Meetings

 

Future Meetings

EduPLAYtion Workshop – January 2019

Incubator Fellow Joseph Francis will be convening a monthly Faculty Learning Community (FLC) at the Penryn and Exeter campuses with a curriculum structured around the concepts of Playful Learning, Gamification and Digital Innovation. Attendees from all disciplines and job families as well as students are invited to join in on this conversation, where topics ranging from digital badging to role playing game creation to the physiology of play will be explored, analysed and discussed. Attendance is free and lunch provided!  

For further information please contact Joe Francis – j.francis3@exeter.ac.uk | 01872255111 or visit the blog at eduplaytionblog.blogspot.com

Save the date! Following her successful summertime Learning Spaces Walk in June 2018, Dr Sue Prince welcomes you on a winter Spacewalk in January 2019. You will be exploring Stretham campus from 11am-1pm. Registration will be available on Eventbrite shortly.

Incubator fellow Dr. Matt Finn has been invited to give the keynote presentation at the International Geography Union Comission on Geographical Education London Conference, 15-17th April 2019. Dr. Finn's presentation, on A-level reform and implications for transition to University: the case of Geography, will present the latest findings of his Education Incubator project following on from qualatitive investigations of Exeter College and prospective University of Exeter students.

The Commission is working with the UK Committee for IGU-CGE to organise the 2019 meeting, the theme of which will be ‘Recontextualising Geography’. The collaboration between the Commission, the UK Committee and the UCL Institute of Education is likely to take place in April 2019. More information will be available in due course.

The abstract for Dr. Finn's talk is given below:

There have been repeated expressions of concern about the gaps between school and university geography in the UK in content and pedagogy and the need for bridges and points of connection. While there is a long standing set of work on students’ experiences of transition to university, a more focused set of work has considered the experiences of students in those transitions from a subject-specific perspective. Less considered are the continuities and discontinuities in curriculum and pedagogy opened up by new and changing school curricula. The introduction of ‘new’ linear A-levels in England from 2016 provides one such opportunity. Here we see new continuities of curriculum but greater differences in pedagogy and assessment between terminal examinations and individual assessment rather than the modular, coursework and group-based approaches often used at university.

Drawing on young people’s geographies of transition, specifically to Higher Education, and work on curriculum change, this paper presents data from a project run with students at the University of Exeter. The project draws on data from four groups: A-level students, their teachers and undergraduate first year students, and their lecturers in order to make sense of these changes and how they are imagined, planned for and negotiated by young people and educators. In doing so this paper seeks to break down the separation between geographies of education (and youth) and geography education.
 
More information about the IGU CGE can be found here.

Dr. Finn's project follows the 'Success for All' theme of the Education Incubator, evaluating and developing the educational support offered at Exeter.

Dr Lewis Winks will be presenting a joint paper titled Writing, talking, eating: nurturing spaces and cultures of pedagogical creativity in higher education with Dr Sarah Dyer on the role of writing retreats in higher education. The presentation will take place in K3 Beaumaris 2 at the SRHE (Society for Research into Higher Education) conference on Thursday 6th December 11.30 - 12.00.

The abstract for Dr Wink’s presentation is given below:

The University of Exeter Education Incubator was established in 2017 to encourage and support faculty innovation in teaching approaches across departments. In its first year, the Incubator supported the work of twelve faculty-researchers, each of whom developed and ran a project aimed at pushing the boundaries of Higher Education pedagogy within their own discipline. This paper focuses on four challenges faced by educational innovators: institutional alignment, time and space, peer support, and fostering risk. Specifically, the paper examines the final capstone event organised by the Education Incubator in its first-year fellows: a structured social writing retreat with the dual focus of providing time for writing as well as discussion as educational development. Utilising theories of brave space and critical hope, the paper examines the ways in which the writing retreat helped participants to engage with, and negotiate, the liminal spaces of pedagogical innovation and creativity in Higher Education

2017-2019 Education Incubator project InVEnTA (Interactive Virtual Environments for Teaching and Assessment) has been shortlisted by Reimagine Education for the category 'ICT Tools for Learning and Teaching Award'. InVEnTA is a platform that facilitates the creation of immersive Interactive Virtual Environments (IVEs). InVEnTA has continued to develop this tool by increasing usability and including 3D models other than digital terrain datasets. This allows the use of the tool across multiple disciplines. 

The Conference will take place in San Francisco where shortlisted applicants are invited to present their work.

More information can be found about the InVEnTA project here

 

Previous Meetings

E-worksheets in the Lab - Wednesday 7th November, 12.30-13.30pm (LSI Seminar Room)

Speaker: Dr Nicky King

This short talk will demonstrate the capabilities of Learning Sciences resources which are being used this year in an Education Incubator funded project. These include simulations of core lab techniques, interactive worksheets for some core maths and bespoke smart worksheets, which are a flexible tool developed by Learning Science to offer postlab feedback to students using their own data and their own analysis. Worksheets have been developed for core 1st year modules in Bioscience and Natural Sciences and initial feedback shows that simulations and bespoke worksheets can improve student preparedness for lab work, improve understanding and feedback and streamlining marking time. Please contact N.C.King@exeter.ac.uk for further details

 

Arts and Culture Initiative - October 16th and 23rd

  • Nick Green presented his 'Activating Innovation' project at the public launch of the Arts and Culture Initiative, on the 16th October at Exeter Castle and 24th October in Falmouth.

Project Summary:

Activating Innovation and Creativity in Education Practice: Reimagining Space for Peer Learning:
Through this project we set out to explore the spaces on the university campus where educators are able to learn from one-another about the act of educating. Questioning the environments where peer learning amongst academic staff currently takes place within the University of Exeter - its locality, materiality and relationships to the routines of teaching - the project establishes design principles to reimagine spaces which could afford educators more opportunities to innovate and develop ideas within their education practice.

Abstract for Paper:

While much work has focused on pedagogical innovation processes within universities, less has been said of the processes and cultures which foster and give rise to creativity within HE and the ways in which faculty members are supported and encouraged to develop their pedagogy across disciplines and within their departments. This paper focuses particularly on the spaces available across the university campus for peer learning to take place. It examines the ways spaces are utilised by staff, and the barriers and affordances for innovation and creativity in educational practice. Utilising an interdisciplinary design, this paper continues the deep observation approaches of writers or thinkers such as Jane Jacobs and Georges Perecs in order to produce as series of creative visual outputs resulting from detailed observation, drawing and in-depth interviews. The findings suggest that the various spaces available to university teaching staff are able to be further utilised to support creative practice and peer learning. This is presented as four design principles; chance encounters operate across both formal and informal learning spaces within the university, enabling incremental developments of teaching practice outside of formal development time; the notion of the precinct of forum can be conceived of on a variety of scales from small kitchenettes to large marketplace style precincts, offering overlap of faculty, and opportunities to work outside of normal routines; the affordances which are on offer to faculty within their common spaces largely determine the extent to which they will be used for social functions; and the development of a collaborative culture requires the ‘activation’ of spaces through their patterns of use. The normalising of a culture of innovation requires both physical as well as behaviour adjustments to the use of space, suggesting that both faculty and institutions need to work together to reimagine spaces for peer learning.

IGS British Branch Meeting - 4th - 5th September

Incubator fellow Dr. Damien Mansell will be presenting a poster, entitled 'InVEnTA: Interactive Virtual Environments for Teaching and Assessment – Applications for Virtual Fieldtrips in the Cryosphere', at the IGS British Branch Meeting on the 4th September. The International Glaciological Society meeting will be hosted at the University of Exeter by members of the geography department, and will consist of oral and poster presentations, an ice breaker and a conference dinner. Participants are invited to present around practical and scientific aspects of snow and ice and take part in active discussion. The InVEnTA project is an exciting addition to this schedule, where it's application as a method of viewing virtual environments, such as glaciers, will be promoted as an innovative way of teaching aspects of glaciology. Full information about the meeting can be found here. The abstract for the InVEnTA project is found below:

In this project, we will develop software tools for quickly and efficiently producing ‘free roaming’ immersive Interactive Virtual Environments from a range of different digital terrain datasets and imagery. During the project we will produce 'case-study' Virtual Environments to showcase their potential for delivering innovative and engaging teaching and learning content.

Dr. Mansell's project follows the 'Learning Reimagined' theme of the Education Incubator, supporting pedagogic innovation at Exeter. 

3rd International Conference on Geographies of Education - 3rd - 5th September 2018

Incubator fellow Dr. Matt Finn and his team of student researchers presented the findings of his Incubator project at the 3rd International Conference on Geographies of Education - 3rd - 5th September 2018 at Loughborough University. Dr. Finn's presentation, on A-level reform and implications for transition to University: the case of Geography,presented the latest findings of his Education Incubator project following on from qualitative research with Exeter College and prospective University of Exeter students. The abstract for Dr. Finn's talk is given below:

There have been repeated expressions of concern about the gaps between school and university geography in the UK in content and pedagogy and the need for bridges and points of connection. While there is a long standing set of work on students’ experiences of transition to university, a more focused set of work has considered the experiences of students in those transitions from a subject-specific perspective. Less considered are the continuities and discontinuities in curriculum and pedagogy opened up by new and changing school curricula. The introduction of ‘new’ linear A-levels in England from 2016 provides one such opportunity. Here we see new continuities of curriculum but greater differences in pedagogy and assessment between terminal examinations and individual assessment rather than the modular, coursework and group-based approaches often used at university.

Drawing on young people’s geographies of transition, specifically to Higher Education, and work on curriculum change, this paper presents data from a project run with students at the University of Exeter. The project draws on data from four groups: A-level students, their teachers and undergraduate first year students, and their lecturers in order to make sense of these changes and how they are imagined, planned for and negotiated by young people and educators. In doing so this paper seeks to break down the separation between geographies of education (and youth) and geography education.

More information about the Conference can be found here. Dr. Finn's project follows the 'Success for All' theme of the Education Incubator, evaluating and developing the educational support offered at Exeter.

 

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018, Cardiff - 29th - 31st August 2018

Incubator fellow Dr. Matt Finn and his team of student researchers presented the findings of his Incubator project at the Royal Geographical Society - IBG Annual Conference in Cardiff on Thursday 30th August 2018. Dr. Finn's presentation, on A-level reform and implications for transition to University: the case of Geography,presented the latest findings of his Education Incubator project following on from qualitative research with Exeter College and prospective University of Exeter students. The abstract for Dr. Finn's talk is given below:

There have been repeated expressions of concern about the gaps between school and university geography in the UK in content and pedagogy and the need for bridges and points of connection. While there is a long standing set of work on students’ experiences of transition to university, a more focused set of work has considered the experiences of students in those transitions from a subject-specific perspective. Less considered are the continuities and discontinuities in curriculum and pedagogy opened up by new and changing school curricula. The introduction of ‘new’ linear A-levels in England from 2016 provides one such opportunity. Here we see new continuities of curriculum but greater differences in pedagogy and assessment between terminal examinations and individual assessment rather than the modular, coursework and group-based approaches often used at university.

Drawing on young people’s geographies of transition, specifically to Higher Education, and work on curriculum change, this paper presents data from a project run with students at the University of Exeter. The project draws on data from four groups: A-level students, their teachers and undergraduate first year students, and their lecturers in order to make sense of these changes and how they are imagined, planned for and negotiated by young people and educators. In doing so this paper seeks to break down the separation between geographies of education (and youth) and geography education.

More information about the RGB-IBG Conference can be found here. Dr. Finn's project follows the 'Success for All' theme of the Education Incubator, evaluating and developing the educational support offered at Exeter. 

Incubator Dissemination & Curriculum Review Workshop - 17th July 2018

  • Incubator Fellow Dr. Matt Finn ran a series of events, aimed at disseminating the findings from him and his team's Education Incubator project on transition to university following the reformed A levels, in particular exploring the implications for first year teaching. The sessions presented findings from the project and provided space for programme-specific and cross-disciplinary conversations about how the findings could inform existing teaching and ongoing development plans.

The last of these events took place on Tuesday 17th July in Peter Lanyard Seminar Room 8, Penryn Campus.

Dr. Finn's project addresses the transition to University following the recently reformed A-Levels, and the implications of this change to new and prospective students. Dr. Finn works with a team of student researchers to investigate this change, and the team will consider how the results of their project can inform more effective undergraduate support through first-year tutorials. The abstract for Dr. Finn's project talk, 'A-level reform and implications for transition to University', is found below:

This is an interdisciplinary study on the effects the new reformed A-Levels (in England) may have on students’ transition to university. Drawing on existing literature and conducting focus groups the team are looking at how the revised content and changes in assessment structure and the skills taught – in Biosciences/Biology, English and Geography - may impact the transition from school to university for the first cohorts of students taking these A-Levels who are entering universities from 2017-2019. Focus groups are being run – across all three subject areas – with students taking these A Levels at a local college and their teachers and also with first-year undergraduates and those with specific involvement in first-year teaching.

Dr. Finn's project follows the 'Success for All' theme of the Education Incubator, evaluating and developing the educational support offered at Exeter.

Education Incubator Knowledge Café - 13th July 2018

  • The Education Incubator Café is an event that allowed attendees to find out about the findings/results of this year’s Incubator fellowship projects and hear about the projects which will be taking place next year, whilst having delicious scones and refreshments. The event took place 2:30-4pm on Friday 13th July in Amory C501.

The event will used ‘knowledge café’ format: the room was set up with a table per project with the Incubator fellow as a ‘host’. Time was divided into fifteen minute slots, with a ten minute refreshment break in the middle, where people could move round the tables and find out about the projects that they are interested in. The idea for this was to increase the time for questions and discussions and to minimise ‘presentations’.

The Eventbrite link for this event can be found here. The Education Incubator Cafe A4 Summaries can be found here, including the 'menu'.

Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship - Bristol - 11-12th July

The Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship conference saw academics showcase their innovative education practise and come together to learn from each other. More details can be found here.

  • Incubator fellow Dr. Damien Mansell presented the InVEnTA Project at the conference, a software developed by Dr. Mansell, Dr. Steve Palmer and Dr. Anne le Brocq to provide an easy method of creating virtual environments using geospatial data (such as those acquired from drones). This is with the intention of academics at the University of Exeter being able to use this software, with relative ease, in order to create their own virtual environments for use in teaching, field courses and other pedagogical practise. The abstract for the InVEnTA project is found below:

In this project, we will develop software tools for quickly and efficiently producing ‘free roaming’ immersive Interactive Virtual Environments from a range of different digital terrain datasets and imagery. During the project we will produce 'case-study' Virtual Environments to showcase their potential for delivering innovative and engaging teaching and learning content.

  • Incubator Fellow Dr. Alison Hill also presented at the ESLTIS conference. Dr. Hill's work is concerned with addressing the 'mathematics gap' in biosciences, producing resources that can teach students important mathematics and statistical skills to improve learning, research skills and employability. The abstract for Dr. Hill's project, 'Mind the Gap: Addressing the Mathematics Gap in Biosciences', is found below:

The Wakeham Report (2016) described a ‘mathematics gap’ in Biological Science Degrees in the UK, resulting in poorer employment outcomes, including for students at high tariff institutions like Exeter. He concluded that it was better to integrate mathematics into the curriculum rather than impose an absolute requirement for A level maths or offering catch up modules. I have observed subtle differences in academic achievement where a competency in mathematics (as demonstrated by having an A-level or equivalent) can give an advantage in accessing the highest grades or in protecting against failure. For some modules the maths gap only exists in one component of the module and can be ameliorated by the other module assessments. For some modules there is a strong correlation between prior maths qualifications and academic performance (eg Physical Chemistry and Bioinformatics). Maths tutorials have been used for the first time this year in Physical Chemistry but lack of engagement from the target group may see the maths gap increase rather than close. For my final year Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry students, bespoke on-line resources have been created to plug the gap. I will report on whether these interventions have been successful in closing the maths gap.

  • Incubator Fellow Dr. Matt Finn also be presented his project at the ESLTIS conference. Dr. Finn's project addresses the transition to University following the recently reformed A-Levels, and the implications of this change to new and prospective students. Dr. Finn works with a team of student researchers to investigate this change, and the team will consider how the results of their project can inform more effective undergraduate support through first-year tutorials. The abstract for Dr. Finn's project talk, 'A-level reform and implications for transition to University', is found below:

This is an interdisciplinary study on the effects the new reformed A-Levels (in England) may have on students’ transition to university. Drawing on existing literature and conducting focus groups the team are looking at how the revised content and changes in assessment structure and the skills taught – in Biosciences/Biology, English and Geography - may impact the transition from school to university for the first cohorts of students taking these A-Levels who are entering universities from 2017-2019. Focus groups are being run – across all three subject areas – with students taking these A-Levels at a local college and their teachers and also with first-year undergraduates and those with specific involvement in first-year teaching.

  • Education Incubator director Dr. Sarah Dyer and researcher Dr. Lewis Winks also be presented at the ESLTIS conference, showcasing the Education Incubator in a talk entitled 'Exeter Education Incubator as a community of practice'. The abstract for this showcase is found below:

The University of Exeter Education Incubator was established in 2017 in order to encourage and support faculty innovation in teaching and learning approaches across all departments and disciplines. The incubator seeks to connect academic innovators through three core themes: Success for all; Using MOOCs to address Grand Challenges; and Learning Reimagined. These themes underpin the work of seventeen faculty-researchers, each of whom developed and ran a project aimed at pushing the boundaries of Higher Education pedagogy within their own discipline. While much work has focused on the outputs of such endeavours, less has been said of the processes and cultures which foster and give rise to innovation within HE and the ways in which faculty members are supported and encouraged to develop their pedagogy across disciplines and within their departments. Educational innovation, whilst being an important aspect of modern university education, is also notoriously hard to achieve, with multiple barriers at different levels. Making use of communities of practice as a theoretical framework, this presentation suggests that the education incubator operated to create spaces, opportunities and cultures supportive of innovation within a HE context. The presentation will examine the opportunities and barriers to innovation within HE in the context of the education incubator and make suggestions for future directions.

The Education Incubator offered bursaries (to pay for Conference Registration, Conference Accommodation and Travel) to attend this years conference at the University of Bristol, 11-12th July.

The call for papers and bursary applications has now closed, but please keep an eye out for any other conferences that the Incubator will offer bursaries for in the future. If you have any suggestions for education conferences you wish for the Incubator to offer funding for, please get in touch below.

Incubator Dissemination & Curriculum Review Workshop - 9th and 10th July 2018

  • Incubator Fellow Dr. Matt Finn ran a series of events, aimed at disseminating the findings from him and his team's Education Incubator project on transition to university following the reformed A levels, in particular, exploring the implications for first year teaching. The sessions will present findings from the project and provide space for programme-specific and cross-disciplinary conversations about how the findings could inform existing teaching and ongoing development plans.

The first of these events took place on Monday 9th July and Tuesday 10th July in Amory C417, Streatham Campus. 

Dr. Finn's project addresses the transition to University following the recently reformed A-Levels, and the implications of this change to new and prospective students. Dr. Finn works with a team of student researchers to investigate this change, and the team will consider how the results of their project can inform more effective undergraduate support through first-year tutorials. The abstract for Dr. Finn's project talk, 'A-level reform and implications for transition to University', is found below:

This is an interdisciplinary study on the effects the new reformed A-Levels (in England) may have on students’ transition to university. Drawing on existing literature and conducting focus groups the team are looking at how the revised content and changes in assessment structure and the skills taught – in Biosciences/Biology, English and Geography - may impact the transition from school to university for the first cohorts of students taking these A-Levels who are entering universities from 2017-2019. Focus groups are being run – across all three subject areas – with students taking these A Levels at a local college and their teachers and also with first-year undergraduates and those with specific involvement in first-year teaching.

Dr. Finn's project follows the 'Success for All' theme of the Education Incubator, evaluating and developing the educational support offered at Exeter.

Cultivating Innovation Workshops - 6th and 9th July 2018

  • New and current Education Incubator fellows were invited to two Cultivating Innovation Workshops, designed to promote discussion about their new projects, as well as meeting some of the other Incubator fellows and learning about how their Incubator projects will work. The workshops were facilitated by Daphne van Run, biography below, who brings an expertise in supporting innovation. One-to-one sessions with Daphne will also be run as a ‘springboard’ in new fellows projects.

Daphne van Run biography:

Having graduated her masters' in Law and Business, Daphne started her career by working for large FMCG corporations in sales and sales analysis. In 2008 she re-educated herself in social enterpreneurship and conscious communication. Since then she has supported various innovative, sustainability initiatives that represent a more inclusive and sustainable world through business development, program management and group facilitation. Next to being in a continuous living experiment of what it is to live a self-sustained life, she is now the Network Lead for ESSENCE, Exeter’s Social Enterprise Network. 

Advance HE Teaching and Learning Conference - 3rd-5th July 2018

  • Incubator fellows Dr. Emma Taylor and Dr. Vrinda Nayak lead a session on Academic Tutoring at the Advance HE Teaching and Learning Conference, formerly HEA Annual Conference, themed: 'Teaching in the Spotlight: Learning from Global Communities'; held on 3rd-5th July 2018 at the Aston Conference Centre, Birmingham. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Nayak's work is concerned with developing a 'skills audit' electronic platform, making the most out of academic tutor sessions and was presented on July 3rd:

This development aims to increase student awareness on the transferable skills they develop during their study in order to increase employability, whilst also encouraging reflection on one’s own practice. Reflective cycles had been part of students’ studies, and this has now been brought into the tutoring system.

As part of an ongoing skills audit, students regularly evaluate their own skills using an Academic & Professional Learning Support (APLS) form and set SMART targets as goals for their own development. This is then discussed with their tutor so that each student can be supported on a personalised basis (e.g. by prescribing targeted resources if needed). Emma gave colleagues opportunity to have a go at filling in the APLS form, and discuss how this might be adapted to other disciplines.

  • Incubator fellow Dr. Andrew Pye also presented his work at the Advance HE Teaching and Learning Conference. Dr. Pye gave a talk entitled ’What do our students consider to be 'academic support'? Implications for interpreting National Student Survey (NSS) data’ on the 4th July 2018, SP3.11c 14:30-15:40.

When our students complete the National Student Survey (NSS) what do they think ‘academic support’ is? When answering: ‘I have been able to contact staff when I needed to’ what do they mean? Do they only consider ‘academic staff’ teaching them on their course, or do they consider the professional services teams, careers advisors and other ‘staff’ available to them? This session will present students views (from questionnaire data and focus groups) on what they understand to be ‘academic support’, as well as their views on academic tutoring, peer support and the future provision of academic support through digital platforms.

Although this study was conducted in a Biosciences department the data will be relevant to all institutions wanting to have a better understanding of their NSS data. This session will present data from a questionnaire sent to 400 1st and 2nd year Biosciences students at the University of Exeter, as well as student quotes from follow up focus groups. The data answers questions about what is and isn’t considered academic support, as well as questions on academic tutoring, peer support and the future provision of academic support through digital platforms. This data will be presented through traditional 15 minute oral presentation with student quotes and data backing up the wider discussions. This information will help academics at all levels from academic tutors to VCs as well as the wider university community (careers advisors, professional services staff). The data on ‘what is academic support’ will be the main focus of the presentation (as this is expected to have the widest audience.

Dr. Pye, Dr. Nayak and Dr Taylor's projects follows the 'Success for All' theme of the Education Incubator, evaluating and developing the educational support offered at Exeter.

Global Systems Institute – Creating Transformative Solutions Conference - 3rd July 2018

  • Incubator fellow Dr. Damien Mansell co-ran a session, entitled 'Towards Excellence in Engaging Teaching in the GSI', for the Global Systems Insitute - Creating Transformative Solutions Conference on the 3rd July 2018. The description for Dr. Mansell's session is found below:

Towards Excellence in Engaging Teaching in the GSI The education experience provided by the GSI should be of the highest quality possible. This workshop draws on existing successful innovative teaching within the University. Short presentations will address pedagogical approaches such as MOOCs, Grand Challenges and virtual reality; curriculum frameworks and alternative assessments. Participants will be able to work in small groups to explore issues that emerge from the presentations and/or from their own experience. Opportunities for supporting educational developments aimed at supporting the GSI will be discussed at the end.

The Global Systems Institute aims to be thought-leading in understanding global changes, solving global challenges, and helping create a flourishing future world together. The overarching question guiding our endeavour is: How do we achieve a flourishing future for a projected 9-11 billion people as an integral part of a life-sustaining Earth system?

Researchers are invited to an internal launch focused on developing networked, global-scale solutions. The outputs will provide the focus for project seed funding, partnership engagement and bids for external funding.

The Eventbrite page for the GSI Conference, with more details, can be found here. The conference ran from 2nd-3rd July in the Forum, Streatham Campus.

InVEnTA (Interactive Virtual Environments for Teaching and Assessment) Workshop - 28th June 2018

  • Incubator fellows Dr. Damien Mansell, Dr. Steve Palmer and Dr. Anne le Brocq presented the InVEnTA Incubator project in an interactive workshop in Queens Digital Humanities Lab, Seminar Room 1, Streatham Campus at 10-1:30pm on Thursday 28th June. Details of this event from the InVEnTA team are found below:

We are designing the InVEnTA (Interactive Virtual Environments for Teaching & Assessment) software tool to allow educators and researchers to easily and quickly create Interactive Virtual Environments with embedded educational content for use within a teaching/public engagement context by University students and wider audiences. You have been identified as potential ‘early adopters’ of InVEnTA, so we invite you to demo the software, explore some case study applications, and provide some feedback of what functionality you would like to see included in the next phase of development (2018/19). We would also welcome any suggestions for how you might use this tool in future teaching/public engagement work. The final hour of the session will be an opportunity to discuss ideas over a buffet lunch.

This workshop was conducted by the project leads Dr Steven PalmerDr Damien Mansell and Dr Anne Le Brocq as well as the developers they are collaborating with, the Plymouth based studio Questionable Quality.

As well as a chance to have some input into the features of a new innovative teaching tool, the workshop was an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues who share an interest in the use of technology within pedagogic practice.

The InVEnTA project follows the 'Learning Reimagined' theme of the Education Incubator, supporting pedagogical innovation at Exeter.

Digital Pedagogy Streatham Workshop - Dr. Barrie Cooper - June 14th 2018

  • Incubator fellow Dr. Barrie Cooper ran a workshop in the Old Library PC Cluster, 10:30-12:30pm at the University of Exeter's Streatham Campus. The workshop was be centred around the online tools used as part of his Incubator project 'Towards a Digital Pedagogy in Mathematics', and the work that Dr. Cooper and his team have done towards achieving their project aims. Below is the abstract for Dr. Cooper's workshop:

Increasingly students are looking for anytime, anywhere access to learning resources and particularly resources that are rich, interactive and can provide real-time feedback on learning. Online tools for developing such learning experiences for scientific and mathematical education have matured to the extent that there are serious alternatives to traditional forms of teaching and assessment in these subjects.

In this workshop, we will report on the progress of a funded project exploring digital pedagogy, jointly undertaken by staff and students at the University of Exeter, and we will provide hands-on experience with some of the most promising online tools for mathematical education, such as CoCalc and Cody Coursework.

Dr. Cooper's project follows the 'Learning Reimagined' theme of the Education Incubator, supporting pedagogical innovation at Exeter.

University of Exeter Social Mobility Conference - Dr. Alison Hill and Dr. Karen Kenny - 12th June 2018

  • Incubator fellow Dr. Alison Hill presented her Incubator project poster, 'Mind the Gap: Addressing the Mathematics Gap in Biosciences', at the University of Exeter Social Mobility Conference - taking place in the Alumni Auditorium, Streatham Campus on June 12th 2018. This conference was organised by the new University of Exeter Centre for Social Mobility - the Eventbrite link for this event can be found here. The abstract for Dr. Hill's poster is found below: 

The Wakeham Report (2016) described a ‘mathematics gap’ in Biological Science Degrees in the UK, resulting in poorer employment outcomes, including for students at high tariff institutions like Exeter. He concluded that it was better to integrate mathematics into the curriculum rather than impose an absolute requirement for A level maths or offering catch up modules. I have observed subtle differences in academic achievement where a competency in mathematics (as demonstrated by having an A-level or equivalent) can give an advantage in accessing the highest grades or in protecting against failure. For some modules the maths gap only exists in one component of the module and can be ameliorated by the other module assessments. For some modules there is a strong correlation between prior maths qualifications and academic performance (eg Physical Chemistry and Bioinformatics). Maths tutorials have been used for the first time this year in Physical Chemistry but lack of engagement from the target group may see the maths gap increase rather than close. For my final year Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry students, bespoke on-line resources have been created to plug the gap. I will report on whether these interventions have been successful in closing the maths gap.

Dr. Hill's project follows the 'Learning Reimagined' theme of the Education Incubator, supporting pedagogical innovation at Exeter

  • Incubator researcher Dr. Karen Kenny also presented a poster at the University of Exeter Social Mobility Conference. The title of Dr. Kenny's poster is 'The Educational Experiences of Children in Care' and the abstract is included below:

I am a foster carer and a teacher. As a carer I work with young people aged 16 and older, I can be faced, on a daily basis, with a requirement to support the education of the young people in my charge. Young people in care have consistently lower educational achievements than their peers who live with their birth families.

Much research in this field has been quantitative in nature based upon data concerning measured educational outcomes. The design of this project allowed for a more rounded picture of the full educational experience, not just in terms of achievement, but a view of wider educational experiences, giving an in-depth insight into the value that a looked after child places on ‘education’ in its widest sense. The results of this study add to the small body of research in this area which takes a more sociological view.

Participants were aged from 11 to 59. Experiences were gathered by means of qualitative interviews, focussed on the present with the young people, and using a life history lens when working with adults. The findings were analysed in such a way as to identify themes across generations.

Participants storied education as occurring across their lives, not merely within formal ‘school’ environments. This encompassed life, social, sporting and digital skills. Participants conceived themselves as achievers within this wider view of education. The study showed that young people in care could be reflexive in their learning, they storied themselves as agentic, and exhibited a habitus which helped them to learn who they were.

The model ‘Conditions for Learning’ was developed, based around the theoretical concepts: reflexivity, agency, and habitus. These findings provide important insights which could inform decision-making within the care and education professions.

Creating Dynamic Resources with Jupyter Notebooks - Penryn Workshop - Barrie Cooper - 4th June 2018

  • Incubator fellow Dr. Barrie Cooper ran a workshop in the Daphne du Maurier IT Training Suite, 1:30-2:30pm at the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus. The workshop was be centred around the online tools used as part of his Incubator project 'Towards a Digital Pedagogy in Mathematics', and the work that Dr. Cooper and his team have done towards achieving their project aims. Below is the abstract for Dr. Cooper's workshop:

Increasingly students are looking for anytime, anywhere access to learning resources and particularly resources that are rich, interactive and can provide real-time feedback on learning. Online tools for developing such learning experiences for scientific and mathematical education have matured to the extent that there are serious alternatives to traditional forms of teaching and assessment in these subjects.

In this workshop, we will report on the progress of a funded project exploring digital pedagogy, jointly undertaken by staff and students at the University of Exeter, and we will provide hands-on experience with some of the most promising online tools for mathematical education, such as CoCalc and Cody Coursework.

Dr. Cooper's project follows the 'Learning Reimagined' theme of the Education Incubator, supporting pedagogical innovation at Exeter.

Joint Council and Senate Briefing - InVEnTA - May 23rd 2018

  • Incubator fellows Dr. Damien Mansell, Dr. Steve Palmer and Dr. Anne le Brocq presented the InVEnTA Incubator project at the Joint Council and Senate briefing, as part of the Exeter IT Presentation, on Wednesday 23rd May. 

    Senate is the senior forum for academic staff to shape academic strategy, as well as scrutinise plans and raise issues of major strategic importance to the University. It meets formally three times a year, in November, March and July, with a joint meeting taking place with the University Council in May. Senate's powers and constitution can be found in the University’s Ordinances.

    Typically,  its agendas include a report by the Vice-Chancellor, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellors, as well as reports from the Dean of Postgraduate Research and the Academic Dean for Students. Agendas also include discussion on key items of university business and strategy. Senate also receives for information reports from the two Faculty Boards as well as updates from Senate Committees responsible for Ethics.

    Chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, Senate's membership is comprised of the Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellors, Faculty Deans, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Associate Deans, Heads of Department and elected members of the academic community. Students are represented by members of the FXU and Students' Guild.

    The aims for for the InVEnTA project are found below:

In this project, we will develop software tools for quickly and efficiently producing ‘free roaming’ immersive Interactive Virtual Environments from a range of different digital terrain datasets and imagery. During the project we will produce 'case-study' Virtual Environments to showcase their potential for delivering innovative and engaging teaching and learning content.

The InVEnTA project follows the 'Learning Reimagined' theme of the Education Incubator, supporting pedagogical innovation at Exeter.

EsriUk Annual Conference Exeter Geography Alumni Event - InVEnTA - May 22nd 2018

  • Incubator fellows Dr. Damien Mansell, Dr. Steve Palmer and Dr. Anne le Brocq discussed the InVEnTA Incubator project at the EsriUk Annual Conference for Exeter Geography Alumni, QE2 Conference Centre, London on Tuesday 22nd May. The EsriUk Annual Conference is focused on 'Applying The Science of Where', showcasing current technologies involved in geography, location and spaces. The InVEnTA team listened to talks and watched exhibition from some of the most exciting techonologies in geography, and exhibited the InVEnTA project to attendees. The aims for for the InVEnTA project are found below:

In this project, we will develop software tools for quickly and efficiently producing ‘free roaming’ immersive Interactive Virtual Environments from a range of different digital terrain datasets and imagery. During the project we will produce 'case-study' Virtual Environments to showcase their potential for delivering innovative and engaging teaching and learning content.

The InVEnTA project follows the 'Learning Reimagined' theme of the Education Incubator, supporting pedagogical innovation at Exeter.

ASPIRE Academic Practise Network - Alex Janes - 18th May 2018

  • Incubator fellow Alex Janes presented his work at the University of Exeter Academic Practice Network on May 18th 2018. Alex Janes project addresses group work at Exeter and how this important learning process can be refined, promoting student engagement and providing tutors with new resources designed to enhance pedagogy.

This project aims to pilot a new approach to supporting group work by developing tutors’ knowledge and skills in leadership coaching. The project will also provide more detailed data on the key issues and successes students experience in group work assignments at Exeter. This should lead to the development of resources to help scaffold group work more effectively.

Alex Jane's project follows the 'Success for All' theme of the Education Incubator, evaluating and developing the educational support offered at Exeter.

EduExe2018 Education Conference - All Incubator Fellows - 4th May 2018

Incubator Fellows’ work was presented at the University of Exeter Education Conference (EduEx18) on the 4th May 2018 on Penryn Campus, Cornwall.

Speakers were invited to discuss the latest innovations in education, focusing on the three main themes of then Education Incubator:

  • Inclusivitiy
  • Innovation
  • Digitalisation

During an Education Icubator Symposium session, fellows presented their projects to an audience including the latest progress, findings and aims.

You can follow the developments from the Education Conference using the hashtag #EduExe2018 or by following the Education Incubators twitter feed @UoEEduInc.

Learning Spaces Symposium - Dr. Sue Prince - 3rd May 2018

Incubator fellow Dr. Sue Prince hosted the Learning Spaces Symposium, asking the question: 'Do We Need Lecture Theatres in the 21st Century?', on the 3rd March in the Newman Collaborative LT, Peter Chalk Centre, Streatham Campus, Exeter.

The event will took place from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM included external guest speakers, breakout workshops and a free lunch to conclude.

To find out more, please visit the EventBrite for the symposium here.

A report of the event will follow shortly on the Education Incubator website.

Academic Tutor Group Resources Workshop - Dr. Alice Osborne - 24th April 2018

  • Incubator fellow Dr. Alice Osborne, with help from the Education Incubator, hosted an informal discussion-based workshop to present her Learning Analytics Dashboard to senior tutors at the University. The Learning Analytics Dashboard, designed by Dr. Osborne, is a tool to be used by tutors at the University to track attendance, iExeter use, module marks and other metrics. 

In the workshop, Dr. Osborne presented an example of what the Learning Analytics Dashboard would look like, how it would work and how it can be integrated into personal and academic tutor sessions. Discussion followed amongst the senior tutors as to what kind of metrics can be measured, how best to present these to tutees and how it can be developed. The workshop was useful in providing feedback about the dashboard from the senior tutors - from a range of disciplines - which will contribute to the development and implementation of Dr. Osborne's project.

Dr. Osborne's project follows the 'Success for All' theme of the Education Incubator, evaluating and developing the educational support offered at Exeter.

Academic Practise Network - Dr. Alison Hill - 18th April 2018

  • Incubator fellow Dr. Alison Hill presented at the University of Exeter Academic Practice Network on April 18th 2018. Dr. Hill's work is concerned with addressing the 'mathematics gap' in biosciences, producing resources that can teach students important mathematics and statistical skills to improve learning, research skills and employability.

Upon doing some research into this issue I read the Wakeham report and was horrified to discover that the problem with poor mathematical skills is not just confined to my classes but is endemic across Higher Education in Biosciences across the UK. Wakeham described a ‘mathematics gap’ in Biological Sciences that results in poorer employment outcomes including students in high tariff institutions like Exeter. Simply put Biosciences graduates lack a lot of the ‘work readiness’ skills graduate employers are asking for. This deficit in mathematics and statistics is not just confined to Biosciences: the HEA have identified Geography, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Business, Management and even Computing among the degree programmes affected by this skills gap (Hodgen et al., 2014).

Dr. Hill's talk focused on her research into the Mathematic's Gap in biosciences, and what has been done to address this issue. Using data acquired from a number of biosciences modules, Dr. Hill noticed a number of modules with a statistically significant mathematics gap - a clear difference in achievement between those who have an A-Level maths qualification, or equivalent, and those who do not. Following the session, discussions took place between members of the Academic Practise Network, debating how best to address this gap and with questions about Dr. Hill's data.

Dr. Hill's project follows the 'Learning Reimagined' theme of the Education Incubator, supporting pedagogical innovation at Exeter.

UK Advising and Tutoring Annual Conference - Dr. Vrinda Nayak, Dr. Emma Taylor and Dr. Andrew Pye - 27-28th March 2018

  • Incubator fellows Dr. Emma Taylor and Dr. Vrinda Nayak lead a session entitled 'Integration of students’ reflective analysis of skills with the University student support system' at the UKAT Annual Conference at the University of Derby on the 27-28th March 2018.

Preparation for graduate employment requires the student to reflect upon their development of numerous academic and personal skills sought by employers. However, formal assessment of reflection is notoriously difficult and students frequently neglect this aspect of education, only noting (or valuing) acquisition of academic knowledge. We are currently developing the tutoring programme in BSc Medical Sciences to incorporate more formal evaluation, discussion and recording of transferable skills, alongside more effective signposting to skill development resources, to promote success for all students. This session will involve an interactive demonstration of our approach to aligning student tutoring to tangible evidence of employability skills.

  • Incubator fellow Dr. Andrew Pye also presented at the UKAT conference, leading a workshop entitled 'Student perceptions what is ‘academic support’ and ‘digital academic support’'

Dr. Pye outlined the problems that Exeter currently faces with regards to providing academic support to students; namely, that Students don’t always turn up to tutorials with staff, and when they do, they have a 5 minute meeting, where they sit and shift uncomfortably in their seats, then leave. Using online surveys, focus groups and yammer groups, Dr. Pye gathered students opinions about pre-existing academic tutoring session in order to address the problem.

Dr. Taylor and Dr. Nayak's project follows the 'Success for All' theme of the Education Incubator, evaluating and developing the educational support offered at Exeter.

HEA STEM Conference - Dr. Barrie Cooper - January 31st 2018

  • Incubator fellow Dr. Barrie Cooper presented his work at the HEA STEM conference on January 31st 2018 in Newcastle. Below is Dr. Cooper's abstract for this presentation:

Increasingly students are looking for anytime, anywhere access to learning resources and particularly resources that are rich, interactive and can provide real-time feedback on learning. Online tools for developing such learning experiences for scientific and mathematical education have matured to the extent that there are serious alternatives to traditional forms of teaching and assessment in these subjects.

In this workshop, we will report on the progress of a funded project exploring digital pedagogy, jointly undertaken by staff and students at the University of Exeter, and we will provide hands-on experience with some of the most promising online tools for mathematical education, such as CoCalc and Cody Coursework.

Academic Practice Network - Dr. Emma Taylor - 7th December 2017

  • Incubator fellow Dr. Emma Taylor presented her work at the Academic Practice Network on Wednesday 7th December 2017 in Northcote House Council Chamber, Exeter. Dr. Taylor's talk, entitled 'Developing a Formal “Skills Audit” in Medical Sciences', is concerned with equipping students with the correct employability skills throughout medical sciences at Exeter. Below is a blog post for Dr. Taylor's presentation:

Emma introduced the ‘skills audit’ aspect of the tutoring system in Medical Sciences.

This development aims to increase student awareness on the transferable skills they develop during their study in order to increase employability, whilst also encouraging reflection on one’s own practice. Reflective cycles had been part of students’ studies, and this has now been brought into the tutoring system.

As part of an ongoing skills audit, students regularly evaluate their own skills using an Academic & Professional Learning Support (APLS) form and set SMART targets as goals for their own development. This is then discussed with their tutor so that each student can be supported on a personalised basis (e.g. by prescribing targeted resources if needed). Emma gave colleagues opportunity to have a go at filling in the APLS form, and discuss how this might be adapted to other disciplines.

Academic Practice Network - Dr. Matt Finn - 7th December 2017

  • Incubator fellow Dr. Matt Finn, alongside Associate Professor in Political Geography Dr Sean Carter, also presented his work at the Academic Practice Network on Wednesday 7th December 2017 in Northcote House Council Chamber, Exeter. Dr. Finn's talk, entitled 'Academic Support: Education Incubator Project and GEO1309 Study Skills in Human Geography', investigates the new linear A-levels and how this affects incoming first year students at The University of Exeter. Below is a blog post about the presentation that Dr. Finn gave:

Matt noted significant changes in A Levels and school/college education, and introduced his Incubator project which investigates how this may impact students’ transition from school to university in future cohorts. Questions include whether we need to change our expectations regarding students’ prior knowledge, and what changes we may need to make to teaching at Exeter.

Matt and Sean then focused upon a single module, GEO1309 Study Skills in Human Geography, and the changes made to this module over three years to better meet the needs of students and its module staff. The classroom was flipped so that tutorials focused on discussions drawing from online and independent study, all academic staff were involved in teaching tutorials and marking assignments, and the module was refocused to address a smaller number of core skills held by all staff (e.g. writing skills). This helped staff to form better relationships with tutees, improve student writing skills, and students gained a greater sense of presence within the department.

 

Bursary Opportunities

If you would like support to attend a scholarship or pedagogy conference, please get in touch to discuss this.

Please email educationincubator@exeter.ac.uk with details of your proposed conference and one of our Higher Education Project Officers will reply to you shortly.

 

Contact educationincubator@exeter.ac.uk for further information and queries.