Recent Submissions

  • The benefits of giving: learning in the fourth age and the role of volunteer learning mentors

    Hafford-Letchfield, Trish; Lavender, Peter (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)
  • Can Amazon.com reviews help to assess the wider impacts of books?

    Kousha, Kayvan; Thelwall, Mike; Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group; School of Mathematics and Computer Science; University of Wolverhampton; Wulfruna Street Wolverhampton WV1 1LY United Kingdom; Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group; School of Mathematics and Computer Science; University of Wolverhampton; Wulfruna Street Wolverhampton WV1 1LY United Kingdom (2016-03)
  • Student perceptions of the value of Turnitin text-matching software as a learning tool

    Bailey, Carol; Challen, Rachel (University of Cumbria, 2015)
    The University of Wolverhampton has been using Turnitin as a teaching aid with groups of students since 2007, but in 2011 changed its policy to encourage student access on a formative basis across the institution. In one School, 748 students undertaking final year undergraduate projects were invited to check multiple drafts via Turnitin before the final deadline. Use of the software was monitored, and students were invited to express their views on its value as a learning tool. Uptake was substantially higher where Turnitin was introduced within a module than through extra-curricular workshops. The number of draft resubmissions was greater than that reported in other studies. Most participants thought that despite certain limitations Turnitin was helpful in learning about appropriate source use, and wished it had been introduced earlier in their degree course. Given that the participants were in their sixth undergraduate semester, a surprisingly high number expressed anxiety regarding the risk of unintentional plagiarism.
  • Negotiating writing: challenges of the first written assignment at a UK university

    Bailey, Carol (Abingdon: Routledge (a Taylor & Francis imprint), 2012)
  • Students and mobile devices

    Traxler, John (Routledge, 2010)
    Many educators advocate, promote and encourage the dreams of agency, control, ownership and choice amongst students whilst educational institutions take the responsibility for provision, equity, access, participation and standards. The institutions traditionally procure, provide and control the technology for learning but now students are acquiring their own personal technologies for learning and institutions are challenged to keep pace. These allow students to produce, store, transmit and consume information, images and ideas; this potentially realises the educators’ dream but for institutions is potentially a nightmare, one of loss of control and loss of the quality, consistency, uniformity and stability that delivered the dreams of equity, access and participation. This paper traces the conflicting dreams and responsibilities.
  • MobilED : a tool by any other name

    Botha, Adele; Traxler, John; Ford, Merryl (2008)
    Designing, implementing and evaluating educational technology for a developmental project in mobile learning is largely unchartered territory. This paper reflects on the process, the role-players, their contributions and the framework that was adopted to co-ordinate and focus the team's efforts in the design of the initial prototype of a Information Gathering and Lesson Tool (IGLOO) as part of the MobilED suite. MobilED is an international collaborative project aimed at creating meaningful learning environments using mobile phone technologies and services. The paper expands on the use of the activity theory to guide the design of a learning environment and the incorporating of a tool dimension (socialtechnological dimension) in an effort to knit the technology perspective to the pedagogical aims. The usability, usefulness, formation of virtual learning spaces and communities are explored and contextualize by the results found using this framework.
  • Finding a new voice: challenges facing international (and home!) students writing university assignments in the UK.

    Bailey, Carol; Pieterick, Jackie (University of Wolverhampton, 2008)
    With the globalisation of education, European universities are accepting increasing numbers of students from outside the EU. Some of these have experienced very different academic cultures from that of their host university, and may face difficulties in adapting to the requirements of their new institution. Even within Europe, academic cultures may vary enormously. One challenge which faces all those studying outside their home country is the task of writing academic essays: often in a foreign language and according to unfamiliar criteria. This paper draws on students’ reflections about the academic writing process in their first year at a UK university, exploring areas where the transition from their previous learning environment presents a challenge. It compares the previous experience of home and international students with respect to length and frequency of written assignments, research and organisation of ideas, language and referencing of sources. What is the best way to support them through the transition, and are we doing enough?
  • Comparing the experience of Chinese and West African students at a British university: findings from a survey.

    Bailey, Carol (Southampton Solent University, 2006)
    This report presents some of the findings from a survey undertaken over the academic year 2005/6 at the University of Wolverhampton, with the aim of discovering as much as possible, from a range of perspectives, about the experience of international students at the University. To limit the scope of the investigation, the survey focussed on three nationalities/regions: a mature and well-researched market (mainland China), and two emerging and little-researched markets (India and West Africa, i.e. Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon). Because no Indian students were available for interview, this paper gives the findings for Chinese and West African students only.
  • Using a virtual learning environment to develop academic writing with first year dance students: facing the challenge of writing through digital images.

    Andrews, Ben; Thoms, Victoria (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2008)
    This paper discusses research into the facilitation of academic writing for first year dance students using images, emails and the forum of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Taking place over several weeks in the early part of the academic year and within a core module entitled Personal and Professional Development in the single honours Dance Practice and Performance degree, students were asked to contribute to a series of formative tasks implemented through the University of Wolverhampton‘s VLE entitled ‘Wolverhampton Online Learning Framework’ (WOLF). Employing an Action Research methodology and working with both Academic Literacies theorising and research into VLEs in literacy learning, early results indicate that writing in a less formal collaborative space provides an important preliminary setting for introducing formal academic writing.
  • Volunteering for International students and implications for language development, cultural awareness and employability

    Finn, David; Green, Pat; Cameron, Andrew (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
    The emphasis which is often placed on the academic-related goals of an international student can often overlook the broader aims and benefits which can accompany their stay in the new host environment. This paper attempts to bridge the theoretical gap between the work of Toyokawa and Toyokawa (2000), which focusses on international students without measuring more specific gains in areas such as language and cultural observation, and Kuh (1995), which focusses successfully on personal development benefits but which deals almost exclusively with home-based (largely white Caucasian) students. Through the use of reflective questionnaires and interviews, data will be gathered on the volunteering placements of a number of international students. Specific questions will be asked in the areas of language (for example, the acquisition of new vocabulary and slang), cultural awareness (for example, observations about the British workplace and labour market) and personal development (especially in relation to transferable skills). In this way, it is hoped that more fruitful conclusions can be reached regarding international learners' experiences in out-of-class activities - in this case volunteering - and the extent to which this type of placement can realise benefits to the learners in terms of language, culture and employability.
  • Reading for meaning

    Clarke, Karen (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
    This research was developed from a previous CELT project (2003/04 Focussed seminar groups, Clarke, 2004) in which students were asked to read a specific article and then discuss it in a seminar situation. It was noted was that students approached reading in different ways but in the main interacted with the text by marking it in particular ways. However, from working with different groups of undergraduate students, and discussing this with colleagues, the general feeling is that many students balk at reading academic literature. This is affirmed in research undertaken by Mateos et al. (2007) who found 93% of students on three different degree courses stated that the main source of accessing information came through oral exposition from the lecturer. In addition to the previous CELT research, a separate piece of research was undertaken as part of a CETL project which looked at how level 1 students approach academic writing (Clarke and French, 2007). Clearly, the link between efficient reading and appropriate levels of academic writing is undisputed; Wyse (2006:4) suggests that ‘(we) must learn to read like writers.’ Consequently, researching the process by which students assimilate their reading and apply it to their work seemed to be a natural evolution from the previous research projects.
  • Dyslexia: a holistic review of the strengths and difficulties

    Amesbury, Liz (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
    The field of dyslexia has often been subject to controversy and contradictions, whether this has been through media reports of reported cures or through the ongoing debate about whether dyslexia exists. This paper will explore the evidence for co-ocurring syndromes to demonstrate how dyslexia can be seen as part of a wider spectrum of specific learning difficulties. The social model of dyslexia will also be examined, which emphasises the role of society in limiting those with specific learning difficulties as well as recognising the talents and strengths that are often present. The possibility of unifying these theories to provide a coherent understanding of specific learning difficulties will also be explored.
  • Podcasts: A Case Study of the use of Podcasting in Curriculum Delivery

    Spencer, Steve; Cooper, Steve (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
    Over a number of years there have been research projects in the Higher Education Sector of the UK and elsewhere exploring the use of mobile computers - PDAs for curriculum materials, communication with students etc. A significant drawback with these undertakings was the high cost and limited ownership of PDAs among students – such that it was necessary to obtain funding that would enable research teams to provide students with a PDA - usually as a short-term loan, in order to facilitate the projects. Other issues of file size, formats and file compatibility continue to restrict the reach of these developments. With the launch of MP3 players and their appearance on campus in large numbers, an opportunity presented itself to revisit the use of audio files for curriculum delivery. Audio-visual materials have a long history of incorporation into course content and it is possible to find tape archives and video footage of lecturers who have experimented with these formats. It is clear, however, that there is at present a renewed interest and level of activity in the development and delivery of teaching materials through multimedia techniques.
  • To investigate and then develop an ICT innovation to support students who are dyslexic when applying for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA), thus enabling them to be more independent

    Norton, Liz (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
    This project is in response to research carried out in 2007 with students who are dyslexic. This research investigated the barriers experienced by students in higher education who are dyslexic when accessing the Disabled Students’ Allowance. Reference is made to their comments throughout the text. The research identified one of the areas that they find difficult. This was the form they need to use to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance. The innovation has been designed to support this difficulty. An important thread running through the whole of this project is to help the student who is dyslexic to be in control, to feel valued and so to improve confidence and self-esteem.
  • Students developing critical evaluation skills as part of peer and self assessment

    Mycroft, Lesley; Rogers-Harris, Clair (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
    This CELT project is part of the University’s commitment to widening participation. The project team has considered undergraduate students’ engagement with the learning and assessment processes. The study is focussed on trainee teachers and their Level 2 studies. Tutors examine the teaching/learning approaches which best promote the development of reflective practice as part of teacher training and review the theoretical basis of one specific strategy – the introduction of peer partner review. The relevant literature centres on formative assessment in Higher Education and consideration of involving students in peer support and self-evaluation. Researchers in the field have questioned whether this involvement can enhance learning and develop better study performance.
  • Widening Participation: A Virtual Approach to F.E. Collaboration.

    McConville, Sally A. (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
    The aim of the project is to devise a Wolverhampton On Line Learning Framework (WOLF) programme specifically designed for use by students undertaking nursing access courses at local colleges of Further Education. There are three main intended outcomes: 1) provide the students with a ‘taster’ of the realty of pre registration nurse training both theoretically and practically hoping that this will aid retention rates and increase the employability of the students on qualifying. 2) To create a smooth transition from studying as a student at further education level to higher education level. It is further hoped that the introduction to WOLF prior to commencement on pre-registration courses will improve students’ key skills in preparation for studying at higher education level and familiarise the students with WOLF as it is used quite extensively in pre-registration training. 3) To generate enthusiasm and interest in the pre-registration nurse training available at Wolverhampton University, with the assistance of Technology Supported Learning, to aid recruitment. The outcomes link with the School of Health Teaching and Learning Strategy (2001) where it states a mechanism should be provided for interactive information exchange and a resource should be provided for developing key skills in I.T.
  • What are the factors which contribute to level one social work students failing to progress or achieving low grades?

    Lees, Kate (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
    This study is a preliminary review of the possible reasons for low achievement among some level one social work undergraduates. These may be viewed as challenges to the individual, attempting to study in a particular social context, or as challenges to the institution in raising achievement and accommodating differing needs. Much of the literature is concerned with the experiences of students from particular social groups. In some studies, these concerns are integrated with the identification of individual strategies for success and/or institutional practices which foster or inhibit achievement.
  • Embedding information skills on student learning: providing the models

    Bastable, Wendy; Morris, Pamela (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
    This Phase 3 (evaluation and embedding) project has been developed from a highly successful earlier project: Embedding information skills on student learning: making the difference (2006). The earlier project produced a programme of information literacy skills, based on SCONUL’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which was delivered to two modules of first year students from the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences (HLSS) in bite-sized presentations at the end of their lectures. Importantly, it found that: “an effective Information Literacy programme delivered at the very beginning of Undergraduate life can contribute significantly to students’ ability to find, use and record information and increase their confidence regarding academic performance.” Bastable and Morris (2006). Valued by students, it clearly had a part to play in the learning experience of first year undergraduates and potentially in Schools’ retention and employability strategies. This was the impetus for a Phase 3 project which would test the information literacy programme on a more diverse range of students and subjects within HLSS and provide models which would encourage further take-up within the School and other Schools in the University. Other important outcomes from the previous project also needed to be carried forward and tested in a wider context: “We as librarians have been able to assess our approaches to the design and delivery of a structured Information Literacy programme. We have had the opportunity to work collaboratively as a team of librarians with academic staff and, crucial to the embedding process, earn important space on first semester, first year modules. We now know that the bite-sized sessions of information skills which are dove-tailed into existing lectures are a successful way to deliver the programme.” Bastable and Morris (2006). It was this combination of the following three features in Phase 2 which distinguished it from any other work being conducted in the field of information literacy: the partnership between academics and librarians, a structured information literacy programme and delivery in bite-sized sessions. So, it was these three crucial areas which would be put to the test in this current project by the delivery to an extended range of students.

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