Lightning talks 2

For the session I will be showing how we have responded to the pandemic in terms of assessment feedback. Some people may be aware of previous work in the School of Medicine to provide rich and timely progression feedback following summative assessment. This year, with the cancelling of in-situ exams, a new formative model encompassing Single Best Answer and Short Answer Questions was put in place.

To complement this arrangement, a system was rapidly developed to analyse the results spreadsheet and deliver automated individualised PDF transcripts to each student. This contains detailed performance metrics across all the knowledge areas of the assessment.

Students can look at raw scores, attainment at the various levels, and analyse how they performed in each of these areas compared to their peers. They can gain an insight into how challenging each topic and question was in order to gauge the depth of their understanding. They are also able to view any specific written feedback left by the examiners.

This approach greatly speeds up the feedback delivery process and, due to the automation, massively reduces the potential for error.

This is quite a flexible approach and the same principles may be applied to other subject areas

In this paper, I will critically evaluate the teaching and learning experiences of online learning group discussions. First, I will outline the strategy for developing an online community using learning groups. Then, I will evaluate the efficacy of this structure and strategy for teachers based on my experience leading AMS 30043: Violence and Power in Antebellum America in Fall 2020. In the second half of the presentation, I will quantitatively analyze survey results from students enrolled in my module, AMS 30043: Violence and Power in Antebellum America in Fall 2020. I will evaluate the efficacy of this structure and strategy for students/learners based on these survey results. In doing so, I will explore whether learning group discussions are merely a useful tool in pandemic pedagogy, or whether these discussions should be applied in more traditional teaching and learning settings to enhance the student experience.

This case study evaluates one programme’s approach to the pandemic, examining how it balanced staff pressures and the needs of students by using the approaches of inclusivity and decolonisation.

Inclusion and decolonisation are current institutional priorities but compete alongside many other demands. This case argues they provide a useful set of values to underpin and prioritise choices about designing teaching in this new, challenging environment.

While they can be perceived as narrow concerns, they are fundamentally about power structures and seeking to dismantle structural disadvantages. Most importantly, they prioritise giving all participants a voice in decisions. This case illustrates what that looks like in practice.

Both students and staff are consulted about problems beforehand. Afterwards, they are asked what worked. Everyone is kept informed about what decisions were made and why. Finally, keep asking questions about how people are doing in order to adjust where things aren’t working.

This case study outlines the decisions made about teaching, how students and staff were consulted, and how the programme was taught. Student surveys were used both to guide this approach and to evaluate how it worked, particularly around the effectiveness of online compared to in situ teaching.

Team teaching is not new, however MS teams is .There is much debate about the definition of team teaching, co-teaching , supportive teaching however all concluding that it is a group of two or more teachers working together to plan, deliver, and evaluate the learning activities for the same group of students, with learners benefiting from the professional interaction amongst the teachers (Laughlin et al 2011 ,Yanamandram & Noble 2006).However Team teaching can also promote a supportive environment for both learner and teacher and development of the on line community.

The presentation outlines 3 Team Teaching approaches used within the Bsc Pre- Registration Nursing Leadership module:

  1. Synchronous large group lectures. A collaboration.
  2. Practice employment interviews.
  3. Practice based scenarios (small groups).


  • Laughlin .K. Nelson.P, Donaldson. S. (2011). Successfully Applying Team Teaching with Adult Learners. Journal of Adult Education. Vol 40, No 1, pg 11-18
  • Yanamandram.Y, & Noble.G,(2006). Student Experiences and Perceptions of of Team-Teaching in a Large Undergraduate Class. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice. Vol 3, issue 2. Pg 50-65.

Reflector: Rob Stannard

Reflections of Lightning Talks 2

The move to online teaching has presented both challenges and opportunities to tutors. The complex set of features of digital technologies, such as interactivity, capacity, range, speed and functionality, offer new and authentic ways of teaching creatively. They also afford alternative and creative ways of constructing learning communities.

The four presentations in Lightning Talks 2, explore both the affordances of technology and the challenges of working in online environments. Between them they address issues around inclusivity, engagement and feedback, collaboration, hybrid forms of teaching, and working with external partners. Engaging with the challenges of offering a coherent online learning experience has forced tutors to examine their previous practice and to reflect on learning and teaching more generally. In addition, tutors have also reflected on the extent to which ordinary classroom practices can be replicated in online environments, or whether novel ways of facilitating learning need to be adopted.

Adrian Molyneux’s talk addressed the issue of providing formative feedback in a digital learning environment. Apart from the need for this to be both rich and timely for medical students, it needs also to be actionable. Medical students are provided with personalised feedback which provides information about their progress, but also where they stand in the rank order. In the Medical School, there is open and transparent sharing of marks with students which they obtain through a personalised PDF of their results. Interim summative assessment feedback enables students to see precisely where they are in their in their learning journey. The assessment feedback is used formatively and strategically by students in goal-setting and targeting areas of study.

Kristen Brill’s talk, by contrast, explored the challenge of building digital communities and, more specifically, facilitating learning group discussions online. In some ways, this talk explored both the limitations of attempting to replicate classroom-based learning structures online but also the opportunities technology affords to do this differently. Students worked in small groups online both synchronously and asynchronously prior to synchronous online seminars. Students had planning tasks to undertake before the seminars and had both agency and choice in relation to format and modality. Findings showed that students used a variety of platforms including Facebook for their collaborative activity and felt better prepared for seminars. They worked with a variety of others and people they would not normally work. However, they did no research. The aim of establishing inclusive digital learning communities seemed to work but this may be because students are used to using social media platforms for communicating, interacting, and sharing content. Opportunities to use digital media for collaborative research may therefore be novel for students and an area for further development.

Jonathan Parker’s talk also explored the concept of digital inclusion and built on the principles of and the impetus generated by the of decolonisation of the curriculum initiative. This project explored how we can make all decision making inclusive and but considered who is vulnerable in online learning situations and how we confront imbalances and move towards more equitable outcomes for all. The project highlighted that whilst student voice is predicated on the notion of inclusiveness, it is completely dependent on tutor responsiveness and raises expectations with respect to both the speed and mode of that response.

In their talk, Emma Collins, Ivan McGlen, Shirley Heath, Heather Owen, and David Jefferson explored student engagement and student support within the context of the development of a hybrid approach to teaching on a practice-based degree programme made more complex by the inclusion of external stakeholders and practice partners.  The project was ambitious and included team-teaching, real-time learning, Interactive teaching an Q & A, the use of academic mentors as analysers and mediators, and the development of outline workbooks and narrated PowerPoints. The intention was to create supportive teaching environments and communities of learning. The team worked on strategies for helping students help each other to engage such as those listed above and found that activity encouraged activity. This was modelled through the co-teaching approach which showed the benefits of professional interactions between teachers.

Recording: lightning talk 2