Enhancing the learning experience at RGU

By - 14 October 2021

To ensure RGU emerges stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Emerging Stronger Enhancement Award fund was launched to support colleagues and students seeking to enhance the future learning experience at RGU.

Through the award scheme, staff and students were given the opportunity to apply for £500 funding to take forward an enhancement project of their choosing, as well as the opportunity to network and share practice with other award holders and relevant members of the university.

The Emerging Stronger Enhancement Awards were supported by funding linked to the current QAA Enhancement Theme, Resilient Learning Communities. The scheme was specifically aimed at supporting enhancement at the school and/or department level and student-led enhancement activity.

Read below to see a brief overview of the six projects awarded funding:

Lorraine Amies (EPE) and Josie Steed (GSA) - Education for sustainability

This project focuses on developing academic and student understanding of sustainability in relation to RGU’s Net Zero actions that include embedding net zero narratives within RGU Course Portfolios over the next 3 years. The project’s outputs will form several resources for students and staff to support individual school’s ambitions to meet RGU’s target to embed net zero narratives.

“We’re delighted to have received funding for our project.  The project focuses on supporting staff and students’ understanding of sustainability using Gray’s School of Art as a pilot. It will specifically support RGU’s actions to embed sustainability as a core element within course portfolios over the next 3 years. It’s a topic we are both extremely passionate about where we bring our different perspectives and experiences together from working cross the creative and education sectors and graduate employment.”

Izzy Crawford (CCB) – Collaborative Online International Learning

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is part of the emerging field of Globally Networked Learning or Virtual Exchange, which involves educational initiatives using technology to facilitate cost-effective communication and collaboration across cultures. This project seeks to support the adoption of COIL as a recognised teaching and learning approach across RGU where possible and appropriate by developing a range of resources, including a dedicated web page explaining COIL and its benefits.

“There is a growing body of international, practice-based, research which demonstrates that students consider Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) to be a worthwhile, engaging experience which enhances transversal skill development, intercultural competence, and employability.  This project will enable more people to harness and contribute to the growing body of knowledge, expertise, networks, and pedagogical advantages that COIL offers to staff and students as we emerge from the pandemic.” 

Margaret Downie (Law) - Mature undergraduate students

The data suggests that undergraduate mature students have lower achievement rates compared to younger students in the RGU Law School. The aim of this project is to create a better support system for these students, as well as use the data to improve support across the university and more widely.

“This project will identify the factors which affect the resilience of mature students and help us to better support them to achieve their goals.”

Konstantina Martzoukou (CCB) – Student digital competence

The overall aim of this project is to drive and support the development of digital competences among RGU students through enhancing digital capacity and contributing to the creation of a pedagogical environment that is conducive to digital learning support. The proposed project aims to increase the usefulness and applicability of an existing self-assessment digital competences tool by adapting and modifying it for use within individual subject disciplines, that have context-specific needs in relation to digital competences.

“I am delighted to have received an ‘Emerging Stronger Award’. My project is exploring the development of students’ digital literacies across disciplines and is centred on understanding how to achieve digitally inclusive learning and teaching practices, empowering our students to thrive in an increasingly digital learning and professional environment”. 

Thorsten Lauterbach and Mia Agnew (Law) - Virtual happy hours

This project aims to expand the virtual happy hour concept as an integral part of teaching and learning, to allow for the building of a digital community involving students and staff. The project aims at composing a good practice guide on how virtual whole-cohort happy hours can be organised, managed and delivered on a partnership basis.

"Mia Agnew (LLB, Stage 2) and I are delighted by the Enhancement Award which recognises and supports our collaborative work on building a more robust and resilient Law community. We aim exploring further opportunities to introduce virtual full-cohort "Happy Hours" to allow for informal, but purposeful meetings to further mental well-being and social health of both students and staff."

Joanne Robertson and Stuart Cruickshank (PALS) - LT sensor/virtual labs

The focus of the project is to investigate how a new technology, the Learning Tutor sensor, can be utilised to enhance the  learning experience in online labs, for students in several PALS courses. The sensor enables biophysiological movements to be recorded at home or on campus to simulate live laboratory sessions.

“We are absolutely delighted and honoured to have won the Emerging Stronger Award, as we believe very strongly in student-centred learning, accessibility for all and have a focus of innovation and creative change to enhance teaching practice and student experience. The focus of the project is investigating how a new type of LabTutor sensor can be utilised for student enhancement to adapt and build on the current learning experience, available for students within Pharmacy & Life Sciences as well as hopefully out with our school.”

To learn more about the individual projects and to share practice in this space please get in touch with the project leads or contact delta@rgu.ac.uk

 

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