first #Greenhouse in 2016 on the 14th of January #flexcpd @byod4l #byod4l

11221469485_c2fb47fa2f_mHello everybody,

We hope you had a lovely festive break and the New Year started well for you.

You might have seen that the Bring Your Own Devices for Learning (BYOD4L) course is back for 5 days next week and we would like to link up and focus our Greenhouse gathering this month around the themes explored in this open course.

Join us on the 14th of January, 12-2pm

We will be in the Righton building on the first floor at the front of the building among the plants where the sofas are. To get there, when you enter the main reception go up the stairs at the back where you will see MIRIAD.

Kate Soper the Technology-Enhanced Learning Advisor in Hollings kindly agreed to join us! Together, we will discuss how we can use smart devices in for creative learning and teaching. Come along to share your stories, practices and troubleshoot. Remember to bring your devices with you 😉

We really look forward to seeing you next week.

Chrissi @chrissinerantzi and Kate @katessoper on behalf of all the Greenhouse gardeners
ps. Please note this gathering counts towards FLEX.

It is Christmas in the Greenhouse! Join us on the 10th of December #greenhouse #flexcpd

Festive greetings to you all!

11221469485_c2fb47fa2f_mWe would like to invite you to participate in a series of playful festive activities through the Greenhouse gardeners have put together with the kind support of the MMU Library, MetMunch and CELT and many other colleagues and students from around MMU.

The would like to play together a Christmas game from now and until the 1oth of December where we will all meet at the Manchester Christmas Market.

A smart device with Internet access is required to fully participate. You will have the opportunity to engage in a series of playful activities on own and with others. The game can also be played in small groups which will allow you to share a device with others and collaborate.

The game include multiple locations including your home, the All Saints campus and finishes in the heart of Manchester were we will celebrate this festive season together. We hope you will be able to join in the fun.

Please follow the instructions below.

We are very excited and are looking forward to playing this game together and get into the festive spirit.

See you soon,

The Greenhouse gardeners

We would like to thank Haleh Moravej and MetMunch as well as our dear colleagues from the MMU Library and Ellie Hannan for filming and co-organising this.


Here comes the multi-location Christmas game 😉


Part 1 – in advance of the 10th of December

Healthy at Christmas

Task: Find a healthy Christmas recipe and cook/bake it. Take a picture and share your creation with all in your own language via Twitter using #greenhousegame.

Part 2 on the 10th of December am

Visit CELT

Task: What do you wish for Christmas linked to your development of your teaching practice? Go to the All Saints building and post your wish to Santa. On the first floor Room 101 you will find the big box.  Speak to a member of staff in CELT, find out what they do, then take a picture of yourself with this individual and share via Twitter using #greenhousegame and @mmu_celt.

Remember to post your letter to Santa before you leave.

Part 3  on the 10th of December am

Visit the library

Task: What did you learn about the library from this film? Do you have a further question? Ask your question via Twitter using @mmulibrary.

Part 4 on the 10th of December 12pm

Let’s meet at the Christmas market under Santa in Albert Square where the Town Hall is

If you are walking from All Saints campus, let’s walk together. We will be leaving around 11.30am from the All Saints building.

When you arrive at the Christmas market, find at least other person who is participating in the game who you haven’t seen yet.

Task: Can you find out something interesting about the Christmas market and share via Twitter using #greenhousegame

Thank you for participating. We wish you all a wonderful festive break and all the very best for the New Year!

Final note: A mobile app is also in preparation

The #Greenhouse summer picnic is approaching! 22nd of June, 12-2pm #flexcpd

Hello everybody,

It is picnic time again in the Greenhouse. Amazing how quickly this year passed and it is summer again!

NEW LOCATION due to normal Manchester weather conditions! We will be meeting in the lovely conservatory which is located in the courtyard of the Righton Building to share stories and experiences from the academic year that is coming to an end and start planning together for the year to come.

It would be lovely if you could join us on the 22nd of June, 12-2pm, all very welcome! Please feel free to extend this invite to others who might also be interested.

Greenhouse summer picnic 2014, image source

Please bring a little something, food or soft drinks you could share with others and we will have a big feast together.

See you there.

Chrissi and Haleh

#greenhouse with Haleh Moravej @halehmoravej Powerful contribution from the Hollings Technical Support Group

On the 27th of April, Haleh Moravej hosted the Greenhouse gathering and immersed us all into the world of food and how we could use this for learning and teaching. Colleagues from across the institution joined us as well as the Technical Team from Hollings who also participated in the activities. Their contribution was really powerful and highlighted the important role the team plays to support students especially at the beginning of their studies when they first join the university. We invited them to share with us the story they shared during the Greenhouse gathering which shows their closeness to students and how much they care. The following has been written by Bernie and the team and the images included bring their story alive using metaphors which are really powerful and touched all who were there deeply.

Bernie in full flow, image source:

“Within our group we looked at how we see our students develop over the 1st year of the course within the practical sessions and demonstrated this visually with the food we had been given. We split the student’s thoughts, confidence and development over the first year at MMU into the 3 terms to include our observations as support staff and discussed our role in what we feel is an important part of this student experience.

Students in Term 1: image source

In the term starting September we see the students arriving and coming into the practical areas and notice a lot of them are unsure of how to cook, not aware of the various types of foods, and also they can be unsure of themselves. They have arrived some into a strange town, they are coming away from their friends and family groups back at home and in need of support with all the thoughts they would have around this time. Students can be pre-occupied with thoughts of making new friends, the often huge change in their social life, dating and a new found freedom. We demonstrated this with our perception of the lone student as a single egg who is alone and now outside of the group they left behind at home/school/friends and also at this stage they have not yet discovered their groups in this new situation. As you see these groups are represented with cherry tomatoes outside and separate from the egg.  They need support within the practicals and with learning the basics or building upon their skills they already have so that their confidence is improved and also their acceptance of us of and to know that we can help them in their time here at university.

Students in Term 2, image source:

The 2nd term January to March we have represented on our food plates as some jumbled ingredients to show that our student’s emotions and thoughts are changing and that they are in the process of taking lots on board. We are still trying to reassure students and encourage them too but also we see that their confidence is improving as the teaching and learning is starting to be taken on board together with settling into peer groups. They become more settled in the practical areas working with confidence and with us still supporting them we see them show this through their enthusiasm as it emerges and so at this stage they feel much happier to ask for or accept our help.

Students in Term 3, image source:

In the final term March to July we have used our food to make a smiley face of our happy smiling students they are much more confident in their groups of friends, and are happy to use their new skills. They are also willing to share thoughts and problems with us where we try to help and advise them and obviously refer them on to the right people for further help. Sometimes we are able to spot deeper more serious problems individuals may have which we can pass on usually to the lecturers concerned. We also are happier to see them having developed from the start of the academic year and feel rewarded in our part. Most of us are mums and so have a maternal instinct towards the young students also the mature students can relate to us easily. We all agree that we find this such a rewarding part of our job when we are able to make a difference to them in a friendly supportive way.”

HOLLINGS TECHNICAL SUPPORT GROUP – Dianne Ludman, Wendy Davies, Gaynor Barton, and Bernie Pinder

next #greenhouse 6 May 12-2pm with Dr Jenny Fisher @jennycfisher

Our next Greenhouse will take place on Wednesday 6th May 12-2pm GM 301. Our creative gardener is Dr Jenny Fisher.

Dr Jenny Fisher, image source

In this month’s Greenhouse, we will be looking at animations, and their role in learning and teaching. The session will be led by Dr Jenny Fisher, a Senior Lecturer in Social Care in the Department of Social Care and Social Work.

Jenny and Hayley Atkinson were awarded a CeLT Scholarship for Learning and Teaching in 2014 to pilot the use of animations as a form of assessment. The key aim of our project was to pilot the use of student-designed animated videos as an assessment tool for undergraduate students. In addition, we explored and tested online animation software, and evaluated students’ engagement and staff experiences of using online animation software to create learning materials and assessment products. To access the project blog, please click here.

A sample animation made by students follows

In this session you will get the chance to see some of the animations the students made, find out how to use an animation programme (Go-Animate), and create a fun, short animation. I have used them at birthdays, celebrations and to let a colleague know they will be missed when they left MMU.

So if you would like to join me and get creative, come along to this Greenhouse meeting on Wednesday 6th May, 12 – 2pm in GM 301.

We really look forward to seeing you there.

Please share this invite with others who might also be interested. Thank you. To find out more about the Greenhouse and how to join, please access

We will start putting the Greenhouse programme for 2015/16 together in the next few weeks. If you would like to share your creative bug with others and connect with other creative colleagues from across the university, get in touch!

next #greenhouse with Haleh Moravej @halehmoravej 27 April, 12-2pm

imageOur next Greenhouse will take place on the 27th of April, 12-2pm in the Hollings Kitchen CG24. Haleh Moravej will be our creative gardener. We will be cooking, dissecting and doing art and poetry with food! it will be an immersive session with some music too 😉 Join us and find out how you could be using food for learning and teaching!

Haleh Moravej, image source: Haleh Moravej is a Senior Lecturer in Food and Nutrition. MetMunch, the student enterprise MetMunch, which recently won the National and International Green Gown Awards for Student Engagement, is her brain child. 

We really look forward to seeing you there.

Please share this invite with others who might also be interested. Thank you. To find out more about the Greenhouse and how to join, please access

We will start putting the Greenhouse programme for 2015/16 together in the next few weeks. If you would like to share your creative bug with others and connect with other creative colleagues from across the university, get in touch!

Creative Spaces 2

On the afternoon of Wednesday 25th February, a second Creative Spaces event was held on the Spanish steps in the Birley Building. Following on from the success of the first Creative Spaces event in July 2014, this event was designed to showcase best practices of public engagement and outreach activities from across the University.

This time about 40 members of staff from across the University (five of the seven faculties were represented, in addition to SAS) were in attendance as colleagues from the Faculty of Science & Engineering and the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care treated them to some innovative hands-on activities. These included: electrical engineering challenges, facial morphing, and of course poetry writing.

MMU staff experiment with using dice to create haikus…

MMU staff experiment with using dice to create haikus…

One of the main pieces of feedback from the previous Creative Spaces event was that participants would have liked the opportunity to discuss interdisciplinary collaboration and potential barriers to this. As such, following the demonstrations and lunch (which was once again provided by the outstanding Haleh Movarej and MetMunch), some of the participants met for a facilitated discussion on how to take things forward. The following three points summarise this discussion:

  1. Research groups were agreed to be a great way of encouraging networking between academics across the university. However, it was felt that more work was needed to raise awareness of these groups and to encourage wider and more diverse membership. Moving Creative Spaces to Birley was felt to be a positive in terms of bringing the University together, and creating more opportunities to meet staff from other departments. It was also recommended to consider joining Greenhouse, which is an interdisciplinary group already set up at the University, and which meets once a month:
  2. We discussed the idea of a themed contribution from MMU for the Manchester Science Festival. ‘The idea of different departments working together to produce stands rather than having separate stands for each department was suggested as a way of promoting discussion and collaboration.
  3. It was agreed that contacting local community groups to encourage more public awareness about science and enhancing community engagement would be a great output from the day. Some organisations were suggested and have been contacted already!

Haleh and MetMunch cook up a creative feast!

Haleh and MetMunch cook up a creative feast!

Creative Spaces 2 help to facilitate some very useful interdisciplinary conversations, and it was also a lot of fun. In particular it has helped to further develop the relationship between the Faculty of Science & Engineering and the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care, with some collaborative projects now firmly in the pipeline.

For future events it would be great to see even more staff involved, and to potentially host the event in the building of another Faculty, as moving it from John Dalton worked so well. Look out for Creative Spaces 3 in about 4-5 months tines, and if you want to get involved then please do get in touch.

Thank you to everyone that attended, both as a participant and a demonstrator. Special thanks to Hannah Fawcett, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, who helped to put the whole event together, as well as to Haleh Morvaj and the MetMunch team for providing such delicious and healthy food.

Next #greenhouse gathering with Kate Dunstone ‘Social Making: Exploring Design Methodologies as Catalyst for Engagement and Interaction’

Our next Greenhouse will take place on the 3rd of March, 12-1pm in the All Saints Building, Room 105. Kate Dunstone will be our creative gardener and will discuss with us Social making: exploring design methodologies as catalyst for engagement and interaction


Kate Dunston

Kate Dunstone is a designer and researcher, currently conducting research into the impact of the collaborative, cross-disciplinary Unit X module in Manchester School of Art. Her MA research focused on the use of bookbinding and zine-making processes as catalysts for interaction and collaboration, tested through collaborations with participant groups within Manchester School of Art alongside community groups in the area.

This interactive session will outline the use of social making, an emergent practice within collaborative design, as a method to create environments conducive to skill-sharing, idea-generation and peer-to-peer learning. 

We really look forward to seeing you there. Please share this invite with others who might also be interested. Thank you.

To find out more about the Greenhouse and how to join, please access

Creative Spaces II with @samillingworth and the #greenhouse

Creative Spaces II

In July of last year, Creative Spaces was held in the John Dalton Gardens as a way of getting people from across the University to connect, communicate and hopefully collaborate on future projects. More about the successes of that event, and how it can relate to teaching practices can be read about in this blog post.

Following on from those successes, Creative Spaces is back, and will be taking place on the Spanish Steps of the Birley building, from 13:00 – 15:00 on the Wednesday 25th February. Everyone is welcome to attend, and we are encouraging any member of staff with an idea that they would like to share or an activity that they would like to show off to get in touch. It will be a very informal affair, with lunch provided once again by the multi award-winning MetMunch.

Feedback from the last Creative Spaces was that it generated a real creative impulse that should have been harnessed, rather than left to gently dissipate in the warm summer breeze.  This time around we will therefore be trying to harness those creative energies, and there will be the opportunity for a more structured group discussion on the natures of interdisciplinary collaboration, and barriers to it across the University.

Creative Spaces has now also teamed up with the Greenhouse, and we will be working together to help to promote cross-disciplinary creative thinking, discussions, teaching and research in the months and years to come.

We look forward to welcoming you to another Creative Spaces. If you are interested in exhibiting any ideas (half-baked or fully-formed), please get in touch with either Hannah Fawcett or Sam Illingworth.

If you plan on attending the event, please could you fill in this Eventbrite form, so that we have an idea of numbers for lunch and refreshments:

Many Thanks, and see you soon! 😉

Dr Sam Illingworth

ps. For information about the Greenhouse and how to join, please access

Next Greenhouse gathering: Music to stimulate learning > 23rd of January #greenhouse #flexcpd

Our next Greenhouse will take place on the 23rd of January, 12-2pm in the All Saints Building, Room 105.

Dr Peter Gossman, image source: here

Our colleague Dr Peter Gossman will be our creative gardener and together we will explore how music and lyrics might be used in teaching. Music can provide for teachers a source of material as well as a means to cue and prompt students within sessions. These uses will be considered within this Greenhouse.

In advance of the session participants will need to think about one piece of music that is about education/teaching (not Another Brick in the Wall part ii).

If the session goes well Peter will promise not to talk about his Bob Dylan lyrics and education theories… Peter said this… and everything else too. We would love it, is our response Peter 😉

We really look forward to seeing you there.

To find out more about the Greenhouse and how to join, please access

design by Ellie Livermore