From GIST to Enhancing Academic Skills Online

Antonia Lewis reports on a TaLIC Teaching & Learning Fellowship Award project, commissioned during spring, 2017.

staff photoThis project originally stemmed from the need to update an online library and academic skills tutorial situated on learn.gold – GIST (Goldsmiths Information Skills Tutorial).  GIST, also realised with funding from TaLIC in 2012, was designed as a collaborative project between Library staff and the former CELAW.  It followed observations that information and academic skills resources needed to be more clearly sign-posted as a ‘one-stop shop’.  GIST proved popular, but its content and appearance had become out of date.  Many of the resources it listed had been superseded, particularly as the Library had undergone a process to update its online catalogue.  Student feedback from a focus group run in January also confirmed that a new approach would be worthwhile.  The old, existing GIST resource was felt to be ‘too detailed’ and felt ‘overwhelming’.  Feedback suggested that more visual elements were needed and clearer, more obvious chapter headings, such as “How to write an essay”, might work more effectively.

This time, it made sense to work collaboratively with members of the team who deliver the Enhancing Academic Skills (EAS) workshops (www.gold.ac.uk/eas) – most of whom are now members of the new Academic Skills Centre.  It was proposed that the GIST structure could be unpicked and rebuilt as an academic skills resource, modelled on the portfolio of sessions delivered as part of EAS.  With these changes, the materials might better support and reinforce face-to-face teaching that was taking place at the same time.

There were several challenges in getting started.  The project timeline coincided with departmental restructures and some senior staff moving on or leaving.  The creation of the Academic Skills Centre had just been announced.  Working collaboratively across departments when staff have different priorities and management responsibilities also took a while to negotiate.  However with some persistence, a solid team emerged and we pressed forward with the project plan.

Progress was slow, but by working steadily and consistently over the summer, a resource began to take shape.  At times, there were some technical challenges.  Many of the applications we used to create content with had to be self-taught and a process of trial and error was often used to get the sound and visuals up to standard.  The practicalities of finding time, despite the extra funding, created additional pressure.

By the end of September, the majority of the content was complete and the  Enhancing Academic Skills Online (http://libguides.gold.ac.uk/eas) resource was launched, just after Welcome Week in September.  A decision was also made to retain some content on the VLE, but the main resource sits on the platform – Libguides – a simple and widely used content management system designed for Libraries.

Enhancing Academic Skills Online includes chapters on – ‘Making the Most of Lectures and Seminars’ – ‘Researching, Using the Library and Referencing’ (with subsections such as ‘Using Library Search’, ‘Advanced Search Techniques’ and Zotero). Each section contains tutorials, video demos and interactive elements.

EASscreenshot2

Enhancing Academic Skills Online is still seen as a work in progress.  The next stage will  be to test the resource and gather feedback on its use, to finalise developments and to refine the roll-out strategy.  Another student focus group is planned for the middle of January 2018 and the resulting feedback will be rolled into the next iteration.  Let us know what you think.

EASscreenshot1

For more information or to feedback your views, please contact: Antonia Lewis (antonia.lewis@gold.ac.uk)

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Update on the development of the key situations in social work research

adi_staempfiAdi Staempfli (Lecturer in Social Work) updates us on the progress made in his project supported by TaLIC’s Fellowship (now Awards) scheme in 2017.

In my research I am developing the Key Situation reflective learning model for English social work education and continuous professional development.  It is a situation-based pedagogical approach (Ghisla, Boldrini and Bausch, 2014) that organises learning and artefacts around typical recurring professional situations (Tov, Kunz and Staempfli, 2016).  The concept of ‘situation’ is thus a tool for capturing and describing practice that allows reflexive learning and knowledge management that is rooted in practice.  To adopt the model for English social work I have started a participatory research process with experienced social workers to describe English social work key situations.

Funding, obtained through Goldsmiths’ Teaching and Learning Fellowship, enabled me to offer participants vouchers for their participation in a one-day research workshop.  I have successfully recruited 13 participants who took part in one of two workshops.  The social workers represented both adult, children and families and independent social work fields and came from far and wide, from both urban and rural areas of England.  I was humbled by the willingness of these practitioners to give up at least a day of their time to participate.

The participants identified over 180 tasks, processes and practice situations that were visualised, discussed, analysed and clustered into 16 areas of responsibilities.

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Participants started to name key situations, such as ‘Having an initial conversation’; ‘Gather information to plan next steps’; ‘Dealing with a crisis situation’ and ‘Having a first meeting’ and around 40 draft situations have been named.

Following these workshops, I will review the situations and analyse whether any important fields or practice areas have been left out.  After this, participants will be invited to join a Wiki page on the key situation platform to further develop the key situations.  In a last round I am planning to invite others to join the online discussion and to review the whole title list as part of an external before opening the new Key Situations in English Social Work platform to the profession.

If you are interested in contributing to the review and validation of key situations, please contact me by email: adi.staempfli@keysituations.net.

Adi Staempfli, Lecturer in Social Work, Programme Convener MA in Advanced Social Work (Practice Education) and Co-president of the Association Network Key Situations in Social Work

 

Selected publications

Ghisla, Gianni; Bausch Elena and Boldrini, Luca (2014) Bausch SiD –Situation-based Didactics. A guide for teachers in vocational training. Lugano and Zollikofen: Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training SFIVET.

Staempfli, Adi; Tov, Eva; Kunz, Regula, Tschopp, Dominik & Eugster-Stamm, Stefan (2016). Improving professionalism through reflection and discourse in communities of practice: The key situations in social work model and project. Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning, 14(2), 59-79.

Staempfli, Adi; Kunz, Regula & Tov, Eva (2012). Creating a bridge between theory and practice: working with key situations. European Journal of Social Education, 22/23, 60-78

Tov, E., Kunz, R., & Stämpfli, A. (2016). Schlüsselsituationen der Sozialen Arbeit. Professionalität durch Wissen, Reflexion und Diskurs in Communities of Practice. 2. Auflage

A Practice-based Curriculum for Reflective Learning in Social Work.

Adi Staempfli, Lecturer in Social Work in the Department Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies (STaCS) outlines his successful TaLIC Fellowship 2016-17 bid:

adi_staempfiThe challenge for social work is to find ways to integrate knowing, doing and values in and for a complex and uncertain practice world and social workers need to continually develop their competence. In his PhD research, Adi Staempfli therefore addresses the question: How can social workers be best supported to continuously develop their professional knowledge, skills and values and integrate these with their practice? 

Adi Staempfli adopts a practice based perspective (Schatzki et al., 2001) and explores the literature on profession and professionalism and suggests that reflexive professionalism, in which different forms of knowledge are integrated, is required. His thesis further analyses learning theories in relation to the development of competence and the role of reflection.

There is “a considerable body of research on how expertise … is developed” that suggests that intuitive skills “are essentially derived from experience”.  But experience alone is not sufficient.  It needs to be underpinned by reflection to enable learning, which is “best achieved in conversation with others, in supervision … or in discussions with colleagues“ (Munro, 2011: 87).  A reflective learning approach supports the integration of knowing, doing and values, if it focuses on “ways that ‘speak’ to the situations regularly encountered in social work” (Trevithick, 2011: 140).  Therefore, an approach to learning that is organised around practice situations is called for.

Adi Staempfli suggests that a focus on typical and reoccurring practice situations in reflective learning in and for practice, as proposed in the Key Situations in Social Work model (Tov, Kunz & Staempfli, 2016; Staempfli, Kunz & Tov, 2012) offers such an approach that builds on notions of reflective and evidence-informed practice, problem-based, situated and blended learning around key situations.  It combines individual, social and organisational learning in communities of practice  with a virtual platform on which the situations are shared (Staempfli, et al., 2016).  The innovative approach is applied in several universities in German-speaking regions in Europe and has been successfully piloted in three Local Authorities in London. The model offers an innovative form of continuous professional development.

However, there is no systematic account of what these key situations in English social work are. The author therefore applies a modified DACUM (developing a curriculum) method to describe these in a participatory action research project together with experienced social workers. The Teaching and Learning Fellowship grant enables him to run a series of workshops and the expected outcome will be a collection of titles and characteristics of key situations in English social work. These will then form the basis for reflections and offer a situational knowledge categorisation on the virtual platform.

For further information on the model visit the project homepage (German), the English home page, or watch this video that explains the Key Situation approach.

If you are an experienced social worker interested in contributing to this innovative research please contact a.staempfli@gold.ac.uk.

References

MUNRO, E. 2011. The Munro Review of Child Protection: Final Report. A child-centered system. London: Departement of Education.

SCHATZKI, T., KNORR-CETINA, K. & VON SAVIGNY, E. 2001. The practice turn in contemporary theory., London and New York, Routledge.

STAEMPFLI, A., TOV, E., KUNZ, R., TSCHOPP, D. & EUGSTER STAMM, S. 2016. Improving professionalism through reflection and discourse in communities of practice: The key situations in social work model and project. The Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning, 14(2), 59-79.

STAEMPFLI, A., KUNZ, R. & TOV, E. 2012. Creating a bridge between theory and practice: working with key situations. European Journal of Social Education, 22/23, 60-78.

TOV, E., KUNZ, R. & STÄMPFLI, A. 2016. Schlüsselsituationen der Sozialen Arbeit.  Professionalität durch Wissen, Reflexion und Diskurs in Communities of Practice., Bern, hep.

TREVITHICK, P. 2011. The generalist versus specialist debate in social work education in the UK. In: LISHMAN, J. (ed.) Social Work Education. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley, 133-153.

 

 

Race Equality in Higher Education

David Woodger and Sue Westman’s (StaCs) final report on their Teaching Fellowship project undertaken last academic year (2014-15):

Research, including HEFCE Differences in degree outcomes: key findings (2014) and the Equality Challenge Unit Equality in HE: statistical report (2014), have highlighted a gap in the attainment of Black and racial minority students in HE, even when other factors such as socio-economic status, level of education, age at entry to HE and family educational background are taken into account.  Research sucha as the NUS Race for Equality report (2011) and Runnymede Aiming Higher report (2015) have also shown that Black and racial minority students are less satisfied with their student experience in HE compared to white students.

In order to make significant changes to the patterns and embedded nature of institutional racism prevalent in organisations, we need as academics in our teaching and learning in higher education to consider the approaches we adopt, specifically in teaching and learning methods and models, curriculum and staffing.  The Race Equality in Higher Education (REHE) TaLIC Teaching Fellowship project sought to:

  • identify issues in the teaching and learning environment faced by Black and racial minority students which impact positively or negatively on their engagement, retention and attainment;
  • to gain insight into experiences of teaching and learning around race and racism;
  • to improve the overall student experience;
  • to raise the attainment of black and racial minority students; and to enhance the quality, development and dissemination of innovation and good practice in learning and teaching around race and racism.

 

The project aims drew upon two main contributions: 1) research drawn from student and staff experience on teaching and learning, including around race and racism 2) exploration of the experiential group work model, adopted in an undergraduate Community Development and Youth Work course, (the latter of which was developed by the Community and Youth programme) and sought to equip students with both experiential and theoretical understandings, enabling them to engage with professionals and organisations to address racism.

We undertook peer research using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires with students chosen across Goldsmiths.  Although there were many positive responses from the sample of 60 students, they also highlighted a range of concerns that impede their learning experience:

  • a lack of diversity in the curriculum including in course reading lists, lectures and tutorials, thereby making their studies difficult to relate;
  • a Eurocentric approach to teaching and learning;
  • teaching and learning around issues of race, equality and diversity are either limited, marginalised or taught on a rather superficial and abstract level;
  • difficulty for black and racial minority students to raise their perspective, as it is not always valued and sometimes tokenized or met with disapproval.

Furthermore, students identified that the above issues left them feeling disengaged and frustrated, feelings further exacerbated by the academic language, which many felt to be both challenging and exclusionary.

Many identified interactive small group work as being an aid to learning, as well as the appointment of more black and racial minority teaching staff.

 

The Antiques Roadshow Blog (a.k.a Innovative pedagogy in Anthropology: Collaborative Event Ethnography 2)

Dr Gavin Weston’s concluding report on the progress of the Teaching Fellowship project being undertaken during the academic year, 2015-16:

On June 16th 2016, a minibus and several cars carrying a team of twenty-one anthropologists arrived at Ightham Mote in Kent to carry out a collaborative ethnography on the filming of an episode of The Antiques Roadshow. Historically, ethnography has been a form of research associated with long term fieldwork and participant observation (getting involved in the thing you are studying) and it has tended to be a highly individualistic pursuit. We drew upon Collaborative Event Ethnography as a method as it uses the same skills familiar to anthropologists (interviews, participation and detailed field notes) but with a team of ethnographers in order to get past an intrinsic problem in the research of ephemeral events: how can one person capture the multiplicity of a one-off event on their own without it being highly subjective and partial?  This being a project funded by TaLIC, the aim of the project was to experiment with this as a method which can draw together teams of teaching/research staff along with students (across BA, MA and PhD levels) to act as both a research method and form of experiential research skills training for students.  It seems (and this is based on the experience of the day – there are still many hurdles left to clear in order to take the research to publication) as both a research and teaching exercise, the event was a huge success.

The Antiques Roadshow production team could not have been more welcoming. They provided us with crew parking (fringe perk – but a nice one), access and information. They were welcoming throughout and if anyone was concerned with the potentially invasive presence of twenty-one anthropologists they hid it very well. Our group split up to cover different areas of the site with some taking their own objects for evaluation (hands-on participant observation that would not be possible for a lone ethnographer without the research becoming limited in scope) while others milled around interviewing, ‘zone marking’ (aimed at producing ‘thick description’) as well as interviewing visitors, crew and Igthham Mote and National Trust staff and volunteers. While analysis is the next step, at present we are in the process of sharing the data gathered by twenty-one researchers and with each of us having put in an 11 hour shift (hats off the production team who do this throughout the summer – it’s a long day) the wealth of data produced through this method is just becoming clear.

As this is a pilot aimed at enhancing everyone’s CVs, the learning has not stopped there. We’ve all just completed our NVivo training and we are now using this software package to start the process of coding our data to establish the themes that arose from the research and to find the evidence we will use to back up anything we argue in publications.  At present, the aim is to produce between two and four publications which provisionally, based on the experience of the day, will be exploring queuing, material culture and contrasting ideas of value, the event itself and the sense of British cultural identity we encountered at the event (there was rain, queues, an England vs Wales football match, Fiona Bruce, tea and cakes by the Women’s Institute – it’s almost impossible not to talk about these things) and perhaps Collaborative Event Ethnography as a method, too.

I could not have asked for a better team – from the second I saw them head off after the crew production and safety meeting and saw them start to instantly mingle I knew we would have data. Now we just need to keep the momentum going to transform it into publications. As and when they happen we will make sure open access versions are made available so that everyone interested can read about our experiences and findings.

Storytelling for film making

Account of a creative learning resource for learn.gold, devised by Mark Aitken, supported by TaLIC Goldsmiths Teaching Fellowship, awarded 2014-15.

Automaton

This is a creative learning resource for producing original storytelling for film making. The model is used on the BA Screen Fiction UG courses in Media & Communications and the Goldsmiths’ Short Course, Storytelling for film making.  It is hoped that staff and students alike will make use of this resource for film making, although it may also easily be adapted for other creative endeavours.

 

Introduction

Fiction films need scripts. Some scripts are original and some are adapted from books or plays. However, good scripts take time to write and require much skill, practice and patience. It can be notoriously difficult to complete the elusive final draft.

Scriptwriting in a learning environment has its own specifics. Students on production courses seldom have the tools or experience and time to write accomplished scripts. Courses can end before a script is complete. The struggle is at best precarious or even worse, both the student and teacher feel dissatisfied and sense failure.

We all need to feel productive and build confidence.  Of course, making mistakes is the cornerstone of learning but if we are to fail better there are other ways to approach the challenges of developing ideas for film making.  We need to facilitate a foundation to work from that offers a sense of security for both students and teachers.    Ideas, stories and scripts can be derived and developed from studying other films.  Critical analysis of a film can break a story down to its components. These story elements can then be transferred to develop a new idea, story and script.  This transference combines analysis with creative practice. Critical analysis can be viewed as a kind of storytelling. In this context, it is storytelling for film making.

 

Starting with a full page

The work process consists of introducing completed films to students that may then be remade for their own productions. Producing original work by remaking a film is paradoxically rich with invention and possibility. We are focused on assessment of work (the film) so as to produce more work (student films), i.e: assessment for learning.

The primary outcomes of this practice are as follows:

  • To gain positive critical awareness of how and why a film works.    
  • To introduce an appreciation of universal archetypes in scriptwriting and film making.
  • To gain confidence through the production of coherent work.
  • To appreciate film practice as being inter-related to a much larger ongoing canon of work.

 

Making a template for creative practice

The arc of the learning model is acknowledged in stages and discussed with students week by week as the course progresses:

  • Selection of film to be remade.
  • Critical analysis of film to be remade.
  • Identification of key elements in the film.
  • Constructing a template of key storytelling elements.

The key elements are everything from characters, location, period, genre, narrative tension – all the ingredients of the film that account for the storytelling. The primary key element being what the film is actually about. What affected you?  The core theme of the film. This should ideally be honed down to one single word.

 

For the purpose of this account we are going to cite one example of a graduation film made in 2015/16 on the BA Screen Fiction module over two terms. The students viewed a short film called, Adeline for Leaves by Jessica Sarah Rinland. Then they created a new storytelling template derived from critical analysis. For example, Adeline for Leaves features an old man and a girl, a knowledge of history, a theme of time passing. These key elements were transferred to the new work. This transference offered a secure circular mechanism for developing ideas for the new film. The security lying in the opportunity to return to Adeline for Leaves for reference and in turn, gain a greater appreciation of how and why the film works.

The process follows:

  • Initial transference of key storytelling elements.
  • Adding or subtracting of elements.
  • Ownership of new work.
  • Reflection on the creative process.

Student Writer/Director Ella Brolly utilised Adeline for Leaves to derive key elements for her film Automaton. An automaton being a moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being.

Here is a sample of Ella’s transference of storytelling elements:

Adeline for Leaves                                      Automaton

Theme of life/death Theme of life/death
Adeline (child) Eva (woman)
The old man Eva’s Father
Horticulture         Automata
The circle of life/rebirth in plants and humans The human & machine – capacity to love and connect

 

Narrative centres around a personal quest The narrative is based upon a relationship

 

Man’s recordings are addressed to Adeline Father’s recordings are a personal venture

As you can see, changes were made. Over the development period before production, the consequences of these changes sometimes caused difficulty. Ella then returned to Adeline as her reference point so as to learn by example.

 

Automaton can be viewed here:

https://vimeopro.com/mediacomms/ba3-screen-fiction-201516

PW: goldie

Conclusion

The origin of this research came from a student who was overwhelmed with the task of producing an original screenplay while studying on the film production course. He was offered opportunity to remake an existing film.  Now this model for learning is being used by the course as a whole. The outcome has been extremely positive and productive. Rather than students depending on tutors for answers and solutions, they are empowered to learn via their own critical analysis of films. This analysis and transference of ideas is to all intents and purposes a dialogue with other film makers and offers a sense of inclusivity and a meaningful connection to creative practice beyond the institution.

The process has also assisted reflection on my own teaching practice – we are all learning within a culture of ideas. Critical analysis is of most value when it informs practice. Theory and practice are interdependent and the relationship is circular rather than hierarchical.

 

Here is a short clip of Writer/Director Ella Brolly reflecting on her creative practice:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/170137786 Ella Brolly interview

Password: Automaton

Innovative pedagogy in Anthropology: Collaborative Event Ethnography

Dr Gavin Weston reports on the progress of the Teaching Fellowship project being undertaken this academic year (2015-16):

 

The project I am conducting for the TaLIC fellowship is a Collaborative Event Ethnography which has drawn together a research team of staff, postdocs, PhD students, MA and undergraduates with the aim of conducting research for publication.  While I was a tentative about the project at the beginning as the success of the project was entirely dependent on student volunteers, I need not have worried as the project over-recruited.  I was also concerned regarding what the group would decide to study as the idea was for the students to brainstorm and democratically decide the event they wanted to research. Again, I need not have worried as the students decided to research the Antiques Roadshow, which I never would have thought of myself. The Antiques Roadshow offers a rich terrain to explore the event itself and to focus on intrinsic parts of the event like queuing and the relationships between people, objects and ideas of value. If all goes according to plan we will be conducting the research in June.

The reason I had applied for the fellowship was to establish whether Collaborative Event Ethnography was a viable approach to teaching research methods, which had the fringe benefits of enhancing the publication records and supervisory experience of postgraduates. So far, it is going very well – but I will know more after the fieldwork – so fingers crossed.

Creating the first ROCC (a Recorded Online Careers Course)

Dr Geogina Hosang and Vanessa Freeman, Department of Psychology and Careers respectively, outline the Teaching Fellowship project being undertaken this academic year (2015-16):

We had an idea to create the first ROCC (a Recorded Online Careers Course) as a collaborative project between the Department of Psychology and the Careers Service.  The problem was having the time and resources to put it together!  The TaLIC funding enabled us to secure additional hours and to pay a project fee to a Goldsmiths Media and Communications student to help with the filming and editing.

We realised that we were both spending a lot of time with students individually, answering similar career-related queries and wondered if there was a better way to help.  We are creating a new e-learning psychology (e.g. interactive videos) employability resource for postgraduate students.   Our psychology postgraduates come to us with different needs and levels of experience and ROCC will allow them to access suitable support at the time they need it most.

So far we have had two days of filming – the first covering clinical psychology careers featuring one of our alumni, Isaac Akande, who has been successful in getting onto this competitive doctorate.  We also filmed Caoimhe McAnena who, as well as teaching on the Masters here, is a practising clinical psychologist. Psychology students were enlisted to pose questions to our contributors.

It was great to have Julia dos Santos on board (our director, camera person and editor).  She has the technical expertise that we lack and was able to advise on lighting, sound and background.  She creates a sense of calm when the camera is rolling.  We were also really lucky to get an employer’s perspective on the CV and applications content.    One of the best aspects of the project has been the chance to collaborate with students, academic staff and employers.  It has been hard work but we’ve also had a lot of fun.

An added bonus is that we are developing new skills. There have been many decisions we’ve had make around the process and format of the project.  What bits do we film and who should film them?  Should some content be via webinars and what platform should we use? How can we get the best from Moodle? How do we build in interactivity?

With the development of a toolkit we hope that the project will also be a chance to share good practice College-wide. We are now in the editing phase and putting together the accompanying VLE materials.  ROCC will be available on learn.gold Summer 2016.

 

 

Learning Analytics at Goldsmiths: social learning, prediction and swarm intelligence 

Report by Mohammad Al-Rifaie and Matthew Yee King, Computing outlining the Teaching Fellowship project being undertaken this academic year (2015-16):

Learning Analytics

Learning analytics is an increasingly growing applied research with the main goal of utilising various computer science techniques in order to extract useful information from the digital footprint of the online learners.

The attractiveness of learning analytics lies in its potential applicability to the following areas:

  • detecting students who are likely to fail at the early stages of the course
  • finding patterns that indicate strong performance and enhancing systems to support such patterns
  • improving the design and the interface of the online learning systems based on the findings of the learning analytics tools
  • demonstrating the role of social interaction in learning

The benefit of the above-mentioned applications reaches both the students and the instructors. And with the increasing popularity and demand for online learning platforms, the importance of developing learning analytics tools to work as adjunct to the limited human time and resources is undeniable.

In our work, we pay a particular attention to social learning (i.e. how students interact with each other) and its impact on the students performance using the ground truth of whether they pass or fail at the end of the course.

We have recently considered a range of social learning behaviours supported in our recently designed and implemented collaborative learning system which supports students giving and receiving feedback on each other’s developing work and practice. The course was delivered to several thousand students on Coursera during which students were directed onto our social learning environment to take part in group work and assessment activities.

The aim was to argues that the results obtained using the our swarm intelligence algorithm (as a learning analytics tool) indicate the promising potential of predicting students performance based on their social behaviours. This work has a number of potential benefits including designing better social learning systems, designing more effective social learning and assessment exercises, and encouraging disengaged students.

In addition, this work is an important step in addressing our long term goal of evidencing how critical student learning takes place as they give and receive feedback to and from each other on work in progress.

Investigating plagiarism and academic integrity

Example-of-Article-Plagiarism-Diagram

Kevin Wilson, one of the Goldsmiths’ Librarians, outlines the Teaching Fellowship project being undertaken this academic year (2015-16):

Through my experiences of supporting academic staff teaching referencing to students over the last few years, I’ve worked with dozens of students, at all levels, who find referencing and plagiarism both challenging and something to be feared. In support workshops run by the Library, I teach both the principles behind referencing and the related  consequence resulting from inattention,  plagiarism and demonstrate how to use online referencing software across the academic year (both in an optional, drop-in basis and also embedded into the postgraduate curricula of Media and Communications students). I’ve seen first-hand the confidence students develop in attending these sessions, but it’s only ever a very small sample of students to whom I speak.

For my PgCert, I investigated this area more, both undertaking research into student perceptions of referencing and plagiarism and also reflecting on my own teaching practice. For the individual project, I worked with a small group of STaCS students undertaking the MA in Domestic Violence and supported the module provision in developing confidence and ability in referencing correctly and avoiding plagiarism.

The experience highlighted the importance of having a concept of ‘academic integrity’ in mind and the TaLIC Fellowship has given me the opportunity to take this area of interest even further, looking at the Goldsmiths provision within this domain and the exploration of the notion of academic integrity across the entire College.
The lurid reporting of the popular press, which has in the last few years claimed that “cheating found to be rife in British schools and universities” or that “45000 caught cheating at Britain’s universities” have served as ample motivation for the study.  Even last week, the Independent suggested “half of UK university students are losing marks for not referencing correctly”.

So far, I’ve spoken to Elisabeth Hill, Pro-Warden for Learning, Teaching & Enhancement, to learn more about the work of LTEC and discover her thoughts about these issues. Soon I’ll be meeting with Sean Cubitt and Marianne Franklin, who are joint Head of Department and Head of the Learning and Teaching Committee in Media and Communications respectively, then surveying teaching staff in the department about their thoughts and experiences. I’ll then roll this out to all academic departments across the Summer and Autumn terms.

The aim is to draw a clear picture of the experience at Goldsmiths; I also intend to make contact with staff at other institutions and learn more about what is happening elsewhere.  At the end of the project, I will make recommendations for how to take this project forward and which steps can be taken to ensure that all students are not only aware of academic integrity and plagiarism, but also feel confident around what can be a nerve-racking subject.

I’ll be speaking more about my work at the TaLIC lunchtime seminars (Summer 2016) on Wednesday 27th April.

Plagiarism (2013) Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism (Accessed: 20/04/2016)