EduFest 2018 - an opportunity to reflect on L & T developments

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The Centre for Learning and Teaching recently hosted its very first EduFest event: a one-day celebration of learning and teaching at the University of Bath. Over 100 colleagues took the opportunity to reflect upon and develop their own approaches to learning and teaching.

EduFest 2018 featured contributions from sector-leading experts, insights from colleagues at other institutions and examples of how cutting-edge research here at Bath can help to make university courses everywhere more inclusive and engaging.

One of the highlights was keynote speaker Professor Tansy Jessop – a champion of the transformation of student learning through exciting and rewarding assessment. Tansy’s keynote took a fresh look at the expectations of students coming to university and why some students express disappointment with higher education. She explored the concept of student alienation: how it relates to broken expectations; how it reflects the context of 21st century HE; and yet, on the other hand, how it is an utterly necessary part of the higher education experience.

Through a number of masterclasses and panel discussions, EduFest focused on four of the key themes in our Education Strategy (2016-2021):

  • Inclusion
  • Research engagement
  • Sustainability
  • Assessment for learning

These key themes are fundamental aspects of Bath’s curriculum transformation project, which will see all programmes at the University reviewed and refreshed in the coming two years.

Chaired by Andy Pitchford, Head of Learning and Teaching, one of the panel sessions brought together colleagues from a range of universities to talk about their experiences of transformation, and to highlight the opportunities and pitfalls they had experienced - Dr Barrie Cooper, University of Exeter; Dr Alex Standen, University College London; and Dr Beverley Gibbs, University of Sheffield. Their wide experience of institutional change, innovation in learning and teaching, and departmental leadership, stimulated an interesting and relevant discussion.

In the afternoon, participants also took part in a masterclass that explored research-engaged teaching. Led by Dr Alex Standen and Joe Thorogood from University College London, the workshop focussed on how we can collaborate with students, research partners and other stakeholders to bring these two realms together and engage the whole institution in the process of knowledge creation.

Other sessions included a panel discussion on learning to support student well-being, with the University’s Tom Curran, Mark Brosnan and Ceri Brown coming together to talk about the rise of such issues as perfectionism, resilience and risk adversity among today’s HE students.  Masterclasses on sustainability in education, led by Prof Stephen Sterling from the University of Plymouth, and inclusivity, led by Abby Osborne, Student Services, continued EduFest’s exploration of key learning and teaching themes.

Feedback from attendees has been extremely positive, with many commenting that the event was inspirational, informative and highly relevant to learning and teaching developments at Bath.

The Centre for Learning & Teaching plans to follow up on the themes covered at EduFest with a series of Masterclass events during June and July. A new Talk Teaching series will also be launched in September.

Find out more about CLT news and events here.

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