• Introductory workshops

    These all take place 11.00-13.00 on Monday 4 September.

    Classical and new phenomenography

    Jo McKenzie, Institute for Interactive Media and Learning, UTS

    This workshop is designed for people who are new to phenomenographic research or the more recent development of variation theory. Workshop participants will be able to explore differences between classical and new phenomenography and discuss their relevance to their own research or interests in student learning.

    Researching PDP

    Sue Clegg, Sheffield Hallam University

    This workshop will give participants an opportunity to reflect on different strategies and reasons for researching into an area of their own practice, using the specific example of my work on personal development planning (PDP). PDP is a major policy initiative and I worked with colleagues, including practitioners, looking at staff understandings (Clegg & Bradley 2006, a & b), developing a broader conceptual understanding at the policy level and a critique of other research approaches (Clegg, 2004, 2005), as well as working on students' experiences of PDP which is being reported at this conference. The workshop will give participants an opportunity to explore why they might want to research into this, or other areas of practice, and depending on their purposes what approaches they might adopt.

    How to facilitate learning of academic thinking skills

    Sari Lindblom-Ylänne, University of Helsinki, Finland

    The workshop is built upon a research project on personal epistemology and academic thinking skills of psychology , theology and pharmacy students by applying a qualitative approach. A total number of 87 students were interviewed. The interview data of the psychology students was cross-sectional comprising of second-year Bachelor students and first- and third-year Master’s students. The theology and pharmacy students were finishing their final Master’s year. It was hypothesised, firstly, that the personal epistemology of student affects approaches to learning and students’ perceptions of teaching and, secondly, that the development of personal epistemology interacts with teachers’ actions and pedagogical implications.

    The aim of the workshop is firstly to examine variation and development of personal epistemology and academic thinking skills of university students. Secondly, it is discussed, how the development of academic thinking skills should be supported by academic staff and how these skills should be taught. Thirdly, the data provides examples of disciplinary differences in personally epistemology and academic thinking skills which will be explored.