in which it is run.
inquiry; Curriculum design and pedagogic dialogue which goes beyond positioning However, student engagement with respect
consultancy and Scholarship of teaching students as passive consumers of higher to attendance and preparation for seminars
and learning (Figure 1). Whilst the four education; and secondly partnerships is at the level where student attainment is
areas identified in the model are not recognise the power relations between detrimentally impacted for a large minority
mutually exclusive they can provide a learner, academic and faculty and the of the cohort.
useful way of focusing on a particular area implicit assumptions and preconceived We used focus groups to explore with
where partnership activity can enhance ideas these bring. Student partnerships students the extent to which traditional and
engagement. We have considered two provide an opportunity to understand existing partnership informed pedagogy was
elements of the model: partnerships for and challenge these preconceived ideas. working well on the module and to examine
the opportunities to embed a partnership
approach more extensively. The discussion
Writing your own question is a good idea but focused on two areas: the delivery pattern
I’d give myself too much scope! You could ruin and its relationship to curriculum and the
design of formative assessment feedback.
an essay with a bad question.” The focus groups engaged students as
consultants in the re-design of pedagogy;
Student’s response to writing their own assignment this consultative approach can be a first step
to partnership.

10 Forum issue 42 | university of york

Current practice Figure 1. Ways of engaging students
Students are given a choice of two essays as partners in higher education.

at the start of the module which cover Healey, Flint and Harrington (2014) Learning, Curriculum

different areas of the syllabus. Teaching teaching and design and

y en
on the area of syllabus assessment pedagogic

on the module consists of weekly lectures

and researc

and seminars; lectures focus on relevant that interests them. consultancy
subject based materials and seminars are Students can therefore
tailor the sessions they

ent of le
both subject and skills based. Each seminar
covers a unique clearly-signposted reading engage with based on

or writing skill which is relevant to both the curriculum area
Subject-based Scholarship

essay titles. chosen for their final

research and of teaching

g te
assessment. Group

Students work as partners in the

ng a
inquiry and learning

provision of formative feedback and engage consultations will be held


at the start of the module

with the assessment criteria in providing


and also at a midpoint to

peer feedback on a short written piece in a

seminar. This formative written work is then identify particular skill areas g
handed in for tutor marking. Students are or aspects of the syllabus where CO-RESEARCHING
also invited to attend a twenty minute one to extra support is needed and tutors AND CO-INQUIRING
one session with a tutor where they justify will work with students to design how
their planned approach to the assessment this support should be given.
and work with the tutor to refine and Formative assessment has been linked to than putting the responsibility on students
develop their plan. the final assessment; students will produce to adapt to our ways of working. Finally,
an extract from their summative assignment we have learned that it is important to
What to keep and what to change which focuses on the development of a line think carefully about module changes and
DELIVERY PATTERN AND CURRICULUM of argument. The peer assessment session consider how we manage student anxieties
Focus group feedback suggested that will be preceded by a live interactive on-line as we ask them to engage in new ways which
students value the dialogue with staff in writing simulation where students and they may find challenging as well as exciting.
seminars and recognise the importance of tutors will provide feedback to support the We may need to explore ways in which we
focusing on a specific reading or writing development of a short tutor-produced piece prepare students more broadly across the
skill. However, students questioned the of writing; evidence suggests that student programme if we want to empower students
value of reading challenging material in learning is maximised when students see to develop and follow their own interests in a
preparation for seminars which was of less the process of writing rather than the end supported environment.
relevance to their chosen assessment title product (Sambell and Graham, 2010).
and felt that this was a barrier to their active References
A STEP TOO FAR? Cook-Sather, A., Bovill, C. and Felten, P. (2014).
engagement. Students felt that lectures
Engaging students as partners in learning and teaching:
provided sufficient understanding of a topic The focus groups explored the possibility
A guide for faculty. London, John Wiley & Sons.
such that they were in a position to select for of allowing students to write their own
Healey, M. , Flint, A. and Harrington, K. (2014).
themselves areas to explore in more depth. assessment question for the module with Engagement through partnership: Students as
support from tutors. The partnership partners in teaching and learning in higher education.
FEEDBACK AND ASSESSMENT literature suggests that this active [On-line] Available at: https://www.heacademy.
approach enhances student motivation
The focus group feedback suggested that
students most value formative feedback and engagement (Healey, 2014) by [Accessed 14 May 2017].
that is directly linked to the summative enabling students to explore their own
Sambell and Graham (2010) Towards an
assessment task; whilst the plan review is interests. We found that a majority of assessment partnership model? Students’
linked in this way the formative writing students felt that this would add an experiences of being engaged as partners in
task is not. The plan review was therefore unacceptable element of uncertainty and assessment for learning enhancement activity.
risk to the assessment process. They didn’t In: Little, S. ed., Staff-student partnerships in higher
seen as particularly valuable and the education. London. Bloomsbury Publishing.
formative task less so. appear to be ready to trust both themselves
The focus groups also indicated that and us to take this step.
the students value the opportunity to see
a variety of examples of written work in Reflections Jill Webb is a Senior
Lecturer (Teaching and
the peer feedback seminar. However, they One of the benefits cited in the literature
Scholarship) in the York
also felt limited in their ability to provide with respect to student partnerships is Management School. Jill’s
valuable feedback to other students. that preconceived ideas are challenged research interests centre
and the result is stepped change rather on personal development
than small incremental improvements in Higher and Professional
education and on undergraduate student
The skills based approach to seminars has (Cook-Sather, Bovill and Felten, 2014). We engagement
been retained but the delivery pattern of feel that the focus group sessions and the
Caroline Chaffer is a
the lectures has been changed to enable small successes we have already had with
Senior Lecturer (Teaching
students to select seminars which will student partnerships have given us the and Scholarship) in the
focus on their area of interest. All lectures confidence to make a step change in the way York Management School.
will be delivered in the first four weeks of our teaching sessions are organised. The Caroline’s research
interests centre on the
term, and, after completion of the lectures, focus groups have also helped us recognise
development of generic
seminars will be scheduled so that students the value of compromise in adapting to skills in Higher and Professional education.
can select which they attend depending the way in which our students learn rather

university of york | issue 40 Forum 11


Andrew Kerrigan of
the Centre for Global
Programmes shares best
practice in engaging
learners and propelling learning
towards programme outcomes while
teaching twenty-first century skills.

In March 2017, the Centre for Global
Programmes (CGP) ran a creative
problem-solving module on a short-course
for undergraduate students of Tohoku
University, Japan, who were studying at the
University of York. In response to a request
from Tohoku for increased integration
with York students, equal numbers of York
students from all over the University were
recruited to learn alongside the Tohoku
students. Over six sessions, the students
were introduced to a framework for
creative problem-solving – from framing
the problem, to pitching the solution to
potentially resistant adherents of the status
quo. Classroom sessions interspersed
tutor presentations with small group
work, thought experiments, reflective
questionnaires, research, and discussion.
As an outcome, the module required each years, the Centre has branched out into levels of student engagement. Finally, as
mixed-student group to come up with an designing and delivering programmes a support department, our programmes
original strategy to solve a relevant real-life on so-called twenty-first century are non-credit bearing, and the majority
problem in which they all had expertise, skills such as creativity, intercultural of our students come to York during their
namely how to encourage more York competence and employability. Despite vacation period. In addition to enhancing
students to go on mobility projects in Japan. this diversification, our programme students’ language or creative competence,
The module came to a close after three designers and tutors bring to the teaching there is often an explicit objective that
weeks with a poster presentation to York of content the same methodologies the York programme should broaden
students and Study Abroad professionals, which underlie best practice in ELT, that ‘students’ horizons’, and encourage them
who understandably had a vested interest is student-centredness, a pronounced to experiment and reflect. Despite this,
in engaging with the students’ strategies preference for content with a high our programmes are assessed, with
and rationales. surrender value, the closest possible students’ grades and reports sent back to
This innovative programme is typical fit between assessment, learning the partner university at course end. In
of the courses now being developed at outcomes and programme content (a addition, partners can award credit so
CGP. While the Centre’s core business core principle of the York Pedagogy), there is always the need to ensure valid
remains English language, culture and and a sensitivity to pace and interaction and reliable measures of student learning.
academic taster programmes, over recent patterns sufficient to maintain high It will be clear from my description of

12 Forum issue 42 | university of york

the activities and ethos of CGP that our skills are learned, and how explicitly they future professional gain. Finally, as with
staff are professional teachers and syllabus should be taught. However, our experience all of our programmes, the assessment
designers operating within an environment delivering these skills in mixed groups is criteria were written to be understood by
which gives them considerable freedom that today’s students, regardless of origin, the students, free from meta-concepts
to innovate, particularly when it comes to are looking for their university education and ‘teacher-ese’. During a preparation
pushing the limits of experiential learning to equip them with skills and knowledge phase, time was taken to explain these
and authentic assessment. Central to the that will allow them to gain a competitive criteria to the students using concrete
York Pedagogy is the notion of learning by advantage in their professional lives. examples. The same criteria were also
doing, of learning activities which promote Lastly, as a body of predominantly used after the assessment as a means of
active student engagement and of strategies procedural rather than declarative generous, specific and timely formative
to propel learning toward programme knowledge, twenty-first century skills also feedback, as well as onward goal-setting.
outcomes. Recent policy developments in lend themselves to development through
HE have made the pursuit of excellence in experiential learning. In this sense, they Concluding comments
teaching vital to the success of universities. complement well the existing practices of Following the two programmes here
There are, however, very few genuinely new the CGP teaching team. described, the participants completed an
ideas in education and, at a time when best in-depth evaluation form. The feedback
practice in pedagogy is up for debate, it is Experiential learning and from Tohoku and York students alike
precisely in forums such as these that ideas authentic assessment indicated that they found the programmes
tried and evaluated within one teaching In 2014 CGP designed its first short-course engaging, useful, challenging and, in a few
and learning context might find application for undergraduates of Tohoku University instances, transformative. Well versed in
in another. Japan. The main driver of this programme experiential learning, CGP staff have also
was recent legislation from the Japanese learned over the years, and these lessons
Twenty-first century skills government making funding available may be of use to colleagues searching for
The Higher Education Academy (HEA) for graduate mobility programmes with ideas to enhance teaching and learning in
defines twenty-first century skills as a set a specific emphasis on employability. their contexts: (A) authentic assessment
of “literacies, competencies and character The syllabus therefore contained an tools, whether these be interviews or
qualities that are believed to be critically employability Skills component including developing strategies to influence policy
important to success in the modern world” a focus on leadership, team-work, within the university, are one of the most
(HEA, 2017). motivation and avoiding group-think. effective means of propelling experiential
As practitioners with a background in learning toward programme outcomes;
ELT, CGP designers approached syllabus (B) teaching skills through repeating task
literacies (literacy, design from the perspective of a variant cycles interspersed with reflection, and
numeracy, on task-based learning. Taking team-work bringing students together in multicultural,
as an example, within this paradigm, a interdisciplinary groups to work on
citizenship, digital, and standard small-group task requiring open-ended problems are excellent means
media); competencies complex coordination was introduced,
which students then worked to complete.
of promoting student engagement, not
to mention incidental learning; and (C),
(critical thinking, At task end, a stage of feedback and taking the time to explain the assessment
creativity, collaboration); reflection followed. If the tutor felt it
necessary, key sub-skills flowing from the
criteria the assessment criteria in ways the
students can understand, and thereafter,
and character qualities task were isolated and subject to analysis and thereafter using it for generous,
and micro-practice before goal setting specific and timely formative feedback,
(curiosity, initiative, and a subsequent round of practice. is not only a means of giving students
persistence, resilience, While individual sessions on the ownership over the assessment process, but
employability skills took this form, a is also a highly-rated use of student-tutor
adaptability, leadership).” learning journal based around the STAR contact time.
(HEA, 2017) framework (Situation, Task, Action,
Result) was completed by the student References
each week in order to consolidate The Higher Education Academy (2017). 21st
century skills. [online] Available at: https://www.
These skills are of course nothing learning and encourage transferability.
new. What is new is the consensus that This framework was chosen precisely to skills [Accessed 14.05.2017].
in an age of increasing automation and prepare students for the final assessment,
fake news, success defined in individual which took the form of a job interview
terms, as well as that of developed for the role of student intern. One
Andrew Kerrigan has
and democratic nations, is heavily of the issues in developing authentic been an Associate Lecturer
dependent on cultivating these skills. experiential assessment tools is finding and Programme Manager
As a body of non-specialist skills and a context that encourages the student in the Centre for Global
Programmes since 2014.
knowledge, twenty-first century skills to display learning for tutor evaluation,
He has a PhD in the
have wide appeal, and can be taught to while maintaining the students’ use of metaphor in late
students regardless of the language or involvement in and ownership of that nineteenth century life writing, and has
course of study. In this sense, they lend experience. The intern interview task was taught English language, literature and
themselves to our Centre’s need to develop widely perceived by the students as a task linguistics at universities and private schools
in Germany, Italy, Poland and Greece. He is
a programme for a varied cohort for that not only synthesised learning on currently interested in teaching Twenty-
students who wish to learn alongside York their programme, but also allowed them first Century Skills to mixed-nationality
students. Opinions differ about how these to practice packaging this learning for undergraduate groups.

university of york | issue 42 Forum 13

Enabling active learnin
Current generations of students Students’ expectations towards the Supporting pedagogic innovation
use of learning technologies through technology
are now arriving on campus The Jisc Digital Student project (Jisc, At the heart of these developments lies
with the expectation that their 2013 – ) has highlighted the transactional the opportunity for pedagogic change
and transformational expectations that and innovation, enabled through creative
technologies will seamlessly students now share towards technology uses of technology which support student-
interconnect with university adoption, with the former addressed by controlled online learning activities,
universities through enhancements to engaging learners and offering challenge to
services and support a flexible and learning infrastructure: eg improved their personal study. Through personalised
personalised learning experience access to wifi for student-owned devices online learning activities we may also
and by the optimisation of online learning support students in the development of
(Jisc NUS, 2016). This short article and teaching services for mobile access. their skills in planning, organising, self-
discusses the impact of these On a pedagogic level, transformational teaching and self-evaluating their own
(educational) expectations have been learning (Arenas, 2008).
technological developments on the associated more with the ways in which One way of visualising the role of
digital technologies – both personal technology in supporting online learning
delivery of campus-based courses –
and centrally provided tools – can is to plot study tasks on a spectrum of
specifically, the scope that learning be employed to support learning active learner engagement and autonomy,
activities. The University of Greenwich’s as illustrated in Figure 1 opposite.
technologies present for innovation implementation plan for the embedding Learning technologies may be utilised to
in the delivery of the taught of mobile technologies in curriculum enable learning outside of contact hours
design across the institution (Kerrigan through independent practice (eg by
curriculum through the adoption et al., 2014) represents a recent example the completion of formative self-study
of student-led teaching and of transformational change in this quizzes and automated feedback with
respect, empowering students to make links to further study resources), but can
discovery strategies, incorporating use of their own tablet devices in formal also support enhancing and transformative
user-led design principles to learning contexts such as lab work, learning modes, such as student-led
supporting data collection/data entry for teaching and the creation of course
support active student learning. experiments, as well as through the use of artefacts, which require a greater level of
apps in a range of practical and informal autonomy and ownership by learners in
study activities across the curriculum. their performance.

Transforming learning through
CASE STUDY 2: Transforming learning through student-led teaching and student-led teaching and discovery
discovery (Evolutionary Ecology) Approaches in transformative course
design focus on students taking direct
In this 3rd-year Biology module a control over their learning through
VLE site was used to host course independent and peer-led teaching and
materials including lecture notes and discovery based learning approaches.
animations to explain key concepts. Examples of transformative design
Students were allocated to small approaches at York which have been
groups (4-5 students) and each group supported through the use of technology
was provided with a blog and a wiki, include the use of shared blog and wiki
with viewing and participation rights spaces by postgraduate law students to
restricted to that group. Students were perform unguided group research tasks, as
required to produce collaboratively part of a blended problem-based learning
a short summary of the research (PBL) design (Case study 1, online). In
literature on each week’s topic. The blog was used to coordinate activities – this context technology has underpinned
allocate work, discuss ways of working, arrange to meet – and the collaborative the PBL cycle, enabling groups of students
writing was done in the wiki. Groups were required to present orally their who are geographically dispersed to
findings in face-to-face sessions. The lecturer provided feedback on the online collaborate online in self-directed learning
work. At the end of the course, the best reports were collated by the lecturer in a tasks, researching solutions to the targeted
course level wiki, presented as an ‘online textbook’. This provided students with a learning outcomes which have been agreed
valuable revision resource. with their PBL tutor. The choice of task
and technology is entirely aligned with

14 Forum issue 42 | university of york

ng through technology:
own research and evidence from the sector,
we will help you to find the right tool and
approach to meet your learning objectives.
Case studies
Extending the range of 1. Blended problem based learning: https://
iIncreasing flexibility and Designing in structured learning opportunities
access to learning interaction and collaboration through personalised and and-development/case-studies/blended-
student-led activities problem-based-learning/
2. Transforming learning through student-led
Figure 1: Spectrum of active student engagement using TEL tools teaching and discovery (Evolutionary Ecology):

the aims of the teaching programme in appropriate for Generation ‘C’ learners References
this respect, in fostering self- and group- – the generation responsible for open Arenas, E. (2008). Personal learning environments:
implications and challenges. Available at: http://www.
management skills expected of students at source software development, music file-
this level. sharing, YouTube, Flickr, and Wikipedia
Bruns, A. (2006) Towards produsage: Futures
Transformative learning designs – who they claim are now arriving on for user-led content production. In Proceedings:
can also offer the potential for campus seeking to engage in knowledge- Cultural Attitudes towards Communication and
students to engage in ‘user-led sharing and networking activities Technology 2006, eds. Fay Sudweeks, Herbert
education’, collaborating with peers and through the creative use of technologies. Hrachovec, and Charles Ess. Perth: Murdoch
University, pp. 275-84.
communities within and beyond the Whether we agree with this
Bruns, A., Cobcroft, R., Smith, J., & Towers, S.
classroom to create their own learning characterisation of today’s learners or
(2007). Mobile Learning Technologies and the
resources. Experimentation with user-led not, there seems to be a changing context Move towards ‘User-Led Education’. In Proceedings
knowledge creation tasks has been a of higher education, which now appears Mobile Media, Sydney. Available at: http://eprints.
feature of blended course design at the to be more open to the use of technology
University of York, as a way of engaging in learning and teaching activities, and Jisc (2013 – ). Jisc Digital Student: Investigating
students in the mastery of key concepts is receptive also to student-centred students’ expectations of the digital environment.
Available at: http://digitalstudent.jiscinvolve.
and the evidence base underpinning it, as pedagogies and the engagement of org/wp/
illustrated in the Evolutionary Ecology students as partners in educational
Jisc NUS (2016). Jisc NUS Benchmarking tool – the
case example below. design and delivery. This latter theme student digital experience. Available at: https://
has been strongly supported by Jisc in its
Towards used-led design current collaboration with the National NUS_student_experience_benchmarking_tool.pdf
User-led design re-envisions the role Union of Students and The Student Kerrigan, M., Blackburn, R, Force, S., Amin, Z.,
of students as producers as well as Engagement Partnership in promoting James, K., Yorke, J., Walker, S., Snowden, M., &
Scott-Jones, E. (2014). The student experience
consumers of learning (Bruns, 2006). good practice in the use of digital tools of using iPads to enhance undergraduate
Implicit in this design approach is an across courses, academic departments laboratory teaching. In UCISA (2014) Good
acknowledgement that students have and institutional service areas (Jisc NUS, Practice Guide. Mobile Learning: How mobile
the skills and capability to engage 2016). This new student-centred outlook technologies can enhance the learning experience,
pp 31-38. Universities and Colleges Information
in collaborative knowledge creation is also starting to surface in institutional
Systems Association: Oxford, UK. Retrieved from:
activities and to develop their learning as visions for learning and teaching, and is
producers of ‘content’. Bruns, et al., (2007) entirely consistent with the principles publications/effective_use.aspx
observe that this approach is entirely of the York Pedagogy (Robinson, 2015) in Robinson, J. (2015). The York Pedagogy: What and
providing opportunities for students to why, how and why. University of York. Available
rehearse and articulate their knowledge at:
User-led design as part of their independent study.
To find out more about these design

re-envisions the approaches, take a look at the case
studies and get in touch to discuss your
role of students as ideas. Please note that the E-Learning
Dr Richard Walker is Head
of E-Learning Development
Development Team and the Teaching and
producers as well as Learning Team (Library and IT Services)
at the University of
York, ensuring effective
consumers of learning.” can advise on curriculum design and
provide training and support in the use
integration of centrally
managed e-learning services
with all key areas
Bruns, 2006 of learning technologies. Working from a of the learning and teaching agenda at the
pedagogy-first approach, drawing upon our University.

university of york | issue 42 Forum 15


for applicants
Glenn Hurst, Andy Parsons, Katrina Sayer, Jonathan Hook and Chris Fulford.

obile apps are widely used by Chemistry, with features
Glenn Hurst is an Associate a number of institutions in including a campus
Lecturer in the Department
the United Kingdom, such as map, promotional
of Chemistry. Glenn is
particularly interested Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester and videos, news feed, links
in developing new Warwick, to aid recruitment and support to resources to aid
pedagogical approaches the transition from school to university. the school-university
and resources to confer To this end, an interdisciplinary team of transition, employability
a deep understanding and application of
subject matter. He is the Director of Studies staff and students from the Departments information, life as
for Natural Sciences in the Department of of Chemistry and Theatre, Film and a student and details
Chemistry. Television combined their expertise to about admission
design and produce the first mobile days. The internship
Andy Parsons is a Professor
of Chemistry and Head
app to support admissions at the offered Chris invaluable experience
of Vanbrugh College. University of York. of applying the user-experience design
His textbooks include The work was completed as part of a 10- and software development skills he is
Chemistry3 (co-author) week summer project in 2016 with the aid learning on his course, in response to an
and his teaching has been
of a grant from the Summer Internship authentic design brief and the needs of
recognised by a Royal
Society of Chemistry HE Teaching Award. Bureau. The internship was awarded real users. Chris gained a great deal from
He is the author of a MOOC, in partnership to Chris Fulford, an undergraduate the internship, as he comments:
with FutureLearn, entitled Exploring Everyday studying on Theatre, Film and Television’s ‘Working alongside the Department
Chemistry, which starts in January 2017.
Interactive Media BSc. Chris designed of Chemistry proved to be a rewarding
the app for prospective applicants experience for myself as I was able to
Katrina Sayer is the and visitors to the Department of successfully design and tailor a product to
Undergraduate Student
Experience Manager in the
Department of Chemistry.
Katrina organises the
departmental undergraduate
admissions activities
and also has responsibility for overseeing
the smooth running of the undergraduate
and exams administrative teams in the

Jonathan Hook is Lecturer
in Interactive Media in the
Department of Theatre,
Film and Television. His
teaching covers topics
including programming, 3D
environment design, and
virtual and augmented reality. His research
explores the human-centered design of
interactive technology, with a particular
focus on creativity support tools.

Chris Fulford is an
undergraduate student in
the Department of Theatre,
Film and Television. He has
created multiple iOS apps
over the years and, outside
of his studies, is available as a
freelance mobile developer.
Some of the design team

16 Forum issue 42 | university of york

their specifications. This taught internationalisation strategy by providing
me how to manage my time an additional technological resource for
efficiently, alongside allowing me prospective applicants from both the
the opportunity to create my very United Kingdom and overseas. Indeed,
first Android mobile application.’ 49% of app downloads are from outside
Approximately 250 the United Kingdom.
applicants downloaded the app The app has been designed so that
ahead of their interview, with the framework can be re-populated
the total number of downloads with appropriate content, allowing the
exceeding 500. Feedback resource to be easily updated but also
from applicants has been very making the app translatable for use in
positive. For example: other departments within the institution.
‘Also, I must thank you for The app is available free to download
introducing me to the Chemistry@ on Apple and Android devices here:
York app, which is a service I
haven’t seen any other university chemistry-york/id1155539697?mt=8
employ. It has given me insightful
information about York as a apps/details?
university, the students that Chemistry&hl=en_GB
study with you and the chemistry
To facilitate inclusivity, the
app is available free to download
from both Google Play and Apple
Store platforms. This project
aligns with the institutional
Only in maths proble ms ca n you buy 50 le mons,
45 limes, 20 ora nges a nd 8 Apples a nd no one
left: Screenshot of the app asks... what the hell is wrong with you?

”I really appreciate all your help in showing me how to use SPSS software. I was awarded a Distinction
overall. It would not have been half as good without your support so please accept my sincere thanks..”
Postgraduate Taught, CAHR (Appointment) 2015/16

“Before seeking support from the
Centre I wondered how on earth I “I would like to take this
was going to be able to manage MATHS opportunity to express my
gratitude and appreciation
my data. Now I have some ideas,
but know I can go back any time SKILLS for all your effort in patiently
for help”
Postgraduate Research student ,
CENTRE clarifying my queries ”
Undergraduate Economics,
(Workshop & Appointment) (Drop-in ) 2015/16

Drop in guidance & support
1-1 bookable appointments
Postgraduate Workshops in Statistics

for all students undertaking dissertations and research projects or
seeking help with coursework

university of york | issue 42 Forum 17

Engaging in the York Professional
Academic Development
(YPAD) scheme:

But Professor, you
said yesterday that
x was equal to 5?!

and reflection
Helen Bedford reflects on achieving recognition as a Senior Fellow of the Higher
Education Academy (HEA), and the value of supporting peers to success via the York
Professional and Academic Development (YPAD) scheme at the University of York.

emonstrating, sustaining and to demonstrate clear evidence for the and maintain good standing via CPD
advancing excellence and required areas of activity (eg designing (HEA 2011).
innovation within teaching and and delivering learning activities and/ I joined the University of York
learning is a key expectation within or programmes of study, assessment and at an opportune time to support
contemporary UK higher education (HE). feedback), indicate core knowledge (eg of implementation of the York Professional
During my career, engagement with the subject material, appropriate pedagogies, and Academic Development (YPAD)
Higher Education Academy (HEA) (2011) learning technologies and quality) and scheme from the initial pilot onwards
‘UK Professional Standards Framework express my professional values, as (University of York 2016b). The scheme
(UKPSF) for teaching and supporting enacted within my role (HEA 2011). offers opportunities for academic and
learning in higher education’ has provided Creating a suitably contemplative professional staff in student-facing
a valuable scaffold for continuing submission was also essential, and it services to seek HEA recognition against
professional development (CPD). offered a meaningful opportunity for all four categories, from Associate Fellow
I attained HEA Fellow status reflective writing (Bolton 2010). As a to Principal Fellow (HEA 2011).
on completion of a HEA endorsed registered midwife, reflection is integral A core feature within YPAD is
Postgraduate Certificate programme, to my professional role (Nursing & undertaking a peer supported exercise,
equivalent to the University of York Midwifery Council 2015 & 2016). Taking underpinned by the Peer Support
Postgraduate Certificate in Academic the time to undertake a substantial for Teaching (PST) Policy (University
Practice (PGCAP) (University of reflection proved enlightening, acting of York 2011 & 2015). It has been my
York, 2016a). As I subsequently gained as an opportunity to do more that professional privilege to support
experience leading undergraduate and summarise achievements for formal colleagues’ engagement in YPAD PST
Masters level programmes and engaged recognition before moving to a new role. action learning groups. The small size
in interprofessional education (IPE) and Engaging in reflective and reflexive of the groups (typically three to four
international initiatives, professional writing that was both retrospective applicants seeking recognition under
advancement through the UKPSF felt like and future-focused was revealing and the same HEA fellowship category) and
a natural progression. valuable, and two aspects stood out. the interprofessional focus is engaging
In 2015 I was recognised as a Senior Firstly, exploring the values instilled and stimulating. In the groups I have
Fellow of the HEA (SFHEA) via an during my early educational experiences facilitated, peer support has combined
accredited programme undertaken at my as an undergraduate nurse (at that time pedagogic discussions, exploring common
previous University. Selecting appropriate an unusual route into the profession) challenges, networking and sharing
evidence to meet the UKPSF descriptor for made me realise their sustained impact resources. Having compiled my SFHEA
Senior Fellow (HEA 2011) and structuring throughout a career that has transitioned application during the early operation of a
the reflective portfolio was challenging. to midwifery and spanned practice, new scheme which did not feature a peer-
It called for thoughtful enquiry as well as education and research. Secondly I support element, it felt like quite a lonely
rigorous consideration of achievements identified internationalisation (HEA process. My experiences of facilitation
to demonstrate sustained leadership, 2014) as a key area of interest for ongoing within the YPAD scheme however are
organisation and/or management scholarship. I subsequently perused this that it is energising, highly collegiate and
of specific aspects of teaching and (Bedford 2016a & 2016b), illustrating a participants act as valued ‘critical friends’.
learning provision. The submission had UKPSF aim to promote professionalism In summary, engaging with the

18 Forum issue 42 | university of york

What is
UKPSF (HEA 2011) has created a wealth
of opportunities for my CPD within a
framework that is benchmarked across
the UK HE sector. The YPAD scheme
offers a comprehensive and engaged

means of seeking recognition across all
HEA Fellowship categories and I would
encourage interested colleagues to find
out more at:

References Tamaki Laycock and Kimi Smith report from this year’s
Bedford, H C (2016a) No passport? No problem!
Enhancing international engagement and YUSU Excellence Awards.
evidencing learning within midwifery education

via a self-reflective audit tool. Paper presented
at Virtual International Day of the Midwife he YUSU Excellence Awards are
(VIDM) Conference [online] 5th May 2016. traditionally a wonderful way for
students to show appreciation
It also gave
Bedford, H C (2016b) Internationalisation within a
UK pre-registration midwifery curriculum: students’
views on the nature, value and potential for
to the staff making a difference to students a
them. This year we wanted to try out
learning. Paper presented at European Midwives
Association (EMA) Conference, Queen Elizabeth
new ways in which to highlight the chance to think about
kind of teaching and learning that
Conference Centre, London, 2nd December 2016.
students respond to and improve the their own academic
Bolton, G (2010) Reflective practice: writing &
professional development (3rd ed), London: Sage way in which we share the best practice experience.”
Publications Ltd. demonstrated by the award winners.
Higher Education Academy (2011) UK Professional That is why on the morning of Friday
Standards Framework (UKPSF) [Online] Available 16th June, we hosted a student-led
at: experience, reinvigorate their desire to
symposium looking into students’
framework-ukpsf [Accessed 24 April 2017]. engagement with their studies. learn, and spot a few new techniques to
Higher Education Academy (2014) The agenda showcased previous take back to their departments.
Internationalising higher education framework winners of the Excellence Awards as A key aim was to amplify the student
[Online] Available at: https://www.heacademy. well as allowing student speakers to voice and we hope that the sessions share their experiences. enabled staff to better understand what
framework [Accessed 24 April 2017].
their students are thinking amidst
Nursing & Midwifery Council (2015) The Code
[Online] Available at:
Topics included: changes in higher education, and
standards/code/ [Accessed 24 April 2017]. ●● Techniques on how to create consider how we can better promote a
Nursing & Midwifery Council (2016) Revalidation engaging learning environments culture of engagement and scholarship.
[Online] Available at: Feedback has been really positive, with
●● Ideas on how to bring modules into
globalassets/sitedocuments/revalidation/how-to- both speakers and attendees thoroughly
revalidate-booklet.pdf [Accessed 24 April 2017]. the real-world
enjoying the content which has
University of York (2011 & 2015) Peer support for ●● Innovative teaching that helps encouraged us to do something similar
teaching policy and appendices to Policy [Online] maintain student engagement next year.
Available at:
teaching/community/peer-support/peer-support/ ●● Interactive workshops and Please do come along next year
[Accessed 24 April 2017]. demonstrations of student- and join us as we continue to explore
University of York (2016a) The Postgraduate approved methods. themes of excellence with both staff
Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) [Online] and students!
Available at: Feedback from last year’s event said
teaching/develop/pgcap/ [Accessed 24 April 2017].
students wanted to interact more with
University of York (2016b) The York Professional
and Academic Development Scheme (YPAD) [Online]
staff and a symposium seemed the ideal
way to address this. We wanted to foster Kimi Smith is the Student
Available at: Engagement Development
teaching/develop/ypad/ [Accessed 24 April 2017]. a sense of community through both the Coordinator at YUSU. Her
awards and the symposium, to develop role involves supporting all
the relationship students and staff have, academic reps and ensure
in order to gain further knowledge and that the student voice is
Dr Helen Bedford is a heard. A graduate of the
midwifery lecturer and
understanding of subjects they are University of York, she has a background in
Academic Lead for Peer passionate about. community development and engagement.
Support for Teaching The morning was well-received by
in the Department of University staff, students and external Tamaki Laycock has served
Health Sciences. She is as the Academic Officer
delegates from academic teams in
a Senior Fellow of the of the University of York
HEA, a member of the York Learning and students’ unions in the region. The event Student's Union (YUSU)
Teaching Forum Committee and a facilitator/ explored the reasons behind the award and, previously, as Black
assessor for the York Professional and nominations and what excellence really and Minority Ethnic Officer,
Academic Development scheme (YPAD). working to promote issues
means to students at the University
Her research and scholarship interests that matter to students and staff alike.
include internationalisation and curriculum of York. It also gave students a chance She is a graduate of the BA in Politics with
enhancement. to think about their own academic International Relations.

university of york | issue 42 Forum 19


Anne Phillips
National Teaching Fellow
Anne Phillips is Senior Lecturer in Diabetes Care in the Department
of Health Sciences, and was recently awarded a prestigious National
Teaching Fellowship (NTF) by the Higher Education Academy. Forum
Magazine took the opportunity to talk with Anne about the award, and
to consider what it really means to be excellent in teaching and learning.

What prompted you to apply for written about yourself. I am not someone hard, when we just see what we do as
the NTF award? who naturally goes forward and says what being normal, to say that what we’re doing
“I put myself forward for the National I do individually is excellent. I work in a is special. But, actually, it is special: we’re
Teaching Fellowship, an award which team, with lots of other people, and what there to transform students; we’re there
recognises impact on student learning we all do together is what makes a real to transform their ideas; we’re there to
and the teaching profession, following difference to practice. transform their experiences. That, really,
a recommendation from my former To go for the NTF award, you have to be is our everyday job. I would not have ever
head of department, Professor Hilary strong in saying “this is excellence; this is said I judge what I do as excellent; I would
Graham. I’d been awarded the Quality what I do; this is how I do it.” I benefited have just said this is what I normally do.”
in Care award for Outstanding Educator from a lot of guidance from Cecilia Lowe There’s actually a new, joint award,
in Diabetes, which is the national award (Head of the Learning Enhancement Team CATE (the Collaborative Award for
that recognises impact on practice; it was at York), who was incredibly supportive Teaching Excellence), aimed at teams
a real honour to receive that. But it was throughout the process. She helped me working in teaching and learning. I really
quite different applying for something turn my application around, helping me would encourage people to go for that
that is judged on written criteria and an to get across what it is that I do, and how one – it’s a brilliant idea by the Higher
abbreviated curriculum vitae; you don’t of it has transformed the practice of others. Education Academy because it recognises
course get to meet the assessors, who can As soon as I thought of it that way, it group excellence, recognising the whole
only judge your work based on what you’ve became an easier thing to do.” value of a team working on a project or
engaged in innovative practice. Because
Is that a characteristic of we don’t do this on our own, we do it
You have to teaching in Higher Education?
The difficulty we experience in
with a huge group of people who all
deserve recognition.”
championing ourselves?
get the skills “Absolutely, I think that’s it in a nutshell Has the York Pedagogy helped with
really. As teachers and scholars, we do that sense of recognition?
in right at the what we do because we care, passionately:
the outcomes for our students, and in my
“I think so: the York Pedagogy is valuing
teaching so much more, it’s valuing
beginning, the skills case the outcomes in practice for people
who are recipients of care, those are the
the output of that teaching so much
more, which I think is really important.

to offer people hope, things that feel important. It’s not that we
see what we do as excellent, but that we
Research is very important, and we
need to harness and use research in
see the outcome of what we want through our teaching, but it’s also about how we
understanding…” our students to be excellent. So it’s quite deliver what we deliver, how we inspire

20 Forum issue 42 | university of york

As teachers and scholars,
we do what we do
because we care, passionately.”

students through good teaching – that’s that doesn’t go away. What I really am able to progress their skill-set for the
the most important thing to me.” delighted by, is if I see students a few patient base that they have, for example in
years after they graduate, if I bump into type 1 diabetes with insulin pumps.
Tell us a bit more about teaching in them or if they come back for another It’s advocated in NICE (the National
your subject area. course, and I see what they’ve achieved. Institute for Health and Care Excellence)
“My focus is diabetes care: trying to help I see how they’ve become excellent guidance that we use insulin pumps,
practitioners do the best they can to help healthcare practitioners who are really children start with insulin pumps at
people with diabetes self-management, skilled, interested and invested in diagnosis or shortly after diagnosis,
develop their understanding about the what they’re doing. And then I know and we were the centre in the UK for
condition. It’s a condition that can be that my colleagues and I have done our providing that education. And the
very much life-dominating; it can have a jobs well. We’ve turned that person funding got taken away.”
massive effect on people’s lives regardless who came in at eighteen into a skilled,
of age, and we need to teach people the highly sophisticated practitioner who Given those kinds of issues, and I
skills to allow them to manage their own is strutting their stuff in practice and think similarly hard ones will also
condition in the way that’s most effective doing really, really well. That’s what it’s be faced in other subject areas, the
for them. There’s an awful lot of blame in all about.” million dollar question: is this still
diabetes care, and unfortunately because a job worth doing?
we’ve got such an epidemic going on Finally, you mentioned having been “Absolutely. It will always be a job worth
globally, and particularly in the UK, we’ve with the University for several doing, and when the winds change and
got to be able to teach practitioners in this years – what kind of changes have the sails turn it’ll certainly be a job worth
area the skills necessary for them to hit you seen? doing. It’s a lovely area to be working in at
the ground running. You have to get the “Well, with Health Education England York, with colleagues and with students –
skills in right at the beginning, the skills (HEE) money being withdrawn last year – it’s always great to be working with them.
to offer people hope, understanding, the that had a huge impact. In Diabetes Care, I take the NTF as recognition of that.”
practical knowledge people need in order we had a UK-wide student base and had
to live successfully with the condition.” European students showing interest,
students coming from abroad for modules.
You’ve had something of a history of But of course when the HEE funding went, Anne Phillips was speaking to Phil
awards as an educator in this field. that was it. There was a massive impact, Robinson-Self (Forum magazine sub-editor).
“Yes, I’ve been very lucky, and I think and of course that particular education The second edition (2017) of Anne’s edited
volume, Principles of Diabetes Care: evidence-
what I’ve done has been appreciated by isn’t being provided anywhere else
based management for health professionals,
students. The impact of what you do, if either. So we’ve now got a situation in the is published by Quay Books.
you know it’s working, is something country where practitioners simply aren’t Email:

university of york | issue 42 Forum 21
photo diary

and Teaching
The articles in the present edition of Forum stem from the I worry that technolog y is killing
mea ningful commu nication.

University of York’s 2017 Learning and Teaching Conference.
What a day it was!

22 Forum issue 42 | university of york

ith 150 delegates from across the
University and a good number
of externals, the stage was set
for rich dialogue and a range of fascinating
sessions – as the photographs on this page
and the materials throughout this issue
amply testify. Recordings of all of the
conference workshop and lecture sessions,
along with slides and other materials, are
made available to University of York staff A peer reviewed volume with a selection of papers – including a
via the Learning and Teaching Forum
blog: foreword by Jocelyn Wyburd and her opening paper – from last
conference/2017-conference. So if you weren’t
able to join us on the day but your interest
year’s conference held at the University of York on 17 June 2016.
has been piqued by this issue of Forum

magazine, do visit the blog and find out n the twenty-first century, good practice:
more. Or, if you did join us on the day and technology develops fast and we drawing on
just couldn’t decide which session to attend all need to learn, adapt and evolve research, such
(or perhaps you’re missing that one vital faster than ever to keep up with the as the British
reference you wanted to look up), fear no times. To maximise their potential, Academy’s Born
longer. Even if you only have time for a quick students need to be exposed to, and Global project,
taste of the day, the blog also includes useful to grow comfortable with, a range of and reflecting
overviews from the Chair of each session. different technologies. They need to be on their
able to effectively and efficiently access, experience to
produce, edit and share information promote student
appropriately, being able to work engagement,
collaboratively and independently. inclusivity and
Now more than ever, with the high collaboration,
increase in university fees, language fostering a
students – and everyone else – need not successful learning environment
only to be able to develop but also to while developing employability
evidence a wide range of skills in order skills, reviewing course content and
to compete in the current job market. assessment, and developing new
As educators, we must be aware of modules to promote intercultural
what employers look for in graduates, competence, inclusivity, critical
to be able to openly discuss this with thinking, collaborative work, digital
students and to help them become skills, and employer engagement.
aware of their development needs. Whatever the language or subject
Throughout the book, authors share we teach, there are a number of skills,
behaviours, attributes and attitudes
which staff and students should be
Students who now aware of in order to enhance teaching
fund more of the and learning, and to maximise student
potential and employability prospects.
cost of their higher
education demand higher Department for Business, Innovation and
quality, transparency and Skills (2015). Fulfilling our Potential: teaching
excellence, social mobility and student choice.
value for money. Green Paper.

Employers want highly
skilled graduates who are
ready to enter the Carmen Álvarez-Mayo is
an Associate Fellow in the
workforce. And the country Department of Language
and Linguistic Science
needs people with the and the Languages For All
Spanish and Portuguese
knowledge and expertise Coordinator. She is a
to help us compete at a Certified Member of the Association for
Learning Technology (CMALT) and a
global level.” keen learner whose main interests
are developing learning and teaching
Department for Business, materials, intercultural competency and
Innovation and Skills 2015 interdisciplinarity, and equality, diversity
and inclusivity.

university of york | issue 42 Forum 23
the back page

Support, development and recognition for
The Learning and Teaching Forum AND ACADEMIC FELLOWSHIP SCHEME
organises an exciting series of one- DEVELOPMENT (YPAD) (NTFS)
off workshops and events, delivered SCHEME The NTFS Individual Awards form
and facilitated by experienced
The YPAD scheme is based upon part of a nationwide, government-
academic and support staff.
the University’s Peer Support funded initiative to promote
Workshops are open to all staff and
for Teaching policy, and involves excellence in learning and teaching.
postgraduate students. If you are
participants working to develop Operated by the Higher Education
unable to attend an event but would
their practice in groups supported Academy, the Individual Awards
like a copy of the materials, please
and facilitated by an experienced competition recognises individuals
let us know. For further information,
colleague. The scheme is designed to who have made an outstanding
be inclusive of all staff groups who impact on the student learning
teach or support student learning experience. 55 awards of £10,000
(including PGWTs, research staff each are available each year, to be
with teaching responsibilities, used for personal, pedagogic and
associate staff and learning and professional development in learning
teaching support staff) and caters and teaching (there is no longer a
for all levels of experience. YPAD is formal project requirement). Details
accredited by the Higher Education regarding the 2017 nominations will
The SoTL Network brings together Academy; this means individuals be provided by the HEA. For more
a suite of resources, professional who successfully engage with the information, see:
development, discussion and scheme will secure professional teaching/reward/ntfs
dissemination opportunities recognition through the award
focused upon looking at teaching of an HEA Fellowship category
and student learning in a scholarly appropriate to their role and their
and research-orientated way. The SUPPORT FOR
level of responsibility for teaching
current range of activities and supporting learning. For more
organised as part of the network information, see:
includes an annual SoTL journal, teaching/develop/ypad Technology enhanced learning refers
invited speakers, and a strand to the use of online systems and tools
of seminars designed to engage in support of learning and teaching
colleagues with key and emerging activities. TEL support at the
pedagogical literature. For more VICE-CHANCELLOR’S University of York is provided by the
information, see: TEACHING AWARDS E-Learning Development Team in the
teaching/develop/network One of the ways in which the Academic Support Office. The team
University rewards excellence offers individuals and Departments
in learning and teaching is support in the design, delivery and
through the Vice-Chancellor’s evaluation of learning technology
FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES Teaching Awards, introduced interventions at the activity,
The Rapid Response Fund supports in 2006. Nominations, in which module and programme level. This
small-scale short-term projects, students play a part, are invited includes guidance on the use of the
initiatives or purchases to enhance from departments in the Spring University’s centrally-supported
the quality of learning and teaching Term of each academic year. The virtual learning environment
by addressing a clearly-identified scheme recognises staff (either Yorkshare, and advice on a wide range
need or issue. Funding is limited, and individually or in teams), including of learning technologies, including
grants will be awarded on a first- postgraduates who teach, who use of Google Sites for portfolios,
come, first-served basis; please also demonstrate excellence in teaching multimedia and video, lecture
note that departments in a stronger and/or learning support at York. recording, technology-supported
financial position may be asked Call for nominations for the Vice- assessment, in-class technologies
to fund initiatives from their own Chancellor’s Teaching Awards 2018 and collaboration out
resources. For more information, will be circulated in December 2017. of class. For more information,
35463 –

see: For more information, see: york. see:
support/funding support/technology

24 Forum issue 42 | university of york Photography: John Houlihan, Ian Martindale, Paul Shields