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Adjusting academic expectations: improving self-confidence and independence in international postgraduate students - John Hynes & Lee Webster

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Adjusting academic expectations: improving self-confidence and independence in international postgraduate students - John Hynes & Lee Webster

  1. 1. Adjusting academic expectations: Improving self-confidence and independence in international postgraduate students John Hynes (Teaching and Learning Librarian) Dr. Lee Webster (Lecturer: Manchester Enterprise Centre)
  2. 2. OUTLINE MSc in International Fashion Retailing Academic expectations Library input & new approaches The collaboration Did it work?
  3. 3. http://www.manchester.ac.uk/collaborate/support/priorities/ MSc in International Fashion Retailing
  4. 4. MSc in International Fashion Retailing
  5. 5. MSc in International Fashion Retailing
  6. 6. MSc in International Fashion Retailing
  7. 7. 2015/16 intake – 72 ALL international students. All Asian (predominantly from China). All under 30 (predominantly female). Most are visiting the UK for the first time. All the students have an interest in fashion, ranging from a casual interest through to having their own (family) businesses. MSc in International Fashion Retailing
  8. 8. ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS “A common theme (anecdotally and from conversation with International office) is that Chinese students are used to ‘obeying orders’ for want of a better term… They are also very deferential to older men…” “Most of the researchers seem to share the view that Chinese students are governed by the fundamental rule of ‘respect for superiors’ and ‘loyalty and filial piety’, with Confucianism as the central element of Chinese identity (Chan; Woodrow & Sham)” (cited in Liu, J. 2009).
  9. 9. ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS “So much of the first semester just gets wasted…. Some of them don’t even know why they are in Manchester! It’s a lot to deal with in less than a year…” “Using agents saved lots of hassles, but you did not know much about the courses you were studying. Agents normally tell you which one is good, I did very little research about my course before I came (University B/Student R)” (cited in Quan et al. 2016).
  10. 10. They know more than they think they do… It’s up to us to help them realise and articulate that…” “My own experiences in China had been that while some students struggled with making the learning transition to UK-style study, others had generally been active, engaged and had achieved academic results above the normal distribution of cohorts of their UK counterparts” (Turner, 2006). ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS
  11. 11. ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS Course unit aims o Explain the tools and techniques of research investigation suitable for postgraduate masters dissertation preparation. o Develop skills to search for and locate appropriate academic and commercially relevant information, critically analyse and reference it appropriately. o Evaluate various methods of primary research investigation including research design, quantitative and qualitative data gathering and results analysis.
  12. 12. Referencing Evaluating informationFinding information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refractive_index /www.flickr.com/photos/53326337@N00/4106670906 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Army_52864_ ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS
  13. 13. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Campagnolo_Tool_Kit_Super_Record_Wooden_Box_Nr._16.jpg Academic literature Industry news Company information Market research ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS
  14. 14. LIBRARY INPUT & NEW APPROACHES
  15. 15. Working in partnership with academic staff the curriculum-linked programme will provide taught students with the opportunity to develop transferable skills within their programme. Statement of scope for the CLP
  16. 16. Programme aims Align all support delivered to assessments or specific learning objectives within the module or programme of study Deliver at least one embedded session in the 1st year of all UG& PGT programmes Have a positive impact on students’ study practices and their academic performance Work in partnership with academic staff to design, develop and deliver a blended programme of academic skills
  17. 17. LIBRARY INPUT & NEW APPROACHES https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighter_pilot#/media/File:Defense.gov_News_Photo_060803-F-2907C-107.jpg Flipped classroom Problem based learning New approaches to face-face were piloted Incorporate academic skills
  18. 18. Approach Benefits Risks Assign students an individual piece of work to do with relevant online support before a face-to-face session. Elements of the session are then built on discussion around the piece of work. Ability to address more learning objectives if using a blended approach. Online support targeted to specific outcomes. Ability to implement active learning techniques in the face-to-face session. Students may not do the work if it isn’t assessed. Support from teaching staff required. Assign students a group task to do with relevant online support before a face-to-face session. The groups then present, discuss or debate their findings in the session. Ability to address more learning objectives if using a blended approach. Online support targeted to specific outcomes. Ability to implement active learning techniques in the face- to-face session. Students may not do the work if it isn’t assessed. Students may find scheduling time for group work difficult. Students may be reluctant to speak out in large cohorts. Support from teaching staff required. Assign students a piece of work that they need to submit before a face-to-face session. The session is then tailored in response to the work submitted. Session is directly relevant to the students’ needs. Ability to address more learning objectives if using a blended approach. Online support targeted to specific outcomes. Ability to implement active learning techniques in the face- to-face session. More preparation time required from those delivering sessions. May be impractical for large cohorts Students may not submit the work if it isn’t assessed. Buy-in from teaching staff required. Agenda-setting at the beginning of sessions to inform what areas are covered. Session is directly relevant to the students’ needs, needs rather than relying on what the academic tells us they need. Useful in circumstances where we’ve not had enough information from the member of teaching staff involved. Students’ self-identified needs may be misaligned with what we’ve been asked to deliver Using a variety of interactive activities in large- group settings. Increased engagement for larger groups. Ability to implement active learning techniques. Potential challenges in room layouts not being ideally suited. Students may be reluctant to speak out in large cohorts (though there are a number of pedagogical techniques that can help to address this). Agenda-setting at the close of sessions to establish what students need further help with. Output to inform what other support to signpost students to via Blackboard. Ability to point students to support relevant to their specific needs rather than relying on what the academic tells us they need. Helps to emphasise the idea that they need to continue More administrative load on the e-learning team.
  19. 19. OUTLINE Week 2: Referencing in writing Week 3: Finding information (introducing group task) Week 4: Group presentation Week 5: Submit reflective piece
  20. 20. https://play.kahoot.it/#/k/61920bc3-cbd1-4d87-9811-b0cede3b2a8b Referencing scenarios 1
  21. 21. FINDING INFORMATION / GROUP TASK
  22. 22. THE COLLABORATION To learn about a new resource To work collaboratively To gain experience of presenting to colleagues To be critical To relate new knowledge to prior experiences https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem-based_learning#/media/File:Awesome_PBL_group.jpg
  23. 23. THE COLLABORATION Library search / Google scholar Business Source Premier Mintel Factiva Thomson One https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem-based_learning#/media/File:Awesome_PBL_group.jpg
  24. 24. THE COLLABORATION
  25. 25. Go to your group’s area on Blackboard Use online training material for your resource Search for information Find 2-3 useful information sources Use the evaluation checklist INSTRUCTIONS
  26. 26. Easy to use? Would you recommend to students? What did you find? What can you tell us? And… PRESENTATIONS
  27. 27. DIFFERENCES
  28. 28. DID IT WORK?
  29. 29. catalogs you can choose Easy to find information!
  30. 30. Reports found about Fashion Online Mintel estimates that online sales of clothing and footwear will increase by 14.5% to reach £10.7 billion in 2014 as the overall sector has continued to see robust growth and as consumers become more accustomed to shopping online. The growth rate in online fashion sales has, however, slowed from a high of 19% in 2012 and we expect a gradual slowing of the dramatic increases we have seen over the last few years as a natural consequence of a maturing market. We forecast the market will grow to reach £19 billion by 2019. http://academic.mintel.com/display/7 13413/ • the Market Value Best- and worst-case forecast of online sales of clothing and footwear, 2
  31. 31. Features • Variety of information (research reports, data statistics and analysis, professional articles, etc.) • In-depth market study, more relevant and authoritative. • Filter information can be targeted, easy to to find! • Recommend it to others! Compared to other search tools used before (such as baidu, wikipedia, google), It is quite technical and helpful to find information about market research reports.
  32. 32. “I used to use Baidu to collect information. After this trying i will change my regular ways and turn into some new tools like Thomson ONE and Mintel. Personally, i think this kind of trying is worthwhile because it help us know much more about information collection, which will be definitely helpful in my future research” On: Resources
  33. 33. “I downloaded all the slides of the presentation present by my classmates about group research, which introduced clearly usage methods and experiences about some main recommended search tools and databases .The experiences from classmates are really practical in using these tools. On: Resources
  34. 34. “When we gathered together discussing about our presentation content and work division, I felt a little embarrassed because our group seemed to lack unity, everyone was not active in talking and they just wanted to confirm their own tasks and finished the discussion then left as early as possible” . On: Collaborative working
  35. 35. “However, we always keep silence during classes because we afraid of our answer is wrong and lack of confidence about our spoken English. I think this is a common problem among Chinese student and we need to overcome it”. On: Collaborative working
  36. 36. “I still do not enjoy creating and presenting PowerPoint’s in front of a class, it is certainly not my preferred method of class- based learning and puts the seemingly unnecessary pressure of performance on academic study”. On: Presenting
  37. 37. “The whole processing was very impressive because I think it made us work very hard on our task which improved our ability of team cooperation and communication skills”. On: Presenting
  38. 38. “Generally speaking, I would use the Library Search more in the future and I highly recommend it to others. From a postgraduate student’s perspective, it should be one of our frequent-used search tool to guarantee the quality of our used resources. It is convenient for University students and we may save a fortune by using it”. On: Being critical
  39. 39. “First challenge is the complexity of Factiva. As a professional business acadamic database, Factiva is extremelly different from the search engies we used before. The interface of Factiva is not user-friendly or smart. It is more like a professional accounting software in 1990s. There are too many filters you need to choose, or the useful information would be concealed”. On: Being critical
  40. 40. “I felt that in some instances we were being lectured on a very basic level as to our academic practices, so it did take some time before meaningful instruction began…. typical topics like the dangers of plagiarism and the importance of references were repeated to us… these are topics that I have been obligated to memorise since high school”. On: Being critical
  41. 41. “At the same time, we compared the Google Scholar with the Baidu which we have used in the past and found that Google Scholar is more professional and authorative”. On: Previous experiences
  42. 42. “Finally, our group remembered reflective model that teacher mentioned and taken reflective conclusion into consideration. After talking about almost three hours, reflective conclusion was that combination of all search tools, including MINTEL, BAIDU and GEOGLE, should be fully utilized in the future”. On: Previous experiences
  43. 43. REFLECTIONS Eyes were opened; new skills acquired. Tendency to focus on functional benefits Technical issues de-railed focus in some cases More work needed to cement links between skills and academic competencies
  44. 44. Liu, J., 2009. From learner passive to learner active? The case of Chinese postgraduate students studying marketing in the UK. International Journal of Management Education, 7(2), pp.33-40. Quan, R., He, X. and Sloan, D., 2016. Examining Chinese postgraduate students’ academic adjustment in the UK higher education sector: a process-based stage model. Teaching in Higher Education, pp.1-18. Turner, Y., 2006. Chinese students in a UK business school: Hearing the student voice in reflective teaching and learning practice. Higher Education Quarterly, 60(1), pp.27-51. REFERENCES

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