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Realising Opportunities at the University of York: A case study. Tamlyn Ryan Tony Wilson University of York. Aims . To provide a challenging and stimulating set of workshops and activities for the RO students To recruit postgraduate tutors with subject expertise and experience of teaching

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realising opportunities at the university of york a case study

Realising Opportunities at the University of York: A case study

Tamlyn Ryan

Tony Wilson

University of York

slide2
Aims
  • To provide a challenging and stimulating set of workshops and activities for the RO students
  • To recruit postgraduate tutors with subject expertise and experience of teaching
  • To train the tutors in developing academic skills and providing robust feedback
slide3

To create a set of online resources that students may access to assist them with their research and writing throughout the RO period via the VLE

  • To ensure that the assignments (draft and summative) were rigorously marked, standardised and table marked
  • To raise awareness of research intensive universities
  • To create resources that could be shared with other RO students and staff
resource development
Resource Development
  • Two workshop days held at York (July & September) consisting of:
    • Student Panel Q/A research intensive
    • Choosing your topic and narrowing it
    • Academic Style: writing appropriately – examples
    • Harvard referencing – practice
    • Information Skills/Research Strategies
    • Lecture
    • 1:1 slot with tutor concerned with narrowing topic/feedback on progress so far
online materials
Online Materials
  • Students given guest accounts via the associate database
  • VLE provides a sustainable, interactive and protected environment
  • Community building tools – profile pages, discussion forums and class chat
  • Safe assign formative mode for students to check work for plagiarism
  • Open access journal sites
  • Camtasia/video recordings of the workshop facilitators/panels
  • Open blog to allow students and tutors to deal with more sensitive queries
  • Reliable websites for research
  • Examples of assignments and examiners’ feedback
  • Guidance on the academic assignment
academic assignment results
Academic Assignment Results
  • We were very pleased that our RO students achieved a 100% pass rate for both York cohorts 2010 & 2011. Key factors in the success were:
  • Ensuring that the formative feedback was of excellent quality and sufficiently detailed to allow students to produce high quality work.
  • We moderated all feedback given by our PG tutors before it was sent back to the RO students.
  • Another important quality control was to table mark and standardise the summative marking with our Academic experts present.
outcomes of the ro project
Outcomes of the RO project
  • 50% of our RO students applied for Research Intensive Universities, mainly those in the North of England. A further 25% went to other universities.
student evaluations
Student Evaluations
  • The majority (75%) of students found the workshops ‘very useful’. The individual sessions they found most useful were academic style, referencing and searching quality sources
  • The RO students evaluated the workshops and resources provided by York positively with suggestions of how to improve including “more on finance”; “more time with tutor” and “more training on how to use the VLE”
  • Another issue noted by the first cohort is the timing of the workshops as they were busy with exams and assignments in Year 13
tutor evaluations
Tutor Evaluations
  • 78% of tutors would work on the programme again and would recommend it to fellow PGWTs as an enjoyable experience.
  • Tutors would like to see better engagement from schools/teachers and more training on the level expected from Year 12/13 students, as well as more clarification on the roles of the different people involved in the project.
comments
Comments
  • I enjoyed seeing the student's project develop
  • It was really rewarding getting to know my student and hopefully preparing her for university, giving her a head start which could be really beneficial in the long run as first year can be about trying to sort out your style, referencing etc
  • I really enjoyed meeting the students and corresponding with them online via the VLE. I felt that, over time, I built up a good working relationship with them, and it was great to see their work improve after taking comments and advice on board
  • I enjoyed working with and meeting the young people. I also enjoyed being part of a new and exciting initiative
what did we learn
What did we learn?
  • Provide training of tutors closer to the start of workshops
  • Liaise with schools earlier to find the best time of the year for Year 12 students
  • Try to engage teaching staff at schools
  • Increase 1:1 time by one hour
  • Increase training on giving effective feedback using model essays
  • Increase training for students and tutors on using the VLE site
future plans
Future plans
  • Improve the VLE - make the public/private sections clearer and user friendly
  • Clarify roles of the team involved in RO
  • Increase tutor training on feedback, expected standards and the VLE
  • Share and co-develop more resources with partner universities
  • Develop a set of annotated essays to help train our tutors and to give the students a clear idea of the standard expected of them
slide15

We were very encouraged by the sustained use of the site by the students and tutors.

    • There were 12,322 hits on the VLE site with the areas ‘Class of 2011’, where students and tutors upload their photos and profile information, the most popular. This was followed by sources and panel discussion, where we recorded a question and answer session between the RO students and our current York students.
  • We hope that our partner universities will review and co-develop further resources for the RO tutors and students.
contact
Contact
  • If you would like access to any of our resources please email us with your work email and full name and we will create a guest log-in to our VLE site. We are very happy to discuss our approach further.

Contact:

Amy Clow (Realising Opportunities Co-ordinator)

01904 324 635. Amy.clow@york.ac.uk