Nurturing Northbrook in Wonderful Worthing

3 Oct

I am delighted to have been asked this week to speak at the Northbrook Metropolitan College graduation ceremony in Worthing on Friday. Northbrook has a very special place in my heart as they provided wonderful learning experiences for my eldest son leading to him getting a First class degree accredited by Brighton University and the outstanding Student of the Year that year ( I stopped breathing for a short while when they announced that!). So I am thrilled to be able to go along and celebrate with them at Worthing Assembly Hall with Phil alongside me.

Anglia Assessment Album

27 Sep

Today I am meeting in London with Sharon Waller, Erica Morris and Margaret Price to celebrate the culmination of our Anglia Assessment Album project. If you haven’t seen the Open Educational Resources we have created, do have a look at    Here you will find ‘Snapshots’, which summarise key assessment issues (including what research tells us about each topic) and offer practical advice, Activities for use with groups and teams and some games ( of which I am particularly proud!) to get staff and students thinking about criteria, weighting, agency and other assessment matters. Thanks so much to Sharon for involving us in this project.

You may also be interested to see my latest blog on the Staff Development Forum for the Leadership Foundation on inclusive practices in higher education: 


Autumn leaves (me looking relaxed!)

12 Sep

I am looking forward this week to meeting with NTFs and Principal Fellows of the Higher Education Academy at the event being organised by Stella Jones Devitt and Susannah Quinsee  which is part of their research into critical success factors for the National Teaching Fellowship scheme. The event takes place at city University of London 10, Northampton Square EC1V 0HB on 13 September from 1 PM to 3 PM and if any National Teaching Fellow is able to rock up there on the day, please do. If you can’t do that, do please participate in the webinar version taking place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Then I’m off to Brighton (Hove actually) to see my lovely eldest son.
Phil and I are having a lovely quiet autumn: but there’s plenty of writing, mentoring and grandchildren care to keep me busy.

Manchester, mentoring and Molly-and-Chloe

5 Sep

So it’s back to school today with Granny on the school run and back to work for me tomorrow after a lovely summer vacation, with me keynoting at the RAISE conference in Manchester The slides for my presentation on ‘engaging students creatively to maximise student retention and achievement’  are here: RAISE-Sept-2017-w.pptx (109 downloads) The Twitter hashtag for the conference is #RAISE17

I look forward to Learning from fellow delegates on Wednesday and then on Thursday I am continuing with my mentoring role with colleagues from Liverpool John Moores University. I have been working with people there over the last three years to help them write and publish journal articles in support of achieving PhD’s by publication with pleasing levels of success!

Then on Thursday night, it’s off down to Wales to see our Welsh grandchildren Molly and Chloe, who, after a bumpy start on now 14 months old and thriving. Meanwhile, Phil is working at Swansea University running keynote and workshops on ‘Designing out Plagiarism’.

It’s been a super summer with time in Spain and at the Edinburgh festival and it’s nice now to contemplate an autumn of creativity and engagement.

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 (112 downloads)   Getting-published-in-Journals-with-top-LT-from-Google-docx-w1.docx (101 downloads)   Co-authoring-multipuposing-networking-w.docx (74 downloads)
The main slides Phil and I used are here:  GetPublished-Leeds-Beckett-Sally-and-Phils-main-slides.pptx (85 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 (91 downloads)   Presentación-Sally.ppt (77 downloads) and slides and handouts for our workshops in English: GetPublishedParts12Leon-v3pr.pptx (85 downloads)   Getting-published-in-Journals-with-top-LT-from-Google-docx-w1.docx (101 downloads) developing-your-writing-w.doc (112 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 (99 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 (85 downloads)   effectiveefficient-assessment-Keele-w.pptx (80 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 (78 downloads)