Journal of Further and Higher Education

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 0309-877X / 1469-9486
Published by: Informa UK Limited (10.1080)
Total articles ≅ 1,976
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Latest articles in this journal

, Kris Plum, Ella Taylor-Smith,
Journal of Further and Higher Education pp 1-14; https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877x.2022.2072194

Abstract:
The COVID-19 global pandemic precipitated migration to online learning and teaching for students and universities. This study explored the change in self-identification in an academic role through the significant disruption caused by the urgent migration from on-campus teaching to online teaching in the face of lockdowns designed to limit the spread of the virus. Drawing upon identity theory, this study explored the impact of the swift change in work practices on the academic identities of staff (n = 33) at a UK university. Three themes were identified: identity disruption, sensemaking and nostalgia for what had been lost. Hearing directly from academics is important because academic identity, in an increasingly neoliberal sector, was already a topic of interest, with tension and insecurity affecting work practices, including interactions with students. The experiences of the disrupted academic sessions could result in significant changes in practice, and a re-shaping of the academic role to build upon online pedagogies, interactions with students, and peers. If so, what it means to be an academic will change with consequent implications for prioritisation, workloads, attracting and retaining academics, and student experience. The themes arising from this study are discussed and implications for future practice are presented.
, , John Herbert
Journal of Further and Higher Education pp 1-15; https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877x.2022.2070727

Abstract:
While incorporating project-based exercise is a common practice in software engineering education, few studies have been conducted in investigating how real-world project development influences university students’ proactive learning and knowledge transformation. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of developing real-world projects with industry engagement in encouraging students to apply knowledge to practice and be more proactive in learning. Using a two-group, post-test quasi-experimental design, the performance between the students taking real-world project development and the students in the control group are compared using descriptive statistics, the independent samples t-test and Welch t-test, accordingly. Both the Spearman’s rank-order and Kendall’s τ-b are used to examine the relationship between students’ practical works and the level of knowledge transformation estimated by the students through online surveys. The results suggest that using real-world projects in the classroom can be an effective motivational device for proactive learning and knowledge transformation. Project-based exercise should be both comprehensive and keeping pace with technology development driven by the software industry evolution to be more effective. The direct interaction with stakeholders, dynamic requirements change, employment of Agile methods, self-organising teams, and using challenging real-world projects, are essential in simulating a real-world software development environment in the classroom.
Journal of Further and Higher Education pp 1-17; https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877x.2022.2060069

Abstract:
Measures of student satisfaction are commonly used to compare universities. Student satisfaction with higher education institutions in the UK is assessed yearly using the National Student Survey (NSS). The most recent revision of the NSS suggests that the satisfaction questions form eight different subscales. The aim of this research was to empirically test whether the NSS questions form eight separate subscales. We used the public data from the NSS from 2019 and clustering methods to examine the structure of the data. We tested the structure of the NSS questions when the data was analysed as a whole (i.e. at the ‘top’ national level across all universities and courses). We also assessed the clustering of data for 78 course subjects separately to see the most frequent number of clusters across courses (i.e. at the ‘bottom’ individual course level). At the top (national) level, we found a four cluster or two cluster solution (when excluding both an item on the student union and a general satisfaction item), rather than an eight cluster solution. At the bottom (course) level, the most common cluster solution was two clusters, but with considerable variation, ranging from one to eight clusters. Our findings thus suggest that there is considerable variation in the structure of the NSS and that this variation can depend on analytical level (top national level vs. bottom course level). We review the implications of differing cluster structures for how the NSS is used.
Journal of Further and Higher Education pp 1-14; https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877x.2022.2061843

Abstract:
The re-emergence of student activism on college campuses in the U.S. has provoked questions about its educative function in higher education. Analysed through the lens of Kolb’s experiential learning theory cycle, individual interviews with self-identifying student activists from across the U.S. reveal that activism engages students in learning about social issues and critical social analysis, social change processes, and themselves. Consonant with the bases of Kolb’s idealised experiential learning cycle, student activists learn through having concrete experiences, engaging in reflective observation, developing abstract conceptualisation, and performing active experimentation. In addition to actively pursuing knowledge for themselves, student activists work to facilitate experiential learning opportunities for others, including peers as well as adults. As such, activism on campus serves as a vehicle for student-led teaching and learning.
Mari Karm, , James Groccia
Journal of Further and Higher Education pp 1-14; https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877x.2022.2057214

Abstract:
There is much debate concerning students’ evaluation of teaching and several academics discredit the validity and reliability of student comments. Student feedback would be a good source of information for academics to improve their teaching, while earlier studies indicate that the academics do not always make use of student feedback in their teaching development. Their perception on the applicability of the student feedback can be related to teachers’ attitude towards student feedback and their teaching conceptions. Furthermore, it may influence their motivation and efforts to participate in pedagogical trainings and willingness to improve their teaching. The research question for the current study was: What are the relationships between the academics’ conceptions of teaching and participation in pedagogical courses and their willingness and ability to apply student evaluation of teaching feedback to enhance teaching practice? Forty two academics were interviewed and interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis. As the result of the analysis three profiles of academics’ were formed: 1) academics with consistent attitude, 2) ambivalent attitude and 3) arrogant attitude towards student evaluation of teaching feedback. The study revealed how academics respond to such feedback and how they use it to develop their teaching depends on academics’ conceptions of teaching, attitude towards student feedback and participation in pedagogical courses.
Shalini Menon, , R. Raghu Raman
Journal of Further and Higher Education pp 1-20; https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877x.2022.2058355

Abstract:
The purpose of this study is two-fold. First, to identify and encapsulate the enablers that can facilitate curriculum agility in higher education and second, to understand the interplay between the factors. Literature review and academic experts helped identify eight factors crucial for driving curriculum agility in higher education. The total interpretive structural modelling (TISM), a widely used method in theory building, was used to develop a hierarchical conceptual framework of the curriculum agility factors. The TISM model helped comprehend the relationship between the factors and the logical reasoning behind the relationship. The cross-impact matrix multiplication applied to classification, also known as MICMAC analysis, was applied to rank the enablers based on their driving power into independent, autonomous, linkage, and dependent zones. The participants for the study included faculty members from higher education institutions in India. A closed-ended questionnaire and scheduled interview helped in gathering data. The TISM model revealed curriculum leader, organisational governance and teacher autonomy as the most crucial factors in driving curriculum agility in higher education. The results of this study would assist the policymakers and management of higher education institutions to understand the critical factors and work around them to add value to the curriculum.
, Angela Hall, Susan J. Wilbraham, Virendra Mistry, , Leigh Spanner
Journal of Further and Higher Education pp 1-14; https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877x.2022.2061844

Abstract:
Whilst existing evidence has demonstrated the imperative of social integration, inclusion, and belonging for student mental health, students often report relational challenges, barriers, and stressors at university. Drawing on thematic analysis of six student co-creation panels conducted during the Student Minds University Mental Health Charter consultations, this paper aims to elucidate student perspectives and proposals for promoting mental health at university by enhancing interpersonal interactions and social relationships. In particular, student panels identified existing challenges and opportunities to address social isolation, conflict, and exclusion in interactions with peers, academic staff, and the local community. The findings of this paper both echo and develop the principles of good practice propounded by the University Mental Health Charter, whilst the implications for university policy in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic are also discussed.
Vera Woloshyn, Snežana Obradovć-Ratković, , Jody-Lynn Rebek, Ayse Pinar Sen
Journal of Further and Higher Education pp 1-14; https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877x.2022.2055450

Abstract:
Although literature demonstrates that mindfulness practices enhance undergraduate student learning, writing composition, and sense of well-being in higher education, there is minimal research that explores faculty and doctoral student engagement in mindfulness practices to support academic writing and build online writing community. In this collaborative autoethnographic study, we fill this gap by exploring our experiences as five female academics participating in an online mindful writing group where we gathered regularly to meditate and write throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We developed and engaged in innovative meditations designed to support our academic writing and writer identity. Data included individual position statements and reflections and group conversational interviews. The findings are clustered under three main themes: (a) deepened understanding of the writing process and writer identity as expressions of self-reflection, creativity, and joy that led to greater acceptance of ourselves and others as writers, (b) the role of mindfulness in academic writing as present-moment non-judgemental awareness and acceptance that promoted well-being, and (c) development of a mindful online writing community that provided a space for honesty, vulnerability, knowledge exchange, and knowledge creation. We identified tensions of collaborative writing, such as navigating different writing styles, negotiating writer voice, and interpreting asynchronous feedback. We recommend that universities support the development of online mindfulness-based writing communities and pedagogies recognising that faculty and doctoral students vary in their continuum of mindfulness practices and, thus, are likely to hold different expectations from such communities.
Journal of Further and Higher Education pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877x.2022.2055451

Abstract:
The enduring colonial-like relations among Northern and Southern spaces continue to influence knowledge production and dissemination. Critical scholarship on epistemic diversity in higher education has argued that knowledge circulation is often unilateral considering how global partnerships among universities and higher education models are still unidirectional. While Northern ways of knowing dominate what is taught and researched in higher education institutions, indigenous knowledges are not always represented in their local universities due to skewed geopolitics of knowledges. That is why emerging forms of resistance such as the calls for decolonising the curriculum have emphasised the need to deconstruct the ideological systems of exclusion in contemporary higher education. This article discusses how the internationalisation of higher education may be running the risk of reproducing epistemic injustice and uneven geopolitics of knowledge. With the West-led internationalisation discourse and the ascendancy of neoliberal tendencies, universities in the Global South might be experiencing deeper epistemic dependency. To undermine the dominance of western epistemologies, less popular ways of knowing are expected to assume a central position in the global geopolitics of knowledge. This article makes a case for embracing intercultural philosophy as an emancipating framework that offers the possibility of reconciling the world’s epistemologies by promoting inter-epistemic dialogue. The nuance of intercultural philosophy and its analysis of the epistemic relationships at play granted by epistemological polylogue can encourage pluri-epistemologies in higher education.
Journal of Further and Higher Education pp 1-15; https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877x.2022.2055449

Abstract:
Research into student experiences of learning about potentially emotionally sensitive topics tends to focus on the use of trigger warnings, with less attention paid to other teaching strategies and to broader context. This questionnaire study of 917 arts, humanities and social science students therefore sought to explore the extent to which students experienced courses as distressing, and their perceptions of the teaching strategies implemented by staff. Overall distress levels were low, and university was viewed as a good place for learning about difficult topics. However, a small number of students reported a high level of distress, particularly in relation to seminars. The importance of the overall approach taken by staff to teaching, and their personal approachability was emphasised more than specific strategies. Findings emphasised the importance of staff moving beyond a singular focus on trigger warnings, to consider student course experience more holistically. Implications for university teaching are discussed.
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