HEA Annual Conference 2012

The latter half of this presentation was given by me  at the HEA conference, followed by a very interesting and dynamic discussion about the student voice and the impact on curriculum change.

Blended Learning Conference 2012

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These are the handouts used for this session:

Changing the Conversation handout

The Rapport Exercise Bands are best printed on two different coloured papers for easy identification. Form participants into pairs and had one of each band type (A+B) asking them not to share what is written on them. Run the exercise for about 5 minutes, so rapport is well established. Then sit down, or other action. Again let them disengage for about 5 minute or until the room is suitable uncomfortable. If there is time allow them to re-establish rapport, but this is not essential.

Changing the Conversation handout

JISC Webinar Presentation

Recruiting for coaching ambassadors

Today we started the campaign for recruiting students as coaching ambassadors. To start this process we pitched an outline of what we wanted from the students and what benefits they would gain to a group third year sports business management students. This group was selected as it had previous experience of using coaching within their course during their second year. This was well received and a number of students approached me after presentation for further details. Attached are the handouts explaining the role and how to get registered to the University’s Job Shop as well as the recruitment application from and presentaion slides.

Coaching Ambassadors Project Job description

Ambassador Recruitment Survay Question

Exciting times ahead!

Although I have only been introduced to the PC3 project relatively recently, I did take part in some staff training about 12 months ago where I also invited a number of my colleagues-we all teach on the BA (Hons) Sport Business Management course at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Initially we were looking to explore new innovative ways to interact with students and given that we are all academic tutors as well we decided to explore the ‘coaching’ methods used by the PC3 programme. I guess our intention was always to embed this work with our students but such has been the staff and student uptake that we are about to start a new academic year in September 2011 and when we do the PC3 coaching strategy will be ‘up-front’ and visible across each of our degree levels.

The success of this project (PC3 within BAHSBM) has been due to the unique way in which we have been able to utilise the coaching philosophy across a suite of modules which we call our ‘Employability pathway’. This pathway includes modules such as Personal Development Planning (Level 4), Planning for Work Based Learning (Level 4), Work Based Learning (Level 5) and Continuing Professional Development (Level 6).

Our strategy was to introduce the PC3 coaching at Level 4 in the PWBL module and this was first done in 2010. Those students have now progressed to L5 students and next year as L6 students they will begin to introduce a new variation of the strategy…to work closely with and coach their peers-new L4 ‘freshers’.

Our students currently coach each other in the PWBL module but significantly this element of the module is linked to an assessed piece of work and because of this we have found that the students have to get engaged with the process and once they do they enjoy the camaraderie and start to develop a rapport with their coach or coachee. Our planned development for 2011-12 will be to have L6 students coaching L4 students across a host of possible situations that are not tied to assessments and we believe that this ‘buddying’ system will also assist us in reducing student drop-out rates at L4 and help with the students’ integration into the course.

Media Professionals Module

I have just had another interesting meeting about embedding coaching principles directly into the module process. The module Media Professionals’ Workshop (school of cultural studies) explores professional practice and future career paths for students in the second year of their degree. Part of the module is focussed on a live production with a current media professional, forming 40% of their assessment. Part focuses on career planning which builds 60% of the assessment. Coaching is being considered for the second part (career planning) aiming to enable students formulate their goals and solidify a plan of action, what, where and when.

This module currently offers workshops on such as aspects as CV development, supported by the careers advice department. Our discussion today focused on using coaching methods with students on a voluntary basis, possibly as group coaching sessions, similar in format to the ones I have been developing with Tony Renshaw’s insight. Areas such as skill/competency assessment and change management could form the bases of workshops to support goal development and strategy planning. Many of the resources from the PLC module could be used to support this process. There was also some discussed about the possibility of using a reflective approach so as students can build a portfolio of evidence.

Much of this fits in with what Nick Halafihi has being doing and some cross over with Sarah Patrick’s work in health. I enquired into the nature of the course’s PDP structure, as this has been seen as a common link area with coaching, but this is currently more skill development based for this course.

Tutor experence of student diffculties

I have recently been considering the types of issues and problems students face when coming to university. There is some general talk that at present the school and college system doesn’t successfully prepare all students for the expectations at university level. While many courses design their first year to account for a wide variety of abilities and knowledge, considering many cohorts includes both mature and international students, there are still concerns that this is not as effective as it could or should be.

As someone who’s teaching experience is primarily from the student perspective I have been recently gathering data from a more experienced tutor. A colleague of mine, Tony Renshaw, has been kind enough to spend some time reflecting on his teaching experiences for me. He identified that there is a difference between the nature of the problems students face in their first and subsequent years. In the first year a number of students are experiencing independence for the first time. This means having to deal with many issues outside of University life as well, such as: learning and living space; new friends and old friends; responsibilities; a new job; working with teachers and fellow students. From an academic perspective students often find throughout the term at university it difficult to deal with: feedback; critical thinking; reading and writing; time planning; asking questions; and self-expression, verbal as well as written; and assessment processes and procedures.

In some ways a number of these issues are not much different to those we all experience when entering a new job or integrating with a new environment. I think the students they can become particularly prevalent problems because of little previous experience of coping with this process. There is also the added pressure from personal and family expectations regarding this being the first main step in their career. In asking Tony to reflect on his teaching experience is that I’m looking for some key areas to develop into a series of workshops for students that use coaching principles to enable them to raise their awareness, take ownership and develop confidence.

One area that has been highlighted during my discussions with Tony was that of assessment and how students approach this. I have asked Terry to reflect on this to see if there are any specific aspects I can focus on.