2021-22 ICE Fellows

Dr Bela Chatterjee

Director of Skills Development/Senior Lecturer in Law, Law School

Project TRIPOD

Traditionally, feedback for coursework is in written form, either by way of notes on the page and/or in a paragraph summary. However, such feedback is also often poorly understood and engaged with. As learning and teaching digital technology develops, particularly accelerated by Covid, it is now possible to create short video feedback where the marker goes through a piece of coursework in real time on the screen.

Such technology enables the capture of detailed and specific discussion on the work, allows the integration of wider resources (e.g. demonstrate a particular word, concept or point to further research by opening up a new window to the relevant website in the recording), allows the student to rewind and review in their own time, and creates the start point of a more meaningful conversation between marker and student.

The toolkit will be created as a Xerte resource so that staff can pick it up and learn it in their own time, and as part of the USP of this project I will provide in-person 1:1 support where required if colleagues want further guidance; there will also be a project roadshow to introduce it to departments. The toolkit will include; research on the benefits of audio-visual feedback; evidence from former students as to the benefits; a real-life example of how to do it; suggestions on adding additional resources to enrich feedback; suggestions on how best to administrate feedback files once created; suggestions on maximising accessibility; suggestions on how to create a follow-up dialogue with the student.

Dr Mark MacDonald

Director of Teaching (UG), Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Surveying workflows for creating and maintaining Moodle quizzes

Computer-marked assessments (CMAs) are becoming more prevalent as an educational tool. As technological advances are made, including in machine learning, the potential quality of our CMAs will continue to increase. Whilst there are no staff resources required for the actual marking of such assessments, there are considerable staff resources required in the design, creation, and maintenance of these quizzes. In the design phase, a decision must be made about the process by which questions are created, and this is especially important if the questions involve any random element.

This project aims to showcase to staff a range of existing methods that are available for creating and maintaining Moodle quizzes and their questions. There is no one method which is optimized for every situation, so the goal is to make it easier for staff to choose the method and workflow which will best suit their needs. One of the key outcomes of this project will be a dedicated Moodle page for staff that will feature a range of example quiz questions used successfully by others, which they can mirror in their own modules. Each example question will also explain the workflow used for its generation, resources to help them get started, and a discussion forum where staff can share their experiences and thoughts. The range of options available to staff is continually expanding, so it is important to display these developments in full view, so they can take advantage of recent innovations.

Dr Ruth Mewis

Educational Developer, People & Organisational Effectiveness

Design for learning: exploring assessment literacy development in the curriculum

Assessment is often cited as the most important driving factor for student learning, with more influence than teaching (Bloxham, 2007). The NSS has consistently identified assessment and feedback as the aspect of programmes with which students are least satisfied (OfS, 2020), and this has firmly placed discussion of student expectations of assessment on the HE agenda (Medland, 2014).

The dominant discourse about assessment in HE focuses on measuring learning rather than promoting it (Price et al, 2008). Assessment support may be in the form of study skills offered to students in a remedial approach, bolted onto the curriculum to address the needs of weaker students. These skills place emphasis on developing assessment technique through essay writing, preparing for exams rather that understanding the nature and purpose of assessment and feedback process.

Assessment literacy is emerging as a concept for describing familiarity with the language and process of assessment (Price et al., 2012). Someone who is assessment literate will have clear understandings of how assessment fits into a course and be able to make critical decisions about the application of appropriate approaches and techniques to assessed tasks. However, the academic rules for guiding assessment are often tacit (Bloxham and West, 2004). It is important for both staff and students to develop their understanding of these rules.

This project aims to investigate assessment literacy, what it is, its contribution to student learning and how it can be embedded in the curriculum. It will also look to identify practice within programmes across Lancaster university that develops both staff and students' assessment literacy.

Bloxham, S. and Boyd, P. (2007). Developing Effective Assessment in Higher Education: A Practical Guide. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Bloxham, S., and A. West. (2004 ) Understanding the Rules of the Game: Marking Peer Assessment as a Medium for Developing Students’ Conceptions of Assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 29 (6): 721–733.

OfS (Office for Students) (2020) National Student Survey 2020

Medland, E. (2016). Assessment in higher education: Drivers, barriers and directions for change in the UK. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 41(1), 81-96.

Price, M., B. O’Donovan, C. Rust, and J. Carroll. (2008) Assessment Standards: A Manifesto for Change. Learning and Teaching 2 (3).

Price, M., Rust, C., O’Donovan, B., Handley, K., and Bryant, R. (2012) Assessment Literacy: The foundation for improving student learning. Oxford: ASKe, Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development

Sadie Whittam & Dr Maarten Michielse

Maarten is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology

Sadie is a Solicitor and Lecturer in the Law School

Authentic learning and assessment: diversifying student experience, enhancing employability, and driving institutional change

This collaborative project explores how we can introduce and further develop authentic learning and assessment opportunities and experiences at a cross-disciplinary level. Authentic learning and assessment opportunities simulate the real work done in professional, cultural and societal contexts (Herrington, 2014; Herrington & Herrington, 2006).

By way of example, an authentic assessment task might involve asking students to conduct advocacy in a mock trial as part of their Litigation module in Law, to design an actual social media campaign in a Media or Marketing module or running a simulated interview with a mock patient as part of a Medical course. Rather than a formal, abstract and decontextualised form of learning and assessment, authentic tasks and assignments foreground the ‘situatedness’ of the learning experience (Gee, 2004).

Involving students in authentic learning tasks facilitates and grounds student learning and engagement in new ways. It takes seriously the increasing demands from current and prospective students that their studies are applied and useful. Authentic learning and assessment allow teaching staff and higher education institutions to further diversify assessment and feedback as well, avoiding an over-reliance on essays and written exams. This can strategically help to improve student experience in assessment and feedback. Moreover, authentic learning and assessment also satisfy the requirements of external stakeholders, such as industry and the professions, that University courses develop graduate employability as well as transferable skills.

To deepen insights into authentic learning and assessment, this project will happen in three stages. First (1), we will conduct a literature review to research and map the theoretical contexts as well as empirical studies on authentic learning. We will then (2) run focus groups with educators and students in Lancaster University as well as its partner institutions to explore current methods of authentic learning and assessment within the institution. We will see how these fit with the theoretical and empirical studies we have reviewed and collect a small number of best practice case studies that showcase the potential depth of authentic practices in Higher Education. Finally (3), we aim to bring these examples together on an online resource platform. This platform will be openly accessible to colleagues from inside and outside the institution and will provide tips and tools, examples of assessment modes and rubrics, as well as shared stories and experiences to help lower the threshold to embed authentic learning and assessment in the curriculum.

Gee, J.P. (2004) Situated Language and Learning: A Critique of Traditional Schooling. New York: Routledge.

Herrington, J. (2014) Authentic Learning. In: Bozalek et al. (eds.), Activity Theory, Authentic Learning and Emerging Technologies: Towards a Transformative Higher Education Pedagogy. New York: Routledge.

Herrington, T. and Herrington, J. (2006) Authentic Learning Environments in Higher Education. London: Information Sciences Publishing.

Paul Newnham

Faculty Librarian, Library & Learning Development

Information literacy and the transition to University education

The Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) describe Information Literacy as ‘a set of skills and abilities which everyone needs to undertake information-related tasks; for instance, how to discover, access, interpret, analyse, manage, create, communicate, store and share information’ (CILIP, 2018)

This project will explore students’ experience of transition to University in relation to: (a) their understanding of what constitutes information literacy and critical thinking; and (b) their experience of learning about and using information literacy skills. The project will examine these themes in two stages. First, it analyses them in relation to sixth form students and, second, it explores them in relation to first year undergraduate University students.

This dual approach will offer insights into the process of educational transition providing a snapshot of both sixth form students’ experience and first year University students’ experience. There has been significant interest in transition to University and in identifying gaps in students understanding and skills. This project specifically focuses on information literacy and its relationship to critical thinking, and provides a grounding for the Library to consider what it can offer in supporting student’s transition to University.

Dr Corinna Peniston-Bird & Joanne Wood

Corinna is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History

Joanne is the FASS Learning Developer

Talking about writing – a community of practice approach to PGR writing development

Academic Writing (capitals intentional) has become something of a behemoth - a mysterious, and awkward specialism beset by rules and instructions. The more we teach it, the more we can reinforce the impression that it was invented by bigger people than us and that we should learn the tricks, follow the rules, play the game.

As a Learning Developer I (Joanne) have long been irked by this tension between the need for students to develop their writing skills and the risks of teaching those skills – how can I authentically help students to ‘see’ and engage in academic writing without contributing to the stultifying, disempowering, excluding practices of telling students how to write? How can I pretend to be supporting ‘co-creation of knowledge’ if the very tools for communicating that knowledge are set in stone and held slightly out of reach?

And as somebody rooted in the discipline of History, how can I (Corinna) foster individual flair and academic rigour in our PGR community, and prepare them not only for the exam that is the thesis but their writing lives thereafter?

This project is an attempt to answer these questions. PGR students are obvious partners to trial such a writing project with. They are expected, and expect themselves, to be proficient, confident writers, prospective leaders in their field. They are highly motivated, time-rich (in terms of the place writing is meant to take in their week) , and least well served by an instrumental approach. They may teach the academics of the future. They are also the most easily overlooked constituents, unlikely to ask for or be provided with writing ‘help’ beyond individual supervisor support.

'Talking about Writing' therefore takes the form of a community of practice (Wenger, 2011) fostering a group of PGR students who will meet to talk with us and each other about writing – the writing process and the writing product in abstract and less-abstract ways. We will create a space for and encourage peer support, nurturing an awareness of writing and of being a writer.

‘Talking about Writing’ will encompass:

  • A fortnightly meeting of 1.5 hours with a focus agreed at the previous meeting
  • A dedicated Teams site to permit conversations to continue between meetings, facilitate peer support and act as a repository for sharing and reflection on examples drawn from everyday encounters as well as academic ones
  • Discussion of technical aspects of writing – grammar, structure, proof-reading
  • Recommended reading and source materials as emerging from discussion (available on Teams)

We will build our project on the foundations of trust, friendship, honesty, authenticity. We will draw on and harness the experience and expertise of every group member. We will base our conversations on honest, curious exploration – asking authentic questions, telling stories, listening.

Dr Robyn Remke

Lecturer, Director of FMBA Programme, Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, LUMS

Integrated learning framework for Executive Education

This project focuses on the redesign of the Full-time Masters of Business Administration (FMBA) programme in LUMS. The programme, created for practising managers and leaders, will use an Integrated Learning Framework (ILF) to better deliver on the programme learning outcomes and objectives by helping learners see and understand the connections between their different modules as well the connections to ‘real world’ organisational activity.

Demonstrating these connections is not easy as the FMBA programme includes topics from every department in LUMS and spans perspectives as wide-ranging as accounting and finance, management operations, marketing, strategy, digital technology, leadership, and management. It is not enough for our business leaders to know a little about finance and marketing; responsible leaders must understand how these topics and perspectives are interdependently intertwined and all contribute to the running of a business.

Most importantly, we want to demonstrate how leaders can act responsibly, sustainably, and inclusively while managing a business successfully. The FMBA curriculum will demonstrate how the programme principles of responsibly, sustainability, and inclusivity will contribute to better organisational outcomes for shareholders and stakeholders alike. In addition, the focus on these principles will contribute to the LUMS 2025 Strategy and will align the FMBA programme with our UN PRME goals.

Using the ILF, the programme will focus on practice-based learning and develop teaching units that give learners the opportunity to engage with new ideas and theories. The students will be assessed on integrative projects that require students work collectively in groups and draw on their newly acquired topical knowledge to complete a client-based project. When the students complete their projects, they will not only have tested out their understanding of specific concepts, but they will have witnessed their heuristic value in an actual organisational case. Further, students will have enhanced their group working capabilities, their leadership skills, and their client communication skills.

Dr Peter Watt

International Lecturer in Management and Organisation Studies, LU Leipzig

Developing a Research Culture through Research-Informed Teaching at an International Branch Campus

The aim of this project is to identify, review and analyse opportunities for curriculum enhancement through research-informed teaching in Undergraduate Business Management modules at Lancaster University Leipzig (LUL).

As a ‘branch’ of Lancaster’s Bailrigg campus, LUL is central to Lancaster University’s strategic vision of becoming a globally significant leader in higher education.

LUL is currently in its first year of operations and is undertaking a number of initiatives to develop its research provisions and culture. The challenge of establishing a distinctive culture while embracing Lancaster’s pedagogical traditions and the strategic ambitions of the international campus is at the heart of this project.

The project will focus on the research-informed pedagogy undertaken in LUMS’ department of Organisation, Work and Technology (OWT), which celebrated ‘50 Years of Critical Interdisciplinary’ Teaching and Research in 2019. A number of modules taught on LUL’s undergraduate business management programme are based on OWT’s tradition, and full-time academics teaching in Leipzig are affiliated with the department.

But what is this pedagogical tradition? Where has it come from and why? What impact does it have on students? What challenges are faced when an approach developed over half a decade are adapted to a new international setting? These are amongst the questions this research project seeks to answer.

Anna Wos

Teaching Fellow, Department of Marketing

Digital induction programme for LUMS students

Transition to University level learning may be overwhelming for many new students. Particularly, first weeks of the experience might be filled with a lot of new information, getting used to a new place and systems. The information provided during induction week can be quickly forgotten.

Digitisation of common information provided during the induction week at the Faculty level can help the student navigating through this crucial learning at their convenience as well as allowing for access throughout their student journey.

By removing some of the content from the busy Induction week, academic departments can focus on building programme communities and getting to know the students better. The student doesn’t need to feel overwhelmed with amount of sessions and making sure that all information is remembered immediately.

Content of this project can also be used and recalled throughout the student journey giving the student an effective guide to studying at the University.