Mammoth (February and) March Madness in Midlands, Milton Keynes, Manchester and actually everywhere!

17 Feb

On Thursday 21st February, I am really pleased to be running a workshop and giving a keynote at the University of Gloucestershire Cheltenham campus on  ‘Making a difference though assessment’ and  ‘Feedback for learning’: the slides are here.  Gloucs-feedback-keynote-16-Feb-w.pptx (8 downloads)   Gloucs-assess-workshop-Feb-w.pptx (7 downloads) It’s been some years since I’ve been  to UoG and I’m looking forward to catching up  with colleagues I’ve known for years and meeting new ones too.

And then, after a trip to Lincoln on 28th February to work with Debbie Lock on materials to help people achieve their HEA Fellowships at different levels, I begin a marathon month of activities related to National Teaching Fellowships – see below.

Throughout March, I am coordinating (and in six cases facilitating) a series of workshops around the UK introducing the revised process for applying for National Teaching Fellowships in 2018 and helping people think about writing good applications. These events supported by the Association of National Teaching Fellows (which I chair) in conjunction with the HEA are FREE and open to aspirant NTFs and those who support them. If you want to attend one of these events, book using the contacts for each event in the word document which can be downloaded here:.  NTFsupport-events-2018-1-page.docx (6 downloads)   There are quite a lot of subtle but important changes to the scheme this year (notably the focus on impact), so we are confident these events will be useful.

Then on 20th-21st March I will be helping to welcome delegates to the two day ‘Impact of Teaching Excellence ANTF and HEA Teaching Excellence Awards symposium’ in Manchester see:

Day one is for National Teaching Fellows only, but day two is for the wider community and I hope to see lots of friends and colleagues there. On the second (open) day Kay Sambell and I hope to be presenting our emergent work on international perspectives on Assessment, which is a major project I am working on currently.

It’s all a bit hectic but in the middle of it Phil and I are going to Center Parcs at Woburn Sands with all our sons, partners and grandchildren (just the twelve of us) so that should be nice and quiet!

A nice peaceful Easter at home in Newcastle planned though!

Enhancement Endeavours

25 Jan

It’s quite a quiet week this week in which I’m concentrating on writing and researching, (as well as granny duties) but also going up to Edinburgh Napier University to meet up with Kay Sambell and others to continue to discuss the production of our ENhance guides. These open access resources on all aspects of assessment and feedback have been published under creative commons and can be accessed here:

And the weekend coming, we are again hosting our PhD by publication group in Newcastle. It’s great to see all these doctoral candidates working so hard and getting closer and closer to achieving their higher degrees.

Reading, Role Play, Recreation, Renewal and Research

15 Jan

This week I have two exciting projects as well as having got back in the saddle with school runs and listening to reading with Year One Pupils in their school!

The first is a virtual event, the inaugural SEDA webinar entitled “Can we find five minutes for a chat?” fostering effective dialogue between educational developers and leaders of learning and teaching in universities” which I am doing with  Shân Wareing on Thursday 18th January, 14.30 – 15.30.

This is billed as “reprising their successful workshop at the 21st Annual SEDA Conference in Brighton in November 2016, Sally Brown, a former senior manager and Shân Wareing, a current one, both of whom have backgrounds as educational developers, will demonstrate through role-playing scenarios how better mutual understanding and congenial/productive co-working can be fostered. The session will include us role playing live as well as using some rather startling photo-story images to illustrate the key issues.  

Participants will have opportunities to consider the key issues being explored in the scenarios and to discuss how educational developers can support senior managers and vice versa to their mutual benefit.  SEDA members who want to join the webinar should send an email to We will send out details of how to join nearer the time.

The second is a keynote at  Newman University in Birmingham on Friday 19th January at their conference entitled  “Assessment, Evaluation a feedback: learning with and from each other.”  It’s a real pleasure to have been invited by National Teaching Fellow John Peters to  contribute to this exciting event, alongside veteran National Teaching Fellow Peter Hartley and numerous internal colleagues.  My slides for my keynote are here:  Newman-19-Jan-assess-keynote-w.pptx (42 downloads)

I rather prematurely indicated I would be tailing down my workload this year, but that really doesn’t seem to be the case. And I’m also starting to work with Kay Sambell on another book project on ‘International Perspectives on Assessment and Feedback’: if you have suggestions about who might be willing to share examples of good practice in this area in different nations, do get in touch and let me know. I am in the active investigation stage of this project at the moment!

A Corking week away!

10 Jan

This week I will be chairing the Association of National Teaching Fellows Committee meeting on Monday in Manchester,  hosted by the University of Law, then mentoring colleagues at Liverpool John Moores University on Tuesday, before flying to Cork on Tuesday night to do two workshops at Cork Institute of Technology on Professional Development Frameworks, and Assessment and Feedback, the slides for which are here. All my resources are freely available as open resources for anyone to use! Cork-IT-assess-workshop-w.pptx (48 downloads)   Cork-Prof-Dev-final-w.pptx (41 downloads)

Grid for UK HEA Fellowships:  grid-2017-w.docx (30 downloads)

New year, new directions, same old me!

1 Jan

Happy New Year to everyone!

I hope your festive season was delightful and satisfying!

And have you made any New Year resolutions? I’m largely in favour of active ones rather than ones that require stopping doing something, so mine is at last to try to publish some children’s stories (I had better do so, or my granddaughter Poppy will be very cross with me!)

So this week Phil and I are off to London and environs where he will work for Capel Manor College and I will be keynoting at Greenwich University on Friday 5th January on Enthusing and Energizing Students: celebrating and recognizing excellent teaching, and also running a workshop on assessment: my slides for both are here: Greenwich-assess-workshop-4-engagment-and-retention-w.pptx (62 downloads)   Greenwich-Jan5th-w.pptx (48 downloads)

Link to ‘A marked improvement’ (HEA, 2012)

Link to ‘Anglia Assessment Album’ (Sally Brown, Margaret Price et al)

Link to Napier ‘Enhance’resources: (Kay Sambell, Sally Brown and Phil Race)

Edinburgh Napier Resources

7 Dec

Edinburgh Napier University has now launched a brand-new series of ‘Quick Guides’ to matters relating to Assessment and Feedback, written by Kay Sambell, Sally Brown and Phil Race. These can be downloaded from the link here:

These guides are published as Open Educational Resources, and I hope colleagues in universities and colleges will find them really useful. We welcome all feedback on them. Photo shows the authors at the launch today:

​Collaboration, co-creation and Christmas around the corner!

3 Dec

My series of workshops developed collaboratively with Kay Sambell and Brian Webster Henderson on ENhancing assessment and feedback workshops for all six Schools at Edinburgh Napier University continues this week, with the second workshop for the School of Arts and Creative Industries on Wednesday morning, two workshops for the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social care on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, and workshops for the School of Applied Sciences on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. The last of the series will be for the School of Computing on Wednesday 13th December. The slides for all of the workshops are provided here as open resources for use by anyone interested.  Edinburgh-Napier-SACI-6-December-.pptx (49 downloads)   Edinburgh-Napier-HSC-67-December-w.pptx (39 downloads)   Edinburgh-Napier-Applied-Science-78-December-w.pptx (38 downloads)   Edinburgh-NapierComputing-w.pptx (38 downloads)
We will also be offering a soft launch (with mince pies) of the ENhance assessment guides and activity briefings co-created by Kay, Phil Race and me at lunchtime on Thursday 7th at Sighthill campus, and these guides will shortly be available as resources available under a Creative Commons licence on the DLTE website at Edinburgh Napier.

My last working day of the year will be on Thursday 14 December at South Bank University where I will be the external for the last Achieve panel reviewing HEA Fellowship applications under their current  route, which has been highly successfully in enabling staff of the university to gain Fellowship in various categories.

After that, its festivities frolics and fun, including the North East Christmas Treat for National Teaching Fellows on Wednesday 20th December.

Phil and I don’t send nearly as many Christmas cards as we used to, instead supporting Crisis at Christmas, so I will use this post to wish you a really happy time between now and the new academic year in 2018, with a perfect mix for you of leisure, family time, productive work, writing and rest!

​Energizing ENhancement activities at Edinburgh Napier

29 Nov

On Thursday 30th November and Friday 1st December I am continuing my activities at Edinburgh Napier University where alongside Brian Webster-Henderson and Kay Sambell  I am contributing to a range of enhancement activities around enhancing assessment. We have been producing with Phil Race some useful ENhance guides and activities aimed at helping staff assess and give feedback more effectively: Kay is pictured showcasing the guides at the Merchiston campus, where I am working with the School of Arts and Creative Industries on Friday, having worked on Thursday with the Business School on the Craiglockart campus. In due course we will be making these resources freely available as we have produced them under Creative Commons. Thanks to ENU for giving me this opportunity to do what I enjoy dong most!  Edinburgh-Napier-Business-School-30-November-ww.pptx (45 downloads) Edinburgh-Napier-SACI-1-December-w.pptx (47 downloads)

Jingle all the way to Christmas!

21 Nov

After an outstanding SEDA Conference in Cardiff last week, where I learnt a great deal from co-delegates and especially keynote speakers Ruth Pickford, Debby Cotton and Jane McNeil, we spent a lovely weekend with our tiny twin granddaughters in Neath.

This week I am off to the Netherlands to work on Thursday with colleagues from the new Centre for Academic Teaching at Utrecht University on two workshops: ‘Authentic assessment approaches to foster graduate skills and enhance employability’, and ‘Inclusive approaches to learning and teaching: celebrating and accommodating diversity’, the slides for which are here: Utrecht22-Nov-inclusivediverse19-nov-w.pptx (69 downloads) Authentic-assesment-grad-skills-employability-Utrecht-Nov-20-w.pptx (62 downloads)

On Friday I am again working with Hetty Grunefeld of Utrecht University offering a workshop on assessment for their groundbreaking and highly original program for curriculum leaders in learning teaching and assessment: slides are here: Utrecht-Fostering-autonomy-in-assessment-Nov-2017-w.pptx (60 downloads)

It’s a real pleasure to work again with colleagues at Utrecht University and beyond on matters that matter much to me, that is assessment and feedback and inclusivity.

And from next week, I will start an intensive further programme of workshops with Napier University, working with faculties to enhance and improve assessment and feedback.

Nurturing, networking and Neath!

10 Nov

After a quiet early autumn I am now back to being as busy as ever until Christmas!. On November 15th I will be working again at Lincoln University helping them with their applications for HEA Fellowship at different levels.

Next, straight down to the lovely SEDA Conference in Cardiff, where Phil, David Baume and I will be leading this panel session on Networking and Communities:  SEDA-Nov-conf-SB-PR-DB-w.pptx (44 downloads) .  I will also have the honour of introducing my friend and former Leeds Beckett colleague Ruth Pickford who is doing what I believe is absolutely groundbreaking work on systematic approaches to engaging students and staff and presenting for the first time her invaluable model. I’ve watched her work on this over a couple of years and Ithink it will be as important to the sector as the work for example John Biggs or Stephen Brookfield. That is no small claim but I think when colleagues hear her, they will agree! Her paper outlining her new model is being published in ‘Journal of perspectives in academic practice’ published by Napier University very shortly.

Also at the conference Kay Sambell and I will be launching our book ‘Professionalism in Practice’ which we wrote with Linda Graham, alongside launching the new book by Nicola Rolls, Andy Northedge and Ellie Chambers ‘Successful University Teaching in Times of Diversity’ in my learning/teaching series for Palgrave.

The conference is all about networking and community, and a big part of the event for me will be meeting up with colleagues old and new and learning from them. And then for leisure off to Neath to see our delightful baby twin granddaughters Molly and Chloe

Then next week Utrecht, then five more workhops at Edinburgh Napier before Christmas, and a trip to support London Southbank’s scheme ‘Achieve’ through which colleagues Fellowships of the HEA.