2020/21 External Speakers and Resources

As part of this year’s CPD programme, we hosted a number of external speakers who provided us with new perspectives and unique expertise in various aspects of learning and teaching. In preparation for the upcoming year, we would like to briefly remind you of some of the topics discussed and the resources available to you. We hope that by building on these and other sessions the Unit organised this year you will feel fully prepared to adapt and innovate your teaching in the upcoming year.

Professor Ale Armellini: The Journey towards Active Blended Learning

Last summer’s conference keynote speaker, Professor Ale Armellini, shared his insights and advice on learning innovation and online pedagogy.

Recording


Dr Naomi Winston: From Transmission to Transformation: Maximising Student Engagement with Feedback

In the first mini-conference of the year, we had an opportunity to listen to Dr Naomi Winstor who argued that maximising students’ engagement with feedback is fundamentally an issue of design, where opportunities for students to develop the skills required for effective use of feedback, and opportunities to apply feedback, can transform the role of students in assessment.

Recording


Frederika Roberts: Flourishing at Aberystwyth – Putting Positive Education into Practice

In this mini-conference keynote speech attendees learnt about key elements of positive psychology in the context of higher education and practical strategies for enhancing their own wellbeing.

Recording


Kate Lister: Online Communities and Student Well-being

Kate Lister from Advance HE explored how to create effective digital communities that can support students’ sense of belonging and purpose, facilitate meaningful connections, and provide support without relying on a campus environment.

Recording


Dr Kate Exley: Taking your (PowerPoint) Lectures Online

Dr Kate Exley was invited to deliver a workshop on moving our lectures, previously delivered in large lecture theatres and classrooms, to online platforms.

Summary


Dr Sally Brown & Dr Kay Sambell – Improving assessment and feedback processes post-pandemic: authentic approaches to improve student learning and engagement.

During our Mini-Fest on assessment, Dr Sally Brown and Dr Kay Sambell led a workshop designed to build on lessons learned during the complex transitions academics made last year and explore the concept of authentic approaches to assessments.

Link to recordings & resources


Professor Mick Healey & Dr Ruth Healey: Engaging students through student-staff partnership

We invited Professor Mick Healey and Dr Ruth Healey to deliver a workshop on student-staff partnerships and consult them on engaging students in projects and provisions we currently deliver.

Recording

Dr Dyddgu Hywel: Blaenoriaethu Iechyd a Lles Staff

The first external speaker of this year’s Learning and Teaching Conference talked about prioritizing the health and well-being of staff.

Recording


Andy McGregor: What will assessment look like in five years?

We also had an opportunity to listen to Andy McGregor from JISC on the future of assessment. A talk 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’.

Recording


Dr Chrissi Nerantzi: Breaking Free

Lastly, our keynote speech for this year’s conference was delivered by Dr Chrissi Neratzi who talked about open and flexible pedagogies.


Joe Probert & Izzy Whitley: Using Vevox to engage learners.

Joe Probert and Izzy Whitley from Vevox, our university polling software, delivered a session on how to make effective use of polling to engage learners.  

Recording

Taking your (PowerPoint) Lectures Online: Kate Exley Workshop

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce a special online workshop run by Dr Kate Exley on Wednesday 7th July at 10am.

The workshop will be useful for colleagues who are modifying and transferring their traditionally delivered lectures for on-line learning.

Please book your place online [link]:

https://stafftraining.aber.ac.uk/sd/list_courses.php

Places are limited so please book as soon as possible.

Session Overview:

Many colleagues have been involved in providing blended or on-line learning for many years but the Covid pandemic has meant that we have all needed to quickly provide much of our teaching and learning at a distance. This has involved moving our lectures, previously delivered in large lecture theatres and classrooms, to online platforms. The speed at which this huge change has happened has in itself caused significant challenges for staff and students alike.  This blended workshop aims to provide some guidance, examples and a forum for colleagues to share their experiences and ideas for enhancing this provision.

This workshop is presented in two parts:

  • A set of 3 short videos will be made available on or before the 30th June 2021 and should be viewed independently before joining discussion forum – approximately 45 minutes independent study.
  • A discussion forum hosted via Teams on the 7th July, in which participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, share experiences and discuss the topic – lasting 1 hour.

By the end of the two hour, session you should be able to:

  • Consider the purpose of the on-line lecture in Covid times
  • Discuss a range of practical design issues when taking lectures on-line
  • Share experiences and ideas with colleagues ‘in the same boat’
  • Begin to plan your next steps & what you can implement from the workshop

This workshop is mapped primarily to A2, A5, K2, K3 on the UKPSF. 

Continue reading

Sally Brown and Kay Sambell Resources

Banner for Audio Feedback

As part of our Mini Fest on Assessment, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit invited Professors Kay Sambell and Sally Brown to give a workshop looking at how assessment might change because of changes to practices owing to the pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, Kay and Sally became integral to developing HE assessment practices following the publishing of their paper: The changing landscape of assessment: some possible replacements for unseen, time-constrained, face-to-face invigilated exams.

As part of the workshop, Sally and Kay recorded sections as part of their workshop: Improving assessment and feedback processes post-pandemic: authentic approaches to improve student learning and engagement.

For those unable to attend, you can catch up with these recordings:

In addition to the recordings, you  can view other publications by Kay and Sally that focus specifically on amending practices on their webpages.

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

Keynote announcement banner

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

Keynote announcement banner

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.

Continue reading

Kay Sambell and Sally Brown Workshop (Mini Fest)

Distance Learner Banner

Improving assessment and feedback processes post-pandemic: authentic approaches to improve student learning and engagement – Professor Kay Sambell and Professor Sally Brown Workshop

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce a special online workshop run by Kay Sambell & Sally Brown on Monday 17th May, 10:30-12:30.

Please book your place online [link].

Places are limited so please book as soon as possible.

Session Overview:

This workshop is designed to build on lessons learned during the complex transitions academics made last year when face-to-face on-campus assessment became impossible. A whole range of approaches were used by academics globally not only to cope with the contingency but also to streamline assessment and more fully align it with learning.

We now have an important opportunity to change assessment and feedback practices for good by boosting the authenticity of our designs to ensure they are future-fit.  Drawing on their work undertaken throughout 2020, https://sally-brown.net/kay-sambell-and-sally-brown-covid-19-assessment-collection/ the facilitators of this workshop Professor Kay Sambell and Professor Sally Brown will argue that we can’t ever go back to former ways of assessment and will propose practical, manageable approaches that fully integrate assessment and feedback with learning, leading to improved outcomes and longer-term learning for students.

This workshop is mapped primarily to A2, A5, K2, K3 on the UKPSF.  

Continue reading

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.

Mini-Fest: Assessment – 17th May – 21st May

Distance Learner Banner

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce its first mini-festival. The aim of the mini-fest is to bring together training sessions and workshops offered by LTEU around a particular topic with an external speaker. For this first mini-fest, we’ll be looking specifically at assessment. The mini fest will run from Monday 17th May until Friday 21st May and will be taking place online via Teams. Please book on the sessions that you wish to attend on our online booking system.

We are going to be joined by Professors Sally Brown and Kay Sambell to talk about assessment design post covid on Monday 17th May for a 2-hour workshop at 10.30am. Their paper Writing Better Assignments in the post Covid19 Era has been widely discussed across the sector since last summer:

Improving assessment and feedback processes post-pandemic: authentic approaches to improve student learning and engagement.

This workshop is designed to build on lessons learned during the complex transitions academics made last year when face-to-face on-campus assessment became impossible. A whole range of approaches were used by academics globally not only to cope with the contingency but also to streamline assessment and more fully align it with learning.

We now have an important opportunity to change assessment and feedback practices for good by boosting the authenticity of our designs to ensure they are future-fit.  Drawing on their work undertaken throughout 2020, https://sally-brown.net/kay-sambell-and-sally-brown-covid-19-assessment-collection/ the facilitators of this workshop Professor Kay Sambell and Professor Sally Brown will argue that we can’t ever go back to former ways of assessment and will propose practical, manageable approaches that fully integrate assessment and feedback with learning, leading to improved outcomes and longer-term learning for students.

Professor Kay Sambell is an Independent Consultant widely known internationally for her contributions to the Assessment for Learning (AfL) movement in higher education. A 2002 National Teaching Fellow (NTF) and Principal Fellow Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), she is President of the vibrant Assessment in Higher Education (AHE) conference series, ( https://ahenetwork.org/) and Visiting Professor of Assessment for Learning at the University of Sunderland and the University of Cumbria. Kay has held personal chairs in Learning and Teaching at Northumbria University, where she co-led one of the UK Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning which specialised in AfL, and, more recently, at Edinburgh Napier University.   

Kay.sambell@cumbria.ac.uk

Website: https://kaysambell.wordpress.com

Professor Sally Brown is an Independent Consultant in Learning, Teaching and Assessment and Emerita Professor at Leeds Beckett University where she was, until 2010, Pro-Vice-Chancellor. She is also Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University and formerly at the Universities of Plymouth, Robert Gordon, South Wales and Liverpool John Moores and at Australian universities James Cook Central Queensland and the Sunshine Coast. She is a PFHEA, a Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) Senior Fellow and an NTF. She is widely published on learning, teaching and particularly assessment and enjoys working with institutions and teams on improving the student learning experience. 

S.brown@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

Website: https://sally-brown.net

In addition to Sally’s and Kay’s workshop, LTEU will be offering sessions and workshops over the course of the week:

Continue reading

Kate Exley Workshop Summary

Last month the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit invited Dr Kate Exley to run a workshop for Aberystwyth University Staff called Moving your (PowerPoint) Lecture online.

What emerged from participants were lots of useful strategies for engaging students whilst teaching online. We’ve summarised some of the discussion below.

Learning Design:

  1. Simple strategies were most effective, such as using word document and uploading into chat
  2. Make use of Polling Software to engage students in their learning
  3. Build in ice-breaker activities to establish initial engagement
  4. In longer sessions, set a task and factor in a screen break
  5. Include tasks for students to do in advance and use the live sessions to scaffold their knowledge
  6. Include social tasks as well as formal tasks
  7. One department are running day long workshops with the option to ‘dial’ in the staff member if they’ve got any questions
  8. Stick to one or two large scale activities in a 40 minute session
  9. Be aware that students might be entering the synchronous session not having engaged with all tasks beforehand
  10. Use collaborative tools such as shared document, whiteboard or Padlet to collectively generate notes
  11. Being more informal in recorded lectures
  12. Offering weekly live q and a drop in sessions
  13. Asking students to meet in groups outside of timetabled activities
  14. Share real life examples / case studies in teaching and ask students to contribute with their own examples
  15. Ask students to look things up / research in the synchronous session

Continue reading

External Speakers: Mini-Conference: Embedding Well-being in the Curriculum

Mini-conference: Embedding Well-being in the Curriculum

As announced last week, on Thursday 25th March, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit will be hosting second Mini-Conference this academic year. The theme will be ‘Embedding Well-being in the Curriculum’, where will explore the links between mental well-being and learning and how this could help to maximise success for both students and staff.

We are pleased to announce that two excellent external speakers accepted our invitations to present during the conference:

Flourishing at Aberystwyth – Putting Positive Education into Practice

Positive Education is the intertwining of educating for academic outcomes and for well-being and character development in order to enable the learner to flourish. Embarking on a course of academic study, whether at undergraduate or postgraduate level, full- or part-time, is a major life event that can impact on mental health and well-being. The current academic year has been unlike any other and a determined focus on well-being for students and staff – teaching and non-teaching – is more important than ever.

In this highly interactive keynote, participants will learn about key elements of positive psychology in the context of higher education, including:

  • The importance of positive relationships
  • The use of character strengths in teaching, feedback and staff development
  • How time perspectives may influence motivation

Aberystwyth University staff attending this session will have the opportunity to explore how their everyday practices can support their students’, colleagues’ and own well-being. The session will include elements of reflection, discussion, and practising activities that support well-being. Whilst the focus will primarily be on supporting student well-being, this is best achieved when staff are well.

The session will therefore also provide participants with the opportunity to develop their own well-being strategies and to consider how the University’s systems and procedures can underpin a culture of well-being.

Continue reading