Writing for Assignments E-library (WrAssE)
A resource which includes examples of real student writing from a number of subject areas with comments from lecturers about why the writing is good - or how it could be improved.
'Crisis' "Tina Pepler's gripping drama about the volatile world of international aid work" was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 20th August, 2012.
Tina is Plymouth University's Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow.
PALS at Plymouth (Peer Assisted Learning Scheme) has been successfully recruiting leaders (more experienced students) from 7 University programmes to work in groups to support less experienced students on their course. Training is scheduled to start in September 2012 and the PALS sessions will run throughout the Autumn and Spring terms.
Research from other UK institutions shows that similar schemes can be very beneficial for students, leaders and programme staff. Furthermore there is evidence to show that participation in the scheme can improve grades. Data gathered from our pilot scheme this year shows that the majority of students and leaders enjoyed being part of the scheme and benefitted in many different ways. A report on the PALS@Plymouth pilot evaluation will be available later this summer.
On 31 January 2012 Plymouth hosted a STEM South West Peer Assisted Learning Seminar for staff from across the region interested in implementing a PASS/PALS scheme to support their students. Marcia Ody, from the National Centre for PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) came to talk about the work of the national centre in supporting the on-going development of PALS/PASS in the UK. The Learning Development PALS coordinator in Plymouth, Carolyn Gentle, provided an update on our PALS pilot and introduced four PALS leaders who spoke about their experiences and answered numerous questions. The day was informative and encouraging for all who attended.
A pilot peer assisted learning scheme called PALS@Plymouth was launched in Sept 2011. The scheme is centrally coordinated by Learning Development (LD) and is broadly modelled on an accepted approach already well established in a number of UK HE Institutions. Peer Assisted Learning involves regular discipline-specific group sessions run by experienced students (PALS Leaders) for new or less experienced students. The PALS@Plymouth pilot allows for second or third year students from within four programmes to provide discipline-specific support to first and second year students. For further details go to PALS@plymouth or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The LearnHigher partnership, initially between sixteen universities, arose from the HE learning development community. When HEFCE funding came to an end in 2010, LearnHigher became part of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE). The partners (old and new) remain committed to developing and evaluating learning resources for staff and students across the HE sector. The team at the University of Plymouth are working with staff across disciplines to improve and further develop materials and approaches for Critical Thinking and Reflection.
A book written by the LearnHigher CETL partners entitled Learning Development in Higher Education published in November 2010 by Palgrave Macmillan. Click here for further details
Plymouth's external LearnHigher CETL and WrAssE event held in September 2009
In September 2009 Plymouth hosted an event to promote the LearnHigher CETL (Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning) resources and WrAssE. The day was successful with over 30 participants from eight UK institutions attending. Participants kept a log of their experiences of the day and this useful and constructive feedback is available in the event report. As the CETL's five year funding draws to an end in 2010 LearnHigher will join with ALDinHE (the Association of Learning Development in Higher Education) and preparations for this move are underway. The website is currently being re-designed and feedback such as this is instrumental in improving the navigation and clarity of the site and the resources. For further details please see the September event report.
Feedback from the Plymouth internal WrAssE event held in June 2009
WrAssE is a prototype online learning resource which has been developed with support from the LearnHigher . Academics and students are welcome to use WrAssE and we would be grateful for any comments or suggestions for improving it. The feedback below was recieved at the initial launch event held in Plymouth. (Click to see the June 2009 event report which includes details on the Key characteristics of WrAssE).
Participants were asked to give their opinions and to make suggestions for improvements based on their experiences of using the prototype. The key points made were as follows: