Top Tips for Engaging, Teaching and Assessing Students, giving them Feedback and providing Support, against a backdrop of increasing student numbers and increasing student support needs.
Paula Row and Ed Dudley
Student numbers have increased in recent years and are set to rise still further in the next decade. Approximately ten percent of current students have documented health conditions or disabilities such as specific learning difficulties, anxiety and / or depression, and the expectation is that this proportion will also rise. We have, between us, almost twenty-five years of experience in educating, and supporting, students at Swansea University, and we have put together ten or so Top Tips on engaging, teaching, assessing and providing feedback to students, and supporting them, to improve their chances of gaining a successful degree outcome and good job prospects. We have aligned each tip to the appropriate section(s) of the UKPSF to help staff to see where each activity would fit into an HEA Fellowship application, and we refer to further resources and reading.
Tips are intended to be “light touch” and include (amongst others): 1) how to engage students by making lecture material relevant and meaningful; 2) how to make lecture slides visually engaging and accessible to all students including those with specific learning difficulties; 3) the use of showing quick Youtube videos etc. in class and putting links to them on the module site on Blackboard to engage students, keep them on task for longer and help learners of different abilities; 4) how to design coursework that reduces marking burden whilst increasing employability by being authentic and useful for increasing translational skills; how to decrease student anxiety, and the workload of student email queries, by 5) making coursework instructions clear and 6) going through examples in class and uploading worked examples to Blackboard; how to 7) reduce student anxiety and enhance student learning by providing positive feedback about work before mentioning the areas for improvement; 8) how to enhance learning by tailoring feedback closely to the work; 9) making subject lines of emails positive, encouraging and supportive and 10) the importance of supporting yourself and your colleagues in the face of increasing workloads (and suggestions for how to do this).
Ed Dudley and I will deliver the session together, as a Powerpoint presentation. We will cover each Top Tip in turn. We will explain the challenges that the tip is meant to address, and describe interventions that we have used in our own teaching practice with Biochemistry and Genetics students during the last twelve or thirteen years. These will be covered on the slides, and each one will be labelled with the UKPSF Area of Activity / Core Knowledge and Professional Values category / categories that it relates to (to help the audience identify how each intervention could fit into their own HEA Fellowship application), and we will also signpost to further resources.
Delegates will be interested in this because we are providing a range of quick and useful tips that cover a range of teaching and student support activities. We will also provide advice on how staff can maintain their own resilience and support their colleagues in the face of further increasing student numbers.
Delegates will receive a number of Top Tips on how to improve their teaching practice across a wide range of teaching and student support activities, and how to ensure that it is accessible to students with specific learning difficulties, and other difficulties, and supportive. These tips will also help staff to maintain their own resilience, and to support their colleagues, in the face of increasing student numbers.
Teaching, assessment and feedback