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?

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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. ...

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

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