• Can waist circumference provide a new “third” dimension to BMI when predicting percentage body fat in children? Insights using allometric modelling

      Nevill, Alan M.; Bryant, Elizabeth; Wilkinson, Kate; Gomes, Thayse Natacha; Chaves, Raquel; Pereira, Sara; Katzmarzyk, Peter T.; Maia, José; Duncan, Michael J. (Wiley, 2018-12-27)
      Introduction: Body mass index (BMI) is often criticised for not being able to distinguish between lean and fat tissue. Waist circumference (WC), adjusted for stature, is proposed as an alternative weight-status index, as it is more sensitive to changes in central adiposity. Purpose: To combine the three dimensions of height, mass and WC to provide a simple, meaningful and more accurate index associated with percentage body fat (BF%). Methods: We employed a four independent sample design. Sample 1 consisted of 551 children (320 boys) (Mean ± S.D. of age = 7.2 ± 2.0 years), recruited from London, UK. Samples 2, 3 and 4 consisted of 5387 children (2649 boys) aged 7-17 years recruited from schools in Portugal. Allometric modelling was used to identify the most effective anthropometric index associated with BF%. The data from sample 2, 3 and 4 were used to confirm and cross validate the model derived in sample 1. Results: The allometric models from all four samples identified a positive mass exponent and a negative height exponent that was approximately twice that of the mass exponent and a waist circumference exponent that was approximately half the mass exponent. Consequently, the body-shape index most strongly associated with BF% was BMI√WC. The √WC component of the new index can simply be interpreted as a WC “weighting” of the traditional BMI. Conclusions: Compared to using BMI and WC in isolation, BMI√WC could provide a more effective and equally non-invasive proxy for BF% in children that can be used in public and community health settings.
    • Learning, technologies, and time in the age of global neoliberal capitalism

      Hayes, Sarah; Jandrić, Petar (Addleton Academic Publishers, 2017-03-22)
      Though diverse in nature, the articles in this collection discuss both socio-cultural and temporal transformations linked to technology and learning and can be classified into three broad themes. The first theme is interested in temporal experiences within time and learning; the second theme is about practical implementations of these concerns, and the third theme inquires into relationships between our understanding of time and human nature. In many articles, the boundaries between these themes are blurred and fluid. Yet, this general classification does indicate the present state of the art in studies of time, technology and education.
    • Innovative teaching and learning in Higher Education

      Branch, John; Hayes, Sarah; Hørsted, Anne; Nygaard, Claus (Libri, 2017-02-01)
      This latest volume in the Learning in Higher Education series, Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, brings together examples of teaching and learning innovations, within the domain of higher education. The anthology is diverse in nature and showcases concrete examples of innovative teaching and learning practices in higher education from around the world. The contributions come from all scientific disciplines and in all teaching and learning contexts. The twenty-seven inspiring examples in this volume show considerable diversity in their approaches to teaching and learning practices; at the same time they improve both student engagement and student learning outcomes. All the authors argue that their innovative approach has helped students to learn differently, better, and more. For those involved in higher education, there is a lot to be gained from reading these narrative accounts of innovative teaching and learning.
    • The labour of words in Higher Education is it time to reoccupy policy?

      Hayes, Sarah (Brill, 2019-01-28)
      As Higher Education has come to be valued for its direct contribution to the global economy, university policy discourse has reinforced this rationale. In The Labour of Words in Higher Education: Is it Time to Reoccupy Policy? two globes are depicted. One is a beautiful, but complete artefact, that markets a UK university. The second sits on a European city street and is continually inscribed with the markings of passers-by. A distinction is drawn between the rhetoric of university McPolicy, as a discourse that appears to no longer require input from humans, and a more authentic approach to writing policy, that acknowledges the academic labour of staff and students, in effecting change. Inspired by the work of George Ritzer on the McDonaldisation of Society, the term McPolicy is adopted by the author, to describe a rational method of writing policy, now widespread across UK universities. Recent strategies on ‘the student experience’, ‘technology enhanced learning’, ‘student engagement’ and ‘employability’ are explored through a corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). Findings are humourously compared to the marketing of consumer goods, where commodities like cars are invested with human qualities, such as ‘ambition’. Similarly, McPolicy credits non-human strategies, technologies and a range of socially constructed buzz phrases, with the human qualities and labour activities that would normally be enacted by staff and students. This book is written for anyone with an interest in the future of universities. It concludes with suggestions of ways we might all reoccupy McPolicy.
    • Quantitative research methods for linguistics

      Grant, T.; Clark, U.; Reershemius, G.; Pollard, D.; Hayes, Sarah; Plappert, G. (Taylor and Francis, 2017-06-29)
      Quantitative Research Methods for Linguistics provides an accessible introduction to research methods for undergraduates undertaking research for the first time. Employing a task-based approach, the authors demonstrate key methods through a series of worked examples, allowing students to take a learn-by-doing approach and making quantitative methods less daunting for the novice researcher. Key features include: Chapters framed around real research questions, walking the student step-by-step through the various methods; Guidance on how to design your own research project; Basic questions and answers that every new researcher needs to know; A comprehensive glossary that makes the most technical of terms clear to readers; Coverage of different statistical packages including R and SPSS. Quantitative Research Methods for Linguistics is essential reading for all students undertaking degrees in linguistics and English language studies.
    • Locus of control and involvement in videogaming

      Lloyd, Joanne; Frost, Sally; Kuliesius, Ignas; Jones, Claire (Sage, 2019-02-13)
      Abstract An external locus of control (feeling low personal control over one’s life) has been linked with excessive/addictive behaviours, including problematic videogaming. The current study sought to determine whether this is driven by the opportunity for greater control over one’s environment within a videogame. Participants (n = 252, 59% males) completed a traditional locus of control scale, alongside a modified version assessing in-game feelings of control. Multiple linear regression analyses indicated that feeling less under the control of powerful others in-game than in the real world was a significant predictor of gaming frequency (standardised β = .31, p < .0005), while feeling comparatively more internal control in-game than in real life significantly predicted problematic gaming (standardised β = .17, p = .02). This demonstrates that locus of control in-game can diverge from that experienced in the real world, and the degree of divergence could be a risk factor for frequent and/or problematic gaming in some individuals.
    • The role of subjective quality judgements in user preferences for mobile learning apps

      Uther, Maria; Ylinen, Sari (MDPI, 2018-12-24)
      This study investigated whether subjective quality judgements on sound and picture quality across three devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPad mini) affected user preferences for learning applications. We tested 20 native Finnish-speaking users trialing generic audio clips, video clips, and two kinds of learning apps that were heavily reliant on sound. It was found that there was a main effect of the device on perceived sound quality, replicating earlier findings. However, these judgements did not impact on the users’ preferences for different devices nor on their preferences for different applications. The results are interpreted as indicating that perceived quality and affordances are less important for users in these contexts than other considerations (e.g., convenience, mobility, etc.).
    • Measuring training load in dance: the construct validity of session-RPE

      Surgenor, Brenton; Wyon, Matthew (Science & Medicine Inc, 2019-12-31)
      The session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE) is a practical and non-invasive method that allows a quantification of internal training load (ITL) in individual and team sports. As yet, no study has investigated its construct validity in dance. This study examines the convergent validity between the session-RPE method and an objective heart rate (HR)-based method of quantifying the similar ITL in vocational dance students during professional dance training. METHODS: Ten dance students (4 male, 20±1.16 yrs; 6 female, 20±0.52 yrs) participated in this study. During a normal week of training, session-RPE and HR data were recorded in 96 individual sessions. HR data were analysed using Edwards-TL method. Correlation analysis was used to evaluate the convergent validity between the session-RPE and Edwards-TL methods for assessing ITL in a variety of training modes (contemporary, ballet, and rehearsal). RESULTS: The overall correlation between individual session-RPE and Edwards-TL was r=0.72, p<0.0001, suggesting there was a statistically significantly strong positive relationship between session-RPE and Edwards-TL. This trend was observed across all the training modes: rehearsal sessions (r=0.74, p=0.001), contemporary (r=0.60, p=0.001), and ballet (r=0.46, p=0.018) sessions. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that session-RPE can be considered as a valid method to assess ITL for vocational dance students, and that notably there is some variation between session-RPE and HR-based TL in different dance activities. Med Probl Perform Art 2019;34(1):1–5.
    • Functional responses of uremic single skeletal muscle fibers to redox imbalances

      Mitrou, G.I.; Poulianiti, K.P.; Koutedakis, Y.; Jamurtas, A.Z.; Maridaki, M.D.; Stefanidis, I.; Sakkas, G.K.; Karatzaferi, C. (PMC, 2017-01-22)
      BACKGROUND: The exact causes of skeletal muscle weakness in chronic kidney disease (CKD) remain unknown with uremic toxicity and redox imbalances being implicated. To understand whether uremic muscle has acquired any sensitivity to acute redox changes we examined the effects of redox disturbances on force generation capacity. METHODS: Permeabilized single psoas fibers (N =37) from surgically induced CKD (UREM) and sham-operated (CON) rabbits were exposed to an oxidizing (10 mM Hydrogen Peroxide, H2O2) and/or a reducing [10 mM Dithiothreitol (DTT)] agent, in a blind design, in two sets of experiments examining: A) the acute effect of the addition of H2O2 on maximal (pCa 4.4) isometric force of actively contracting fibers and the effect of incubation in DTT on subsequent re-activation and force recovery (N =9 CON; N =9 UREM fibers); B) the effect of incubation in H2O2 on both submaximal (pCa 6.2) and maximal (pCa 4.4) calcium activated isometric force generation (N =9 CON; N =10 UREM fibers). RESULTS: Based on cross-sectional area (CSA) calculations, a 14 % atrophy in UREM fibers was revealed; thus forces were evaluated in absolute values and corrected for CSA (specific force) values. A) Addition of H2O2 during activation did not significantly affect force generation in any group or the pool of fibers. Incubation in DTT did not affect the CON fibers but caused a 12 % maximal isometric force decrease in UREM fibers (both in absolute force p =0.024, and specific force, p =0.027). B) Incubation in H2O2 during relaxation lowered subsequent maximal (but not submaximal) isometric forces in the Pool of fibers by 3.5 % (for absolute force p =0.033, for specific force p =0.019) but not in the fiber groups separately. CONCLUSIONS: Force generation capacity of CON and UREM fibers is affected by oxidation similarly. However, DTT significantly lowered force in UREM muscle fibers. This may indicate that at baseline UREM muscle could have already been at a more reduced redox state than physiological. This observation warrants further investigation as it could be linked to disease-induced effects.
    • Chronic eccentric exercise and antioxidant supplementation: effects on lipid profile and insulin sensitivity

      Yfanti, C.; Tsiokanos, A.; Fatouros, I.G.; Theodorou, A.A.; Deli, C.K.; Koutedakis, Y.; Jamurtas, A.Z. (Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 2017-08-08)
      Eccentric exercise has been shown to exert beneficial effects in both lipid profile and insulin sensitivity. Antioxidant supplementation during chronic exercise is controversial as it may prevent the physiological training-induced adaptations. The aim of this study was to investigate: 1) the minimum duration of the eccentric exercise training required before changes on metabolic parameters are observed and 2) whether antioxidant supplementation during training would interfere with these adaptations. Sixteen young healthy men were randomized into the Vit group (1 g of vitamin C and 400 IU vitamin E daily) and the placebo (PL) group. Subjects received the supplementation for 9 weeks. During weeks 5-9 all participants went through an eccentric exercise training protocol consisting of two exercise sessions (5 sets of 15 eccentric maximal voluntary contractions) per week. Plasma triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), apolipoproteins (Apo A1, Apo B and Lpa) and insulin sensitivity (HOMA) were assessed before the supplementation (week 0), at weeks 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. TG, TC and LDL were significantly lower compared to pre supplementation at both weeks 8 and 9 (P<0.05) in both groups. HDL was significantly elevated after 4 weeks of training (p < 0.005) in both groups. There was no effect of the antioxidant supplementation in any of the variables. There was no effect of either the training or the supplementation protocol in apolipoproteins levels and insulin sensitivity. A minimum duration of 3 weeks of eccentric exercise training is required before beneficial effects in lipid profile can be observed in healthy young men. Concomitant antioxidant supplementation does not interfere with the training-induced adaptations.
    • Disparate habitual physical activity and dietary intake profiles of elderly men with low and elevated systemic inflammation

      Draganidis, Dimitrios; Jamurtas, Athanasios Z; Stampoulis, Theodoros; Laschou, Vasiliki C; Deli, Chariklia K; Georgakouli, Kalliopi; Papanikolaou, Konstantinos; Chatzinikolaou, Athanasios; Michalopoulou, Maria; Papadopoulos, Constantinos; Tsimeas, Panagiotis; Chondrogianni, Niki; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Karagounis, Leonidas G; Fatouros, Ioannis G (2018-05-04)
      The development of chronic, low-grade systemic inflammation in the elderly (inflammaging) has been associated with increased incidence of chronic diseases, geriatric syndromes, and functional impairments. The aim of this study was to examine differences in habitual physical activity (PA), dietary intake patterns, and musculoskeletal performance among community-dwelling elderly men with low and elevated systemic inflammation. Nonsarcopenic older men free of chronic diseases were grouped as ‘low’ (LSI: n = 17; 68.2 ± 2.6 years; hs-CRP: <1 mg/L) or ‘elevated’ (ESI: n = 17; 68.7 ± 3.0 years; hs-CRP: >1 mg/L) systemic inflammation according to their serum levels of high-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP). All participants were assessed for body composition via Dual Emission X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA), physical performance using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) and handgrip strength, daily PA using accelerometry, and daily macro- and micronutrient intake. ESI was characterized by a 2-fold greater hs-CRP value than LSI (p < 0.01). The two groups were comparable in terms of body composition, but LSI displayed higher physical performance (p < 0.05), daily PA (step count/day and time at moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) were greater by 30% and 42%, respectively, p < 0.05), and daily intake of the antioxidant vitamins A (6590.7 vs. 4701.8 IU/day, p < 0.05), C (120.0 vs. 77.3 mg/day, p < 0.05), and E (10.0 vs. 7.5 mg/day, p < 0.05) compared to ESI. Moreover, daily intake of vitamin A was inversely correlated with levels of hs-CRP (r = −0.39, p = 0.035). These results provide evidence that elderly men characterized by low levels of systemic inflammation are more physically active, spend more time in MVPA, and receive higher amounts of antioxidant vitamins compared to those with increased systemic inflammation.
    • The effects of acute low-volume HIIT and aerobic exercise on leukocyte count and redox status

      Jamurtas, Athanasios Z.; Fatouros, Ioannis G.; Deli, Chariklia K.; Georgakouli, Kalliopi; Poulios, Athanasios; Draganidis, Dimitrios; Papanikolaou, Konstantinos; Tsimeas, Panagiotis; Chatzinikolaou, Athanasios; Avloniti, Alexandra; Tsiokanos, Athanasios; Koutedakis, Yiannis (JSSM, 2018-08-14)
      A single bout of exercise can result in inflammatory responses, increased oxidative stress and upregulation of enzymatic antioxidant mechanisms. Although low-volume high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become popular, its acute responses on the above mechanisms have not been adequately studied. The present study evaluated the effects of HIIT on hematological profile and redox status compared with those following traditional continuous aerobic exercise (CET). Twelve healthy young men participated in a randomized crossover design under HIIT and CET. In HIIT session, participants performed four 30-sec sprints on a cycle-ergometer with 4 min of recovery against a resistance of 0.375 kg/kg of body mass. CET consisted of 30-min cycling on a cycle-ergometer at 70% of their VO2max. Blood was drawn at baseline, immediately post, 24h, 48h and 72h post-exercise and was analyzed for complete blood count and redox status (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, [TBARS]; protein carbonyls, [PC]; total antioxidant capacity, [TAC]; catalase and uric acid). White blood cells (WBC) increased after both exercise protocols immediately post-exercise (HIIT: 50% and CET: 31%, respectively). HIIT increased (+22%) PC post-exercise compared to baseline and CET (p < 0.05). HIIT increased TAC immediately post-exercise (16%) and at 24h post-exercise (11%, p < 0.05), while CET increased TAC only post-exercise (12%, p < 0.05) compared to baseline, and TAC was higher following HIIT compared to CET (p < 0.05). Both HIIT and CET increased uric acid immediately post- (21% and 5%, respectively, p < 0.05) and 24h (27% and 5%, respectively, p < 0.05) post-exercise and the rise was greater following HIIT (p < 0.05). There were no significant changes (p > 0.05) for TBARS and catalase following either exercise protocol. Low-volume HIIT is associated with a greater acute phase leukocyte count and redox response than low-volume CET, and this should be considered when an exercise training program is developed and complete blood count is performed for health purposes.
    • Exercise and redox status responses following alpha-lipoic acid supplementation in G6PD deficient individuals

      Georgakouli, Kalliopi; Fatouros, Ioannis G.; Fragkos, Apostolos; Tzatzakis, Theofanis; Deli, Chariklia K.; Papanikolaou, Konstantinos; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Jamurtas, Athanasios Z. (MDPI, 2018-11-12)
      G6PD deficiency renders cells more susceptible to oxidative insults, while antioxidant dietary supplementation could restore redox balance and ameliorate exercise-induced oxidative stress. To examine the effects of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) supplementation on redox status indices in G6PD deficient individuals, eight male adults with G6PD deficiency (D) participated in this randomized double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive ALA (600 mg/day) or placebo for 4 weeks separated by a 4-week washout period. Before and at the end of each treatment period, participants exercised following an exhaustive treadmill exercise protocol. Blood samples were obtained before (at rest), immediately after and 1h after exercise for later analysis of total antioxidant capacity (TAC), uric acid, bilirubin, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and protein carbonyls (PC). ALA resulted in significantly increased resting TAC and bilirubin concentrations. Moreover, TAC increased immediately and 1h after exercise following both treatment periods, whereas bilirubin increased immediately after and 1h after exercise following only ALA. No significant change in uric acid, TBARS or PC was observed at any time point. ALA supplementation for 4 weeks may enhance antioxidant status in G6PD individuals; however, it does not affect redox responses to acute exercise until exhaustion or exercise performance.
    • Monitoring exercise-induced muscle fatigue and adaptations: Making sense of popular or emerging indices and biomarkers

      Theofilidis, George; Bogdanis, Gregory C.; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Karatzaferi, Christina (MDPI, 2018-11-26)
      Regular exercise with the appropriate intensity and duration may improve an athlete’s physical capacities by targeting different performance determinants across the endurance–strength spectrum aiming to delay fatigue. The mechanisms of muscle fatigue depend on exercise intensity and duration and may range from substrate depletion to acidosis and product inhibition of adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) and glycolysis. Fatigue mechanisms have been studied in isolated muscles; single muscle fibers (intact or skinned) or at the level of filamentous or isolated motor proteins; with each approach contributing to our understanding of the fatigue phenomenon. In vivo methods for monitoring fatigue include the assessment of various functional indices supported by the use of biochemical markers including blood lactate levels and more recently redox markers. Blood lactate measurements; as an accompaniment of functional assessment; are extensively used for estimating the contribution of the anaerobic metabolism to energy expenditure and to help interpret an athlete’s resistance to fatigue during high intensity exercise. Monitoring of redox indices is gaining popularity in the applied sports performance setting; as oxidative stress is not only a fatigue agent which may play a role in the pathophysiology of overtraining syndrome; but also constitutes an important signaling pathway for training adaptations; thus reflecting training status. Careful planning of sampling and interpretation of blood biomarkers should be applied; especially given that their levels can fluctuate according to an athlete’s lifestyle and training histories.
    • A technique for subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue biopsy via a nondiathermy method

      Chachopoulos, Vasileios; Dinas, Petros C.; Chasioti, Markella; Jamurtas, Athanasios Z.; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Flouris, Andreas D. (Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2017-09-30)
      Adipose tissue biopsies offer tissue samples that, upon analysis, may provide insightful overviews of mechanisms relating to metabolism and disease. To obtain subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies in the abdominal area, researchers and physicians use either a surgical or a needlebased technique. However, surgical subcutaneous fat biopsies can offer tissue samples that may provide a more comprehensive overview of the complexities of biological indices in white adipose tissue. Usually, a surgical adipose tissue biopsy includes a diathermy treatment for cauterizing blood vessels to prevent excessive bleeding. Nevertheless, side effects, such as flash fires and skin lesions in the tissue, have been reported after diathermy. Therefore, we aimed to standardize a surgical abdominal adipose tissue biopsy performed under local anesthesia using a nondiathermy method. We conducted 115 subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies in healthy men using a non-diathermy abdominal surgical biopsy method. Our results showed three cases of excessive post-operation bleeding out of 115 operations (2.61%).In conclusion, our standardized subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue surgical biopsy using a non-diathermy method can be safely applied to healthy men at the bedside, with minimal side effects.
    • Evidence of functional deficits at the single muscle fiber level in experimentally-induced renal insufficiency

      Mitrou, Georgia I.; Sakkas, Georgos K.; Poulianiti, Konstantina P.; Karioti, Aggeliki; Tepetes, Konstantinos; Christodoulidis, Grigorios; Giakas, Giannis; Stefanidis, Ioannis; Geeves, Michael A.; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Karatzaferi, Christina (Elsevier, 2018-11-03)
      Chronic kidney disease patients present with metabolic and functional muscle abnormalities, called uremic myopathy, whose mechanisms have not yet been fully elucidated. We investigated whether chronic renal insufficiency (CRI) affects skeletal muscle contractile properties at the cellular level. CRI was induced surgically in New Zealand rabbits (UREM), with sham-operation for controls (CON), and samples were collected at 3 months post-surgery, following euthanasia. All protocols had University Ethics approval following national and European guidelines. Sample treatments and evaluations were blinded. Maximal isometric force was assessed in 382 permeabilized psoas fibers (CON, n = 142, UREM, n = 240) initially at pH7, 10 °C (‘standard’ conditions), in subsets of fibers in acidic conditions (pH6.2, 10 °C) but also at near physiological temperature (pH7, 30 °C and pH6.2, 30 °C). CRI resulted in significant smaller average cross sectional areas (CSAs) by ∼11% for UREM muscle fibers (vs CON, P < 0.01). At standard conditions, UREM fibers produced lower absolute and specific forces (i.e. normalized force per fiber CSA) (vs CON, P < 0.01); force increased in 30 °C for both groups (P < 0.01), but the disparity between UREM and CON remained significant. Acidosis significantly reduced force (vs pH7, 10 °C P < 0.01), similarly in both groups (in UREM by −48% and in CON by −43%, P > 0.05). For the first time, we give evidence that CRI can induce significant impairments in single psoas muscle fibers force generation, only partly explained by fiber atrophy, thus affecting muscle mechanics at the cellular level.
    • Resisting the iron cage of ‘the student experience’

      Hayes, Sarah; Jandrić, Petar (Solsko polje, 2018-12-25)
      As higher education (HE) has come to be valued for its contribution to the global economy, priorities have been placed on study for a degree to directly meet the needs of industry (Hayes, 2015: p. 125). Furthermore, in UK policy, students have been defined as ‘customers’ by the government since the introduction of tuition fees (Dearing, 1997; Browne, 2010). Together, these developments have emphasized the role of a degree as a consumer ‘product’, purchased to secure future employment (Peters, Jandrić and Hayes, 2018a), rather than an experiential learning ‘process’, that continues well beyond student life (Hayes, 2015 : p. 130). We examine how the student-as-consumer approach in HE policy has recently developed into a strong rhetoric emphasizing ‘the student experience’ as a package, including leisure, well-being, future employment and other ‘extras’. This could be perceived as positive, where all elements of student life are acknowledged. Alternatively, policy discourse concerning ‘the student experience’ could also be critiqued as a concept that now transcends the notion of a degree as a utilitarian product. A disturbing impression is then generated, where universities are now delivering a packaged experience of ‘consumption itself’, to students (Argenton, 2015: p. 921). What students would individually experience, such as a ‘sense of belonging and pride in the university’, is delivered to students, not developed by them. To examine such concerns more closely, we analyse a sample of 20 UK university ‘student experience’ strategies, via a corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). Drawing on themes from these texts, we question who ‘the student experience’ rhetoric really benefits? If a rationalized experience is constructed on behalf of students, then universities as ‘cathedrals of consumption’ (Ritzer, 2010) align themselves with any other provider of consumer experiences, where the ‘production’ of academic life has all been taken care of. In such a discourse, students are not necessarily conceptualized as empowered consumers either (Brooks, 2017) but trapped instead within an ‘iron cage’, even before they set foot in the workplace. Yet, despite a distorted picture that neoliberal HE policy discourse may portray, a postdigital understanding of ‘the student experience’ could yet offer helpful insights into possible routes of resistance.
    • Postdigital dialogue

      Jandrić, Petar; Ryberg, Thomas; Knox, Jeremy; Hayes, Sarah; Suoranta, Juha; Smith, Mark; Steketee, Anne; Peters, Michael; McLaren, Peter; Ford, Derek R.; Asher, Gordon; McGregor, Callam; Stewart, Georgina; Williamson, Ben (Springer, 2018-10-27)
      This article is a multi-authored experimental postdigital dialogue about postdigital dialogue. Fourteen authors were invited to produce their sections, followed by two author-reviewers who examined the article as a whole. Authors were invited to reflect on Petar Jandric’s book Learning in the age of digital reason (2017) or to produce completely new insights. The article also contains a summary of book symposium on Learning in the age of digital reason held at the 2017 American Educational Research Conference (AERA). The authors are tentatively confident that this article produces more knowledge than the arithmetic sum of its constituent parts. However, they are also very aware of its limits and insist that their conclusions are not consensual or homogenous. As traditional forms of research increasingly fail to describe our current reality, they present this article as an experiment and a possible starting point for developing new dialogical research approaches fit for our postdigital reality.
    • Who is really in charge of contemporary education? People and technologies in, against and beyond the neoliberal university

      Hayes, Sarah; Jandrić, Petar (Taylor and Francis, 2014-12-22)
      This article reflects on the position of people in, against and beyond information and communication technologies. Firstly, using Jandrić and Kuzmanić’s work on digital postcolonialism, Raymond Williams's work on residual and emergent cultures, and Deleuze and Guattari's insights into the dynamics between territorialization, de-territorialization and re-territorialization, it develops a theoretical framework for inquiry into the hybrid identity of the contemporary university. Then, through critical discourse analysis (CDA), the article moves on to analyse the ways in which technology discourse resides in the dominating ideology of technological determinism and co-opts with neoliberal agendas by omitting humans from explicit mention in UK policy documents. It shows that true counter-hegemonic practice against dominating social practices is possible only through reinvigorating the central position of human beings in regards to information and communication technologies. Within the developed theoretical framework, it seeks openings to intervene subversively into current relationships between technologies, people, and (higher) education, and to identify opportunities for building a non-determinist identity of the contemporary university that reaches beyond the single-minded logic of techno-scientific development. In the process, it situates Paulo Freire's insights into critical pedagogy in the context of the network society, and places the relationships between human beings, language and information and communication technologies amongst central questions of today's (higher) education and society at large.
    • Re-visualising international relations: audio-visual projects and direct encounters with the political in security studies

      Obradovic-Wochnika, Jelena; Hayes, Sarah (Palgrave, 2017-09-01)
      In this paper we discuss how an innovative audio-visual project was adopted to foster active, rather than declarative learning, in critical International Relations (IR). First, we explore the aesthetic turn in IR, to contrast this with forms of representation that have dominated IR scholarship. Second, we describe how students were asked to record short audio or video projects to explore their own insights through aesthetic and non-written formats. Third, we explain how these projects are understood to be deeply embedded in social science methodologies. We cite our inspiration from applying a personal sociological imagination, as a way to counterbalance a ‘marketised’ slant in higher education, in a global economy where students are often encouraged to consume, rather than produce knowledge. Finally, we draw conclusions in terms of deeper forms of student engagement leading to new ways of thinking and presenting new skills and new connections between theory and practice.