Resources and reminders of the themes of the day
The conference provided a day jammed packed with presentations, papers and workshops. Here we have provided you with a reminder of the day's events and the ideas and conversations generated as a result.
9.40 - Keynote: Professor Pauline Kneale - Innovative assessment for greater student engagemen
13.35 - Workshops:
The CSAD Visual Facilitation Team were on hand throughout the day to document presentations and conversations and to translate these into easily recognisable illustrations including statements, ideas and questions. These illustrations captured the conversations being generated throughout the day and provided us with ideas on future development of the conference themes and how we can continue to discuss and embed these themes throughout the academic year.
Live illustrations from the day
The illustrations provided by the CSAD Visual Facilitation team have highlighted the emerging issues and ideas in relation to future-facing education and have provided us with useful tools for promotional activities and resources for staff development. We will be working with the Visual Facilitation team over the coming months to identify how we can best utilise the illustrations and the process of visual facilitation in future events.
Themes from the conference have been used to inform further events
The conference was focused around three clear themes for the day:
Innovative Assessment and Feedback approaches (e.g. improving/supporting learning, authenticity, retention, flexibility);
Student engagement (e.g. the role of learning and teaching in improving student retention, promoting learning and enhancing the student experience);
Future facing graduates (e.g. student-centred learning, personal/professional development, flexible pedagogies, internationalisation - including global citizenship - and sustainability).
These themes have been incorporated into our new Education Change and Student Success programme, which is launching three pieces of work in 16/17:
Electronic Submission, Marking & Feedback
Graduate Attributes and Learning Gain
The conference also generated a number of additional themes from the delegates when asked to complete the luggage tags that informed some of the illustrations and were available for staff to contribute to and read throughout the day.
These additional themes included:
The importance of innovative assessments – staff noted the need for alternative assessments that incorporate real-world scenarios and skills development for their students.
This also included innovative ideas around feedback and how to get students to engage with feedback, in particular increased use of formative feedback.
Some quotes included:
'How can we get better at including students in the formative assessment of their own and others' work?'
'How can we gain student engagement with feedback and interest in learning for its own sake(vs. grades)'
'How do Cardiff Met do/will do flexible inclusive assessment?
Are exams a thing of the past?'
'Different forms of assessment = level playing fields'
'The right sort of assessment'
'Speed of formative feedback – short/sharp & focused'
dictates assessment? Student-led drivers? Staff-led drivers?
'How can we get staff to try and persist with more innovative and new assessment and feedback methods?'
Confidence and resilience in students –
staff noted a recurring theme of enabling resilience in their students in order to prepare them for unknown futures and careers.
Students need to become flexible and adaptable whilst maintaining their own ideas and personalities.
Ideas and questions included:
'Eat uncertainty with relish – students own their own learning, embracing their own uniqueness'
'What if we trust our students to take more responsibility with their wellbeing and experience at uni?'
'What attributes do students need to develop resilience and realisation with symbiosis? And is this something that can be taught or merely enhanced through carefully selected pedagogies?'
'What is emotional intelligence and what does it look like?'
'How do we make all staff appreciate that all actions are consequential?'
Systems that stifle innovation –
a number of staff highlighted the need for more flexible systems within the university in order to allow for more innovative activities, pedagogies and assessments. These systems included numerous aspects of the institution and often interlinking systems. Some quotes included:
'It would be good if the support systems enabled more innovation i.e. flexibility of timetabling'
'How do we encourage staff to 'liberate' modules, be confident enough to 'step away'?'
'How do we constantly innovate with continuing workload pressure – thinking time is needed?'
'How do schools/university support and encourage staff to be innovative and creative within current boundaries and challenges of education?'
'How can we ensure students are effectively engaged as curriculum/assessment designers? And let other students know this is happening?'
'How can I do authentic assessment when numbers of students are large? Resource V. assessment?'
'How can we diversify assessment without going through a major review?'
'Does over administration and centralisation take away from good teaching – is the focus skewed and perhaps contradictory?'
Feedback from the day
Evaluation of the conference and the value of its pedagogical content has been a central aspect of post-conference activity for LTDU. Feedback from conference participants was garnered on the day via the 'luggage tag' prompts that encouraged participants to consider the relevance of key conference themes to their own practice whilst a follow-up online survey was made available in the days after the conference which asked participants to comment on the value of conference content and also on their general experience of the event.
Feedback prompts regarding the pedagogies discussed at the conference (and more broadly) reflected key concerns for academic and support staff in achieving the ongoing delivery of effective teaching and learning and a positive student experience within the institution. Primary emergent themes arising from pedagogic feedback included:
Innovative assessment approaches
'Assessment input was especially interesting in light of a forthcoming revalidation event when we will be looking at different forms of assessment to suit the different needs of our students'
'Certainly made me think about whether my approach to assessment is too traditional. Thinking outside the box to make assessments more relevant to the real world - particularly as I teach on a vocational course. The rest of my teaching (and that of my team) is geared to the real world but assessing could be re-evaluated'
'I think I can use some of the ideas presented to alleviate the pressure on students to complete assignments whilst on placement'
Planning, designing and delivering teaching and learning
'I want to take time to consider a greater degree of innovation in my teaching'
'The conference provided me with insight into the flexible nature of TTT (teacher talk time). This is a key foundation in my discipline, and I was delighted to hear this being used at M level in other subject areas'
'This is my first academic year so an awareness of what else is going on the school was great. The concept of a "flipped classroom" was interesting to me'
'Some new ideas on developing student confidence, self esteem and self efficacy from the keynote presenter Pauline Kneale'
'I'd seek to refocus each student upon her/his own unique sense of 'being', having a valuable creative contribution to share within groups, communities and societies. I'd also seek to develop employability characteristics which reflected the authentic needs in our wider world.'
'I was encouraged to encounter and experience a genuine desire to re-orientate education towards pupil/student-centred objectives. The major concern raised in one of the workshops was how to influence starts-quo academic policy objectives. We were all invigorated by the desire to focus upon authentic, inclusive, diverse human student- and employer-centred needs in re-designed learning, teaching and assessment environments, methods, criteria and objectives'
Additional pedagogical themes highlighted included: Internationalisation; Organisational processes and constraints (and their impact on the student experience); ReView lecture capture system; Student resilience; Innovation within the curriculum; The contemporary landscape within higher education.
Conference delegates attended a range of thought-provoking sessions by our fantastic medley of speakers, workshop presenters and students. The event was an exciting opportunity to explore best practice in learning and teaching, discuss the challenges and opportunities facing higher education and to share new ideas around enhancing the student experience.
During the event, the Atrium space was transformed into a hive of activity, with lots of lively discussion, interaction and even live illustrations by students and alumni from the Cardiff School of Art and Design – a fun and extremely useful way of capturing key Conference ideas and themes!
The themes and ideas from the conference have helped to inform:
We can’t wait to see you all again at the next Learning and Teaching Conference 2017!