Family, Fun, Frivolity and Fruitfulness

8 Sep

What a fabulous summer! It was not quite as restful as I first envisaged but I did:

  • write open educational resources for Cork IT and Heriot Watt University;
  • read some novels, including reading in the daytime!
  • have an expensive new dental crown to replace one with an abscess underneath (certainly my most expensive endeavour of the summer);
  • catch up with lots of friends;
  •  a fair bit of grandchildren care with Phil;
  • take 4 kids for an exhausting day trip around York including Jorvik and the railway museum;
  • Help a bunch of under 10s decorate beakers with ceramic pens plus other crafting and baking;
  • Undertake a goodly amount of  mentoring;
  • attend Carole Baume’s excellent 70th birthday party in Milton Keynes, where I caught up with lots of Ed Dev friends;
  • relax in a lovely hotel, the Burnside, in the Lake District in a room with a hot tub on the balcony;
  • ​see 14 shows at the Edinburgh Festival with Carole and David Baume and Phil;
  • Examine an excellent PhD in UCC Cork on using Virtual Reality to teach Graph Theory: (congratulations Dr Larkin Cunningham!) and thereby expand my own knowledge in the area);
  • Help my BAFTA winning niece Becky Wray Rogers celebrate her wedding to Roddy Fawcett in Leeds, with lots of family and friends;​
  • worry a great deal about Brexit;
  • pick many kilos of fruit from our garden and make quite a lot of jam;
  • start my salsa classes for the Autumn term;
  • benefit hugely from attending the RAISE Conference in Newcastle (see #RAISE19)  thanks to Colin Bryson for letting me attend;
  • host Debbie Holley of Bournemouth for a relaxing weekend.
So now the new term starts and first up this week I am delighted to be receiving an Honorary Doctorate on Tuesday from Lincoln University: what a terrific thing to be doing at the start of the academic year, so thanks very much to the Vice Chancellor, Mary Stuart and colleagues for nominating me for this great honour.
After that it’s back to work with a keynote at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Teaching and Learning Conference on Masters level assessment on Thursday September 12th: my slides are here:  Masters-level-assessment-LSHTM-w.pptx (74 downloads) Also available is the PDF of my booklet I produced on the topic while at Leeds Beckett with some still-relevant case studies of innovative approaches, download pdf here: Assimilate-Compendium.pdf (53 downloads)
And what else does the Autumn hold for me?  More mentoring, some pleasurable writing, a block of work for Southampton Solent University, a workshop at Plymouth School of Art, a day working with Leeds Business School,  (all 3 on assessment), inputting to the Heriot Watt T&L conference where Phil and I will help to launch their new ‘Watt Works!’ guides, helping the new cohort of National Teaching Fellows celebrate their outstanding success, clapping loudly for Michelle Morgan when she  is awarded her Doctorate at Bournemouth University, cheering Phil on when he gives the final keynote at the SEDA conference in November in Leeds (and also presenting myself) and joining in conversations at Newcastle University about researching and publishing on teaching, learning and assessment, as well as making more jam and trying to get better at salsa dancing.  So I am completely full up with work and fun until Christmas and getting ready to celebrate my 70th birthday in February. Happy days!


Inclusivity, insights and indolence

17 Jul

This week sees the last of institutional conferences to which I will be contributing this academic year, after which my proper summer holiday starts (unlike academics on the payroll for whom the months of July and August just mean a different kind of work, I can enjoy the months of jam making and Granny caring!).

So Friday sees me at the Royal Veterinary College talking about ‘Coherent curriculum design, delivery and assessment to promote learning and well-being’ (my slides are here: RVC-July-curriculum-ww.pptx (122 downloads) ) as well as contributing  to discussions of student support for learning and taking part in a conversazione on visions for higher education in the future.

Of course I won’t be idle over the summer, I will be writing, mentoring and working on my many diverse projects. But some of the time I will join Phil on a sun lounger (one each actually)  and watch the clouds in the sky above. I hope you all have some lovely down time too!

Learning, Lifetime ambitions, Linking good curriculum design and assessment, and (ultimately) Leisure

8 Jul

This week, after our hectic and extensive peregrinations over the last three weeks, I can now see the summer holidays within reach, but before that I have an exciting fortnight.

Firstly Phil and I (with Phil making guest appearances now that he is close to being retired) are working at the Royal Agricultural University on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 July, on Achieving HEA Fellowship and teaching small groups (the slides I will be using are here): UKPSF-recognition-slides-w5-July-2019.pptx (88 downloads) RAU-small-groups-w.pptx (73 downloads) and Phil will be running a session on ‘Making learning happen in large groups’ RAU-2019-w.pptx (86 downloads)

And then I am fulfilling a lifetime ambition of going to Wimbledon on Saturday to the Number One Court!​ I’m really hoping to see Mixed Doubles but will be happy with whatever I see.

After that, my last working day until the autumn is Friday 19th July at the Royal Veterinary University, where I am linking coherent curriculum design with fit-for-purpose assessment.

Then the holidays, with a little interesting desk work for Heriot Watt University! Let the good times roll!

Preeminent conference, Promoting Professorships, Prompting Publications and Perpetual motion

23 Jun

What a fantastic 10 days we’ve got coming up! First of all I’m off to the Assessment in Higher Education Conference in Manchester, the preeminent Higher Education assessment conversation globally : my two presentations are here: AHE-June-2019-improving-assessment-w.pptx (101 downloads) AHE-streamlining-w.pptx (112 downloads)

Then on Thursday night it’s Professor Susan Smith’s professorial inaugural lecture: she is the author of “How to get your PhD through published works“ (Palgrave). Next, the following morning and as part of the associated celebrations, I’m running a workshop at Leeds Beckett University on working towards getting a professorship through the learning and teaching route. The slides are here: Leeds-Beckett-Professorships-28-June-ww.pptx (102 downloads)

Then, via London we are flying to Spain to present at the Spanish Formative Assessment Network’s annual conference at Segovia. I’ve been doing this for several years and it’s always wonderful to work with Spanish colleagues. The slides for my Keynote on assessment, and my joint workshop with Phil on getting published in journals are here: Segovia-ASSESSMENT-july-2019-ww.pptx (91 downloads)   GetPublishedSegovia-w.pptx (91 downloads)

Finally we come back on Wednesday night to run a residential workshop on Getting Published on Learning and Teaching for Leeds Beckett University in York: the slides are here: Leeds-Beckett-Wrting-residentail-July-2019-w.pptx (83 downloads)

What a hectic fortnight, but after a very quiet few weeks over Easter it’s nice to be busy. After this though it will be nice to be a bit quieter again! Two more gigs before the summer holidays and then the summer stretches ahead of us.
Incidentally for anyone who missed it, here is a link to my Wonkhe article on some ways in which assessment excellence could contribute to the UK TEF:

And by the way I was delighted this week to be awarded a #lthechat Golden Tweeter award for my contributions to championing and contributing to the #LTHEchat. 

European First Year Experience Conference: Cork, Ireland

18 Jun

This week Phil and I are at the European First Year Experience Conference in Cork. My session was on improving the first year experience by designing and using effective assessment: the slides are here.  eyfe2019-18-June-Sally-w.pptx (120 downloads)
What a marvellously inclusive and energising conference it is. All credit to Marese Bermingham and her team for excellent work putting together such an amazing large international conference.

Lincoln Learning (and maybe Leisure?!)

11 Jun

This week Phil and I, having celebrated his 75th birthday in style, are travelling to Lincoln for one of his final gigs: we are working for the Business School for Debbie Lock on an interactive and creative day with the team there, thinking about making teaching, and in my case, small group work, more engaging. My slides are here: Lincoln-small-groups-12-June-w.pptx (86 downloads)

After which, Phil is retiring from solo work other than by very rarely accepted invitation. He has a lovely new iPod to occupy his leisure. Let’s see how that goes!

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 (89 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 (960 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 (130 downloads)   RAU-Academic-leadership-ww.pptx (108 downloads) and the Word version of the colourful diagram of UKPSF: UKPSF-grid-latest-March-2019.docx (144 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!