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CETL Conference 2010: Personal and Professional Development Abstracts

Page history last edited by Alex Buckley 10 years, 6 months ago

The Seminar Room


Author:          Professor Steve Swithenby, Dr. Laura Hills and Anne Adams (Centre for Open Learning in Mathematics, Science, Computing and Technology – COLMSCT)

Title:               Directed creativity enhances professional development and institutional change


Top down or bottom-up?  The use of action research as a mechanism for personal and institutional change is often limited by the perception that there is a conflict between these two effects.  It is suggested that strategically driven research may fail to generate enthusiasm from the individual.  Alternatively, an individual’s self-generated research may be potentially valuable but remain unnoticed.

COLMSCT has sought to resolve this apparent conflict by facilitating and directing creative innovations and ownership within 67 substantial projects.  We detail how a careful balance must be sought between guiding a community of practitioners and empowering them as agents of change.  COLMSCT has harnessed the creativity of individual practitioners in ways that both actively support student learning and contribute to university goals.

Using the personal narratives of fellows, this presentation will weave the experiences of individual practitioners with accounts of the impact of their projects on themselves, their students, their colleagues and the institution as a whole.


Author:          Dr. Nicola Reimann and Angelina Wilson (Northumbria University)

Title:               Being a CETL Associate: findings of a study investigating staff learning about assessment through participating in a CETL network


This paper reports a qualitative study investigating an Associate Scheme initiated by the CETL ‘Assessment for Learning (AfL)’ at Northumbria University. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight individual associates and eight associate teams. Findings suggest that a team approach to the development of AfL appeared to be particularly conducive to transforming assessment practices. AfL provided some Associates with a conceptual framework to understand, evaluate and develop their practice, reminiscent of the role of formal learning for the development of expertise (Tynjälä, 2008). Associates highlighted learning through and from each other and the role of space and time which the CETL provided for learning and changes to practice. In addition to providing learning opportunities, the CETL was described as a forum for critical debate, raising the profile of assessment, providing recognition for innovations as well as pushing and challenging practices further than usual.

The study is part of a larger multi-site case study investigating the impact of formal and informal approaches to develop assessment for learning, contributing to research on HE teachers’ learning about assessment, conceptual change and changes within teaching practice, and the impact of formal versus informal learning opportunities (e.g. Prosser & Trigwell, 1999, Samuelowicz & Bain, 2002, Knight et al, 2006, Hanbury et al, 2008, Shannon et al, 2008)



The Board Room


Authors:        Professor Annette Cashmore, Dr. Paul Green and Dr. Jon Scott (GENIE – Centre of Excellence in teaching and learning in Genetics, University of Leicester; Department of Anthropology, University of Melbourne; School of Biological Sciences, University of Leicester)

Title:               Students’ experience before, during and after higher education


We have established a long-term project utilising free-form video-diaries, reflecting on aspects that students consider significant throughout their experience of higher education. This enables us to gain insight into ways in which students actually live and breath their university experience.  To date, 59 students, across three cohorts, have been given video cameras and they provide us with regular short videos covering whatever is important to them. Focus group sessions enable discussion of specific issues that arise.

This presentation will focus on our findings related to transitions in HE but the video data includes information on all aspects of students’ experience, including for example, assessment and feedback, study skills, group dynamics, relationships etc etc. We are establishing ways to make the data available to other researchers as a rich resource for a broad range of investigations.

In relation to transitions, there is clear, often poignant, evidence that students experience multiple social and academic transitions, not only during their initial move into HE but also during vacations and on returning at the start of new terms. We will show video clips, and describe how the work is impacting on institutional practices for student support.


Authors:        Dr. Ayona Silva-Fletcher, Kim Whittlestone, Dr. Sarah Baillie, Dr. Vicki Dale, Birgit Pirkelbauer and Stephen May

Title:               A sustainable impact on veterinary pedagogy – developing a Masters programme in Veterinary Education


LIVE, the Lifelong and Independent Veterinary Education CETL at the Royal Veterinary College is a unique Veterinary Educational Academy. Since its inception in 2005, the centre has expanded to create a professional group dedicated to veterinary education. The LIVE team is multi-professional and has taken a multifaceted approach to educational development and research through larger “flagship projects” led by individual academics within the centre, smaller projects in collaboration with other RVC academic and non-academic staff, and various staff development and reward initiatives, such as workshops, pedagogical sabbaticals and teaching prizes. The expertise and the research outputs of the group have now been embedded in the first, discipline-focused, educational programme leading to a Master’s level qualification in Veterinary Education. The programme, which is mapped to the UK Professional Standards Framework, will be invaluable in addressing the specific pedagogical needs of veterinary and allied sector educators.

It is hoped that this will lead to a new generation of veterinary educators, passionate about pedagogically sound practice, who will contribute to the enhancement of the quality of the educational experience of veterinary and paraveterinary learners, through engagement at all levels, from evidence-based curricular development to relevant teaching delivery and valid and reliable assessment.



The Teaching  Room


Author:          Professor Mark Schofield (Dean of Teaching and Learning Development SOLSTICE Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning)

Title:               SOLSTICE (Supported Online Learning for Students using Technology for Information and Communications in their Education) – Legacy and Next Steps  


The SOLSTICE model of design for ‘intelligent’ deployment of technologies was based upon maximising alignment of learning, learners’ and teachers’ needs and characteristics with forms of technology selected to support learning. Alignment of ‘Purpose’ of learning, ‘Audience’ (unique characteristics of learners) and ‘Form’ of technology is used to frame dialogue in interdisciplinary teams during the act of designing to support University learning. Teams contain academic teachers and researchers, learning technologists and information specialists who all bring rich experiences from their individual standpoints. It is argued that the cross-fertilisation from knowledge bases adds efficacy to designing for learning. Included will be examples of the implementation, insights into how the model is influencing cross-disciplinary research, and reflections upon experiences of implementing the concept within teams with varied experiences and cultures.


The CETL’s leadership, personnel in interdisciplinary teams has extended beyond the initial model and phases of capacity building for technology enhanced learning. Deliberate, systematic, alignment of developed expertise comprising people and processes with the University Learning and Teaching Strategy, key deliberative committee structures, research agendas, academic planning, professional development frameworks, validation and QME have become embedded  as the CETL has matured. The presentation will address the distance travelled and current challenges.


Authors:        Dr. Christine Dearnley, John Fairhall, Stuart Walker and Jak Radice (University of Bradford)

Title:               Mobile Enabled Disabled Students (MEDS): Developing Accessible Mobile Learning


The Mobile Enabled Disabled Students (MEDS) project commenced in 2007 when a small interdisciplinary team from the University of Bradford were awarded Capital Investment Funding by the ALPS CETL (Assessment & Learning in Practice Settings: Centre for Excellence in Teaching & Learning). We were commissioned to work with partner representatives and commercial partners to gather the basic requirements for an accessible solution and inform the development of the ALPS mobile assessment tools to ensure that accessibility was built in from the start.

Building on the success of the initial work, which identified the barriers and enablers within mobile technology for supporting students with dyslexia, ALPS has funded two further aspects of this work: 

  • Phase 2  - testing and refining the client’s accessibility over a rapid versioning process.
  • Phase 3  -  using a range of cutting edge devices to explore desirability and thus engagement with the ALPS web based suite. 

Accessibility is not just a legal compliance but is an inclusive base line on which to build. Drivers for accessibility include the Single Equality Act, Inventors in People and HEFCE. In the presentation, we will provide an overview of our work and recommendations for accessible mobile learning.



Owen Classroom


Author:          Karen O’Rourke (Institute for Enterprise, Leeds Metropolitan University)

Title:               Promoting Enquiry-Based Learning


What does an entrepreneur do? The first thing is they've given

themselves permission to see a problem. Most people don't want to see

problems ... Once you see a problem and you keep looking at it you'll

find an answer.

                                                            Bill Drayton on Social Entrepreneurs


At the Institute for Enterprise (a national Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) we are creating a climate in which innovation, creativity and self-efficacy can flourish and where social enterprise can thrive.  As well as unlocking the potential of our students and staff by developing talent and coaching tomorrow’s decision-makers and business champions, this means pushing back the boundaries to develop links and partnerships with local schools, with social entrepreneurs and with the business community.  In these times of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to develop new approaches to ‘problems’ and to view change as a series of opportunities. 

Promoting Enquiry-Based Learning as a vehicle to develop entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills and attitudes in our students and colleagues, the Institute has had some successes in enhancing the employability and citizenship of our students, as well as motivating and energising staff to take on the challenges of 21st century teaching.

This paper will provide an insight into the unique approach to EBL adopted by the Institute for Enterprise and will emphasise key projects, initiatives and activities that demonstrate the efficacy of EBL in developing an enterprising mind-set across our University.



Authors:        Professor Derek Raine and Dr. Cheryl Hurkett (pCETL, University of Leicester)

Title:               Engaging Staff and Students through Problem-Based Learning


The major focus of the Leicester contribution to pCETL (Physics Innovations CETL) has been problem-based (or research-based) learning. The presentation will look at the impact of PBL in various contexts: (i) staff engagement with laboratory practicals in physics where PBL has had a major impact within the Physics Department on the involvement of staff with laboratory teaching; (ii) staff engagement with the new Interdisciplinary Sciences degree programme taught entirely through PBL, which has had a major impact across the Institution (iii) the implementation of PBL in the distance learning iTeach (on-line PGCE)  programme with its impact on future physics teachers beyond the Institution and (iv) the impact on student engagement through the role of PBL in building learning communities.


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