Deep-mapping the Seven Hills of Sheffield

Dr Dave Forrest, Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Sheffield, tells us about a new interdisciplinary project within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

This project will involve undergraduates from different modules at Level 2 and Level 3 in the School of English, and from Level 2 in the Department of Archaeology working together to produce a multi-layered reading of the city of Sheffield, which will explore issues of cohesion, culture and history, and which will inform and draw from current TUoS priority themes in learning and teaching, research, and public engagement. The project has a close fit with themes emerging through the Achieve More programme. Continue reading

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Introducing Epics and Myths from the Ancient World

Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow Dr Casey Strine tells us about his new project, supported by the Engaged Curriculum Funding Stream.

Beginning this academic year, I’ll be offering a module called Epics and Myths from the Ancient World. This module is designed for first year undergraduates who are interested to examine great texts from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, and Greece under three themes: creation and order; epic journeys; suffering and meaning. Together, we’ll investigate interpretative issues in each text and explore their relationship to religion, politics, ethics, and economics in the ancient world. Continue reading

Evaluating engagement: Our findings

Jason Slade, a Department of Town and Regional Planning postgraduate student, tells us about the evaluation outcomes of the department’s Community Engagement Initiative which is supported by the Engaged Curriculum Funding Stream.

Broadly speaking we can say that our project on the evaluation of engaged learning facilitated interesting insights in three areas. The first around practicalities for Town and Regional Planning’s engaged learning project in Westfield; the second concerns substantive issues of learning through engagement; and the third relates to the process of evaluating engaged learning. This final blog post presents our findings in these areas. Continue reading

Approaching the evaluation of engaged learning

Jason Slade, a Department of Town and Regional Planning postgraduate student, tells us about progress relating to the evaluation of the department’s Community Engagement Initiative which is supported by the Engaged Curriculum Funding Stream.

My first blog post introduced our use of the engaged curriculum funding, which looks to better understand Town and Regional Planning’s community engagement project in Westfield through developing more effective methods for evaluating engaged learning. The need for this, as described in the first post, comes from a perceived thinness in current evaluation models, which tend toward pro forma questionnaires, ‘designed by a central university office [to] assess the extent to which the professor kept the course to a pre-set schedule, clearly defined the assignments, and specifically defined the grading criteria in advance.’[1] Engaged learning is different, perhaps closer to ‘real life’, with correct answers within pre-set schedules elusive. The work unfolds instead through negotiation and renegotiation between the university, the community and students, that strives to enact useful projects providing mutual benefit. The need to evaluate these processes appropriately becomes important, as Dewar and Isaac note,[2] lest the disconnect between familiar modes of working and engaged learning sees students become disengaged in ways that undermine the outcomes that we hope to facilitate. In developing criteria for evaluating engaged learning, then, we consulted the work of others who had wrestled with these issues. Continue reading