Chemistry Department wins funding for internationalisation project

We are delighted to announce that our application, “Developing strategies and activities to improve interactions between home and international students and to enhance teaching and learning”, for the joint HEA/UKCISA funding and also for the Faculty of Physical Sciences funding was successful.

This project will run by the Chemistry Department and the Centre for Lifelong Learning Centre. The purpose of this project is to identify and develop some of the skills needed in inter-culturally competent graduates prepared for life as global professionals by generating strategies to facilitate interaction between home and overseas students that is mutually beneficial to all students and staff. The aims are to:

  • develop new strategies and introduce new activities to make the student experience enjoyable and applicable to international and UK students,
  • extend the existing peer mentoring scheme at UoL in order to train new mentors for international students,
  • implement the peer assisted learning in our department to help with academic and personal development,
  • set new induction activities for international students on their arrival in order to engage home and internationals students with each other,
  • examine how to enhance the teaching and learning methods, such as incorporating collaborative group projects, and other inclusive forms, into teaching and
  • generate guidelines and online resources for staff and internationals students before starting the academic year 2012-13.

We would like to invite staff members involved in the area of internationalisation to take part in this study. We anticipate that the results will easily be adapted for any department within the University of Liverpool. Finally, I would like to thank Ian Willis for his consistent support to get this funding and also for his future help in this project.

Building a new picture of student learning in Curriculum Review

The Undergraduate Curriculum Review is central to enhancing the student experience and Educational Development is working with programme teams in all faculties, using a variety of approaches, based on the review type and programme team needs.  The Curriculum Coordinators Team coordinates and informs curriculum review activities, requests, enquiries and resource support across the University.

We are building up a picture of the various ways in which staff and students contribute to curriculum development.  The curriculum is conceptualised as the entire student learning experience.  Curriculum Review activities over the last year have seen some key areas emerge: student engagement, internationalisation, module options, assessment and feedback, blended learning, enhancing employability, skills development, and research-led teaching.

Curriculum Review Workshops – deliberations and discussions! Our work draws on a range of expertise in the university on learning and teaching.  Further, institutional strategy also informs curriculum review; currently, Enhancing Student Employability, Elearning, Information Literacy, and Learning & Digital Literacies Skills. Educational Development is developing a web site with initial advice and guidance for staff.  In collaboration with the Teaching Quality Support Division and Computing Services, we are developing learning and teaching resources for the Online Programme Planner a new tool that enables programme teams to build a programme of study including changes to specification forms.

You may be interested in trying out the new module specification planning tool, or for any curriculum review query, do contact us at:

Focusing on Student Induction

Student induction is a tricky problem. Is it simply a one off, all bells and whistles Welcome (Freshers’) Week?  We know, from  research by the Student Induction Group  over the last couple of years, that students want to be involved,  informed, and inspired when they join the university and properly introduced to their academic departments and their academic studies, as well as making friends. We also argue  that induction is not, and should not be, a one off event.

If we are to be effective at inducting students into the institution then it must be seen as a process that continues well beyond the first week. Having worked initially on developing Welcome Week activities to better reflect this view of induction, Educational Development, on behalf of the Induction Working Group, ran a very successful dissemination and discussion event on 26 January 2012 to promote best practice in ongoing induction. Staff came from across the university to hear academic colleagues describing seven different approaches to ongoing induction using posters developed especially for the event. Working in small groups staff were able to engage with the ideas, share their own experiences and consider new and innovative ways forward. There was also an opportunity to look at seven different ideas for supporting student induction from professional services staff. Again, debate was lively and constructive.

  • “I thought the event went really well yesterday.”
  • “the induction event was great and staff were really engaged”
  • “Thanks for arranging today’s event. It was very useful and I enjoyed the day.”
  • “Brilliant’s rare that I can say that I truly enjoyed / profited from such a thing.  Today was really good.”

The next step is to gather more examples of practice in ongoing induction from participants who attended the event. We know that there are many more examples of good practice at large across the institution. We plan to bring all this together to design a Guide to Student Induction at Liverpool, and hope to have this available on our web site by Easter 2012.

All the presentations from the Induction Event and the reports produced by the Student Induction Group can be accessed at student induction. The posters from the event will be displayed at the annual Learning and Teaching Conference [20thJune 2012].  if you have a good example that you would like to contribute to the Guide then please do get in touch. Patrick Doherty and Anne Qualter