Grant Holder(s)Title and Project AbstractStatus
Emma ElvidgeFIRE PROJECT: Facing Failure In Research and Higher Education

Failure is a key part of the research process, without failure there would be no academic progress. But it can be a socially and emotionally difficult topic to deal with. The FIRE Project aims to address the ability of academics and researchers to openly discuss failures and the lessons learnt through them via educational podcasts. Each podcast episode models thoughtful, academically- and reflectively-driven conversations around failure in the form of short interviews. These provide not only a learning opportunity for students and early career researchers, but also a scaffolding for other staff to improve the conversations they have with those they supervise and manage around failure. As well as the production of these podcasts, this proposal aims to look at the efficacy of the latter point, the use of the podcasts to help staff develop their conversational skills during “everyday” learning moments. The use of podcasts to disseminate good practice in this way is novel and ideally suited to the current remote working situation, but also creates a diverse and inclusive learning environment.
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Gemma Mansi, Simon Leggatt, Sharon Perera, Emma Kennedy, Bruce CroninPromoting student belonging through online learning communities; development in partnership with staff and students

Higher Education has undergone significant transformative change in the last ten months due to Covid-19. Consequently, teaching staff have experienced rapid change in how they deliver their curriculum to students, most notably through digital platforms. However, there is a significant concern related to student wellbeing related to feelings of isolation and disconnection because of students’ ability to form a sense of community online (Maddix, 2013). This subsequently impacts students’ self-motivation to engage in teaching and learning. Furthermore, research remains inconclusive about how learners develop a sense of community in a virtual space and what effect this may have on interaction and learning (Peeters and Pretorius, 2020).
This project aims to address this research gap by investigating and understanding how staff can develop an online social experience through blended learning. This will be addressed through participatory action research and social network analysis. This analysis, as outlined by Peeters and Pretorius, (2020), will determine how the student-interaction process in online environments can unfold and develop through online learning, and, by determining how different students relate to each other and how learners give rise to an online ‘community,’ or in what circumstances fails to do so. Online engagement will be facilitated by teaching staff who will purposefully set teaching activities, which aim to encourage online community building capacity. From the data, this participatory action research project will develop a toolkit for teaching staff to reflect upon student group dynamics and implement activities, which encourage virtual communities amongst their students.
Orlagh McCabe, Stephanie Aldred,
Peter Gossman, Stephen Powell
Evaluating the role of dialogue in virtual teaching observations

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Selma Omer, Pirashanthie Vivekananda-Schmidt,
Fran Oldale
Centring the voices of our BAME students towards creating a more inclusive learning environment

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Tracy Galvin, Barry Quinn, Mairead Corrigan,
Carole Parsons, Dimitrios Lamprou, Louise Carson,
Blánaid Hicks
Building a Community of Practice in ‘Designing Inclusive Curriculum to improve Equality and Diversity’ (DICED)

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are becoming more diverse with increasing numbers of staff and students from different ethnic backgrounds. This has led to positive changes within HEIs with the development of policies and procedures that aim to promote a sense of belonging among our diverse learners, that celebrates diversity and is respectful of difference. The appointment of Equality, Diversity and
Inclusion (EDI) Academic Leads has been one response to integrating diversity into the curricula. However, EDI Leads often find themselves working in isolation, resulting in a duplication of effort and, lack of shared responsibility among other staff for EDI.
The DICED project will adopt a Community of Practice (CoP) approach to counteract these challenges. It aims to: (1) build an EDI CoP among an education developer and six EDI academic leads in the Faculty of MHLS; (2) increase faculty professional development around EDI by developing an EDI Toolkit, workshops, resources, courses and collaborations; and (3) apply an evidence informed approach to the project through a pre- and post-EDI Health Check survey, workshop feedback forms, course evaluations and student voice. The outputs of the project are a SEDA paper; presentation at the SEDA conference; three faculty workshops; the development of resources on cultural competency; an EDI Health Check; EDI Toolkit; an accredited SEDA EDI course. The project will be of interest to academics responsible for EDI, wider academic and support staff and the wider faculty within the institution, to proactively adapt and embed EDI in their own context.