The NATY Project Showcase Event on September 18th provided the opportunity for colleagues from across the University to hear more about projects that were funded by the Education Enhancement Fund (EEF) last year and have now completed. Project leads were asked to develop new ideas for programmes, curricula or other educational developments or enhancements that are made possible by the NATY structure. These projects have covered different themes in support of NATY, including devising Enrichment Week activities to enhance the student experience, Assessment and Feedback, Curriculum Design Enhancement and Student Mobility.
Projects have explored ways of enhancing student learning through a variety of enrichment activities. At the Shakespeare Institute, an Enrichment Weekend was piloted for postgraduate distance learners. Intensive study skills sessions were provided for these learners, as well as opportunities to engage with other students to encourage a sense of belonging within this learning and teaching community.
Within the University Graduate School, EEF funds were used to pilot a number of different activities designed to support final year undergraduate students and their transition to postgraduate study (PGR and PGT). Ten activities were piloted and tested during the programme, included ‘talk and taster’ sessions for MA Translation studies, ‘Using tutor feedback effectively’ sessions and ‘Insider Secrets for PGRs’.
A week-long Boot-Camp aimed at training Engineering and Business students in cutting-edge digital technologies was also developed for the Enrichment Week of NATY. The project, which ran in collaboration with academia and industry, served as a pilot study to train students with key skills associated with digital innovation and expose them to innovative technologies within current research and industrial practices. The pilot also served to test the feasibility of introducing similar boot camps during enrichment week across the university.
‘Solving Your Problem’ piloted the concept of ‘Design Sprints’ in the College of Arts and Law as part of the Enrichment Week option for NATY. This cross-disciplinary approach to solving real-world industry challenges provided Arts and Humanities graduates with a means of enhancing a range of employability skills, and providing opportunities for skills development and networking opportunities.
Student and staff perceptions of feedback have been found to differ considerably across the University. Within the college of Engineering and Physical Sciences, EEF funds were used to develop activities for NATY that target student perceptions of feedback with the hope in the longer term, such activities will result in improved understanding and use of this feedback. A feedback session was planned and trialled within Engineering and Business Schools to help undergraduate students develop their understanding of feedback. SWIFT, a bespoke digital tool, was developed to enhance this activity by providing students with pedagogically authentic exposure to the process of generating feedback.
The HEFi project ‘Curriculum Futures Retreat’ sought to co-develop and pilot with Colleges a new and unique institutional Teaching and Learning CPD framework. This framework and accompanying toolkit aimed to provide responsive support to module and programme teams (academics, professional services and student representatives) responding to NATY, Subject TEF and longer term the normal QAE cycle.
With NATY offering a unique opportunity to rethink the pedagogic design of modules and programmes in the context of a research-intensive institution, EEF funds enabled work to be undertaken within Schools and Colleges to identify and showcase research-intensive learning in action at the University. A collection of Research-Intensive Learning and Teaching (RILT) case studies was created to help colleagues understand RILT principles and see them in action, alongside other resources such as a toolkit and Canvas site to inspire and support staff across campus in preparing for Curriculum 2020.
Building on the successful ‘Insider’s Guide to the Year Abroad’ project (Link) that provided online peer support for Arts and Law students on the Year Abroad programme, the Study Abroad team investigated the possibilities of broadening the types and duration of Study Abroad opportunities for these students through the new NATY structure. Working with departments and staff across the University, the project looked at how NATY may offer semester mobilities as part of a 3 year degree programme for example, and how WP students might be more effectively represented in these mobility opportunities.
For more detail and resources on any of the projects above, email the HEFi EEF Projects Team.