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ISSUE 43 | SPRING 2018

& feedback

Support and
Chairing the
University’s Standing
Committee on

Contents Editorial Dr Glenn Hurst
recognised as a Social
3 News
elcome to this Spring edition of
4 Enhancing academic
support, assessment
Forum Magazine which is the first
I have produced as the Editor Media Superstar
and feedback along with my trusty and capable sub-editor,
Dr Glenn Hurst, from the
Phil Robinson-Self, and the wider editorial
7 Adaptive Comparative Department of Chemistry,
Judgment: achieving committee comprised of Helen Bedford has been recognised as one
more reliable (Health Sciences), Glenn Hurst (Chemistry) of the top 10 UK social media
assessment? and Carmen Álvarez-Mayo (Language and superstars by Jisc (formerly including the Jisc social
10 Long Live the King!
Linguistics). On taking up the role of editor, I the Joint Information Systems media team, Jisc Head of
Student Experience and the
have to confess to having experienced a large Committee) in a competition
social media editor for Times
12 Team-based Industrial degree of apprehension – and there have certainly been some challenges celebrating the excellent social Higher Education.
Software Project as a to be overcome. However, I am pleased with what has been produced media work accomplished in The Department of
means for Assessment
and I hope that you, the reader, benefit from the shared knowledge and Higher Education (HE). Chemistry at York is
& Learning
committed to teaching
experiences relating to assessment that are shared within this 43rd
Glenn was recognised for innovation and excellence
14 Sharing your edition of Forum Magazine.
his innovative use of social as demonstrated by their
innovation via a York
Following the rigorous process of the initial implementation of the media to enhance his second place ranking in the
Learning and Teaching
York Pedagogy it has become clear that a huge swathe of departments teaching. The judges were 2018 Guardian League Table.
Forum lunchtime
workshop have sought to shake up and improve assessment within their particularly impressed by
Glenn’s use of Snapchat Web links:
undergraduate programmes. This assessment-focused edition of Forum to signpost students
16 Leading national our-top-ten-higher-education-
seeks to bring together a range of insights, extending from the design, during inductions. Glenn social-media-superstars-of-2017-13-
education conference
development and implementation of a model for academic support and sends students a blend of nov-2017
held in Department of
annotated pictures and https://www.timeshighereducation.
Chemistry feedback, through consideration of Adaptive Comparative Judgement as com/blog/top-10-uk-higher-
videos to allow them to
an assessment process, to the experiences of being a Graduate Teaching education-social-media-
contextualise the chemistry superstars-2017
18 The Harvard poltergeist
and other honest
Assistant helping students prepare for assessment, and even an interview concepts taught in lectures use of a wide range of social from DigiLab, so expect to
with Steve King, the Chair for the Standing Committee on Assessment. to the real world. In media platforms, from see a robot and some VR
doing so he also provides Facebook Live and Instagram visiting the Department
I hope you will agree that Forum magazine provides clear evidence to those developing their of Chemistry soon. The
students with a glimpse of Glenn Hurst is a
19 Learning and Teaching of not only excellence and best practice here at the University of Lecturer in the
how chemistry research is own bespoke apps for award was made by Jisc, a
Conference 2018 Department of
York, from which we can all learn, but also illustrates the enthusiasm conducted in laboratories in student learning. Pablo, UK not-for-profit company, Chemistry. Glenn
amongst staff for providing a world class learning and teaching the department and beyond. the library penguin at the which supports post-16 is particularly
20 Support, development interested in
Student feedback includes University of Portsmouth, and higher education by
and recognition for environment for all our students. ‘It’s super fun to see research was also recognised for providing relevant and useful
Learning and Teaching new pedagogical approaches
in chemistry labs!’ being a trustworthy source advice, digital resources and and resources to confer a deep
Enjoy! He also uses Twitter to of information on Twitter network and technology understanding and application of
subject matter. He is the Director
engage with students and and a YouTube entertainer. services. The winners were
of Studies for Natural Sciences
the academic community The winners receive an chosen by a panel of HE in the Department of Chemistry.
Ruth Penfold-Mounce (Sociology) and empowers students to edtech visit for their class and social media experts,
Editor create their own YouTube
videos of organic chemistry
mechanisms. Students then
tweet their videos to him to
Teaching Fora in Chemistry
receive feedback so they can The Department of Chemistry have relaunched a teaching fora in order to share best practice
improve. Glenn says ‘This in teaching and learning chemistry. Coordinated by Dr Glenn Hurst, the first session took
approach has allowed me to place on Thursday 14th December on the subject of e-learning. This 60 min session included
provide students with even contributions from Dr Kirsty Penkman who discussed how to use Wikis in assessment, Dr Nick
For a large print, Forum is published biannually by the Learning and Teaching Forum at the University of York more feedback than other Wood and Dr Glenn Hurst who presented how to use two different electronic voting systems
black and white text Editor Ruth Penfold-Mounce approaches such as tutorials/ to include facilitation of peer instruction, Dr David Pugh and Greg Addicott who outlined new
workshops and enables electronic resources to support practical chemistry, and Professor Andy Parsons who discussed
version, please contact Sub-editor Phil Robinson-Self
the use of electronic books as a new learning tool. The session was very well attended across
them to improve their
learning-and-teaching- Editorial Committee Helen Bedford, Glenn Hurst, Carmen Álvarez-Mayo. communications skills.’ the Department and proved an excellent way to discuss new teaching methodologies together Design and print Design and Print Solutions Other award winners with ideas for the future. The next teaching fora will occur after the spring term.
Front Cover image John Houlihan included academics making

2 Forum issue 43 | university of york university of york | issue 43 Forum 3
feature feature
Department of Health Sciences


Year Activity Participants
Introduction to the module and overview of the assessment task
from the module leader
Discussion board on VLE where you can ask questions about the
assessment to the module leader 2014–2015 Review of assessment, academic support Academic staff
and feedback practices Undergraduate
Face-to-face assessment support session Academic/Writing Phase 1
during the module, for you to ask questions Support Sessions Individual and focus group interviews pre-registration

academic support, nursing students
about the assessment The Writing Centre
Formative feedback: For essay-type assignments: a timetabled
opportunity to submit and receive formative feedback on your

assessment and feedback 2015–2016
draft assessment (500 words maximum). For other types of New model of academic support – module Year 3
assessment: an opportunity to work on sample exam questions
lead with module team responsible undergraduate
or draft poster presentations Phase 2 – for leading the provision of academic pre-registration
If you fail your first submission, an opportunity to attend a pilot support related to the subject content nursing students
timetabled face-to-face revision session following receipt of your result
Jerome Wright, Vanessa Taylor, Department of Health Sciences. Summative feedback will be provided about your assessment with
for formative and summative module Academic and
feed-forward to develop your academic work in the future. assessments. Support augmented with professional
range of student-centred activities from support staff
Introduction of practice and theory modules that meet
both academic and professional, statutory start of module through to students’
Assessment and feedback play a vital role
receipt of results and summative feedback
in higher education. The UK Quality Code and regulatory body (PSRB) requirements,
(including resubmission/resit).
for Higher Education Chapter B6 (Quality the challenges in providing students with created misunderstanding for students.
Assurance Agency (QAA) 2013) identifies consistent and high quality academic There were inequities too. Some students of marking and students’ feedback for
the expectations which all UK higher support and feedback are substantial. would access a range of sources of support formative and summative assessments Survey and focus groups
education providers are required to meet to Yet, progressing with implementation of from within and outside the DoHS, and A system wide approach involving
maintain academic standards and to assure the York Pedagogy, with its emphasis on would gain copious feedback on drafts academic, student assessment and
and enhance quality for the assessment programme leadership and organisational of their written work. Others would professional support staff, as well as 2016–2017 Implementation across pre-registration Academic and
of students. Focusing attention on the initiatives to provide strong student pursue their studies in isolation, receiving student representatives, was initiated and nursing and midwifery programmes professional
pastoral support, the need to focus
Phase 3 including: support staff
methods of assessment and feedback is little feedback about their academic supported through a small grant from
fundamental to improving student learning, specifically on academic support and the progress. All agreed that reducing these the University’s strategic learning and §§ Review of programme assessment Students
increasing student satisfaction and student experience of assessment and inconsistencies, ensuring equitable access teaching fund. schedule to include timetabled
achieving greater confidence in academic feedback became evident. As in other to academic support and feedback, and Having established clear aims, opportunities for formative assessment/
standards (NSS 2017; University of York departments in the University and across improving the quality of that support and the new approach concentrated the feedback aligned to summative
2015; QAA 2013; HEA 2012). Effective, the wider HEI sector (Pitt and Norton feedback, throughout the programme and responsibility for the provision of student assessments
inclusive assessment and feedback methods 2016), the receipt of lower NSS satisfaction for each module would enhance students’ academic support with each module §§ Development of DoHS (Nursing &
and processes have been identified as ratings for questions related to ‘Assessment development as autonomous learners and leader and team. The development of Midwifery) quality assurance standard
improving and enhancing the learning and feedback’ relative to other domains enrich their experience of academic study. a ‘postcard’ for students aimed to raise and processes for academic support,
experience, and are critical in encouraging added impetus to the fostering of a A Steering Group, formed on behalf of awareness of the full range of academic submission, marking & feedback of
original thinking, determining student deeper understanding and to our drive the DoHS’ Undergraduate Programmes support sessions/opportunities available formative and summative assessments
learning outcomes and graduate success for improvement. Board, undertook to re-design, implement as part of programme delivery, within §§ Re-orientation of academic staff to the
through preparing students for the world of and evaluate a new model of academic DoHS and the through various University new model of support
work (QAA, 2013; HEA 2012). Recommended Phase 1 support for pre-registration nursing and services, as well as aiming to promote
approaches have included the promotion The first step in seeking improvement midwifery programmes. Core features §§ Introduction of mechanism to facilitate
students’ autonomy by making effective
of regular formative assessments and was to carry out a review of assessment of this model were the development of submission, allocation to markers and
use of the formative and summative
feedback which are integral to a dialogic and feedback practices across the pre- equitable opportunity for formative return to student of each formative piece
feedback provided.
learning and teaching process (HEA 2012). registration nursing and midwifery assessment and feedback, and investing of work via VLE
In this article, we outline a phased programmes. Module evaluations the module lead and module teaching Phases 2 and 3: Developing and §§ Development of an audit tool and
initiative within the Department of Health and external examiners’ reports were team with responsibility for leading the implementing the model for auditing of formative and summative
Sciences (DoHS), led by academics and analysed and a series of focus groups provision of academic support related to academic support and feedback feedback
professional support staff providing and individual interviews with students the subject content. Previously, this had The introduction of the new model required §§ Evaluation via survey and focus groups at
nursing and midwifery education. The and academic staff were undertaken been the role of the personal supervisor. major refinements to the organisation of end of academic year 2016-17
‘Academic support and feedback project’ to examine the current strengths and This model of support was augmented academic support and involved investment
weaknesses of our academic processes. §§ Review of NSS feedback
aims to review and implement change with a range of student-centred activities in both human resource and technical
in order to enhance the organisation The key message from these different and opportunities provided across the solutions. The Steering Group established
and experience of academic support and sources was the inconsistent academic nursing and midwifery programmes, and a quality standard (with associated audit
support for students within and across
2017–2018 Implementation of model across all Academic staff
feedback for formative and summative from the start of every module through tool), led workshops and provided briefings nursing and midwifery programmes (as
assessments by students undertaking modules. Inconsistencies were most evident to the students’ receipt of results and to re-orientate academic staff to the
Phase 4 phase 3) and:
nursing and midwifery programmes (Table where the same module content was taught summative feedback. new model of support. Module leaders Requirement to attend timetabled
1). This article focuses on the Department’s and marked by multiple academic staff. Nested within the overall model of and teams reviewed and incorporated programme of academic support and
progress in phases 1-3 of the project. The Ironically, the range of additional support support, therefore, were two key targets: each element into their provision. All feedback sessions
DoHS is constantly seeking to improve the both from personal supervisors and from students were provided with an individual
academic writing support services from 1. To enhance and co-ordinate the Development of best practice guidelines
academic support for its large cohorts of copy of the briefing providing detail of
within and outside the department, while opportunities for students to receive for assessment feedback
pre-registration Nursing and Midwifery opportunities students can expect in terms
appreciated by some students, exposed individualised formative assessment Academic staff development workshops on
students. With more than five hundred of academic support and feedback (Figure
increased opportunity for inconsistency support and feedback for each module marking and feedback
students currently studying across the 1) alongside the expectations/opportunities
of advice about module content and throughout the programme
three years of the two undergraduate for student engagement in the development
programmes, and the complex combination assessment support. This inconsistency 2. To improve and standardise the quality of their academic skills. Consistent with Table 1: Phases of the ‘Academic support and feedback project’

4 Forum issue 43 | university of york university of york | issue 43 Forum 5
– 2 3 + 4 5 6 7 % 8
0 1 – 2 3 + 4 5 6 x 7 % 8
9 = 0 1 – 2 3 + 4 5 6 x
% 8 9 = 0 1 – 2 3 + 4 5 6
7 % 8 9 = 0 1 – 2 3 +article
5 6 x 7 % 8 = 0 1 2 3
5 6 x % 8 9 = 0 1 –
4 7


+ x

2 3 6 % 8 0

Seek out feedback:

7 =

+ 4 Comparative x Judgment: 9
Clear understanding of how

QAA Chapter B6 expectations, this process If you don’t understand, be

3 6
Professional skills, referencing,

2 5 %
the mark is awarded.

proactive, ask your module

– 4
includes a focus on helping students to writing style, knowledge,

1 + x
Helpful, suggestions of how

3 6

= 0

2 5 %
understand what constitutes feedback as to improve

– 4 7
Check out feedback:

+ x
Personal feedback:

well as how to make effective use of it.

0 3 6

9 = achieving more 2 reliable assessment?
If confused – ask module

Feedback and feed forward on

– 4
In addition, the introduction of an Module lead/module team

lead/team in class or via VLE

8 +
your assessments

% 0 3
available for academic support

9 =York Law School, offers=his 0 2 a new method of assessment.3 + 4 5
effective mechanism to facilitate the Don’t speculate/rely on hearsay

Feedback about style, structure

Academic support services

8 1
Submit draft/plan or other and content
submission, allocation of markers,

available for general academic

7 – 2
formative assessment:

x 9

marking and return to students of each writing support

6 Scott Slorach,
8 thoughts on piloting
Plan ahead – submit draft work

5 %
Develop your knowledge, skills


4 7 –
formative piece of work via the module

or engage in other formative

x 8 1
and understanding

6 0
Regular formative feedback in

VLE represented a considerable logistical assessment opportunities

5 W 7 may be a first for =
Helps you improve your future

4 9
class and in practice

+ xIn what
Listen/participate: hat follows is an outline of
endeavour from academic and professional


3 %
Timely: As judgments take place, the system

2 5 7
Assignment seminars

what Adaptive Comparative

– 8 9
support staff. One particular aspect Professional development:

+ this x
Feedback dates issued in reports on the reliability of the emerging

Feedback in class and join

3 5 %
Feedback to help you improve Judgment (ACJ) is, and some

designed to increase consistency of advance.

4 7
in groupwork

ranking and there is a point at which

+article offers something 4 5 6 x
Forum magazine,

9 = 0 1
Formative feedback available to future work insights from a work in progress at

marking and feedback, was to institute Reflect:

help summative assessment Learn to receive and respond sufficient judgments are made to achieve

York Law School (YLS). We have run

1 + x
a system of allocating the same marker Review feedback, assessment positively to constructive

0 3 6
Personal: this. The reported reliability of the YLS

= 2 5
criteria, marking criteria two pilot projects so far this year, with
for both formative and summative feedback to improve your work

9 – 4
Individual feedback related to ranking was 0.92, high in comparison

8 If 1 +
What are your strengths
akin to a ‘ free gift inside’.
tutors and students respectively using

x 7 % 3
submissions. your summative work

= 2
and weaknesses? to measures from a number of studies

9 –
the system for summative and formative

8 1 +
As well as guiding the introduction
interest is sparked by
0 3
of university essay marking, where
of the model, at the end of the academic

6 x 7 % what follows =
assessment. Learning to date, as with

8 like to try ACJ, 1 – 2 comparators ranged from c. 0.4 – 0.7.

many pilots, has raised as many questions and you
5 %
year, the Steering Group undertook an

Figure 1 – Opportunities for academic

4 7
An AQA research paper showed 0.96

+ x 8 9
extensive evaluation of the initiative as it has provided answers. However, the

6 0
support and feedback for students.
5 to an%
reliability of ACJ on Geography A level
involving staff and student surveys, focus

+ 4 access7
principles behind and the potential of ACJ
there is x
6 8 9 =essays against a previous figure of ~0.57.

1 – 2 3 5 system, plus guidance, 6 x 7 %
group discussions with students from mean that the questions are important ACJ
For grading, the judging team agrees

and the answers worth pursuing. This

across the three years of their programme, Recommendations for Phase 4: References:
2 end5 %
where grade boundaries sit in the ranking

– 4 x 7
article focuses on the summative

1 available +
and a documentary audit of formative and Recommendations for 2017-18 include HEA (2012) A Marked Improvement. Transforming

0 3 6
by reference to the assessment criteria, and

8 9 = – 2the academic year. 2 3 + 4
until the of
summative feedback from across a range assessment in higher education, The Higher assessment project.
continuing the work of the Academic

Education Academy HEA (2016) Transforming then uses individual parameters generated

0 5
of modules.

Support and Feedback Steering Group in by the system to identify where, within

9 – 4
assessment in higher education, https://www.

Summative ACJ assessment project
8 +
order to support and promote:
0 3

6 x 7 %
each agreed grade band, each script should

9 = 2
Phase 3: Evaluation and ACJ is an alternative to the traditional


8 1
nn Students’ awareness of the ‘DoHS Model sit, and thus generates individual marks.

% 0
recommendations assessment method where individual

7 9 = –
of Academic Support and Feedback’ To achieve reliability on grade boundaries

6 x 8 1
The evaluation and audit indicated that markers assess individual scripts and element of the system identifies scripts

NSS (2017) NSS Core Questionnaire 2017

5 % 9 =
from year to year, marker or ‘seed’ scripts

3 + 4 7
significant steps and effort had been taken nn Students’ awareness of the University Available at: http://www.thestudentsurvey. award a mark based on their judgment with similar numbers of ‘wins’ or ‘losses’,
to improve the amount, consistency and and expectations relating to their com/content/NSS2017_Core_Questionnaire.pdf

5 6 x
as to how a student demonstrated agreed

4 7 % 8
pairing these in further judgment rounds.
from previous years can be inserted into

x 9
(Accessed 27/01/18) the following year’s pool of scripts.

+ 6 8
engagement in developing their

quality of the model of academic support criteria. Instead, a group of academics From this, it develops a progressively

5 %
0 1 – 2 4 7
academic skills, including utilising and Pitt, E. and Norton, L. (2016) “‘Now that’s

+ x
for students undertaking pre-registration (“judges”) is presented with pairs of accurate ranking. The system also

3 6
the feedback I want!’ Students’ reactions to Questions and answers?

– 2 5
understanding assessment feedback

4 7
nursing and midwifery programmes with feedback on graded work and what they do student scripts and asked individually to identifies ‘difficult’ scripts – where

1 + x
The following are questions raised by the

0 3 6
all modules incorporating all aspects of exercise comparative judgment: simply,

nn The development of DoHS formative with it.” Assessment & Evaluation in Higher different judges’ decisions place it

= – 2 4
% 8 9
pilot project and some answers to some

1 +
the student support provision outlined in and summative feedback guidelines to Education: 1–18. judge which script is the better, against an differently in the emerging ranking –

0 2 3
questions that may be in readers’ minds.

8 9 – 4
Figure 1. promote consistent quality feedback agreed assessment statement. It is based sending them back out for judgment

1 +
We chose to assess a selection of 60 Y1

0 3
QAA The UK Quality Code for Higher Education

% = 2
The consistency of opportunity afforded on the premise that we are more accurate against a number of chosen comparators,

5 6 x 7 8 9 –
skills coursework items marked earlier
Part B: Assuring and enhancing academic quality.

by the scheduling of formative assessment Conclusion in making such binary judgments rather progressively identifying more reliably

% 0
Chapter B6: Assessment of students and the

in the year as formative assessments,
submissions and the receipt of individual Assessment and feedback are key issues Recognition of prior learning. Available: http://

5 6 x 7
than awarding an absolute mark, even

% 8 9
their ranking positions.

0 1
to assess the impact had these been

= against a set of detailed criteria.

written feedback has been highly valued

for higher education institutions. They

2 3 + x 9
summatively assessed. The selection was

6 8
understanding-assessment.pdf From the pool of scripts, the system

by students with up to 95% of the enrolled are also sensitive issues for students and

4 5 7
proportionately representative of the

6 x
University of York (2015) Learning and Teaching

+ 8
students submitting formative work for academics. Any appraisal as to the quality selects random pairs for a first round

3 5 %
range of original marks awarded by a

Strategy 2015-2020 Available at: https://www.

– 4 7
some modules. Whilst concerns were of academic support and feedback for of judgments of all scripts. The adaptive

= 0 1 + x

team of markers and moderated by the

2 3 5
expressed by students about variations students is appreciably subjective and

strategies/ (Accessed 26/01/18)

module leader. Based on the original

1 + x
in the quantity and quality of formative

0 3 6
individual. And yet equity of access to

= 2 5
marks, we ranked the items 1 to 60.

9 – 4
and summative feedback, they were academic support and feedback, which is
overwhelmingly appreciative of the clearly timely, constructive and developmental Vanessa Taylor is

7 % 8 9 = 0 1 – 2 3 +
8 1
Deputy Head of Nursing,

0 3
timetabled opportunities to receive feedback

(QAA Indicator 9) are key elements that

= 2
Midwifery and Professional
on their formative work throughout each departments can manage and strive Programmes/Chair in

6 x 7 8 9 1 –
4 5 7 % = 0
module. Although too early to establish to improve. This phased initiative Teaching and Learning.
direct correlation, there are indications that illustrates how a comprehensive review Developing from her clinical

5 6 x % 8 9 = 0
4 7 9
roles in cancer, palliative and

+ x 8
changes made are reflected positively in the and re-orientation of student academic

– 2 3 5 6 %
end-of-life care, Vanessa's academic career

4 7
recent NSS results (2016-17).

support can begin to provide all students

has focused on pedagogy, curriculum design
Academics, too, welcome the with equitable access to more consistent and delivery, leading quality assurance and

– 2 3 + 4 5 6 x 7 %
1 6
enhancement, and promoting scholarship in

improvements in equity and consistency
support and good quality formative

9 = – 2 4 5
teaching and learning.

1 +
of academic support which the model and summative feedback. From our
appears to have brought to students. The evaluations, there is emerging evidence Jerome Wright is Senior

8 9 = 0 1 – 2 3 + 4 5
% 0 3
increased volume of marking through the that this co-ordinated approach to Lecturer in Mental Health

x 7 9 = 1 – 2
and Field Lead for the Mental

introduction of the scheduled formative academic support and enhanced

% = 0 2
Health Nursing Programme.

7 –
opportunity is felt to be balanced by a provision of individualised feedback

6 x 8 9 1
Jerome has led the Student

+ 4 5 % 0
convergence in providing equitable advice

is translating into improved student

Academic Support Project
and support. satisfaction with their programmes. within the DoHS.

5 6 x % 8 9
3 + 4 5 6 x 7 % 8 9
1 – 2 3 + 4 6 7
x | Forum
– 2 4 5
5 6 x
Forum issue 43 | university of york
0 1 2 3 +
6 university of york issue 43 7
3 + + 4 5 6 x 7 % 8
8 9
– 2 3 4 5 6 x 7 %
0 1 1 – 2 3 +
+ 4 5 6 x
9 = 0 1 – 2 3 + 4 5 6
% 8 article
9 = 0 – 2 3
x 7 % 8 9 = 0 1
1 – 2 3 +
5 6 7 % 8 9 = 0
4 5 6 x 7 % 8 = 0 1
2 3 + x
Five skills tutors acted as judges on

5 6 % 8 9
4 7
a sample of 60 items; there were eight

– 2 3 +
rounds of judgments, with each tutor

4 5 6 x 7 % 8
1 + x
making around 50 judgments in total.

9 = 0 – 2 3
The total of 249 judgments took just over

1 + 4 5 6
= 0
22 hours of tutor time with the entire
2 3 5 6
x 7 %
8 9 = 0
assessment process being completed

in a single day. Our standard marking

% 8
1 –
0 1 – 2 3 + 4
2 3
7 = –
allocation for such an item is 30 minutes,

7 %
thus at least 30 hours for an equivalent

+ 4 5 x 8 9 =
sample (tutors report spending more

4 5 6
time on average).

+ x 7 % 9 = 0
2 3 5
Comparing the ACJ ranking to the

4 6 7 % 8
1 – 3 + 6 x
original, there was little variance in

1 – 2
the top 5 and bottom 3 items’ position.

0 3 + 4 5 6 x 7 %
8 9 = 2 5
However, 17 items were ranked +/- 10

0 1 –
places and 13 +/- 20 places from their

= 3 + 4 5

9 detail2
I'm going to need some more– + 4
8 1
original placing. If we allocated each

7 % =
item the mark allocated to the item

9 0 –
on my formative assessment.
2 3 (01904) 328419

6 x x 7 % 8
ranked in that position in the original

9 = 0 1
1 – 2
marking, then 33 of the 60 had a mark of

5 6 7 % = 0
3 + 4 8 9
+/- 5 from the standard marking, with 11 fact that, at least from this author’s 5 hours resulted in ‘judgment fatigue’.

+ 4 5 6
of those being +/- 10 or more.
7 %
perspective, when it came to making

x =
Extending the period during which

3 6 8
If we assume the reliability of ACJ – difficult judgments, it focused the mind judgments are made would reduce this,

1 – 2 3 +
see the work of Pollitt and others on
4 5 on what we were really asking to be

6 x 7 %
which could be particularly beneficial in

= 0 – 2
this – then what are the potential

1 4 5
demonstrated by our assessment criteria.

+ 7
later rounds when the adaptive system is

0 3 5 6 Reinvesting in the University of York
advantages and disadvantages? From The apparent comparative – no pun presenting more difficult comparators

8 9 = 1
a student perspective, there is no

0 – 2 intended – efficiency of the system

3 + 4 as it refines the final ranking.

7 % 8 9 =
difference in what they have to submit.
– 2
needs to be balanced against the

1 + 4
Having work judged by a number of

7 = 0
imperative of providing feedback to

– 2 3

4 5 6 x 8 9 0 1
academics rather than one or possibly students within agreed timescales. The questions and answers above

6 x 7 %
two may answer claims that ‘X marks

8 9 =
The system used allows judges to note
1 –
demonstrate the work-in-progress

harder than Y’ or ‘I wrote the same

4 x 7 %
why they made a particular judgment,

9 = 0
nature of the project. The system is not a

– 2 3 + 5 6 % 8
things as Z but got a different mark’. and also to enter feedback against panacea by any means. It is not suitable

2 3 + 4
Whilst we do not allow academic
x 7
each item. These can be compiled and

5 6 8 9 York Scholarship
for all formats or lengths of assessment.

– 4 7
judgment to be challenged, these reports generated, obviously adding There are a number of operational issues

9 = 0 1 2
claims appear to be increasing and
3 + 5
some time to the processes of judgment
6 x
of Teaching
around marking times and provision of

1 –
‘panel marking’ is a valid response. In

= 0 3 + 4
and administration. Based on the

2 6 x
feedback that would need to be addressed

9 – 4
addition, more employers are asking pilot, we would have to establish some to expand its use across a larger cohort.

8 0 1 3 +
x 7 % = 2 and Learning
for class positions and rankings – given conventions to ensure consistency of In addition, there are questions around

8 9
the high proportion of students with 2:1

% 0 1 –
feedback but of course this is the case

= 3 +
communication to students and their

x 7 9 1 –

degrees – and ACJ may offer reliability with all assessment and feedback. A response to being assessed in a different
+ 4 5 6 0

% =

in this regard. positive is that, if a report notes that all
manner. Allied to this is a question as

4 5 6 x
Is it ‘impression marking’? That
% 8
judges identified similar strengths and

7 0 1
to whether problems would be created

2 3 +
is, is an item better marked rigorously

5 6 x
weaknesses, a student can be assured

% 8 9
in presenting students with a “more

– 4 7
once by an individual or judged against
that the feedback is reliable. reliable” form of judgment in some

0 1 – 2 3 +
a number of other items a number
5 6
A final but important point on

4 % 8
modules as against traditional marking

9 = 0 1
of times? It is certainly the case that

– 2 3 +
efficiency relates to the judges.

4 5 6 x
in others, particularly if the format

each judgment takes less time than Colleagues reported that the intensity
of assessment is similar. However,

% 8 = 0
individual marking. Against that is the

9 2 3
of judging 60 items in between 4 and

– 5 6
any approach that offers greater
4 York Scholarship
7 % 8 9 = 0 1 – 2 3 +
reliability and, potentially, efficiency in

6 x 8 1 of Teaching
assessment and feedback is such that,

5 x 7 % 9 = 0 – 3
2 second volume of the York Scholarship of Teaching
at this stage, the conclusion is that it is

4 5 6 7 % 8
The system used for the pilot is called CompareAssess, and is provided by an
9 = 0 The
very much worth investigating further. and Learning
2 3 + 5 6 x % 8
organization called Digital Assess. See for details of the system

4 7 0nine stimulating articles from disciplines across
and Learning Journal (February 2018) is now available,
+ 6 x
used. Please contact the author if you would be interested in using the system

2 3 5 % 8 9 featuring
– 4 7
during this academic year. YLS also ran a project using the system where it was

= 0 1 – 2 3 + 5
provided to students where they acted as judges to peer review pieces of work

4 6 x 7
the University of York and covering a broad array of subjects
Scott Slorach has designed

0 1 3 + 6 x pertaining to teaching and learning. To access the volume,
as part of a formative assessment process. The system has been used similarly legal education programmes

9 = – 2
at the University of Edinburgh. One of the intended outcomes of this approach

1 + 4 5 at UG, PG and PD levels

7 % 8
and for more information on the journal, please visit:
= 0 3 5
for over 25 years in the

is that it encourages students to become familiar with assessment criteria and

8 9 1 –
to develop a more critical sense of what best demonstrates such criteria. Please

% 0 2 3 + 4
UK, Australia, New Zealand

7 =
and Singapore. Scott is

9 –
contact the author for further details of this pilot.

6 8 1
the Director of Learning &

+ 4 5 % 0 2
38635_Journal-2 v3.indd 1

7 9 = –
Teaching at York Law School. Email: scott.
31/01/2018 16:16

4 5 6 x 7 % 8 9 = 0 1

3 + 5 6 x % 8
1 – 2 2 3 + 4 5 6 x 7 % 8 9 =

0 1
– 2 3 +
issue 43 university of york
4 5 6 x 7 | Forumuniversity of york issue 43 9
best practice
interview interview

Long Live the King! and managing and my research has compensation for final year students two things at particular times. That’s quite an
The overriding
principle for as long
diminished. So now I’m in a Teaching and years ago, and we have just changed the exciting thing.
Scholarship role: I moved from being a rules to allow undergraduate students It’s also exciting that there’s more as I’ve been Chair of SCA is
Lecturer to Senior Lecturer, and now I’m who fail their first year to repeat that year. of an emphasis on assessment. We can
a Reader in Teaching and Scholarship. I think that’s a positive change: students get programme leaders thinking about to make things better for
who don’t manage to progress at the how we conduct assessment through students, more equal, fairer
What changes in assessment have end of this academic year will have the the course of the programme, how the
you seen during your time as opportunity to come back and try again. work of the student and their formative and clearer.”
Chair of SCA? It gives another chance to those who, for assessment in a particular module lead
One of the main things that has happened whatever reason, spent too much time on toward the summative assessment.
is standardisation. Very early on in my other things or for whom the transition So all of those things, I think, will be downsides: there are elements of learning
tenure, the University was undergoing its to university has not been as smooth as it very helpful in improving the students’ that you simply cannot measure so well
Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) review. might have been. The overriding principle experience of their academic programmes. in closed exams. I also think that one
We had to preface many of the answers for as long as I’ve been Chair of SCA is There hasn’t been a great emphasis on issue concerning closed exams, which will
to their questions with ‘it depends which to make things better for students, more the importance of formative work before. emerge in the next few years (and which
department you are talking about.’ In equal, fairer and clearer. But it prepares students for summative is coming up already in other institutions),
those days there were very different assessment, and possibly reduces the is the business of handwriting. Student's
practices in different departments. It What effects has the volume of that assessment. In some don't often write by hand anymore outside
was modularisation, six or seven years implementation of the York programmes there is a huge amount closed exams, so why are we assessing
ago, that really pushed the issue of Pedagogy had on assessment? of summative work and you do wonder that way? This is one of my worries,
standardisation, but there was a long The Pedagogy has this great emphasis whether it is all really necessary. We need because I don’t know how to solve the
period of discussion prior to that – on programme level thinking, and we to have summative assessment in order problem with the real estate that we have
perhaps too long. Now every student might have thought more along those to have some sort of objective view of how at the moment. How do we run an exam
knows that they are being treated under lines back when we implemented well students are doing and to justify the which would allow, let’s say, two hundred
the same rules, whether they are in the modularisation. That process was driven award of degrees – but we don’t need to students in a particular subject to write
English Department or in the Computer by the idea that we would have a modular do it all the time. But of course that then their essays on computers in closed
Science Department. Having one set of structure for all taught programmes, leaves the challenge of how you keep exam conditions? We don’t have enough
rules across the University means that undergraduate and postgraduate. Fitting students engaged: there is this danger computer rooms to do that, and, even if
Steve King has recently been reappointed for another they can be easily explained to students, into the modular structure meant there that students will think ‘oh, that’s not we did, we could run into problems with
that students can understand them wasn’t as much opportunity to consider going to count towards my degree, why making sure that students don’t have
term as Chair of the University’s Standing Committee on should I bother doing it?’ That is an issue access to the Internet, that it’s really
better, and that students on combined how the programme works as a whole:
Assessment (SCA). Carmen Álvarez-Mayo caught up with programmes have a joined-up experience. how students’ knowledge builds during that we are struggling with, and which them doing the work. But I think it’s an
One piece of advice that I received from a their time with us, and how formative we are going to go on struggling with: issue that we are going to have to deal
Steve on behalf of the Learning and Teaching Forum. how we keep students properly engaged. with. We have students with disabilities
previous Chair of SCA when I started was, and summative assessments are linked
‘If you are thinking about changes, always to each other throughout. I think the Students need to see the value of feedback who have particular pieces of software to
start with the combined students’. Several Pedagogy lets us take stock. Lots of on formative assessment; that they are help them, and we can organise it so that
The beginning Computer Science Programmes as we times I’ve forgotten that and regretted it. departments put a great deal of thought not just receiving feedback for the sake of they can undertake exams with their own
I came to the University in 1995 as a undertook the implementation of the It’s a good piece of advice, because if you into modularisation, but then over the feedback, but in order to improve what’s computer, but these situations do need to
Lecturer in the Department of Computer York Pedagogy. I introduced the Pedagogy set up a system and then retrofit it to the subsequent four or five years a number of going to come later on. be monitored closely. We can do it for a
Science. After a few years, I got involved at undergraduate level, and the role has combined students it very often doesn’t work. small changes have occurred. Certainly single student; doing it for two hundred is
with the University Teaching Committee now passed on to a colleague. Over the We’ve also improved some things in Computer Science we allow module Where do you think the University harder. But it’s coming because, you know,
(UTC). I was Chair of Board of Studies in years, I've spent more time teaching recently: we amended the rules around leaders quite a lot of autonomy; they is heading in terms of assessment? the world is changing: I’d be surprised if
Computer Science for two years, and then can make changes to modules. But, I think there are challenges with in ten years’ time we are still doing the
acted as Deputy Head with responsibility naturally, changes were made thinking assessment. One of the current challenges same sort of exams we are doing now. It
more at the level of the module than in is about security and making sure that a probably won’t be me as Chair of SCA
for teaching. I became Chair of the
University’s Standing Committee on
It’s also exciting that there’s more of an emphasis terms of what works for the programme student’s work is really theirs. There are then; I’ll let somebody else deal with that!
Assessment in 2011; since then, it has on assessment. We can get programme leaders overall. So the Pedagogy gives us the issues around misconduct that we have to
become a bigger and bigger role. In opportunity to think much more in terms be really careful about, for example essay
some ways, I probably now know more thinking about how we conduct assessment through the of programmes, which in some ways is commissioning. This is stuff that has Steve King was in
of what is going on at the University hard to do, but it’s worth it – because been in the press recently, about contract conversation with Carmen
than I know about what is happening course of the programme, how the work of the student being able to help students to understand cheating and commissioning of essays Álvarez-Mayo, a member
of Learning and Teaching
in the Department. However, more
recently, I took on the role of Programme
and their formative assessment in a particular module where individual modules fit into the
programme level structure helps them
and so on. One obvious way one can deal
with those issues is to have more closed
Forum committee and
Associate Lecturer in
Leader for the main undergraduate lead toward the summative assessment.” to see why they are studying particular exams. That’s tempting, but there are Spanish.

10 Forum issue 43 | university of york university of york | issue 40 Forum 11
article article

Team-based Industrial
in 2011. BT prepared 2-3 brief project
descriptions, each with a few references Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 average
for initial background reading material.

Mean %
Software Project as a means for
72 72 78 85 85 78
The appropriateness of the projects was
assessed by the lecturer and then the
internal assessor against the cohort level Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 average
and expected learning outcomes. The size
Score [/5] 4.2 4.7 4.3 4.3 4.6 4.4
of the project is typically designated to be
around 400-500 person-hours, and this Table 1: Cohort average grades and module evaluation, 2013-2017.
requires each student to work around 100

& Learning
hours in order to earn the credits. complete a self-assessment survey on their invited to assess the performance of their
Teams are required to submit a strengths and weaknesses in the areas of teammates apart from themselves. The
bid for their favourite projects. The leadership and communication, analysis, reflective report is important for student
project manager (ie the lecturer) will, in design, coding and time management. reflective learning. We currently allocate
consultation with the clients, assign a The results of the survey, while not 15/75 marks to peer assessment and an
problem to a team in light of the bids. No infallible, can be used as metrics for individual report while maintaining 60/75
negotiation is allowed once assigned. On uniform distribution of skills to the teams. for their joint report where each member
top of the initial background reading, According to DeMarco and Lister’s (1999) receives the same marks. Team members
teams need to contact the BT client to guidelines for creating productive teams, are well motivated under this policy.
female members often play vital roles in
Tommy Yuan, from the Department of Computer Science, discusses the benefits elicit further details. Typically, 2-3 client
meetings are needed whilst minor issues making a team gel. Gender is therefore Wrap up
of team learning and assessment. can be clarified via email. considered as one of the team formation We have adopted and made use of
Immediately after the submission metrics as well. DeMarco and Lister also industrial software projects for a number
of their group report, an acceptance considered the benefits of self-organized of years. The team formation metrics were
testing will be carried out together with teams, but this might be difficult to used to form productive teams, and peer
a presentation to the client. All the three achieve in an educational setting for assessment and self-reflective reports
items will be initially marked by the client reasons of fairness. However, we have were used to differentiate at an individual
and then reviewed by the lecturer prior experimented with this in adding an level. The effectiveness of using industrial
The effectiveness of using to departmental internal audit. The first extra entry to the survey: namely, a small projects for assessment and learning is
industrial projects for pilot of this process in 2011 was a success. wish. The entry allows a student to name
a single person he/she would (not) like to
apparent. All teams performed well, as
shown in the table below, with excellent
Teams were well motivated to tackle
assessment and learning is apparent." industrial problems by interacting with work with, and this worked out very well. cohort average grades for the past five
BT clients. Further, taking advantage of the diversity years.
The practice outlined above has been of our multinational postgraduate cohort, Student feedback scores for the module
adopted since and we have been running we normally form teams composed from are also excellent, as shown in table 1,
industrial team-based projects for seven at least three different backgrounds; this above.
years. The success of these, we believe, is provides students with opportunities With regard to future improvement,
built on good practices for team formation to experience different cultures. For we are planning to experiment with using
and a fair marking policy. These practices students from different cohorts, mixed students’ personal characteristics (eg
are discussed in turn below. cohort might be used as a metric as well. introvert vs extravert) as a metric and
In practice, though, it is not necessary to then study the consequences.
Metrics for team formation satisfy all of these possibilities as long as
A student software team typically contains the skills sets are well spread out. References
DeMarco, T. and Lister, T. (1999). Peopleware,
4-6 members. Too many will cause
Productive Projects and Teams. Dorset House
communication overheads and too few Assessing individual contribution Publishing.
might lead to skills shortage. Skill set is A potential issue with team software
Gorla, N. and Lam, Y.W. (2004). Who should
one of the more important considerations projects is the definition of a fair marking work with whom? Communications of the ACM,
for team formation. Too often, teams policy to motivate individual team 47(6):79-82.
with strong engineering skills may lack members. On the one hand, Demarco and Wilkins, D. E. and Lawhead, P. B. (2000).
communication and leadership skills, Lister (1999) suggest that joint product Evaluating individuals in team projects. In
while teams with every member confident ownership prompts good team unity, and Proceedings of the thirty-first SIGCSE technical
symposium on Computer Science education, pp.172-
Introduction composition and its performance. is a core module for the MSc Software to lead may find themselves struggling this implies that each member should
175, Austin, Texas.
Modern software systems are very Wilkins and Lawhead (2000) discussed Engineering cohort within the with programming. These are typical receive the same mark for the group
Woodfield S. N. and Collofello, J.S. (1883). Some
sophisticated and normally developed the assessment of individual student Department of Computer Science. It is examples of unsuccessful team formation. delivery. On the other hand, this may not insights and experiences in teaching team project
by a team of engineers. There has been contributions to a group project. There is, a 20-credit module assessed by a 25% Ideally, teams are formed with mixed reflect an individual member’s true effort course. 1983 ACM 0-89791-091-5/83/002/0062.
increasing research and reports on however, little discussion in the literature individual open assessment and a 75% and balanced skill sets, but creating or contribution to the project. It does tend
issues related to the teaching of software of the use of industrial projects in an group software project. The interest here balanced teams in practice is challenging to happen each year that a few struggling
engineering team projects. Woodfield and educational setting. This paper intends to is the group software project. Prior to the students rely on their teammates to Tommy Yuan is a Lecturer
– especially when there are a large number
(Teaching & Scholarship)
Collofello (1983), for example, discussed fill the gap by sharing our practice in the adoption of industrial projects, project of students and the lecturer does not yet pass this module, and here individual in the Computer Science
many problems observed in the teaching use of industrial projects as a means for specifications were normally prescribed know them well. discrimination might be needed. To department. He teaches
of team projects, such as the evaluation of assessment and learning. by the lecturer. This is fine as an academic In order to address this issue, we achieve the right balance is not easy in software engineering and
teams and individuals, project selection exercise but students gained very little have devised and tried a few metrics. practice. One way to address this is to use research on argument and
dialogue systems. Tommy has
and team formation. Gorla and Lam (2004) The team-based industrial in terms of employability experience. To First, as well as students’ grades for their peer assessment together with a reflective
worked in higher education for the past 13 years,
explored the relationship in small software software project address this, an industrial contact was programming test, students are asked to individual report from students on their predominantly in the UK but also in Iceland.
teams between the team’s personality Group Project Software Management established with British Telecom (BT) team project experience. Students are

12 Forum issue 43 | university of york university of york | issue 43 Forum 13
article article

Sharing your
Our workshop therefore explored the
value and challenges of facilitating
feedback on communication skills from
a range of sources (eg self-reflection,

peer and lecturer feedback) using a
structured tool. We oriented workshop
participants by introducing the activity
and the 360° feedback tool (Pendleton et
al 1984) in action. We then structured a
series of focused discussions to share the
opportunities and challenges of feedback
and communication skills development.
For us, the most notable and beneficial
aspects of the workshop were being
able to engage with colleagues from a

via a York Learning
range of disciplines and professional/
academic services, recognising their
clear interest in the topics and hearing
their examples of practice. Participants
represented Music, the York Law School,

and Teaching Forum Nice pace, lovely
feeling of

lunchtime workshop inclusivity and interest.”

Chemistry, Social Work, Centre for
Helen Bedford and Rachel Lavelle discuss the value of leading a workshop English Language Teaching (CELT),
for York Learning and Teaching Forum. Careers, and Academic Support Office
(ASO). Discussion was collegial and
informative, and the workshop provided
Introduction across the University and consider the exploring our use of 360° feedback to an invaluable opportunity for networking.
Effective scholarship of teaching York Pedagogy (University of York 2015) develop the communication skills of Anonymised feedback indicated a high
and learning is fuelled by individual in action. second year undergraduate midwives. level of satisfaction with the workshop.
Your next step learning and teaching strategy 2015-2020)
impetus and action, together with The feedback tool was introduced The workshop was also deemed [Online]. Available at:
York Learning and Teaching Forum
nurturing activities at an institutional What’s involved in leading a workshop within practice-based communications successful as an opportunity for staff/teaching/themes/theyorkpedagogy/
actively encourages and supports [Accessed 29th Jan 2018]
level (Adcroft and Lockwood 2010). In Workshops are held during teaching workshops, undertaken in the Department sharing practice and furthering
colleagues to share and disseminate
the present higher education climate, terms, using venues across both campuses of Health Sciences’ Clinical Simulation participants’ understanding of teaching
their work. If you have an idea for a
Longcroft’s (2017) advice to avoid ‘re- to facilitate easy attendance by staff. Unit. In these workshops, professional and learning issues:
future workshop please do get in touch.
inventing the wheel’ by learning from, and Typically 90 minutes long and with actors engage with the students to simulate
For contact details, and to find out more Dr Helen Bedford is a
being inspired by, colleagues is timely. refreshments provided, they promote realistic practice scenarios. This provides ‘I have some really concrete examples now –
about the workshops running this year, midwifery lecturer and
The regular lunchtime workshops an informal atmosphere for discussion, a valuable opportunity for self-reflection thank you’
please access: Academic Lead for Peer
run by York Learning and Teaching reflection and sharing. Workshop leads and for feedback from peers, actors and Support for Teaching
Forum provide opportunities for staff to are encouraged to devise engaging lecturers immediately after the scenarios. ‘Really helpful to hear examples from in the Department of
support/forum Health Sciences. She is a
share their work within a format which sessions which prioritise opportunities for Whilst this had worked relatively practice in different departments’
Senior Fellow of the HEA,
promotes individual and institutional interaction and participation. well, we felt more could be done. A key
REFERENCES a member of York Learning and Teaching
learning and reflection. Workshops York Learning and Teaching Forum intention was to promote more detailed Areas which both we as facilitators Adcroft, A. & Lockwood, A. (2010) Enhancing the Forum Committee and a facilitator/assessor
showcase and explore a variety of organises workshop administration and constructive peer feedback within and the participants felt we could have scholarship of teaching and learning: an organic for the York Professional and Academic
contemporary activities and themes, and such as timely promotion of each event a safe learning environment, enabling improved were also identified. For approach. Teaching in Higher Education. 15 (5) pp. Development scheme (YPAD).
and managing staff bookings. Each students to sensitively and professionally example: scheduling even more time 479-491
staff from all disciplines are welcome
to lead and participate. The workshops workshop is supported by a member of identify weaker aspects and to suggest for discussion and reflection, enabling Longcroft, A. (2017) #15toptips for Student-
Centred Teaching 8: Time is precious, so Rachel Lavelle is a
aim to share practice and innovation the York Learning and Teaching Forum, improvements to communication greater coverage of complexities and lecturer in the midwifery
try and avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ by
including the facilitation of a mechanism performances. challenges of the topics and considering reading about learning and learning from team in the Department
for capturing and collating anonymised We chose to share our experiences of the resource implications of initiatives your colleagues. thesedablog. [Online] of Health Sciences. Her
Available at: https://thesedablog.wordpress. particular teaching and
participant feedback. Leading a enhancing this aspect of learning within such as ours which involve financial costs. learning interests are the
Prompted some workshop can therefore be a development our York Learning and Teaching Forum The workshop informed our ongoing com/2017/06/08/15toptips-8/ [Accessed 29th Jan
2018] use of simulation for both
opportunity and a valuable contribution to workshop, as we anticipated relevance reflections using the 360° feedback tool, functional and communication skills and
ideas for my own annual performance review. for staff facilitating communication and stimulated participants as follows:
Pendleton, D. et al (1984) The consultation: an
approach to learning. Oxford: Oxford University
the consideration of service improvement in
practice. She has come to education after a
skills amongst undergraduates of
work with students." Reflections on leading a workshop all disciplines, not just in clinical or ‘I have a list of reflections and questions to
University of York (2015) The York Pedagogy
career in all areas of midwifery practice and
where peer teaching figured highly.
In spring 2017, we led a workshop professional arenas such as midwifery. follow up’ pages (including links to the University of York

14 Forum issue 43 | university of york university of york | issue 43 Forum 15
conference report conference report

Leading national
education conference
held in Department of Chemistry
The Variety in Chemistry Education and Physics Higher Education Conference (ViCEPHEC) is the leading intake at the University of York’. Dr A highlight of the meeting was the conference dinner held
Emily Brunsden gave an oral byte
national conference for chemistry and physics education at tertiary level in the UK. This year the conference entitled ‘5 steps towards an inclusive at the National Railway Museum – a spectacular venue,
was held in the Department of Chemistry at the University of York between 23 and 25 August. lecture’ and Katherine Leech delivered which made a real impression on conference delegates and
a demonstration entitled ‘iPads for
outreach’. showed off the City of York at its very best.”
A highlight of the meeting was the
conference dinner held at the National
Railway Museum – a spectacular the conference organising committee, healthy state of education in the physical
venue, which made a real impression Dr Glenn Hurst said: ‘The many great sciences at university level, and the
on conference delegates and showed off discussions over dinner and throughout strong sense of community that exists.’
the City of York at its very best. Chair of the rest of the meeting attest to the

elegates ranged from academic to present lecture demonstrations, university chemistry education. Other
staff at universities to experiments and outreach activities. contributions included Professor Andy
schoolteachers, outreach officers, There were contributions to this Parsons explaining his online course
laboratory specialists, technicians, session from staff and students in the ‘Explaining Everyday Chemistry’ and the
students, industrialists and publishers. departments of Chemistry, Electronics way in which this demystifies organic
The event, attended by over 175 delegates, and Physics at York. This addition to chemistry to a wide range of different
provided opportunities to share best the programme complemented the learners. Dr Glenn Hurst presented
practice within the disciplines of interactive workshops, oral presentations the variety of ways in which, working
chemistry and physics by discussing and 5 minute oral bytes. A poster session alongside Louise Summerton, Dr Avtar
cutting edge educational research and at the National STEM Learning Centre Matharu and Professor James Clark, they
practice. The conference was organised provided further opportunities to discuss have been embedding green chemistry
by an interdisciplinary team from the aspects of teaching and scholarship. principles into a range of different
departments of Chemistry, Education and learning environments – from schools in
Physics, namely, Dr Glenn Hurst (local York organising committee Brazil to undergraduate labs back here
chair), Dr Phil Lightfoot, Dr Kerry Knox, There were a number of contributions in York. Dr Christian Diget delivered an
Dr Emily Brunsden, Dr Lucia D’Andrea, from the University of York, including interactive workshop entitled ‘Binding
Dr Julia Sarju and Miss Janey Gregory. a thought-provoking plenary lecture by Blocks – teaching nuclear physics
New for 2017 was ‘Labsolutely Professor Sir John Holman where he with LEGO’ and Dr Charles Barton
Fabulous’, chaired by Dr David Pugh, an explored the transition made by students presented his observations on ‘Improving
opportunity for conference delegates (and himself) between school and physics admissions and female student

16 Forum issue 43 | university of york university of york | issue 43 Forum 17

The Harvard poltergeist RESEARCH-LED TEACHING
Matt Coward, Sociology, addresses that most recalcitrant of assessment
spectres: appropriate referencing.

ssessment forms part of the
wider student experience,
especially in the case of first year
I shudder to recall If you don't
believe in
undergraduates, where the spectre of my first encounter yourself, who will?
Harvard referencing looms over their
shoulders, like a poltergeist waiting to
with the Harvard spirit,
strike. Fear and the gut-wrenching agony using square brackets to Through referencing we might
of misplaced commas spill into the minds commune with scholars and academics
of undergraduates trying to comprehend
enclose its messages the world over; many might even use the
an entire discipline within a single term [Coward, 2018] and, when likes of EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero,
of their programme. ‘For shame’, they the Ouija Boards of referencing, to
cry, when they are unable to fully unpick
asked where my page- aid and hasten our communication.
the social intricacies of inter-personal numbers rested, I retorted: Although these services are available
interaction within a single thousand- to aid the clarity and consistence
word assignment. And then, as the jet- ‘they’re here’ [24].” of communication, it is important
black text, presented in a standard font that undergraduate students learn
on a white background, swells on the page, to communicate in the traditional
the poltergeist rises like a monstrosity this, though, they ask if I mean an way, individually typing and crafting

of Lovecraftian prose to beckon them to essay. ‘It’s different’, I say, listing a their references by hand, heeding
complete the bibliography. series of possible formatting options each source, much in the same way as
I am not too far removed from that they might use. ‘Use headings and ancient Chinese diviners threw bones to
my own undergraduate experience
and remember my first university
assignment, exploring the role of the
subheadings’, I say, thinking on my feet,
and add: ‘you might want to make a table’.
Though, for the most part, students
communicate with the noisy ghosts.
We might, then, consider both
referencing and academic integrity to
Virgin Mary in Christianity. I, too, made are not concerned with the report be esoteric in nature to undergraduate
a common mistake in my approach, itself. Conversations return once again students, for it is only understood by
casting my net wide and thus allowing to the spectre of assignments: the those with select knowledge, remaining
it only to penetrate in the shallows of Harvard Poltergeist. hidden only to be revealed within the
the literature. My essay flitted aimlessly I am in a position that my students confines of academic practice. The
from the dense ruminations of Vatican II tend to find strange. I understand the Harvard Poltergeist, the noisy ghost, Research-led teaching and learning are benefit from the very latest knowledge and
to vivid ethnographies of Marian shrines poltergeist, I know what it wants, I can simply wishes to be recognised and distinguishing features of Russell Group thinking, enabling them to develop analytical
in Mexico, taking only brief respite in communicate with it, and maybe I even addressed, much in the same way as universities. They are also key factors that skills vital to their future careers.
the south of France to discuss Marian consider it my friend. Although I am the other honest spirits residing within
apparitions in the town of Lourdes. The in no way a qualified linguist, I can the ancient halls of academia. We, as influence students’ choice of university
poltergeist, too, crawled out from my tell you that the word Poltergeist finds academics, are aided by these honest and their satisfaction with their course. However, despite clear and numerous benefits
carefully 1.5 line spaced text. I shudder its etymological roots in two German spirits in our practice and must pass Translating research excellence into learning of bridging the traditional divide between
to recall my first encounter with the words: poltern (‘to make noise’), and on our esoteric knowledge to others,
Harvard spirit, using square brackets to Geist (‘ghost/spirit’). I believe that this is through which we can underline to opportunities to expose students to current research and teaching, achieving these
enclose its messages [Coward, 2018] and, a perfect way to talk about referencing, students across the University the four research, including our own contributions to the objectives presents several challenges. This
when asked where my page-numbers as not only does it encapsulate the fears principles which guide all assessment: discipline, are priorities from the University’s conference will explore how these challenges
rested, I retorted: ‘they’re here’ [24]. I tell and dread with which undergraduates equity, openness, clarity and consistency.
these stories to my students when I teach, perceive it, but it also encapsulates the Learning and Teaching Strategy and form core can be overcome by showcasing examples of
beseeching them not to make the same very heart of referencing: academic elements of the York Pedagogy. York has an best practice in research-led teaching. This will
mistakes I did. integrity. Referencing is used to ‘make Matt Coward is a PhD outstanding reputation for research in many be achieved through keynote presentations,
This academic year I have the noise’ and draw necessary attention student and GTA in
pleasure to be teaching on two to the work of other scholars, to Sociology and a GTA in
fields and is well-placed to inspire and engage lightning talks, discussion workshops and poster
very distinct modules across two communicate the value of the research Social Policy and Social students. The University ensures that students sessions. Join us to contribute to the debate.
Work; his research interests
departments, both of which ask being discussed, to analyse, discuss and include ritual, community,
students to produce a report as their critique – which all root back to the very gaming, and death.
first assignment. When I tell them essence of academic practice. For more information visit:

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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
and facilitated by experienced
The YPAD scheme is based upon form part of a nationwide,
academic and support staff.
the University’s Peer Support government-funded initiative to
Workshops are open to all staff and
for Teaching policy, and involves promote excellence in learning
postgraduate students. If you are
participants working to develop and teaching. Operated by the
unable to attend an event but would
their practice in groups supported Higher Education Academy, the
like a copy of the materials, please
and facilitated by an experienced Individual Awards competition
let us know. For further information,
colleague. The scheme is designed recognises individuals who have
to be inclusive of all staff groups made an outstanding impact on
who teach or support student the student learning experience.
learning (including graduate 55 awards are available each year, to
teaching assistants, research staff be used for personal, pedagogic and
with teaching responsibilities, professional development in learning
associate staff and learning and and teaching (there is no longer a
teaching support staff) and caters formal project requirement). Details
NETWORK (SOTLN) regarding the 2018 nominations
for all levels of experience. YPAD is
The SoTL Network brings together accredited by the Higher Education are provided by the HEA. For more
a suite of resources, professional Academy; this means individuals information, see:
development, discussion and who successfully engage with the teaching/reward/ntfs
dissemination opportunities scheme will secure professional
focused upon looking at teaching recognition through the award
and student learning in a scholarly of an HEA Fellowship category
and research-orientated way. The SUPPORT FOR
appropriate to their role and their
current range of activities level of responsibility for teaching
organised as part of the network and supporting learning. For more
includes an annual SoTL journal, information, see: Technology enhanced learning refers
invited speakers, and a strand teaching/develop/ypad 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 University of York is provided by the
information, see: VICE-CHANCELLOR’S E-Learning Development Team in the
teaching/develop/network TEACHING AWARDS Academic Support Office. The team
One of the ways in which the offers individuals and Departments
University rewards excellence support in the design, delivery and
in learning and teaching is evaluation of learning technology
FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES through the Vice-Chancellor’s interventions at the activity,
The Rapid Response Fund supports Teaching Awards, introduced module and programme level. This
small-scale short-term projects, in 2006. Nominations, in which includes guidance on the use of the
initiatives or purchases to enhance students play a part, are invited University’s centrally-supported
the quality of learning and teaching from departments in the Spring virtual learning environment
by addressing a clearly-identified Term of each academic year. The Yorkshare, and advice on a wide range
need or issue. Funding is limited, and scheme recognises staff (either of learning technologies, including
grants will be awarded on a first- individually or in teams), including use of Google Sites for portfolios,
come, first-served basis; please also postgraduates who teach, who multimedia and video, lecture
note that departments in a stronger demonstrate excellence in teaching recording, technology-supported
financial position may be asked and/or learning support at York. For assessment, in-class technologies
to fund initiatives from their own more information, see: and collaboration out
resources. For more information, staff/teaching/reward/awards of class. For more information,
39356 –

see: see:
support/funding support/technology

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