This 2014-15, international, cross-university, collaborative, student-led project promoted and enhanced the learning of foreign languages through multilingual and multicultural interviews and case studies using social media.
5 students from the University of Bath studying Spanish as a foreign language were put in contact with 5 students from the University of Mar del Plata studying English as a foreign language. They were given a set of guidelines to conduct the project together with topics related to their syllabus such as personal information, university life, cultural differences, etc. Each student was allocated a partner to work with. They carried out interviews and arranged online meetings. All communication was conducted in their respective target language. Students exchanged experiences, learnt about different academic and cultural life, built new relationships and developed their languages skills in a real context.
They presented their findings in a variety of forms ranging from class discussions, a short oral presentation or a written report. The project was supervised by their Spanish tutor at different point of its course. When it was finished all students taking part received a letter certifying their participation and conclusion of the project. Overall the project was highly successful on different levels and easily transferable to other languages or departments. (more…)
This 2014-15 project made an important contribution to the overall cost of a one-semester (S1, 2014/15) sabbatical aimed at improving the student experience through enhancing teaching, learning and feedback outcomes during UG degrees in Chemical Engineering at two leading universities in the Southern Hemisphere (and the most highly ranked Australian universities for Chem Eng): UQ (Brisbane) and the University of Melbourne. To maintain our excellent NSS position for student satisfaction we need to innovate and learn from other leading academic institutions. This sabbatical proposed to do this by:
- Benchmarking UoB measures of student satisfaction (including feedback methodologies) and other tools for enhancing the student experience against those in UQ and Melbourne;
- Examining the effectiveness of the teaching, feedback and student experience innovations that have been introduced in UQ and Melbourne. This was done both by examining outputs such ranking of subjects and universities, and by conducting interviews with academic staff, students and administrative support managers;
- Examining how QA documentation is interpreted through to the institutional committee structures down to improving and enhancing the individual student experience through assessment, feedback and student support outcomes. Of key concern was academic ownership of programme and changes made to it, which affects both student and staff identities, and social cohesion within universities.
Fabio Nemetz, Computer Science, Director of Studies
In the Department of Computer Science, we introduced agile mini, stand-up meetings between the Director of Studies (DoS) and the student representatives. The idea is very simple: between SSLCs, separate short informal meetings are held with each year group’s student reps separately.
The main benefit is that reps don’t need to wait for SSLCs to introduce their issues. If problems are minor, solutions can be suggested that can be implemented quickly, or we place an item for the next SSLC. This enables the SSLCs to concentrate on more major issues and for reps to raise issues they would otherwise feel too minor or not timely for the SSLCs themselves. This can however in turn resolve issues quickly before they become major and and the structure could help to potentially save time overall.
Dr Aydin Nassehi from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath discusses using the Poll everywhere audience response system in his lectures to gain feedback from students.
In the second video, Aydin directly compares the Poll Everywhere system with the common option of using clickers as an audience response system for use within lectures.
Dr Kit Yates from the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Bath reflects on his experience of using iPads in mathematics lectures as part of a trial to provide his pros and cons for their use.
Dr Kit Yates from the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Bath describes how he recorded his working through problem solutions on a tablet as an online resource to replicate some of the advantages of the live session over the solution sheet.
Dr Kit Yates from the Departmental of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Bath discusses how and why he changed his mathematical biology problem classes to focus more on the act of coding, inspired by a combination of flipping and apprentice model approaches.
Dr Matteo De Tina, Director of Learning and Teaching in the Department of Economics at the University of Bath, discusses why and how he has explored the use of online multiple choice quizzes in the Moodle online environment for both formative and summative assessment. He looks at the experiences, strengths and problems encountered and the current future intentions and recommendations.
Dr Chris Blenkinsopp, from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath, discusses how and why he uses videos in teaching.
Dr Chris Blenkinsopp, from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath, describes his fourth year Civil Engineering Design project as a form of problem based learning in which students work for 'clients' on real world projects.