Cecilia Lowe, Learning Enhancement Team, Academic Support Office; Emily Brunsden, Physics; Calum Neill, Psychology, Edinburgh Napier; and Devi Nannen and Mike Parker, Health Sciences
Cecilia, Mike, Devi and Emily gave a thought provoking presentation on how we might create a critically engaging environment for our students.
Cecilia kicked off by reminding us that employability skills are not something different from the business of higher education and that critical engagement and reflection is both important to employers and central to the business of higher education. She reminded us of the elements of criticality and challenged us to consider the extent to which we are facilitating our students to develop these.
Emily posed the question, what makes lecture attendance unmissable? She facilitates
thinking and critical engagement in lectures with a variety of questioning techniques. Emily uses the students as co-learners and helps them draw on existing knowledge to consider new problems.
Finally, Mike and Devi showed us how the use of assertion reason multiple choice questions in assessment can facilitate critical thinking and deeper learning. For them an unexpected benefit of this assessment method was the way students formed groups to deal with what they saw as a challenging form of assessment. Their postgraduate students not only used the example questions provided by the module team but started writing questions themselves. This is a great example of assessment driving learning.
Jill Webb, York Management School, University of York