Attending the RAISE conference was a really valuable experience for me as student, and as a student employee at MMU.
Facilitating in the Learning for a Capable Future session helped me to build on my skills as a workshop leader, and using Lego as a tool for interaction supported my research as an MA student. This session also allowed me to provoke discussion between staff and students who already had a prior relationship. Through the session they began to discuss feedback and evaluation procedures at their institution in an honest and open way, covering topics they might not normally have the opportunity to discuss.
Sessions I attended as a delegate were also very helpful in building my confidence as a researcher and student representative, and I gained lots of insights to take back into my work about community engagement and effective evaluation of projects. Particularly inspiring was Embedding community engagement in the curricula presented by Tess Hornsby-Smith from the University of Leeds, in which she discussed the university’s Hist2550, which requires students to develop projects with organizations outside the university. This brought to mind MMU’s Unit X project, and her short talk sparked several ideas for the evaluation of community engagement projects.
Ideas for effective evaluation were also discussed in Chrissi Nerantzi’s Playfulness brings openness session, where Lego was again used to spark interaction between groups. This session focused more closely on the application of play as an evaluative tool, as used in Haleh Moravej’s Nutrition course at MMU, and I was interested by the application of this to undergraduate study.
Just as valuable as the formal sessions were the more informal opportunities to meet and talk with other delegates, and hear perspectives on student experience from different institutions and organisations. I was initially apprehensive, thinking that as ‘only’ a student I wouldn’t have much to add, but found that my experience working on projects in the university, such as Unit X and Schools Outreach, gave me my own perspective and opinions to share with others.
CELT will be offering a LEGO in Higher Education workshop series that starts in October. This will be part of FLEX and get you up to 30 credits of the PgCert/MA in Academic Practice. Please note, assessment at level 7 linked to the unit will be required if you would like to gain the credits. For further information, please click here.