G: Multiple presentations

Session reports by Louise Merlin (Online Learning Content Manager, CAPE)

'SLRtool: A tool to support Systematic Literature Reviews'. Presenter: Balbir Barn (Science & Technology).

To read the abstract which was submitted prior to the conference please click here.


Professor Balbir Barn presented the ‘SLR Tool’; a tool to support Systematic Literature Reviews. His motivation, he explained, is to help people – to write papers using software that automates some of the process and ultimately makes life easier. He further explained that the SLR process (also compared to a systematic mapping study), well known in the medical field, is also important for other fields. Essentially, for a literature review to be considered ‘systematic’ it should be easy to validate and replicate; which means a systematic and rigorous process (adapted from Cochrane, see link below for details). This also means laborious, as papers must be categorised etc.  The tool started out as a Jisc funded prototype and the work of the original software engineer has been developed by a current first year student. The objectives for the tool’s development being; to support distributed collaboration, to interface with existing databases, to support reconfigurable processes, to be usable by multiple disciplines and work through institutional infrastructures. Their approach to development included analysis of existing SLR tools and informal interviews with researchers from a number of institutions. One of the tool’s notable benefits is it enables the downloading of PDFs of all the papers (zipped up) and interfaces to the usual online bookmarking tools.

When asked by a colleague in the room “do you think it helps students do better systematic literature review”, Balbir responded that they had not evaluated the use of the tool to show this.

The tool is available to use for free and when asked if we could get a link to it – Balbir said “google it”, so I did and here it is: http://www.slrtool.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page







'An investigation into the dialectic of Academic Teaching Identity: Some preliminary findings' Presenters: Paul Gibbs, Agi Ryder, Gillian Lazar, Sara Cannizzaro 

To read the abstract which was submitted prior to the conference please click here.

Gillian Lazar presenting on behalf of the team, identified several motivations prompting the research; an interest in how novice teachers start to develop an academic teaching identity (as distinguished from other possible identities such as academic researcher), the imminence of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), student engagement and the implications for the PG Cert HE delivered by Middlesex’s Education Department. Drawing on recent works on professionalisation and cognitive shift in this field (please see slides for details) and the context of diverse backgrounds and disciplines and the dual perspective of the PC Cert HE students, who are also teaching, some emerging themes were discussed. The pedagogic influences on the construction of academic teacher identity and the influence of ‘prior identities’ being the broad themes, the team are considering the implications and Gillian asked the assembled colleagues – what should we do next? Several suggestions were discussed around providing more support within the teaching community - a peer network being one example to enable those new to teaching develop their practice in a supported way.







‘Face-to-Face’ Project Pitching to Television Industry Professionals'
Presenters: Roddy Gibson (Media & Performing Arts), Sara Cannizzaro (CAPE), Dora Papadopoulou (Law).

To read the abstract which was submitted prior to the conference please click here.

Roddy Gibson and Sara Cannizzaro, presented on their CAPE funded research project, explaining that is was a learning initiative enabling Television Production Students to pitch their final year projects to industry professionals at BBC Broadcasting House. Framed as an opportunity or useful experiential ‘experience’, students’ participation was not linked to their assessment. The team found that changing the learning paradigm (i.e., students dealing with externals as well as university staff) in an industry facing experiential context, had a couple of notable impacts: learning was more vivid and resonant (students were much sharper) and employability skills were gained (increased self-esteem, engagement and diversity).

A key part of the research was focused on understanding the emotions of the students and the connection between emotions and learning, so decoding the analysis of emotions was integral (Donaldson 1992) and was enabled by recording students (in their groups) pre and post the pitches. They were also played clips of their pitches. The recordings gave the team the opportunity to analyse the verbal communication more thoroughly and also to de-code non-verbal communication (NVC) using a Biosemiotic approach.   Sara described the methodology and the interpretational approach of observing non-verbal behaviour and how they explored whether ‘observership’ should be taken into consideration (sphere of biosemiotics, Cobley); the idea that we exploit and use the bias we bring to the study to enrich the data.

Watching some of the video clips of students, it was clear that their feelings and responses to the experience were varied but Roddy highlighted a memorable response for the teaching team “I don’t think we’ll forget this knowledge – it’s something that will stay with us for a while”.