ESLTIS (Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship) is a learning and teaching conference – in its 4th year (and I have gone to all of them) this year it was in Bristol and the theme was ‘transitions’. This applies to our 1st year students but equally to our masters and indeed our graduating students (going into the world of work). Indeed, many of our institutions are transitioning to a more holistic, programme level approach to educational design. The conference was, as usual, thought provoking and inspiring, and it is a joy to mix with like-minded teaching focussed professionals.
Conference summary : meetup with lots of folks passionate about active learning of various forms; this report contains my overall impression plus a list of those ideas I thought worth further consideration including: agile scenario construction; study of emergent network behaviour through the medium of dance (!); team chess and distributed responsibility; plus of course lots of Team Based Learning.
We are now at the end of (the first) 4 weeks of an industrial dispute between the Universities UK (UUK) and the University and College Union (UCU). I thought it useful to reflect on the dispute for the benefit of anyone interested, particularly my students.
In summary – the dispute should be seen in a wider context in terms of:
- stakeholders (staff and students);
- time (longer term trends and issues); and
- scope (university governance, fairness, representation and even the philosophical standing of Higher Education).
I provide a list of actions that interested individuals (particularly students) can take depending on their point of view.
Of course all opinions are my own and not the University’s (nor indeed UCUs).
Context: this is a blog post describing a new MSc course for 2018. Therefore it is somewhat less objective than my usual posts – I have led the development of this course, and I am very proud of it! In addition it will be mainly of interest to potential students. The course, Engineering Business Management (EBM), is an interdisciplinary offering in the Engineering Management space. It joins our existing masters in Innovation and Technology Management. For more details, read on…
For some years I have been using what I call the ‘zero tolerance inbox’ . This avoids the visual and cognitive distraction of a bunch of emails vying, cuckoo-like, for your attention. In order to achieve this you need to triage (quadrage?) email ruthlessly:
- Delete emails that have no relevance for you
- File/archive information that needs no action but may need to be referred to later
- Turn emails into actions (you can use inbuilt tools eg Outlook tasks, I have my homebrew spreadsheet solution).
- Or if it can be dealt with immediately in under 2 minutes then do it then and there.
So this is the approved way of Getting Things Done.
However I found this is not optimal for a number of reasons – in this post I will describe my solutions
A couple of weeks ago I went to Thailand to launch our new MSc programme on Engineering Business Management. This has been consuming most of my summer, it’s shaping up to be quite an exciting development (in my view anyway) and this post gives some more details
This quick post gives a few details on a marking portal using a moodle database, with some useful features. If this interests you, read on
From July 19-21 I was in the beautiful city of Sheffield attending #ESLTIS2017 (Enhancing Student Learning through Innovative Scholarship).
It was great to connect again with a national community of teaching focussed academics. There were some interesting talks although for me the most productive sessions were hands on workshops: one dealing with embedding external partnerships within the curriculum(enterprise @sheffielduni); one on team based learning @KeeleUniversity. Both will directly inform my activities over the next year. Themes of most resonance to me:
- Programme Level Assessment
- Enterprise Engagement
- Peer Learning
- Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL)
From 27-29 June, I was at a conference on the Circular Economy (CE). More specifically, it was titled “Sustainable Lifestyles, Livelihoods and the Circular Economy” – hosted by the Global Research Forum at the University of Sussex (SPRU/IDS).