Presentation on theme: "Improving the Quality of the Student Learning Experience in the Level 1 Psychology Laboratory Maxine Swingler, Judith Stevenson, & Mabel Nakulbulwa School."— Presentation transcript:
Improving the Quality of the Student Learning Experience in the Level 1 Psychology Laboratory Maxine Swingler, Judith Stevenson, & Mabel Nakulbulwa School of Psychology University of Glasgow
Whats it like being a first year psychology student? Large class sizes Anonymous Support from: –Tutors –PAL –GTAs in student computer laboratory
Importance of lab experience GTAs first point of contact Combination of taught and drop in labs. Lab as a social and learning space.
How can we improve the lab experience? Use of student input to inform: –GTA training –Delivery of the laboratory course Embedding Graduate Attributes –UG lab course –GTA skills
GTA training Current GTA training –GTA statutory training (3 hour workshop) –Further training offered by LTC. –Online support (RoYT info space). –Informal training within School (1 hour group session). –Informal supervision from teaching staff.
GTA training within the School of Psychology Benefits of formal training for GTAs (Prieto & Mayers, 2000). Evaluate student satisfaction with current GTA duties to direct future training. –Assistance during lab classes (taught/drop in) –Admin role –Point of contact
Delivery of laboratory course Flexible delivery (Casey & Wilson, 2005, Normand & Littlejohn, 2006) Teacher-led vs student led labs? Implications for organisation of labs and GTA training needs. Evaluate student motivation and attendance: –Taught labs –Drop in labs
Aims of project FELT funded (2009) 1.Evaluate first year students experience of the practical laboratory. 2.Use results of evaluation to direct future GTA training and delivery of laboratory course.
Methods Questionnaire assessed: –Students satisfaction with GTA assistance –Experience of taught vs drop in labs. –Student preparation before labs –Student attendance patterns –Suggestions for improvements. 250 first year undergraduate psychology students.
What kind of help have you asked for in the lab? Vast majority (96.7%) of students knew that a GTA is available in the labs for help.
72.7% found the GTAs helpful Please comment on how the GTA help in the labs could be improved A knowledgeable GTA was not top of the students needs.
Summary of GTA assistance results: All suggestions revealed a pastoral trend. Mainly satisfied with the GTA help provided. GTAs are found to be helpful. GTAS could improve by being More numerous Appearing more approachable Appearing more patient
Students feel they learn more about psychology in taught labs (P<.001). However, they feel that the balance between taught labs and SL labs is just right. Results (lab teaching)
No significant differences in terms of reading the lab book before coming to the lab, but those who did, found it helpful. Majority of students preferred to come earlier to do the taught lab, and a bit later to do the SL lab. –Balance between taught and SL labs is good. –Indicative that students dont want their learning experience to be entirely flexible. –Face to face is desired.
Summary of Lab Results Taught labsStudent led labs GTA support is the main source of support sought after. Students say they learn more about psychology. Balance between labs is just right. Students come earlier. Students come later. Reading the lab book before is found to be helpful. No significant differences in terms of reading the lab book before coming to the lab, but those who did, found it helpful. Balance between taught and SL labs is good. –Indicative that students dont want their learning experience to be entirely flexible. –Face to face is desired.
How we used the evaluation to input into the GTA training GTA trainingGraduate Attributes Emphasising the role of communication and interpersonal skills in training Encouraging the GTAs to be confident, effective communicators Creating a pastoral environment where learning can take place Promoting to students to develop skills adaptively and flexibly in a comfortable learning environment Emphasising the support resources (PAL, portal etc) that they can refer students to. GTAs can encourage students to be independent, resourceful and responsible
Lab programmeGraduate Attributes Lab programme is being developed/updated in terms topics Enables reflective learning via relevant lab objectives and high quality feedback Lab programme is being developed/updated in terms of encouraging peer interaction Encouraging students to collaborate Taught/drop-in format will be maintained Promoting independent and critical thinking How we used the evaluation to input into lab development
How this has influenced the UGs who participated It provided a rare opportunity for students to get involved in teaching research. Incorporated a presentation afternoon. –Staff/peer feedback.
Familiar with many aspects of stats and SPSS. A good working relationship with staff members Constructive suggestions were made when necessarily, resulting in high motivation on my side. It was a great learning experience. First opportunity to undertake a form of qualitative analysis, In psychology, such opportunities are quite rare. Working with the teaching staff (Dr Paul Bishop) was a pleasure - meetings were always informal and I received valuable input and feedback on my work.
AttributeAcademic Dimension Personal Dimension Transferable dimension Resourceful and responsible Mabel using statistical techniques Effective communicators Presentation afternoon ConfidencePresentation afternoon AdaptableWorking with academic staff Experienced collaborators Whole project Reflective learners Presentation afternoon, whole project