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Teaching, learning and mentoring: a virtual mini-conference

CAI hosted a virtual Teaching, Learning and Personal Tutoring conference on 11 September 2020, with a particular focus on engaging students in the Covid-19 era. The conference was held on Microsoft Teams and attracted around 200 delegates from our Academic and Professional Services staff.

Delegates were able to select four presentations to attend from a choice of 20 and join a panel discussion in the afternoon. Professor Jackie Labbe commented on the efforts in adapting to our new teaching and learning environment in her keynote speech. 

The conference provided an opportunity for staff to come together virtually and discuss the important issues confronting higher education at this time. 

Take a look at the resources from the day:

Welcome

Dr Momodou Sallah, Director, CAI

Main Keynote Address: Professor Jackie Labbe, PVC (Academic)Teaching and Learning 2020/21: What the !!*?!*?!*!!?*
Watch the recording.

Session 1

  1. Let’s tune up our remote learning: five transformational ideas from the Sherwood-Suzuki approach - Libby Sherwood and Jo Rushworth

    How can we work in our programme teams to create this sort of nurturing and vibrant learning community, which includes lecturers and personal tutors, working together with students at every level?

    Watch the recording.

  2. Mark smart - Nick Rowan

    We know being given 15 minutes to mark a submission is not a sustainable period to surmise a student’s efforts particularly when we are moving to an assessment reduction in a post COVID environment. But can there be another way? Through consultation with Student Representative, Academic Peers and end experts in Teaching and learning we looked at the language of how we described work and tried to simplify it to make it clearer to students and staff what we were saying.

    Watch the recording.
    View the slides.

  3. Level of Study Personal Tutoring Model - Adam Wykes

    This presentation outlines the current model of personal tutoring for Media Production BSc and explores the benefits of such a model.

  4. An Introduction to the BAL Online Pedagogy-Technology Tool-Box - Khalid Hafeez

    Online teaching has prevailed within HE for decades. However, academicians and practitioners have been battling with two fundamental questions: (i) what is e-learning or on-line pedagogy? (ii) what is the relationship between learning technology and online pedagogy. This session addresses these questions using the Pedagogical Toolbox developed to augment DMU’s Central Pedagogic Approach to contextualise and provide further guidelines around how different technologies can support varied teaching and learning activities (synchronous and asynchronous).

  5. Interactive, engaging and effective teaching in virtual classrooms - Neil Stokes

    This session discusses the use of virtual classrooms as a mechanism for student support, drawing links between good pedagogic practice and ideas for developing interactive and engaging learning events.

    View the slides.

Session 2 

  1. Exploiting the e-advantage in times of Covid-19: Curation, curiosity and co-creation with LLS - Kaye Towlson

    With so much information available via the internet, how can you ensure that your students have access to relevant, authoritative, specialised, diverse information and the skills to critically evaluate and utilise it? Library and Learning services (LLS) have adapted and adopted both new and existing pedagogic, supply and access practices in response to the Covid-19 environment. Learn more about these and how they can underpin your programme and help to pique student curiosity, engagement and success.

    View the slides.

  2. What you say matters: assessing unconscious bias within the use of academic language - Sumeya Loonat

    This presentation explores the intersectionality of race and language within a teaching and learning, and potentially personal tutoring context. Students of colour make up approximately 54% of the student body at DMU; while this current framing of students is homogenous under the contested term ‘BAME’ which stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, there are similar connections between domestic students of colour and international students of colour who do not have English as a first language. We highlight practical measures that tutors can take.

    View the slides.

  3. Virtual Laboratories for the Teaching of Biomedical Techniques - Antonio Peña-Fernández

    Medical education is facing different challenges to appropriately deliver this type of overall education including lack of access to new laboratory techniques by students due to costs, time and space constraints, lack of specialism/educators or implementation of social distance restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, specialists with comprehensive experience in managing different techniques and instruments in a biomedical laboratory from different European Universities are creating different e-learning resources for our two virtual environments, e-Parasitology and e-Biology, which are accessible via the De Montfort University (DMU) website. This presentation provides an overview of the design and scaffolding of both virtual laboratories and methods used for development, and a detailed description of different methods used successfully to teach biomedical laboratory methods and techniques using these novel virtual packages.

    Peña-Fernández A., Sgamma T., Izquierdo F., Acosta L., Hurtado C., Llorens S., Randles MJ., Martins Ramos I., Evans ME.

    e-Parasitology
    e-Biology
    e-Para app (Google Play Store)

  4. Motivating student engagement in online learning: reflections on synchronous versus asynchronous delivery - Emily Forster and Arina Cristea

    This presentation offers an overview of critical challenges associated with stimulating affective engagement in the context of online teaching.

    View the slides.

  5. Using technology to engage with statistical aspects for student projects - Yamuna Dass

    This presentation details how Yamuna has engaged with students in an online environment to help their understanding with statistics for their final year projects. Since working remotely, she has taught and supported students with statistics in a group and individual setting. She highlights how she has incorporated various activities to effectively teach students and encouraged independent learning, sharing the challenges and positives, as well as how technology has supported this.

    View the slides.

Session 3

  1. Collaborating for Sustainability: making online seminars engaging and active - Andrew Reeves and Ian Coleman

    Ensuring that teaching and learning is an active and engaging experience can play a key role in improving attendance, enjoyment and learning for students. Online teaching offers particular challenges and opportunities and if technical barriers to joining sessions can be overcome, can even enhance participation and inclusion for all learners. This session builds upon several years’ experience of delivering interactive online sessions in DMU library and CEM Masters Programmes, and aims to provide an experiential introduction to online learning.

    Watch the recording
    View the slides.

  2. All STEAMEd up – let’s take the pressure out of assessment: from analogue to digital - Julia Reeve, Angela O’Sullivan and Leisa Nichols-Drew

    This session showcases the way that a hands-on workshop, focusing on taking the stress out of assessment in lab settings, was creatively adapted into an audio-visual online resource for this year’s Advance HE L&T Conference.

    Watch the recording
    View the slides.

  3. A Learning Journey, modules, pathways and CPD - Nick Rowan

    Through a CAI sabbatical, Nick aimed to create a Blackboard Community that encapsulates a learners journey on our programmes in Product Design and allow the learner to access key materials and skills in a single place without the barriers of module or level. This presentation explores this solution.

    View the slides.

  4. Student mental health support needs and academic performance during the Covid-19 outbreak - Lucian Milasan and Ed Griffin

    Academic life has a profound impact on students’ mental health through various factors, and the Covid-19 outbreak brought yet another challenge as they adjusted to the impact on their academic performance and university life in general.

    Watch the recording.
    View the slides.

  5. Teaching and Learning in time of C19: 5 ways of Teaching, Learning and Engaging Students - Neslihan Kahyalar

    This presentation explores how we engage students during the pandemic in three parts: Challenges due to the pandemic; possible solutions that consider a diverse group of students in online teaching in DMU; and the importance of keeping students, both local and international, in the country and city.

    Watch the recording.
    View the slides.

Session 4

  1. Promoting the use of gamification and digital tools to develop online learning communities and enhance student engagement - Funmi Obembe

    This presentation explores the use of gamification and other digital methods within modules to develop online learning communities, thereby creating in students a sense of belonging which would translate to vibrant engagement. Gamification is said to be "the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals" (Burke, 2014).

    Watch the recording.
    View the slides.

  2. Is There Any Connection Between Personal Tutor Recorded Contact and Attrition of Students? - Janet Sayer

    This presentation discusses a study that investigated attrition in Year 2 of the BSc Nursing Programme, and potential reasons for self-discontinuation or academic failure.

    View the slides.

  3. Time on task - Roger Saunders

    A lot of effort goes into what we teach, whether face-to-face, live online or recorded. But as W B Yeats didn’t say, education is lighting a fire, not filling a bucket. How do we ensure that students spend time on task, in terms of engaging with online materials actively, effective self-directed learning and participation for live and face-to-face sessions? Here are some methods for linking asynchronous, self-directed and synchronous learning that will also provide feedback on the degree of engagement. Not only will this improve student performance, but it will also enable us to identify and support more vulnerable and anxious students.

    Watch the recording.
    View the slides.

  4. What should we be thinking about? Teaching, Learning and Assessment in the COVID-19 era - Kevin Merry

    This presentation explores some of the key pedagogic considerations that teachers in Higher Education should be thinking about when planning, designing and delivering teaching, learning and assessment in a virtual world. Expanding on core, student centred approaches to teaching and learning via the utilisation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, the presentation will challenge participants to rethink their approach for the COVID-19 era.

    Watch the recording
    View the slides.

  5. Lecturing, learning, and labs online - Beth Rogoyski, Jo Rushworth and TJ Moore

    "As our remote teaching toolkit prepares for its 10,000th visitor, we share some of the resources, lessons, and tactics learned from a pool of experienced lecturers. From utilising a variety of teaching theories and practices, incorporating Bloom’s Taxonomy and UDL, we have innovated a number of pedagogical strategies, to maximise online delivery. From the best ways to set up online learning environments, through combining elements of synchronous and asynchronous learning in semi-flipped classroom models to maximise engagement, through to setting online exams, we not only want to share some tips for best practise but open a channel for discussion and input of these themes. We also want to share resources for practical elements for online teaching in the sciences, focussing on how lab work and capstone projects can be delivered remotely and creatively."

    View the slides.

Panel discussion

Pip Cornelius, Joanna Dine-Hart, Angela O'Sullivan, Julia Reeve, Alasdair Blair.
Watch the recording.