Category 3 ~ Shaping the Curriculum

A co-curricular initiative or project (focusing, for example, on students working in partnership with their college or university on curriculum design, curriculum delivery or assessment) which has had a positive impact on student learning across the college or university

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Winner:

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A Whole Institution Approach on Embedding Intercultural Skills into the Curriculum at GCU
~ Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association

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Runners-up:


Abertay University’s Co-Curricular Research Volunteer Scheme and a Student-Led Evaluation of its Impact
~ Abertay University

.‘Be Engaged – Market Day’: Promoting Entrepreneurship
~ New College Lanarkshire

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Read more about all three submissions...

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A Whole Institution Approach on Embedding Intercultural Skills into the Curriculum at GCU
~ Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association

Inspired by a lecture in her Master’s course on intercultural skills, GCU student Yetunde Ogedengbe felt that a similar learning experience should be available to all GCU students. After being elected a Vice-President of GCU Students’ Association, she got to work turning that vision into a reality. From the beginning, sustainability and impact have been central to the project thus Yetunde set out to form partnerships with the academic schools of GCU, the universities’ equality and diversity and academic quality development units to help develop and deliver the learning.  A cross-university working group chaired by Yetunde was created and listening events were held across the university with students (Home and International). One of the projects aim is to provide equal opportunities to students from across the university to improve their intercultural skills and ensure that GCU is preparing students for life beyond their studies. The working group drafted learning outcomes with the aim to develop learners’ active global citizenship attributes by exhibiting an awareness of diverse cultural norms and values in any communities they might find themselves in. They developed a list of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required by students to acquire intercultural competence.

In November 2018, the initiative was piloted with one programme and has subsequently been rolled out to several other programmes. Since then, over 2500 students have taken part in both face to face learning and the online learning, with further programmes set to be involved next academic year with the intention that this intercultural learning can be embedded into every GCU programme. View the introductory video to the online learning component for more information.
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Abertay University’s Co-Curricular Research Volunteer Scheme and a Student-Led Evaluation of its Impact
~ Abertay University

The Research Volunteer Scheme (RVS), a collaborative research initiative for students and staff, has been running in Abertay University since 2006. Student engagement has increased across the years in terms of the number of staff and students participating. Each year, students apply to take part in specific research opportunities/projects. The 2017 QAA Enhancement Theme enabled Abertay to support a student-led project examining the motivation and impact of students and staff participating in the RVS. Four student researchers, mentored by two staff, designed two interview schedules and identified two key research questions – What motivates students and staff to participate in the RVS; and What impact does participating in the RVS have on students and staff?  Results indicated that staff motivation for participating included support with research, providing opportunities for students and working with students outside the classroom. Key student motivations included enhancing research skills, enhancing career and study aspirations and social aspects such as teamwork and networking. In terms of impact, students and staff highlighted an increased level of confidence, stronger staff-student relationships, increased employability skill and enhanced research skills.

The RVS is a robust and long-lasting co-curricular activity that is both scalable and portable. It has a positive impact that not only relates to research skills and experience but also enhances competence and confidence. For Abertay, the RVS has provided one of the key achievements students can get recorded on their Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR). The RVS is now a university-wide scheme encompassing 24 staff and 51 students in 2018, currently run in three out of the four academic schools, with plans to run it in the fourth school in 2019.  The student-led project team presented their work at Abertay’s recent Teaching and Learning Enhancement Conference and are also planning a promotional video. Abertay are happy to discuss their experiences and share their materials with interested institutions, having already done so internationally via a knowledge exchange partnership funded by the EU, involving Norway, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. So far, this had led to follow up work in Denmark and Sweden.
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‘Be Engaged – Market Day’: Promoting Entrepreneurship
~ New College Lanarkshire

New College Lanarkshire’s extra-curricular programme ‘Be Engaged’ is designed to enhance all students’ learning experience and environment by providing a wide range of activities to participate in and contribute to on campus, as well as offering pathways to extended learning opportunities for further upskilling and training. The programme operates by creating working partnerships with the curriculum and support staff and Students’ Association, in identifying how to support teaching staff and learners by using resources effectively by focussing on key areas of demand within the campuses.

Groups of students from within the Hairdressing and Barbering courses led the pilot project. A key element to the success of the students studying these particular subjects is to be able to practice their skills, and a key challenge was to devise a strategy whereby the learners were afforded more opportunity to upskill in a viable manner which remained in context with their curriculum. All key stakeholders were consulted and they came up with the proposal to take the learners out of their typical environment of the classrooms and pseudo-salons, and bring them out into the atrium areas, where the general student population congregated. Future plans involve widening the scope and impact of the ‘pop-up’ concept by hosting regular ‘Market Days’ on campus where the skills of a wide range of study areas will be on display simultaneously. The project has also been expanded to incorporate more attention on the business development side, whereby external partners offer mentoring and advice as well as the delivery of themed workshops covering a wide range of business skills. Groups involved in the project are afforded a bespoke 'start-up' pack and are encouraged to quickly become self-reliant and sustainable, by reinvesting revenue back into their venture to gradually replenish and expand.

This successful initiative was showcased at College Expo 18 and more recently a schools open day was arranged to encourage the next generation of learners to make informed decisions when it comes to subject selection. After a successful pilot project, this concept is now fully integrated into campus life and the college looks forward to the next phase of this innovation in which students from all faculties and levels of study can participate.

Student Engagement Framework

That's Quality! Universities 2022

20 Jul 2022

By booking this event you are committing to the following three-part package:  ~ Part 1:  online event -…

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