Annual Learning and Teaching Conference Materials Available

Photograph of think tank during conference opening.

Between the 4 and 6 July, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit hosted the 11th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference.

The materials from the conference are now available on our webpages.

We would like to thank all of our contributors and attendees. The sessions were of such high quality.

Across two in person days and one online day, delegates heard about the developments for Blackboard Learn Ultra, Chat GPT and AI, and creative approaches to assessment design.

We’re already heading into planning our 12th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference which is scheduled to take place in September 2024 (date TBC).

We hope to see you at a forthcoming event.

Blackboard Ultra Project Update

The big news since our last update on the Blackboard Ultra project is that we have started departmental training sessions. It’s been great getting to meet staff and demonstrate the basics of using Ultra. To date 200 people have attended a session, and we’ve got more sessions lined up over the summer.

If you’re not able to attend your departmental training session, then we’ve got a number of centrally organised ones for you to join.  

In addition to this, and to make sure that colleagues have access to full Ultra functionality, we’ve got the following sessions scheduled (available in Welsh and English): 

  1. E-learning Enhanced: Using Tests
  2. E-learning Enhanced: Designing Wiki Alternatives
  3. E-learning Enhanced: Using Discussions
  4. E-learning Enhanced: Using Journals
  5. E-learning Enhanced: Designing Blog Alternatives

You can view our sessions and book your place on the course booking page.  

We’re also working behind the scenes on our integrations with other tools. At the moment, we are working on making it easier for you to find the correct academic year Panopto folder when you create recordings. We think that this is going to make things much easier when teaching starts again. Keep an eye out for news on this.

We’re looking forward to welcoming colleagues from Anthology / Blackboard and Bangor University to the annual learning and teaching conference. We’ve got a whole day of Ultra-related events on 4th July. If you haven’t booked your place at the conference, you can do it on our conference webpages.

If you’ve got any questions about Ultra, contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (  

External Speakers at this year’s Learning and Teaching Conference: Part 2: Bangor University

To complement the keynote sessions from Blackboard, we’re delighted to welcome colleagues from Bangor University: Bethan Wyn Jones and Alan Thomas.

View our full programme and book your place online.

One thing that we were keen on having as part of the conference is to hear about colleagues’ experience of moving over to Blackboard Ultra. Bangor have been using Ultra since 2020.

Please see below for their biographies:

Read More

External Speakers at this year’s Learning and Teaching Conference: Part 1: Blackboard

We’re delighted to welcome a number of external speakers at this year’s Learning and Teaching Conference.

View our full programme and book your place online.

On Tuesday 4 July, we’ll be joined in person by colleagues from Blackboard.

Colleagues will have the opportunity to hear about future developments, work on and enhance their blackboard ultra modules, and provide feedback to the company on enhancements.

Please see below for our speakers’ biographies.

Read More

Annual Learning and Teaching Conference: Stands at the conference

The Annual Learning and Teaching Conference is fast approaching (4-6 July). We’re delighted to have a couple of stands during the second day of the conference, 5 July.

Located in the Think Tank, colleagues can speak to the Tell us Now team about upcoming changes to the MEQ process and Student Services about the plans for teaching and learning through a trauma-informed lens.

Our full programme is available on our webpages and you can book your place online.

Annual Learning and Teaching Conference

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the 11th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, which is just over a month away, 4-6 July.

This year’s conference theme, Transformative Teaching: Creating Opportunities for Learning, aims to reflect the commitment that AU staff have to enhance the student learning experience.

We’re pleased to confirm our full programme.  We will have 2 days in person (Tuesday 4 July and Wednesday 5 July) and 1 day online (Thursday 6 July).

We look forward to seeing you at the conference, and please remember to register for the conference by completing this online form. 

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Keynote announcement: Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce our keynotes for this year’s Annual Learning and Teaching Conference (4-6 July 2023).  

Booking for the conference is already open. Book your place today. 

We will be joined by colleagues from Blackboard and Bangor University to ensure that we are well prepared for our move to Ultra. 

There will be opportunities to: 

  • Learn all about the benefits of moving to Ultra 
  • Hear about some exciting new developments that will help enhance your teachingListen to colleagues from Bangor about the lessons that they’ve learned from their move 
  • Take a look at what excellent means with Ultra courses 
  • Attend a workshop to help enhance your modules to ensure that they are the very best that they can be for September 
  • Give your feedback on Ultra to product developers to help it meet our needs 

We’ll be announcing the rest of our programme shortly, but you can expect sessions on Artificial Intelligence, Creative Assessment Design, and developing resilience in students.  

We’re excited to see you in person on 4 and 5 July and online on 6 July.

Annual Learning and Teaching Conference: External Speaker Announcement

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce our first external speaker as part of this year’s Annual Learning and Teaching Conference.

Taking place between 4 and 6 July, bookings for the conference are already open.

Michael Webb from Jisc will discuss Artificial Intelligence in the session Navigating the Opportunities and Challenges of AI in Education.

Since the introduction of Chat GPT, colleagues have been finding ways in which the power of artificial intelligence might be used in Higher Education alongside the challenges that it poses.

Jisc’s national centre for artificial intelligence in tertiary education aims to help institutions adopt AI in a responsible and ethical way. We are working across the sector to help institutions navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by generative AI. In this session we’ll review the strengths and weakness of generative AI, the practices and approaches we see emerging, and take a look at how technologies and practices are developing as ever more generative AI applications are released.

Michael Webb is the director of technology and analytics at Jisc – the UK digital, data and technology agency focused on tertiary education, research, and innovation. He is co-lead of Jisc’s national centre for AI in tertiary education, supporting the responsible and effective adoption of artificial intelligence across the tertiary education sector. As well as artificial intelligence, he has worked on projects around the internet of things, virtual reality, and learning analytics. Before joining Jisc, Michael worked in the higher education sector, leading IT and learning technology.

This session will be of interest for colleagues who would like to add AI into their teaching and learning activities, as well as explore ways in which it can be used productively.

Our full programme will be announced on our webpages in due course. Aberystwyth University has been working on its own guidance for Artificial Intelligence. Take a look at ourConsiderations for Generative AI Detection blogpost for further information.

Mini Conference: Virtual Reality – Materials Available

Virtual reality image

On 28 March, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit hosted their first mini conference of the year in person.

The mini conference’s theme was Virtual Reality. The conference materials are now available on our webpages.

The conference started with a keynote by Chris Rees who is the Executive Head of Digital Creativity and Learning Unit at University of Wales Trinity St David’s. Chris gave an overview of how UWTSD have been using two newly created immersive rooms (Swansea and Cardiff), with activities ranging from virtual reality gym training through to architectural walk throughs and health and safety training.

The conference then shifted to hearing how colleagues at AU are currently using VR in their learning and teaching. Amanda Jones and Bleddyn Lewis gave an insight into how the Healthcare Education Centre is using Wales’ Virtual Hospital. Education’s Steve Atherton makes use of VR in several modules, including placing students in different education contexts – from refugee camps through to Montessori education settings. After lunch, Helen Miles and Andra Jones (Computer Science) and Rebecca Zerk (Dewis Choice Project / Law and Criminology) ran a workshop outlining the challenges and benefits to VR. Participants also got the opportunity to sample the Dewis choice project using VR headsets.

What emerged from the event is that lots of colleagues are using VR in their learning and teaching. We’re looking at creating a space for colleagues to come together to discuss their approaches to VR. We’ve set up a Teams site. If you’re interested in Virtual Reality and would like to be added to the Teams site, email the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (

Conference Registration now open

Registration for the eleventh annual Learning and Teaching conference is now open. This year’s Learning and Teaching conference has the theme Transformative Teaching: Creating Opportunities for Learning and will be taking place between Tuesday 4 and Thursday 6 July 2023.

You can register for the conference online.

Call for Proposals

Staff, postgraduate teaching assistants, and students are welcome to propose sessions on any topic relating to learning and teaching.

Submit and view the call for proposals online. Please complete this form no later than 5 May 2023.