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Learning and Teaching Conference 2017

Celebrating Excellence in Learning and Teaching



Tuesday 6 June 2017 from 9:00 to 16:00

This years conference will focussing on five themes: 

Theme 1: Student Engagement and Experience

Theme 2: Employability and Enterprise

Theme 3: Assessment and Feedback

Theme 4: Technology Enhanced Learning

Theme 5: Global Citizenship

As with previous events the aim is to showcase a range of practical examples and individual sessions will be limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.


Online Registration

To book a place at the conference please complete your registration online.

Please register for the conference by Friday 12th May 2017.

This is a free event for all internal and external staff.


Failure as Success!

Katie Akerman, Director of Quality and Standards, University of Chichester

The importance of risk taking in learning is well-established; it is essential to innovation and is becoming a core skill for employability. Preparing students to take risks is perhaps overlooked – more so in the regulatory function of an institution than in the pedagogy. The experience of failure, as a result of risk taking in a ‘safe environment’ can develop resilience, and research on resilience suggests that successful management of risk is a powerful factor in promoting resilience to adverse events. Risk is invariably regarded as ‘negative’; and is seen as something to be avoided. Innovation is unlikely to occur when something is avoided. However, if risk is regarded as necessary in achieving reward then we can explore ‘risk awareness’ rather than ‘risk averseness’ – responsible risk taking. This session considers risk and regulation and explores a pilot project undertaken by Katie Akerman and Mike Holley on risk in the creative digital technologies. Katie will share ways in which the regulations might be amended to promote risk taking.

Using TEL to Tell the Story of Horizons: A Sustainability Case Study

Ross Pearce, Instructional Designer, University College of Estate Management, Reading, UK

Presenting study materials in an engaging way is a challenge faced by educators around the world. Technology is often used (and misused) to achieve this. In this demonstration we will present the case study ‘Horizons: achieving excellence’. This provides an account of University College of Estate Management’s (the leading provider of supported learning for the built environment) relocation to new premises in 2016, and showcases how an inefficient 1980s building in central Reading was converted into our sustainable new home – which was awarded a BREEAM (the world’s leading sustainability assessment method) ‘Excellent’ rating in December 2016. To provide an engaging visual experience a range of technologies/tools were employed, including: Articulate Storyline (the e-learning software), Vimeo (to host the videos), Ricoh Theta (360° camera) and Holobuilder (to display 360° images). We also worked with a specialist provider to develop an interactive model using Unity, a cross-platform game engine, which allows students to explore the building. This case study will be available to the public as a free educational resource to demonstrate and promote sustainability. We will present the challenges we faced, how these were resolved and future improvements that we want to make.

Going for Gold Case Study

Claire Coote, Principal Scientist, Julie Crenn, Lecturer, and Dr Baqir Lalani, Early Career Research, University of Greenwich

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of broad aspirations to advance global citizenship. All countries have pledged to implement them and their focus is global. A student-centred course was developed for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s PhD Scholars, based on constructivist theory. Scholars consider the development impact of their research using a multidisciplinary, collaborative group learning exercise to investigate SDG-related issues raised by artisanal gold mining (ASM). Millions of people depend on ASM for livelihoods, magnifying developmental and environmental impacts and risks. Though it generates employment and income and could contribute substantially to rural development, it is often unsafe, poorly-monitored, illegal or unregulated. Scholars explore provided web-based material relating to health risks, exploitation, environmental impact and how these could be addressed through better application of existing or development of new regulations, codes of practice, corporate social responsibility schemes and international policies plus potential for improving processing infrastructure. Group output is delivered using a PowToon – an animated presentation. This approach promotes deep learning through student engagement. It could be adapted for MSc and undergraduate courses in geography, environmental science and international development.

Reflective Writing – What Influences ‘Enhanced’ Reflection

Melissa Mantle, Principal Lecturer, Head of Department PE, University of Chichester

Reflexivity is thinking about the way we think and the influences on our thinking. Being aware of the relationship between the individual (student or researcher) and the social world (being reflexive) and as Moon (2010) says: acknowledging who you are. Being reflexive means you consider: your views or values of a previous experience, the importance of additional factors such as perception, personal habits, social pressure (Mezirow, 1983, 2000), your ‘emotional state’ (Moon, 2010), how you assign meaning (Moon, 2008), or makes sense (Boud et al., 1985), and consider whether you have experienced a change in behaviour? (Osterman and Kottkamp, 1993). When one considers the emotional experience of reflective writing, do we as educators have the right to assess such ‘personal’ writing? Using Enterprise as a Flexible Learning

Platform for Developing Graduate Attributes

Dr Simon O’Leary, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Business & Management, Regent’s University London

Planning a New Venture is a final-year elective module on the International Business and Events programmes and an option for international exchange students. This mixed group is brought together using a patchwork assessment approach that demonstrates both individual and team competences. The aim is to develop an entrepreneurial skillset through individual research into aspects of a potential enterprise and the pooling of research to develop a team plan. Learning takes place through a process of experience, reflection and application. Most activity is outside the classroom in student-centred small tutorials with the tutor acting a guide. The assessment is not teacher-led and allows the students to select their own topics for the research and planning phases. Creating the group plan requires the creation of the product or service, understanding the dynamics of a sector, exploring the feasibility of the idea and group management. It means that each student develops a self-awareness of their own competences, adaptability and behaviours. The module is regularly praised by both the students and the external examiner for its content and variety. Many students cite it as one of their favourite modules. This session aims to swap ideas about ways to energise students to share and learn.

Evaluating the Application of Randomly Assigned Constraints Based Learning Activity on the Development of Association Football Coaches

Daniel Potter, Senior Lecturer and Alex Twitchen, Senior Lecturer, Sport Development and Management, University of Chichester

The aim of the study was to develop and evaluate a learning activity to help support and develop the coach / practitioner of sport. The study looked to develop creativity within coaching; develop a more ‘coach-centred’ approach to learning as opposed to traditional ‘tutor-led’ support; to develop behaviours typical of ‘expert’ coaches. 24 Level 5 Football Coaching and Performance students were used to help research how coaches develop from novice coaches to expert coaches. They were randomly assigned a constraints based learning activity and had to coach a 15 minute coaching session to their peers. Feedback was collected post their session on the impact of the randomly assigned a constraints based learning activity and how as coaches they feel they have developed. Data collection came from questionaries’ and also focus groups. Initial conclusions: the activity challenged the students; made them think and become more creative in practice design; promoted behaviours associated with expert coaches. This area of research can be replicated in other sports and can also be looked to support teacher education.

Employability in the Curriculum

Alice Stuart, Acting Lead Careers Consultant, University of Chichester

Employability has become a hot topic in universities. This is particularly true since the introduction of tuition fees, which increased parental and student focus on ‘outcomes’ in terms of work prospects for graduates. The TEF will involve analysis of each university’s DLHE results, and fee levels in different universities will be affected by the TEF conclusions. This session will explore the contextual factors influencing the ongoing need to embed employability in the university curriculum. We will touch on relevant research and publications on the subject e.g. Cole & Tibby, Gibbs and Knight & Yorke. We will look at the interconnected elements of employability, the pedagogy for employability, useful models and the HEA framework. The aim of the session is to assist academics in considering where and how each degree addresses employability, and how to analyse and enhance embedding employability in the curriculum, and crucially, how this is made explicit to students.

Using Social Media to Support the Learning Experience of Trainee Teachers

Dr Susannah Smith, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Chichester

In this paper I will report on how I used Twitter as a learning tool with ITE students. When planning a new module on a BA QTS programme, I was keen to use a blended learning approach, incorporating the use of social media to engage the ‘digital natives’ (Prensky 2001) who would be taking the module. I hoped the use of social media would provide an interactive learning experience, increasing student engagement and motivation and allowing the students to learn from each other. The module was titled ‘Using Children’s Literature in the Classroom’; this was a module offered to Year 1 students and was for English subject-specialists. The decision was made to use Twitter for intersession tasks. Students were asked to tweet four times over the module and tweets had to include an image. At the end of the module, students were asked to complete a questionnaire about the use of Twitter on the module. I will report on what the students learned from composing their own tweets and from reading the tweets of other students. Barriers to learning through Twitter will also be considered. 

Embedding Global Citizenship in ITE

Mary Young, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of Chichester

The session will outline the teaching of a Year 2 compulsory whole cohort Global Citizenship module for BA PET students at BRC which began in 2016. It will highlight the difficulties and successes of the module and invite comments and reflections from peers including ideas for cross-collaboration and expertise exchange.

Video is more Effective and Acclimatised to Current and Future Students than Written Feedback

Mike Bignell, Technician, University of Chichester

Demographics suggest that current students are the most digitally advanced era of learning minds the world has ever seen. Many have experienced digital media in education since before Youtube (2005) or even BBC Bitesize (1998). In this paper, I will draw upon my own experience using video and screen capture technology to further the effectiveness of my own feedback with students. With reference to the work of Professor Russel Stannard, Westminster University’s Technology supported learning and training, and The Pedagogical Development Center-PULS’s Professor Petter Mathisen, I will discuss video as a tool that I believe far surpasses the ability of writing or oral feedback alone. Throughout the past 10 years Universities and H.E teaching environments have equipped themselves to meet increasing demanding digital market. The inclusion of Moodle, Panopto have allowed students overseas to view webinars and communicate with lecturers here in the UK. The flexibility and diversity of digital educational tools has allowed students and teachers to communicate more effectively than ever before. In the classroom, digital learning environments has seen a bloom in student interaction and an increase in comprehension. A fact that has been described in the Academic Leadership Journal from Fort Hayes University as a ‘time of change in higher education’ (Lumadue and Fish, 2010). Currently the majority of UK Universities still rely on writing as the number one form of feedback, the ineffectiveness of which has been written about since 1982 (who). Digital understanding and involvement of technology in our lives is ever increasing. The next generation of students won’t know a time without the ipad. As a professional educational body, do we restrict our student’s by not acclimatising our feedback method?

Blended learning – How do we Engage a Community of Learners as Opposed to Individual Learners

Claire Hughes, Course Leader BA (Hons) Business Management, BA (Hons) Enterprise and Entrepreneurship & CMDA, Southampton Solent University

This will be a workshop that explores the pedagogic practices that drive blended learning curriculum whilst also fostering a sense of community of peer learners. Student engagement can be a difficult area within in the traditional format of delivering weekly sessions, this becomes even more pronounced when you interact less regularly and support directed learning offsite, in a blended learning format. The challenge is to design and plan learning activities, in a wide variety of formats, to encourage full student engagement, whilst fostering an environment to make them feel part of a course community; as opposed to individual learners who meet on campus at weekends (Cummings et al 2017). The planned workshop will firstly illustrate some of the pedagogic practices which can be embedded in an attempt to foster student engagement, deep learning and a feeling of community in a blended delivery format. Then secondly an active session for the workshop participants to discuss their own practices both within normal pedagogy and blended to see where similarities lay culminating in sharing of best peer practice, which potentially allows for further research around impact of this peer exchange on teaching practices.

If you build it they will come’: Play, Pedagogy and Programme Development

Ian Worden, Programme Co-ordinator Sports Media, University of Chichester

‘If you build it they will come’ is a much misquoted line from the 1989 film Field of Dreams. In the film Kevin Costner’s character faces a number of challenges. He’s a farmer struggling to make ends meet who much to his family’s dismay, ploughs up his corn and invests all his energy into building a baseball field in response to visions and a mysterious disembodied voice. This presentation considers some of the challenges that go with building new programmes in higher education in challenging times. It reflects on a new collaborative programme between the Department of Creative Digital Technologies and the Institute of Sport that launched in September 2016 at the University of Chichester. Specific issues that will be shared regarding this ‘new build’ include recruitment, the student experience, assessment and ways new programmes might embed employability.

The Effect of Feedback Mode on Student’s Grades

Rachel Mackinney, Senior Lecturer, and John Kelly, Senior Lecturer, University of Chichester

Feedback is conceivably the most important aspect of the assessment process and yet dissatisfaction with feedback is still felt by staff and students. In response universities have been exploring new feedback modes. Reference will be made to a piece of research carried out with trainee teachers at the University of Chichester which investigated the impact of three modes of feedback; electronic written module assessment feedback (MAF), currently the university standard, audio (AUD), or face to face (F2F) on student grades between two assessment points. Findings suggest that MAF had no effect on the subsequent assessment grade 62.7 to 62.9%, with both audio and face to face feedback resulting in a significant improvement in grade; 62.8 to 67.8%, and 64.9 to 70.8% respectively. In this session we will discuss the factors, which might influence a student’s ability to engage and benefit from the feedback they receive.

I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish: The End of External Examining?

Katie Akerman, Director of Quality and Standards, University of Chichester

This session considers the difficulties with the current external examining system in the UK; the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) current proposals to ‘strengthen’ the system in light of those perceived difficulties; a brief history of proposals previously considered to ‘strengthen’ the system; a consideration of why the HEFCE proposal is potentially flawed; and a conclusion offering a possible way forward. Barnett noted that “… we have to doubt that the external examining system ever fulfilled the responsibilities placed on it. It appears likely that the idea was always a fiction; we just did not recognise it as such.” Can the system be strengthened in such a way that enables it to support comparability of standards, particularly given a lengthy history of (failed) attempts to do so? Why not abandon the system in favour of something else? This session shares ideas on the enhancement of the student learning experience and where the external examining system may (or may not) fit in with this.

Forming - Badges at University College of Estate Management

Sandra Scalzavara, Learning Technology Content Developer, Dr. Teeroumanee Nadan, Learning Technology Content Developer and Dr.Tharindu Liyanagunawardena, Instructional Designer and Chair of the Online Learning Research Centre, University College of Estate Management

This session will discuss how open badges were adopted at University College of Estate Management (UCEM) and how the process was managed in several phases: literature review on open badge implementations, staff survey, identification of suitable technology platforms and implementation and a proof of concept trial at UCEM Annual Conference. The success of open badges trial paved the way to another pilot study considering how to increase students’ engagement using Open Badges. The main aim of this project is to increase students’ engagement, experience and retention. Based on the 2016 module retention data, some postgraduate and undergraduate modules were identified for the project. Out of these, based on VLE logs, modules cross over and cohort size, a sample of 3 Postgraduate modules and 3 Undergraduate modules were selected for the trial. In this presentation, we will present our ongoing work with the open badges project and how it had evolved from its conception to implementation. The session will discuss the lessons learned and will help other institutions and/or individuals considering adopting open badges to understand what to expect and best practices to be used.

Student’s Perceptions of the Personal Tutoring Role

Katie Willocks, Senior Lecturer, University of Cumbria Business School

The personal tutor role is multifaceted and covers the provision of both pastoral and academic support. The personal tutor role is increasingly important in the context of an increased emphasis on student retention. Personal tutors play a key role in helping students to stay engaged in academic study. Whilst the importance of the personal tutor role is highlighted in the academic literature, there is a dearth of literature exploring what students think about different personal tutoring systems. There is also limited knowledge about why students fail to engage with personal tutoring. This presentation reports on research findings from a study which explored undergraduate student’s perceptions and experiences of the personal tutoring process. The study was interested in student’s views about the personal tutoring process. The study was also interested in finding out whether students would prefer to attend a group personal tutoring session or an individual/one-to-one tutorial. The paper will conclude by considering how these findings can translate into practice.

Curriculum Design: Co-learning, Collaboration, and Commitment

Professor Laura Ritchie, National Teaching Fellow, Coordinator of Instrumental/ Vocal Teaching and MA Performance, University of Chichester

This was the first year the International Experience module ran for credit and three students joined me in a 10 day trip to Los Angeles. Together we created a bespoke curriculum to cater to the individuals involved. There was a combination of school visits and workshop delivery to children aged 5-18 to meeting with a music lawyer on the board of governors for the Grammy Awards to private tour of the mammoth Staples Arena to meeting with the largest production music company in LA. Students were responsible for aspects of the content design as well as the planning and execution of the module, including everything from booking the car to planning the routes to the workshop and performance content. The experience of applying previously learned concepts in a life-setting provide a context for invaluable learning. In these dynamic new settings beyond the classroom, students were pushed to find their feet and meet the challenge of preparing and delivering content as well as managing the variables of travel and cultural exchanges.

Bridging the Divide – The Student Business Consultancy. Applying Learning, Knowledge and Experience to Real Life Business Issues

Lionel Bunting, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, University of Chichester

The Business School offers a series of business and marketing events aimed at students and businesses called ‘The Marketing Forum’. These events are not compulsory and are extra-curricular sessions open to all business and marketing students that are designed to enhance the student experience. The aim was to provide a vehicle to bridge the gap between academic and the commercial world, an interface for learning by students and businesses. At the Forums businesses present issues or challenges they face to students who then spend time with them to generate ideas and discussion possible solutions. In this session I will be outlining the structure of the events, what aspects have worked well and what has not worked so well, and share some experiences and feedback from both students and businesses that have been involved. This is a model that can be adopted by different subject areas to provide direct access to businesses and interface with them in a different way.

Using Video for Assessment: To Vlog or not to Vlog

Jennie White, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, University of Chichester Business School

Building on from a project in 2015, looking at ways to encourage students to engage with their feedback, the use of video across the Assessment process has been investigated. Whilst the previous project looked at the end of the assessment process and was focused around providing video feedback, this paper shows the use of video before, during and after the hand–in of an assignment. It initially explores the use of video in explaining the rubric to students by asking them to watch a video of the marking process, prior to marking the assignment themselves, using the marking criteria. It then looks at the role of ‘How to…’ videos in the Management Project cycle and how this has significantly decreased email angst for both students and staff. For the assessment, the role of video is explored, introducing the concept of using vlogging as a form of assessment. Finally, the 2015 project is revisited and the student engagement with video feedback and its impact on the NSS is discussed.

Forming Collaborative Partnerships in Practice: Challenges and Opportunities for Students Studying for a Foundation/Top-Up Degree in Early Childhood in an FE setting

Clare Steere, Programme Area Manager, Central Sussex College and Helen Moss, Collaborative Partners Liaison Tutor, Department of Childhood, Social Work and Social Care, University of Chichester

As the numbers of Collaborative Partnerships established between HEI’s and FEC’s at both a national and local level, continue to increase, we would like to share current practice issues, regarding both the challenges and opportunities, for students who are undertaking HE study within a FE setting. We will explore opportunities for students to enhance their professional practice and employability and the significance to them of being able to study locally and flexibly. We will also consider the potential challenges faced by these students and whether these are distinct from those encountered by students in traditional university settings. 

Unblocking Student Minds – Using Lego to Enhance Student Creativity and Critical Thinking

Dr Andy Clegg, Principal Lecturer Learning and Teaching, University of Chichester

First developed in 1996, the Lego Serious Play Methodology ® is now an established business approach designed to facilitate problem-solving and strategic planning. In Higher Education, Lego Serious Play ® has become an invaluable tool to enhance creativity and critical thinking amongst students (James, 2013; James and Brookfield, 2013; James, 2014). As James (2015) highlights ‘the building and sharing of metaphorical Lego models lends itself to any complex topic or questions to which there is no single, clear answer’. Indeed, the use of Lego is very a visual, auditory and textual process where issues can be discussed through story-making, and playing out various possible scenarios - a process which encourages inclusivity, deepens understanding, sharpens insight, and socially bonds together the group as it plays together. The aim of this paper is to reflect on initial excursions into the realm of Lego Serious Play ®, reflecting on relative successes and also the broader pedagogic considerations when planning a Lego Serious Play ® session. The paper will reflect on the key aspects of the underpinning Lego Serious Play Methodology ® used to guide effective facilitation and participant engagement. The session will also look at the practical aspects of running Lego sessions, and include reflection from participants. The session will conclude by reflecting how Lego reflects the wider role and value of play in Higher Education.

The Perfect Match: How can we Identify Students’ Skill Sets, Tailor the Support They Need and Help Them to Help Each Other with Skills Development?

Martin Andrews, Senior Lecturer, Rachael Brown, Senior Lecturer and Lynne Mesher, Principal Lecturer, University of Portsmouth School of Architecture

The presentation will begin with a brief overview of a nascent research project that the presenters have been progressing in consultation and collaboration with students, at Portsmouth School of Architecture. This overview will include examples of how we have refined assessment tools with students as cocreators and evaluators, and the methods that have been developed to enhance student engagement. It will also include reference to statistics that suggest the methods are improving engagement, attainment and overall satisfaction as students have a much more confident understanding of the marking criteria and increased levels of assessment literacy. We have also observed that the students have a clearer understanding of how to improve their design projects and this has led to greater engagement, motivation, trust, and autonomy, as students are better able to evaluate their progress and make improvements independently. Following the brief overview of the research project, the delegates will be shown how to play our card games: ‘Patience’ a game of sorting and critically analysing assessment criteria and ‘Snap’ a game used to analyse and assess work (physical examples of work will be provided). We hope that by viewing these ‘games’, delegates experience a playful model of assessment and feedback that has the potential to enhance engagement and aid understanding. We also anticipate that by being introduced to these games, delegates will be able to identify the problematic areas of assessment and in conversation after the presentation, identify solutions; there will be a particular focus on the semantics of assessment as this is a particularly troublesome area of Assessment for Learning. External commentators have suggested that the research project has the potential to improve students’ experience of assessment and feedback across the sector and to enhance assessment literacy among lecturers and students (thereby improve teaching, deepen learning, improve NSS satisfaction and increase the number of good degree classifications). We hope this presentation will offer an opportunity to share and debate our research and for delegates to contribute to the process; we also hope the conversations could lead to collaboration on a more extended Assessment for Learning research project, in the future.