How diverse are our students and what should we do about it?<br />Susanne Voelkel<br />School of Biological Sciences<br />
“The University is committed to providing an environment which recognises and values people&apos;s differences, capitalise...
What is student diversity?<br />Does it matter?<br />What can we do?<br />
“Official groups”<br />Programme studied<br />Gender<br />Age<br />Ethnicity<br />Disability (special educational needs)<b...
Less obvious groups<br />Socio-economic background<br />Family situation<br />Temporary illness (including mental problems...
Individual differences<br />Cognitive ability<br />Motivation<br />Learning style/ approach<br />Study behaviour<br />Pers...
Prior experience<br />Expectations<br />Goals<br />
Some courses are more homogenous than others<br />
Medicine<br /><ul><li> High entry levels
 Vocational </li></li></ul><li>Biological Sciences<br /><ul><li> Various entry levels
 Mix of programmes
 Variety of future careers</li></li></ul><li>How some of the factors affect university performance<br />
Gender<br />First degrees in the UK<br />*Higher Education Statistics Agency 2007/2008<br />
Study behaviour: application<br />
Attendance and performance*<br />*Newman -Ford et al (2008) University of Glamorgan. 748 students, 22 modules. <br />
Learning style<br />Personality<br />Motivation<br />Application<br />Gender<br />
Animal PhysiologyBasic course statistics (2007/2008)<br />Year 2<br />About 100 students<br />From different programmes<br...
Total class exam results<br />
Exam results for different programmes<br />
Gender differences in exam results<br />
A level result in Biology<br />
What should / can be done<br />.... to support all students in maximising their potential to succeed<br />?<br />
Some things ARE being done<br />SENDA – support<br />Personal tutors<br />Counselling, advice<br />Mitigating circumstance...
Can we do more to<br />Motivate  and engage students<br />Help students to develop good study skills<br />Encourage attend...
Supporting the individual learner<br />Transition from school to university<br />Freshers’ week<br />Study skills<br />Att...
Student attendances diminish over timeUniv. Of Birmingham (2003/4)*<br />*Colby (2004)<br />
Attendance Animal Physiology (2008/9)<br />Email to students who<br />missed 2 or more<br />Attendance<br />(%)<br />Date<...
Supporting the individual learner<br />Transition from school to university<br />Freshers’ week<br />Study skills<br />Att...
Example: <br />Campbell and Reece: Biology 8th ed.<br />                  <br />Copyright © 2009 Pearson. All rights reser...
Assignments
Self assessment
Online resources</li></li></ul><li>Which kingdom within the domain Eukarya is composed of organisms that are generally uni...
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Susanne Voelkel: How diverse are our students, and what can – or should – we do about it?

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Susanne Voelkel: How diverse are our students, and what can – or should – we do about it? Slides from the University of Liverpool Learning and Teaching Conference 2009.

We all know that not all students are the same. But do we really know what exactly their differences are, and, more importantly, do they matter? Using the example of a 2nd year course in Biological Sciences, this study investigates some of the important differences between students and how they might affect their performance. I will analyse inherent factors such as age and gender, as well as pre-existing learning experiences (at University as well as School) and discuss the influence the latter might have on learning attitude and motivation. The study also looks into some methods that could help engage a wider range of students, including various forms of self-assessment, in-class as well as on VITAL (e learning).

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Susanne Voelkel: How diverse are our students, and what can – or should – we do about it?

  1. 1. How diverse are our students and what should we do about it?<br />Susanne Voelkel<br />School of Biological Sciences<br />
  2. 2. “The University is committed to providing an environment which recognises and values people&apos;s differences, capitalises on the strengths that those differences bring to the institution and support all staff and students in maximising their potential to succeed.”<br />
  3. 3. What is student diversity?<br />Does it matter?<br />What can we do?<br />
  4. 4. “Official groups”<br />Programme studied<br />Gender<br />Age<br />Ethnicity<br />Disability (special educational needs)<br />UK/ European/ Overseas<br />Entry level qualifications<br />
  5. 5. Less obvious groups<br />Socio-economic background<br />Family situation<br />Temporary illness (including mental problems)<br />
  6. 6. Individual differences<br />Cognitive ability<br />Motivation<br />Learning style/ approach<br />Study behaviour<br />Personality<br />Beliefs<br />
  7. 7. Prior experience<br />Expectations<br />Goals<br />
  8. 8. Some courses are more homogenous than others<br />
  9. 9. Medicine<br /><ul><li> High entry levels
  10. 10. Vocational </li></li></ul><li>Biological Sciences<br /><ul><li> Various entry levels
  11. 11. Mix of programmes
  12. 12. Variety of future careers</li></li></ul><li>How some of the factors affect university performance<br />
  13. 13. Gender<br />First degrees in the UK<br />*Higher Education Statistics Agency 2007/2008<br />
  14. 14. Study behaviour: application<br />
  15. 15. Attendance and performance*<br />*Newman -Ford et al (2008) University of Glamorgan. 748 students, 22 modules. <br />
  16. 16. Learning style<br />Personality<br />Motivation<br />Application<br />Gender<br />
  17. 17. Animal PhysiologyBasic course statistics (2007/2008)<br />Year 2<br />About 100 students<br />From different programmes<br />Zoology 30 %<br />Physiology 20 %<br />Biological and medical science 20 %<br />Others (e.g. Marine biology, Biological Sciences etc)<br />35 % male, 65 % female<br />
  18. 18. Total class exam results<br />
  19. 19. Exam results for different programmes<br />
  20. 20. Gender differences in exam results<br />
  21. 21. A level result in Biology<br />
  22. 22. What should / can be done<br />.... to support all students in maximising their potential to succeed<br />?<br />
  23. 23. Some things ARE being done<br />SENDA – support<br />Personal tutors<br />Counselling, advice<br />Mitigating circumstances<br />
  24. 24. Can we do more to<br />Motivate and engage students<br />Help students to develop good study skills<br />Encourage attendance<br />?<br />
  25. 25. Supporting the individual learner<br />Transition from school to university<br />Freshers’ week<br />Study skills<br />Attendance<br />Register<br />Intervention <br />
  26. 26. Student attendances diminish over timeUniv. Of Birmingham (2003/4)*<br />*Colby (2004)<br />
  27. 27. Attendance Animal Physiology (2008/9)<br />Email to students who<br />missed 2 or more<br />Attendance<br />(%)<br />Date<br />
  28. 28. Supporting the individual learner<br />Transition from school to university<br />Freshers’ week<br />Study skills<br />Attendance<br />Register<br />Intervention<br />Engagement and motivation<br />Study groups<br />Independent work, self assessment, feedback<br />E-learning<br />
  29. 29. Example: <br />Campbell and Reece: Biology 8th ed.<br />                  <br />Copyright © 2009 Pearson. All rights reserved. Benjamin Cummings is an imprint of Pearson. <br /><ul><li>Tutorials
  30. 30. Assignments
  31. 31. Self assessment
  32. 32. Online resources</li></li></ul><li>Which kingdom within the domain Eukarya is composed of organisms that are generally unicellular (single-celled)? (Concepts 1.2)<br />hint<br />&lt;&lt;previous<br />next&gt;&gt;<br /><ul><li>Plantae
  33. 33. Animalia
  34. 34. Archaea
  35. 35. Fungi
  36. 36. Protista</li></ul>Question 1 of 5<br />After you answer each question, click “Check Answer” for feedback.<br />Check answer<br />
  37. 37. Which kingdom within the domain Eukarya is composed of organisms that are generally unicellular (single-celled)? (Concepts 1.2)<br />hint<br />&lt;&lt;previous<br />next&gt;&gt;<br /><ul><li>Plantae
  38. 38. Animalia
  39. 39. Archaea
  40. 40. Fungi
  41. 41. Protista </li></ul>Question 1 of 5<br />Consider the cellular characteristics of each of the eukaryotic kingdoms. (Concept 1.2)<br />After you answer each question, click “Check Answer” for feedback.<br />Check answer<br />
  42. 42. Which kingdom within the domain Eukarya is composed of organisms that are generally unicellular (single-celled)? (Concepts 1.2)<br />hint<br />&lt;&lt;previous<br />next&gt;&gt;<br /><ul><li>Plantae
  43. 43. Animalia
  44. 44. Archaea
  45. 45. Fungi
  46. 46. Protista</li></ul>X<br />Question 1 of 5<br />No. Plants are multicellular organisms.<br />After you answer each question, click “Check Answer” for feedback.<br />Check answer<br />
  47. 47. Which kingdom within the domain Eukarya is composed of organisms that are generally unicellular (single-celled)? (Concepts 1.2)<br />hint<br />&lt;&lt;previous<br />next&gt;&gt;<br /><ul><li>Plantae
  48. 48. Animalia
  49. 49. Archaea
  50. 50. Fungi
  51. 51. Protista</li></ul>Question 1 of 5<br />Correct. The eukaryotic protists are usually single-celled organisms.<br />X<br />After you answer each question, click “Check Answer” for feedback.<br />Check answer<br />
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