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University of Lincoln School of Education: A Case Study for Improving Academic Writing - transcript

Andrea Collings

Andrea Collings

Aug 31, 2023

How are University of Lincoln improving the quality of academic writing amongst their MA students? Claire Randerson, Dean of International and Postgraduate Taught Students and Dr Alison Smith, Lecturer in Education how University of Lincoln explain how they are providing their MA students with fast formative feedback on their initial assessment during their first module; how the University embedded Studiosity within their wider support offering; and how student usage data is informing other University services such as the International College and Library services.

Read the full discussion transcript:

Isabelle Bristow: [00:04:59] So, hello, everybody. My name is Isabelle Bristow, I'm Managing Director for UK and Europe for Studiosity. I think some of you may know me, some of you may not, so welcome to all of you. Thank you so much for joining us today, to this case study webinar, from the University of Lincoln. Lincoln have worked with us for a number of years now, but since January they have been focusing Studiosity usage on their MA students. So today they're going to talk about how they embedded Studiosity within their wider school offering and how they've used their student usage data to inform other university services. So lots of interesting things to follow from them, I believe. I'm pleased, very pleased to introduce Claire Randerson, she's the Dean of International and Postgraduate Taught Students at Lincoln and Dr Alison Smith, she is a Lecturer in Education. So just before they start, just a bit of housekeeping, please, please do pop your questions in in the chat or the Q&A or any comments you want to make about what, what's being said, and at the end, we will go through and answer those questions, or perhaps they'll be answered in the slides, depending on the question. But please, you know, it's interactive in that way, so do feel free to ask your questions in that box at any time. And I'll hand over now to our lovely guests. Thank you. 

>> Watch the full recording, here.


Claire Randeron [00:06:11] Thank you, Isabelle. And thank you and to Lisa and Andrea, who originally kind of extended the invitation for us to speak today about how we're embedding Studiosity here at the University of Lincoln. Alison and I, are you know, really pleased to have this opportunity to you know reflect upon, and to share, our experience with you. Alison is going to do the slides for me because I'm a bit of a technophobe and this is about the limits of my capability. So, Alison, thank you very much. So I'm going to do the first part of this presentation, and then I'll hand over to Alison, who's going to talk in much more detail about how it works within the School of Education. University of Lincoln image 5

So firstly, as Isabelle said, my name is Claire Randerson and I'm Dean of International Postgraduate Taught Students here at the University of Lincoln. And this is a really new role that the University created less than a year ago, but nearly a year ago in September 23, and one that emerged in response to the rising number of taught postgraduate students here at the University, and the fact that international students composed a really significant part of that, that growth of postgraduate taught students. And essentially my role is to work at a strategic level to ensure that this growing population of international and postgraduate taught students have the best possible student experience from their first contact with the University through to future graduation. And within the university, I sit within the Student Success team. 

The Student Success team is a small but kind of wide-ranging team of a combination of professional services colleagues, academics and, you know, third space professionals that have oversight of the areas that you can see on the slide there from kind of Library Services, the International College, which is the area that I have oversight of, and student services such as student support and advice and student wellbeing, student engagement, etc., and it's through the efforts of this particular team, the Student Success team that the Studiosity was, was actually kind of reintroduced in January 2023. 

"essentially my role is to work at a strategic level to ensure that this growing population of international and postgraduate taught students have the best possible student experience"

So the University of Lincoln had piloted Studiosity previously between September 2020 and July 2021. It had done two pilots, of Studiosity, firstly with undergraduate students in a particular context, and then secondly with a small number - oh our second pilot was focussed on postgraduate taught students. Now both pilots were really successful and they enjoyed higher than expected, anticipated, engagement rates from the students themselves, and the student satisfaction levels were really high, well over 90% for both pilots. And there was a real kind of sense of satisfaction from all those who use the service, both students and academics and professional services colleagues. But despite the success of the pilot, as we kind of emerged out of the pandemic, there were a number of kind of resource constraints and competing priorities that meant that, you know, progressing with Studiosity was just shelved temporarily and we weren't able to continue with the service at that particular point. But that situation has shifted in 2022 and it shifted as a consequence of that kind of growth in PGT numbers which included that big growth of international PGT within that. And it was that change that really stimulated renewed interest in Studiosity earlier in this academic year in 2022/23. University of Lincoln gif3

So the newly created Student Success team were able to present a really successful case to the University that the existing support that the University provided for students across the range of university services, some of which I will talk about in a short while, such as personal tutoring, the library's Writing Development team, the language support offered by the International College. All of this existing support would be very usefully complemented by the round the clock and very flexible support that that Studiosity offer. And in particular, we were very focussed on the need to enhance and build support for our newly expanded PGT cohort and in particular the international component of that and help build their potential for success. 

"All of this existing support would be very usefully complemented by the round the clock and very flexible support that that Studiosity offer."

And our reasons for focusing on this particular group of students were that our international students in particular come from much more diverse educational backgrounds with often very different educational experiences, academic experiences, and that this can mean much less familiarity with things like the research methods and the academic writing conventions of UK higher education. And some students, because of this benefit from additional support to scaffold their understanding about, for example, you know why referencing is important, how to reference and when to reference. And many of our international students are working in this kind of new educational context, and they may well be encountering digital educational technologies, different educational technologies for the first time or different ones. They may - they're often going through a process of adaptation to different academic literature requirements and conventions. And they're also often doing this in their second, third or sometimes fourth language. We also found that a number of our international postgraduates are often older, and that's also true of our PGT cohort more broadly. So after returning to work, after a period of, returning to study after a period of work or or family responsibilities, and so their having to make a lot of those adaptations in the context of a of a short 12 month PGT programme where the pace is very much faster, the content is more challenging as obviously befits postgraduate education.University of Lincoln gif2 And the previous pilots that we had undertaken at Lincoln had established that Studiosity worked really well alongside existing university support. That the referral system that Studiosity have was really valuable in terms of signposting students to additional targeted support and in the context of a 12 month programme in particular where students are familiarising themselves with the support services that a university has, in that new educational and academic context that they find themselves in, that additional signposting is a really valuable aspect to to the service that Studiosity provide. So the referral services type can target students towards or signpost students towards academic writing development to the International College and language support to student wellbeing in the event of of of wellbeing issues, it can signpost them towards referencing information. And obviously because so many of our students are new to Lincoln and new to a UK higher education context, that seems to be a really valuable aspect to this provision. So it's in that context, that rising number of PGT students, of which a sizable proportion are international, that the university made that decision to to introduce Studiosity, but in a focussed way focussed specifically on PGT students across the university. 

"the referral system that Studiosity have was really valuable in terms of signposting students to additional targeted support"

Then so as part of that, as a way of facilitating that service, we established a Studiosity advisory group which meets every month to, where they originally met, to kind of coordinate the rollout of Studiosity across the various PGT programs across the university, and that has now kind of developed more into a group that shares best practice, that looks at ways of supporting colleagues in embedding Studiosity within within the programs and really kind of seeks to, and what we're going to be doing I think in the future much more obviously is, is looking at evaluating the impact of Studiosity. And this will be the group that stares on that in particular. And members of the group include, you know, kind of its representatives from across the university, from the International College, from Library Services and from Professional Services within the core academic colleges. And it's that, and Alison is our representative for the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities - sorry, It's it's just changed its title so it doesn't trip off the tongue quite as nicely as it used to! - and Alison Smith is our college representative and and so she's worked really hard on on working with the different schools within that college, but in particular is now going to talk to you about and the work that has been done within her school, within the college, which is the School of Education. Over to you Alison.

Dr Alison Smith [00:15:50] Thank you. So hi everyone, as Claire said, my name's Alison, and I'm a lecturer, lecturer in the School of Education. I teach and co-lead the MA program, and as Claire said, I'm also the college academic rep for Studiosity on the advisory group. And so I'm going to give you a brief context of our school and the MA program and then discuss the way that we use Studiosity to support our MA students over the last two semesters. University of Lincoln image 6

So the School of Education has historically had a small MA programme with the majority of students being home students. However, as you can see from these numbers, and as Claire said, since 2020/21, we've had a very large increase in the number of international students who are enrolling on our MA. What we found is that the increase in international students has really enriched our school community and furthered our understanding and knowledge of educational systems around the world. However, with this comes with, often complex navigation of student expectations and students' experiences through our MA where we currently have mainly written assignments for the core and elective modules within the degree. So student concerns regarding these written assignments often focus on the expected writing style and the expected academic writing style. With some of our students writing in an academic style in English for the first time, or for the first time in a while since they've previously studied. Students also worry about ensuring that their academic integrity is maintained, particularly with referencing being one of their main concerns. Many of the conversations that we have with our students are surrounding the expectations we have, with conscientious students, quite rightly, wanting to know how to succeed within these assignments. 

"What we found is that the increase in international students has really enriched our school community and furthered our understanding and knowledge of educational systems around the world. However, with this comes with, often complex navigation of student expectations and students' experiences through our MA"

To support our students we have many services that can help within the School of Education. Within our school, we ensure that students have detailed assessment rubrics and exemplar assignments to read along with dedicated seminars for assessment support. Students also have a personal tutor and a supervisor, and there's a really strong student body for the programme that offer peer support to new students. However, despite our school and the wider university support services that Claire mentioned, we still felt that there was more support that could be offered to our MA students, to help them with their academic writing skills, to help them with their confidence in knowing what we're doing is going to help them succeed in their assignments. And this is where we found that Studiosity has come in. 

So you've got a context for our university and for our school and students, so now I'm just going to give you an overview of how we've begun to use Studiosity to support our students further with their academic writing skills. So within our school we have two MA cohorts, an October enrolment and a February enrolment. I was introduced to Studiosity as part of the working group in late January, so it seemed appropriate to introduce the service to our February cohort first as they were just starting their MA journey. So our students have two modules per semester, a core module and an elective module. So the core module, we ask that students first submit a formative assessment to their personal tutor, which outlines their professional and personal interest in education, their area of interest within the field of education, and a possible research project that they'd like to undertake for their dissertation. This piece of work is about 1500 words, and it's intended for the personal tutor to begin to get to know their students and offer their support and knowledge regarding the area of interest in education. 


However, what we tended to find with this first formative submission, was that personal tutorial meetings were focusing more on writing skills and referencing, with tutors signposting students to university student services, rather than focusing on the area of interest of education, their topic that they were interested in that the academic could support in with. Therefore promoting the use of Studiosity to our students as a submission point prior to them submitting their formative assessment to their personal tutor seemed like a perfect opportunity to help students with their assessment concerns as mentioned, and also focus the personal tutorial meetings more on the content of the topic that the student was interested in. 

So we introduced Studiosity through the core module seminars via a presentation that included short videos to support students in locating the Studiosity banner within their student portal, along with an overview of what Studiosity could support them with. I also provided extra submission points within our online module sites and regularly reminded students of the service. All members of our school, and so our academics were also introduced to Studiosity via an email that had access to student presentation along with the expectations for the personal tutorial for the formative feedback. So for our formative assessment, and for this cohort 60% of our February cohort submitted their assignment to Studiosity before, making the suggested changes and submitting it to their personal tutorial. So we were really pleased with the amount of engagement for this first assignment. 

"personal tutorial meetings were focusing more on writing skills and referencing, with tutors signposting students to university student services, rather than focusing on the area of interest of education"

After the students had submitted to their personal tutor, I looked at the feedback within the Studiosity dashboard that our students had given, so our students who gave Studiosity a rating all said that they were extremely satisfied with the feedback that they were receiving on their work. As well as this I then conducted a MA survey regarding how our students had found using Studiosity. So as you can see from these statistics, most of our students found Studiosity easy to find on their university pages, they found it easy to log in, and they also found it easy to upload their work. Most of the students received receiving feedback from Studiosity had their feedback within less than 6 hours, which, when talking to the students about this quick turnaround, they were amazed at how quickly they received their feedback, they were amazed at how detailed their feedback was, and this meant that they could work on their assignment within hours of submitting to Studiosity. 

Whilst they all received support in all the areas that Studiosity focuses on with writing, our students said that they initially found use of sources to be the most helpful support that they got. And again, what I found really encouraging was that 82% of our students then engaged with our university services after being signposted to them via Studiosity. So this again supports the use of Studiosity and enhancing and becoming that embedded part of our university services that we offer. In the survey, students commented that they love to use Studiosity and that it is a vital tool in supporting them with their academic work. All the students who accessed Studiosity said that they would recommend it to other PGT students, and in seminars I heard them say "why haven't you used Studiosity it's brilliant",  so this is a real communication within our student body of them using Studiosity. 

After completing the personal tutorials with regards to the formative assessment, staff could see a real difference in students who had engaged with Studiosity and they felt they were more able to support them with their chosen topics and more complex academic arguments rather than the writing structure and the choice of language. So there was real positive feedback that we received from our staff as well as our students with regards to Studiosity. Now for our MA modules, students submit a summative assignment at the end of each module. 

"despite our school and the wider university support services that Claire mentioned, we still felt that there was more support that could be offered to our MA students, to help them with their academic writing skills, to help them with their confidence in knowing what we're doing is going to help them succeed in their assignments. And this is where we found that Studiosity has come in."

Our summative assignments always have 10% of the overall assessment grade related to the aspects of academic writing, which Studiosity also focuses on. Analysis of the grades for the core module summative assessment for this style, show that those students who have engaged with Studiosity are more likely to pass the style grade and achieve the higher bandings of merit and distinction than those who have not engaged with Studiosity. Now that data refers to the first seminar, a semester that our February cohort started when they started in February. So we're now into the second semester with these students and this data now demonstrates that students are consistently using Studiosity to support them with their assignments, and that Studiosity is becoming embedded in the assessment process for our students. 

Our future plans for Studiosity are to fully embed the service within our MA programme, within all the modules within the degree. This will start in October, with our October 2023 cohort with Studiosity being introduced within the programme and the module handbooks to start with. As well as continuing with the introduction across all modules within the seminars. I'd like to develop how we use Studiosity to identify particular needs within our cohorts that can develop how we tailor this and to the university services to further support our students. I'd also like to put together a digital resource that promotes Studiosity that's bespoke to our programme, with testimonials from our current students and staff on how Studiosity can be used to support academic writing skills, along with the positive data that shows the impact that Studiosity can have on their grades whilst their part of our University of Lincoln community. Thank you for listening to Claire and I. If there's any questions?

"Analysis of the grades for the core module summative assessment for this style, show that those students who have engaged with Studiosity are more likely to pass the style grade and achieve the higher bandings of merit and distinction than those who have not"

Isabelle Bristow [00:26:43] Thank you so much, both of you. That was absolutely fascinating and loads of really, really good outcomes there and good, good things. We had quite a few questions in the chat, so I think I'll just start from the beginning, and I think most of them are the ones that you can answer but one or two maybe I might need to answer, but I think most of them are directly to you. So the first question we had was from Jill, and she wanted to know how you evaluated the pilots, whether it was student satisfaction or improving student success, retention, progression. I wonder if she was talking about your initial pilot because it was quite an early, early question because obviously you have answered that little bit about your current program. 

Claire Randeron [00:27:30] I'll be the first person to do the classic unmute. Alison, do you want me to take that one? 

Dr Alison Smith [00:27:37] Yes. 

Claire Randeron [00:27:38] And so we, like I said we did two pilots and actually they pre-date my my involvement with Studiosity, but, and I'm desperately trying to think back - the lead for the original pilots was our person in charge of library services, Ian Snowly, and unfortunately he wasn't able to attend today because he's taken holiday. But from from memory, just because I wasn't actually involved in that, those particular pilots, they were quite, they were time limited pilots so I think the ability to track retention and progression was probably quite limited, but it was very much kind of evaluated, definitely, a core component of the evaluation at the very least was was the student satisfaction, but also academic staff satisfaction with with the pilots as well, and the kind of qualitative comments that students have provided, but also kind of and the feedback that we got generally from staff about this. 

In terms of tracking student success, retention and progression, that is definitely part of our forthgoing plans. Obviously, we introduced it in January this year and obviously one of the challenges within a kind of postgraduate cohort is the kind of time limited nature of that cohort. So it's obviously going to be a different process than tracking through an undergraduate over over a number of years, for example. But we've started to look at Liz Thomas's framework and we're also going to do some of our own evaluation work as well. And time wise, we we're planning to do this, and we're going to start this process just before just before the year's of, if you like. And we started in January, so we're planning to initiate our evaluation towards the end of this forthcoming semester. But it will be an ongoing, an ongoing project for us really, so that we can continue to monitor the the impact of Studiosity and the overall student satisfaction, because obviously that's going to be key to retaining this as a tool, if we can. So sorry, I'm not able to kind of answer in too much detail just because I wasn't involved in those original pilots, but hopefully that gives you a flavour. 

Isabelle Bristow [00:30:08] That's great. And also, to those of you who aren't aware, the Liz Thomas evaluation framework that Claire just mentioned there, is a fantastic tool which is free for you guys to use, any of you who's on the call right now, who would like to use that framework - if you're a current partner just your PSM for it; if your prospect just ask me, it's a really useful tool for evaluating not just our services actually, but you could use it for evaluating other support services as well. I'm just going to check the chat with anything related from that question. Oh, yes. I think we can include the evaluation framework actually in the follow up. So you can all have that sent to you after this call. 

Claire Randeron [00:30:48] Just one other point Isabelle, if I may, I meant to mention that actually after I attended the Partner Forum that Studiosity ran earlier in the year and there was a very interesting presentation from, I want to say Sheffield Hallam, but I might have got it wrong, about how they integrate Studiosity's data within with their existing data, HESA data, on students. I can't remember which university it was now unfortunately, but that is part of our forthcoming plans. This is how we're going to try and integrate Studiosity's data with our current dashboard data to get a fuller understanding about who is using the service and that will enable us to think about particular cohorts. That home/international distinction, perhaps also about widening participation issues and also about gender. So and that would be a really valuable way of developing our use of Studiosity as we move forward. 

Isabelle Bristow [00:31:47] And I can see that Jill, put in the chat there, again related this question I believe, about whether there was a control group and you know, talking about presumably that if the most engaged students are using Studiosity they might have more positive outcomes, how do you work with unengaged students? And I'm going to quickly answer part of that from another partner because I happen to know, but then I'll obviously pass back to you. At Sunderland University, they did a mandated writing task for all of their first year students with Studiosity and they found it super useful; the students would do the task, they would then take their feedback to their their personal teacher, go through that together, and that was all really useful and all those students that did the task obviously had really great outcomes from that. However, they also found that the task was really great in identifying students that needed help, i.e. the students that didn't do the task. So any of those students that didn't do it, they then followed-up with those students and gave then extra support. So it was actually a really good way of identifying those less engaged students and kind of helping them out. I don't know if you wanted to add anything as well Lincoln?

Claire Randeron [00:32:43] Alison, do you want to add in? 

Dr Alison Smith [00:32:46] So, we obviously included all of our February cohort for the statistics, and in our February cohort we only have two or three home students. So it is very much international students. Now because it's relatively new, the students have just recently put their assignments in for their second semester, their first round the their second semester, so personal tutors engaged with those students who hadn't used Studiosity, and sort of supported them in asking why they haven't used it, and sort of encouraging them to use Studiosity as well. And with regards to sort of the ones that haven't used it, the next round of assessments we'll see whether or not there's - it's the same students that have used it, I haven't had a chance to kind of analyse that data, whether it's the same students, whether it's different students and how that has an impact. But obviously it's early days with this sort of embedding Studiosity, and and we were really pleased with the 60% that did, but yes, and it's about - like Sunderland did - it's about using that data really to support the students who haven't engaged as well as identify those that that have. 

Isabelle Bristow [00:34:09] And I think you actually just answered another one of Jill's questions there, because she was asking how many of the students were international and how many weren't. So, we've got that one in there as well, excellent. I'm going to go to a couple of the questions that came in during the registration process now, if that's okay. So one person asked, have you had any resistance from members of your academic skills development teams? 

Claire Randeron [00:34:31] I'll take that one if that's okay. Short answer, no, not from academic skills development teams - that I'm aware of. In conversations with, so obviously I oversee the International College, and just, you know, through conversations with the International College, I think, you know, before there was a fuller understanding of of the service, there was a kind of a bit of concern about how it would position, how Studiosity would position itself and how we would use Studiosity in, in conjunction with those existing support services. And, you know, to concern that, you know, that it would be a complementary relationship rather than a competitive, or replacing relationship. But actually, I've not encountered any resistance at all from academics and the International College and the Academic Writing Development team have been, you know, very on board with supporting and using this service. 

Interestingly, the resistance I have met and in some areas is from academics initially wanting to know just, you know, in a sort of natural manner, I think in many respects, wanting to know about, well, who's providing the feedback? What qualifications do they have? Is it going to be consistent with the kind of requirements that we have here at Lincoln? How can I make sure that, you know, the feedback isn't taking the students in the wrong direction? You know, do we know if they're going to be, and concerns about potentially, you know, venturing into subject specific information? But I don't know if you found that with your experience in Education. Alison. 

Dr Alison Smith [00:36:16] Yes. So what our our department was all very excited about using Studiosity, but what we did across the college was, I provided an anonymous set of examples of the feedback that they receive in Studiosity so that all the academics could see actually the kind of the depths of writing academic skills support that their students were receiving, and that actually it wasn't about the content, it was it was purely about that writing. So all of our schools within the college received some of that anonymous feedback and found that really useful to just contextualise actually what, what is the feedback that is being received? Because not all of our academics have access to the dashboards. And so just being able to see that actually it is purely on those you know grammatical issues and also that there is that referral back into those university services. And I think there's a question there sort of about an early intervention. And one thing that we have found through the advisory group is that our Library Support team, the Writing Development Team, have been really proactive in that early intervention and contacting students to sort of bring them in and get that support. So it really helped them to kind of further engage those students. 

"I provided an anonymous set of examples of the feedback that they receive in Studiosity so that all the academics could see actually the kind of the depths of writing academic skills support that their students were receiving, and that actually it wasn't about the content, it was it was purely about that writing."

Isabelle Bristow [00:37:47] That's great. And thank you for answering that, that second question as well there. I think you know, those fears that both the original question asker worried about and you described there Claire, are really common when we set-up this programme at any university. And, you know, quickly they realise that there's no need to have those fears and it is okay. But I think also it's the fact you didn't get that many complaints or worries is also testament to how well you've probably, you know, really made sure the staff understand the service properly. Because just from what you're saying, I know that you totally get that it's not replacing anything, it's not there to step on anyone's toes, it's there to enhance and complement what you already have. And then you've obviously done that really well at Lincoln. 

Claire Randeron [00:38:28] I think you genuinely have been embraced by the International College and the Writing Development team in particular, and academics who have expressed concerns, when you - I've taken a similar tactic to Alison - I'm a bit of a further distance from some of the academics sometimes, but and when I have engaged with them about this, than it has been about providing examples of the feedback and which, which usually goes you know a very long way too to answering any kind of initial concerns that may have been expressed. 

Isabelle Bristow [00:38:55] Absolutely. And we do have generic examples that we can provide to any, any partner that wants those as well. 

Claire Randeron [00:39:01] Yes. I've made use of those it's fine. 

Isabelle Bristow [00:39:02] We've had a question here from Gianna. She's asking, is it only available to the international and PGT cohorts, as you said, but she's also asking about credits - or we call them interactions - and how many your students have each term. 

Claire Randeron [00:39:17] Oh, right, okay. So it is currently available only for well, it's actually only available for PGT, but that essentially means that the vast majority of our international students at the University of Lincoln are - the vast majority of our PGT are international, and the vast majority of our international are PGT. So we have a small number of undergraduate international students who don't benefit. But it is basically being rolled out to all PGT home and international. And how many credits do students receive? Alison, I always get confused between eight interactions in ten and for some reason I can never remember which way round it is.

Dr Alison Smith [00:40:03] They get, they currently get ten interactions. And one of the things that we've had to really talk with the students about is that some of them are saying, "I'm going to keep my interactions for when I do my dissertation, I'm going to save them" and we're like, no! Do them now, because then that's going to help you with everything, and when you come to do your dissertation, you won't need to use ten for your dissertation. So it's about kind of talking to the students about how they can use this service and that really, they should be using the service and then kind of weaning themselves off it because obviously they're going to have developed their writing skills. They won't need it quite as much. So, yes, it's ten that we currently have for our students across the academic year. 

Claire Randeron [00:40:47] And it's an 8000 words limit, isn't it? That's when I get my eight and ten confused. 

Isabelle Bristow [00:40:50] Yeah, that's where you're confusing it, so the 8000 word limit is for every partner, that's the standard. But, yeah and ten is our standard interactions per academic year as well so, yep great. Some have more but you know ten is the standard. Let's see what the next question was: let's go down... we've had that one from Jill it was answered. I'm just finding.. ah I see Sarah has asked a couple of questions about things like how much it costs, and can she have some examples of the feedback. Sarah I am meeting with perhaps you but also other colleagues from your university very soon, so yes, I will talk to you about all those things in that meeting. For those of you who are wondering about the cost, it does vary greatly depending on how many students are using it and what that student group is. So it's not really a question I can answer right now, but I promise, Sarah, that question will be answered in my session with you individually. Let's just go down, Ross asked about again, credits or interactions, but that's now being answered so that is good. Ah yes, Stephen had a question here, if there are concerns about students' writing e.g. weak English sentence structure, plagiarism, poorly structured argument, etc., is there a mechanism to refer this back to academic skills professionals or academics? If so, how is this dealt with? So we kind of touched on this, but maybe you wanted to give a bit more detail on that. 

Claire Randeron [00:42:12] Alison, do you want to go first? 

Dr Alison Smith [00:42:14] Yes. So within Studiosity, we have set-up the services that we would like them to refer back into. I think we've called it something other than 'referring' now to make it kind of a bit more relaxed because I think some of the students were thinking that being referred something meant something a bit more formal. So yes, at the bottom of the feedback, the students receive sort of any referrals that they can go through back into our university students' services. And again, with that early intervention, they were also picked up by the Writing Team. 

Isabelle Bristow [00:42:56] Great. And yes, absolutely that's completely customisable per partner. So you send us where you want your students to be referred to each, you know, the area that we could refer them to and that's that's done. So that's in every partner as we mentioned. 

Claire Randeron [00:43:08] I think to follow up on that, I think one thing that, you know, this is still relatively new to us and I think one thing that as we roll forward in the next academic year, one area that we need to think about working on is following up on those referrals to see how many students actually, you know, do take advantage of those referrals. And, you know, to use our advisory group to think, to strategise really around that point because it's a you know, it's a valuable point to do that, obviously. 

Isabelle Bristow [00:43:41] Great, thank you. There's a question here from Sean, and he has asked, have students had problems with understanding and implementing the feedback that is provided to them? If yes, have you developed any support for helping students understand and respond to the feedback. 

Dr Alison Smith [00:43:57] So the, from our point of view, from the survey that we did, from also talking with the students, students find the feedback really clear and they like the fact that it's in the different sections, some really liked the fact that there's the short videos in there as well as the writing, and also it feeds into our, the way that we give feedback to our students within our assessments, because there's also that aspect that the, their actual assignment is written on and colour coded with, which I always like, with the different aspects that they need to think about it. And when we give feedback within Turnitin, we do exactly the same, so it kind of mirrors that as well. So I haven't had any students who've said that they've struggled with the feedback, so it's all been fairly positive at the moment, but if they did struggle with the feedback, one thing that some I would be suggesting is that they take that feedback to their Personal Tutor so that they can kind of go through it, or they come to us as MA Tutors and kind of really unpick. But actually the way that the feedback is given, it's really clear you know, from what I've seen, but also from what the students are saying. 

Isabelle Bristow [00:45:18] That's great, and I've seen that also Jill's chipped in from Sheffield Hallam saying that her students love the Studiosity feedback as well. So that's always really nice to hear, thank you Jill for that. And I think unless I am mistaken and Claire, Alison, please tell me if there's one I've missed, I think we've then answered all the questions in the chat box. 

Claire Randeron [00:45:38] I think so, I can't see any more. 

Isabelle Bristow [00:45:41] We've got one more. Oh, is it true that.. That's an interesting question, no, that isn't the case, and we don't we don't claim that all tutors have MA degrees. A large proportion do, as an absolute minimum they should have a bachelor's, and most are working towards PhDs or have done PhDs or working towards masters or have done. But we don't, we don't make that claim. We can again, I'm talking to people from your university Gianna, so I can answer more questions on that if you'd like me to, separately. But that's not the case, but some do. 

Isabelle Bristow [00:46:14] Well, we are literally almost right on time, ah someone has just quickly put in the chat, some students at University Greenwich asked the Academic Skills Tutor for help with understanding their feedback - good to know. And I think that's definitely encouraged, and certainly, as I said, at Sunderland, that's something that they mandate for their first piece of work. Not for every bit of Studiosity work obviously, but for their first piece they have that mandation so they can really fully make the use of it, which I think is a really nice, nice thing to do in their first term. Great. Okay, well, almost bang on time aren't we, because we said till 1.45. So, gosh, thank you so much, both of you, for a really, really useful session. Just loads of great questions as well from the audience, but just great, great you know feedback that you've given us there Claire and Alison, about how you are making things work at Lincoln. And yes, it's absolutely fantastic to have you back in the fold after a little break. And I know, you know, it was a difficult decision and you didn't really want to stop, but yeah, you know - we're glad to have you back, so that's really great. 

Claire Randeron [00:47:17] Thank you for inviting us. 

Isabelle Bristow [00:47:17] You're more than welcome, more than welcome. Any more questions that anyone has, if you are a current partner, you know, please talk to your Partner Services Manager. If you are not please, please contact me and I will help with any questions you have. But you will be getting all the slides and the recording and also the documents you mentioned - the evaluation from Liz Thomas' framework. So if you want to look out in your inboxes for those, they'll be coming shortly. All right. Thank you very much. I think we can say goodbye. 

Dr Alison Smith [00:47:48] Thank you. 

Claire Randeron [00:47:50] Goodbye. 

>> Watch the full session here


>> Read the University of Lincoln Case Study here

Success-Stories-tiles - Lincoln5


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