Monday, 7 September 2015

Comments from BA LTR students on the impact of the course

Below are a selection of comments about the impact of their study provided by students during the BA LTR course and after graduation. References to 'Ultraversity' derive from the course having been part of the Ultralab based 'Ultraversity research project' when it was first launched. Many students referred to the course as Ultraversity rather than by its title. 

References to 'dissemination' and 'exhibition' relate to our final year where rather than a student's dissertation being marked and forgotten we ask students to disseminate the findings of their major project research to a workplace based audience and gather critical feedback to construct an impact study. This aspect was in part what prompted the course to be described as a PhD for undergraduates it is also an element that makes the workplace sit up and take notice of the student and has lead to internal promotion for many students.


BA LTR is an excellent course.  Ian always makes time when needed. Understands issues faced. Knows the topics inside out. Encourages and inspires: nothing is impossible. He has encouraged and supported me to become an independent learner. This has developed life long skills that will benefit me in all areas of my life. I am very grateful that he believed in me as a person and as a student pushing me to achieve beyond what I believed I could do. 
Hi Ian,
I’m sorry that you were unable to make it to the graduation, hope you’re ok. I was really looking forward to meeting you and wanted to thank you in person for the great support that you gave me over the past few years. I learned so much from you and will always be grateful for your help advice and advice.
It was great day, really enjoyed it and felt very proud to have graduated. I’m the very first in my family to achieved a degree; I’m one of seven kids and none of my siblings have been to university! But now one of my sisters has become inspired by my success and is starting an access course, I’m hoping others will follow suit, it really is never too late!
I’ve attached a couple photos, I see they’ve named a building after you J

Julie Wren, Business Operations Team Leader in FHSCE achieved a first and says:

 “I loved this degree, after I took time out to have children I found that technology had dramatically improved and my skills needed updating. Although I attended many professional development courses, nothing improved my ability and mettle more than the BALTR degree. This degree enabled me to critically evaluate my role and practices in the workplace and gave me the confidence and skills to apply for and be successful in my current managerial role. I couldn’t have done that without being inspired by the degree course team and my fellow undergraduate researchers, many of whom are now firm friends for life.”


"It was a long-term aim of mine to achieve a degree but there was no way I could afford to give up my job and go and study for 3 years full time. So when the flyer fell on the staff-room table, it was really you know the answer for me. It was the right route."

"I was promoted to deputy manager - because of the knowledge gained from the course I am now managing the schools professional development system and the strategic response to Ofsted."
Sarah (Teaching assistant, promoted in year 2 of study).

"I felt that the Ultraversity programme was ideally suited to me because I run my own business and therefore I was able to tailor the work to not only benefit myself but also to target specific areas of my organisation. The combination of having key submission dates for modules together with setting my own intermediate milestones worked well since I was able to flex my research around my work and family commitments whilst still ensuring that I achieved the module deadlines. The need to look closely at my strengths and weaknesses helped determine my learning requirements"

"Improvements to working practice as a direct result of Action Inquiries undertaken throughout the three years of study continue to benefit my reputation as a innovative and creative practitioner. Adoption of episodic lesson planning that allows for the non-linear progression of SEN Students is one example of the application of Action Research to improve practice.”

“ My efforts so far have changed procedures, developed communication, raised morale and formed a cohesive group which offers support to each other. My research area has developed my school role beyond what was first perceived as my role as school administrator. The research activity has also resulted in new responsibilities being offered and professional recognition by the workplace."


"As a consequence of my research the headteacher has asked me to look into co-ordinating the Investors in People project for our school this year. He has seen the value of my research and how successfully and professionally I have approached it and I think that this has had an impact on him in that he feels I will be able to successfully steer the school through the Investors in People programme.

I honestly do contribute this success down to what I learnt during my degree programme. I led some whole school action research on the implementation of the VLE and recently on a programme called PASS which evaluates pupils attitudes towards themselves and school.... Our authority really bought into the SIG school improvement Model, which is effectively Action Research based, and what I learnt from this degree really put me at the front in my school for leading whole school change..."

"Disseminating the exhibition to an audience of teachers and Governors has opened up the possibility of developing AR for staff development and made other people in the school community more aware of the potential of the VLE. As the VLE coordinator I can now speak from first hand knowledge about study via a VLE.”


"An action inquiry into personal safety in the workplace made people more aware of the dangers of lone working. I am now regularly consulted and also remind people of issues surrounding this. I am still issuing personal alarms to members of staff in my department and have been called on outside of my department to issue alarms and demonstrate their use.”

"To top it all off, I was on secondment to my HR department as staffside lead for the KSF, following major changes in the Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. , I under went a 40 minute interview and was given a HR post in Learning and Development with responsibility for widening participation across the whole of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust covering over 10,000 staff; working with local further education providers with the result that I have doubled my pay from what I had earned as a nursing auxiliary."


"The first thing that comes to mind is the patch I did in my first year of study. It was titled "The Purpose of Reflective Practice" and it was one of the first assignments I did in the 'alternative media' mind-set. I produced the documents as a video and uploaded it as a video on YouTube to share with the community for peer feedback. Unknowingly at the time, it has now gone on to have over 32,000 views and has also been picked up by a University in New Zealand and the video makes part of a course at UCOL School of Nursing in Palmerston North.

The video still receives regular attention at but is easily found as the first result when typing 'reflective practice' into YouTube and is the 5th result of 4,380,000 when typing the same phrase into Google!"
Toby Adams BA LTR Graduate

@iantindal @BA_LTR Thanks! I got so much from those three years. Value, outcomes and enjoyment were certainly key words for my experience.

Impact - during the course the impact of what I was doing hit me gradually. Throughout I was determined to prove that I could earn a degree and I was not going to be happy unless it was a good result so I worked extremely hard to achieve that.
The impact since has meant, of course, that I have been able to achieve QTS by the GTP route and I would recommend this to anyone as the best way.
The sense of achievement on a personal level cannot be taken away. I am very proud of my degree and even if I had not gone on to do anything else I would still feel very proud.



"BA LTR has opened up a spirit of inquiry within the cohort and made individuals challenge their use of technology.
It is curiosity and a willingness to experiment that will lead to change. If teachers do not experiment with, or try and work with, technology then they will never ever get close to being in a position to grasp its fitness for purpose and therefore the potential to add value to learning using technology in and outside the classroom.”

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey that I have been on and I feel that a lot of that stemmed from the energy and enthusiasm that was injected by the course tutors,facilitators and administrators. Overall I feel as if I have been a part of something exciting and dynamic and hope that you continue to offer this degree to others who are unable to physically attend University due to work or other commitments as it is a truly rewarding experience thanks to an excellent team of professionals.

Please feel free to pass on my comments to whoever may be interested and do make use of any useful content for any recruitment purposes.”

Kind regards

Julian Keith


"The course involved lots of hard work but it was brilliant. On day 1. I felt a little worried about technology, I knew how to play games on a computer, use a Word document and little bits and bobs but I had never set up a web page or blog. I found the course quite seamless and interesting. The more you use technology and the more you talk to other people with expertise (in the online community) such as making PowerPoint really work, you realise it’s a less pressured way of learning. By the time I was finishing the degree I was really being a bit silly with technology trying to work out different ways of doing all sorts of things. I became confident in knowing what I wanted to use and that I would be able to work out how to do it with out worrying that I would embarrass myself.  I found doing a PGCE so easy afterwards, I had done the Reflective Practice and Action Research in BA LTR so the PGCE was really only learning about educational theory. I graduated in 2008 and am still using what I learned on the course every day."

Phil Williams 

 “My Deputy Head delivers several training courses at a School training centre. Following my dissemination event she asked me to look at her presentation on ‘Visual Supports.’ She stated that my PowerPoint had made a powerful impact and that the images were strong. I worked with my Deputy Head showing her how to adapt slides according to the theory I had learned and applied to my presentation. She then finished the presentation and forwarded to me for my thoughts.” … The feedback [on my research] indicates that the respondents would like the whole school to have the opportunity to share the disseminated knowledge. Importantly 3 of the respondents are the head teacher, the deputy head and the assistant head, those with authority to arrange for this knowledge to be shared. There is a suggestion that the research, if implemented, would offer the school a common tool. The leadership team has included a CPD session included into the school inset day for the dissemination to be shared with the whole school in the summer term.”

I tend to study 6-7 am before I go to work and again after the children have gone to bed. I was at first unsure whether an online course would suit me but my tutor also seems to be an early bird and night owl and often responds to my community messages within minutes of me posting them. We have had some wonderful early morning / late evening chats in the tutorial chat room. 

“I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your advice and thoughts regarding my dissertation.

I think it is fantastic that you use voice recordings as well as written feedback, it really enabled me to understand the context in which you were giving the information. It also gave me the ability to 'sense' whether I was on the right track or not.

Once again thank you for your help”



Hi Ian,

Just thought I'd drop you a post to say my Speech and language masters interview went really well on the 1st. We had a short written piece, role play, critical reflection on a video clip and individual interviews.I got so carried away talking about theory Dr. Wilson (lecturer) lent me a book which he thought I'd enjoy! I just hope they didn't have a headache post interview.The knowledge and understanding I'd acquired through my degree was so relevant that I was "singing" all the way through. It didn't feel like an interview at all! I didn't want to leave!

In the second year there is a research project to be undertaken and action research is an option. I nearly fell off my chair with happiness: )I was so better prepared than some of the other applicants and I needed to be as there were nearly 400 applicants, 100 got interviews and only 22 places. So I've done pretty well already.Keeping everything crossed now, should find out my fate in a couple of weeks.I think the reality of what I can achieve is really kicking in now, especially the habit of picking apart every experience I encounter. I never fully realised how infinitely relevant these modules were. I now realise why our facilitators made us work for the answers.

Wishing you and your family well.

Love Kate x

"It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not".

PS. My last thought on leaving the Uni. was "I wish my Clanger mates ( Kate's learning set ) were with me now...they would love this". 

A week later...

They have offered me a place so I'm well and truly "in". One of the lecturers made the journey into my school and told me I was "top of the pile" and I gave her a big hug and promptly burst into tears.

I am so pleased and relieved I can't tell you. I owe you guys so much.

My dear headmaster said that when I finish in 2011 the first thing I must do is pick up the phone as he wants me back. We shook on it and it is the first thing I shall do.

Kate Wright


“On the strength of my success as a Family Liaison Officer, I have been asked by the LEA to pilot the first Parent Champion post in the county and to write a new job description for possible future Parent Champions.
 I have become much more knowledgeable about barriers for parents as learners and participants in their children's schooling and, as a result, have been able to develop useable and meaningful strategies for improving these areas of concern for parents.

 If I had not targeted my own learning throughout my degree on this particular area, I don't think I would have developed such a specialism, with the result that the County would not necessarily have selected me as the first Parent Champion.”


“The impact of my Action Enquiry research, especially in this final year, has not only had the impact of the children reading more than previously, but also has helped my school in our very recent  OFSTED; the work that I carried out was recognised by the Inspector who made this comment within the 'Quality of provision' section of his report with regard to the 'Teaching and Learning' section.”
            'One teaching assistant has devised a very effective system of rewards that is inspiring pupils to become very enthusiastic readers.'


"I've loved the idea of being a new and ground-breaking student 'researcher'. I haven't needed a traditional university life to back up my studies - I would never have had the time to fit it in. I have made friends through learning groups but while we've swapped photos of each other, we have never met so the graduation day is going to be a real eye-opener. We'll be meeting our fellow students, literally, for the first time."
Sharon S

“Promotion to Head of PSHE in January, responsible for writing schemes of work, measuring outcomes, etc. across whole school (first admin person to hold an academic post in the school). Also leading Healthy Schools Status audit, liaising with county Health Team - audit taking place in January."

“I have just been asked by my Head to work for one day a week from September in our 'partnership' school and I have agreed.  There is simply no way I would have accepted this challenge until this year, to be fair, probably only recently and it is all down to having greater confidence and faith in myself.  I will be teaching, through PPA time, a mixed age class of children in years 3 and 4.   I am sure that finally giving the presentations of my Action Enquiry project at school was a major step forward for me and has also probably changed the perceptions of others with regard to my abilities.
In September I will begin a SCITT(school centred initial teacher training) course, which will give me a PGCE certificate at the end of it.  Since teaching was the reason why I began this degree I am very pleased to have got a place on a course this year and look forward to being fully qualified in just over a years time.”


“In September I'll be taking up a place at the University of East Anglia for a years Post Graduate Teaching Certificate course.  After that I hope to find a position teaching Primary children.  This was the whole point of me doing this degree and I'm delighted that I'm going to achieve it."

To follow on from my degree study I chose a training programme based on location and entry requirements:  Primary School Direct Training Programme 2014-2015.

After my initial application was accepted, I was invited to attend an informal interview evening for which I was required to prepare a short presentation about myself and present this to the interview panel along with 15 other candidates. Coincidently and thankfully, the BA LTR module I was completing at the time was ‘Technology for Dissemination’. In it, I investigated various presentation techniques and technologies. This became invaluable for preparing me for my presentation to the interview panel.
It was also during this module that I discovered PowToons, an alternative to PowerPoint. I was able to detract the focus of the presentation away from me for a while and focus everyone’s attention on the animated film playing behind me. As in previous modules I have used the genre of poem, I decided to used this to accompany the presentation. This proved to be extremely successful, as I was one of only six to be asked to return for a formal interview. 


Thanks so much for all your encouragement throughout my studies...I certainly couldn't have done it without you!  I loved the graduation ceremony, a fantastic way to celebrate our achievements.


Very impressed with the module materials you have created, I feel very inspired for the new semester! 

I am still working on the CMaps, so I will send them all later no worries if you can't look through them before we chat , thank you so much for offering your help, as always you have saved the day. 


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