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Summer Starts at Solstice

30 May

Phil and I are looking forward to working with internal and external delegates at Edge Hill University on 5th-6th June at their fab campus at Ormskirk, meeting up with lots of old friends and colleagues and having a productive learning experience as always. It looks like being a super special event this year.
I’m looking forward to running this invited session on ‘Creating a Professional Identity’: slides are here. Edge-Hill-Prof-Identities-w.pptx (92 downloads)

June and July are going  to be extra busy for us after a relatively quiet six weeks: coming up we have:

  • presentations at Lincoln University (11th June, Phil’s 75th birthday!) ,
  • a PhD by Publications weekend at our house,
  • a much anticipated trip to Cork IT, for the European First Year Experience Conference, 17th-19th June,
  • the Assessment in Higher Education Conference in Manchester, 26th-27th June ,
  • then Sue Smith’s Professorial Inaugural Lecture at Leeds Beckett on 27th June,
  • then off to Segovia for the Spanish Formative Assessment Network Conference, 1st-3rd July,
  • then back for a Writing for Publication Residential at York for Leeds Beckett 4th-5th July ,
  • then Royal Agricultural University 11th-12 July. 

After that we will deserve some holiday! Lots of resources will be available from these sessions posted week by week which I hope will be useful: all are open educational resources for free sharing.

Publications, Professorships and Plants

21 May

Wednesday 22 May takes me Edinburgh Napier University to work with Prof Kay Sambell on a project co-producing resources with Nursing students, and a workshop on thinking  and planning ahead to Professorships in Learning and Teaching, the slides for which are here: Napier-professorships-22-May-w.pptx (1087 downloads)

Then it’s off to Brighton where Phil is working (but no work for me, I’ll just be keeping him company and doing some planting out in my son’s seafront garden, better take my cheque book!)

Nudging New writers at Newcastle

1 May

Today I’m working alongside NTF Colin Bryson at Newcastle University helping colleagues think about starting to get published in learning and teaching. We will run the event as a conversazione in which we both talk about our experiences, including pitfalls and disasters, in the hope of guiding the next generation to avoid them. No slides for this session! We are going with a semi-structured script from which we will no doubt divert in response to questions from the audience!

Rural Ruminations and Rethinking

1 Apr

Spring has sprung up so it’s time to go to Cirencester again, and get out in the countryside to work with the Royal Agricultural University on inspiring teaching, and curriculum design leadership: the slides are here.  Inspirational-teaching-RAU-w.pptx (137 downloads)   RAU-Academic-leadership-ww.pptx (112 downloads) and the Word version of the colourful diagram of UKPSF: UKPSF-grid-latest-March-2019.docx (157 downloads)

Actually I personally feel very inspired after last week’s successful NTF symposium in Birmingham. There were around 90 of us, and lots of creative ideas on how to enhance student learning flying around, eminently nickable!

National Networking with NTFs

26 Mar

Months of work by the National Teaching Fellows Committee are culminating this week with our NTF/CATE Symposium 28-29th March at Birmingham City University. I’m delighted with the quality of inputs to the programme, which provides a showcase for two separate strands alongside the workshops.

Firstly Pauline Kneale, Ruth Pilkington and Jenny Winter are leading a whole day strand on day 1 on Evaluating teaching Impact, based on their HE-funded research, and secondly the flourishing Professors in Preparation scheme led by NTFs Julie Hulme, Liz Mossop, Peter Draper and me, with Debbie Locke will be helping colleagues think about how to prepare for  applications for professorship​s in learning and teaching, as part of the burgeoning Professors in Preparation (PiP) network. The PiP mentoring scheme will be launched at the symposium, and Liz and I will be leading a session on Using and Developing Mentoring Skills; the slides are here:  SlidNTF-Pip-w.pptx (99 downloads)

The last session of the symposium enabled me, Kay Sambell of​ Napier University and Linda Graham of Sunderland University to celebrate frivolity, food, fun as well as furthering the causes we believe in by Subverting the System by Enjoying Ourselves. (see photo!) There were slides, but honestly you had to be there to gain the full experience! But we are likely to publish an output from the session subsequently, because we are developing and expanding our ideas about how people can survive the vagaries of cash-strapped higher education by helping out one another through academic altruism.

The AGM for the Association of National Teaching Fellows is at 12.30 on Friday 29th in room SCT209 of the Mary Seacole Building at Birmingham City University’s Edgbaston campus and all NTFs, whether attending the symposium or not, are warmly invited to participate.

Further Fellowship Fostering at QMU

20 Mar

This week I am again supporting open and one-to-one work at Queen Mary University London and the slides I will be using are here:  UKPSF-recognition-slides-w4-with-new-grid-slide-March-2019.pptx (103 downloads) .
I am also using the colourful diagram Phil and I developed UKPSF-grid-latest-March-2019.docx (157 downloads) as well as a link to the really useful AdvanceHE tool that helps people work out which category of Fellowship they should be aiming for, a paper version of which Phil developed for general use  Fellowship-tool-quiz.docx (145 downloads) .

It’s a real privilege to work with colleagues who are producing reflective accounts of their professional practice, and in so doing, learning a great deal myself about current innovative practice.

Dynamic Development in Dublin

11 Mar

I’m flying this week to Dublin to work with colleagues from  the Institutes of Technology in Ireland thinking about accreditation of those who teach and support learning in Higher Education. They are interested in exploring diverse options including establishing their own Irish approach, and I am going to help facilitate their discussions using  Phil’s and my colourful diagram (downloadable here as a Word document: ukpsf-details-on-one-sheet-w.docx (206 downloads) ), the HEA Fellowship Category Tool  designed to help colleagues  select the category of Fellowship that most  closely matches their  current practice, (see ) and these slides:  Dublin-ATLAS-14March-2019-w.pptx (92 downloads)

I’m looking forward to meeting up with Saranne Magennis, a longstanding friend from NUI Maynooth, while i am there.

For the rest of the week I will be mainly working on final arrangements for the National Teaching Fellows/ CATE awards Symposium, run in conjunction with AdvanceHE, still bookable via the AdvanceHE website​​. Any CATE award winners or NTFs not attending the Symposium, but wanting to join us for dinner at the Edgbaston Cricket Club on Thursday 28th March should contact me directly to ask about available dinner-only tickets. It looks like being a great event!

Invigorating the curriculum with VASCULAR Learning Outcomes

8 Mar

SEDA (the Staff and Educational Development Association) and its antecedents have been important to me and my professional career for more than 30 years. This week I am delighted that they have published my blog “Why are learning outcomes (often) so dreadful?”.  Here I propose my new VASCULAR’ model to restore the lifeblood to curriculum development by refreshing learning outcomes. The link is here:

Thanks, SEDA for giving me this opportunity.

Internationalisation is Interesting!

1 Mar

Continuing my work with the School of Health at Manchester University, I will this week be running a session on internationalisation for them, the slides for which are here.  Manchester-Midwives-Internationalisation-1-march-w.pptx (102 downloads)
As they have large numbers of Chinese students, I’ve been looking particularly in preparation at the research on this area, and would particularly recommend Jeanette Ryan’s 2011 edited collection ‘China’s higher education reform and internationalisation’. I’ve learned a lot!

Sunshine, Slippery floors, Sore backs and substitution in Sunderland

27 Feb

We had a wonderful week’s holiday down in Devon and Cornwall last week catching up with friends and going to a wedding where I met cousins and friends I hadn’t seen for 30 years! The Sun shone on us pretty much all the time we were away adding to the overall mood of relaxation!
Sadly towards the end of our time in Falmouth I persuaded Phil that the hydrotherapy pool in the hotel would be good for his  joints. Sadly he slipped on the wet floor and fell hurting his back, so I am off to Sunderland University today to do his workshop on assessment! I hope they will tolerate my substitution for him! The slides I am using are here:  Sunderland-Assess-27-Feb-w.pptx (119 downloads)
You will be pleased to know he is on the mend, and that it is getting easier day by day.