Thursday, 27 June 2013

University signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Babylon

Taken from:

Wednesday 26th June 2013
  • The University of Northampton has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Babylon.
    The prominent Iraq university has been associated with the University of Northampton since 2012, when delegates from the University of Babylon first visited Northampton's School of Science and Technology. Further discussion has identified areas of mutual interest for academic and research collaboration and knowledge transfer between the two institutions. The University of Babylon has also expressed interest in implementing Northampton's social enterprise model at their university.
    Signed on Monday at Avenue Campus, the formal agreement includes provisions for joint research activities, staff development for teaching and research and student exchange visits. The agreement was signed and witnessed by the University of Northampton's Vice-Chancellor Nick Petford, and the University of Babylon's delegation; Professor Adil Al-Baghdadi, Professor Dhirgham Alkhafaji, Professor Adil Abbas Alwan and Professor Tawfiq Abdulkhaleq Al-Assadi.
    Professor Kamal Bechkoum, Executive Dean of the School of Science and Technology, commented: "This is a significant partnership that fits in with the School's internationalisation plan and we are delighted about progress."

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Work in Progress: Disscussion Board in Research Method Module

Trying to find a way of encouraging students to write and critique literature reviews. So I looked at whether using a discussion board could be used. I 'borrowed' the idea from a short course on Moderating On-Line Groups (now CLEO) run by the Institute of Learning and Teaching Higher Education, University of Northampton.

What was the exercise they had to do?
- Post a small literature review of up to three papers on start of project idea.
- post it on a discussion board on the Backboard module
- rules they
            - had to post the mini review of the discussion board with appropriate references
            - had to comment on at least one post.
            - were encouraged a week later to post a mindmap of the project.

- small group (less than 10)
- MSc students

Initial Observations
- 3 weeks after it started posts are still appearing.
- most students have comment on most of the initial literature reviews.
- 46 posts only 11 of them are from me, this included one where I post an example.
- Student comments vary from being mainly supportive to appropriately critical making some suggestions

Some thoughts
- It seems to be received by the student so far positively.
- The fact that it is small group who know each other is probably helping.
- Comments also included ones saying that it helped others understand a little clear what the other person's project is about, overall comments are usually clearly written and supportive of each other even when making critical suggestions.
-will it have an impact on proposal and final dissertation is unknown.

Work in Progress: Audio feedback

I tried audio feedback to whole group before and the response was positive. I also know it was listened to as the student's feedback comments were about the “erm’s” in the recording cause  - but they listened to it!

So, I have tried it through Grademark with finalist assignment feedback for around 40 students for individual assignment feedback.

- it is quick to do the actual feedback
- didn’t involve me writing or typing
-felt more natural to me.
-second marker was complimentary about it.

- restrictive on where it can be done as it needed somewhere without many distractive noises and couldn’t be done in an open-plan office.

- only one student commented and that was positive.
- the feedback was looked at (not sure it was listened too) as evident by the tracking information in turnitin.

-would have been nice to have had more feedback
- would also have be nice to know whether the feedback was actually played or the feedback was just opened.

Friday, 7 June 2013

UN celebrates two years of Lab_13 at Irchester Primary School

​​​The events focussed on science and technology as part of the celebration of two years of the primary school’s Lab_13 (@Lab_13Irchester). The lab is a dedicated science space in the School which is aimed to drive the imagination and curiosity of the students with a Scientist-in-Residence, Jennifer Hogan, in support.
Tricia Goodchild, STEM Diversity Co-Ordinator at the University of Northampton said; “The children are wonderful, really interested in STEM subjects, enthusiastic and work hard to sustain this area not only with their peers but throughout the school.”
The University has been supported Lab_13 for the past two years in various ways and this was a culmination of all the activities that have taken place. 
The workshops that took place by members of the University included investigating the hidden world through a Thermal Imaging camera; wind-power experiments; building towers with spaghetti and marshmallows; leather as a material; 3D imaging; drawing ‘bots’ and investigating germs.
Dr Scott Turner, the School of Science and Technology’s Widening Participation and Learning and Teaching Co-ordinator said; “Lab_13 is a great idea, and always a positive experience working with them.
Dr Gemma Marsden, Lecturer in Molecular Bioscience conducted scientific experiments with the children in order to see how clean or unclean their room was.
She said; “I had a wonderful experience working with Lab_13.  It was great to be met with such overwhelming enthusiasm about science and I hope the students enjoyed finding out how clean their class room was.”

Thursday, 6 June 2013

STEM Outreach: prize-giving for children’s robot designs

Taken from:

​A group of school children were invited to the University of Northampton on 22 May for a prize-giving ceremony for a robot design competition that was set by the School of Science and Technology.

Pupils from six schools across Northamptonshire were selected to take part in an Engineering Extravaganza during National Science and Engineering Week in March, which was organised by Tricia Goodchild, STEM Co-ordinator from the University of Northampton.

As well as taking part in the fantastic workshops that the STEM Ambassadors carried out, the pupils were asked to design a special robot that could perform wonderful tasks.

The winners were Jaisie Burnett from Bugbrooke Primary School, who designed The Transporter 2000 and Millie Berrill from The Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School, who designed Mummy’s Little Helper. They both won a Mindstorm Lego Robot each.

Two runners up prizes were awarded to Elle Huckerby from Studfall Junior School for the Robo Teddy and Diane Petruhina from Vernon Terrace Primary for the Crazy Robot. Special awards for creativity and imagination went to Luke Smith and brother and sister team, Sophie and Luke O’Connor, all from Southend Infant School.

The prizes were presented by Professor Kamal Bechkoum, Executive Dean of the School of Science and Technology and Duncan Middleton, Chairman of the Northants Engineering Training Partnership and Technical Director of Festo UK.

The winning pupils were then able to see their robot designs in 3D in the High Definition Active Cube in the NVision Centre.

Tricia Goodchild organised the competition along with Jon Adams, Head of Engineering. She commented:”All 700 entries were wonderful, but the winners and runners up were fantastic. They were so enthusiastic and full of energy and were in awe of the inspiring immersive 3D modelling which NVision, particularly Kelly Sealy, had put together. To be able to get inside the robot they had designed on paper was an amazing experience.”

What do students thinks of exam?

Ajit, S.  (2017)  Exam as an assessment instrument in computer programming courses: student perceptions.  Poster presented to:  6th Internat...