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  5. Black student experience and attainment on S112: improving a level 1 STEM module

Black student experience and attainment on S112: improving a level 1 STEM module

Project leader(s): 
Louise MacBrayne and Jennie Bellamy

Data (for 2015-18) produced by the Strategic Analytics Team, Data and Student Analytics, seems to indicate that pass rates for black students in EEES have previously been low despite completion rates closer to the rest of the cohort (data for other BAME students were not included in the presentation). Pass rates for black students are approximately half that of the non-BAME students. 

Registrations for black students (and all BAME students) in EEES are low and currently the majority are studying S112 (36 students in 19J, 25 in 18J and 28 in 17J). The proposed project would start by gathering and analysing S112 data around BAME students (segmented into black, Asian, mixed) and would focus on the student journey for those students. Drawing on these findings, later phases of the project would look at implementing adjustments.

The initial phase would involve gathering data including TMA and exam scores across three presentations (17J, 18J, then 20J), and other factors including study intensity, concurrent/ previous modules, credit transfer, employment status, caring responsibility, PEQ, socio-economic status.

Using the data collected and insights from the SST, it is proposed to identify whether there are specific pinch points in S112 (for example did TMA scores decrease consistently across the module or was there a specific decrease at a single TMA or the exam?) or barriers in the module (language used in assessment, lack of familiarity with process words such as explain/define, having a face-to-face exam) or other factors that pose specific difficulties for BAME students on S112. It is hoped that this would provide an evidence base to inform actions in the second phase of the project (e.g. whether there is a need for additional or different types of exam preparation or proactive interventions at specific points) that could be disseminated more widely across the Faculty for modules adopting similar assessment strategy.

Key outputs will include information on issues faced by BAME students on S112. It is anticipated than longer-term outcomes from dissemination of these outputs will include developed understanding of the needs of BAME students amongst tutors and others who support students, and more inclusive tuition practice. This should help develop tutors’ confidence and ability in supporting this student group which should have a positive impact on students’ experiences and performance including fostering a greater sense of belonging for the BAME student demographic. Findings may also help identify training needs for tutors and others who support students.

Lousie MacBrayne and Jennie Bellamy poster (PPTX)