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Tagged: Support & Guidance

Guiding the learning path

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📥  Reflections

Dr Ainius Lasas, from the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies at the University of Bath, discusses how he views he role as a guide leading students to see connections and through a path of concepts he wants them to explore, but to see this for themselves

 

Training the Trainers to Enhance Peer Support

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📥  Case Studies

Summary

Peer learning schemes at the University of Bath are student-led, discipline-owned and centrally coordinated through the Students’ Union. The success of these programmes relies both on enthusiastic volunteers and an intensive training package that fully prepares students for their role. Since adopting a centralised model of peer support at the University, the number of students involved has increased with now over 950 students volunteering. Whilst the growth in numbers shows institutional buy-in to peer learning, there is now greater pressure on staff supporting such schemes, for example training volunteers.

Following a successful bid through the Teaching Development Fund (TDF), secured in collaboration with the Academic Skills Centre, the SU was able to review its existing training provision. An online element was added to the peer mentor training and a cross-institutional training team was set up to support the face-to-face provision. Staff from all areas within the University were invited to apply to be trainers and the project resulted in the recruitment of seven trainers (see appendix 1).

Not only were the benefits of this training team seen by the Peer Support Team, but the trainers themselves also benefited in many ways. They were able to broaden their own work experience, develop key transferable skills, gain a better understanding of the student experience and use this experience towards professional recognition. (more…)

 

Department GTA Support: Chemistry

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📥  Case Studies

This case study from Chemistry, is part of a series providing short summaries of some of the different good practice models and approaches taken to department level support for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs).

The Department of Chemistry moved GTA training ‘in-house’ to enable new PG students to demonstrate early in semester 1. The training also allows for peer instruction from seasoned demonstrators, as well as additional support for continuing demonstrators. The course has been developed and delivered by a DoS, Dr Fiona Dickinson, with support from all staff who teach in the laboratories. (more…)

 

Department GTA Support: Mathematics

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📥  Case Studies

This case study from Mathematical Sciences, is part of a series providing short summaries of some of the different good practice models and approaches taken to department level support for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs).

The Department of Mathematical Sciences has a long running internal programme for the training and development of very large numbers of postgraduate as maths tutors, set up and taught by Geoff Smith.

1. September (and January if necessary): one day in-house induction covering (inter alia)

  1. Housekeeping aspects of tutorials.
  2. Policy on purpose of tutorials.
  3. Marking and feedback to undergraduate students.
  4. Exposition technique, and the use of the board, chalk/pen and voice.
  5. How to report students who are losing their way.
  6. How to prepare for a tutorial.
  7. Keeping an appropriate social distance from first year undergraduates.
  8. How to get paid.
  9. Many maths postgraduate students have an international background. We discuss the traditions and expectations UK universities (which can be very different from overseas institutions).

2. Observations: all tutors are observed by a members of staff every year. A record is made of any clear development needs of the tutor and action taken. A confidential report is also given to the tutor which can therefore be very frank.

3. Undergraduate students fill in feedback forms concerning the quality of their tutorials. Action is taken when there is a significant problem.

If you would like more information, contact the Directors of Studies/Teaching in the department. Support for setting up or reviewing your own department’s support for GTAs, along with further information on the University level support and development and can be obtained from the Centre for Learning and Teaching (contact acdev@bath.ac.uk).

 

Department GTA Support: Chemical Engineering

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📥  Case Studies

This case study from Chemical Engineering, is part of a series providing short summaries of some of the different good practice models and approaches taken to department level support for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs).

In Chemical Engineering a member of staff takes on the specific role of coordinating the GTAs (lab demonstrators in this case who mainly support year 1 and year 2 labs). The following outlines the programme of development for demonstrators in the department:

  • Department induction –covers induction to labs, key safety and other information, and expectations at department level, working alongside the central TIPs course.
  • Lab Report Feedback session – all demonstrators meet to look at their first batch of feedback on undergraduate lab reports, which are discussed for consistency and help in assessing and writing feedback in conjunction with the academics involved in the labs.
  • Review of the labs – a full team meeting of all involved in the lab including demonstrators, academics, technicians, to review any feedback or issues arising so far (the first time, this was run after the feedback session, and with pizza/drinks).
  • Feedback – feedback from students about the demonstrators is passed via staff who then present it to the demonstrators (filtering for the relevant information and for rude/inappropriate comments) along with any other relevant feedback from staff evaluating their demonstrating so far.

If you would like more information, contact the Directors of Studies/Teaching in the department. Support for setting up or reviewing your own department’s support for GTAs, along with further information on the University level support and development and can be obtained from the Centre for Learning and Teaching (contact acdev@bath.ac.uk).

 

Department GTA Support: SPS

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📥  Case Studies

This case study from Social and Policy Sciences, is part of a series providing short summaries of some of the different good practice models and approaches taken to department level support for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs).

Support for GTAs in SPS is now formalised and regularly reviewed. The list below provides a (brief) overview of the main activities and resources, with responsibility for these split between the department level and the unit convenor. The package of support provides initial introductions, specific support later in time when needed, and feedback/development for GTAs during their teaching. (more…)

 

Department GTA Support: Computer Science

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📥  Case Studies

This case study from Computer Science, is part of a series providing short summaries of some of the different good practice models and approaches taken to department level support for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs).

Computer Science created a specific named role of “tutor coordinator” (tutor is the term used for GTAs in the department). The original coordinator then set up and ran the following plan of activities:

  • Department induction – to cover department level specifics, working alongside the central TIPs course.
  • Regular meetings with all tutors – initially monthly, and well received by tutors, these meetings allowed for discussion and feedback on issues arising whilst teaching.
  • 1-2-1 support offered to tutors
  • Invite to departmental teaching workshops– these are open to all generally, but are part of including and encouraging tutors within the teaching community of the department.
  • Feedback collected from the tutors and ideas presented to the DLTQC

In order to ensure time is available for the above, in particular the regular meetings, the tutor coordinator role is being taken on by a member of staff who isn’t a DoS. Current work for the future is focused on feedback to the tutors, including observations.

If you would like more information, contact the Directors of Studies/Teaching in the department. Support for setting up or reviewing your own department’s support for GTAs, along with further information on the University level support and development and can be obtained from the Centre for Learning and Teaching (contact acdev@bath.ac.uk).

 

Developing randomised e-quizzes for flexible assessment

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📥  Case Studies

Summary

The aim of this 2013-14 project was to generate large banks of applied numeracy Moodle questions to support the teaching of basic maths in Biochemistry and Chemistry. We employed and trained six students studying these subjects to create new randomised question banks in Moodle XML using PHP. Mathematical expressions were coded in LaTeX for MathJax, so that when displayed in Moodle, they would be fully accessible in all browsers, on small screens and can be magnified or read aloud if required. This method of displaying equations in Moodle is now the only available method at Bath. We have also produced the questions in a way that makes them fully accessible to disabled students by formatting the maths in MathJax.All the new questions were tested by students (although not all errors were picked up) and some of the new questions were used for formative and small-stakes summative assessment with Biochemistry Students. We have made the questions available through the top level of Moodle, and the XML and the PHP files through an online blog.

http://blogs.bath.ac.uk/mathsequiz/about/ (more…)