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.

Festival of Social Science event at Manchester Metropolitan University


‘Deal with each other in the spirit of Ubuntu’

Place: Brooks Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Bonsall Street, Manchester M15 6GX Reception tel: +44 (0) 161 247 2646

Time: 2-5pm

Date: 9th November 2016

This creative programme of activity brings together a world-class social scientist with students from Manchester universities and two community artists. An exhibition, a walking tour, and creation of a collaborative artwork, will help to create a unique experience themed around global citizenship and the idea of ‘community’ that will shine a light on the ways in which social sciences and the creative arts can come together.

This event is completely free and open to all.

Please use the following link to sign up to attend:


Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti: Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change, at the Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Vanessa has extensive experience working across sectors internationally in areas of education related to international development, global citizenship, indigeneity and social accountability.  Her work combines poststructuralist and postcolonial concerns in examining educational discourses and designing viable pedagogical pathways to address problematic patterns of international engagements, flows and representations of inequality and difference in education. Many of her publications are available at:

Kerry Morrison – Environment Artist and In-Situ Director

Kerry Morrison merges art with ecology to produce intriguing interventions in the everyday landscape of our urban lives. Through a conspicuous process of walking, talking, listening, drawing, collecting, and performance, she explores people’s connections with the environment: how we move through it, take from it, and add to it. Her approach is durational and transitory whereby art is a verb: a process of action, dialogue, and performative patterns resulting in new, shared experiences and unfolding narratives. She co-founded InSitu, a not-for-profit artist-led organization based in Pendle, East Lancashire. In Situ nurtures into existence art that addresses local issues with the aim to make a positive difference to people’s lives and the environment.

Mary Courtney – visual artist and poet

“I like to experiment with drawing and different visual art forms, to play with words and ideas and bring out creativity in others”.

Mary has been artist in residence at Warwick University Chemistry Department during 2016, leading art workshops for staff and students and scripting and producing a chem-art film called “Planet Biscuit: Into the Micronosphere”. She’s organised giant community map-making events, with hundreds of participants, including the “Mappa Magnificellaneous” this year. Art-poetry combinations have been exhibited at Compton Verney, Tate Modern and MediaCityUK. She has received poetry awards from the National Poetry Competition, the International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine and Cambridge University.


For more details contact:

Alicia Prowse at Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Manchester Metropolitan University,

Valeria Vargas at Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University,

Susan Brown, School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester,

CELT’s Workshop Programme

CELT’s Workshop Programmetaletoolkit

CELT’s 2016/2017 Teaching and Learning Essentials (TALE) workshop programme is open to all academic colleagues at MMU, as well as professional and technical services colleagues working in student facing roles. There are sessions on key themes such as personal tutoring, assessment, student confidence and employability, as well as sessions such as, group work, digital interactivity in lectures and learning through objects to refresh teaching practice. Here is the link to view the programme and book a place

#Greenhouse – 20th Oct – #101creativeideas project with Ellie @ehannan14

11221469485_c2fb47fa2f_mDear Gardeners and Greenhouse friends,

We hope you had a lovely summer and the new academic year started well for you.

We are currently putting together the programme for this academic year and our Ellie (Hannan) is organising the very first gathering on the 20th of October, 12-2pm in John Dalton E0.05. 

Ellie is leading a new OER project called #101creativeideas. We are very excited about this as it gives us loads of opportunities to share what we do with each other and also involve the wider academic community.

This greenhouse session will be an introduction to the project and how we can all get involved to generate and share novel ideas around learning and teaching and to contribute to this exciting OER project.

If you are looking to make your teaching more creative, or want to share and develop creative ideas for your role, come along and feel free to bring a colleague and/or students with you as well.

We really are looking forward to seeing you on the 20th!

Ellie and Chrissi
ps. If you would like to facilitate a Greenhouse gathering this year, please get in touch with Chrissi at c.nerantzi @ mmu . ac . uk (without the spaces)


101 Creative Ideas project

logo_1We are about to bring to life the 101 Creative Ideas project. This is a fantastic opportunity for YOU to share your creative ideas on how to encourage, support and/or assess students’ creativity in higher education. Ideas can be big or small but we are looking for concise descriptions of no more than 50-80 words.

So if you are doing something that is interesting or novel in your practice, please click here and share your idea.

All ideas will be credited and made available through an online OER collection under a  CC BY NC 4.0 licence.

A panel consisting of students and practitioners in higher education will decide on the 101 most interesting ideas which will be turned into a published resource. These will be a valuable resource to refresh teaching and support further creative projects.

You can start submitting your ideas now and they will be collated and reviewed in January. The 101 ideas that are selected will be shared via Twitter 1 idea per day up to the start of the World Creativity and Innovation Week in April 2017.

#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

Thank you in advance for your contributions,
Eleanor Hannan and Chrissi Nerantzi

FLEX 15/30 [Creativity for Learning] 2016/17 >>> join us! #creativeHE


This unit provides participants with a flexible, practice-based approach to teaching practice enhancement. A special version of FLEX with a focus on creativity will be offered by CELT in collaboration with London Metropolitan University during 2016/17. Colleagues from both institutions and elsewhere will have the opportunity to learn and develop together within a diverse and distributed community of higher education practitioners who are involved in teaching, supporting learning or development of others with an interest in creative teaching and learning, who would like to explore innovative learning and teaching.

Within this unit, enablers and barriers to creativity in higher education will be explored together with related pedagogical theory and literature. Participants will experience learning through play, games, models and stories and actively experiment with such approaches. This will help participants to further develop their understanding, knowledge, skills and practices in these areas and become more adventurous in their teaching. Participants will be able to critically reflect on their practice and identify opportunities to design, implement and evaluate an imaginative and creative innovation that fosters curiosity, maximises motivation and meaningful active engagement and discovery learning. The teacher is challenged to be creative in order for creativity to be developed in the students.

The unit will be offered online as a 5-day block using the Playground model (Nerantzi, 2015) with further support until the end of the term. All MMU participants will be invited to a portfolio building workshop before commencing the unit.

2 iterations in 2016/17

  • Term 2 >>> 16 – 20 January 17
  • Term 3 >>> 22- 26 May 17

Day 1: Introduction to creativity in HE, enablers and barriers, theory and practice
Day 2: Learning through play and making
Day 3: Using story for learning and teaching
Day 4 : Learning through making
Day 5: Sharing learning and next steps

Whilst these individual activities are to be assessed holistically through one mode of summative assessment, it is important that the activities are understood and reflected upon to ensure successful synthesis and incorporation into practice as they are experienced.

The summative assessment consists of a reflective narrative aligned with the UK/MMU Professional Standards Framework (MMU PSF), institutional drivers (such as the Strategy for Learning, Teaching and Assessment for example within MMU) where applicable and evidence engagement and impact of specific FLEX CPD activities on teaching practice.

On the 16th of May 2017 we are offering an introductory FLEX session which will also help you set-up your portfolio here at MMU for all those interested in joining us for FLEX [Creativity for Learning] in May. Register here.

The unit is available for free to all practitioners who would like to participate informally in the open online version of this course. You can join the #creativeHE community at

If you work in another institution and are interested in studying towards academic credits FLEX15/30 [Creativity for Learning], please get in touch with CELT as there is a cost for this.

Chrissi (Nerantzi) CELT, MMU and Sandra (Sinfield), LMU

#creativeHE will be part of the year long Creativity in Higher Education Project. For more information regarding this, please see

TALE Autumn Workshop Programme


It is a new term, and CELT’s Teaching and Learning Essentials (TALE) programme is back!

TALE workshops are of particular interest to associate lecturers (ALs), academics, graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) and professional and technical staff involved with supporting student learning.

We are also excited to introduce new workshops developed with partners across the university, including MMU Special Collections, the Disability Service, Counselling and Wellbeing service, and LRT.

Here is the full autumn programme:

3Ps (Planning, Preparation and Purpose)
Wed 21st Sept, 9:30-15:30, Cheshire campus
Introduces session planning, inclusive practice, learning levels and writing learning outcomes. There is also opportunity to explore creative ways to deliver teaching and evaluate that learning has happened. Book online.

Transition into Higher Education
Thurs 29th Sept, 10:00-12:00
This is the ideal time of year to attend CELT’s Transitions into Higher Education workshop. We’ll consider the student experience as they move into Higher Education and generates practical techniques to promote a positive transition. Book online.

Introduction to Unit Leadership
Wed 5th Oct, 14:00-16:00
Outlines the role and responsibilities of unit leaders, highlight useful resources and provide opportunities for questions and answers. Book online.

Thurs 6th & 13th Oct, 9:30-15:30, Cheshire Campus
Microteaching is a two-day intensive follow on workshop, which practically applies many of the skills introduced in 3Ps -Planning, Preparation and Purpose. This workshop is highly experiential using microteaching, peer review and action learning techniques to develop practice.
Only available to people who have completed 3Ps Book online.

Group Work
Mon 17th Oct, 10:00-12:00
Shares techniques for organising seminars/group work and provides creative space to design interactive activities for use in teaching or supporting learning. Book online.

Introduction to Assessment, Marking and Feedback
Wed 19th Oct, 10:00-12:00
Are you new (or relatively new) to marking and assessment? Do you want to know more about marking practices and standardisation at MMU? Then the introduction to assessment workshop is the ideal CPD option for you. This practical session includes an opportunity to do some marking, work as a member of a marking team and to write developmental feedback. There will be opportunities to share your experiences and learn from other members of the group. Book online.

New Digital Interactivity in Lectures
Tues 25th Oct, 10:00-12:00
Introduces a number of freely available and user-friendly software options to increase student interactivity in lectures. Options explored include polling systems, MMU video options, text wall etc. Book online.
Co-developed and delivered by Learning and Research Technologies and CELT

Engaging and Supporting Disabled Students
Thur 27th Oct, 9:30-12:00
Contextualises how MMU works to provide an inclusive experience for disabled students in their learning and assessment activities. The workshop will look at processes and procedures in place whilst keeping the sense of student learning central to discussions. Book online.
Co-developed and delivered by The Disability Service and CELT.

Tools and Techniques for Personal Tutoring
Fri 28th Oct, 13:00-15:00
Explores how to use coaching approaches in personal tutoring and some useful techniques for managing difficult conversations with students. Book online.

New Introduction to Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Services
Thurs 3rd Nov, 10:00-11:00
Provides an overview to counselling, health and wellbeing services available to students at MMU. The session considers some scenarios in learning and teaching contexts to explore how and when to refer students to professional services. Book online.
Co-developed and delivered by the Counselling and Wellbeing service and CELT

New Assessment at MMU
Fri 4th Nov, 11:00-12:00
Are you an experienced academic used to marking student work? Do you want to know more about assessment practice and the resources available at MMU? Then this is the session for you. Book online.

Managing Large Groups
Wed 9th Nov, 10:00-12:00
Considers strategies to optimise the learning potential when working with larger groups. The session will also consider how to promote positive student behaviours. Book online.

3Ps (Planning, Preparation and Purpose)
Mon 14th Nov, 10:00-16:00
Purpose introduces session planning, inclusive practice, learning levels and writing learning outcomes. There is also opportunity to explore creative ways to deliver teaching and evaluate that learning has happened. Book online.

New Introduction to Employability
Wed 23rd Nov, 10:00-11:00
Defines employability in a Higher Education context and highlights the services, support and opportunities available at MMU, so that you can best support your students. This introductory session is appropriate for colleagues with little or no experience of employability. Book online.
Co-developed and delivered by Careers and Employability and CELT.

Mon 28th Nov & 12th Dec, 10:00-16:00
Microteaching is a two-day intensive follow on workshop, which practically applies many of the skills introduced in 3Ps -Planning, Preparation and Purpose. This workshop is highly experiential using microteaching, peer review and action learning techniques to develop practice.
Only available to people who have completed 3Ps Book online.

Engaging with Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
Mon 5th Dec, 13:00-15:00, Special Collections
This is an introductory level workshop for all practitioners involved in supporting student learning. You will learn about ESD in national and institutional contexts. You will also identify your role in educating MMU students for responsible futures. Book online.
Co-developed and delivered by Special Collections, Science and the Environment and CELT

New Helping Students in Distress
Thurs 8th Dec, 10:00-12:00
Considers the practical techniques and effective referrals that staff can use to support students in distress. The session considers mental health & well-being perspectives in learning and teaching contexts.  Book online.
Co-developed and delivered by the Counselling and Wellbeing service and CELT

For more information, go to