Lightning Presentations: Developing inclusive future-facing education

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Tuesday 5 July, 15.45-17.00, Online

Recording of the Lightning Presentations

i. Developing Inclusion, Embracing Difference and Enhancing Equality in Sport and Exercise 

Rachael Bullingham and Sam Wilson-Thain (School of Sport and Exercise)

This is a current UTF project that has just completed year one of two years. The project fits not only with the University Strategy, specifically, “to provide a breadth and richness of experience that enables all our students to reach their full potential” but also specific objectives in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, that is currently being developed. Additionally, it is a clear focus to enhance and drive forward the decolonising the curriculum agenda within the School and the University more broadly. Within the School of Sport and Exercise we have various awarding gaps within the two communities. We have a gender awarding gap across the School, in which women are significantly outperforming men.  Although statistics are more difficult to interpret due to low numbers, there is an evident awarding gap for our BAME students and, last year, we had an awarding gap of students with specific learning needs.

The rationale of the project is to encourage staff and students to become aware and accepting of difference, thus creating a more inclusive learning environment where all students and staff can thrive. It has a number of aims. Firstly, this project will focus on the environment and the culture within the School. Secondly, there will be a focus on delivery to ensure inclusion is embedded within the curriculum across the community.

This presentation will outline the key elements of the project: what has worked, what has not quite worked and how this is going to be developed going into year two. Initial thoughts from those running the project will be provided as data collection is in very early stages and therefore no results are available.

 ii. Drawing as Learning

Kimberly Hall (School of Arts) 

Many of us are looking for new ways to engage students in the classroom, whether virtual or in person. We want our students to explore, engage with and investigate our subject areas so that they can grow in their curiosity and experience. Could you use drawing as a tool in your classroom even if you don’t teach art?

I’ll be examining student drawings of all kinds in order to consider how any subject area might explore drawing as a tool for learning. Drawing offers us an embodied method of interaction for students, and it can be a way to reach students where traditional methods have trouble reaching. Let’s see what drawings can tell us about learning.

iii. Learning from the Pandemic: Lessons from Remote Teaching 

Sophie Flowers (School of Creative Industries)   

How do lecturers ‘read the room’ when the room is a Teams meeting full of blank squares? How important is reading the room, and learning from students’ visual cues? This presentation will look at the surreal experience of beginning my teaching career at the University of Gloucestershire in 2020. When your first ever lecture is online with 18 students you’ve never met before, how do you gain their trust and evaluate their learning?

With no prior frame of reference, this presentation will examine how my approach to teaching remotely was one of experimentation – not restriction. From moving practical sessions online, to remote field trips, this approach of ‘no boundaries’ has continued with the ‘return to normal.’ I will compare this with the return to the classroom, the learning curves of moving online modules back in person, and my reflection on this.

A key message will be that online teaching is not the enemy. It is important to learn lessons from our pandemic teaching, and to consider how we can retain some of these learnings for the benefit of our students. 

iv. Digital Exams: Using the Better Examination Platform

Bernadett Bus and Robin McKinlay (Academic Development Unit)

Better Examinations is the University’s digital examination platform that allows students to take exams safely and securely online, either remotely or on campus. During this lightning presentation, we will introduce the platform, present examples of good practice, and some lessons learned from the project.

Introduced as an immediate response to the need for invigilated exams to take place during the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2021, digital exams is now the preferred method for delivering exams across the University, and has been used to examine students on 128 modules since its introduction.

We will highlight successes from the Schools of Sport and Exercise, Natural and Social Sciences, and Health and Social Care, explaining how they used the system to accommodate different types of assessment. We will outline some of the lessons we have learned during the course of the project, and how these have influenced assessment design as well as future developments for the platform.

v. GigAble: Gloucestershire’s First Accessible Ticketing App

Tom Soper (School of Creative Industries) and Laura James (Student)

Laura James wants to help people with disabilities book events more easily. This was an idea she first came up with in a second-year Music Business enterprise module, which she has since developed into ‘GigAble’, an app which streamlines the access booking process and delivers a comprehensive service for both attendee and venue. To develop the project, she has reached out to seek support and build networks via SAGE (Start & Grow Enterprise) and The Growth Hub, Drake Music UK and Foundation House. In December 2021, she was awarded funding via The Janet Trotter Trust and she has since reached the finals of the UK’s Ingenuity Enterprise Competition. GigAble depends on direct engagement with national networks to help bring it to fruition, and, to complement, a teaching and learning strategy on her course which encourages students to see themselves as active within communities much larger and broader than any given module. Perhaps lecturers in this context are more like (business) partners or the first link in a network that will grow to include hundreds? In a lightning presentation focusing especially here on the contexts of ‘Students as Partners’ and ‘Inclusion’, Laura will discuss her experience with Tom Soper and reflect on how students are best supported to be enterprising and socially engaged. 

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