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Continuous professional development

Three broad types of CPD workshop

Knowledge sessions - Your opportunity to develop yourself.

Change workshops - To support programme or group teams to effect change.

Learning and Teaching Café - Open sessions to support a learning community. 

If you have suggestions for CPD events we will be very pleased to hear from you, please contact Chris Wilson

Upcoming events:

Creativity in the classroom
Monday 22nd January 1.30pm - 3.30pm in MB603

With the World Economic Forum identifying creativity, complex problem solving, and critical thinking, as the three most important skills for the global workforce by 2020[1], and in the context of the increasing significance associated with graduate attributes and career progression, the development of the creative capacity of students in higher education has never been more important.

Chris Wilson is a member of the academic team in CLIPP and has taught in UK higher education for over 20 years. With a professional background in music and the arts, Chris has a track record of creativity based research, presenting and publishing internationally on related themes for many years, and maintaining a close working relationship with the American Creativity Association and other creativity networks.

Presenting an updated version of a workshop that has been delivered for many years and for many different staff and student groups, this session will present an overview of the history of creativity research and insights from a series of projects focused on exploring creative fluency, creative identity, and the development of creativity in undergraduate study. Colleagues attending the session will have the chance to work with a series of conceptual models and apply a variety of creative thinking techniques capable of application in any discipline or study context.

Bookings can be made through the staff portal

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Supporting Fellowship
Tuesday 20th February 11am - 12pm in G8

Peter Scales has extensive experience of further and higher education and was central to the development and teaching of teacher education programmes for the Lifelong Learning Sector and the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education at the University of Derby. Beginning his teaching career in 1980 as a part-time Liberal Studies lecturer in a further education college (just like the fictional Wilt, but truth is stranger than fiction!) teaching day-release students in a wide variety of courses including: hairdressing; plumbing; carpentry and joinery; electrical installation; thick-plate welders; nursery nurses and bricklayers. His career developed through teaching A-Levels in English Language, Communication Studies and the much-maligned Media Studies, as well as the full range of teacher training courses from City and Guilds 7307 to P/C/DTLLS.

In 2013 Open University Press published the 2nd edition of his book ‘Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector’ (Turkish edition published in 2015). In 2011 he was the lead author of ‘Continuing Professional Development in Lifelong Learning Sector’ and has, most recently, published his latest textbook for teaching and learning in higher education, based around the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework.

Bookings can be made through the staff portal.

The Principles and Practice of Effective Personal Tutoring
Monday 16th April 12pm - 1.30pm in G8

Chris Wilson is a member of the academic team in CLIPP and has taught in UK higher education for over 20 years. Working in a strategic leadership role at his previous institution, The University of Derby, Chris has been involved in the development and implementation of university personal tutoring policy and practice for many years.   

This session presents an overview of a series of institutional practice reviews and key insights from the development and implementation of new university policy. Highlighting the challenge of developing consistent understanding and awareness of the role of personal tutor, amongst staff and students, the session explores the changing role of tutorial support for student wellbeing, development and attainment. Colleagues attending the session will develop an awareness of successful strategies for developing the value of personal tutoring for both students and staff. 

Bookings can be made through the staff portal.

Past events:  

Digital badging in higher education: Micro-credentials, Digital Reputation and Micro-Learning

This session will be led by Syed Munib Hadi, Head of the Innovation Hub at the University of Derby, and will present insights from the ‘Digital Badging’ project of the University of Derby. Involving the recognition of various forms of staff development, professional engagement, and other forms of professional impact in Higher Education, the project involves the awarding of virtual badges to members of staff and students which are transferable whilst being manageable by the University and other stakeholders.

The workshop will provide an overview both of the technical implementation of digital badging at Derby, and a series of research projects related to micro-credentials, digital reputation and micro-learning. Digital badging enables organisations to co-ordinate recognition of various activities and achievements in a way that enables individuals to showcase in various forms of social media and online space.

Syed Munib Hadi is Head of the Innovation Hub of the University of Derby involved in a series of projects developing innovative digital solutions. He has presented at a variety of national and international forums and has published research relating to MOOCs, digital recognition and modular design approach to micro-learning.


Student Resilience and Mental Wellbeing

This session will be led by Gareth Hughes, a psychotherapist and the Research Lead for Student Wellbeing at the University of Derby, and will explore what we mean by the terms wellbeing and resilience, the possible causes of the current rise in mental health problems and will look at the relationship between learning and wellbeing. The workshop will also examine what a ‘whole university approach’ to building resilience might mean and outline new frameworks around which universities can base their interventions. This will be an interactive session and by the end attendees should have a number of practical actions they can take to improve the wellbeing of their students and a deeper theoretical understanding of what is happening to our students and how this can be changed. 

At last...a CPD session on procrastination.

Procrastination (putting things off in favour of doing something more enjoyable or less demanding) has been described as the 'biggest problem in education today' for students. It can affect grades, drop-out rates and physical health.  Academic staff suffer too with academic Twitter feeds talking about 'writing guilt'. Join the discussion with Frank Eperjesi and Sarah Hayes and hear how procrastination can be a benefit for some and a challenge for others. Share your experiences and learn how the negative effects of procrastination on quality of work and personal well being can be reduced. 

Becoming a RITE Mentor

All colleagues who have obtained HEA recognition at Fellow, Senior Fellow or Principal Fellow are warmly invited to a RITE mentor training workshop. This is intended to support you in becoming a mentor within your School/Department for colleagues wishing to gain HEA recognition through our RITE scheme. Please be aware that to mentor colleagues through the RITE scheme it is necessary to have completed this training as per the terms of our HEA accreditation. To book a place please contact Marika Jones and confirm which date you would like to attend.

Teachers' anonymous was launched in the autumn of 2016 to provide a confidential supportive community for those who are teachers at Aston University: it is a place to discuss the challenges (and rewards) of teaching with colleagues in a safe and confidential space.  There are no attendance lists; no minutes; and no agenda other than the topics proposed at each meeting.  

Why are we using 1st century AD techniques to examine 21st century

We encourage students to learn in groups when they have access to local and remote resources without time constraints. But when we assess students in the main we isolate them, remove resources apart from a pen and sometimes a calculator and expect them to problem solve with limited time. Nothing in this assessment process relates to any real world tasks likely to be faced during employment. Surely there must be a better way. During this CPD session alternative forms of formative and summative assessment were discussed and encourage colleagues to move away from time constrained written exams. The session will explore staged/portfolio assessments, group assessments and opportunities to involve students in their own assessment

Early-Career Teachers' Empowerment Project:

The inaugural meeting was held in December to gather views and experiences of those who are in the early stages of teaching in higher education. If you would like to be a part of this project, which aims to empower new academics to lead on management, innovation and change in HE teaching, contact Dr Julian Lamb in CLIPP for more information.

Student Retention and Engagement: Aston’s Learner Analytics project

The Learner Analytics project is focused on developing our systems to provide rich data we can analyse and utilise to target and retain individuals and maximise engagement and attainment of Aston’s students. For more information on learning analytics, please visit the website, click here

Learning and Teaching Technologies in times of Student Instrumentality

Are you disheartened by students’ obsession with ‘passing the test’ and precious little else? Saddened that only a few students want to share your enthusiasm for your subject? Dejected that despite years of scholarship and research, your value as a teacher is reduced to whether your lectures are entertaining (whatever that means) and fun. 

This seminar offered a sideways look at some of the common myths and stories about student instrumentality and whether learning and teaching technologies, such as Problem Based Learning can bridge the gap between conventional understandings of the ‘university experience’ and student expectations.

Programme approval and design: Becoming a Design Navigator

The Design Navigator represents a single point of contact for the design and approval process of new programmes, they can advise on the stages of the process and liaise with colleagues outside of the programme team to help design an effective programme leading to timely approval.

Empowering Aston's early career HE teachers: information and discussion event.

A new initiative is underway at Aston which is aimed at empowering early-career HE teachers to be significant change-in agents in both their individual practice and their institution's response to new challenges for learning and teaching in the higher education sector. If you are 'early-career academic professional' engaged in the delivery and/or support of learning and teaching at Aston and would like to be involved in this project, contact Dr Julian Lamb and come along to this first information and discussion event.

Learning and Teaching Strategy Review.

In a review of Aston's current Learning and Teaching Strategy, staff were invited to take the 'Two Page Challenge'! If Aston's vision, key values and aspirations are placed into a meaningful, readable two page document, what should be in it? For further information please visit Learning and Teaching Strategy Review.

Enhancing student group work and assessment.

This workshop provided case-studies of effective practice and an exploration of the conceptual approaches to the pedagogy of student group work

Insights into why secondary school students choose careers, courses and Universities.

A CLIPP CPD seminar event chaired by Dr Frank Eperjesi. This was a round table discussion with Colin Parker, Head Teacher of King Edward VI Aston School, a member of the Department for Education’s professional conduct panel, mentor for two recently appointed head teachers in his role as an accredited professional partner and member of Aston University’s Council. Discussing topics such as how students choose careers and why, where do they look for information, are rankings important, who influences their choice, how do students view University lecturers , what general anxieties do students have about coming to University, do they expect to use much technology.

Inclusive practice and working with the Equality Act

This two hour CPD workshop examined the current guidance for inclusive practice in HE teaching and explored various approaches for working in accordance with the Equality Act. The workshop facilitators were Dr Sally Holgate, Head of the Disability Team and Dr Julian Lamb, who is both a qualified Social Worker and a lecturer in CLIPP.

Harnessing the power of the placement year: A uniquely Aston Opportunity

This session emerged from an HEA-funded project under their Vice Chancellors’ Strategic Projects initiative and was targeted at those who teach a final year cohort and/or are involved in the design of final year modules/full programmes. The session explored how we currently utilise placement year learning within the final year curriculum, and how (or indeed whether) it should shape teaching. Providing an opportunity to explore the potential pros and cons of drawing best value from students’ placement experiences, and to consider factors that may enable or hinder such an approach. The session included presentations by colleagues from across subject areas, about their successes and challenges in this area.  Additionally, a number of students were invited to join the session to share both their lived experience of the curriculum post-placement, and to share their research findings in relation to what Aston students experience in the final year curriculum - and how this compared to what they might expect. 

Understanding and implementing Aston's new module design guidelines.

This learning and teaching cafe event discussed and explored the concept and application of Aston's new guidelines for module design.

Open day - Post Graduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

For those who would like to know more about enrolling on our Post Graduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGDip), with the opportunity to progress to M.Ed. This is a work-based learning programme that supports participants in furthering their own creative practice, projects and innovations within their personal contexts. If you are interested in knowing more please contact Dr Sarah Hayes.

Enhancing your skills of maths tutoring.

This workshop run in conjunction with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences but open to anyone who teaches or supports teaching at Aston. The focus was not on Mathematics itself, but on the ways in which you can enhance your tutoring skills in the context of teaching maths.