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(Online) Wednesday Research Seminar - Implementing an integrated curriculum in a foundation programme module

Event information

START DATE 01 April 2020


END DATE 01 April 2020

We are pleased to invite you to our Wednesday Research Seminar. It will be held online on 1 April from 4pm via GoToMeeting platform.

Wednesday Research Seminar Series was launched in 2008, and has featured more than 275 presentations to date. The seminars provide a forum for researchers to share their work. Presenters include faculty from Middlesex University Dubai and other universities in the United Arab Emirates, as well as researchers from other global institutions. Andrew Mackenzie, Rory McConnon, and Lynda Hyland will deliver seminar on:

“Implementing an integrated curriculum in a foundation programme module: early findings from a study of faculty and student experiences”

Andrew Mackenzie, Rory McConnon, and Lynda Hyland


University transition programmes can be generic or specialised. In the latter case, students are exposed to an array of discipline-specific content that they will study at a more advanced level once they commence their undergraduate degree. The literature suggests that an integrated curriculum wherein concrete connections are made between aspects of taught content, can result in beneficial outcomes for students (Stohlmann, Moore, & Roehrig, 2012) and teachers (Zhou, Kim, & Kerekes, 2017). The current study focuses on an integrated curriculum foundation programme module with a theme of sustainability, which was created using a constructivist approach. Kolb’s learning cycle (1984) was central to the development of this module in terms of the learning experience- abstract conceptualization, converging ideas, active experimentation/ learning by doing, and student reflection. The aim of this exploratory, qualitative research is to assess the perceived effectiveness of this module, as evidenced by student experiences, topic comprehension, and student self-efficacy. Furthermore, it aims to explore faculty perceptions relating to the delivery of this module. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a representative sample of 19 foundation programme students (i.e., students across a range of grade brackets) and with 7 lecturers who delivered this module. This project is ongoing, with thematic analysis being conducted on qualitative responses. Therefore this presentation will focus on the rationale for, and the methodology of, the current study, and will highlight some early themes which are emerging from the data.


Andrew Mackenzie is a lecturer specialising in Marketing and Innovation at Middlesex University Dubai with over 20 years’ experience in education and training. Currently Andrew’s research interest is in the field of sustainability and he is driving recycling initiatives as an ambassador for the closed loop recycling platform, Simply Bottles and learning and development research in experiential learning. This in turn will lead to exciting studies in understanding the effect of marketing and education on behaviour patterns in sustainable practices in the UAE.

Rory McConnon is Campus Programme Coordinator for Middlesex University Dubai’s Business Management Programmes. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK, and Project Management Professional at the PMI. A graduate in Environmental Resources Management, Rory completed his MSc. Renewable Energy and MSc. Energy Management at the University of Ulster before obtaining an MBA at Middlesex University Dubai.  Rory has been the recipient of the 1st prize for an energy related dissertation from the Energy Institute UK and the Certificate for Outstanding Performance from Middlesex University Dubai, as well as an Excellence Award for Innovation in Teaching.  He has several years’ experience in the sustainable energy sector in Ireland. He served as Chairperson of the Association of Irish Energy Agencies, and was a board director and evaluator for two EU LEADER organisations responsible for the distribution of multi-million euro support budgets for economic, environmental, and cultural development programmes.  Rory has devised and delivered many programmes of study on business, environmental engineering, and sustainable energy.  His learning and teaching interests include international business, entrepreneurship, project management, and sustainability and environmental management.

Dr. Lynda Hyland is a senior lecturer in psychology at Middlesex University Dubai. She is a chartered psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Lynda graduated with a M.Sc. in Health Psychology from University College London, where she also worked at the Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness on Department of Health (UK) commissioned projects. Lynda’s other previous roles include project lead on a large-scale randomised controlled trial, and lecturer in Health Psychology at Trinity College Dublin’s dental school. Her Ph.D. from National University of Ireland (Maynooth) focused on stakeholder experiences of the ‘Incredible Years’ Teacher Classroom Management programme. During her doctoral studies, Lynda was the recipient of a fellowship from The Atlantic Philanthropies. A methodological pragmatist, Lynda employs both qualitative and quantitative approaches in her research, spanning eclectic areas including education and intervention research, and chronic illness management.


We look forward to seeing you at the seminar.

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