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Dr Louise Bunce (PhD, CPsychol, FHEA, AFBPS) is a
Senior Lecturer in Human Development in the Department of Sport, Health
Sciences and Social Work within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. She has been awarded a Brookes Teaching
Excellence Fellowship for her success in fostering diversity and inclusion at
departmental and institutional levels. Louise specialises in supporting learners from
Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, and more broadly she tackles the
challenge of supporting learners in a vocational context by embracing
opportunities to engage students as researchers. Louise’s recent professional development
included two superb presentations about her work at the Brookes Learning and
Peer-Mentorship and Staff-Student Collaboration on the Production of a Digital Geographical Research Techniques Guide. The project is co-led by Dr Chris Satow and Dr Ingrid Medby, involving all members of Geography staff and incoming students.
The project will engage undergraduate students in the active development of their own curriculum, focusing particularly on research skills and mentoring across cohorts. Third-year Geography students will act as peer-mentors on a compulsory second-year fieldwork module, giving them an opportunity to consolidate their own skills through feeding these forward. Despite the national emphasis on fieldwork in Geography there has so far been few examples of peer-teaching of this kind, highlighting the innovative nature of the project. The participating third-year students will also get an additional qualification in mentoring, linking to Oxford Brookes’ focus on employability.
The second-year fieldwork and third-year mentoring will both feed into the co-production of a digital fieldwork research-skills guide. As the first of its kind, this guide will be hosted online as a ‘living document’ to be updated and expanded by future Geography cohorts – and available as a resource for future students potentially considering Brookes.
The guide will comprise not only textual chapters but also videos, images, maps, and other creative outputs for and by students. Emphasis is on multimodal teaching and learning in order to ensure inclusivity. The idea is for this to be a ‘staff-student partnership’, whereby students are tasked with voicing what they would find most useful in terms of content and resources. Development and design of materials beyond assessed work will be linked to the Brookes ID scheme, allowing students to gain additional recognition of their transferable skills and experiences.
The project is a result of Geography’s recent growth in both student and staff numbers at Oxford Brookes University, bringing in new ideas as well as drawing inspiration from successful peer-mentoring schemes from across the University. The team is excited about the opportunity offered by the Award and look forward to discussing it further at future Teaching and Learning Conferences!