By (l-r in image) Jess Ritchie, Laura Nevay, Jo Murphy & Ben Ellis
On 5th July, we attended the Advance HE Teaching and Learning Conference at Keele University, entitled “Teaching in the spotlight: shaping the future of HE”. There were 132 presentations on the day, focusing on a range of topics from inclusivity to alternative pedagogical approaches. It was impossible to attend all of the presentations on the day so we decided to choose the sessions that were most applicable to our own roles and then share a summary of the information at the end of the very busy day.
The session that Jess most enjoyed discussed culturally sensitive curriculum design. The presentation highlighted the breadth of research being undertaken in this area and provided a practical framework on how to implement some of the suggestions in her teaching practice.
Ben attended a session regarding widening participation which provided him with food for thought. The session discussed how pre-welcome week sessions provided disadvantaged students an opportunity to meet staff and other students with similar backgrounds in order to mitigate against the imposter syndrome that is felt by many students.
A session entitled “Accessibility statements: The secret weapon in inclusive education” was Laura’s favourite session. The presentation talked about the need to go beyond the legal framework required in accessibility statements, providing further advice and support mechanisms for both students and staff, breaking down some of the current barriers found in this area.
Jo’s favourite session was a workshop that provided attendees with the opportunity to put an aspect of learning and teaching in ‘Room 101’. Lots of suggestions were made, providing inspiration for future teaching innovation within the curriculum.
During the final session of the day, we were able to present our own research entitled “Creatively exploring the needs of neurodiverse university students”, which had been undertaken with Emily Wertans and Ilda Cuko. The presentation was really well received by attendees who were enthused by the work that had been undertaken at UoL and offered collaborative support for any future endeavours that wish to explore in this area.
Overall, we had a fantastic day at the conference, gaining lots of new ideas and meeting lots of interesting and like-minded people from across the UK (and beyond).