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 (65 downloads)

All compass points this week

3 Jun

“I have many miles to go before I sleep and promises to keep” (Robert Frost, ‘Stopping by woods on a snowy evening’)
“I would walk 500 miles” (The Proclaimers)

Starting out from home in the North East on Sunday, Phil and I will be presenting at the Solstice Conference at Edge Hill University in the North West on Monday and Tuesday. My handout for my workshop on bidding for grant funding is here:  Solstice-workshop-handouts-June-2017-w.docx (70 downloads)

I am delighted to say that this week I have had the great news that I have been appointed Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University, where I alongside Phil will be contributing to the work of the Centre for Learning and Teaching at the University​ for the next two years, so we expect to be celebrating while we are there.

Then we fly south down to Southampton for an event organised at Bournemouth University by Debby Holley and Kirsten Hardie around teaching excellence and encouraging people to apply for National Teaching Fellowships, in my capacity as chair of the Association of National Teaching Fellows. My slides for my sessions on NTF and getting Published are here.  GetPublishedBournemouth-w.pptx (74 downloads)   NTF-Bournemouth-June-2017-w.pptx (69 downloads)

And the it’s on a plane north again to Edinburgh for Dundee’s learning and Teaching conference where I will be keynoting on ‘Supporting student transition and engagement through effective feedback and assessment’ and running a workshop on ‘Making assessment more effective and efficient’   Dundee-Assess4TransitionEnhancement-w.pptx (117 downloads)   effectiveefficient-assessment-Dundee-June-2017-w.pptx (101 downloads)

Then we will be on the train south again to Newcastle for Phil’s birthday weekend garden party.

So lots of miles, and lots of promises hopefully kept!

​​​Lingering in Lincoln

1 Jun

On Friday 2nd June I will be working again with Lincoln University Business School, supporting colleagues going for Senior Fellowships of the HEA and discussing with colleagues how best to support associate lecturers and others including distance tutors to gain Associate Fellowships. Phil’s and my generic slides and useful colourful diagram on working towards all levels of Fellowship are here: UKPSF-recognition-slides-2016-LATEST-1.pptx (74 downloads) UKPSFgridUpdatedJan2015-1.docx (73 downloads)  .

I’m aiming to get to Lincoln early on Thursday so I can have a wander round the city, which looks its best  at this time of year.

Sunshine in Sheffield

22 May

On Thursday 25th of May I am working with the Computing Department at Sheffield University, helping them think about several aspects of assessment: my three PowerPoint presentations are here.  Authentic-assesment-Sheffield-25-may-2017-w.pptx (76 downloads) group-assessment-Sheffield-may-2017-w.ppt (70 downloads) Manageable-and-effective-assessment-Sheffield-May-2017-w.pptx (66 downloads)
In the afternoon I am working with PhD students and novice assessors on how to manage the process of becoming an effective assessor. I am using here a handout adapted from materials I created for Anglia Ruskin University as part of their Anglia Assessment Album.  This is a substantial project I’ve been working on for a couple of years with Margaret Price and Erica Morris, and together we believe we have produced some really useful open educational resources. The link is here:
My handout for the Sheffield workshop is here:  New-to-assessing-handout-for-Sheffield-25th-May2017-w.docx (66 downloads)
After a rather cool and damp spring I’m hoping for lovely weather for my day out in Yorkshire

Back to work in York

22 Apr

After a delightful Easter beak with a nice mixture of  desk work and leisure (a high spot of which was going to the gardens at Howick hall, just south of Craster, home of Earl Grey, with a lovely tea room where you can drink his tea, it’s back to work this week with workshops at York St John University on ‘Assessment to support retention & engagement’ and ‘Inspiring teaching’, the slides for which are here:  Assess4retentionYSJ-April17-w.pptx (84 downloads)   Inspiring-teaching-YSJApril2017-w.pptx (102 downloads)

Networking with NTFs
We had a terrific NTF symposium in Aston on April 10th-11th, and we follow this in May with our open conference at Leeds Beckett University on May 10th.

This event will enable NTFs both to showcase the excellent practice that helped us gain our awards in the first place, and to give our non-NTF colleagues presenting alongside us opportunities to build evidence of their own innovative practice which could be helpful for future NTF applications.  The day will provide three strands of participatory workshops, as well as NTF-led keynotes and panels.

The delegate rate for this event to include coffee, tea and buffet lunch is again £80 and booking closes on May 3rd.

If you want to come along, please book via this link:
ANTF Symposium: Teaching Excellence – Building Bridges –

Writing myself out of a job

6 Apr

Today is my last day of working on the University of Sheffield teSS Scholarship circle project, with staff aiming to get their work about teaching and learning published. Today we are discussing refining one’s own written style and language, coping with rejection, finding an authentic voice and developing personal strategies for publication. The handouts I am using are here. teSS-handout-Thurs-6-April-v2.doc (104 downloads)   teSS-Scholarship-Circle-Evaluation-and-feedback.docx (78 downloads)   Edit-this.docx (74 downloads)
It’s been a real pleasure to work with colleagues over a six-month period and seeing a significant amount of growth both of confidence and of capability. A feature of the workshops is that colleagues attending have been getting to know each other better and plan to write together in the future. It is of course what I’m supposed to be doing,  that is writing myself out of a job by building colleagues’ own self efficacy!

Benvenuto la dolce vita

26 Mar

On Monday 27th March Phil and I are flying to Venice then on to Padua where we are delighted to be presenting alongside Kay Sambell, Fabio D’Arico and David Nicol at a conference on assessment at the ancient University of Padua. We will be seeing some Giottos while  we are there as well as visiting the oldest university botanical garden in the world. Then later in the week we are going to Venice for a three day break with no work at all! Our slides for our workshop and presentation at Padua are here Padua-1st-sessionn-2017-2.pptx (111 downloads)   Padua-Assess4Engagement-pr2.pptx (143 downloads)

CANTF (the partial UK tour)

24 Mar

This week and next week, members of the Committee of National Teaching Fellows and friends will be supporting the HEA by running a series of workshops in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on this year’s  application process for National Teaching Fellowships. With the deadlines having been so short this year, I am delighted that my NTF colleagues and host organisations have worked so hard to bring these events together in record time. Thank you everyone who has work so hard to make things happen!   I am looking forward to leading  the Newcastle gig on Friday 24th March, hosted by Steve McHanwell at Newcastle University and other events are running (or have run) in Belfast, Cardiff, Leeds (thanks Phil), Cambridge, Southampton,  Oxford and London (special thanks to  Simon Lancaster).  Sadly  Scotland is not part of the NTF scheme hence it’s only a partial UK tour! The slides we are all using, which have been endorsed by the HEA, are here:  ANTF-prospective-NTFs-2017-New-Deadlinelogo.pptx (96 downloads)

Tea, Tango and teSS

12 Mar

I’ve got an  exciting week this week as on Monday I am going to Lucas’s Nursery School morning cream tea for mums and grannies as role models.

Then on Tuesday, Phil and I fly to Amsterdam to work in Utrecht, keynoting at their annual teaching and learning conference on ‘internationalization’ and running a workshop for their Science Faculty on assessment. The title they gave me for the former was ‘It takes two to tango: internationalisation at the University of Utrecht’ so of course I have bought an appropriate frock (photo of me in the Hall where the Treaty of Utrecht was signed). My slides for the two sessions are here:   Utrecht-Science-Assess-march17-ww.pptx (134 downloads)   Utrecht-keynote-March2017Final-version-w.pptx (123 downloads)


Then I’m flying back on Thursday night, ready for my fourth workshop in the teaching excellence for Social Sciences (teSS)
series of workshops on writing for publication, for colleagues on teaching-focused contracts. This time it’s all about co-authoring, linking conference outputs and publications and getting past writer’s block: the slides are here:  teSS-writing-workshop-March-2017-w.pptx (96 downloads)

You can’t get much more fun than that!

Networking with novice assessors

1 Mar

Very early (for me) on the morning of Wednesday 1 March I am leading a webinar within the ascilte  e-Assessment special interest group ‘Transforming assessment’ webinar series, hosted by Geoff Crisp and Matthew Hillier  at the University of New South Wales. The slides for my session  on ‘Getting started in assessment and feedback in higher education’ are here: TA_webinar_1_mar_2017_slides.pptx (111 downloads) . It’s designed for novices in HE assessment and the people who support them. This for me is a crucial area, since every person undertaking assessment needs to be competent and confident in doing so, otherwise validity and reliability suffer.

It’s been a delight and surprise to discover that  120+ participants from around the world will be joining in in a session that is billed as a preview session for the excellent Assessment in Higher Education Conference: I look forward to making  a number of new friends and colleagues!

Here is the U-tube link to the recording of this webinar: it lasts nearly an hour, and it’s best to go to full-screen mode to see Sally’s slides well;