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Title: Understanding the learner for more effective university teaching
Author: Sander, Paul
Awarding Body: University of Wales
Current Institution: Cardiff Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2004
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Understanding the learner for more effective university Teaching. To teach students efficiently and effectively, it is helpful to understand their conceptions of teaching and learning. Given the higher proportion of school leavers entering Higher Education and greater undergraduate diversity, this is more imperative. With the greater likelihood of large class sizes, more formalised means of understanding students must be sought. Whilst using small group work as part of undergraduate teaching can help, some explicit attempts to collect profile information on students can help teachers offer better learning experiences. Student Expectation Research: The research programme started with a piece of action research (Stevenson, Sander and Naylor, 1996; Stevenson and Sander, 1998) with distance learning students, by collecting their expectations through both a telephone survey and a postal questionnaire. Action Research has very limited generalisability, but the principle of surveying students' expectations was promising and extended. The USET survey (Sander et al, 2000) found mismatches between the teaching that students hoped for and expected. Expectations do not have to be met, although there may be some merit in doing so (Stevenson, Sander and Naylor, 1997). Expectations may also be managed (Hill, 1995). One finding from the USET study was that different groups of students had different reasons for disliking student presentations, perhaps due to different levels of academic confidence. Students' reasons for disliking presentations were pursued through re-analysis of the USET qualitative data (Stevenson and Sand er, 2002, Sander and Stevenson, 2002). However, that students dislike presentations is worrying given their effectiveness (Sander, Sanders and Stevenson, 2OO2). Academic Confidence Research: To explore the possibility of a link between academic confidence and reasons for not liking student presentations, the Academic Confidence Scale was developed and validated (Sander and Sanders, 2003). ln addition to finding the hypothesised group differences in confidence, a startling drop in academic confidence during the first year was detected.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available