Learning and Teaching in Action: Open Issue

Student in language lab



Maureen Dawson

This issue of Learning and Teaching in Action, the first in 2009, is an Open issue. Articles in this issue cover aspects of employability, particularly with respect to skills acquisition; retention and progression; and assessment.

In their article ‘Alternate Reality Games for Orientation, Socialisation and Induction’, Rosie Jones and Nicola Whitton discuss their JISC-funded ‘ARGOSI’project which used an Alternate Reality Game ( ARG) to support the student induction process and the development of library and information skills. The importance of early socialisation of students within the university setting as an aid to student retention is well known. This project demonstrates an innovative approach to improving the student experience of induction, whilst facilitating the development of skills and promoting socialisation.

Richard Cameron’s article ‘Numeracy Skills and Employability’ discusses ways in which key numeracy skills may be promoted within MMU. He draws on various studies, including that of the National Teaching Fellowship Institutional Project ‘Every Student Counts: Promoting Numeracy and Enhancing Employability’, a collaborative venture between MMU, UCLAN and Sheffield Hallam Universities’ and suggests the establishment of a ‘Numeracy’ Community of Practice.

Sue Jepson gives a humorous account of her attempts to ‘stimulate student interest and engagement in the development of personal and professional skills within the changing face of ‘skills’ in Higher Education’ in her article ‘From Boring to Exploring’. The unit in question was a level five unit within a Sports and Exercise programme. Student evaluations show that her radical changes were successful in engaging students. Being a truly reflective practitioner, she continues to modify the unit to improve the student experience.

Gianpaolo Vignali and Isabell Hodgson also discuss changes they made to a module ‘Global Directions and Perspectives in International Hospitality’ at Leeds Metropolitan University, to improve the employability of their students by ‘Real World Learning’.

In her article ‘Formative Assessment Models and their impact on initial teacher training’, Debra Kidd shows how one school, recently designated a ‘National School of Creativity’ is ‘seeking to provide a creative and meaningful approach to assessment’. She shows how the complex process of changing their models of assessment mirrors many developments in assessment at Higher Education level, and within a year 7 curriculum.

In the last paper of this edition, Nicola Hughes discusses a project undertaken within the Foundation programme, which links attendance with success. This study has shown the levels of attendance which need to be attained in order to give a good chance of success. This analysis therefore allows interventions to be targeted where they are likely to be successful.

Finally, we have the usual round up of news from the faculties, the library and from CeLT, plus details of a new book published by Sue Jones, on ‘Critical Student Learning’.


Learning and Teaching in Action is published once a term. We are always looking to disseminate the wide range of learning and teaching developments being undertaken across MMU, so if you have any ideas for an article, or even a dedicated edition, then please let me know (m.m.dawson@mmu.ac.uk). We are also seeking to disseminate successful grant applications and ongoing projects, as well as book and paper reviews.
about the author

photo of Maureen Dawson

Maureen Dawson
Centre for Learning and Teaching

e-mail: m.m.dawson@mmu.ac.uk
telephone: 0161 247 1205

Spring 2009
ISSN 1477-1241