Getting tidied up, Going steady, Gearing up for Galway plus impending Geriatric status

8 Jan

January is principally a home-based month for me after the hectic nature of the period before Christmas, so I am spending some time updating this website, which has been seriously neglected for some years now, after a fabulous foody and family festive period.

I’m also experiencing low level labyrinthitis which means that I can’t look at screens too much, which requires me to reduce my social media profile. However, doing a little at a time, I’m  trying to enliven my website by stripping out outdated material, and committing to more blog posts in the future, as well as my regular updates on work in hand.

One new feature of my 2020 work, however, will be supporting the University of Galway in Ireland in their endeavours to make senior appointments on the grounds of excellence in learning and teaching, which means I will be visiting them regularly, with my first visit on the 16th of January: yippee!

My plans for February are also low-key, as I celebrate my 70th birthday by not doing much work! Sounds good to me.

Solent, Starting assessing, Sussing out NTF, and Santa

10 Dec

This week sees the last of my planned Southampton Visits to work at Solent University on curriculum enhancement matters. On Wednesday I will be doing a workshop on assessment and feedback in which I will be playing The Biscuit Game Activity-1-The-Biscuit-Game.pdf (145 downloads) to raise issues around assessment literacy. I will also work on Wednesday and Thursday with three more teams on improving student engagement and satisfaction. Thank you so much to Julie Hall, Karen Arm and Karen Heard-Laureote for making me so welcome at the University.
Thanks also to Martha Caddell at Heriott Watt University for this week releasing a link to some resources Phil and I created in the summer, and in particular, mine today for people who are very new to marking, this link should open Twitter and get you there:

Now a link to a ‘Box Set’ on the youtube channel of resources made by Phil and I at Heriot Watt:

On Friday at Newcastle University in room NUBS  2.08 on the second floor of the Business School  (near St James Park Metro station) I will be running the North East’s Road Show in which I will be explaining how the 2020 National Teaching Fellowship scheme will work. If you are thinking of going for NTF this year or in the future, do come along, even if you haven’t registered with Advance HE’s website for this free event. You are very welcome if you work in UK higher education, or teach at HE level in an FE college, wherever you live, but particularly in the north-east! Hope to see you there.

And then happy Christmas one and all, because that will be the end of my work for 2019 (apart of course from residual desk work!)

Festivities, Fellowship and further support for course teams

3 Dec

We are getting in the mood for festive celebrations at home in Newcastle, and tonight I fly down to Southampton for my penultimate consultancy workshops before Christmas. On Wednesday, I will be running a session for  Solent staff on working towards Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, together with some more sessions with course teams on enhancing the student experience. It’s tremendous working with Solent staff, and enjoying the festive atmosphere: the University is doing so much to enhance student life for home and international students, in the lead up to the celebrations. Phil’s  and my slides on working towards all levels of Fellowship including our big colourful diagram on UKPSF are here: UKPSF-recognition-slides-w5-July-2019-1.pptx (132 downloads) UKPSF-grid-latest-March-2019.docx (94 downloads)

Autumn Assessment Antics and enhancement Activities

25 Nov

This week I am back down again at Solent University, working with course teams on improving NSS scores through curriculum enhancement, and doing some other workshops including this week’s session on assessment for which the slides are here. Solent-PRSB-workshop-w.pptx (59 downloads) Even though Phil is retired, he is coming down to keep me company this week, and so I said he could have a guest slot in my university wide workshop. The slides you see here are the ones from which we will both select. We will also be giving the biscuit game a whirl:  Activity-1-The-Biscuit-Game.pdf (145 downloads) .
As the dark days of autumn head progressively towards winter, the nights  draw in and gloom is in the air politically, it’s a good idea to do things for fun which make us cheerful.

On the afternoon of the 28th, Phil did a guest input on Feedback in my workshop, then Paul Maple recorded and led guest video interviews with us both on assessment and feedback, to be edited and made available to staff at Solent through their website. The photo, taken by him, shows us with Karen Arm of Solent.

Family, Friends, Fun and Fabulousness: pre-Festive lead-up

10 Nov

We’ve had such an amazing fortnight (please see photos) with our four grandchildren together in Wales, then enjoying Michelle Morgan’s Doctoral graduation in Bournemouth with Debbie Holley, then three very satisfactory days with my son Matt in Brighton before getting ready for the always-fabulous SEDA conference in Leeds.

Here I will (I hope) be co-presenting with Kay Sambell our work undertaken with Linda Graham of Sunderland University, on how we can manage to do low-cost/no-cost CPD activities in these tough times. Our slides are here:  SEDA-conf-Nov-19-Doing-it-for-ourselves-w1.pptx (63 downloads)   Stand by for biscuits, cherry tomatoes and surprises!

From then on until the Christmas holidays it’s full-on at Southampton Solent, which is hugely enjoyable and (I hope) productive work (alongside making Christmas preserves including Sloe Gin and Christmas Pudding Vodka!).

Congratulations, consultancy and conserves

20 Oct

After a marvelous week last week, in  which I had the privilege of watching this year’s NTF cohort receiving their awards (and getting over-excited when called to the stage to recognize my 19 years’ contribution to the scheme), I am off on my travels again to Southampton Solent University where I will be working on assessment and feedback as well as fostering effective learning by positive interactions (slides here: SolentPGCert-23-Oct-w.pptx (81 downloads) SolentBus-School-23-Oct-w1.pptx (89 downloads) ). It’s great to have an opportunity to work with staff there this Autumn, and to see some of the great work they do with students.
We made a big batch of Christmas puddings last week, followed by much jam making this week: mainly damson jam and jelly but also chutney using up the last of the green tomatoes as Autumn gains a grip in the garden. I’m working towards my target of at least 60 jars to give to local friends and neighbours instead of Christmas cards, and to see us through to the Spring. I am so lucky to have such an excellent mix of things to keep me busy.

Gearing up for great teaching in Edinburgh, and going for it in Galashiels

7 Oct

After a marvelously relaxing little holiday last week in Cornwall, where Pauline Kneale as expert friend and chauffeur helped us learn more about gardens, seabirds, coastal geography and many other things, this week Phil and I are working in Edinburgh, contributing to the Learning and Teaching Conference at Heriot Watt University. We will be going live across the campuses in the UK, Dubai and Malaysia for our joint keynote on ‘Bringing your Teaching to life: practical tips to inspire learning’ and Phil will be taking questions from colleagues as part of the open door events, while I speed off in a fast car down to Galashiels to lead a session with Textile and other Arts colleagues at that campus.

Our joint slides are here: Heriot-Watt-Keynote-on-bringing-your-teaching-to-life-f.pptx (91 downloads) and my slides on assessment are here: Assessment-and-feedback-masterclass-Galashiels-w.pptx (119 downloads)

Next week, we are looking forward enormously to helping the new cohort of National Teaching Fellows to celebrate their fabulous achievement in Manchester.

Passionate and Purposeful Pedagogy in Plymouth

2 Oct

The sun is shining bright in Plymouth today for our workshop at Plymouth College of Art where Phil and I are helping colleagues think about teaching,  learning and assessment   Our slides and related resources are here: plymouth-college-of-art-w.pptx (96 downloads) UKPSF-recognition-slides-w5-July-2019-1.pptx (132 downloads) UKPSF-grid-latest-March-2019.docx (94 downloads)
Let’s hope the sun shines for the rest of the week when we are on holiday in Falmouth with Pauline Kneale ( but I’m not holding my breath!)

Happily harnessed to hard work!

20 Sep

This week I am starting a substantial block of work at Southampton Solent University which will be mainly process driven, but this whopping presentation will be what I select from when working with teams and particular issues arise. Solent-big-presentation-ww.pptx (128 downloads)

On Friday I will be working at Leeds Business School, Accountancy Division, mainly on Masters Level assessment, and the presentation I use is here: Masters-level-assessmenLeeds-Bus-School-w.pptx (99 downloads)

It’s great to be back in harness after the summer: but I am now completely full up with work until Christmas, what with confernces and other events alongside my granny duties and pro bono work. No rest for the wicked.

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 (112 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 (322 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!