ENroute Yearbook 2015-16
The Personal Touch
Lester Knibb, School of Applied Sciences, Fellow
Edinburgh Napier aims to deliver support for a ‘personal learning experience’ for
every student (Strategy 2020). This support is an essential part of Higher Education’s
purpose but is difficult to achieve without the student’s active participation. The
student surely needs to understand this is a two-way engagement with a lecturer/
tutor to be fully effective.
I have recently been privileged to support a Level 9 student (Ms X), one of 18,
who absolutely understood this need. She has taken maximum advantage by
communicating with me regularly (32 emails in 15 weeks), and demonstrating her
learning and appreciation (see figure 1 in the video, below).
The Module of Law, Statistics and Reporting for Forensic Science (part of the
Forensic Biology [FB] programme), takes a sweeping arc through Law versus
Science, the UK Courts Systems, Evidence, Evaluation – including Statistics (and
Bayes’ Theorem in practice), and culminates in Reporting for Court.
PGCE Research I carried out indicated that students on the FB programme are not
engaging with the learning process to the expected level, even by the time they
arrive at Level 9. Additional unpublished research I recently undertook indicates
that despite constant nudges to do more work consistently, students still work to
assessments (see figures 2 and 3 in the video, below).
Following my PGCE, and reading an article (Smith, 2015), I amended my teaching
style to minimise the use of PowerPoint during lectures. The group discussion/work
substituted was well-received but with insignificant improvements overall (see
figure 4 in the video, below).
However, individually, where I have made appointments for students to speak with
me, progress has been evident. In particular, Ms X came to discuss essay writing.
Her first assessment had been well below par, despite formative feedback. The
difference with her second essay, following the one-to-one tutorial, was remarkable
(see figure 5 in the video, below).
Would that they all recognised this opportunity!
I just wanted to send a message and
let you know that today was the first time
anything statistics-related made sense to me…
…I'm actually looking forward to statistics which
is certainly something I never thought possible!
View figures in video presentation