The Faculty is committed to building our reputation for excellence in learning and teaching. We fully fund a range of exciting projects each year which enable us to advance our provision, enhance the student experience and lead new thinking across the sector.
FASS Learning and Teaching Project Fund
The Faculty has been able to support the design and delivery of numerous projects across disciplinary areas. We have looked to fund initiatives which develop new or existing practice, which create new resources and which evidence impact on the student experience. We have particularly welcomed inter-disciplinary work and the creation of staff-student partnerships within project teams. Projects are listed by year of their inception.
The politics department has incorporated methods training modules into its undergraduate, postgraduate taught, and postgraduate research programs, leading to the successful awarding of BSc and MSc degrees to students. In an ongoing effort to enhance students' employability skills and review the content of research methods, approaches, and technical tools, the department is considering the integration of MaxQDA, a qualitative content analysis software, into Politics and International Relations.
Faculty members are currently experimenting with the software in their research, envisioning a project that exposes students to diverse research and analysis tools, enhancing their profiles with sought-after research skills valued by the industry. The proposed project aims to enable students to use MaxQDA, fostering the creation of their projects and data visualisations as both formative tasks and integral parts of their assignments. To assess the tool's sophistication, a select group of students will trial it, providing feedback on its utility and applicability, thereby contributing to the incorporation of additional software into the curriculum.
The anticipated impact on provision and the student experience is significant, offering students valuable exposure to advanced research tools. The project also presents opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, benefiting both staff and students across various disciplinary areas. Ultimately, this initiative seeks to elevate the quality of education and research within the Department of Politics.
Project funding will be used to acquire two single-use licenses for MaxQDA Plus (Qualitative and Mixed Methods Data Analysis and Quantitative Text Analysis with "MAXDictio").
For more information contact Prof Theofanis Exadaktylos, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Dr Dimitris Asimakoulas, Prof. Constantin Orasan and Dr Felix do Carmo, School of Literature and Languages
The widespread adoption of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) for natural language generation in the years 2022-2023 has directly impacted translators and interpreters. This trend has also given rise to an unjustified public narrative about the omnipresence and omnipotence of machine assistants. Concerns about the future of the translation profession are being voiced by trainee and professional translators, often overlooking the potential for existing training programs to address this challenge. This project aims to supplement the ongoing academic debate with a comprehensive conceptualization of translation as a technology-mediated service, particularly in response to the advent of GenAI.
To address these concerns, small student-staff partnership teams will be formed with participants from the current CTS cohort. The project's focus is on exploring the use of GenAI for translation-related information mining, translation delivery, and fostering creativity. The objectives include gauging student attitudes toward and practical use of AI generative text creation technology. Specifically, the project will investigate the motivation for using large-language-model interfaces (for example, ChatGPT-style interfaces, writing interfaces like SudoWrite) and how they are employed in pre-translation, translation, and editing phases of writing. The collaboration with students will result in the co-creation of teaching materials for future use. Furthermore, the project aims to produce two journal articles—one for submission to the Translation and Interpreter Trainer journal and the other for Translation Studies. Both articles will delve into the theme of pedagogy-led research, specifically the use of AI tools for translation and authoring text, respectively
Funding will be used for accessing Open AI API, software and gift vouchers for student focus groups.
For more information contact:
The Music and Images outreach project aims to cultivate innovative practices within the Department of Music and Media. This initiative seeks to provide enhanced performance opportunities for second and third-year students, significantly impacting their overall academic experience. The project also lays the groundwork for the potential inclusion of outreach opportunities within Performance modules in subsequent academic years.
At its core, Music and Images relies on a collaborative partnership between students and staff, working together to orchestrate an outreach concert in a local school. This unique event will feature performances by both students and staff, providing students with a distinctive chance to actively engage with professional performers. The project aspires to heighten awareness of performance practices, ethical considerations, and the demands of the professional realm, all while delivering a meaningful performance opportunity.
The thematic focus of the outreach concert explores the interplay between music and images, with students and staff performing a curated selection of musical works closely tied to visual elements. The project not only aims to fulfil the objectives set for the participating students but also seeks to impact the pupils of the local school audience.
Facilitated by staff and students through a collaborative partnership, this project also contributes to improving students' post-graduation employment prospects and enhances the University of Surrey's standing within local schools.
Funding will be used for student travel and gift vouchers for students.
For more information contact Dr. Inja Stanovic Stanovic email@example.com
The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management has identified achieving greater consistency in feedback as one of its seven learning and teaching focuses for the upcoming 2023/24 academic year. Aligning with the University's overarching goal to enhance National Student Survey (NSS) scores, particularly in the realm of assessment and feedback, the school's Learning and Teaching Committee has initiated a research project. This project aims to bridge the gap between students' expectations of feedback and faculty delivery, ultimately informing the school's learning and teaching strategies and fostering a culture of consistent and effective feedback.
The research project will focus on capturing student perspectives on summative assessment feedback to contribute to the development of a school policy. With a student-centred approach, the project will facilitate student consultation on the creation of staff guidance, directly impacting the student experience.
Key components of the project include 3 to 4 focus groups with students from various year groups, programs, and levels to gather their views. The use of the digital lab will be explored to understand the emotional responses of a small group of students when reviewing their feedback. The project's objectives are as follows:
- Assess whether students understand and utilize marketing criteria, rubrics, etc., when preparing assignments.
- Understand the amount of time students spend digesting and reflecting on assignment feedback.
- Identify student views on and the utilization of formative (feed forward) feedback when developing assignments.
- Understand student preferences for receiving summative assignment feedback (e.g., in writing, by audio recording, in conversation with a tutor, with a rubric, with criteria).
- Understand what students consider 'helpful and good' feedback.
- Identify best practices and the most appreciated characteristics of constructive feedback.
The results of the project will be shared through the School Learning and Teaching Committee, with general findings presented at the Discipline Learning and Teaching (DLT) forum, spanning across disciplines. Additionally, the outcomes will be shared at the next Excellence in Teaching (Surrey Excites) symposium, contributing to a broader dialogue on teaching excellence.
Funding with be used towards incentivise/reward for participant
For more information contact
- Dr Angela Szczepaniak, School of Literature and Languages (SLL)
The proposal is to spearhead the production of a dynamic creative writing workshop in collaboration with Creative Writing staff, students (particularly MA and PGRs), and a community partner - specifically, the Blossom organization, dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ young adults (16-25) in Surrey. This initiative aims to be an inclusive and impactful endeavour, engaging with our local community while enhancing student experience and supporting a vital organization.
The workshop will be conducted by a member of the University of Surrey's Creative Writing community, such as an experienced PGR or recent graduate. Simultaneously, the production of an anthology will be a student-led endeavour, conducted under suitable staff supervision. A team of MA students and/or PGRs will curate the anthology, which will feature original creative works from workshop participants and our own students. The anthology will be published by SLL’s in-house press, Potential Books, extending our existing practice within SLL, particularly in English and Creative Writing, by building on previous student-led anthology publications.
By involving a community partner like Blossom, we aim to broaden student experience, fostering community engagement and supporting a valuable cause. This project aligns seamlessly with our school and departmental education strategy by increasing the potential for public engagement and impact.
The workshop and subsequent anthology will be delivered by Potential Books, of which I am the Managing Director. This project represents a unique opportunity to develop Potential Books by actively participating in local communities and expanding both the press’s and SLL’s potential for public engagement and impact.
The impact on student experience is expected to be substantial. MA and PGR students, embarking on their careers in related fields, stand to gain industry experience through workshop presentations and the publication of a print anthology. Additionally, students may have the opportunity to participate in the creative project itself, earning a valuable publication credit.
This project is envisioned as a collaborative and mutually beneficial venture, enhancing the educational experience for our students, contributing to the community, and further establishing Potential Books as a dynamic force within and beyond the university.
Funding used to set up the workshop and presenters.
For more information contact Dr Angela Szczepaniak firstname.lastname@example.org
The proposed workshop aims to address students' challenges in understanding university grade descriptors, particularly in the context of law assessments, where feedback has indicated dissatisfaction with Assessment and Feedback practices. Commonly cited issues include the perceived cryptic and inconsistent nature of grade descriptors, making them difficult for students to interpret and apply to their legal assessments.
The workshop is designed to achieve multiple objectives aimed at improving law students' grasp and application of grade descriptors in assessments. Firstly, it seeks to enhance students' comprehension of grade descriptors in the context of law assessments. Interactive elements and practical examples will be incorporated to illustrate the application of these descriptors.
Beyond theoretical knowledge, the workshop emphasizes the practical application of grade descriptors in specific law-related scenarios. Students will engage in exercises designed to facilitate interpretation and effective application of these descriptors.
As part of the workshop, an infographic will be developed to visually distil key information about grade descriptors in law assessments. This infographic will serve as a practical visual aid for students, providing a quick reference during assessments.
The success of the workshop will be measured through National Student Survey (NSS) Assessment and Feedback scores. Positive feedback is anticipated, indicating an improvement in students' perception of this crucial aspect of their learning experience.
One of the primary goals is to empower students by providing a clearer understanding of grade descriptors. The aim is to foster a positive and informed approach to their assessment experiences in law studies. Importantly, the content of the workshop will closely align with the overarching learning objectives of the law studies program. Specific attention will be given to addressing common challenges and misconceptions related to grade descriptors in law assessments.
Funding used to provide gift vouchers to students who take part in the feedback study.
For more information contact:
The School of Law, renowned for its successful Law clinics, is partnering with academics, students from the Access to Justice module, BigLeaf Foundation (a charity focusing on displaced young people), and Compass Collective (a theatre company) to conduct a workshop titled "Trust in the Rule of Law."
The collaborative effort involves students, academics, performers, and young displaced individuals in the design of the workshop. Together, they will navigate the complexities of a challenging legal case, exploring concepts of justice, rights, duties, responsibilities, and the rule of law. To measure the impact and transformations in learning resulting from this innovative methodology in understanding legal reasoning, academics will conduct surveys before and after the intervention.
The workshop offers a unique opportunity for students, actors, scholars, and displaced young adults to delve into reasoning at the intersection of law, philosophy, practical reasoning, the rule of law, and moral principles. Anticipating intellectual growth and transformation, the immersive learning experience will rely on theatrical techniques. Students and displaced young adults will provide evaluative analyses based on their experiences and gathered data.
Reflecting on qualitative data, academics will propose curriculum reform recommendations for schools. Furthermore, a paper assessing the new methodology's influence on the teaching and learning of legal reasoning will be crafted and submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. This collaborative initiative aims to not only enhance understanding but also contribute valuable insights to the broader academic community.
Funding will be provided towards the fees of the theatre company for a one-day workshop.
For more information contact:
- Dr Lena Mattheis, School of Literature and Languages
Podcasting has become a widely used tool in education, with studies suggesting its effectiveness and accessibility. A recent review by Gunderson and Cumming (2023) in higher education shows overwhelmingly positive results.
Despite extensive research on creating podcasts, the impact of podcast listening on learning remains under-researched. This small-scale study evaluates the effect of the "Queer Lit" podcast on students' learning experiences in English Literature and Creative Writing. The podcast, designed around seminars, has received positive anecdotal feedback.
Twenty students will be recruited to assess how podcasting positively affects their learning. Students will read a scholarly text, rate their understanding, interest, and relevance, then listen to a corresponding "Queer Lit" episode with the text's author, and rate these aspects again.
The study aims to move beyond anecdotal evidence and understand specific aspects of the podcast format that contribute to students' learning experiences. This research has the potential to provide insights for educators and podcast creators aiming to enhance learning through audio content. Funding will be used towards gift book vouchers.
For more information contact Dr Lena Mattheis email@example.com
- Prof Sorin Krammer and Dr Saori Sugeno, Strategy and International Business Department, Surrey Business School
This project aims to meet three primary objectives tailored for postgraduate students navigating academic papers within time constraints, especially given the rise of AI technologies capable of swift paper summarisation. The two main goals are:
Skill development: the project seeks to enhance postgraduate students' capacity for rapid comprehension and critical evaluation of academic papers. Emphasis is placed on addressing challenges presented by AI technologies and fostering foundational intellectual skills essential for academic and professional contexts.
Student engagement: the project aims to infuse gamification elements into the conventional academic setting to enrich the learning experience. This involves creating an enjoyable and interactive environment to enhance student engagement and alleviate potential intimidation associated with academic study.
The project comprises a comprehensive educational exercise centred on improving academic skills and engagement, featuring a simulated "Selling Academic Papers" scenario supplemented by peer feedback mechanisms. Key components include:
Educational exercise: real-world scenarios are replicated to enable students to engage in activities related to academic paper comprehension. The project creates a simulated environment for students to practice and apply acquired skills, incorporating elements that simulate challenges posed by AI summarization technologies.
Peer feedback mechanisms: a mechanism is established for peers to provide constructive feedback on each other's performances, fostering collaborative learning through peer interaction and assessment. Technology platforms are utilized to facilitate the peer feedback process.
The project's overall impact will be evaluated based on its efficacy in equipping students with critical thinking skills for navigating complex academic literature and fostering a more engaging and participative classroom atmosphere. The assessment will focus on improvements in comprehension, critical evaluation, and the overall learning environment.
Funding will be used for research and development and educational resources and student incentives.
For more information contact:
The objective of this modest pedagogical project is to build upon and update the data obtained from a Teaching Innovation Student-Staff Partnership initiative conducted in the summer of 2021. The initial study delved into students' experiences and perceptions of online and hybrid education during the Covid-19 pandemic. Employing a mixed-methods approach, the study encompassed a University-wide online survey involving 130 students and two focus groups with 14 undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PGT) students from all three faculties. The findings highlighted the challenges students faced, particularly in terms of socialisation, mental health, stress levels, attention, and reduced motivation during the period of online-only provision (Evergeti and Campos, 2023).
Over the past two years, and since the initial study, a wealth of relevant literature on these issues has been published (for example, Ferris-Mucci et al., 2021; Chan et al., 2023). While universities have resumed full in-person teaching, some of the challenges related to the Covid-19 era persist, and the transition to face-to-face provision has not been as seamless as anticipated. This ongoing study aims to review the recent literature and build upon the initial findings, thereby introducing a longitudinal element to the project. The present study's goal is to explore students' experiences during the shift from online and hybrid education to fully in-person provision. It seeks to gain insight into current challenges, particularly related to low student attendance and engagement, along with the high numbers of self-cert EC (Exceptional Circumstances) applications.
Funding with cover the research and study time.
For more information contact Dr Venetia Evergeti firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr Tracy Xu and Prof. Emily Ma, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM)
Researchers and educators have repeatedly emphasised the importance including experiential learning in hospitality, tourism, and events programs. Experiential learning not only promote students engaging in active learning, in which learners take responsibility for learning, but can also help enhance students’ overall learning experience, employability and career aspirations.
This project innovatively proposes to include a Mock Job Fair activity and assessment into the modules, and align with existing contents and assessments, to enhance students’ learning experience, and employability. We believe such teaching innovations will first help students get a sense of what a typical career fair is like. More importantly, by engaging in resume enhancement, and mock interviews with recruiters, etc., this experiential learning experience can help prepare students to professionally present and respond during actual career fairs.
The project will not only help students gain better chances to secure employment opportunities after graduation, but it will also help further enhance the programs and school’s reputation among students, and industry partners.
This activity aligns well with our university’s mission: “The University of Surrey provides excellent education, and advances and disseminates knowledge” and one important feature of the ‘Surrey Advantage’: Practice-centred Professional Training programmes with enhanced soft skills.
Project funding will be used to set up the Mock Fair, Data Collection, and the Publication of Papers.
For more information contact Dr Tracy Xu, Snr Lecturer (SHTM) email@example.com
- Dr Karen Dennis and Mr Deji Sotunde, Business Transformation, School of Business (SBS)
Teaching technical subjects to undergraduate Business Management students can be challenging for both lecturers and students. Operations Management (OM) is a subject area students find difficult to comprehend due to the multitude of competitive priorities and objectives of business operations; especially when taught to first year students with little or no experience. The use of animated illustrations can overcome these potential challenges, developing deeper understanding and in learning practical skills as well as enhancing current practices in the school.
Since AY 2021-22 an animation of a typical high street operation; a car wash and valet service, was developed and used in teaching several topics in OM. This was used in the seminars where students are expected to apply theoretical knowledge to practice. The Challenge allowed tutors to immediately assess students’ understanding and address any potential gaps in their knowledge. This novel approach improved the student learning experience through enhanced and timely feedback.
We aim, through this funding, to collect data that will assist us in improving the animation. Comprehending how students perceive and learn from the animation, through focus groups, will provide a basis for broadening its appeal and impact. For example, this research will provide data that can assist in developing the animation to enhance inclusiveness for marginal, underrepresented or disadvantage groups in our society.
From a pedagogical standpoint, the use of animation allows for the control of the sequence of events – so play, pause, and reflect, thus stimulating students’ interest and allows time to construct understanding of the theory learnt and to apply knowledge. There is also the added advantage over the usual expectation of students watching a static video or read a case study before class, which was rarely done in practice hence increased engagement. Student impact will be evaluated by examining student performance on the module compared to previous years.
The funding will be used for collecting data from participants to improve teaching and support pedagogical research.
For more information contact Dr Karen Dennis, Senior Lecturer (SBS) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr Emma Delaney & Mark Ashton – School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM)
Although there has long been scepticism towards the importance of university level students attending classes in person there is much evidence to support a positive correlation between class attendance and student achievement. As such, SHTM introduced an attendance policy in semester 1 of the 2022/23 academic year to be applied to all UG and PGT students. Module leaders monitor attendance through QR codes and paper registers. The policy ensures that students with three recorded unexplained absences from any timetabled class are referred to the Senior Personal Tutor (SPT) for a wellbeing check. As such, this process of attendance monitoring reflects the growing importance of using learning analytics to assess student wellbeing. Furthermore, the absence policy aims to improve staff wellbeing, which can be substantially undermined by high levels of student absence.
Now that the attendance policy has been in operation for a semester, research to assess both staff and student views and experience of the policy will be invaluable. Research will be able to shape the development of the policy going forward and it will inform School (and potentially Faculty and University) strategy. There is also the potential to use the research project to inform future developments of My Surrey Engagement. The purpose of the research is to:
- to understand student and staff attitudes towards the SHTM student attendance policy completed
- to identify reasons for student absence from timetabled classes completed
- to evaluate the effectiveness of registers as a tool for wellbeing intervention ongoing
- to evaluate the impact of the SHTM student attendance policy on staff wellbeing ongoing
This research will further the School’s Educational Strategy ‘Global Leadership 2021-2024’. Improving the SHTM attendance policy will help to achieve some of the Global Leadership goals including:
- Ensuring access and participation for all students through communication and monitoring (p.4) – achievable by using the policy to identify students who are struggling to participate in face-to-face classes.
- Encouraging community building and student-staff partnerships across research, teaching, and other activities (p.4) - achievable by involving students and staff in this project and in developing the policy.
- Supporting students proactively using learning analytics, personal tutoring, and peer-to-peer support (p.4) – achievable by assessing the role of the policy as a wellbeing intervention tool.
- Ensuring sound staff mental health to support students’ wellbeing (p.4) – achievable by identifying if and how the attendance policy does (or could) promote good staff mental health.
The research will help to refine the SHTM attendance policy, and the results will be shared at the SHTM strategy day in September.
Project funding will be used to set up focus groups, research, and data collection.
For more information contact Dr Emma Delaney, Snr Lecturer (SHTM) email@example.com
- Dr Catherine McNamara, Guildford School of Arts (GSA)
Creating an inter-Faculty learning experience that will support a new way to think about complex social problems. The project seeks to bring students of theatre and performance together with students of criminology and of literature to engage in a collective learning experience. The students will engage with a high quality and thought-provoking live theatrical experience. They will experience an interactive workshop/discussion enabling to explore in more detail the issues raised by the play, so explore issues around imprisonment and the alternatives for example.
Catch is a new play from Clean Break theatre company which presents a compelling case for the necessity of women’s centre services and highlights how the criminal justice system places impassable barriers in front of women who are trying to survive.
The play is performed by Clean Break Members (women with lived experience of the criminal justice system and women at risk with drug/alcohol or mental health issues).
After seeing the play, the students will participate in a 60minute interactive workshop/discussion enabling to explore in more detail the issues raised by the play, so explore issues around imprisonment and the alternatives and talk about how the form of theatre can create social change.
- Bring students from multiple Schools/ Departments together in a collective learning experience.
- enable Criminology students to think about women's experiences of the criminal justice system in news way, by engaging with theatre made by women with experience of the system.
- enable students of theatre and literature to engage with a ground-breaking theatre company's work and experience a high-quality example of theatre for social justice.
- support students to draw on this experience in their modules and assessments. For example, GSA's BA (Hons) Applied & Contemporary Theatre students will be able to focus on Clean Break as part of their Making Theatre module (they select an example of theatre practice and conduct a Case Study) or their Theatre for Social Change project (The Ensemble and the Audience module).
- Explore opportunities for students to maintain connections after the theatre piece and discussion.
Project funding will be used towards the total cost of the project.
For more information contact Dr Catherine McNamara, Head of Guildford School of Acting (GSA) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nayiri Keshishi, Lecturer in Learning Development Claire Lillywhite, Teaching Fellow, School of Law, and Dr Mark Shanahan
The Social Science Foundation Programme is an interdisciplinary team across Law, Politics and Sociology. One of the missions of the programme is to help students develop academic, social and employability skills and help their transition to university. As a result, a number of summative assignments are completed as a group. This project aims to collaborate with students, via a focus group, and ask them about their experience(s) of working in mixed-discipline groups, how confident they feel in doing this, their awareness of the development of transferable skills and what advice they would give future students to be successful. The results of this project will influence, where possible, the design and delivery of group work assignments and the co-design of support materials for group work. These can be shared with colleagues, and students, across the University.
- This project will enhance existing learning & teaching practice, such as group work, collaborative and cooperative learning.
- It will have an expected positive impact on the student experience, by the development of various skills/ knowledge/ attributes and opening opportunities for networking and confidence building.
- It aligns with Faculty, and various School/Department, education strategies represented within the Social Science Foundation Year Programme. This includes creating learning communities that are dedicated to the discovery and enrichment of the social sciences.
- It aligns with various ‘pillars’ of the University Education Strategy, including Resourcefulness and Resilience, Employability, and digital capabilities.
Project funding will be used towards setting up focus groups and student participation.
For more information contact Nayiri Keshishi, (Library & Learn Sppt) email@example.com
- Dr Francesca Menichelli, (Sociology) and Prof. Daniel McCarthy, (Sociology)
Over the past decade, the discipline of criminology has grown exponentially as an UG degree choice in the UK, although recent trends have shown a stalling of this growth. However, there has been a lack of interpretation of students’ decisions to study criminology. Several hypotheses have been advanced to explain the rise in popularity of the discipline, from media influence to career considerations and the growing role played by crime in public consciousness in light of this gap, this project aims to find out directly from students why they have decided to study criminology. The study adopts a mixed-method approach, with a survey and qualitative interviews open to all criminology students currently enrolled in the Department across levels 4 to 7.
The study has the following aims:
- To examine the main reasons why students chose to study criminology.
- To identify any variations in views about the study of criminology depending on the period of time the student has been studying
- To understand more about the links between the study of criminology and student career plans.
The project will involve students in two roles: first, we will recruit an UG student from the department to help us to conduct the interviews. Working on a research project will give the student the opportunity to develop their research skills ahead of their final year dissertation. We will also recruit students willing to take part in a qualitative interview exploring what led them to study criminology. This study will deepen our understandings of the beliefs and values which inform student choices to study criminology. This enhanced knowledge of the needs and interests of our student base will be useful in ongoing processes of review of curriculum content of our Criminology programmes. We will disseminate our findings through a seminar hosted by the University of Surrey and write a report summarising key findings and will share it with our Head of Department and Director of Learning and Teaching. We also anticipate writing two journal publications from the research.
The project funds will be used to pay UG student conducting some of the interviews with a cross section of students from UG and PGT criminology programmes. Students will also Each will receive a voucher for taking part in the study.
For more information contact Dr Francesca Menichelli, Lecturer in Criminology (Sociology) firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Cripps and Racheal Owens - Guildford School of Arts (GSA)
Technical understanding of the human voice is continually under revision through advancements in research. Our work with the voice needs to shift to accommodate these new findings: always in the name of voice economy, efficiency, and health. Additionally, we are encountering a shift in methodology and practice when it comes to the changing landscape of student diversity and identity. Learning to support the vocal needs of transgender and non-binary students is imperative for both the understanding of vocal function, and the support of a more diverse population of students.
This project will engage with external industry practitioners, focusing on updated advancements in the field of technical singing, vocal health, and singing/voice training of transgender students. The project will provide teaching staff and students the opportunity to engage and participate in a series of 1.5 hour lectures.
Information gained from each session will benefit the GSA voice and acting teaching teams as well as the singing team, and function as a tool of unification of teaching practice. Students in attendance will gain advanced learning tools, additional vocal support, and a broader perspective on voice practice.
The final intent is to write the project up as a journal article for publication, co-authored by Kevin Michael Cripps and Rachel Owens. As these are ‘tools gathering’ sessions, it is anticipated that these tools will benefit best practice in teaching and a publication would act as a teaching resource.
Funding will cover the fee of the lecturers.
For more information contact: Kevin Michael Cripps, Head of Singing GSA, Senior Teaching Fellow, email@example.com.
Dr Simona Guerra - Department of Politics
This research project follows a previous small piece of research examining inclusive retention and progression across the student community, with a focus on assessment and feedback. The last twenty-five years of studies on Teaching and Learning provide evidence that six fundamental factors affect teaching excellence:
- The quality of the teachers
- Cohort size
- Class size
- Student engagement
- Assessment & Feedback
- Collaborative learning.
This project examines assessment & feedback, and student confidence. The project focuses on second-year students and finalists, using a questionnaire to assess their levels of confidence across different transferable skills, and open answers on their learning experience - how can we support them better, what works well and what doesn’t work? The students will be helped to understand how they can use different types of feedback.
Project funding will cover a poster, stationery and a conference fee (feedback and dissemination).
For more information contact: Dr Simona Guerra, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Luciano Rispoli - School of Economics
This is organised within the course ECO3039, Corporate Finance, and it gives students, through a simulation exercise, the chance to apply and implement the portfolio theory concepts learnt in class to real world financial scenarios. In particular, thanks to the use of a portfolio simulator software which tracks asset prices in real time, groups of students allocate a pre-assigned (virtual) budget to a portfolio of securities of their choice. At the end of the holding period the group of students registering the highest risk adjusted portfolio return wins the challenge.
Past editions 'Portfolio Investment Challenge winners' include current investment analysts at leading financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley and Black Rock. In the words of these students, participation in this challenge “was instrumental in showcasing (during interviews) a degree of familiarity and expertise with portfolio and asset allocation”.
Project funding covers the prizes (vouchers) assigned to the first, second and third classified groups.
For more information contact: Luciano Rispoli, Teaching email@example.com.
- Luciano Rispoli - School of Economics
Currently awarded to the best project submitted as a requirement of the level 5 course ECO2048, Economic Analysis with Matrices. The scope of the project (and the prize) is to promote and recognise 'programming proficiency', a highly sought-after skill among employers. In a nutshell, students work in groups of five and are required to write codes in Matlab that solve specific tasks. These tasks range from simple regression estimation to the implementation of mechanical trading rules.
In order to win, students need to showcase programming proficiency. This is measured on the basis of efficiency and readability of the submitted programming codes. In the past, this initiative has received extremely positive feed-back from students, which in their words “managed to land job interviews and employment offers on the back of the skills acquired during the ECO2048 group project”.
Project funding covers the prizes (vouchers) assigned to the first, second and third classified groups.
For more information contact: Luciano Rispoli, Teaching firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Jo Franklin and Rebecca Emery – Guildford School of Acting
The ‘prompt copy’ or ‘book’ used by stage management to run performances has traditionally taken the form of a paper document in which cues, calls and blockings are noted to ensure technically and aesthetically accurate reproduction of the production. There have been many attempts in the last 20 years to digitise this process, but none have entered widespread use. The Covid-19 pandemic has served to accelerate this move to digitisation and this project will examine various methods in practice.
A panel seminar with guest speakers - professional stage managers currently using digital methods - will introduce the topic to all students on BA Theatre Production and MA Stage and Production Management. Following this, volunteer students will complete a Deputy Stage Manager role on a Guildford School of Acting production using these methods, and students will then participate in a written questionnaire and facilitated focus group.
The project will enhance students’ learning by increasing both digital knowledge/skills and employability. Results will be presented to both the theatre sector, and University learning and teaching events. The results will also be written up for publication. We will use the results to update module content on both programmes and introduce the preferred digital method(s) within production modules.
Project funding covers guest speaker fees and expenses, software, transcription of focus group discussions and refreshments for student participants.
For further information contact: Jo Franklin, Head of Technical Theatre Arts, email@example.com
- Dr Constance Bantman and Dr Dawn Marley - School of Literature and Languages
This staff-student project explores the question of disciplinary identities and their relational construction. The project will reference the teaching and degree-level study of French in the School of Literature and Languages, with a view to broader applicability.
The wider aim is to foreground the role of emotions in learning and teaching experiences. The project will focus on belonging and disciplinary identities to gain a better understanding of how belonging is created with a particular emphasis on staff-student interactions. This will make it possible to assemble a practical and theoretical toolkit of effective practices and to identify possible mismatches between staff and students’ perceptions in that area. The project also seeks to highlight less effective practices.
The data collection process consists of two two-hour workshops. The first session will use a 'collective biography' approach. All participants, including staff, will write anonymous texts in reply to four prompts:
- "The class that went well"
- "The moment when it (studying French) clicked"
- "A time I felt supported in my studies"
- "The class which bored me".
The second workshop will focus on discussing the texts produced during the first session, highlighting transversal themes, and planning an article presenting findings.
The funding is used to incentivise student attendance with a focus on inclusivity.
- Dr Yoo Ri Kim and Mr Mark Ashton - School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
This project aims to bring the student voice to the evaluation of the MSc Dissertation module as the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management goes through the curriculum design review. The project will explore how the School can improve academic performance and student experience through the enhancement of the module and programme design.
The project will run two online questionnaires, one for the February cohort and another for the September cohort, to obtain detailed student feedback and evaluation of the Dissertation module. The questionnaire will also request feedback about their journey from the prerequisite Research Methods module.
The findings of the project aim to provide evidence to help redesign the module and programme structure, embedding the five pillars of the Curriculum Framework.
For more information contact: Dr Yoo Ri Kim, Lecturer in Hospitality, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr Beth Palmer - School of Literature and Languages
This project takes the form of the collaborative creation of collective biographies by students on the final year Life Writing module (ELI3058) for students on English Literature and English with Creative Writing programmes.
Each student team will find their own University of Surrey ‘collective’ upon which to focus. This might be themselves or their peers, it might be a special interest group on campus or a group of staff. Each member of the team will write one or more short bios and the team as a whole will be responsible for collating the individual bios and framing the material as a collective biography.
The funding will cover the cost of printing these collective biographies as high-quality, colour A4 booklets and refreshments at a ‘launch party’, which would also provide the opportunity to disseminate the work to interested parties, including students in next year’s Life Writing cohort. Students and tutors will work together to assess the outcomes of the project. Repeating the process year-on-year will build up a living archive of collective biographies providing numerous windows into life at the University of Surrey.
For more information contact: Dr Beth Palmer, Senior Lecturer in English Language, email@example.com.
- Dr Giulia Berlusconi – Department of Sociology
Students often share negative attitudes toward studying statistics which, in turn, affect their motivations and contribute to statistics anxiety. Additional challenges emerge when teaching across disciplines (vs. students in one discipline or programme) or to large classes where fostering collaboration and peer learning can be more challenging than in smaller classes. This project aims to identify and design engaging resources to teach quantitative methods to non-specialist students who are in various social science disciplines and large classes. It will create a small staff-student partnership to inform the design of new resources for the module Measuring the Social World: Quantitative Methods (SOC1050). Two focus groups will help collect feedback from students who recently took the module. A short questionnaire will be shared with colleagues teaching quantitative methods at Surrey to collect their views on what works and what challenges they face in their teaching practice. The results will be shared across the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences together with some examples of the newly designed resources. In the 2022/2023 academic year, the newly designed resources will be included in the module’s teaching resources.
Project funding covers a student research assistant, vouchers for focus groups participants, and the transcription of focus groups recordings.
For further information contact: Dr Giulia Berlusconi, Lecturer in Criminology, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mark Ashton, Dr Sumeetra Ramakrishnan and Prof Chris Cowls – School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
The project will collect more detailed feedback on the module Restaurant Operations (MAN3140) through focus groups including student and industry partners. The project team also plan to develop more contemporary learning resources to support students studying the module next year, including student-friendly summaries of key theory and ten multimedia case studies drawing from a series of interviews. These will be multimedia using text/hyperlinks/social media and interviews but available digitally.
Project funding covers the costs of vouchers for student focus group members.
For more information contact: Mark Ashton, Senior Teaching Fellow, email@example.com
- Dr Stephen Mooney – School of Literature and Languages
The project will create a small staff-student partnership team to inform the design and delivery of the ongoing new Writing Gaming creative writing modules (ELI3059 & ELIM05). The team will include students from the current cohort of module students, Level 5 students for whom this would be a module option in 2021-22, members of GameSoc (Surrey’s student gaming society) as well as the Surrey Video Games Society (SVGS).
The team will be asked to feedback on current gamic elements of the module, propose and design a specific gamic activity and a specific gamic assessment unit for the 2021-22 iteration. In addition, a games industry expert will be invited to take part in the design aspect of one or both of these design exercises. The results of this work would be made available to students on SL and via the GameSoc and Surrey Video Games Society sites. Feedback on the activity and assessment will be measured through a short survey. The project would be open to students from other programmes with a specific relevance to Gaming Studies in order to share and potentially embed interdisciplinary practices in the exercises students engage with (Computer Sciences, Film and Video Production, Psychology, Sociology, Contemporary Theatre and potentially Electronic Engineering, for example). Partnering with GameSoc and SVGS is one way to do this.
Project funding covers printing costs, stationary, snacks for student participants and guest speaker travel expenses.
For more information contact: Dr Stephen Mooney, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr Theofanis Exadaktylos –Department of Politics
- Colin Loughlin, Julia Brennan and Ashani Wadu Mesthri – Surrey Institute of Education
This project builds on a recent piece of work exploring the relationship between learning design and engagement. The team are exploring issues of content, effectiveness of guided learning, utility of resources, types of activities in class and online, nature of modules, teaching methods and assessment patterns and how these impact on engagement. The project’s point of departure is the assumption made by some analytics research that more student engagement (with measurable online resources) equates to better outcomes, and a correlation between the two should exist. The team has found diverging quantitative results, and hence, will run three focus groups drawing on students from three modules with different attainment levels to understand these relationships between approaches to teaching, student approaches to engagement and the limitations of currently available metrics. Results will feed into institutional thinking around the way we may use and incorporate analytics to monitor student performance. The group will present to the LA programme team and plan to publish in an education and learning & teaching journal.
Project funding covers the costs of vouchers for student focus group members.
For more information contact: Dr Theofanis Exadaktylos, Reader in European Politics, email@example.com
- Dr Ranjana Das and Dr Emily Setty – Department of Sociology
The project will involve collaboration between staff and students to explore how to embed employability in the curriculum, specifically within assessments. This group will review existing provision and develop new employability-enhancing assessments in at least one trial module in each of the three degree programmes. It will generate a toolkit of guiding principles, lessons learnt for embedding employability into the curriculum in the social sciences and a webpage showcasing project outputs.
The projects findings and outputs will be disseminated within the department and across the faculty, including potentially through a staff-student partnership focused conference.
For more information contact: Dr Emily Setty, Lecturer in Criminology, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nayiri Keshishi – Library & Learning Support
- Christoper Macallister – FASS Faculty Admin
University of Surrey foundation year students, from the Social Science programme, will work asynchronously with international peers to create a living history presentation on their experiences of living with Covid-19. Groups will have one or two students from each partner university and participants will be expected to contribute to the poster, between March and May, in numerous ways, for example research, design, creating other media links. The project will conclude with a poster conference/ presentation, where each group will present to the panel (made up of UGPN representatives) and 1st/ 2nd/ 3rd place will be announced. There will also be two online live events with guest speakers, Q&A and opportunities to network.
Project funding will cover vouchers and competition prizes.
For more information contact: Chris Macallister, Senior Teaching Fellow, email@example.com
- Dr Georgia Stavraki and Dr Joanna Anninou – Surrey Business School
The project will explore arts-based elements of the photo-elicitation method as a pedagogic and assessment tool. This method is currently being used as part of an assessment strategy in an undergraduate module within the Surrey Business School. The project will investigate students’ experience with this approach and, specifically, how the method promotes learning in the business curriculum. The project leads will use interviews and the collage visual method to collect the data from students who have undertaken the module.
Results will extend the relevant literature on innovative assessments by providing insights into how students experience and frame their own learning emerging from innovative arts-based assessments, and enrich the assessment toolkit of teaching staff. Project findings will be disseminated internally, for example through the next relevant showcase event, and externally via a conference presentation and a target journal article.
For more information contact: Dr Georgia Stavraki, Teaching Fellow in Marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr Emma Reardon – School of Tourism & Hospitality
This project aims to re-evaluate the learning and teaching of rooms division management. The project will run a focus group to explore the student experience and suggestions for change, drawing on students from this year’s module cohort. This will give the group an active role in reshaping and redesigning delivery. The project will also evaluate the experiences of industry partnerships and other academics within the sector.
The project lead will draw on this work to create three video case studies. The first will showcase new and innovative rooms division teaching practices both within the University of Surrey, and broader sector. The second will look at rooms division training in the hotel industry and explore whether some practices being used in the hotel industry could be adopted into the classroom. The third will evaluate the current teaching of rooms division management on the student experience and suggest improvements.
The key project outcomes will be further disseminated through a learning and teaching conference presentation in 2022.
For more information contact: Dr Emma Reardon, Teaching Fellow in Hospitality, email@example.com
- Katy Peters - School of Law and Catherine Batson – Learning and Library Support
The project will involve a small-scale evaluation of the first year of the BibliU Personal eTextbook programme. It will run a series of FASS focus groups to explore qualitative feedback on student experience with the Bibliu eTexts initiative, and the impact the scheme has had on their pedagogic engagement with their teaching materials. There will also be work with module leads to support and enable increased student engagement with assigned reading and in-module links, encouraging students to develop their ability to read critically using features from the BibliU eTexts.
A key deliverable will be a best practice guidance/resource/checklist to support module leaders in creating engaging, structured reading lists which can scaffold students’ learning, and embedding BibliU eTextbook content. A second deliverable will be the creation of a student and staff-informed case study on using BibliU to develop critical reading skills. This would inform the creation of a student-facing, academic skills resource, focused on helping students to use BibliU to develop their online critical reading skills, hosted on Library webpages or in SurreyLearn. Project findings and additional resources will be shared at a presentation at the internal L+T Conference, ‘ExciTes’, in 2021/22, a presentation at the School of Law Away Day and a Faculty Blog post. There is also potential for an academic paper to be submitted to The Law Teacher or other relevant journal.
- Dr Shelini Surendran –School of Biosciences and Medicine
- Nayiri Keshishi – Library and Learning Support
- Sanna Nurmikko-Metsola – School of Economics
- Nick Edwards – Surrey Business School
- Julia Moldoveanu – EFCS Utility & Sust
- Nathaniel Bingham – Department of Chemistry
- Rachel Stead – Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
- Katrina Mack – Innovation.
This is a cross-discipline, co-curricular project across foundation year programmes. It will support students to work together in mixed-discipline groups on key sustainability themes. The project involves running a three day online ‘hackathon’ after the exam period. Students will be presented with problem statements relating to different areas of sustainability. They will spend time getting to know one another and forming teams before undertaking two days of ideation and pitch formulation with the support of mentors. Teams will then work on preparing their sustainable solution over the following weeks before pitching to a panel of judges online for a prize. Before the end of the project, the team is planning to ask participants for feedback on their experience and how to improve in following academic years. The team will use a survey, before and after the project, to measure increased student confidence/ awareness of a variety of skills/ knowledge/ attributes which link to the University Education Strategy pillars. Results will be disseminated via internal and external Learning & Teaching conferences, such as the Foundation Year Network.
- Lead researcher: Dr. Georgia Volioti – Department of Music and Media
Transition in higher education has been described as a cumulative process which creates opportunity and space for the individual learner to: reflect on their self-development; shape ownership of learning; and develop effective coping strategies. Research in music education has focused primarily on musicians’ transition from institutional training (university or conservatoire) to becoming a successful professional performer or composer (e.g., Burland & Davidson, 2004; Creech et al., 2008). Little scholarly attention has focused on the critical importance of higher education musical placements in shaping professional careers in the creative industries.
The present study has three overarching aims:
a) Explore music placement experiences in the context of self-determination and self-regulation theories of learning
b) Identify how higher education musicians negotiate successfully the transition in and out of placement
c) Offer evidence-based recommendations for curricular adaptations in enhancing practice-based music learning.
A semi-structured interview methodology is employed, and qualitative data are analysed using a thematic-inductive approach (e.g., Braun & Clarke, 2006). The study received ethical approval by the University of Surrey Ethics Committee.
Funding: FASS Teaching Innovation award, and part of a VICI award have covered transcription costs.
Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77-101.
Burland, K. & Davidson, J. (2004). ‘Tracing a musical life in transition’, in J. Davidson (Ed.), The Music Practitioner (pp. 225-50). Aldershot: Ashgate.
Creech, A. et al., (2008). ‘From music student to professional’. British Journal of Music Education, 25(3), 315-31.
For more information contact: Dr. Georgia Volioti, Lecturer in Music, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr Darren Tunstall – Guildford School of Acting
This was a project supported by the Teaching Innovation Fund which launched in the summer of 2019. The aim was to create a digital workbook of fundamental contextual knowledge on topic areas that would fit into a new module created for MA Theatre Distance Learning. With an animator, Dr Darren Tunstall created ten short, punchy cartoons with voice-overs that paint in background knowledge and that feed into topics of discussion in seminars and on the module discussion board. These animations now sit into the module content alongside video recordings of Zoom seminars and presentations and links to carefully chosen websites. These assets have since been exported into other modules to support course content. The animations offer a distinctive content for the module and help to keep students engaged with the learning platform rather than exiting the VLE in search of audio-visual material elsewhere on the internet.
View Animation 9: Romanticism, here.
For more information contact: Dr Darren Tunstall, Head of Theatre, email@example.com
- Venetia Evergeti – Department of Sociology
This student-staff partnership study explored student perceptions and experiences of their usage of and interactions with lecture capture and wider capture content. In particular, the study explored three main research questions:
- The ways in which content capture is utilised by students outside the classroom before or after the lecture
- The degree to which there is a noticeable change in lecturers’ performance and delivery of the material because of lecture capture software used
- The students’ perception and experience of the degree to which lecture capture supports the delivery of a student-centred lecture.
The study was based on an online survey, interviews with lecturers and focus groups with students. Two of the most important issues that came up, in relation to lecture capture in particular, were the discussion of sensitive issues and the ways in which live recordings could affect the lecturer’s performance.
The study’s results were published in a book article and presented in Surrey ExciTeS 2019. Details below:
Evergeti, V. and Garside, H. (2019) Lecture capture vs captured context: enhancing the learning experience or jeopardising student performance? Paper presented at Surrey ExciTes, University of Surrey.
Evergeti, V. and Garside, H. (2020) ‘Captured Content and Lecture Recordings: Perceptions and Experiences of Students and Lecturers’ in Gravett, K. Yakovchuk, N. Kinchin, I. (Eds.) Enhancing Student-Centred Teaching in Higher Education: The Landscape of Student-Staff Research Partnerships. London: Palgrave Macmillan
For more information contact: Venetia Evergeti, Senior Teaching Fellow, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Robert Meadows – Department of Sociology
The increased salience of mental illness within society makes it essential that we engage students in critical sociological studies of mental health. At one and the same time, this increased salience requires us to reflect on how best to do so. The proposed project aims to evaluate the assessment methods used on Meadows’ final year Sociology of Mental Health module. As part of this, it seeks to explore the possibilities of the co-creation of units of assessment. Four focus groups will be held – involving both sociology students with no knowledge of the course and students who will have studied on the module during 2020/2021. All focus groups will follow the same instruction. A ‘backwards’ approach will be taken, and students will be told ‘we want you to look at the aims of a unit, then to consider what a student is expected to know, to do, and to understand, before moving forward to look at the assessment’. See Bournemouth University (n.d.) 'The co-creation of unit assessments based on the principles of "backward design"’.
For more information contact: Professor Robert Meadows, email@example.com