Call for submissions to National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology 2018

The National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology 2018

This award is intended to highlight and celebrate outstanding practice/innovative teaching in Criminology across HEIs in the UK and it is supported by the British Society of Criminology, the HEA, and SAGE who sponsor the annual prize. Applications are welcomed from individuals or small clusters of teaching staff who can be early career or well as established academics and/or Criminology/Criminal Justice Teaching Teams.

Applicants can be self-nominated but nominations will also be accepted by academic colleagues for a learning and teaching practice they feel should be recognised. The criteria for nominations have been informed by the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning.

The winner/s of the award will be announced and the prize presented at the annual BSC Conference. However, the BSC reserves the right not to award the prize in any given year if the submissions received do not clearly identify what it is that is particularly outstanding or innovative in the delivery of teaching and learning in the applicant’s Criminology and/or Criminal Justice Module/Programme. It should also be understood that this award is not to ratify or support the rigour of a Criminology/Criminal Justice Programme – that is already covered in-house by University Quality Assurance requirements and External Examination process. Programme applications are therefore discouraged and particular aspects of innovation within programmes encouraged. It is about identifying, acknowledging and disseminating ‘excellence’ in relation to learning and teaching; something that we can all learn from. Therefore, the focus of your applications should be clearly evidenced on specific practice.

Submissions

Each nomination must be accompanied by a covering letter, countersigned by the Head of Department/Head of Learning and Teaching (or equivalent), together with a short overview of no more than 2000 words explaining the learning experience and how this not only meets the UK Professional Standards Framework but why it is significant and how it represents excellence. Supporting evidence is also required and this can be in the form of statements from a colleague, peer review report, and if applicable student feedback/comments.

Application forms can be downloaded from the link below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FqtDBOKFG_wngfw30TPp1UhmaJcDS3My91Jsy0K7K5U/edit?usp=sharing

In order to make the award available to those teaching criminology across the academy, eligibility for the award is not restricted to BSC members but nominations from non-members will have to be accompanied by a letter of support from a BSC member and the award winner will be encouraged to become a member prior to the presentation of the prize.

Entries should be submitted by 12th February 2018 to Suzanne.young@leedsbeckett.ac.uk and T.Miles-Berry@shu.ac.uk

Guideline criteria

The Awards Panel will require evidence that the applicant’s submission meets the QAA Criminology Benchmarks for Learning and Teaching and should therefore include at least one of the following areas:

  • The use of innovative teaching strategies to make a positive contribution to learning and teaching of criminology that is flexible and inclusive in mode of delivery
  • The clear demonstration of an approach that enhances the teaching and learning experience to that which would normally be expected
  • The incorporation of criminological research, scholarship and/or professional practice into teaching that is centred around skill building and self-development
  • The development of a teaching strategy to meet the needs of a diverse student population including diverse political, cultural and social contexts
  • Inclusive teaching practices which encourage collegiality and provide varied contexts for learning
  • Commitment to the development of autonomy and critical thinking skills in students within criminology
  • Teaching practice that is clearly grounded in the academic literature on pedagogy in HEIs.

The L&T Committee will determine the eligibility of submitted proposals, select a shortlist, which will then be passed to the judges who will decide the winning entry.

The award, sponsored by Sage, consists of £100, plus £100 worth of SAGE books. Winners of the award will be invited to write a full paper for future publication in the BSC Journal Criminology and Criminal Justice, which will be subject to the Journal’s normal editorial and peer review processes. The winner will also be invited to write a short article for the BSC and HEA newsletters.

The Awards Panel reserves the right not to make the award, in the event that the standard of submissions is not deemed sufficient

If you have any questions about the application, please get in touch with us.

 

Suzanne Young, Senior Lecturer in Criminology: Leeds Beckett University

Suzanne.young@lledsbeckett.ac.uk

 

Tanya Miles-Berry, Principal Lecturer in Criminology: Sheffield Hallam University

T.Miles-Berry@shu.ac.uk

 

Awards Panel

Stuart Agnew

Dr Linda Asquith

Liz Austen

Dr Martyn Chamberlain

Dr Michael Fiddler

Dr Liz Frondigoun

Dr Nic Groombridge

Natacha Harding

Dr Mathew Jones

Dr Phil Johnson

Debbie Jones

David Manlow

Ian Marder

Tanya Miles-Berry

Dr Andrew Newton

Dr Helen Nichols

David Patten

Katie Strudwick

Pamela Ugwudike

Angus MacCulloch

Henry Yeomans

Dr Suzanne Young

 

Judges

Professor John Craig, Leeds Beckett University

Professor Stephen Case, Loughborough University

Dr Mary Corcoran, Keele University

 

Sponsored by

 


HEA logoSAGE

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Criminology in a Chaotic World Symposium(British Society of Criminology L&T Network) 3rd May 2018

British Society of Criminology Learning and Teaching Network

Call for Papers – One Day Symposium – “Criminology in a Chaotic World”

Venue: King Alfred Campus, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, SO22 4NR

Date: Thursday 3rd May 2018

Issues around crime and justice have a particular role to play in political dialogue in an era when the established global structure appears to be in turmoil and constant flux. The rise of nationalistic and increasingly protectionist politics across many countries have signalled a period of increasingly punitive approaches to crime and criminality. As we develop our students to potentially be the next generation of criminal justice employees, as educators are in a challenging position in delivering a curriculum that addresses such issues, targets misinformation head on and prepares our students for the chaotic world they will be working in all while acknowledging the increasing politically diverse student base.

This symposium aims to explore these challenges and the associated opportunities of teaching criminology in this climate. We encourage the sharing of best practice, exploring ideas and innovations taking place in criminology curriculum and discussing new ideas as part of the day.

We welcome abstracts on the following themes:

  • Student political diversity as a teaching tool
  • Diversity and difference in criminology
  • Global challenges, local teaching
  • Preparing students for an unknown post-graduation working world
  • Embedding chaos into teaching

Abstracts will be accepted in the following formats –

  • Single Paper Presentation
  • Panel Presentation (a set of 3 papers presented in either slots of 10 minutes, followed by 30 minutes discussion)
  • Other (please let us know if you would like to do something different)

Submission instructions

Please email your 300 word abstract submission as a word document to Natacha Harding (natacha.harding@winchester.ac.uk). In addition, please state the full names of all authors, the title of the paper, which theme the abstract is being submitted for consideration, and also which institution/organisation you are from.

Key Dates:

  • 14 December 2017 – Call for papers opens and booking opens
  • 2 March 2018 – Call for papers closes
  • 30 March 2018 – All abstracts confirmed
  • 3 May 2018 – Symposium

Booking Instructions

See attached the completed call for papers, set up as an event on Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/criminology-in-a-chaotic-world-british-society-of-criminology-lt-network-tickets-41274359721)

Please do contact Natacha Harding (natacha.harding@winchester.ac.uk) with any specific requirements in terms of access or dietary needs.

The University of Winchester is easily accessible by direct trains from London Waterloo and is well served by cross country services. Winchester has four Park & Ride services and is easily accessed from the M3. Please find more information here on getting to the University of Winchester.

Key Dates:

  • 14 December 2017 – Call for papers opens and booking opens
  • 2 March 2018 – Call for papers closes
  • 30 March 2018 – All abstracts confirmed
  • 3 May 2018 – Symposium

 

Two way street of student feedback Natacha Harding Natacha.Harding@winchester.ac.uk

Module and programmatic feedback. NSS. League Tables. Internal surveys preparing for all these. It seems that every other day, there is some form of student experience survey or feedback being gathered and requiring an action plan in response. Whatever your methodological or pedagogical views on such processes, they are an inherent part of modern higher education. Having recently taken over a leadership role within the programme I work in, I am starting to realise just how many of these surveys and assessments exist. I have, of course, written the action plans. The team I work with and I welcome student feedback and appreciate the constructive and positive role it can play. However, there is no escaping the one sided nature of this. We, of course, give feedback in both formal and informal situations to our students on their learning. However, what seems to be missing is the student buy in to the changes that we make on the basis of their feedback concerning their experience.

A classic example of this is interaction. Repeatedly, there are calls for more interactive elements in teaching sessions. I have attended the seminars telling me that the didactic information dump lecture is dead. Our students learn best by doing and being involved in their learning – a sense of ownership and responsibility in their development. However, I am sure we can all share stories of the silent seminar. Of the wonderfully designed, fully interactive, all round teaching session that then goes flat through the lack of participation. We, as educators, are battling back against years of rote teaching in the pre-18 year old education system where our students have generally been passive actors in their learning. How do we undo 14 years of education in a timely manner that ensures we get students to make the most of the whole three years they are with us for their degree?

I am trying something a little different this year which I am sure is by no means new in other institutions. I have so far written at least four different action plans and interim responses. As a team, we have made agreements about working practises and have communicated these to our students regarding what they can expect in terms of contact, teaching and assessment and many other areas. However, in turn, I have set out a response of what we expect from our students having acted on their feedback. If they are asking for more interaction then they need to interact more. If they want more assignment guidance, they need to take responsibility for following that guidance and acting upon it through an independent process of learning and assessment.

The two way ‘agreement’ is written in a positive and constructive tone. A sort of ‘you said, we did, now you do’ approach. I co-created it with a group of 10 students who, I will admit, were already the more engaged students in our cohorts but they did represent the three years of the programme and a range of attitudes to teaching and learning. They understood the nature of the educational process at degree level being less of the educator telling them what they needed to know and, through some form of osmosis, they learned and that it was more about it being a dialogue, a partnership. The nature of that partnership shifts and changes over time. At times, we need to be in the ‘teacher’ role and they need to be the ‘student’ (setting standards etc.). Sometimes, we are closer to being working partners (interactive ideas, dissertation supervision for example). The key to this ‘agreement’ is that it allows everyone to know what everyone can expect and that it is not a ‘stick’ to metaphorically beat anyone with. We already have a Student Charter (which all universities do) but this document goes beyond that. It is a statement of intent, an agreement that if we listen and act, students need to listen and act too. They are part of the process and there is responsibility on their part for their own learning and development.

I have no idea how this will go. I am going to be releasing the new agreement before Christmas. It will be a trial run. It may fall flat, it may be ignored. It may be a success. In a period of student as ‘consumer’, it may be an uphill battle to push some of the responsibility back to our ‘buyers’. However, I hope that even if it shifts a little towards students understanding their role in our response to their feedback, that is a win as far as I am concerned.

Interesting publication by LTN members on Technology-enhanced Learning

Please see the link to the journal article ‘ A reflexive evaluation of technology-enhanced learning’, by BSC LTN members Suzanne Young and Helen Nichols.

https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/1998

 

BSCLTN- Criminology at the Cutting Edge of the Curriculum

LTN conference Sept 2017

Criminology at the Cutting Edge of the Curriculum -Thursday 14th September 2017 at University of Derby

The British Society of Criminology Learning & Teaching Network Are Hosting:

Criminology at the Cutting Edge of the Curriculum on Thursday 14th September 2017 at University of Derby

Schedule
9 – 9.30 Registration and Refreshments

9.30 – 11 Session 1

11 – 11.15 Coffee

11.15 – 12.45 Session 2

12.45 – 1.15 Lunch

1.15 – 2.45 Session 3

3 – 4.30 Session 4

Session 1
Jill Dealey ‘Engaging Students with Social Justice.’
M. Michaux Parker + Cassidy Whitehead + Ana Aquino ‘A DIME’s Worth of Civic Engagement: Using an international diplomacy model as a framework for Social Justice-based civic engagement’
Natacha Harding ‘Delivering Boundaries and Engagement – Teaching about Sexual Offending’

Session 2
Michael Fiddler ‘Sherlock Holmes on Mars: using games in criminological teaching.’
Phil Johnson + Professor Stephen Case & David Manlow ‘Going back to ‘the old school’ via ‘the student experience’ and ‘undergraduate journey’?’
Debbie Jones + Emma Jones ‘Embedding Employability through Student Engagement and Experience across the Criminology Curricula’

Session 3
M. Michaux Parker + Bella Pavey ‘“Exploring POLR Opposites: using path of least resistance sub-scales as an assessment tool for new academic programs’
Jennifer Rainbow ‘Trigger Warnings in Criminology’
Dave Walsh ‘Interviewing’

Session 4
Stephanie Whitehead + Shay Clamme ‘The Affective Dynamics of Online Learning’
Suzanne Young + Helen Nichols ‘Using Technology in the Curriculum.’
Ruth McAlister ‘Putting the ‘cyber’ into cyber criminology.’

 

Criminology due to unprecedented changes in the social, economic and political landscapes is experiencing new avenues of exploration in a range of new frontiers from: border control, positive criminology, new forms of cyber crime, green criminology, state crimes, celebrity and crime, public criminology etc. We are keen to hear how such areas and many others are affecting the pedagogical practices, the learning and teaching methods, strategies, structures and assessments in order to deliver a curriculum that is relevant and impactful to students.

The aim of the conference is to provide a space to explore new and innovative ways of delivering an ever-complex curriculum. We recognise that there is no one size fits all approach. We therefore welcome papers that are still at the ideas stage, as well as those sharing experiences of their attempts to be innovative which have not worked as well as you had hoped but have now gained some insight and reflections on your experiences; and we welcome papers from those of you who have had successful ‘experiments’.

Venue:
One Friar Gate Square is the new home of Department of Social Sciences. A modern and iconic building in the heart of Derby’s vibrant city centre, it creates the perfect environment for innovative and engaging teaching.
We share One Friar Gate Square with Derby law School, as well as the International Policing and Justice Institute. This dedicated site offers unique opportunities for sharing knowledge, expertise and experience in all aspects of the criminological, legal and justice fields.

Address:
Department of Social Sciences
College of Business, Law & Social Sciences
One Friar Gate Square
University of Derby
Derby
DE1 1DZ

 

Learning & Teaching Conference: Call for Papers

Criminology at the Cutting Edge of the Curriculum

 A Call For Papers

Criminology due to unprecedented changes in the social, economic and political landscapes is experiencing new avenues of exploration in a range of new frontiers from: border control, positive criminology, new forms of cyber crime, green criminology, state crimes, celebrity and crime, public criminology etc. We are keen to hear how such areas and many others are affecting the pedagogical practices, the learning and teaching methods, strategies, structures and assessments in order to deliver a curriculum that is relevant and impactful to students.

The aim of the conference is to provide a space to explore new and innovative ways of delivering an ever-complex curriculum. We recognise that there is no one size fits all approach. We therefore welcome papers that are still at the ideas stage, as well as those sharing experiences of their attempts to be innovative which have not worked as well as you had hoped but have now gained some insight and reflections on your experiences; and we welcome papers from those of you who have had successful ‘experiments’ in

We welcome your abstracts on the following themes:

  • Adopting an outward-facing ethos as part of the curriculum which encourages students to work with communities beyond the University Creating students as ethical and moral global citizens
  • Dealing with sensitive topics/issues in the curriculum
  • Using technology in the curriculum
  • Students as co-producers in the cutting edge curriculum
  • Engaging students with social justice
  • New forms of assessment
  • Incorporating employability into the cutting edge curriculum
  • The impact of the TEF and REF on criminological pedagogies
  • Please feel free to suggest a new theme

Timeline

  • Call for abstracts opens – 14th February 2017
  • Call for abstracts closes – 1st June 2017
  • Conference registration opens – 14th February 2017
  • Notification to authors (no later than 1 month from receipt of abstract)Please email your 300 word abstract submission as a word document to d.patton@derby.ac.uk In addition please state the full names of all authors, the title of the paper, which theme the abstract is being submitted for consideration, and also which institution/organisation you are from.Book your place:Free tickets can be booked at:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/criminology-at-the-cutting-edge-of-the-curriculum-brit-soc-crim-ltn-tickets-32048214071  
  • Venue: One Friar Gate Square at the University of Derby
  • Abstract submissions
One Friar Gate Square is the new home of Department of Social Sciences. A modern and iconic building in the heart of Derby’s vibrant city centre, it creates the perfect environment for innovative and engaging teaching.

 

We share One Friar Gate Square with Derby law School, as well as the International Policing and Justice Institute. This dedicated site offers unique opportunities for sharing knowledge, expertise and experience in all aspects of the criminological, legal and justice fields.

 Address:

Department of Social Sciences

College of Business, Law & Social Sciences

One Friar Gate Square

University of Derby

Derby

DE1 1DZ

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: The National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology and Criminal Justice 2017.

This award is intended to highlight and celebrate outstanding practice/innovative teaching in Criminology across HEIs in the UK and it is supported by the British Society of Criminology, the HEA, and SAGE who sponsor the annual prize. Applications are welcomed from individuals or small clusters of teaching staff who can be early career or well as established academics and/or Criminology/Criminal Justice Teaching Teams. Applicants can be self-nominated but nominations will also be accepted by academic colleagues for a learning and teaching practice they feel should be recognised. The criteria for nominations have been informed by the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning.

The winner/s of the award will be announced and the prize presented at the annual BSC Conference. However the BSC reserves the right not to award the prize in any given year if the submissions received do not clearly identify what it is that is particularly outstanding or innovative in the delivery of teaching and learning in the applicant’s Criminology and/or Criminal Justice Module/Programme. It should also be understood that this award is not to ratify or support the rigour of a Criminology/Criminal Justice Programme – that is already covered in-house by University Quality Assurance requirements and External Examination process. Programme applications are therefore discouraged and particular aspects of innovation within programmes encouraged. It is about identifying, acknowledging and disseminating ‘excellence’ in relation to learning and teaching; something that we can all learn from. Therefore the focus of your applications should be clearly evidenced on specific practice!

Submissions

Each nomination must be accompanied by a covering letter, countersigned by the Head of Department/Head of Learning and Teaching (or equivalent), together with a short overview of no more than 2000 words explaining the learning experience and how this not only meets the UK Professional Standards Framework but why it is significant and how it represents excellence. Supporting evidence is also required and this can be in the form of statements from a colleague, peer review report, and if applicable student feedback/comments.

In order to make the award available to those teaching criminology across the academy, eligibility for the award is not restricted to BSC members but nominations from non-members will have to be accompanied by a letter of support from a BSC member and the award winner will be encouraged to become a member prior to the presentation of the prize.

Entries should be submitted by 18th February, 2017 to Liz.Frondigoun@uws.ac.uk and kstrudwick@lincoln.ac.uk

Click on the link to download the applicationform

Guideline criteria

The Awards Panel will require evidence that the applicant’s submission meets the QAA Criminology Benchmarks for Learning and Teaching and should therefore include at least one of the following areas:

  • The use of innovative teaching strategies to make a positive contribution to learning and teaching of criminology that is flexible and inclusive in mode of delivery
  • The clear demonstration of an approach that enhances the teaching and learning experience to that which would normally be expected
  • The incorporation of criminological research, scholarship and/or professional practice into teaching that is centred around skill building and self-development
  • The development of a teaching strategy to meet the needs of a diverse student population including diverse political, cultural and social contexts
  • Inclusive teaching practices which encourage collegiality and provide varied contexts for learning
  • Commitment to the development of autonomy and critical thinking skills in students within criminology
  • Teaching practice that is clearly grounded in the academic literature on pedagogy in HEIs.

The L&T Committee will determine the eligibility of submitted proposals, select a shortlist, which will then be passed to the judges who will decide the winning entry.

The award, sponsored by Sage, consists of £100, plus £100 worth of SAGE books. Winners of the award will be invited to write a full paper for future publication in the BSC Journal Criminology and Criminal Justice, which will be subject to the Journal’s normal editorial and peer review processes. The winner will also be invited to write a short article for the BSC and HEA newsletters.

The Awards Panel reserves the right not to make the award, in the event that the standard of submissions is not deemed sufficient.

Awards Panel

Stuart Agnew, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of Suffolk

Dr Marty Chamberlain, Associate Professor, Swansea University

Dr Liz Frondigoun, Senior Lecturer, University of the West of Scotland

Dr Nic Groombridge, Senior Lecturer, BSC Executive Representative

Dr Philip Johnson, HND and FdA Criminology Course Manager, Blackburn College

Kate Sturdwick, Senior Lecturer, University of Lincoln

Judges

Professor John Craig, Leeds Beckett University

Professor Stephen Case, Loughborough University

Professor Jo Phoenix, Open University

 Sponsored by

British Society for Criminology

Higher Education Academy

Sage Publications

 

 

“it’s a domino effect of opportunities”- Reflecting on lessons learnt about student engagement , ‘excellence’ and meeting challenges in HE.

Katie Strudwick, Lincoln University (k.strudwick@lincoln.ac.uk)

 Having just finished two projects evaluating student experience, levels of engagement and perceptions of ‘excellence’ in teaching- got me thinking about the implications of TEF and how this might inform my teaching practice over the next few years!  

The projects were integral to continuing our externally noted innovative best practice and institutional embedding of Student as Producer. These projects, although arguably small scale, were internally funded to evaluate such ‘topical’ teaching and learning issues and provide further guidance on strategies to meet the challenges that face us as educators in the current times.

The core findings not only offered insightful qualitative reflections of what is perceived and understood as ‘excellence’ within teaching and learning, but also some initial possible solutions to ‘understanding the gap’ in student engagement. Results from both students and academic colleagues gave a number of ways of overcoming the barriers towards student engagement which can be disseminated and worked upon in the next academic year. Results further provided room for a greater understanding of the core elements of teaching, student satisfaction and student engagement (to be introduced as part of the National Student Survey (NSS) in 2017). To gain some appreciation of perceptions of student engagement and why it is important allows us , as academics, to plan, build and start work on transforming strategies towards meeting and overcoming such barriers in the future.  

Results from the project on student engagement, illustrated that there were evident similarities in perceptions of what student engagement can offer, often cited as ‘an extra sets of skills, knowledge and experience’. Interestingly, our research demonstrated that academic colleagues identified the need to have greater clarification about terminology and definitions. By addressing the importance of ‘managing expectations’ of both students and staff within the wider context of Higher Education, there were discussions of current trends shown in literature. The debate on the ambiguity of student engagement has been addressed by a number of authors (See Baron and Corbin 2012; Vuori 2014) so setting myself this task for interpretation, this discussion piece plans to highlight some suggestions and recommendations for overcoming barriers captured in the projects.

The overriding suggestion from results was for greater communication to be offered to students about the opportunities available, such as lecture shout outs and student presentations in lectures. Another noted recommendation was for greater consideration of who should be recruited for student engagement opportunities, by ensuring that the accurate information is disseminated. By making information and opportunities more ‘student friendly’, perhaps by focusing more specifically on the cohort or discipline, was suggested as potentially producing more be ‘applicable’ opportunities for student to participate in.

By considering who we should get as participating students to engage both within the curriculum, and outside of the curriculum, can be seen as going against the notion that student engagement should be based on equitable opportunities? However, it can also be seen as a way of ‘managing’ student engagement. All in all, the suggestions indicated that the perceptions are not clear, they differ and shift in accordance with both external pressures and demands on a subjective level. By highlighting trends in research focusing on what student engagement means, we can thus start to consider, whether greater focus should be made on ensuring correct levels of pastoral support are offered for the students as support. To assist with such clarification, we can look towards dissemination of wider illustrations of best practice, such as with the disciplinary resources and project findings under HEA and TSEP which go a long way to providing some reflection (see TSEP (2014) and Thomas’ (2012) Summary of ‘What Works’ in student engagement). Bulman ( 2015) raised some related wider issues addressing ‘what issues preoccupy higher education academics, particularly in their teaching and facilitating of student learning in their disciplines’ (See more at: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/blog/supporting-teaching-and-learning-disciplines#sthash.SgDYgLPn.dpuf). Such forums and platforms for exploring key issues are arguably integral to pedagogically reflecting on the challenges with Higher Education. By offering invaluable guidance and support, case studies, toolkits and frameworks, have evidenced the benefits towards informing the continuation of good practice and collaborative teaching and learning approaches.

(Refer to https://www.heacademy.ac.uk for more discipline led resources)

 The second project focused upon an arguably pertinent issue within Higher Education at the moment, measuring ‘standards’ and the TEF. Trying to gain some greater awareness of what is perceived as ‘excellence’, by both students and academics colleagues, findings indicated that there was a clear recognition of the associated positives, but also some awareness that the term and the concept of ‘excellence’ are also ‘broad’ terms, thus they were explained as being ‘conceived as a whole lot of things’.

Definitions of ‘excellence’ are the subject of considerable current debate in the HE sector, in relation to the TEF (see Grove 2016; HEA 2015; 2016). Discussions emphasise the value of such research in raising issues to promote further debate in relation to teaching and supporting students. Findings from our research demonstrated that there were some identifications that ‘excellence’ is not a straightforward concept, it is particular to whom you ask and can often ‘depend on the topic’. This raises the issue of how can this be applied on an institutional, or indeed disciplinary level, under the TEF?

 To understand more fully about the student experience of what is seen as ‘excellent’, in the context of teaching and learning, can indeed differ greatly from student to student, and indeed cohort to cohort. This raises the question that

before we embark on changes to programmes, delivered in responses to student comments, or work towards developments to meet the demands of the TEF, this may be observed as ‘risky’ in the pursuit of perceived ‘excellence’. Thus meaning that such developments should not be undertaken too hastily. It could be that by understanding what might contribute to ‘excellence’, maybe about explaining, through module reports, why some changes have not been made.

 Developments in teaching and learning, action plans and module amendments need to be evidenced by the extensive research that has been occurring in the Higher Education agenda. Learning about best practice, innovative modes of learning strategies, and interactive developments requires both reflexivity and reflection, they need to be considered in a wider context with care and attention to their outcomes and impact. To be clear on what you want to achieve, and more importantly, why, this surely has some influence on your plans and developments.

 Our research findings will impact on how we want to further develop student engagement, and how it can be enshrined in teaching and learning, in a more explicit way. Simply, seeing student engagement as broadly providing opportunities outside of the curriculum raises the problem with equitable practice. Findings from our dialogues with students, who identified themselves as ‘non engaged’ and critical academic colleagues, raised the issue that not all students can, or indeed have, the opportunity to, take part in engagement beyond the curriculum. Interestingly, this is seen as significant in current debates within higher education being understood as the ‘inclusivity’ element in the TEF (HEA 2015).

 The results from our projects were testament to our commitment, at my institution, to embrace the student voice, an aspect which has been seen to be part of our ‘uniqueness’, and rightly so! Since 2010, we have led to way to initiating and progressing student engagement, through Student as Producer agenda, into engaging, co- producing, co- researching and co-designing curriculum.

 From the wisdom of our alumni students in one of the aforementioned projects, findings offered us wider understanding and appreciation of what has been seen as elements of best practice, ‘positive’, indeed ’excellent’ elements of our programmes. Insights, were further provided from our current students of the benefits of student engagement opportunities, both within and outwith the curriculum. These projects have given us as social scientists a chance to see how we can progress and develop our approaches to teaching and learning plans, both on a College level, and Institutional strategies. We can therefore embark on leading the way for the future in student centred teaching. The benefits of conducting such research evidences that such (albeit small) internal funding schemes can provide the right opportunity for academics, working alongside students as the research team, to understand core priorities for the future- a world that will be dominated by the TEF, REF and other challenges.

 A welcome reminder, that also came from such projects, is that as academics, we are able to benefit greatly from students co- working in a collaborative manner with us, as academics. Students from all years can develop their transferable skills, begin to embrace and understand from Student as Producer (SAP). Results from the student engagement project indicated that SAP ethos was seen positively by students and academics, as offering partnerships and collaboration between students and academic colleagues.  

 For students the important aspects of SAP was that it offered opportunities and choices, which were often related to choice and freedom, with both being seen to be a core part of SAP agenda. There was a realisation that the SAP aspires to create ‘an equal footing’ or a ‘partnership’. SAP was seen as representing not only the collaboration between academic colleagues and students, but also an effective means to challenge students as ‘consumers’. While being supportive and committed to SAP, there was evidence from academic colleagues of a need for greater critical reflection. With a noted recognition that the purpose of SAP, and its realisation of an agenda evidently has clear positives, also raised issues that some elements require constructive evaluation, maybe a ‘re addressing’ of what the ethos itself can achieve, in practice.  

 Perhaps, what was being argued here was more about the need to constantly reflect on what SAP can offer both academics and students, does it need to be reinvented or re imagined to ensure it meets the challenging and dynamic demands of the Higher education sector. One way to re-develop SAP may be to re-engage students in different roles alongside academics, through collaboration, or partnerships, but ones which are more than being core participant of knowledge, but re-producers of research ‘Student as researcher’. Such reflections were shown within our project teams, these gave us an opportunity see the importance and understand what our students ‘got out’ of being part of the project.  

 So what did we learn? Students were clear to tell us that they all identified with the benefits for them to work alongside their academic tutors. They were arguably ‘engaged’ students and quite explicitly saw the links with skill acquisition and employability benefits from their involvement. They were able to apply their experiences learnt from research methods modules and adapt to this ‘hands on’ experience of conducting focus groups, in their words to ‘actually ‘do’ research’, which was explained as ‘invaluable’ by one student. Using skills alongside the knowledge for degree was also seen as giving students more confidence for their further studies and completing their dissertations.

 

Offering such opportunities for students to suggest their reflections reaffirmed to us the benefits for student engagement. To be able to hear and witness the evident positives was a rewarding experience for us, as academics, who enabled such opportunities. Drawing on the students’ feedback has led to us, as the fore leaders in ‘student as researcher’, to consider how we can move forward with this? How do we proceed in more demanding and challenging times?  
We have come up with a strategy to ensure there is equitability in student engagement opportunities , both within and outside of the curriculum. Allowing more focus on widening participation and parity of opportunities. In an adverse way by formalising the process through informal planning and organisation we can offer students mechanisms to ‘move forward’ and learn from our experiences. Students who participate as co- researchers in the future will have greater guidance and support through research skills workshops ( designed to refresh their skills and knowledge); More formalised regular supervision/ team meetings ( to work through issues that invariably arise over the course of a project). As academics we will look towards possible elements of greater recognition, this may be through securing external funding to pay students as researchers or a continuation of a thank you gesture of vouchers’ . To move forward with ‘student as researchers’ we have started the debate about whether students should be financially rewarded as a formal recognition of their time and efforts.

To conclude, this reflective piece hopes to disseminate our initial ‘lessons learnt’ through practice and summarise some research findings. Discussing our experiences of two projects we hope to inspire others to embark on student engagement through such partnerships and collaboration. Our projects have given us a greater understanding about the student experience, their perceptions of what they get from ‘being engaged’ and alumni and current students’ views on what they perceive as ‘excellence’ within teaching and learning. We know that student engagement is arguably broad and complex, thus the experiences of students will inevitably be subjective. However, by highlighting the need for greater clarification enables us, as academics, some comprehension of how we can share practice to meet the challenges ahead.

 Bibliography:

Baron, P and Corbin, L (2012) Student engagement: rhetoric and reality, Higher Education Research & Development, 31:6, 759-772

Bulman 2015 ‘ ‘Higher Education academy https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/blog/supporting-teaching-and-learning-disciplines#sthash.SgDYgLPn.dpuf October 210

Grove, J (2016) ‘TEF is about much more than teaching’. Times Higher Education. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/teaching-excellence-framework-is-about-much-more-than-teaching
HEA (2015) Are you TEF ready? https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/services/consultancy/tef?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=Consultancy&gclid=CIjojcud-M4CFecW0wodu0cJDQ

Higher Education Academy (2016) https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resource/dimensions-student-engagement

Student Engagement Partnership’s (TSEP’s) (2014) ‘Conversation on The Principles of Student Engagement’ http://www.tsep.org.uk

Thomas, L (2012) ‘Building Student Engagement and belonging in Higher Education at a time of change: A summary of findings and recommendations from the What Works? Student Retention and Success programme’ Paul Hamlyn Foundation; HEFCE; HEA and Action on Access https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/detail/what-works-student-retention/What_Works_Summary_Report
 Vuori, J (2014) ‘Student engagement: buzzword of fuzzword?’ In Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management Vol. 36, No. 5, 509–516

Public Criminologies and Critical Pedagogies Symposium 

This year’s learning and teaching symposium on public Criminologies and critical pedagogies was a well attended affair, with over forty delegates packing out the Society for Research into Higher Education on a wonderfully sunny day in London.

The day began with a key note from Professor Ben Bowling, which focused on criminology as a social pedagogy, and set the scene for the test of the day. 

Professor John Craig then outlined the impact of the TEF and REF on what, how and why we teach what we do, sparking in doing so  lively debate on the tensions which exist between research  and teaching. After which, Stuart Agnew focused us on the importance of paying attention to the whole curriculum when teaching quantitative methods.

After a nourshing lunch, the  afternoon began with Professor Loraine Glesthorpe leading us through the theme of gendering pedagogies. This led to much reflection amongst the group on the role of feminist thought in promoting a progressive reforming agenda,  both with higher education teaching and the criminal justice system. Then in the final session of the day Liz Frodingham outlined the importance of paying close attention to employability and how this could promote critical pedagogal practices as much as neoliberal graduate skills agendas.

It was perhaps a measure of the interest of delegates and the quality of the presentations and  group discussion that everybody stayed for the whole day. With much interest being shown by all involved in the next BSC LTN symposium, which will be on the TEF. Details on which will be available soon.