Annual Learning and Teaching Conference Keynote Announcement

We are pleased to announce this year’s annual learning and teaching conference keynote (12-14 September 2022).

Kyra Araneta, Jennifer Fraser, and Moonisah Usman from the University of Westminster will be joining us virtually for their keynote speech, Navigating power lines: Developing principles and practices to support socially just student : staff partnerships.

In this keynote Kyra, Jennifer, and Moonisah will be discussing their successful staff-student partnership projects.

Session Abstract

For many of us universities and classrooms are sites of possibility (hooks, 1994) that we invest with hopes for different futures for students and ourselves. They are also sites of tension as we navigate complex relationships and power dynamics. How we live education for liberation has become even more pressing in recent years with mobilisations for Black Lives Matter and calls to decolonise universities. In Power Lines: On the Subject of Feminist Alliances Aimee Carrillo Rowe asks ‘How do we build power lines that connect us to others in, through, and for justice?’ (2008, p. 2). Our keynote engages with this question to explore how we develop principles and practices to support socially just student : staff partnership relationships. We argue that, if designed for social justice, partnerships can create anti-racist and decolonial atmospheres (Bell, 2018) that become sites of possibility. Using examples from our work at the University of Westminster we engage with the intersections of power, allyship, social justice and partnership to consider strategies for building programmes that centre transformative relationships. We share examples of how we have built relationships, co-created programme values and enacted these in partnership projects. To illustrate how we can build partnerships with power lines that connect us for social justice we will use the example of the Pedagogies for Social Justice Project  (https://blog.westminster.ac.uk/psj/). This project is committed to centring student voices in its values, beliefs and experiences and in using these to dismantle contemporary forms of coloniality in curricula, relationships and research. We argue that partnerships are pivotal to this work as they co-produce knowledge; develop new and critical ways of understanding disciplines; and undertake sustained collaboration, experimentation and dialogue. Understanding that these are challenging and complex processes, we offer this keynote as a step in your University’s and your own journeys toward creating socially just pedagogical spaces for students and staff.

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Guest speaker announcement: Annual Learning and Teaching Conference

Dr Alex Hope

We’re pleased to announce our first guest speaker for this year’s annual learning and teaching conference (12-14 September 2022).

Dr Alex Hope will be joining us to talk about how to embed sustainability meaningfully into the curriculum.

Dr Hope is Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education) and Associate Professor of Business Ethics at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University. He is responsible for the strategic leadership of education across the faculty and undertakes teaching, research and consultancy across topics such as education for sustainable development, responsible business, business ethics and the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Alongside his work at Newcastle Business School Dr Hope is Co-Chair of the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (UN PRME) Climate Change and Environment working group and past Vice-Chair of the UN PRME UK and Ireland Chapter. He is a member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) Learning and Teaching Committee and sits on the Northeast board of Business in the Community, the Prince of Wales responsible business network. He holds a PhD in Sustainable development, an MA in Academic Practice and BSc (Hons) in Environmental Management.

A reminder to colleagues that the Call for Proposals is currently open (due to close on 27 May 2022).

Booking for the conference is also open.

Further information can be found on our webpages. We will be announcing additional external speakers, including our keynote, in due course.

Conference Registration now open

Registration for the tenth annual Learning and Teaching conference is now open. This year’s Learning and Teaching conference has the theme Designing the Teaching of Tomorrow: Innovation, Enhancement, and Excellence and will be taking place between Monday 12 September and Wednesday 14 September 2022.

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 27 May 2022.

Call for Proposals: Learning and Teaching Conference 2022

We are now inviting proposals for the 10th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, Monday 12-Wednesday 14 September 2022.

Submit and view the call for proposals online. 

This year’s conference theme, 

Designing the Teaching of Tomorrow: Innovation, Enhancement, and Excellence 

Celebrating 10 years of Aberystwyth University’s Learning and Teaching Conferences

aims to reflect the commitment that AU staff have to enhance the student learning experience.

The main strands of this year’s conference are:

  • Inclusive and sustainable pedagogies 
  • Assessment validity, authentic assessment, and feedback engagement
  • Scaffolding skills across the curriculum and beyond
  • Developing a Bilingual University community
  • Working with students as partners to design learning 
  • Active learning in today’s higher education landscape

Staff, postgraduate teaching assistants, and students are welcome to propose sessions on any topic relating to learning and teaching, especially those that focus on the incorporation and use of technology. Even if your suggestion doesn’t fit a particular strand, other topics are welcome.

We seek to encourage presenters to consider using alternative formats that reflect and suit the content of their sessions. As such, we are not specifying a standardised presentation format.

Please complete this form no later than 27 May 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit at lteu@aber.ac.uk.

Annual Learning and Teaching Conference Announcement

#aultc22 #pacda22

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce the theme and strands for this year’s Annual Learning and Teaching Conference.

Save the Date: this year’s conference will take place between 12th and 14th September 2022. It’s hoped that we will see the return of some face-to-face elements that we’ve enjoyed in the past.

This year’s conference theme is:

Designing the Teaching of Tomorrow: Innovation, Enhancement, and Excellence

Celebrating 10 years of Aberystwyth University’s Learning and Teaching Conferences

With the following strands:

  • Inclusive and sustainable pedagogies 
  • Assessment validity, authentic assessment, and feedback engagement
  • Scaffolding skills across the curriculum and beyond
  • Developing a Bilingual University community
  • Working with students as partners to design learning 
  • Active learning in today’s higher education landscape

We can’t believe that it’s our tenth annual conference, with the first one starting in 2013. We’ll have lots of highlights from the past ten years. Ahead of the conference, we’ll be making our archive of materials available so look out for those.

Save the date and look out for the forthcoming call for proposals, guest speakers, and booking announcements on our blog and webpages.

Mini Conference Materials Available

Before the vacation, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit ran their final mini conference of the year.

The theme for the mini conference was using polling software to enhance learning and teaching. If you were unable to make the event then check out the recordings on our Mini Conference webpage.

Since the University procured a licence for Vevox polling software earlier this year, we’ve seen a whole host of colleagues making use of it. In semester 1 1873 polls have been run by 136 staff members with 6485 student responses.

If you want to know more about polling software then we’ve got a Vevox webpage which has all our guidance. Kate and Jim led a webinar for Vevox on our implementation and how colleagues have made use of it in their teaching. Check out the recording on YouTube or Vevox’s own website for other case studies. You can read about Vevox’s latest updates on our recent blogpost.

The conference kicked off with a session run by Dr Christina Stanley from Chester University. Christina gave us an overview of how she’s been using polling software to boost student confidence and promote inclusivity.

Next, our client managers from Vevox, Joe Probert and Izzy Whitley gave us an update on future developments with Vevox polling software and some product enhancements that will be coming down the line.

Then we moved onto colleagues from Aberystwyth University who shared with us how they are using polling in their teaching. Dr Maire Gorman who teaches in the Graduate School and the Physics Department gave us an overview as to how polling software can be used in statistics teaching to facilitate peer learning and inter and intra-cohort bonding.

Next, Bruce Fraser Wight, from the Business School demonstrated how he has been using polling software for ice breaking activity. We were grateful to hear from two of Bruce’s students to find out how they found using polling software.

Finally, Dr Jennifer Wood from the Department of Modern Languages outlined how polling software can be used for language learning and encourage engagement.

If you’re doing something interesting with polling software, we’d love to hear from you for a potential blogpost – drop us an email on lteu@aber.ac.uk.   

Vevox updates December 2021

One of the advantages to having an institution subscription is that we can benefit from enhancements and updates.

One of the recent enhancements was to the word cloud style question. Previously only one word was able to be submitted to the word cloud style question, but now participants can provide multi-word submissions as well as single words. Word clouds also accept non-English characters and emojis. Vevox has also been working on the accessibility of the word cloud question and the colour scheme has been enhanced to improve its display.

We’re really pleased at how colleagues are making use of Vevox. If you’re after some ideas on how you can use it in your teaching, then Kate and myself recently presented a webinar on Vevox’s behalf. As well as giving an overview of our rollout of Vevox since we procured it in March, we also outlined some exemplary practices taking place by colleagues:

  • Module Evaluation (Dr Emmanual Isibor and Dr Chris Loftus, Computer Science)
  • Stats generation (Dr Maire Gorman, Physics and Graduate School)
  • Anonymous Q and A (Dr Megan Talbot, Law and Criminology)
  • Peer assessment and word associations (Dr Michael Toomey, International Politics)
  • Asynchronous Q and A (Dr Victoria Wright, Psychology)
  • Pin on image and session impact (Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit)

Thank you for the colleagues above for sharing their practices and experiences with us. A recording of the webinar is available on YouTube.

We’ve also got our Mini Conference on Thursday looking at how polling software can be used to enhance learning and teaching activities. There’s still time to book onto that. We’re grateful to be joined by Joe and Izzy from Vevox, as well as our external speaker, Dr Christina Stanley from the University of Chester.

Vevox guidance is available on our webpages. If you’ve not used Vevox before then sign up for the Zero to Hero sessions which are run every Tuesday at 3pm. We’re also re-running our training session Designing Teaching Activities using Vevox on 16 March 2022 at 10am. You can sign up via our Course Booking page.

Mini Conference Programme Announced

Mini Conference Logo
On Thursday 16th December, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit will be hosting the second Academy Mini-Conference online of this academic year.  

The theme will be ‘Using Polling Software to Enhance Learning and Teaching Activities’. Since we procured Vevox earlier this year, we’ve seen a proliferation in the use of polling software in learning and teaching activities.  

The Mini-Conference will run from 10:30-15:00. We’re excited to confirm our programme:  

Dr Christina Stanley – keynote (Chester University): Polling to boost student confidence and promote inclusivity
Joe Probert & Izzy Whitley: Vevox
Dr Maire Gorman (Physics & Graduate School): Inter & Intra-cohort bonding (and peer learning) in statistics teaching
Bruce Wight (Aberystwyth Business School): How much does a Polar Bear weigh? Enough to break the ice! Using Vevox for Icebreaker Activities
Dr Jennifer Wood (Modern Languages): Is there anybody out there? Using Polling Software in the Language Classroom: Breaching the void.  

For session abstracts and timings, please see the programme on our webpages.

We hope that you will be able to join us.

You can register to attend the Mini-Conference by clicking on this link.  

If you have any queries, please email lteu@aber.ac.uk.

Our top tips for organising Online Conferences

Keynote announcement banner

Since the pandemic, many conferences have shifted from face to face to online events. Here in the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit we’ve run two annual learning and teaching conferences online as well as some mini conferences and Academy Forums. In this blogpost, we’ll be offering you some of our top tips to help you organise your event.

1.      Choose the right platform

There’s a lot of video conferencing software to choose from, but here at AU we use Teams as our default video conferencing tool. We do have a limited number of licences for Zoom but these are reserved for functionality that can’t be achieved in Teams. For example, for simultaneous translation, or for sessions with more than 250 participants.

You can set up Teams meetings for the sessions from a calendar. Alternatively, you can set up a Teams site but this will be limited to .ac.uk domains so be aware of that, especially with External Speakers.

We like to put our links on a webpage so that we can quickly pass the sessions onto anyone who signs up late. Alternatively, you can use a word document or an email that has the links embedded.

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Mini Conference: External Speaker

Mini Conference Logo

We are pleased to announce that our first external speaker joining us at this year’s Mini Conference, Using Polling Software for Learning and Teaching Activities, is Dr Christina Stanley.

Dr Stanley’s session will be entitled Polling to Boost Student Confidence and Promote Inclusivity.

Dr Stanley is a Senior Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and is MSc Programme Lead and the University of Chester.

Booking for the event on Thursday 16th December is open alongside our Call for Proposals.

Keep an eye on our blog as we release further information on the event.