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Continuous professional development

Three broad types of CPD workshop

  1. Knowledge sessions - Your opportunity to develop yourself. 
  2. Change workshops - To support programme or group teams to effect change.
  3. Learning and Teaching Café - Open sessions to support a learning community.    

Upcoming events

Closing the Gap: Creativity in Higher Education Special Interest Group Open Meeting

Thursday 14th June 11am - 1pm in G8

There has been a growing focus on creativity in education for many years and increasing significance associated with creativity as a graduate attribute. Reflected in most projections of future skills needs, including those by global organisations such as the World Economic Forum, work including Adobe’s ‘State of Create’ study nevertheless highlight the potential for a ‘creativity gap’ between aspiration and reality, with only 1 in 4 reporting themselves to be ‘living up to their creative potential’. If we are to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully navigate the increased complexity and uncertainty of the future, if creativity matters and is to be developed, this gap needs to be closed.

Seeking to establish a Creativity Special Interest Group at Aston, this inaugural session is open to the whole academic community and anyone with an interest in creativity in higher education. This session will introduce some context to the educational creativity debate and include some illustrative exercises and activities, but will primarily frame open discussion and dialogue between attendees interested in contributing to wider institutional work in the development of creative curricula, assessment, and learning opportunities. The session will also explore next steps and focus discussion on the development of a basic constitution for the group, book your place through the staff portal. For further information please contact Chris Wilson

 


 'Shut up and wRITE': writing workshop for RITE applicants

Friday 22nd June 9.30am - 2pm (lunch booked for 1pm)

Conference Aston (Business School) room 145

CLIPP are running a writing workshop for all staff who would like to gain professional recognition, the workshop is available to all staff whether you are just starting your application or would like to further develop your draft, we will have mentors from across the University available to support you on the day. To confirm your attendance please book your place through the staff portal. 


Theatre for Lecturers, presented by Andrew Corcoran

Monday 25th June 9.30am – 4pm MB603

Presenting to new people can be daunting. Teaching large groups of people can be be challenging. Taking a theatrical perspective of teaching as a performance art--a process of designing and occupying a space and then engaging an 'audience'--this session draws from the expertise of theatrical direction as a context for considering classroom management and effective delivery of large group teaching and lectures. The workshop aims to provide you with practical ways of developing your approach to teaching large groups, raising your voice, and delivering information in engaging and transformative ways. Places are limited, bookings can be made through the staff portal.

Pre-work: Please bring along a 3 minute YouTube clip of your favourite performer who epitomises the three principles of Engage, Entertain and Inform. You will be asked to explain to the rest of the group how this might inform your teaching and learning practice.



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

Assessment and Feedback: Challenges and opportunities

This CPD session is a Learning and Teaching Café event designed to foster open discussion and debate about staff and student experience of assessment and feedback. Seeking to identify ways of improving both the efficiency and effectiveness of related practices, the session will explore a number of concepts and ideas from a range of sources including the Higher Education Academy’s ‘Feedback Toolkit’ (2013) and the National Union of Students’ ‘Assessment and Feedback Benchmarking Tool’ (2015).

Colleagues attending the session will have the opportunity to consider different perspectives and a number of key related questions including: What is ‘good’ feedback? How long should it take to mark an assignment? How do we ensure that students get the most from their experience of assessment? How can we make assessment more inclusive? And, how can we best ensure the integrity of work produced for assessment purposes and related academic judgements?

Designed as an open event for academic staff, the session will introduce a number of concepts and ideas but will be primarily led by the participants in the spirit of sharing experience and expertise.

The Scholarship of Educational Leadership in Diverse Research-intensive University Contexts: Strategic Inquiry, Research Methodolgy and Dissemination

Drawing on extensive international research and supervision experiences with academic leaders in research-intensive universities over a 20-year period, this interactive seminar, led by Professor Harry Hubball (The University of British Columbia), focuses on rigorous and systematic educational inquiry to enhance curricula and pedagogical practices (including strategic approaches to program reform, curriculum renewal, faculty development, pedagogical leadership) within and across diverse institutional and disciplinary contexts. Grounded in research-informed approaches, seminar participants will be engaged in a dialogue around ontological, epistemological and methodological considerations, as well as key processes, alignment and challenges related to formulating practice-based inquiry, research design, evidence-based practice and dissemination of educational scholarship.  

21st Century Learning for Engaging Millennials through Active Learning

This workshop, led by Professor Khairiyah Mohd Yusof (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) is specifically designed for academics and trainers to design and implement an effective 21  st  Century learning environment, using various simple techniques, in a systematic and scholarly approach in order to engage and support students in learning to develop the required skills and attitudes.  Grounded on practical and easy to understand educational principles, these activities serve as examples that will allow participants to modify and design new activities suited for their own classroom implementations. The knowledge imparted in this workshop is crucial for supporting students in attaining more complex skills, such as life-long learning and problem solving that are crucial for preparing graduates for the Industry 4.0. 

Programme approval and design: Becoming a Design Navigator

For those members of staff interested in the design and approval of programmes and would like to be considered for a role as 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.

This role is not restricted to academic staff, but applicants are required to have reasonable experience in learning and teaching and programme design. If you have any questions regarding the training session please contact Dr Julian Lamb.


Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Supporting Fellowship

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.

Creativity in the classroom 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.