• A Preliminary Situational Analysis of the Queen's English Society

      Pownall, Ian; Chester Business School (2018-11-06)
      The Queen’s English Society (QES), founded in 1972, is a small charity organisation operating within the UK. This report was requested by the Organising Committee (OC) as a situational analysis. It therefore seeks to offer initial recommendations for the OC to reflect upon based upon a mix of secondary data, author observations and convenience sampling on competitive data. The findings and recommendations presented in the report are as follows: 1) Seek collaborative arrangements with complementary voluntary organisations that can provide access to much needed capabilities in both marketing and digital activities. 2) Develop an attractive ‘hard’ offer in the marketplace whilst also developing supportive strategies to maximise available human resources that are currently under-utilised. 3) Develop as a matter of urgency alternative revenue streams – with patrons and corporate clients in particular. 4) Secure a clear understanding of member motivations for joining and leaving QES. Presently there is no information available on the market segment served by the society. 5) Revisit the membership structure so that it aligns with the actual social group operations of QES
    • Brexit Background Report - Meadow Foods

      Pownall, Ian; Chester Business School (2018-08-15)
      This is a Brexit briefing paper written for Meadow Foods. It offers a context for the senior staff meeting (15th August 2018) and to provide insights into the current known state of Brexit negotiations so that it might inform Meadows’ senior staff on potential contingency planning and implications. The paper seeks to adopt the goals of scenario analysis that challenge and prompt mindsets so as to encourage senior staff to reflect on patterns of understanding and thinking. The paper adopts a largely political economic viewpoint whilst also stressing potential trade impacts. It does this specifically to convey an understanding of the negotiating positions adopted by the UK and European Union (EU). Where possible and feasible, specific market insights are offered.
    • Cognitive Influences shaping Grade Decision Making

      Pownall, Ian; Kennedy, Victoria; University of Chester; Liverpool Hope University (Emerald, 2019-04-01)
      Whilst the marking process is a well explored area, there is limited analysis of the influences that shape the intention grading decision at the point at which it is made. This can be particularly important when those influences may vary during the marking process making reflective analyses also difficult to explore. We draw upon a small sample of assessed scripts from two UK HEIs and undertake a factor analysis of potentially important influences that shape the grading decision at the cognitive point it is made. Our findings indicate that for the sample analysed, the markers most important influences were those associated with the normative view of marking although they also suggest potential influences from when the script was graded and the fatigue of the marker concerned. Our findings indicate that for the sample analysed, the markers most important influences were those associated with the normative view of marking although they also suggest potential influences from when the script was graded and the fatigue of the marker concerned. The work is confined to undergraduate management students and limited by the sample size.A factor analysis reveals the cluster of influences that contribute to observed grade outcomes, but provides less clarity upon relative interdependencies between those factors.There are additional constraints in that the constructed data collection tool was self administered. The data collection instrument (VBA Excel workbook) is we believe, quite innovative in capturing immediate cognitive reflections. It could be developed for other decision making research. We also believe there are staff developmental outcomes from the work, to sustain and enhance assurance in the grading process. As far as we can determine, research that has explored the influences shaping grading and mark allocation tends to be reflective or after the event. Our research data is constructed at the same time as the grade / mark is determined.
    • Do new first year students seek optimal distinctiveness in a new learning environment?

      Pownall, Ian; Kennedy, Victoria; Acquaye, David; University of Chester; Liverpool Hope University (Elsevier, 2019-03-30)
      The learning experience of the first year student joining Higher Education Institutions (HEI) can be examined from a number of perspectives and we focus upon the development of identity within that new learning environment. A conceptual framework is presented to argue that the tension between distinctiveness and social identification of the learner with the environment, contributes to how the learner engages in that environment through their processing style. A supporting empirical analysis explores this argument for a small sample of new first year students in two UK HEIs studying business modules. We determine that students exhibit cognitive dissonance through exercising a dominant processing style that is not primarily seeking to identify with that learning environment whilst also recognising the benefits of a more engaged processing style aligned with greater identification with their peer group. We propose therefore there is a need for the development of social identification capacity within new students.
    • Getting past the language in the assessment of the International Student in UK HE

      Pownall, Ian (Queens English Society, 2018-12-31)
      A short positional paper on the language and assessment of international students.
    • International students’ English

      Pownall, Ian; Pownall, Christine; University of Chester (Queens English Society, 2018-02-28)
      A focus on the scope of language for international students in UK HE.