Wednesday 22nd April (2020) 12.30 – 13.45 Attainment/Awarding Gaps in Higher Education

Join the discussion online

Sustained research across the UK HE sector demonstrates that a persistent attainment – or degree-awarding – gap exists between Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic [BAME] students and their White counterparts. A joint National Union of Students [NUS] and Universities UK [UUK] report published in May 2019 concluded that: “A student’s race and ethnicity can significantly affect their degree outcomes. Of the disparities that exist within higher education, the gap between the likelihood of White students and students from Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds getting a first- or upper-second-class degree is among the most stark – 13% among 2017-18 graduates.” (NUS/UUK, 2019, p. 1). Extensive work is being undertaken at City, University of London to identify and seek to understand the attainment/awarding gaps our institution currently has, and to develop a range of responses at institutional and sectional levels including in the areas of curriculum and inclusive learning and teaching. There is a growing body of literature relating to awarding/attainment gaps and, as increasing numbers of institutions are beginning to report on maturing or concluded projects of their own, this seems an opportune time for the journal club to read and debate some of the evidence. We’d like you to read two articles plus (if you have time) a piece written by a student:

Firstly, a critique of existing research into the BAME attainment gap and the difficulties of undertaking research/making change in the face of institutional resistance.
Austen, L. et al (2017) ‘Why is the BME attainment gap such a wicked problem?’, The Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change, Vol. 3, No. 1. Available at: https://journals.studentengagement.org.uk/index.php/studentchangeagents/article/view/587/pdf

Secondly, Nona McDuff and colleagues describes how Kingston University substantially narrowed their BAME attainment gap through an outcome-focused institutional change programme.
McDuff, N., Tatam, J., Beacock, O., Ross, F. (2018) ‘Closing the attainment gap for students from black and minority ethnic backgrounds through institutional change’, Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 79-101. Available at http://tinyurl.com/vw359r3.

To help us with the discussion here are some questions you might like to consider when reading the article:
• What was the purpose of the research and were the research questions/hypothesis clear?
• Does the literature review seem thorough and draw on recent literature related to the
research problem?
• Is there a theoretical or conceptual model for the research?
• Is there reference to ethical approval for the study?
• Was there a clear discussion of how the sample was chosen and the representativeness of the sample to the population as well as details of recruitment?
• Is the research methodology clearly indicated alongside the data collection tools?
• Is the analysis of the data clearly outlined?
• Were the findings clearly presented and discussed?
• Were any limitations for the study indicated?
• What are the implications of the research for practice? What are the implications of the research for our new lecture capture policy at City?
• Has further research been indicated?

Tuesday 18th February 12.30 – 13.45 Journal club LEaD training room – Academic Literacies: embedding in course design and collaboration with academic staff

 

In this month’s Journal Club we will explore two articles on the theme of developing students’ academic literacies.

 

Mary Lea and Brian Street set out a framework for supporting student writing in higher education in their seminal 1998 article which proposed a framework for academic literacies. The first article you are asked to read is a development of these ideas by Mary Lea, published in 2004. Although written some time ago the article examines how research findings from academic literacies might be used to underpin course design in higher education. It uses a case study of an online postgraduate course and explores the role that technology might play in supporting students’ academic literacy development. We’ll consider what changes we can make to course or curriculum design to embed academic literacies.

 

Mary R. Lea * (2004) Academic literacies: a pedagogy for course design, Studies in Higher Education, 29:6, 739-756, https://0-www-tandfonline-com.wam.city.ac.uk/doi/full/10.1080/0307507042000287230

 

Meanwhile in a more recent article by Lotte Bergman we will discuss academic perceptions about supporting student’s academic literacy development. Many academic staff feel under-prepared to help students develop their writing skills. In this second article a group of university teachers from different disciplines reflected on and were able to extend their knowledge about how best to support their students through a programme of continuing professional development. A number of teachers made changes to their teaching practices in light of the interventions described and their confidence and ability to support students’ grew.

 

Bergman, L. (2016). Supporting academic literacies: university teachers in collaboration for change. Teaching in Higher Education21(5), 516-531. https://0-www-tandfonline-com.wam.city.ac.uk/doi/full/10.1080/13562517.2016.1160220

 

We’ll discuss both articles and reflect on whether some of the approaches in this articles are relevant to the challenges we face at City to support student academic literacies.

To help us with the discussion here are some questions you might like to consider when reading the article:

·         What was the purpose of the research and were the research questions/hypothesis clear?

·         Does the literature review seem thorough and draw on recent literature related to the research problem?

·         Is there a theoretical or conceptual model for the research?

·         Is there reference to ethical approval for the study?

·         Was there a clear discussion of how the sample was chosen and the representativeness of the sample to the population as well as details of recruitment?

·         Is the research methodology clearly indicated alongside the data collection tools?

·         Is the analysis of the data clearly outlined?

·         Were the findings clearly presented and discussed?

·         Were any limitations for the study indicated?

·         What are the implications of the research for practice? What are the implications of the research for our new lecture capture policy at City?

·         Has further research been indicated?

January Journal Club theme: The Role of Lecture Capture

22nd January 12.30 – 13.45

As part of the Growing Access to Lecture cApture (GALA) project, City is currently expanding provision of lecture capture facilities to all centrally timetabled learning spaces and updating the existing lecture capture policy. We have suggested two articles that consider the role of lecture capture from the perspectives of the students and the lecturers. The readings are provided below:

Nordmann, E., & McGeorge, P. (2018, May 1). Lecture capture in higher education: time to learn from the learners. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/ux29v

Joseph-Richard, P., Jessop, T., Okafor, G., Almpanis, T. & Price, D. (2018). Big brother or harbinger of best practice: Can lecture capture actually improve teaching? British Educational Research Journal, 44 (3), pp. 377-392. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul_Joseph_Richard/publication/324578306_Big_brother_or_harbinger_of_best_practice_Can_lecture_capture_actually_improve_teaching/links/5b1eb984a6fdcc69745bed74/Big-brother-or-harbinger-of-best-practice-Can-lecture-capture-actually-improve-teaching.pdf

To help us with the discussion here are some questions you might like to consider when reading the article:

  • What was the purpose of the research and were the research questions/hypothesis clear?
  • Does the literature review seem thorough and draw on recent literature related to the
    research problem?
  • Is there a theoretical or conceptual model for the research?
  • Is there reference to ethical approval for the study?
  • Was there a clear discussion of how the sample was chosen and the representativeness of the sample to the population as well as details of recruitment?
  • Is the research methodology clearly indicated alongside the data collection tools?
  • Is the analysis of the data clearly outlined?
  • Were the findings clearly presented and discussed?
  • Were any limitations for the study indicated?
  • What are the implications of the research for practice? What are the implications of the research for our new lecture capture policy at City?
  • Has further research been indicated?