Nottingham University Business School
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Trevor Charles Robert Bayley

ATT Fellow, Fellow HEA, MSc International Business


Current Status: Completed
Year of Registration: 2008
Expected Completion Date: /09/2014

Primary Funding Source:

Research Topic:
Enhancing engagement through the design of small group learning interactions – a longitudinal case study from a Sino-Foreign university

Research Details:
This doctoral thesis describes research on an undergraduate accounting information systems module at the China campus of Nottingham University Business School. The central research question is 'How can small group interactions be designed to improve student engagement in this context?'. To this end, this study adopts an interpretive philosophical paradigm to address three research questions which are explored in three distinct phases conducted over a 7 year period In the first phase a grounded approach is taken to address the question - What influences engagement in small group interactions?
The second phase takes the themes identified in the first phase and addresses the question - What strategies might be adopted to improve engagement?
In the third and final phase, a longitudinal study is conducted, in which the strategies identified in the second phase are then applied in 4 cycles of action research, addressing the question - How does the application of these strategies impact on engagement in this context?
This research finds 36 themes that influence engagement in small group interactions and 25 strategies to address them are identified and tested.
The themes and strategies identified in this research confirm that some of the findings in the extant literature, relating to mainland Chinese undergraduate student engagement in Western undergraduate programmes overseas, also apply to such programmes conducted in the mainland Chinese context. In addition a sense of student empowerment over altering pedagogy to suit student preference in terms of classroom environment, interaction timing, second language use, and tutor focus is found.
Among the strategies tested, a problem-based group project, set within a familiar context and informed by an evidence-based design approach, which values the opinion and experience of the student as designer of the proposed problem solution, was found to be the most effective in promoting early engagement in the desired learning process. This study supports the argument that case study approaches, where those studies are set in unfamiliar contexts, may not be best suited for undergraduate programmes.
CurrentTeaching: NUBS China
Convenor/Lecturer Computers in Business
Convenor/Lecturer Accounting information systems Tutor Introduction to IT Personal Tutor UG and PG Dissertation supervision

Research Supervisor/s: David Wastell, Emeritus Professor and Thomas Chesney

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