Calling lecturers in professional subject areas

This message may be of interest to many of our current and recent PGC LTHE participants who have come to HE teaching from another profession:

“As part of my EdD research, I am inquiring into the experiences of academics from professional backgrounds as they negotiate their new career as an academic in higher education in the UK. Thank you to all in the SEDA community for responding to my first request for new academic from professional backgrounds. I am now seeking participants who:

  • Have held a professional career (for example nursing, teaching, engineering, finance)
  • Now employed in an academic lecturing role for more than 3 years

The research aims to increase the understanding into the period of transition between professional career and academic career to inform the educational development community.

If you would like to participate, please email outlining your current role and previous profession .

Mary Kitchener SFHEA

Educational Development Consultant

Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development”

Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal – new issue

Volume 2, issue 1 of the Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal,the journal of the RAISE network,  has just been published. The longer articles focus on promoting effective relationships between staff and students, whilst a series of case studies looks at the practical implications of various techniques for enhancing student engagement. We also have an opinion piece critiquing the appropriation of the term ‘student engagement’ and an article from a student reflecting on the value of her engagement

SEHEJ is an Open Access journal edited in CELT and is part of our contribution to the international community of scholars of teaching and learning. We see it as an open, inclusive, community which provides opportunities to novice authors and reviewers, but a lot of generous contributions of time are needed to make this work. We welcome both experienced and new reviewers and authors, so please get in touch if you are able to participate in the journal activities. If you know of any students who would like to write for the journal, we do offer a developmental route to publication, so please encourage them to consider this.

Full list of articles in Volume 2, issue 1:

Angera, J., et al. (2018). “Launching an Interdisciplinary Network for Understanding Student Engagement (INFUSE).” 2018 2(1): 93-98.

Bramley, G. (2018). “How to help engage students in flipped learning: a flipping eventful journey.” 2018 2(1): 78-85.

Bryson, C., et al. (2018). “Proceedings of the RAISE International Colloquium on Partnership.” 2018 2(1): 99-136.

Davies, M. K. (2018). “‘The SLL Resilience Programme: The Route to Success’: Implementing Wellbeing Skills at the University of Reading.” 2018 2(1): 55-60.

Dyer, J., et al. (2018). “Field trips, friendships and societies: Exploring student engagement in the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds.” 2018 2(1): 30-54.

Fotinatos, N. and Sabo, E. (2018). “Impact of centrally coordinated higher education pre-commencement of teaching student support initiative (FedReady) on student engagement: A regional university case study.” 2018 2(1): 86-92.

Lowe, T. (2018). “Data Analytics – A critique of the appropriatisation of a new measure of ‘Student Engagement’.” 2018 2(1): 2-6.

Marie, J. and Azuma, F. (2018). “Partnership support for departments with low student satisfaction.” 2018 2(1): 71-77.

Mercer-Mapstone, L. D., et al. (2017). “Breaking Tradition Through Partnership: Navigating Identities and Dissonance in Student-Staff Partnerships.” 2017 2(1): 12-30.

Simpson, C. and Clark, T. (2018). “Reflections on the development of a model of partnership designed to enhance the ‘digital curriculum’ of Sociological Studies programmes.” 2018 2(1): 61-70.

Sum, K. (2018). “Growing from a Seed” 2018 2(1): 7-11

Can you explain what helps you to become an excellent teacher?

This request has been posted to a Jiscmail list, and we thought it might be of interest to more people. Please contact the authors directly if you are interested in contributing.

“We are inviting short case studies on what enables someone to develop their teaching. This is for the second edition of Kahn & Walsh’s (now Kahn & Anderson) Developing your Teaching, and we would like to refresh the case studies. The book is part of Routledge’s popular Key Guides for Effective Teaching in Higher Education series, edited by Kate Exley.

Do you have an anecdote or incident on how you have developed your teaching that you could share? Case studies were a well-received feature of the first edition, with a high profile within the book. Contributing a case study in this way can provide greater exposure for your ideas, and your name and institutional affiliation will be included within the text.

We would like to see a focus on the processes of developing your teaching. What is it that has enabled you to demonstrate excellence in your teaching? We are looking for case studies that link to the chapter titles below. We are also interested in case studies that are co-authored with students. 

  • Case studies should be around 500 words in length, with a take away message. 
  • Your case study should be submitted to Peter or Lorraine (see below) by Friday 4th May 2018
  • You are welcome to discuss your ideas with us before putting your case study together.
  • We will be in a position to let you know by the middle of June whether your case study will be included in the book (with publication by early 2019).
  • Please feel free to share this call with your colleagues.
  1. Introduction: The Teaching Landscape
  2. Securing a Teaching Qualification
  3. The Disciplinary and Professional Dimension
  4. A Partnership with Students
  5. Engaging with Reflective Practice
  6. Shifting Collective Practice
  7. Connecting to Drivers for Change
  8. Taking a Lead in Teaching
  9. Creating Impact through Researching your Practice
  10. Claiming Teaching Excellence
  11. Career-Long Enhancement
  12. Conclusion: Stretching the Boundaries

Why not take a look at the first edition at Google Books ? 

Dr Peter Kahn, Director, Centre for Higher Education Studies, University of Liverpool

Dr Lorraine Anderson, Assistant Director Student Services & Head of the Academic Skills Centre, University of Dundee” 

Research seminar: Moderation of dissertations and project reports: an alternative approach

On Wednesday 24 January, we were visited by Dr Ender Özcan and Dr Carmen Tomas from the University of Nottingham for a research seminar about moderation. Ender is an assistant professor of Operational Research and Computer Science with the Automated Scheduling, Optimisation and Planning (ASAP) research group in the School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham, and the level 3 and level 4 undergraduate project coordinator for the School. Carmen is the Assessment Adviser for the University of Nottingham and works on the Teaching Transformation Programme leading on the area of assessment.

Ender and Carmen explained about their implementation of a novel approach to moderation of dissertations and project reports. Carmen explained the background to the project, which aims to ensure consistency and confidence in determining final grades. Like all the best projects, the assessment advisor and the head of computer science found that they were thinking along the same lines and were able to combine forces to create a new approach. I may be over-simplifying here, but the process goes something like this: the supervisor first-marks the assignment and submits a grade. At the same time, three colleagues read the submission in less depth. Each allocates the assignment to a grade band and submits this. Ender then compares the median marks. If the grades are in the same band, as 79% are (16% were identical), then the supervisor’s mark stands. If there is a wide gap, then the project is systematically referred to a full second marking. If there is more than six marks of difference across the markers, then the panel meets to discuss the final grade.

Student submissions are 15,000 words each. Each panel member reviews around 28 submissions and reported that they took between 10 and 30 minutes to review each one, compared to 90 minutes for a full, detailed, grading with feedback production.

Following the seminar, we had a lively debate about the pros and cons of introducing such an approach at Manchester Met. We talked about how this approach would mitigate the risk of single/bilateral marking groups. We also talked about whether it would mask weaker supervision, because the extreme grades may get removed during the process. Ender and Carmen said that there are now more first class marks than there used to be, but that this may be because of the simultaneous introduction of an analytic rubric.

Our thanks to Carmen and Ender for coming over to present to us and for engaging in a stimulating and robust discussion.

Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal

Did you know that the Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal is edited in CELT? The current issue brings together a series of articles which show the value of student engagement in the curriculum and daily life of universities. Alison Cook-Sather and Peter Felten provide an inspiring introduction to the issue, with their opinion piece which relates pedagogical partnership to feelings of belonging for both students and members of staff. This theme is illustrated starkly in an open and honest piece by Jasmin Brooke, who is a current undergraduate student in the UK. She talks about how she overcame feelings of loneliness and difficulty in integration by engaging with student partnership activities and I applaud her generosity in sharing her experiences; I am sure that many staff and students will identify with her feelings and that it will prompt discussion and planning about ways to provide similar opportunities.

There are three articles which examine the different conceptions of student engagement and the way it surfaces in university activities. Tom Lunt analyses student discourse in an online environment for clues to the ways digital literacy and social capital may relate to student engagement. Sandeep Gakhal et al analyse student satisfaction data to assess differences in experiences of students who attend a UK university depending on whether they are from the UK or other countries and found that student engagement in large classes may have been more of a factor in the data they examined. This has implications for course development and planning. Inger Mewburn considers whether student engagement can be rewarded using digital badges; as well as explaining their use, she shares the results of a pilot study which reveals the complexity of such an initiative.

Our five case studies provide glimpses into a wide range of considerations of student engagement. Within the curriculum, Helen Page et al describe a project to engage Biosciences students in research-informed teaching and its effects on their skills and confidence.  Michael Nelson and Simon Tweddell consider academic staff reactions to the introduction of team-based learning and make some general recommendations for others who may want to implement the approach.

Looking at extra-curricular activity, Katie Strudwick et al have provided a piece written in partnership with student participants, which considers active student engagement in extra-curricular activities and suggest some ways to make this more effective. In another student-staff jointly-authored piece, Licia Calagno et al describe a review of a new personal tutoring system and its impact on student engagement. Katie Carpenter and Claire Kennan share their experience of a cross-disciplinary project in which theatre skills were employed to support students in developing their public-speaking skills.

If you would like to get involved with the journal as an author or reviewers, please do get in touch. We are always happy to discuss ideas at an early stage, and we have a mentoring system in place for novice authors and reviewers, so don’t let lack of confidence dissuade you from considering the journal.

Full Contents list

Cook-Sather, A. and Felten, P. (2017). “Where Student Engagement Meets Faculty Development: How Student-Faculty Pedagogical Partnership Fosters a Sense of Belonging.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 3-11.

Brooke, J. (2017). “Mental Health and Student Engagement – A Personal Account.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 12-15.

Lunt, T. (2017). “Police, politics and democratic learning communities in Higher Education.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 16 – 39.

Mewburn, I. (2017). “A PhD should not look like it’s fun: an actor network theory analysis of digital badges.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 40 – 53.

Gakhal, S., et al. (2017). “Evaluating student satisfaction at a top-performing UK university.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 54 – 70.

Page, H., et al. (2017). “Engaging students in bioscience research to improve their learning experience.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 71 – 80.

Strudwick, K., et al. (2017). “Understanding the gap – to participate or not? Evaluating student engagement and active participation.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 81-87.

Calcagno, L., et al. (2017). “Building Relationships : A Personal Tutoring Framework to Enhance Student Transition and Attainment.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 88-99.

Carpenter, K. R. and Kennan, C. (2017). “Developing Public Speaking Skills in Undergraduates: A Two-Day Event.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 117-124.

Nelson., M. and Tweddell, S. (2017). “Leading Academic Change: Experiences of Academic Staff Implementing Team-Based Learning.” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 1(2): 100 – 116.

ICED Conference 2016: Purposeful Play workshop followup

This post is intended mainly for those people who attended Claire Hamshire and my pre-conference workshop at ICED 2016. The workshop aim was “To explore the potential of using games and scenarios to provoke and support discussion about quality assurance and quality enhancement”. Thanks to everyone who attended and made it so much fun: we hope you did also achieve the intended learning outcomes, which was “at the end of this session you will be able to use game theory to develop your own simple board games or scenarios to explore potentially challenging topics with staff and students”

To help with this, we have put together some further information about some of the games and activities on this page. Please don’t hesitate to contact either of us to ask questions, tell us how you might use the activities, or propose collaborations.

Claire Hamshire  @clairehamshire

Rachel Forsyth  @rmforsyth

Clinical Reasoning Activities:

Business card suppliers Moo (used for the clinical reasoning activities)

Medical images from the Wellcome Collection (used on the cards) – you need to ask for permission for re-use but it is very likely to be given, in our experience.

Staying the Course

You can find out more about the data used in this game at the Staying the Course website


You can download the game board and editable versions of the cards, together with some suggested rules, at the JISC DesignStudio site. The game was developed as part of a larger Curriculum Design and Delivery project, partially funded by the UK Joint Information Systems Council. The game pieces were bought very cheaply from eBay. The game is CC licensed and you are free to adapt it with acknowledgement.

Curriculum Planning Cards

These course planning cards can be downloaded in PDF format – they are very simple and the idea could be adapted to use names of activities more commonly in use in your own institution.  There are also ideas for their use on this page.

You can also download additional cards, which we didn’t use in the session, to add a bit more challenge to the planners – to consider how the proposed course might address employability and sustainability issues, or be adapted to be more inclusive. The assessment descriptions can be downloaded in PDF format here. All of these resources are  licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Check my Specs

This game is still under development, but if you email me, I can send you the Game board, as well as the Excel file with the examples in it, which we mail merged into a file to make the stack of cards.

Slides from the session  to download (sorry, large file!)

International day of action against Contract Cheating

Today has been  designated as the International Day of Action against Contract Cheating, with the aim of raising awareness about the issue among all members of the higher education community. Contract cheating is a phrase coined to describe the action of a student getting someone to complete a piece of academic work on their behalf, and then submitting it as if they had done it themselves (I more or less copied that from the Contract Cheating website since I couldn’t think of a better paraphrase – full credit to them). The most commonly used approach is custom essay-writing services, which advertise widely among the student population (Newton and Lang, 2016). In the UK, the QAA published a sobering report on this in August, and has made various suggestions about appropriate actions:

Universities, colleges and sector organisations should work in partnership to tackle custom essay writing services. Ÿ

The possibility of legislative approaches should be investigated. Ÿ

Companies selling advertising space should reject approaches by sites selling custom essays, and search engines should limit access to these sites. (QAA, 2016)

At programme level, colleagues can help to work against this kind of activity by emphasising the ethical and moral implications, reminding students of the penalties of academic misconduct, and encouraging students to seek the support provided by the university for them to do their own work. You can check out our plagiarism resource or contact your faculty link for more detailed support.

Newton, P. M. and Lang, C. (2016). “Custom Essay Writers, Freelancers, and Other Paid Third Parties.” Handbook of Academic Integrity: 249–271.

QAA (2016). Plagiarism in Higher Education – Custom essay writing services: an exploration and next steps for the UK higher education sector. Gloucester.

MMU launches film to aid students from ‘non-traditional backgrounds’ step into HE

The QAA have just published the report on a project they funded: Student Induction and Transition: Reciprocal Journeys, carried out by Alicia Prowse and Penny Sweasey from CELT. The project, described in an earlier post,  took academic staff from MMU to a local sixth-form college, and invited staff and students from the college back to the university. Their impressions and expectations were recorded and are summarised in the accompanying video, produced by Eleanor Hannan.

Do the experiences of these staff and students match your own? What actions do you, or might you, take to support transition into Higher Education? Do let us know.

Source: MMU launches film to aid students from ‘non-traditional backgrounds’ step into HE

Student summer school in Finland

Our partners in Finland, the Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS), are running  three International Summer School courses for students in August 2016:

  1. Game Development
  2. Introducing and Exploring Intercultural Relations in Everyday Life
  3. Urban Ecology and Design

These are fee-paying courses but may be of interest to students in some areas. Further information about the summer schools can be found at:


International week in Turku, Finland

Our partners in Finland, the Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS), are running  International Weeks for colleagues. In April there are two themes running, aimed at teachers:

TUAS Excellence Week of Circular Economy, Digitalization and Entrepreneurship, April 4-8, 2016

TUAS Excellence Week of Health Promotion, Increasing inclusion and Renewing social and health care services April 4–8, 2016



And in June, there is a week for professional services staff:

Sharing Excellence Week for Administrative Staff, June 6-10, 2016


Please contact Anu Härkönen,  Head of International Affairs at TUAS, if you’re interested in any of these opportunities,  email: Your CELT Faculty link will also be happy to discuss internationalisation and the curriculum if you are interested in getting involved with our partners in Finland, Holland, Germany, Spain or Hungary.