Establishing a discipline-specific
stats support workshop provision
What we did….
Sarra Saffron Powell
Responded to a call for funding
Collaborative interdisciplinary approach:
• Professor Damian Clancy – School of Maths (sig...
Institutional provision
• Resource (budget) already allocated to Schools to
support students stats skills development – bu...
• We wanted students to feel supported. For
maximum efficacy of provision that support
should be in discipline specific co...
Focus where students need support
Psychology PhD post
grads (x5)

Psychology Level 2

•Registered
students
•Logged
trouble...
PhD tutor training
• PhD tutors very good understanding of student issues
(been there, wrangled with it) in discipline con...
Provision
• Drop in workshops (teaching colleagues to
direct students to it)
• Consulted teaching colleagues to identify
‘...
Provision
• = resource rich environment
• Students benefitted from a variety of
perspectives and learning styles (other
st...
Getting the students in
• Attendance endorsed and advised by lecturers
(important)
• Posters, email, assignment feedback
•...
Costings
• Initial sigma funding £8,000 (match funded by
UoL)
but this approach is very cheap!
• Costs about £6,000 a year...
Advice
• Block room book!
• Anticipate unidentified ‘troublesome areas’
• PhD tutor dynamics may need monitoring – encoura...
Evaluation
• Student feedback was excellent
• Valued peer learning environments – “tutors
understand the problems, they’ve...
The end
• Happy to share as evidence base for proposals
sarrasaf@liv.ac.uk
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Establishing a discipline specific stats support workshop provision (1)

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Brief outline of a sigma funded project where PhD students supported first year Psychology students' development of stats skills.

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Establishing a discipline specific stats support workshop provision (1)

  1. 1. Establishing a discipline-specific stats support workshop provision What we did…. Sarra Saffron Powell
  2. 2. Responded to a call for funding Collaborative interdisciplinary approach: • Professor Damian Clancy – School of Maths (sigma contact and budget holder –a “sleeper” role) • Dr James Cruikshank – School of Psychology (engage students and colleagues with the initiative/room bookings) • Dr Janet Strivens – Educational Developer (evaluation) • Sarra Saffron Powell – Educational Devloper/eLearning technologist (pedagogy, sigma hub co-ordinator, now steering committee ) • Two critical friends to the project (Lesley Fletcher LJMU, Colin Steel Manchester University) • Psychology PhD students. • …but you don’t need all of these people!
  3. 3. Institutional provision • Resource (budget) already allocated to Schools to support students stats skills development – but limited evidence of rigour (i.e. effective pedagogical practice, impact, evaluation, student engagement) • Wanted to access that resource and reposition it to ensure sustainability and evidence impact of student learning/enhanced student experience
  4. 4. • We wanted students to feel supported. For maximum efficacy of provision that support should be in discipline specific contexts. • UoL Key strategy: enhancing the student experience
  5. 5. Focus where students need support Psychology PhD post grads (x5) Psychology Level 2 •Registered students •Logged troublesome areas •Identified useful resources We knew there were key “crisis areas” in student understanding and application of stats Identified online learning resources •Elicited feedback form students (evaluation ) PhD’s training on supporting students learning Online diagnostic “Drop in” workshops Systematic implementation of a peer learning approach = effective learning (Boud, Cohen, Samson, 2001)
  6. 6. PhD tutor training • PhD tutors very good understanding of student issues (been there, wrangled with it) in discipline context • Training to ensure they developed student skill and enhanced learning rather than “doing it for them” • two Educational Development mentors • Two PhD students went on to also teach on CEd stats courses • In class review of teaching (Janet Strivens) • Were offered ‘Teaching for Researchers’ CPD (Eddev)
  7. 7. Provision • Drop in workshops (teaching colleagues to direct students to it) • Consulted teaching colleagues to identify ‘troublesome areas’ • 5 x PhD students identified useful (usable) resources • Student ‘I don’t know what my problem is’ problem – needed help in identifying difficulty
  8. 8. Provision • = resource rich environment • Students benefitted from a variety of perspectives and learning styles (other students, PhD tutors not just one lecturer) • Online provision – just identified existing resources (lots) made available and indexed (= accessible)
  9. 9. Getting the students in • Attendance endorsed and advised by lecturers (important) • Posters, email, assignment feedback • Word of mouth (very important, comes with time) • 6 session planned – 3 delivered = 75 students attended • Timing of session needs to be mapped against curricula (assessment and troublesome areas)for maximum impact
  10. 10. Costings • Initial sigma funding £8,000 (match funded by UoL) but this approach is very cheap! • Costs about £6,000 a year (12 sessions) £900 for web/database designer • If one student stays on course – pays for itself for several years • Potential impact in Departmental NSS student satisfaction
  11. 11. Advice • Block room book! • Anticipate unidentified ‘troublesome areas’ • PhD tutor dynamics may need monitoring – encourage reflective practice • Ensure evaluation processes built in from the start • Aim for best practice re quality assurance issues • Accrue student feedback (evidence) • Be prepared to identify and address curriculum problem areas • Blended approach is valuable (students can be referred to online resources whilst waiting) • Identify problems – delivery of themed sessions
  12. 12. Evaluation • Student feedback was excellent • Valued peer learning environments – “tutors understand the problems, they’ve been there”, “no such thing as a stupid question”, “as someone who has struggled, I now feel a lot more confident” • Greater accessibility than personal/academic tutors/lecturers • Many students used sessions to peer review their work • Requests for 3rd year workshops • Future – map to assessment performance (ought to improve!) • Identify departmental NSS scoring/comments • Also good form APR, review and audits
  13. 13. The end • Happy to share as evidence base for proposals sarrasaf@liv.ac.uk
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