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The Efficacy of Student-Led Seminars for Critical Thinking

Background During the second semester of the academic year 2013/2014) at Coventry University I was given the opportunity to design half a second-year undergraduate module, called Democracy and the Media, which is currently a core module on the English and

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Institutional Collaboration in Physiology Teaching in the UK

Introduction ‘We must have a new generation of bright physiologists able to pick up from where the molecular approach runs out’.  (Peter Newmark, Nature, 2012) ‘rising student numbers……..loss of physiology departments as a result of their merging with schools of

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Joining the dots: making connections between institutional research, HE research, policy and practice

Introduction Institutional research (IR) forms a very important part of the evidence base for decision-making in universities. Yet we suggest that often it is isolated research that neither draws upon existing educational research nor opens itself up for use by

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Development of a Quality Enhancement Process: The use of surveys as a stepping stone to action and intervention

The Learning & Teaching Development Unit (LTDU) within Cardiff Metropolitan University consists of a number of different aspects, working jointly to enhance the student experience and to provide exceptional learning and teaching. One area within the department is the Quality

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Reflections on using the Raspberry Pi in schools to make learning programming fun

Introduction Primary and secondary schools across the UK are currently faced with the exciting, yet daunting prospect of inspiring a new generation of programmers, following the introduction of the national curriculum for computing in September 2014. The Raspberry Pi is

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Connecting across cultures: student peer support for writing

Online communication is increasingly common in the global workplace. This article showcases a research project conducted in Sweden and North America, where engineering students participated in online peer review on each other’s texts. Through interviews, the students reflected on some of the challenges involved, including intercultural issues, communicating effectively online and the lack of personal acquaintance. The article concludes that a discussion of such challenges is important if such an exchange is to be successful.

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Writer development made accessible!

This article gives a brief overview of some preliminary results of an in-progress illuminative evaluation (Parlett and Hamilton, 1972) of ‘Writer Development’ courses. The courses, which run at several European universities, were conceived and set up as a reaction to the perceived need for process-based scholarly writing instruction to complement readily available product-based courses (Lonka, 2003).

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Supervisory relationships: the experiences of international masters students

This article is a case study exploring the experiences of two international postgraduate dissertation students studying in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University. It has been written collaboratively by two academics with experience of postgraduate dissertation supervision, and two postgraduates who were supervised by them. The discussion is based upon academic diaries produced by each of the students. These diaries were analysed thematically, and the two main issues that emerged were the students’ growing confidence as research writers, and their relationships with their supervisors. Based on these diaries, this article records the ways in which international students can benefit from their supervisors’ mentoring to become expert writers in their fields, and in some cases, to go on to provide writing development for their peers. The article also examines the potential of a Faculty Writing Group to support international students in the production of their dissertations.

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Dyslexia and writing: poor spelling can interfere with good quality composition

This article reports on issues facing students with dyslexia in higher education, and reveals how tutors can offer support. It builds upon research conducted by the authors in order to raise the profile of diversity and disabilities issues. The article provides accessible advice, and calls for more research into supporting students with dyslexia.

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How to run an international conference without leaving your desk: online in Adobe Connect

Against a background of decreasing funding in higher education for conferences and travel, this paper argues for an alternative approach to international collaboration, based on work by the author and colleagues on an online conference run in Adobe Connect: the ‘Giving Feedback to Writers Online’ conference which took place in June 2014. This paper draws on lessons learnt from that conference to demonstrate that running an online event is both easier and more effective than you might expect. The paper will be of interest to anyone who is looking for ways to widen the reach and accessibility of the seminars and conferences they run, and to learning technologists and others who might be called upon to support such events. As well as the discussion of our experience in running an online conference, the paper pulls together the outputs from that experience to offer a takeaway checklist which maps out the key stages in planning an online conference, and can help organisers of future online conferences to avoid some of the obstacles along the way.

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