Evaluating Student Projects in Supporting Transitions to Postgraduate Study

Elmslie, R. and Lewis, S. (2017) Evaluating Student Projects in Supporting Transitions to Postgraduate Study. BALEAP PIM - Evaluating the Effectiveness of EAP, Edinburgh, UK, 18 Mar 2017.

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Abstract

This presentation describes an innovative project that took place on a University of Glasgow pre-sessional course from April to June 2016. The unassessed project’s original objective was to foster student autonomy, develop team skills and time management. A further aim was to initiate engagement with both the University and local communities. Students worked in groups to undertake simple research into an aspect of the University’s 10-year campus redevelopment plans. We used flipped classrooms to support background reading and to introduce basic research methods and ethics. Students then constructed questionnaires to interview members of the public, tutors and peers about their views on the University’s plans, and obtained further information by interviewing campus development team professionals. They presented their findings in poster presentations. The projects initiated a marked increase in student motivation, identification with course aims, and confidence. Occupying the interviewer role with campus planners and utilising their own research instruments resulted in students demonstrating a greater sense of engagement and identification with the role of postgraduate student researchers. Using Dörnyei’s L2 Motivational Self System (2009) we evaluate the project from our insider perspective as tutors. We reflect on the emergence in students of an “ideal self”, particularly through their shift in self-perception from language learner to a new academic identity as a postgraduate student researcher.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lewis, Mrs Siriol and Elmslie, Ms Rachel
Authors: Elmslie, R., and Lewis, S.
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Language Centre
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