Lincolnshire Learning Lab Introduces: Active Online Reading

On: Wednesday 6th April 2022

Time: 3:30pm to 5pm

Learn more about how students read online, what they think about how we teach them to do so, and how their online reading habits relate to their transition to study at university. 

At all levels of education, reading is ubiquitous – it is relevant for all disciplines and all students.. Students’ reading practices have transformed over the past 20 years, with the increasing digitisation of resources, the emergence and then ubiquity of virtual learning environments, and the widespread use of mobile technologies. The pandemic has accelerated such developments, with the rapid roll-out of online and blended learning. Yet we know strikingly little about how students read online, how this relates to their overall learning, and which pedagogic strategies are effective.

Since 2021, colleagues from the University of Lincoln, the University of Nottingham, UCL, and Talis Education have been running a project that explores ‘active online reading’. This project explored digital reading practices and pedagogies across institutions, addressing students’ collaborative and independent reading activities. As part of the project, we ran surveys of staff and students that explored their digital reading practices and pedagogies in Higher Education, gaining over 700 responses.

Online reading is fundamental to the transition to higher-level study (learning new ways of reading, ‘unlearning’ old habits) and to disciplinarily (reading in a particular subject). In this session, we will introduce the project, before outlining our findings in relation to the reading practices and experiences of first year students, with a particular focus on the issue of transition to disciplinary study in higher education. We will then move on to outline what our research suggests are particularly effective strategies for teaching students to read actively in online and offline contexts.


  • Introduction to the Active Online Reading project
  • Survey results: transition and disciplinarity
  • Pedagogy: what works (and what doesn’t)


Jamie Wood is Professor of History and Education in the School of History and Heritage at the University of Lincoln. He has been working on pedagogic development projects in HE History for over 15 years, with a particular focus on technology-enhanced and active learning. This work has been funded by the Higher Education Academy, the Quality Assurance Agency and others. In 2014, he a held visiting a visiting fellowship at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, where he led a project on the use of technology to teach ‘text-based’ disciplines in HE. In 2021 he won the Royal Historical Society’s Teaching Innovation prize for his ongoing work on online reading.

Academic freedom in contemporary Britain: A cause for concern?

Using comparable legal information, and empirical data from over 2000 members of the UK’s University and College Union and 2000 staff in universities of the European states, gathered by means of similar surveys, this paper is a comparative assessment of the de jure protection for, and the de facto levels of, academic freedom enjoyed by academic staff in the UK, when compared to their EU counterparts. The paper examines the legal and constitutional protection for academic freedom and the current levels of, and changes to, the two substantive elements (freedom to teach and freedom to research) and three supportive components (autonomy, governance and tenure) of academic freedom. The study reveals that UK academic staff believe that there is a low level of protection for academic freedom and that it has declined, both in general, and with respect to the two substantive elements and three supportive components of academic freedom. Similar trends are evident in the EU states, but statistical tests reveal that for every measure utilised, the decline in academic freedom is significantly greater in the UK than in the EU states

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Terence Karran, University of Lincoln, School of Education

Klaus D. Beiter, North-West University, Faculty of Law

Lucy Mallinson, Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute


The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Legal Education and Training in England and Wales

Globalisation, technology, and changing social (and digital) values, are dramatically and rapidly transforming the future of work. This is also true of legal practice and the future of lawyers and other law professionals. It is estimated, for example, that “nearly 40% of jobs in the legal sector could end up being automated in the long term”, and that new roles will emerge for which legal professionals at present are not adequately trained or prepared. (See here for a report by The Law Society, UK.) It is against this background that the article – The Fourth Industrial Revolution and a New Policy Agenda for Undergraduate Legal Education and Training in England and Wales – sets a policy agenda for undergraduate legal education and training that is sensitive to the opportunities and potential negative outfall of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (now exacerbated by COVID-19), while also taking into consideration the distinctive nature of legal education and training in England and Wales. It is suggested, inter alia, that the traditional, linear, and monodisciplinary LLB degree be radically transformed to accommodate and produce interdisciplinary and T-shaped graduates, those are graduates with in-depth knowledge and expertise in law, together with wider knowledge and expertise in other disciplines, including an awareness of technology and its potential applications. This will allow for more resilient, adaptable, and multi-functional law professionals in future.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Dr Andra Le Roux-Kemp, University of Lincoln, Lincoln Law School

Combining Our Virtual Isolation Discussions

In this presentation, Jamie, a PhD Student studying the pathways into teaching: exploring the preparation and retention of maths and science teachers, converses with his supervisor Rachael about their combined experiences of the virtual isolation over the past year. They discuss the challenges and benefits put upon them by the situation over the last year, such as research designs and data collection, and how together they have found innovative ways to overcome them. Finally, conclusions are drawn as to possible support for future researchers and supervisors to ensure that the journey whilst challenging is a successful and enjoyable one!

Dr Rachael Sharpe, School of Education
Mr Jamie Ainge, School of Education

Reflecting on PhD supervision during the pandemic.

Postgraduate Research students have faced a difficult time during the Covid-19 pandemic, when carefully planned research has been disrupted due to recurrent lockdowns, mental health problems have come to the fore, and the challenges of doing a doctorate have been made greater due to pressures on work and family. In this short talk, doctoral supervisors from the College of Social Science talk about their experience of supervising students during the pandemic.

Dr Hannah Henderson, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Dr Trish Jackman, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Dr Rachael Sharpe, School of Education
Dr Joss Winn, School of Education


Creating Connections in a Virtual World

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 in the UK, it quickly changed our day-to-day lives. With the closure of university facilities, doctoral researchers suddenly found themselves out of the postgraduate office and left to continue their studies from home. This shift triggered an almost overnight change in the environment surrounding many doctoral researchers, especially in terms of the interpersonal relationships with peers and supervisors. As a result, this may have increased the risk of social isolation. This presentation will provide an insight into the PGR Connect Series, which was organised to provide sport and exercise psychology postgraduate researchers at the University of Lincoln with a chance to present their work and connect with researchers at other institutions in the summer of 2020. The team at Lincoln Sport and Exercise Psychology Research will share their experiences of organising and presenting on the seminar series, which ran over nine weeks and eventually involved over 20 speakers from over a dozen institutions across six countries.

Dr Trish Jackman, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Rachel Langbein, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Rebecca Hawkins, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Ollie Williamson, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Dr Matthew Bird, School of Sport and Exercise Science


Overcoming the challenges of doctoral study during the pandemic.

Director of Studies, Dr Joss Winn, talks with colleague and PhD Professional candidate, Alison Raby, about the challenges she has faced during the pandemic when undertaking her research, An exploration of the personal tutoring experiences of Chinese students in the UK. The impact of Covid-19 has meant that Alison has had to rethink her data collection methods and timeline, and work around the cancellation of a planned trip to China.

Dr Joss Winn, School of Education

Ms Alison Raby, Department of Marketing Languages and Tourism


Navigating the Doctoral Journey During a Pandemic

The doctoral journey can be a winding road, throwing up challenges at every twist and turn but the arrival of Covid-19 and the resulting restrictions, created a host of challenges that could never have been predicted and rapidly changed the way we live. For doctoral researchers this meant the closure of university facilities, services at a halt for those working in the field and for some, data collection at a standstill. In this presentation two doctoral students from the University of Lincoln, share their experiences of their personal research journey during a pandemic and how they overcame the challenges they faced.

Dr Hannah Henderson – School of Sport and Exercise Science
Joanna Blackwell – School of Sport and Exercise Science
Georgia Clay – School of Sport and Exercise Science


Effects of biofeedback on whole lower limb joint kinematics and external kinetics

Biofeedback (BFb) is a useful tool to accelerate the skill development process. Limited research has applied BFb to the whole lower-limb in a complex skill therefore the aim of this research was to assess the effectiveness of a biofeedback intervention targeting whole lower limb kinematics. Thirty-two healthy participants were randomized to a BFb (n = 16) and a Control group (n = 16). Participants visited a motion capture laboratory on three occasions during one week, and returned for retention testing at 4–6 weeks. Following introduction to a novel lunge-touch task, visual BFb on lower limb joint kinematic extension angular velocities (ω) and timing were provided following each lunge. BFb was effective in increasing Hipω (F = 3.746, p = 0.03) and Kneeω (F = 10.241, p = 0.01). Peak Ankleω remained unchanged (F = 1.537, p = 0.23, η2 = 0.05), however Peak Ankleθ (F = 10.915, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.27) and AnkleROM (F = 9.543, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.24) significantly increased. Despite kinematic changes, there were no significant changes in any external kinetics. No significant correlations were found between Hipω, Kneeω or Ankleω and horizontal impulse (ImpulseY: r = 0.20, p = 0.26; r = −0.11, p = 0.24; and r = 0.22, p = 0.28, respectively). Findings demonstrate that BFb can be used to alter multiple kinematic variables in a complex skill, but do not necessarily alter associated kinetic variables not directly targeted by BFb.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science

Franky Mulloy, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Gareth Irwin, Cardiff Metropolitan University, School of Sport and Health Sciences

David Mullineaux, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science