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1 Extended Research and Projects in the Foundation Centre Catherine Marshall Megan Bruce Sam Nolan.

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1 1 Extended Research and Projects in the Foundation Centre Catherine Marshall Megan Bruce Sam Nolan

2 ∂ Why do a project? General Studies does not predict Final Degree classification (Smithers and Robinson, 1993) Could be argued to be a measure of cultural capital Many Universities do not use it Studies on the International Baccalaureate indicate that the Extended Essay is a good preparation for the self-directed learning

3 ∂ Cultural Capital Bourdieu – Education reproduces and maintains the social status quo leading to inequity in educational experience and reproduction of the class system rather than offering a mechanism of social mobility (Bourdieu, 1976)Bourdieu, 1976 Cultural Capital - given to middle class children enables them to access the education offered by the system Children of lower social classes must acquire, through education, certain knowledge, language and ways of behaving, which children of higher social class receive as a matter of course through their upbringing Enforced by parental attitude, peer groups and teachers. Consequently a child of lower socioeconomic class must do far better than a child of higher class to reap the same rewards

4 ∂ Sternberg Sternberg Triarchic Abilities Test Sternberg (2008)Sternberg (2008 Measured creative, analytical and practical skills (SAT just analytical) STAT more consistent predictor of College outcome than SAT White middle-class students more likely to do well on analytical skills; ethnic background and lower SEC more likely to develop creative and practical skills A more meritocratic system?

5 ∂ Projects Gardner, (1991) noted, students may be able to give the correct response when asked about a particular concept, but will then not use that same concept, but revert to intuitive responses when trying to apply knowledge in new contexts that do not resemble the standard learning formats. e.g. 70% of physics students who had taken a mechanics course erroneously described a tossed coin as having two forces acting on it Consequently it is important not only to test concepts, but assess how they are applied in a project

6 ∂ Foundation centre In-house, year 0 preparation for degree study for non- traditional, local, mature students Also some international students whose National Education System does not reach A-level standard Progression to all departments in the University Combination of Knowledge and Skills

7 ∂ Foundation Programme Success In order to evaluate the success of Foundation Programme teaching, it is important to articulate what change is needed in students’ knowledge and skills during the Foundation year that will indicate that a student is appropriately prepared to begin their degree programme

8 ∂ Research-led teaching Higher Education is generally characterised by utilising research-led teaching For many years there has been a belief that being a good researcher leads naturally to being a good teacher

9 ∂ Relationship between Research and Teaching There have been numerous attempts to establish a positive correlation between the two A meta-analysis carried out by Hattie and Marsh (1996) based on 58 articles found the overall correlation to be 0.061996

10 ∂ Infusion of teaching with research There is evidence more likely that the learning and teaching process in Higher Education is enhanced by being infused with research in some way, e.g. having research as part of the learning experience Significance is not the transmission of the substantive knowledge as the most important outcome of research- led teaching, rather it is the thinking processes that lead to good research i.e. that research-led teaching is showing students how to think as researchers

11 ∂ Communities of practice Brew (2012)suggested that there should be a model of undergraduate education based on the concept of inducting students into ‘communities of practice’ with a move away from information-transmission and more towards conceptual change2012

12 ∂ Explicit vs implicit Ideas around research, evidence and understanding how knowledge is acquired is often part of the hidden curriculum Students are expected to “pick it up as they go along”

13 ∂ Concepts of evidence Gott et al. argued that these concepts should be taught explicitly Concepts of evidence arose out of research into the way adults used science in science-based employment and in everyday life and identified certain concepts of evidence such as validity, reliability, uncertainty and risk as being important. Developed a model demonstrating that these ideas of the concepts of evidence can be used at different levels

14 ∂ Bull’s-Eye Model (Gott & Duggan, 2007; Gott & Roberts, 2008)

15 ∂ Link between Project and Academic Success If being able to demonstrate an application of concepts of evidence is an indication of successful preparation for induction into the community of practice of a research-led university, there should be a correlation between performance on a project, performance at Foundation level and degree outcome.

16 ∂ Correlations Between Evidence Exam Score, Project Evidence Score and Foundation Average Score Post Test of Use of Concepts of Evidence Foundation Average Evidence marks for project Post Test of Use of Concepts of Evidence Pearson Correlation1.592 **.322 ** Sig. (2-tailed).000 N123 114 Foundation AveragePearson Correlation.592 ** 1.596 ** Sig. (2-tailed).000 N123138119 Evidence marks for project Pearson Correlation.322 **.596 ** 1 Sig. (2-tailed).000 N114119 **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

17 ∂ Foundation success and degree success The Foundation average means were compared with degree outcome using an ANOVA analysis which showed a significant correlation (p=0.000). The analysis showed that an average score of around 65% and above at Foundation level correlated with degree achievement of between a 2:1 classification and a 2:2 classification.

18 ∂ Foundation Average vs Degree outcome

19 ∂ Extended project qualification AQA EPQ allows each student to embark on a largely self- directed and self-motivated project. Students must choose a topic, plan, research and develop their idea and decide on their finished product. We encourage creativity and curiosity. A project topic may be directly related to a student's main study programme, but should look beyond the specification. A finished product may take the form of a: –research based written report –production* (eg charity event, fashion show or sports event etc) –an artefact* (eg piece of art, a computer game or realised design). *A written report must accompany these options. Students must also record their project process in their Production Log. The process of recording and completing a project is as important as the finished product. Both the Production Log and Product will be assessed.

20 ∂ What the students need to do Choose an area of interest and draft their project title and aims. Plan, research and carry out their project. Keep a production log of all stages of the project production, reviewing and evaluating their progress. Complete the project product. Prepare and deliver a presentation. Review the outcome of their project and presentation.

21 ∂ Teacher/Supervisor role Register to offer in the EPQ if you intend to enter with AQA. Enter your students to do the EPQ as you would for any A- level. Teach about 30 of the 120 Guided Learning Hours, focusing on research, project management and other relevant skills. Supervise each student's EPQ. Assess each student's completed production log, project product and presentation at the end of the process.

22 ∂ Groups What are the advantages of having students engage with the Extended Project Qualification? What are the challenges involved in the process? Draw up a list of Learning Outcomes for the EPQ

23 ∂ AQA Learning Outcomes manage – identify, design, plan, and complete a project (or task within a group project), applying organisational skills and strategies to meet their stated objectives use resources/research – obtain and select information from a range of sources, analyse data, apply it relevantly, and demonstrate understanding of any appropriate connections and complexities of their topic develop and realise – use a range of skills, including using new technologies, to solve problems, to take decisions critically, creatively and flexibly, and to achieve their aims review – evaluate the outcome, including their learning and performance.

24 ∂ Projects Address Each Area Preparing for Higher Education

25 Example 1: Arts and Humanities projects The library based project Megan Bruce

26 ∂ Administrative structure 4 modules involved: Academic Practice in Arts and Humanities Academic Practice in Social Sciences Extended Research (taken by all Arts & Soc Sci students) Extended Essay in History Academic Practice has separate assessments but partly provides support for Extended Research and Extended Essay

27 ∂ Breakdown of assessment Extended Research Essay (3,500 words) Summative (75%) Poster/pptSummative (15%) ReflectionSummative (10%) Action plan Formative Research proposal Annotated bibliog Lit Review Reflective diary Extended Essay - History Essay (5,000 words) Summative (60%) Lit ReviewSummative (20%) BibliographySummative (20%) Reflective diarySummative (10%) Action planSummative (10%) Writing task based on diary entries Formative

28 ∂ Library based essays Key interventions for successful project completion: 28 What do we do?Why? Set soft deadlinesHelps students to plan their time without penalising the final grade Library tour/training before project launch Ensures familiarity with how to search for good quality academic sources Formative annotated bibliographyHelps ascertain that good quality sources exist and that work has begun on research Summative AP presentationChecks that the RQ is appropriate AP test questionMarch test performance identifies those who aren’t on schedule

29 ∂ Where do library based essays usually go wrong? Several generic reasons why this assignment can go wrong, also applicable to all other academic work. Specific to library essays there are 3 key pitfalls: Lack of appropriate thesis. Essay is purely descriptive. Scope is too broad. Sources are inappropriate.

30 ∂ Pitfall 1: the descriptive essay Student A Failed to hand in her formative annotated bibliography after the Xmas break (red flag!). Her summative AP presentation described K Pop but had no argument structure or thesis. After intervention from her AP tutor and Academic Advisor, she changed topic and looked at Chinese foot binding. Again, purely descriptive. She failed initially. She redid the assignment and finally produced an argumentative essay.

31 ∂ Pitfall 2: the PhD-esque scope Student B took the History Essay module. 5,000 word target seemed huge. Planned to compare Poland with East Germany in 3 areas creating too broad a scope. Took advice from both EAP tutor and Advisor regarding thesis suitability. Revised thesis. Performed excellently in final assessments.

32 ∂ Original email re thesis Dear Megan, Sorry to bother you again, but I am having a little difficulty with the length of my thesis statement. The handout suggests 100 words, but I am finding mine is nearly 200. This is because my essay is more an analysis than an attempt to prove a statement right or wrong. As I am looking at various aspects of the Socialist system in Poland and East Germany, and how successful they were, I have quite a few points to make. Will I be marked down for writing too much? And is it OK if my thesis changes later on due to research I have done?

33 ∂ My reply I think it's inevitable at this stage that your thesis will change as your research develops. The length isn't too much of a problem either, but what does concern me is that you say your essay is more of an analysis and therefore doesn't have an explicit thesis. What we're looking for at this level isn't just an analysis of various arguments, but more of a critical approach where you apply that analysis to a thesis of your choosing. If you're not sure you're on the right lines, please come and have a chat with me or Collette and we'll give you a few more pointers.

34 ∂ Student B’s solution He came to see me and we discussed narrowing his scope to just one country rather than two. Also focused on one aspect rather than three He also liaised with his advisor to cover all bases: Thanks for your message. I am going to try and condense the thesis, and have broken my main question down into several smaller ones. I think I have a good idea of the conclusion I plan to reach, but perhaps I could have a chat with you at the tutorial next Monday just to ensure I am doing the right thing?

35 ∂ Pitfall 3: inappropriate sources Student C wrote a biography of Marie Antoinette: All her sources were biographies of Marie Antoinette She had no thesis She failed the assignment She received feedback from her tutor regarding weaknesses of the assignment, and resubmitted a different version She passed the resubmission

36 ∂ A selection of titles from 2013-14 The Historical Significance of Running in Cultures around the World Chinese Foot Binding Landscape and Cosmology: influential in Greek Cultural and Religious Development To what extent did Diocletian’s split of the Empire contribute to the Fall of Rome? Anglo Saxon Burial Rites and Rituals Compare and contrast how the emperor, the Christian religion and the aristocratic class affected the separatist movement in the Roman and Holy Roman Empires To what extent was the use of repression the key element in imposing and sustaining Communist power in East Germany in the years 1945 to 1953 Can we attribute Marie Antoinette’s reputation to her own wrong-doing and how fair or accurate is it? To what extent can the Trial and Execution of Charles I be considered justified?

37 Example 2: Social Sciences projects The data collection project Catherine Marshall

38 ∂ Social science students Medicine Pharmacy Anthropology Education Sport

39 ∂ Articles Real research arises out of other people’s work leading to novel research questions Students given appropriate articles to start the process Examples: Medicine – National Geographic article on alcohol Psychology – New Scientist article on weird ways of thinking Education – Times Education Supplement article on vocabulary

40 ∂ Skill based Learning Outcomes On successful completion the student will: communicate effectively both orally, visually and in writing apply number both in the tackling of numerical problems and in the collecting, recording, interpreting and presenting of data have demonstrated an ability to work with others have improved their own learning and performance through reflective practice demonstrate problem solving skills demonstrate critical thinking skills use IT confidently and competently

41 ∂ Outline of the Assignment 1.Critically analyse the article 2.Site the article in a relevant body of literature 3.Develop a research question from the article that you wish to explore 4.Design a research project that will help you answer your question 5.Carry out the research 6.Write up your project which will include the background information that you have read, a critical analysis of the original document, a report on your research with an analysis of your own research

42 ∂ Critically analyse the article

43

44 ∂ Site the article in a relevant body of literature Students each brought a relevant article which they shared with the other students and discussed the article, applying critical analysis Articles were shared on the virtual learning site

45 ∂ Develop a research question from the article that you wish to explore Very difficult: “Ask what different students think about drinking” “Analyse hospital admissions to show that drinking costs the NHS a large amount of money”

46 ∂ Design a research project that will help you answer your question Questionnaire or Ethnography Not interviews Iterative Design Helping students understand the difficulties in constructing a questionnaire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZZJXw4MTA Understand the importance of sampling

47 ∂ Bull’s-Eye Model (Gott & Duggan, 2007; Gott & Roberts, 2008)

48 ∂ Carry out the research Ensure students have considered the following –Health and Safety Need to have their plan approved by supervisor Limit participants to friends, family, fellow students –Ethics Ethics form Particularly important for education students who must also get ethics form signed by head teacher

49 ∂ Write up your project… The project counts for 50% of the module The reporting consists of a written report and a Powerpoint presentation

50 ∂ Examples of projects 2013-14 A study measuring student understanding of the units system of alcohol ranking and government advised limits of alcohol consumption. An investigation into the effect of alcohol consumption on the perceived quality of sleep An investigation into the awareness and behaviours of alcohol consumption during pregnancy The Role of Working Memory in Mental Arithmetic Strategy Does the grading system set by the government accurately reflect a child’s ability in Literacy? An ethnographic look at able bodied participation in wheelchair basketball A Replication of Tulving and Pearlstones (1966) Seminal Study ‘Availability versus Accessibility of Information in Memory for Words ’ The Effect of Punishment for Swearing in Childhood on Swearing in Adulthood

51 Example 3: Project Based Learning In Science Personal Experiences from its use in pre-University Learning Sam Nolan

52 ∂ Today The Role of The Project The Students The Projects Costs Ideas Motivation Project Supervision The Outcomes 52

53 ∂ Projects in Physical Science Physical Science Students include: Physicists Chemists Mathematicians Engineers Computer Scientists In 2013/4 approx 40 students undertook these projects Group were a mixture of mature local and younger international students

54 ∂ Projects in Physical Science In Physical Sciences the Projects are Embedded within 4 modules: Advanced Chemistry with project Advanced Physics with project Advanced Physics and Computer Science with project Advanced Physics and Engineering with project

55 ∂ Projects in Physical Science Students spend 6hrs week in class studying Physics and their progression subject Students spend 3hrs week for 4 weeks in class learning project skills then 3hrs week for 7 weeks in class undertaking their project. More time is spend out of the classroom. Average student spends around 60 hrs on the project in total.

56 The Projects

57 ∂ Project Choice We developed 12 project outlines which students could chose from Students were given two project supervisors: Primary Supervisor – Expert in the area Secondary Supervisor – Staff member with knowledge in the area Students met with one (or both) supervisors weekly. Projects were assessed through: Poster Presentation Written Report

58 ∂ Example Project – Build a Radio

59 ∂ Example Project – Build a Robot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlyIXJBGF84

60 ∂ Example Project – SETI

61 ∂ Example Project – Win the Lottery

62 ∂ Costs Some Example Costs are given below: Build a Radio - £12 equipment (+£50 oscilloscope reuseable) Build a Robot - £40 equipment (most reusable) Solar Studies – 0 cost, use of IT facilities Lottery - 0 equipment cost, use of IT facilities

63 ∂ Motivations Students were incredibly motivated by the projects: “Working on this project is brill, I’d never realized research was so interesting ” “Having to explain this poster was really hard, but it made me focus on understanding the concepts, which really helped.”

64 ∂ Poster Assessment We ran a 2 hours poster session, with all posters on display and all physical science staff present. The posters were marked by the 1 st and 2 nd supervisors, students being awarded marks for the poster itself and their ability to answer questions on the topic Students themselves were asked to nominate: The Best Poster The Most Informed Presenter The Most Enthusiastic Presenter Prizes were given out.

65 ∂ The Staff Side – Project Supervision The Primary Supervisor was also the Student’s Academic Advisor, their touchstone to academic life in the University. The Role of the Supervisor was: To support the student in developing skills To help give suggestions on how to develop the project with a solid academic research-based background To help the student not take too many deadends

66 ∂ The Report

67 ∂ A selection of titles from 2013-14 The effect of signals on the randomness of radio noise Mathematical modelling of a basketball freethrow The Solar Neutrino Problem Arduino Controlled RC Car Testing the quality of fuzzy logic control systems for autonomous robots Modelling the development of intelligent civilisations within our local galaxy Measuring the rotation speed of the Sun through optical observations of solar prominences

68 ∂ Group work! Arrange into three groups (by Faculty?) Each group discusses: What is their role in the project? What do they hope to gain from the conference to take forward in supporting projects in their institution? Brainstorm good ideas for projects in different subject areas.

69 ∂ Challenges of staffing projects Key questions we have faced re staffing: Who is best (subject tutor or EAP/skills tutor)? How much support to give? When to provide the support? Official timetabled sessions or not? How to keep projects aligned across subject areas for quality assurance purposes.

70 ∂ Discussion on project staffing

71 ∂ Any questions? c.a.marshall@dur.ac.uk Megan.bruce@dur.ac.uk s.j.nolan@dur.ac.uk


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