Invitation: Aberystwyth University’s Learning and Teaching Conference 2021

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We’re looking forward to this year’s Learning and Teaching Conference which is just under a month away, 29th June-2nd July 2021.

As you may have read, this year’s Conference will be taking place online via Teams so you can join us for as much or as little of the conference as you wish.

You can view the full programme and book your place online.

We’re grateful to have a number of external speakers this year.

Our keynote, Dr Chrissi Nerantzi will be talking about open and flexible pedagogies. At Manchester Metropolitan University, Chrissi developed the openly-licensed practice-based professional developmental programme FLEX which incorporates formal and informal pathways of engagement. She is the founder of the cross institutional Creativity for Learning in Higher Education community, the Teaching and Learning Conversations (TLC) webinars, as well as many other initiatives. You can read more about Chrissi on our blogpost

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Annual Learning and Teaching Conference: Third external speaker – Dr Dyddgu Hywel

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We are delighted to announce our third external speaker to this year’s Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, Dr Dyddgu Hywel, senior lecturer in Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Dyddgu studied BSc (Hons) ‘Design and Technology Secondary Education leading to Qualified Teacher Status’ at Bangor University, where she graduated with first class honours. Her early career started as a Design and Technology A Level lecturer at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, before being appointed as a Design and Technology teacher at Rhydywaun Comprehensive School.

She has now been working at Cardiff Metropolitan University for the past seven years, working as a senior lecturer in the School of Education, with expertise in innovative teaching, student engagement and health and well-being. Following 8 years of playing rugby for her country in the red shirt, she has adopted several effective ways of living healthily, maintaining a positive mindset, and mastering a work-life balance.

Dyddgu’s workshop will focus on prioritizing the health and well-being of staff. The workshop will benefit all academic staff at the university, to identify effective ways of protecting their personal health and well-being, as well as providing pastoral care for all students.

Workshop objectives:

  • An opportunity to reflect on your personal health and well-being
  • Consider the right balance between everyday life and work pressures
  • Identify the role of educators in student health and well-being
  • Identify personal stress management, attitude and positive thinking
  • Adopt time management and prioritization
  • Promote Welsh-language resources for effective relaxation and reflection

Dyddgu will be presenting online through the medium of Welsh and we will be providing simultaneous translation.

The ninth Annual Learning and Teaching Conference will be held online between Tuesday 29 June and Friday 2 July. You can book a place by completing this online form.

Full programme: Aberystwyth University’s Learning and Teaching Conference 2021

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the 9th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, which is just over a month away, 29th June – 2nd July 2021. This year’s conference theme, Improvisation within Constraint: Reshaping a Learning Community in a Time of Change aims to reflect the commitment that AU staff have to enhance the student learning experience. 

We’re pleased to confirm our full programme.

You can register for the conference by completing this online form.  

We’re very excited to welcome four external speakers this year: 

  • This year’s keynote speaker is Dr Chrissi Nerantzi who is Principal Lecturer – Academic CPD, University Teaching Academy (UTA), Manchester Metropolitan University. Dr Nerantzi will focus on open and flexible pedagogies.  
  • Our second external speaker, Andy McGregor, who is Director of edtech for JISC, will be delivering a workshop focusing on the future of assessments.  
  • Our third external speaker is Dr Dyddgu Hywel, Senior Lecturer in Education at Cardiff Metropolitan, will be delivering an interactive presentation on prioritising student and staff well-being. (Dr Hywel’s presentation will be delivered through the medium of Welsh and we will be offering simultaneous translation.)  
  • Our final external speaker, Joe Probert, who is Customer Success Manager at Vevox, will deliver a session on how to make effective use of polling to engage learners.  

We have an exciting and varied programme this year from representatives from all faculties. In addition to our four external speakers, we will also have a presentation from students, Distance Learning forum and a Welsh-medium Business School panel.  

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

Annual Learning and Teaching Conference – extended by an extra day

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We’re really starting to look forward to our forthcoming ninth Learning and Teaching Conference. The call for proposals has now closed – thank you to everyone who submitted a proposal.

Owing to the volume that we have received, we are now starting the Teaching Conference at lunchtime on Tuesday 29th June and running until the afternoon on Friday 2nd July.

We’ve got a number of external speakers across the four days and we’ll keep posting further updates via our blog of upcoming speakers. I’m pleased to announce that we have got our first Welsh medium keynote session which will be simultaneously translated.

We’ve also been able to run a special panel on Tuesday afternoon on Distance Learning practices and students from the School of Education and the Psychology Department will be offering sessions based on their experiences of learning throughout the pandemic.

The full programme will be announced in due course.

The conference will be taking place online via Teams (with Zoom used for sessions in Welsh).

You can book your place online now via this form.

Annual Learning and Teaching Conference: Second guest speaker: Andy McGregor, JISC

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We are pleased to announce our second external speaker for this year’s Learning and Teaching Conference: Andy McGregor. Andy is Director of edtech for JISC.  

Andy’s workshop will focus on the future of assessment and is based on JISC’s paper: The future of assessment: five principles, five targets for 2025, which ‘sets five targets for the next five years to progress assessment towards being more authentic, accessible, appropriately automated and secure’.

Andy is responsible for managing JISC’s portfolio of research and development projects which develop new services that help universities and colleges improve education and research.

In addition to Andy, this year’s keynote will be delivered by Dr Chrissi Nerantzi from Manchester Metropolitan University.

The ninth annual learning and teaching conference is taking place online between Wednesday 30th June and Friday 2nd July. You can book your place by completing this online form.

Keep following our blog for more announcements.

Keynote Announcement: Annual Learning and Teaching Conference

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The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce that Dr Chrissi Nerantzi will be this year’s keynote speaker.

The conference is taking place online via Teams between 30th June and the 2nd July. Booking for this year’s conference is open and you can still submit a proposal via our online form.

Dr Chrissi Nerantzi (@chrissinerantzi), Principal Lecturer – Academic CPD, University Teaching Academy (UTA), Manchester Metropolitan University

At Manchester Met, Chrissi developed the openly-licensed practice-based professional developmental programme FLEX which incorporates formal and informal pathways of engagement utilising digital professional portfolios and open development opportunities including cross-institutional collaborative initiatives. FLEX has inspired further initiatives internally and externally with staff and students. She is the founder of the the cross-institutional Creativity for Learning in Higher Education community (#creativeHE), the Teaching and Learning Conversations (TLC) webinars and the co-founder of the open courses Flexible, Distance and Online Learning (FDOL), Bring your Own Devices for Learning course (BYOD4L) and the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education tweetchat (#LTHEchat). Chrissi teaches on the  MA in Higher Education at her institution and leads Recognising and Rewarding Teaching Excellence and the Good Practice Exchange. She also co-ordinates the NTF and CATE submissions and regularly mentors colleagues. CChrissi contributes to further academic development activities within UTA, including the institutional PSF scheme and supports colleagues in creative curriculum design and is one of the Faculty Links for Arts and Humanities.

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Call for Proposals – closes on Friday

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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 30th April 2021.

Conference Registration now open

Registration for the ninth annual Learning and Teaching conference is now open. This year’s Learning and Teaching conference has the theme Improvisation within Constraint: Reshaping a Learning Community in a Time of Change and will be taking place between Wednesday 30 June and Friday 2 July 2021.

You can register for the conference online.

Can Aberystwyth University become a Positive University?

Frederika Roberts, our keynote speaker at the mini-conference on Embedding Well-being in the Curriculum concluded her presentation by asking ‘Can Aberystwyth University become a Positive University?’ (to watch Frederika’s talk please visit the mini-conference website).

The idea of a positive university is one that focuses on ‘the development of educational environments that enable the learner to engage in established curricula in addition to knowledge and skills to develop their own and others’ wellbeing’ (Oades, Robinson, Green, & Spence, 2011). This definition has been proposed by the authors of Towards a positive university article published in 2011 which includes a useful framework for building Positive Universities based on the PERMA model (Seligman, 2011). Seligman’s PERMA is among the most well-known well-being theories which distinguish five key aspects of well-being:

PERMA model: P - positive emotions, E- engagement, R - Relationships, M- meaning, A- accomplishment

Source: https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/learn

Although much progress has been done on embedding well-being in the curriculum, not many institutions, especially in the higher education sector, implemented a whole-institutional approach to well-being (Oades et al., 2011). The first Positive University in the world was Tecmilenio University, a private institution in Mexico, established in 2002. Following their lead, in 2017, the University of Buckingham became the first Positive University in Europe.

What would have to change for Aberystwyth University to become a Positive University?

The Positive University status is achieved by implementing the well-being in institutional policies and procedures, but also through an individual commitment to the values of positive education. Although Oades and colleagues (2011) mention the importance of senior leadership, they also offer a range of simple activities that are consistent with the ethos of positive education and that could be implemented by teaching and professional staff as well as students (see Table 1. p. 434). Following the recent mini-conference, we would like to call all staff to take an active stand towards their well-being and the well-being of their students and colleagues.

To find examples of how you can embed well-being in your teaching please refer to the Towards a positive university article, recordings from the conference as well as the Wellbeing in the curriculum factsheet created by Samantha Glennie, the Student Wellbeing Service Manager. We would also like to encourage you to share the following resources with your students:

Reflections on the March 2021 Mini Conference

On Thursday, 25th of March, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit held their second mini conference of the academic year. Focussed on the theme of embedding wellbeing in the curriculum, the conference brought together internal and external speakers on three strands: recognising barriers to student well-being, building resilience in students, and encouraging students to flourish.

The conference boasted a range of speakers from across Aberystwyth University, as well as an external speaker from Coleg Cambria. Topics ranged from the ongoing work on wellbeing by the Student Support team, wellbeing in foundation year programmes, and building student resilience to reframing of mistakes as a learning opportunity, and personalising approaches to engaging with students and their work. Our two keynote speakers, Frederica Roberts and Kate Lister focussed on positive education and online communities respectively. In the spirit of the conference, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit also organised two activities during the morning and afternoon breaks: desk yoga and a guided meditation with local yoga teacher Regina Hellmich, which several delegates identified as a conference highlight. The day concluded with a plenary session in which everyone was encouraged to reflect on their insights and identify concrete applications of best practice going forward.

If you missed the mini conference or could only attend parts of it, you can now access recordings of most presentations here. Simply log in with your Aberystwyth ID and password. In addition, we strongly encourage you to sign up to our next Academy Forum on the 20th of April, entitled “How can I embed wellbeing into the curriculum?” – we look forward to seeing you there.

Conference Registration now open

Save the date banner - 30.06.2021-02.07.2021

Registration for the ninth annual Learning and Teaching conference is now open. This year’s Learning and Teaching conference has the theme Improvisation within Constraint: Reshaping a Learning Community in a Time of Change and will be taking place between Wednesday 30 June and Friday 2 July 2021.

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 30th April 2021.