New year, new directions, same old me!

1 Jan

Happy New Year to everyone!

I hope your festive season was delightful and satisfying!

And have you made any New Year resolutions? I’m largely in favour of active ones rather than ones that require stopping doing something, so mine is at last to try to publish some children’s stories (I had better do so, or my granddaughter Poppy will be very cross with me!)

So this week Phil and I are off to London and environs where he will work for Capel Manor College and I will be keynoting at Greenwich University on Friday 5th January on Enthusing and Energizing Students: celebrating and recognizing excellent teaching, and also running a workshop on assessment: my slides for both are here: Greenwich-assess-workshop-4-engagment-and-retention-w.pptx (114 downloads)   Greenwich-Jan5th-w.pptx (97 downloads)

Link to ‘A marked improvement’ (HEA, 2012)

Link to ‘Anglia Assessment Album’ (Sally Brown, Margaret Price et al)

Link to Napier ‘Enhance’resources: (Kay Sambell, Sally Brown and Phil Race)

Edinburgh Napier Resources

7 Dec

Edinburgh Napier University has now launched a brand-new series of ‘Quick Guides’ to matters relating to Assessment and Feedback, written by Kay Sambell, Sally Brown and Phil Race. These can be downloaded from the link here:

These guides are published as Open Educational Resources, and I hope colleagues in universities and colleges will find them really useful. We welcome all feedback on them. Photo shows the authors at the launch today:

​Collaboration, co-creation and Christmas around the corner!

3 Dec

My series of workshops developed collaboratively with Kay Sambell and Brian Webster Henderson on ENhancing assessment and feedback workshops for all six Schools at Edinburgh Napier University continues this week, with the second workshop for the School of Arts and Creative Industries on Wednesday morning, two workshops for the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social care on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, and workshops for the School of Applied Sciences on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. The last of the series will be for the School of Computing on Wednesday 13th December. The slides for all of the workshops are provided here as open resources for use by anyone interested.  Edinburgh-Napier-SACI-6-December-.pptx (88 downloads)   Edinburgh-Napier-HSC-67-December-w.pptx (75 downloads)   Edinburgh-Napier-Applied-Science-78-December-w.pptx (74 downloads)   Edinburgh-NapierComputing-w.pptx (65 downloads)
We will also be offering a soft launch (with mince pies) of the ENhance assessment guides and activity briefings co-created by Kay, Phil Race and me at lunchtime on Thursday 7th at Sighthill campus, and these guides will shortly be available as resources available under a Creative Commons licence on the DLTE website at Edinburgh Napier.

My last working day of the year will be on Thursday 14 December at South Bank University where I will be the external for the last Achieve panel reviewing HEA Fellowship applications under their current  route, which has been highly successfully in enabling staff of the university to gain Fellowship in various categories.

After that, its festivities frolics and fun, including the North East Christmas Treat for National Teaching Fellows on Wednesday 20th December.

Phil and I don’t send nearly as many Christmas cards as we used to, instead supporting Crisis at Christmas, so I will use this post to wish you a really happy time between now and the new academic year in 2018, with a perfect mix for you of leisure, family time, productive work, writing and rest!

​Energizing ENhancement activities at Edinburgh Napier

29 Nov

On Thursday 30th November and Friday 1st December I am continuing my activities at Edinburgh Napier University where alongside Brian Webster-Henderson and Kay Sambell  I am contributing to a range of enhancement activities around enhancing assessment. We have been producing with Phil Race some useful ENhance guides and activities aimed at helping staff assess and give feedback more effectively: Kay is pictured showcasing the guides at the Merchiston campus, where I am working with the School of Arts and Creative Industries on Friday, having worked on Thursday with the Business School on the Craiglockart campus. In due course we will be making these resources freely available as we have produced them under Creative Commons. Thanks to ENU for giving me this opportunity to do what I enjoy dong most!  Edinburgh-Napier-Business-School-30-November-ww.pptx (70 downloads) Edinburgh-Napier-SACI-1-December-w.pptx (88 downloads)

Jingle all the way to Christmas!

21 Nov

After an outstanding SEDA Conference in Cardiff last week, where I learnt a great deal from co-delegates and especially keynote speakers Ruth Pickford, Debby Cotton and Jane McNeil, we spent a lovely weekend with our tiny twin granddaughters in Neath.

This week I am off to the Netherlands to work on Thursday with colleagues from the new Centre for Academic Teaching at Utrecht University on two workshops: ‘Authentic assessment approaches to foster graduate skills and enhance employability’, and ‘Inclusive approaches to learning and teaching: celebrating and accommodating diversity’, the slides for which are here: Utrecht22-Nov-inclusivediverse19-nov-w.pptx (102 downloads) Authentic-assesment-grad-skills-employability-Utrecht-Nov-20-w.pptx (89 downloads)

On Friday I am again working with Hetty Grunefeld of Utrecht University offering a workshop on assessment for their groundbreaking and highly original program for curriculum leaders in learning teaching and assessment: slides are here: Utrecht-Fostering-autonomy-in-assessment-Nov-2017-w.pptx (95 downloads)

It’s a real pleasure to work again with colleagues at Utrecht University and beyond on matters that matter much to me, that is assessment and feedback and inclusivity.

And from next week, I will start an intensive further programme of workshops with Napier University, working with faculties to enhance and improve assessment and feedback.

Nurturing, networking and Neath!

10 Nov

After a quiet early autumn I am now back to being as busy as ever until Christmas!. On November 15th I will be working again at Lincoln University helping them with their applications for HEA Fellowship at different levels.

Next, straight down to the lovely SEDA Conference in Cardiff, where Phil, David Baume and I will be leading this panel session on Networking and Communities:  SEDA-Nov-conf-SB-PR-DB-w.pptx (73 downloads) .  I will also have the honour of introducing my friend and former Leeds Beckett colleague Ruth Pickford who is doing what I believe is absolutely groundbreaking work on systematic approaches to engaging students and staff and presenting for the first time her invaluable model. I’ve watched her work on this over a couple of years and Ithink it will be as important to the sector as the work for example John Biggs or Stephen Brookfield. That is no small claim but I think when colleagues hear her, they will agree! Her paper outlining her new model is being published in ‘Journal of perspectives in academic practice’ published by Napier University very shortly.

Also at the conference Kay Sambell and I will be launching our book ‘Professionalism in Practice’ which we wrote with Linda Graham, alongside launching the new book by Nicola Rolls, Andy Northedge and Ellie Chambers ‘Successful University Teaching in Times of Diversity’ in my learning/teaching series for Palgrave.

The conference is all about networking and community, and a big part of the event for me will be meeting up with colleagues old and new and learning from them. And then for leisure off to Neath to see our delightful baby twin granddaughters Molly and Chloe

Then next week Utrecht, then five more workhops at Edinburgh Napier before Christmas, and a trip to support London Southbank’s scheme ‘Achieve’ through which colleagues Fellowships of the HEA.

Numinous National Teaching Fellows

5 Nov

This week Phil and I had the joyous pleasure of seeing inspiring new National Teaching Fellows receiving their awards, including Sue Beckingham seen in the picture, Pam Parker and Fabio D’Arico at a glittering event in London. 
In the coming week I will be commencing a series of six workshops at Edinburgh Napier University, where I will be working with all six schools on enhancing assessment and feedback. The School of Engineering and Built Environment is the first this week, and my slides are here:  Edinburgh-Napier-EngBE-feedback-am-w1.pptx (79 downloads)   Edinburgh-Napier-EngBE-feedback-pm-6-Nov-w.pptx (74 downloads)

Excited in Edinburgh

27 Oct

On Thursday I was delighted and actually over-excited to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Edinburgh Napier University and what made it even more special was that Chrissi Nerantzi was awarded her PhD at the same ceremony: a truly special day. Thanks so much to Edinburgh Napier University for giving me such a wonderful day and to Professor Kay Sambell for a stunning Laureation that made me cry! The photo shows Chrissi Nerantzi and me with our respective families at dinner after the event, and Kay Sambell, me and Chrissi outside the Usher Hall.

Busy in Bournemouth, Bloomsbury and Benton!

7 Oct

This week I’m contributing to the REF TEF conference at Bournemouth University where my focus in the panel session is Teaching Excellence. This  is a topic I have spent 100+ hours thinking about in the last 18 months as I led the ANTF. Consultation responses on TEF. we live in strange times and with the NSS weighting being significantly reduced and the Tory pledge to cap fees, it seems difficult to predict how the take up of TEF will be in the next year. My slides for Bournemouth are here:  Bournemouth-11-Oct-2017-w.pptx (104 downloads)
For the rest of the week I am contributing to the Bournemouth PGCertHE, meeting colleagues from Deakin university, chairing the ANTF committee and discussing inclusivity as well as being Granny Sally on Monday and Tuesday, and returning to host a PhD writing weekend at home next Saturday. This semi-retirement lark doesn’t give me time to be bored!

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.