European First Year Experience Conference at Birmingham City University

On Wednesday the 28th of June, I presented a show and tell session to a full house at the European First Year Experience Conference. This is the first time the research has been presented outside of MMU and we were really pleased to get some early feedback on the resources, which were well received.

The research I have been working on with my supervisor Rachel Forsyth focuses on the transition from further education to higher education, specifically for ‘non-traditional’ students. Transition to higher education is a complex area with a large body of literature. The findings from this project so far, has not pulled up anything particularly different from the literature, with the same issues in transition as was being written twenty years ago. However, we have used the data collected in this study to refocus our resources. Staff and students at MMU were interviewed who had either recent first hand or professional experience of transition.

At MMU, there is a drive to attract young people in further education to higher education who may not have considered the institution before. More information can be found here: I hope that the resources developed from this research will help staff to acknowledge the background of their students and consider what can be done to enhance student experience.

In collaboration with our colleague Liz Walshaw, we designed some resources to be used in the session. This included a poster, role-play exercises, a case study scenario and some illustrations based on the issues first year students may face such as making friends or work-life balance. The resources will be developed into a webpage on the CELT website that is going live in September and a full report following thereafter. Over the next two months, I will be running sessions to trail the resources further. Please get in touch if you would like to be involved with the resource trials and development.

Contact: Henry Coleman –


101 Creative Ideas

In September we launched the 101 Creative Ideas project to curate and share ideas for creativity in learning and teaching in Higher Education. We’ve been really impressed by the contribution that have come in since!

We’ve have ideas for novel approaches to common academic activities, such as academic reading. For example, Sandra Sinfield of London Met University contributed an idea for creating ‘Scrolls’ as a way to tackle course texts with students.

Some ideas have looked at different or additional ways to demonstrate learning. For example, Juliette Wilson-Thomas, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education here at Manchester Metropolitan University, suggested asking peer reviewers to respond to work with colleges or poem instead of the ordinary written text (see Creative Peer Reviewers).

Several of the contributions have been about techniques for encouraging creative thinking in both staff and students. Teryl Cartwright, a writer and education from the USA, contributed one of each: for students, you could try running a session where they can only answer questions with questions; and for staff, try creating analogies from within your discipline to use as teaching aids.

We welcome further contributions to the project! To do this, you just need to fill in this short form:

#101creativeideas is a #greenhouse contribution and part of the year long Creativity in Higher Education Project led by Creative Academic. To find out more, please check out

#creativeHE No 4 >>> 1-7 July exploring creative ecologies

GooglePlusLogoYes, #creativeHE is back! For the 4th time. 

Join us at

for a week to explore together

creative ecologies.

We start on the 1st of July and will be together for 7 whole days. Prof. Norman Jackson and many colleagues from different institutions in the UK and elsewhere will join us on this fascinating journey. Join the #creativeHE community and find out more about this great opportunity to connect, collaborate and learn within a diverse community.

We hope this event will be of interest and value to you and that you will enjoy the experience.

The #creativeHE team

Postgraduate Certificate/Masters in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education 2016-17

The timetable for 2016-17 for CELT’s Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education (PGCLTHE) and Masters in Higher Education (MAHE) units is now available on the CELT website.

Existing participants can now register for any of next year’s units here.

New participants can also apply – you will need to complete an application form (see infographic of the application process). Links to the relevant unit webpages and the application for can be found at as well as more information about entry requirements, admissions, delivery and contacts.

Note: The PGCLTHE and MAHE are available free to MMU staff with teaching and assessment responsibilities. There are also opportunities for staff in support roles and postgraduate students with teaching.

Not sure which is for you? Try the CPD Route Planner

Dissertations for Good

The university has joined the Dissertation for Good scheme which is organised by the NUS (see It is an excellent scheme that aims to match the research interests of undergraduate students with organisations/charities who have a need for small scale research projects. Instead of producing a project/dissertation which is for internal marking purposes only, students have the opportunity to be involved in real world research that might have some impact and benefit (hence ‘dissertations for good’).

 Trials at other universities have suggested that the scheme can enhance the students employment prospects.

 Please promote the scheme to undergraduate and postgraduate students who have a dissertation or project unit at L6 or L7.

 Also, if you know of a local charity that requires some research please encourage them to register the research on the DfG website. It is free for small charities.

MMU service providers – if you have some research that you would like to do about your service you can register this on the DfG free (our fee covers both u/g researchers and research from the institution)


10 June, the #Greenhouse goes to the seaside, join us!

11221469485_c2fb47fa2f_mHello everybody,

We hope you are all well.

This is an announcement about our next Greenhouse happening, on Friday the 10th of June.

As this will be our last Greenhouse event this academic year, we would like to make it even a little bit more special.


Some of the members decided that it would be a good idea to organise an excursion, something like a field trip. We thought Southport would be an appropriate destination and not too  far away. It is a beautiful seaside resort. We will get a lot of fresh air, hopefully some sun and fill out batteries with new and exciting ideas for learning and teaching.

David Leathlean will be organising a creative activity on the trip and at location to immerse us all and help us reflect and generate ideas for our own practice in preparation for the next academic year.

We will meet at Oxford Road Stration in Manchester at 9.15am.

The direct train to Southport leaves at 9.26am and we will be in Sounthport at 10.35am.

The Anytime Return Ticket costs £16.30. If you have a railcard there will be a discount. Please purchase your ticket in advance so that we are ready to get on the train when we meet. 


Southport, image source here

Please wear comfortable clothing. Bring a smart device with you and a battery charger, just in case as these will come in handy for the planned activities.

We hope you will be able to join us and are really look forward to seeing you at the Oxford Road Train Station at 9am on the 10th of June.

David and Chrissi
ps. Please note, all #greenhouse happenings counts towards FLEX.
pps. We are starting to put together the #greenhouse programme for next year. Please share your ideas so that they can be included.



#Greenhouse 26 May 1pm with @davidcroberts @lgreene68

11221469485_c2fb47fa2f_mHello everybody,

We hope you are all well. This is an announcement about our next Greenhouse happening, on Thrusday the 26th of May at 1pm in the Brooks Building, Room G87.

We are delighted that David Roberts and Leah Greene will be with us to explore Stress in the context of Learning and Teaching.

This will be an interactive session where we will explore stress from physiological, genetic and emotional perspectives. We will demonstrate the effects of chronic (long-term) stress on the human body and investigate methods to reduce work-related stress. Please bring along ideas and suggestions that you use to reduce stress that you would like to share.


We really look forward to seeing you there.

David and Leah
ps. Please note, all #greenhouse happenings counts towards FLEX.

pps. The Greenhouse successes recently in ManMetLife.