Loci of Learning, Ladders of achievement and Lemon Drizzle Cake

13 Feb

With the weather being so terrible, I’ve been grateful I’ve had a quiet week this week, with no long distance travelling. So i’ve been working with Phil on our chapter on assessment and feedback to improve learning for the forthcoming new edition of Denise Chalmers and Lynne Hunt’s book on University Teaching in Focus for Routledge. We will be including three brand-new case studies from Ruth Cochrane and Richard Firth of Edinburgh Napier University, Fiona Meddings of Bradford University and Mark Glynn of Dublin city University, which are terrific.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about how people can make the best case for promotion on the grounds of teaching and research: certainly plenty of opportunities for reflection.
And alongside that I’ve done a bit of baking: Phil says the lemon drizzle cake is delicious!

Enhancement activities towards accreditation

4 Feb

I’m back up again in EdinburghNapier this week helping colleagues in the School of Nursing and Social Care to think in detail about curriculum design and delivery aspects of their program in advance of their reaccreditation. It’s a privilege to work with Professor Kay Sambell on this  and with health colleagues there who are doing so much to enhance the student experience. The slides I will be using are here: Napier-6th-Feb-SBKSw.pptx (223 downloads)

New era, new website, same old me!

1 Feb

Today on the first of February (the first day of a new era and my 70th birthday) I am re-launching my website with a number of updated features including a revised CV and mini bio, some new photos, a section on my key interests, some useful downloads and a slightly shouty section on my workshop and consultancy details which has been redrafted following some grim experiences of HEIs taking ages to pay!
I will continue to post updates approximately weekly (including presentations from any workshops/keynotes I run, which are all open access resources) and my twitter feed linked to my site gives you a flavour of what’s on my mind, what I am baking  and who I am enjoying spending my time with.
I hope visitors to my site will find things that are of interest to you, and, I hope, useful. Thanks to all colleagues, friends and mates who have worked with me over the years: I’ve enjoyed it a lot so far, and I look forward to future endeavours, notwithstanding the grim current events.
The rest of my birthday went splendidly, with some photos below illustrating bits of it, and a link to Sue Beckingham’s specially made video too.

Support, studies and sea views

29 Jan

Today I’m heading up to Edinburgh Napier University to help to support the re-accreditation of nursing programs. I am also looking forward to catching up with Kay Sambell and continuing with our research and publishing work.
The journey up to Edinburgh is one of the most scenic rail routes in Britain alongside the sea, with views of Alnmouth (see photo) and Holy Island.

Across to Ireland, Advance HE and Arts

23 Jan

After a very interesting and successful visit to Galway University last week I am down in London for a workshop for student governors run by Advance HE, where I am contributing with Dr Michelle Morgan to a panel about teaching excellence and the student experience.
But yesterday Michelle and I spent a brilliant afternoon at the V&A where I loved lots of things but especially the jewellery gallery. Here I am in the tearoom!

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 (249 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: https://twitter.com/LTA_HWU/status/1204388391992856578?s=20

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 (240 downloads) UKPSF-grid-latest-March-2019.docx (182 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 (141 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 (249 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 (123 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!).