Summer Projects

2 Aug

This week Kay Sambell, Linda Graham and I have been celebrating the publication of our new book with Palgrave ‘Professionalism in Practice’

At the moment it’s only available in a (rather expensive) hardback version or electronically but the paperback should be available quite soon. If you would like to review it, let me know and I will ask the publisher to send you a copy.

You might also like to read the blogs I’ve written for the Staff Development Forum linked to the publication

Over the summer Phil and I are largely home-based, enjoying August with the grandchildren and doing some writing. I am delighted to say that Margaret Price, Erica Morris and I are bringing to fruition the last elements of the Anglia Ruskin University’s Anglia Assessment Album, which we trust are proving to be a really useful set of Open Educational Resources for the Higher Education community on many aspects of assessment . The resources include Snapshot summaries of the scholarly evidence providing a rationale for change plus resources and lots of fun training activities to use with colleagues. We hope people will try them out and let us know what you think.

We are however joining in with a summer special Tweechat  convened by the fabulous @suebecks on Wesnesday August 16th at 8pm to 9pm on #lthechat. Join us if you can.

I’m also writing a chapter for Ruth Matheson and Sue Tangney in a book they are editing on Transitions into, through and out of higher education. I am exploring what we know about students, their expectations and needs, and then what we do to ease transitions.  I’m including some case studies and also seeking comments from the wider community: if you have thoughts to contribute please drop me an email at   What common misconceptions do staff have about students nowadays? What do students erroneously think are universal truths about university life?


A retreat for writing, re-framing, renewing and (a little) relaxing!

12 Jul

Phil and I are running for the fifth time a 2-day residential this week for Leeds Beckett staff on writing for publication on learning, teaching and assessment. It’s great to work with former and new colleagues there and see colleagues’ skills blossom and reach fruition. It’s one of the favourite things I do now. Our handouts for the sessions are here:  developing-your-writing-w.doc (40 downloads)   Getting-published-in-Journals-with-top-LT-from-Google-docx-w1.docx (35 downloads)   Co-authoring-multipuposing-networking-w.docx (17 downloads)
The main slides Phil and I used are here:  GetPublished-Leeds-Beckett-Sally-and-Phils-main-slides.pptx (19 downloads)

It really seems to work giving authors and prospective authors opportunities to work off-site, gain some expert mentoring and learn from their peers. And if the sun shines and the food is good, even better! We really enjoyed our time with you all, and wish you well with your writing and publishing plans.

Learning and Leisure in Leon

29 Jun

Leaving, we hope, the English rain behind, we set off to Spain on 30th June for a week where Phil and I will be presenting workshops in Leon on getting published in learning and teaching, and I will be keynoting on excellent teaching (slides for my keynote are here, in English and Spanish, Leon-excellent-teaching-July-2017-w.pptx (32 downloads)   Presentación-Sally.ppt (24 downloads) and slides and handouts for our workshops in English: GetPublishedParts12Leon-v3pr.pptx (26 downloads)   Getting-published-in-Journals-with-top-LT-from-Google-docx-w1.docx (35 downloads) developing-your-writing-w.doc (40 downloads) ).

Then we plan to do a little light tourism and much reading/ listening to music, and making the most of the opportunity to get to know that part of Spain better. Hasta luego!

TEF tiaras and tears

22 Jun

As we all digest the TEF outcomes and colleagues either celebrate (or weep) at the justice/injustice of the process, Phil and I thought this compact ‘TEF on a single sheet’ adapted from  might be handy.   TEF-table-4a.docx (49 downloads)
More detail and discussion is available elsewhere, particularly from Wonkhe (my go-to guide) and the Times Higher. It’s been fascinating to hear how the radio/tv spin it, largely focusing on the way that some elite universities have been ‘failing’ to demonstrate outstanding teaching (their verb) rather than celebrating some of the great universities we know and are associated with who have done well, or analysing whether the metrics really recognise and reward excellence in teaching ​ as opposed to anything else.  (Hint: they don’t!)

Internationalisation: scholarship and practice

19 Jun

What a glorious weekend! We worked with our pro bono group of friends  preparing to do PhDs by publication and it was all very productive despite the sweltering conditions. This is one of the endeavours that Phil and I really enjoy engaging with as we move from paid-for work to voluntary work and mentoring. There are always lots of laughs and lots of cake but also really in-depth discussions, and it’s fantastic to see people completing their PhDs successfully.

On Tuesday of this week I’ll be working at Keele University contributing to their learning and  teaching conference with a keynote on supporting international student success and then an afternoon workshop on making assessment and feedback more manageable and effective. The slides for both sessions are here:  Keele-Internat-June-2017-w.pptx (30 downloads)   effectiveefficient-assessment-Keele-w.pptx (28 downloads)

Next week I am looking forward immensely to catching up with old friends and meeting new colleagues at the Assessment for Higher Education conference in Manchester prior to flying on Friday to Leon in Spain where Phil and I will be contributing to a conference of Spanish educators around teaching,  learning and assessment.  Here we will be contributing to internationalisation in practice by learning from colleagues as well as presenting, particularly on developing capability for publishing about learning and teaching. My slides in English and Spanish will be available here in due course.

Inspiration and aspirations at Imperial

13 Jun

After a hectic week last week around the UK and a delightful weekend celebrating Phil’s birthday and raising funds for the Singleton Hospital premature baby unit in Swansea, which saved our tiny granddaughters’ lives almost a year ago, I am on my travels again this week.

Learning Developers who are currently (or aspire to be) National Teaching Fellows are meeting this week at Imperial College London on Wednesday 14th June 2-4pm to discuss  the role of Learning Developers as a profession,  the special contributions that LDs can bring to the NTF community and how we can encourage LDs who are aspirant NTFs. We are particularly grateful both to Helen Webster of Newcastle University who is leading the event with me, and  to NTF Giskin Day who is generously supporting the ANTF by hosting this event at Imperial College. If there are any learning developers who want to join us at the last minute, drop me an email and I will fit you in if I can! Slides are here:  NTF-Learning-Devs-June2017-w.pptx (31 downloads)

All compass points this week

3 Jun

“I have many miles to go before I sleep and promises to keep” (Robert Frost, ‘Stopping by woods on a snowy evening’)
“I would walk 500 miles” (The Proclaimers)

Starting out from home in the North East on Sunday, Phil and I will be presenting at the Solstice Conference at Edge Hill University in the North West on Monday and Tuesday. My handout for my workshop on bidding for grant funding is here:  Solstice-workshop-handouts-June-2017-w.docx (37 downloads)

I am delighted to say that this week I have had the great news that I have been appointed Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University, where I alongside Phil will be contributing to the work of the Centre for Learning and Teaching at the University​ for the next two years, so we expect to be celebrating while we are there.

Then we fly south down to Southampton for an event organised at Bournemouth University by Debby Holley and Kirsten Hardie around teaching excellence and encouraging people to apply for National Teaching Fellowships, in my capacity as chair of the Association of National Teaching Fellows. My slides for my sessions on NTF and getting Published are here.  GetPublishedBournemouth-w.pptx (37 downloads)   NTF-Bournemouth-June-2017-w.pptx (36 downloads)

And the it’s on a plane north again to Edinburgh for Dundee’s learning and Teaching conference where I will be keynoting on ‘Supporting student transition and engagement through effective feedback and assessment’ and running a workshop on ‘Making assessment more effective and efficient’   Dundee-Assess4TransitionEnhancement-w.pptx (69 downloads)   effectiveefficient-assessment-Dundee-June-2017-w.pptx (62 downloads)

Then we will be on the train south again to Newcastle for Phil’s birthday weekend garden party.

So lots of miles, and lots of promises hopefully kept!

​​​Lingering in Lincoln

1 Jun

On Friday 2nd June I will be working again with Lincoln University Business School, supporting colleagues going for Senior Fellowships of the HEA and discussing with colleagues how best to support associate lecturers and others including distance tutors to gain Associate Fellowships. Phil’s and my generic slides and useful colourful diagram on working towards all levels of Fellowship are here: UKPSF-recognition-slides-2016-LATEST-1.pptx (30 downloads) UKPSFgridUpdatedJan2015-1.docx (31 downloads)  .

I’m aiming to get to Lincoln early on Thursday so I can have a wander round the city, which looks its best  at this time of year.

Sunshine in Sheffield

22 May

On Thursday 25th of May I am working with the Computing Department at Sheffield University, helping them think about several aspects of assessment: my three PowerPoint presentations are here.  Authentic-assesment-Sheffield-25-may-2017-w.pptx (38 downloads) group-assessment-Sheffield-may-2017-w.ppt (38 downloads) Manageable-and-effective-assessment-Sheffield-May-2017-w.pptx (36 downloads)
In the afternoon I am working with PhD students and novice assessors on how to manage the process of becoming an effective assessor. I am using here a handout adapted from materials I created for Anglia Ruskin University as part of their Anglia Assessment Album.  This is a substantial project I’ve been working on for a couple of years with Margaret Price and Erica Morris, and together we believe we have produced some really useful open educational resources. The link is here:
My handout for the Sheffield workshop is here:  New-to-assessing-handout-for-Sheffield-25th-May2017-w.docx (32 downloads)
After a rather cool and damp spring I’m hoping for lovely weather for my day out in Yorkshire

Back to work in York

22 Apr

After a delightful Easter beak with a nice mixture of  desk work and leisure (a high spot of which was going to the gardens at Howick hall, just south of Craster, home of Earl Grey, with a lovely tea room where you can drink his tea, it’s back to work this week with workshops at York St John University on ‘Assessment to support retention & engagement’ and ‘Inspiring teaching’, the slides for which are here:  Assess4retentionYSJ-April17-w.pptx (50 downloads)   Inspiring-teaching-YSJApril2017-w.pptx (69 downloads)

Networking with NTFs
We had a terrific NTF symposium in Aston on April 10th-11th, and we follow this in May with our open conference at Leeds Beckett University on May 10th.

This event will enable NTFs both to showcase the excellent practice that helped us gain our awards in the first place, and to give our non-NTF colleagues presenting alongside us opportunities to build evidence of their own innovative practice which could be helpful for future NTF applications.  The day will provide three strands of participatory workshops, as well as NTF-led keynotes and panels.

The delegate rate for this event to include coffee, tea and buffet lunch is again £80 and booking closes on May 3rd.

If you want to come along, please book via this link:
ANTF Symposium: Teaching Excellence – Building Bridges –