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 (98 downloads)   RAU-Academic-leadership-ww.pptx (81 downloads) and the Word version of the colourful diagram of UKPSF: UKPSF-grid-latest-March-2019.docx (105 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 (66 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 (68 downloads) .
I am also using the colourful diagram Phil and I developed UKPSF-grid-latest-March-2019.docx (105 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 (90 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 (160 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 (57 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 (62 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 (79 downloads)
You will be pleased to know he is on the mend, and that it is getting easier day by day.

Q. Mary, Manchester University Midwives and St Michael’s hotel and spa

11 Feb

After a foul chest infection, this week sees me on my travels to QMU in support of their ambition to advance HEA Fellowships and then on to Manchester School of Health to work on Curriculum Refreshment with their School of Midwives. Phil’s and my ‘colourful diagram’ in support of HEA Fellowship at the different levels is here as a Word document, ukpsf-details-on-one-sheet-w.docx (160 downloads) as is a link to the useful AdvanceHE tool,    to help people decide which level to aim for. My Manchester slides are here too.  Manchester-Midwives-w.pptx (63 downloads)

But the week after that, don’t even think of asking me or Phil to do any tasks: we are off on our holidays to Devon and Cornwall with no work at all, seeing old friends and family, going to a wedding and lazing around in a spa by the sea!

After that, it’s full speed ahead again helping to finalize details for the NTF-led, open to everyone symposium in Birmingham:

“Supported by AdvanceHE, the event is very competitively-priced due to the generosity of BCU’s Vice-Chancellor, NTF Philip Plowden who is not charging NTF for the use of rooms on their campus. There is a full programme of workshops, plenaries and panels, including keynotes by Theo Gilbert, the Times Higher Innovative Teacher of 2018 on ‘Making a Difference though Compassionate Teaching’ and NTFs Haleh Morajev and Viv Rolfe in tandem on ‘Making a difference to students’ and staff wellbeing’.  A full day strand on day one led By Pauline Kneale, Jenny Winter and Ruth Pilkington is based on their HEA-funded project on Evaluating Teaching Impact, and the Friday morning offers an option for those aiming to achieve personal chairs led by the Professors in Preparation network.  The whole two-day event is £250, with reductions for day delegates and NTF/CATE winners.
The event is bookable via the AdvanceHE website

Flags, Fellowship and Funky Fridays

29 Jan

After the excitement of our Burns night supper (none of us are Scottish but I like the grandchildren to enjoy all kinds of heritage and we never miss out on a party)  I’m busy this week again with two information sessions about the National Teaching Fellowships  scheme in 2019 for aspirants (for this year and future years) as well as those who support them. On Wednesday I’m at Sunderland 11-1pm then hotfooting down to Brighton for one at Brighton University 10-12. The slides about these sessions are here  ANTF-presentation-2019-slides-ww.pptx (104 downloads)  and all events are bookable via AdvanceHE.

You can also find information at this link about booking for the NTF-led annual open symposium at Birmingham City University 28th-29th March on the theme of ‘Making a Difference’. This must be the most cost effective learning and teaching conference this year due to the generosity of the VC Philip Plowden who is himself an NTF and is allowing us to use BCU rooms without charge!

On Friday I’m raring to go again on assessment and feedback at the Business School at Sussex University and the slides I’m using are  here.  Sussex-Assess-1-Feb19-w.pptx (67 downloads)

Next week I’m running a virtual NTF2019 seminar on Wednesday 2pm-3.30 but the rest of the week is moderately quiet so I’m aiming to continue with the New Year’s Resolution to do more of what I enjoy, so Fridays from now on are all about Family, fiends, film, fiction, food and mainly fun!

Fellowships, Feedback, Facilitation, Fun and Future Fitness and Friendship days

15 Jan

Another busy week! After reading in school with Year One in the morning on Monday I will get the train with Phil to London , Queen Mary University, where Phil and I will be based for 2 days supporting Fellowship and assessment activities.
On Wednesday 16th, I am running the first of the Association of National Teaching Fellows support workshops to help people thinking about applying for NTSs as well as those working with them. There are a dozen of these plus webinars, so that wherever you live in the UK there should be one you can attend. Full details and booking arrangements are on AdvanceHE’s website. Thanks very much to Mark Allinson at Regent’s University for hosting this first event, from 2.00-4.00 pm. The slides that we will all be using are here:  ANTF-presentation-2019-slides-ww.pptx (104 downloads)

Then we’re off to Cumberland Lodge for two days to run the NTF-led writing residential (pro bono) which will be great fun. It’s a fabulous venue and participants make great progress. Some are coming just to get peace and quiet and others will be joining in with facilitated sessions on topics we will negotiate at the start of the two days. The slides which Phil and I used are here (we only used some of these, but we hope you’ll find the rest of interest):  Cumberland-lodge-writing-residential-17-18-janauary-2019-W.pptx (52 downloads)
But I made a big decision while we were in Ireland last week. As I head towards my 69th birthday shortly I’ve decided I am not going to take any work bookings on Fridays any more (while fulfilling those already in the diary). Instead I’m making Friday’s into my Friendship and Fitness days from now on.