Understanding the learner for more effective university teaching
Understanding the learner for more effective university Teaching. To teach students efficiently and effectively, it is helpful to understand their conceptions of teaching and learning. Given the higher proportion of school leavers entering Higher Education and greater undergraduate diversity, this is more imperative. With the greater likelihood of large class sizes, more formalised means of understanding students must be sought. Whilst using small group work as part of undergraduate teaching can help, some explicit attempts to collect profile information on students can help teachers offer better learning experiences. Student Expectation Research: The research programme started with a piece of action research (Stevenson, Sander and Naylor, 1996; Stevenson and Sander, 1998) with distance learning students, by collecting their expectations through both a telephone survey and a postal questionnaire. Action Research has very limited generalisability, but the principle of surveying students' expectations was promising and extended. The USET survey (Sander et al, 2000) found mismatches between the teaching that students hoped for and expected. Expectations do not have to be met, although there may be some merit in doing so (Stevenson, Sander and Naylor, 1997). Expectations may also be managed (Hill, 1995). One finding from the USET study was that different groups of students had different reasons for disliking student presentations, perhaps due to different levels of academic confidence. Students' reasons for disliking presentations were pursued through re-analysis of the USET qualitative data (Stevenson and Sand er, 2002, Sander and Stevenson, 2002). However, that students dislike presentations is worrying given their effectiveness (Sander, Sanders and Stevenson, 2OO2). Academic Confidence Research: To explore the possibility of a link between academic confidence and reasons for not liking student presentations, the Academic Confidence Scale was developed and validated (Sander and Sanders, 2003). ln addition to finding the hypothesised group differences in confidence, a startling drop in academic confidence during the first year was detected.
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Sander, Paul; Sanders, Lalage; Stevenson, K. (The British Psychological Society, 2002)This piece of research, in collaboration with Leicester University was initiated by the findings of an earlier, substantial study (Sander, Stevenson, King and Coates, 2000) which looked at students’ expectation of teaching ...
Working with student expectations of tutor support in distance education: testing an expectations-led quality assurance model Sander, Paul; MacKeogh, K.; Stevenson, K. (Routledge, 2006)In the early to mid 1990s, I was working as part of a teaching team with the Open University. An issue that we were trying to resolve led to a fruitful line of research which to collect students’ views or, more explicitly, ...
Sanders, Lalage; Sander, Paul (The British Psychological Society, 2005)Introduction: research has shown that students do not like student presentations, yet a case can be made for them. This study seeks to understand the effects that presentations have on students. Method: within an action ...