Sharing ideas for Learning and Teaching

Theorem, Idea, Proof

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📥  Case Studies

Dr Euan Spence, from the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Bath, discusses the challenge for new undergraduates of learning proofs from a maths course, and teaching the central idea of the proof as a key stage.


Guidelines for using blogs in higher education teaching -6 tips

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📥  Case Studies

Oliver Walton, University of Bath, October 2016

Why use blogs in your teaching?

Blogs are becoming more widely used in higher education, and a growing body of evidence has explored how they can enhance learning and teaching (Oravac 2003, Williams & Jacobs 2004). Blogs provide opportunities for students to write short pieces of text that can be easily shared with other students and teachers. Blogs are generally written in a more reflective, argumentative or informal style, and can encourage students to experiment with new arguments or ideas. In general, blogs provide scope to ‘broaden learner-learner and learner-teacher’ interaction (Blackstone & Harwood 2011). (more…)


Training the Trainers to Enhance Peer Support

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📥  Case Studies


Peer learning schemes at the University of Bath are student-led, discipline-owned and centrally coordinated through the Students’ Union. The success of these programmes relies both on enthusiastic volunteers and an intensive training package that fully prepares students for their role. Since adopting a centralised model of peer support at the University, the number of students involved has increased with now over 950 students volunteering. Whilst the growth in numbers shows institutional buy-in to peer learning, there is now greater pressure on staff supporting such schemes, for example training volunteers.

Following a successful bid through the Teaching Development Fund (TDF), secured in collaboration with the Academic Skills Centre, the SU was able to review its existing training provision. An online element was added to the peer mentor training and a cross-institutional training team was set up to support the face-to-face provision. Staff from all areas within the University were invited to apply to be trainers and the project resulted in the recruitment of seven trainers (see appendix 1).

Not only were the benefits of this training team seen by the Peer Support Team, but the trainers themselves also benefited in many ways. They were able to broaden their own work experience, develop key transferable skills, gain a better understanding of the student experience and use this experience towards professional recognition. (more…)


Department GTA Support: Chemistry

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📥  Case Studies

This case study from Chemistry, is part of a series providing short summaries of some of the different good practice models and approaches taken to department level support for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs).

The Department of Chemistry moved GTA training ‘in-house’ to enable new PG students to demonstrate early in semester 1. The training also allows for peer instruction from seasoned demonstrators, as well as additional support for continuing demonstrators. The course has been developed and delivered by a DoS, Dr Fiona Dickinson, with support from all staff who teach in the laboratories. (more…)