• Connect 4: a novel paradigm to elicit positive and negative insight and search problem solving.

      Hill, Gillian; Kemp, Shelly M.; University of Buckingham; University of Chester (Frontiers Media, 2018)
      Researchers have typically defined insight as a sudden new idea or understanding accompanied by an emotional feeling of Aha. Recently, examples of negative insight in everyday creative problem solving have been identified. These are seen as sudden and sickening moments of realisation experienced as an Uh-oh rather than Aha. However, such experiences have yet to be explored from an experimental perspective. One barrier to doing so is that methods to elicit insight in the lab. are constrained to positive insight. This study therefore aimed to develop a novel methodology that elicits both positive and negative insight solving, and additionally provides the contrasting experiences of analytic search solving in the same controlled conditions. The game of Connect 4 was identified as having the potential to produce these experiences, with each move representing a solving episode (where best to place the counter). Eighty participants played six games of Connect 4 against a computer and reported each move as being a product of positive search, positive insight, negative search or negative insight. Phenomenological ratings were then collected to provide validation of the experiences elicited. The results demonstrated that playing Connect 4 saw reporting of insight and search experiences that were both positive and negative, with the majority of participants using all four solving types. Phenomenological ratings suggest that these reported experiences were comparable to those elicited by existing laboratory methods focused on positive insight. This establishes the potential for Connect 4 to be used in future problem solving research as a reliable elicitation tool of insight and search experiences for both positive and negative solving. Furthermore, Connect 4 may be seen to offer more true to life solving experiences than other paradigms where a series of problems are solved working towards an overall superordinate goal rather than the presentation of stand-alone and un-related problems. Future work will need to look to develop versions of Connect 4 with greater control in order to fully utilise this methodology for creative problem solving research in experimental psychology and neuroscience contexts.
    • Leadership in Higher Education: a longitudinal study of local leadership for enhancing learning and teaching

      Newton, Jethro; Ribchester, Chris; Irving, Catherine M. A. (University of Liverpool, 2012-01)
      Local level leadership for the enhancement of learning and teaching in higher education is an under-researched area in the leadership literature. The growth of the ‘quality agenda’ in HE over the past 20 years has led to an increase in the number and range of local leadership roles. These posts, although not usually requiring the exercise of management responsibility, have the potential for considerable influence on practice in local academic communities. This study aimed to explore local leaders’ experience of their role and to examine the barriers and opportunities they faced, in order to determine the optimum conditions for the conduct of this work. The study was focused on one regional HEI in NW England, CountyUni. A subset of data was obtained from another HEI, MetroUni, for comparative purposes. The research design adopted employed an interpretive, ethnographic approach, generating qualitative data from 29 interviews and three focus groups over the course of six years. The majority of the participants were HE staff in local level leadership roles at department or faculty level. Additionally, 8 staff in managerial roles were interviewed. Data collection focused on the characteristics and practice of local level leadership in the context of learning and teaching. Purposive sampling was used to identify participants. An iterative process was used to generate interview questions, so that significant themes could be tested for ‘saturation’ as the study progressed. Data was analysed thematically, based on the approaches of Grounded Theory. A model of the features of local leadership at department level was generated from the data. The discussion of results incorporated contributions from a number of theoretical strands in social science: structuration theory; communities of practice; networks; academic culture. The nature of local level leadership was contrasted with other extant models of leadership. The findings showed that, although leadership was demonstrated by local level leaders, there was a low level of recognition and uncertainty of the leadership aspects of these roles, with individuals often feeling that they had “responsibility without power”. The importance of leadership for learning and teaching at all levels of the institution was identified as critical to the effective implementation of local enhancement activities. It was concluded that local level leadership in this context has characteristics in common with leadership elsewhere. The absence of managerial responsibility but the presence of significant responsibility for establishing links between local academic communities and the policy development tiers of an organisation, provides particular challenges. It was shown that success was dependent upon leadership and commitment at all levels of the institution. The roles provide valuable experience for career development. Opportunities for further avenues of investigation were identified.
    • Exploring the Development Needs of Postgraduate Taught Dissertation Supervisors

      Regan, Julie-Anne; Taylor, Kirsty; Simcock, Thomas; University of Chester (2014-10)
      The Graduate School, in collaboration with the Learning and Teaching Institute (LTI), undertook this project to explore the development needs of PGT dissertation supervisors. This information was vital to the effective planning of development opportunities, in order to enhance dissertation supervision on PGT programmes and ultimately improve the overall postgraduate student experience.
    • Peer observation and review of teaching in College Higher Education

      Dutton, Caroline K.; Rapley, Eve; University of Chester ; University of Bedfordshire (Staff and Educational Development Association, 2014-07)
      This book chapter discusses how peer observation of teaching (POT) has become established practice in higher education (HE). It focuses on data generated from a small scale study of the nature and use of POT within an HE in FE context and argues that using a developmental, peer approach (as opposed to one focussed upon Ofsted grading criteria) is a cornerstone of higher education and needs to be embedded into HE in FE in order to develop an genuine and collegial HE culture within a further education college.
    • The role obligations of learners and lecturers in higher education

      Regan, Julie-Anne; University of Chester (Wiley, 2012)
      The current discussion of consumerism in higher education focuses largely on what the providers are obliged to do for the consumers, fuelled by the rising tuition fees. This framework does not always sit comfortably with lecturers in the context of a learning and teaching relationship, as it appears to ignore the reciprocal obligations lecturers and learners have to one another. The purpose of this paper is to offer an alternative view of what lecturers and learners are obliged to do in the learning and teaching relationship, if learning is to be effective. The claims made in this paper are as follows: in higher education, both learners and lecturers have moral role obligations; these moral role obligations are derived from the functions of the roles being voluntarily undertaken by each party; therefore, by ascertaining the functions of a learner and of a lecturer, both a descriptive purpose and a normative purpose will be revealed for each; using moral role obligations as a basis for the student/lecturer relationship offers a less contentious alternative to the consumerist model. This paper demonstrates, using Aristotle’s function argument, that defining the function of an entity (in this case a role), has both a descriptive and normative purpose. It then briefly outlines possible definitions for the roles of learner and lecturer in higher education. Having made a claim (albeit a tentative one) to define the functions of learner and lecturer, recommendations are made on how these role obligations can be utilised to create an effective learning relationship.
    • A comparative study of the perceptions of professional staff on their contribution to student outcomes

      Regan, Julie-Anne; Dollard, Emma; Banks, Nicci; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2014)
      This journal articles examines the perceptions of professional staff on their contribution to student outcomes.
    • Risks to informed consent in pedagogic research

      Regan, Julie-Anne; University of Chester (Napier University, 2013)
      Stierer and Antoniou (2004) have described Pedagogic Research (PR) as primarily teachers undertaking research into aspects of their own teaching and learning. Consequently, those undertaking PR often occupy dual roles of teacher and researcher. Likewise the subjects being studied are often the researcher’s own students and thus also occupying dual roles of student and participant. The purpose of this article is to highlight the potential risks to valid, informed consent inherent in the nature of pedagogic research itself; due to the dual roles mentioned above and the blurred boundaries between practice development and PR. Whilst inaccurate or incomplete information for decision making is an obvious risk to informed consent, the risks to voluntary participation can be more subtle. Reference is made to a documentary analysis of feedback provided to applicants by a research ethics committee reviewing pedagogic research. Whilst this is not a research report of that study, it provides empirical evidence to support the arguments made in this article. The article concludes that the greatest risk to valid informed consent is the lack of awareness among practitioner-researchers of the risks to voluntary participation this type of research holds. The author highlights the role for academic developers in highlighting these issues on professional development programmes and to the wider academic community. It is also recommended that a clear institutional position on when teacher/researchers need to apply for ethical approval could also be useful, particularly if flexibility is built in to allow for informal discussions with the Chair of the REC.
    • Specific learning needs of students

      Gartside, Bernadette; University of Chester (SAGE, 2011)
      This book chapter discusses the importance of access to assessment and early intervention in developing strategies to assist students with specific learning needs, especially if students are reluctant to disclose such needs.
    • Perceptions and use of peer observation of teaching in a 'HE in FE' context

      Dutton, Caroline K.; University of Chester (Staff and Educational Development Association, 2012)
      Peer observation of teaching is a generally accepted and valued method used for developing teaching and learning in universities. This research aims to understand the value of the use of peer observation in a HE in FE context. Initial analysis has found that FE colleges now appear to recognise the need for and value in utilising different approaches for HE teaching observations in comparison to those used for FE.
    • Using action learning to support doctoral students to develop their teaching practice

      Regan, Julie-Anne; Besemer, Kirsten L.; University of Chester (Routledge, 2012-12-05)
      This article discusses the use of action learning groups to develop the teaching practice of postgraduate research students (PGRs) who are engaged in teaching and/or supporting the learning of students in their departments. Evaluation of the intervention is described from the academic developer and the participant perspective. From this evaluation it can be concluded that participants in this study benefited from the intervention and there was evidence of professional development in their teaching practice. One insight in particular is the conflict experienced by PGRs who are simultaneously student and colleague of their respective research supervisors. Suggestions are made as to how to ensure PGRs are appropriately supported in their teaching practice.
    • Ethical issues in pedagogic research

      Regan, Julie-Anne; Baldwin, Moyra A.; Peters, Lisa; University of Chester (University of Bedfordshire, 2012-10)
      This paper explores the ethical issues identified by a research ethics committee (REC) over a three-year period. The REC is situated in a medium-sized univerity in the north west of England and deals exclusively with proposals for pedagogic research. The purpose of the research was to identify the nature and frequency of ethical concerns expressed by the REC, in order to improve guidance for future applicants. The most common concern was the lack, or inaccuracy, of the information provided to potential participants by which they were expected to make an informed decision about participation. Other concerns included the potential for bias, the lack of information provided to the REC, the provision for fair access by vulnerable groups and undue influence on voluntary particpation. The paper concludes that the potential risks of practitioners researching their own students are not given due consideration by many applicats. In particular the potential threats to valid informed consent are identified. Implications for improving the relationship between researchers and RECs are discussed, as is the guidance for applicants.
    • Scenario-based evaluation of an ethical framework for the use of digital medial in learning and teaching

      Regan, Julie-Anne; Middleton, Andrew; Beattie, Carol; Sextone, Ruth; University of Chester ; Sheffield Hallam University ; University of Chester ; University of the Arts, London (University of Bedfordshire, 2011-11)
      This article discusses the need to consider the ethical risk with using digital media.
    • Ethical issues in pedagogic research

      Regan, Julie-Anne; Peters, Lisa; Baldwin, Moyra A.; University of Chester (2011-12-06)
      This presentation discusses the ethical issues identified by a research ethics committee (REC) over a three year period. The REC deals exclusively with proposals for pedagogic research. The purpose of the research was to identify the nature and frequency of ethical concerns expressed by the REC, in order to improve guidance for future applicants.
    • The student enrichment programme: An inter-professional collaboration

      Greenwood, Joanne M.; Thomas, Helen; Sinnott, Celia; Headon, Stephanie; Rogers, Lisa; University of Chester (2011-06-15)
      This presentation discusses how Learning Support Unit, Learning Information Services, Careers and Employability work together with academic lecturers to deliver skills sessions to nursing students.
    • Sticking plaster or cultural shape-shifter? Study skills on the new HEI horizon

      Scott, Irene; Palin, Sarah (2007-06-01)
      This presentation discusses student starting points for studying in higher education, "hidden skills" required to attain module/programme learning outcomes, the gap between student understanding of HE level and lecturer expectations, and how to move from a "sticking plaster" approach to academic development and whether this requires a cultural shape-shift in conceptualising the student learning experience.