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?
    • “Official groups”
      Programme studied
      Gender
      Age
      Ethnicity
      Disability (special educational needs)
      UK/ European/ Overseas
      Entry level qualifications
    • 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