20 Tavistock Square
Delegates will discuss pedagogical innovation and innovation in curriculum design, all with the focus of delivering excellence. Produced in partnership with Higher Education Academy, the conference brings together experts, policy influencers and innovators to examine how universities can deliver excellence in teaching and foster a culture of innovation in the current climate of change brought about by the government's white paper.
The introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) has sharpened the focus on excellence in teaching and learning, and, along with a concentration on widening participation and an increase in student expectations, this means universities need to address the way they approach teaching and learning right across the institution.
Innovative teaching practice, practical staff development and cultural change are vital to ensure that universities succeed in the new environment. Universities UK and the Higher Education Academy have come together to provide the sector with a unique opportunity to hear from experts and thought leaders in the sector and share best practice with fellow teaching and learning specialists.
Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Chair of the Board, Higher Education Academy (HEA) and Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Canterbury Christ Church University
Professor John Grattan, Acting Vice-Chancellor, Aberystwyth University
Last year Professor John Grattan presented Aberystwyth’s plans to transform our student experience and our strategy to recruit the wholehearted support of the university community. This year he presents the results of our approach, what worked and why, as well as what didn’t. The apparent risk Aberstwyth took on pursuing a distributed leadership approach actually resulted in a rise in staff morale, a growth in confidence and a marvellous recovery in our position in the NSS. Professor Grattan commends this approach to any university hoping to achieve TEF Gold.
Chair: Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Chair of the Board, Higher Education Academy (HEA) and Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Canterbury Christ Church University
Speakers: Dr Peter Chatterton, Education Management Consultant
Professor Susannah Quinsee, Director, Learning Enhancement and Development, City, University of London
Professor Gunter Saunders, Associate Director, Digital Engagement, Libraries and Curriculum Support, University of Westminster
The introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and an increase in student expectations has sharpened the focus on excellence in teaching, learning and assessment. Universities are naturally emphasising the importance of excellent teaching practice - but how do we ensure that we do not lose sight of innovation as an essential element of success? And how can we give ourselves and others enough time, space and incentive to innovate and take risks in our teaching practice? What barriers exist and what do we need to do to overcome them? Most importantly, how can we embed a culture of excellence and innovation across the whole institution so that academic staff are motivated and supported to take risks and innovate?
Julian Rawel, Chief Executive, Market Echoes and Interim Director, MBA Programmes, University of Edinburgh Business School
The academic world is changing. Increased tuition fees, a more challenging employment market and official interventions such as the Teaching Excellence Framework mean that excellent teaching has become a strategic priority for universities.
Many academics believe that teaching excellence is held back by time resource. But the problem is wider. The prestige of research has meant academics have not always had the same incentive to become outstanding teachers as well as first class researchers.
Julian Rawel will outline the issues for universities and focus on the key ways to motivate and turn academics into excellent teachers, including:
Julian Rawel has launched Excellence in Business School Teaching, Insights and recommendations for faculty, deans and directors. Based on 16 years’ experience of teaching, this research-backed book looks at how all faculty can become excellent teachers.
Michael Larsen, Chief Executive Officer, YourTutor
Dr Andrea Lynch, Manager, Academic Language and Learning, James Cook University
Online, on-demand academic literacy support is enthusiastically embraced by university students, but with what impact? A case study from an award-winning student support programme at James Cook University, Australia
In this workshop, Dr Lynch will share insights into James Cook University’s use of online, on-demand academic support, including engagement and success data.
Professor Sue Bloxham, Emeritus Professor of Academic Practice, University of Cumbria
There is general agreement about the failings of assessment in higher education, and researchers, quality bodies and student groups have produced expectations, benchmarks or manifestos to direct institutional change. However, whilst we are knowledgeable about more effective, engaging and fair assessment, much practice remains profoundly resistant to change.
It is difficult to engender change when many of the recommendations are dealing with problematic and complex ideas in large and loosely-coupled organisations. This workshop will briefly summarise the consistent messages about assessment excellence emerging from research followed by an opportunity to consider effective institutional interventions to support change.
Ellie Russell, Student Engagement Partnership Manager, The Student Engagement Partnership
The infrastructure for teaching and learning does not stand still and students can play a vital role in producing the changes and enhancements that build a dynamic and inclusive learning community. In this interactive workshop we will consider examples of how students can enhance curriculum, quality and learning environments. We will focus on the role of students in staff CPD and enhancing teaching, and consider the barriers and opportunities to engaging students in teaching & learning in your local context.
Professor Carol Evans, Professor in Higher Education, Southampton Education School, University of Southampton
In this workshop we will briefly review current debates on learning gain (McGrath et al., 2015) with the main focus of discussion being centred around the consideration of the role of learning gain within inclusive pedagogies (Evans, 2016). A fundamental dimension of teaching is evaluating the impact of what we do in order to enhance our practice; consideration of differential learning outcomes is an important element of this (Mountford-Zimdars et al., 2015). In supporting the development of critical pedagogies that consider who is advantaged/disadvantaged by curriculum design and delivery, consideration of learning gain should be an integral part of our pedagogy (Waring & Evans, 2015). Furthermore, developing an understanding of fine-grained measures of learning gain to support learning should be part of on-going dialogue with students and colleagues. In measuring what we value, serious consideration at the discipline level is required as to what knowledge, skills, and attributes we are promoting and valuing in 21st century learning environments, and more specifically how assessment practices can capture student gains within these areas deemed to be important (Barnett, 2011).
Professor Clare Milsom, Director, Teaching and Learning Academy, Liverpool John Moores University and Dr Elena Zaitseva, Researcher, Liverpool John Moores University
With the planned future extension of the Teaching Excellence Framework to Postgraduate taught programmes (TEF Four) the requirement for a national, mandatory PGT Survey is now high on the sector agenda. LJMU has a longstanding engagement with The Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) and has developed approaches to maximise the use of student feedback in PGT programme enhancement.
Recognising LJMU’s expertise in survey data analysis and triangulation, the Higher Education Academy recently commissioned an analysis of PTES free text data at the national level.
In this workshop we will share findings at a provider and national level and show how institutional datasets can be combined to present an evidence-based approach to programme enhancement. With a mandatory postgraduate survey approaching, an understanding of how to use these data to engage academic staff in effective dialogue to build a stronger postgraduate provision has never been more important.
Dr Jacqueline Houghton, Associate Professor (Teaching and Scholarship – Geological Sciences), University of Leeds and Annabeth Robinson, Senior Lecturer, BA(Hons) Animation and MA Creative Practice, Leeds College of Art
The award winning Virtual Landscapes Project is a collaboration between the University of Leeds and Leeds College of Art to develop screen-based virtual reality environments for use in geoscience education. The landscapes created are used to enhance the training geology undergraduates receive in preparation for fieldwork; provide engineering geology students training in site investigation skills; develop students’ 3D visualisation skills, and give schoolchildren the opportunity to explore how to make a geological map. Importantly these landscapes provide accessible parallel provision for students unable to visit the field. Use of the landscapes has received positive feedback from students and staff. Our landscapes are freely available at http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/virtual-landscapes/ and are used nationally and internationally. The project won the THE Award for Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching or Research, 2016. This workshop will include hands on experience of the software. If possible, please bring a laptop for this session.
Higher Education Academy Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence (CATE) Award Winners: Dr Cate Cropper, Dr Lis Rushworth and Dr Helen Vaughan, Central Teaching Laboratory, University of Liverpool
Why is it so difficult to share resources, equipment and opportunities for teaching and learning across our own institutions?
The award-winning team from The University of Liverpool’s Central Teaching Laboratory will introduce and explore the institutional and student benefits of their Education Broker Model. Their system of using teaching and scholarship staff to act as agents to facilitate collaboration across disciplines has allowed for successful transfer of teaching and learning developments and embedment of employability skills in co- and core-curricula activities across the faculty of Science and Engineering (and beyond).
Beginning with a short case study about the University’s unique facility, the Central Teaching Laboratory and how it has catalysed the Education Broker Model, discussions will highlight on the traits and role profile of an education broker. Activities will focus on the support needed to establish and sustain a team to invigorate new practice and share good practice across your University.
Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive, Universities UK
Dr Geoff Stoakes, Head of Special Projects, Higher Education Academy (HEA)
As the assessment for the first full Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF 2) is underway with 299 Universities and Colleges have chosen to participate, consultations are in full swing about the design of a subject-level TEF.
Based on the HEA’s engagement with the consultations and recent research, this session explores the opportunities offered, and the challenges posed, by a subject-level assessment of teaching excellence. For example:
The discussion will aim to inform the design and selection of the TEF 3 discipline-level pilots.
Stella Jones-Devitt, Head of Student Research and Evaluation, Sheffield Hallam University
Much of the relatively recent thinking about flexible learning gives primacy to informed choice in higher education, as characterised by HEFCE's (2011) definition of flexible learning in which: students have the information they need to make informed choices about what, where and how they want to study. This session challenges this orthodoxy by drawing on work emerging from the newly-formed Flexible Learning Community of Practice in which the challenge of leading and creating truly flexible processes is recognised within a higher education context characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity; challenges which will not be met by focusing solely on student choice.
For your students, the flexibility and immediacy afforded by technology is an integral part of their lifestyle. When it comes to studying, they expect to see the same 24/7, user-centric, personalised experience.
CEO Michael Larsen will outline the YourTutor model of supplementary, personalised academic literacy support and provide insights based on data from university partnerships in Australia.
He will introduce Dr Andrea Lynch who will share insights into James Cook University’s award-winning approach to enhancing student learning and data regarding the student experience using online academic support.
Jane McNeil, Director of Academic Development, Nottingham Trent University
Dr Ruth Sayers, Executive Dean Learning, Teaching and International, Bishop Grosseteste University
Dr Phil Richards, Chief Innovation Officer, Jisc
Donald Clark, EdTech entrepreneur
With the increase in student expectations and the changing landscape of higher education, universities need to address the way they approach teaching and learning right across the institution. Pedagogical innovation, including in curriculum design and delivery, and the integration of technological advances into teaching are central to ensuring that universities succeed in the new environment. This panel will examine case studies of tried and tested innovations in teaching and learning methodology, and look further into the future at the technological advances that you should be considering in your strategy now.
Sponsored by YourTutor
Professor Rama Thirunamachandran is the academic lead and chief executive of Canterbury Christ Church University. He joined the University in October 2013 and has led the institution in a number of areas, including the development and implementation of the University’s Strategic Framework 2015– 2020, the acquisition of the former Prison site in Canterbury, and the establishment of an international pathway college on the Canterbury campus. In addition, Rama is Chair of the Higher Education Academy and led the recent review of Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA) commissioned by UCAS.
Prior to this Rama was Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost of Keele University for five years with overall responsibility for Keele’s academic activities.
From 2002, Rama Thirunamachandran was Director for Research, Innovation and Skills at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and he has also held posts at the University of Bristol, King’s College London and Royal Holloway, University of London.
Professor John Grattan has an extensive academic background in Environmental and Archaeological Science. He began his career obtaining a Ph.D. from The University of Sheffield and his research has since been highlighted in many different media outlets such as: The Economist, The Guardian, The Times and International Television including the BBC, the National Geographic Channel and Radio. An expert in geohazards and volcanoes, he is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an expert member of the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network and was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Archaeological Science between 1998-2012. He also advises the UK Government in the case of volcanic emergencies.
In 1995 he joined the University of Wales, Aberystwyth where he held positions of Senior Lecturer, Reader, Professor and Dean of Faculty of Science at Aberystwyth University. He has extensive experience of quality assurance and enhancement both as an institutional reviewer and in management and leadership in HE in a wide variety of roles. In 2012 he was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor of Student Experience and International and in February 2016 he was appointed Acting Vice-Chancellor. On top of this, he is a board member of the QAA, HEFCW's Student Experience, Teaching and Quality Committee. Professor Grattan believes that to effectively lead teaching and learning at the University he needs to stay on the front line; he still teaches a very popular module “Volcanic Activity and Environmental Change “to third year students. His commitment to quality assurance and enhancement lies in his own experience; he did not register for his first degree until he was 26 years old, and he is clear that going to university was a life changing experience.
Dr Peter Chatterton is a consultant and academic who has worked with a wide range of universities and educational agencies, supporting them in programmes of innovation, change and agile working for educational transformation. He also works with businesses, large and small, and helps develop university-employer partnerships with a focus on developing graduate employability skills, work-based learning and enhancing university collaboration with employers. He has helped set up the Jisc Change Agents’ Network to support students as innovators and change leaders in universities and industry as well as mentoring student innovators on the Jisc Edtech programme. He was a prime mover in setting up the Automotive College (an HE/FE/industry partnership) to support improvement programmes in the automotive supply chain. He consulted on the “Changing the Learning Landscape”, programme, led by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, to transform strategic approaches to technology across HE/FE and is a consultant to the QAA Scotland on their Enhancement Theme programme with a focus on supporting universities in designing and delivering flexible curricula and implementing RPL (recognition of prior learning) approaches. He also developed the Jisc toolkit focused on developing student employability in a digital age.
Professor Susannah Quinsee is Director of Learning Development and Chair in Learning and Teaching Development at City, University of London. She leads the Learning Enhancement and Development Directorate which encompasses educational development and technology enhanced learning activity; academic skills, dyslexia and disability support, and student counselling and mental health services for the University. She was Chair of the Heads of E-Learning Forum (HeLF) Steering Group from 2007-2011 and as a founder member of HeLF still remains on the HeLF Steering Group. Susannah has worked as a lecturer and in academic support roles at a number of other higher education institutions in the UK as well as leading on large scale institutional change projects. In 2011, Susannah became a National Teaching Fellow. Recently, she was appointed as a Learning and Teaching Excellence Ambassador by the Higher Education Academy to promote educational development. She has considerable experience in the areas of online learning, student support, implementing learning and teaching strategies and project management in relation to higher education. Susannah’s current research focuses on leadership and change management in relation to learning development, developing communities of practice in higher education and engaging staff in new learning and teaching methodologies, particularly using technology.
Susannah has four children, including twins, and has just returned to work after her maternity leave. She is continually reflecting on how to achieve a "happy" balance between her professional and personal activities.
Gunter has worked in Higher Education for over 30 years and is currently Associate Director, Digital Engagement at the University of Westminster. Previously, as an academic member of staff he has taught Microbial Genetics and developed a range of approaches to the integration of technology into his teaching, to enhance student engagement.
At the University of Westminster Gunter is leading the university’s development of technology enhanced working and learning. This includes overseeing a 5 year rolling programme of classroom renewal that has been designed to deliver learning spaces that are adaptable, technology enabled and will support student centred learning.
Gunter is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, nationally recognised for his contributions to the support and development of learning and teaching.
Julian Rawel helped build and sell tour operator Eurocamp, later becoming marketing director at the Royal Armouries Musuem where he established it as a leading visitor attraction. For the last 15 years he has worked in and for top business schools developing, delivering and turning around MBA programmes and more recently helping academics to engage with students to achieve outstanding ratings. He set up The Market Echoes consultancy to support organisations focused on exceptional customer service.
Currently interim director of MBA programmes (part-time) at University of Edinburgh Business School, he is also visiting fellow and lecturer at leading universities in UK, the UAE, Netherlands, Greece and Portugal.
He has researched and written a book for faculty, deans and directors, Excellence in Business School Teaching, showing how to develop and use excellent teaching as a market differentiator. He shares best practice from 50 academics with insights from students.
A media commentator and blogger, Julian regularly appears on TV, radio and in the press.
As Chief Executive Officer of YourTutor, Mike balances a global growth strategy with the demands of delivering a quality online, on-demand student support service. Regularly researching feedback from student users, education institutions and their evolving learning and teaching needs alike, he has been with the company since 2014.
Prior to his current role, Mike has spent over 15 years in management, including five years in the technology sector based in Boston, Massachusetts where he was a Senior Director.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia and completed an MBA at the University of New South Wales, where he won the AC Nielsen Prize for Strategic Marketing. He was selected for the international exchange program to the prestigious Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and now resides in Sydney with his family.
Andrea is the Manager of the Academic Language and Learning unit within the Directorate of Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement at James Cook University, Queensland Australia. She leads the Language and Learning team, which works with staff to embed academic literacy, language and numeracy development within the curriculum. The team also provides students with learning advice through innovative online and face to face programs. Andrea also hosts the English language and numeracy development special interest group of James Cook University’s Teaching and Learning Academy.
Her key interest areas include access and equity in higher education, literacy(ies) in education and higher education policy.
Andrea and her team have recently been awarded a prestigious ‘National Program Award for Excellence in Enhancing Learning’ for their transformative institutional approach and innovative Learning Centre. The Awards were announced in Canberra recently by the Minister, Senator The Hon Simon Birmingham.
Sue Bloxham is Emeritus Professor of Academic Practice at the University of Cumbria. She has published widely on assessment in higher education and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2007. In recent years, her research has focused on communicating assessment expectations to students, the use of standards by academics and driving assessment change at the institutional level. She was principal investigator for the Higher Education Academy’s influential 2015 Review of External Examining Arrangements and is now playing a key role in the HEA’s Degree Standards Project developing external examiners and comparability of standards in higher education. She is regularly invited to speak on the topic of assessment at Universities and conferences in the UK and abroad.
Professor Carol Evans is chair in higher education at the University of Southampton. She is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), UK, and an Associate member of the HEA. She is the UK Vice President of the International Federation of National Teaching Fellows (IFNTF). Carol is editor-in-chief of Higher Education Pedagogies journal www.tandfonline.com/rhep and Associate Editor of the British Journal of Educational Psychology. She is a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the UCL Institute of Education, UK. She has worked in school and higher education contexts (education and medicine). She is passionate about enhancing learning and teaching through an understanding of individual differences in learning with a focus on cognitive styles and enhancing assessment feedback practice.
Professor Clare Milsom is Director of the Teaching and Learning Academy at Liverpool John Moore University. She is a National Teaching Fellow, an elected member of the EAIR (European Higher Education Society) executive committee and a QAA Reviewer. She is currently involved in two national projects piloting and evaluating measures of learning gain funded by HEFCE and the Higher Education Academy.
A palaeontologist by background Clare has worked in higher education for over 20 years. As Director of the Teaching and Learning Academy she is responsible for the administration, analysis and reporting of the internal and external institutional surveys to all students on enrolled on taught programmes, including postgraduate. She was a member of the HEA NSS Institutional Review Working Group and was in involved national pilot of UK Engagement Survey (UKES).
Clare is known for her work on the evaluation of survey qualitative data and with her colleague Dr Elena Zaitseva recently published a sematic analysis of the students comments in Postgraduate taught Experience Survey (PTES); In their own words: Analysing students’ comments from the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resource/their-own-words. She is also interested in the second year experience of students at university. Related recent publications include Milsom, C.V., Stewart, M., Yorke, M., Zaitseva, E. (2015) Stepping up to the Second Year at University: Academic, psychological and social dimensions Routledge 978-0-415-71851-6 and Milsom, C.V. (2015) Disengaged and overwhelmed: why do second year students underperform? Guardian Higher Education Network http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2015/feb/16/disengaged-and-overwhelmed-why-do-second-year-students-underperform.
Dr Elena Zaitseva is Academic Research and Development Officer at the Teaching and Learning Academy, Liverpool John Moores University. Her responsibilities include design, co-ordination and implementation of research and evaluation activities associated with student experience, including capitalising on existed (routinely collected) institutional data and data triangulation for better understanding of student engagement, performance and satisfaction.
Elena is an Academic Associate of the HEA (undertakes research and consultancy work commissioned by the HEA), member of the HEA Survey Advisory group and active contributor to HEIR (Higher Education Institutional Research) network and EAIR (European Association of Institutional Research).
Elena has been involved in Higher Education teaching and research in Russia, Japan and UK for more than twenty years. She publishes in leading international journals and regularly present at national and international research conferences on various aspects of student experience and HE institutional research. Her expertise lies in mixed method research and qualitative methodologies, including text analytics. Elena advises various HEIs and individual researchers across the UK on using semantic analysis software Leximancer for processing of large text-based data sets.
Jacqueline Houghton is an Associate Professor (Teaching and Scholarship – Geological Sciences) in the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds. She teaches structural geology, geological maps and fieldwork skills. She is the lead on the Virtual Landscapes project, which she has helped develop from its earliest stages. This project won the Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching or Research 2016. She is an executive councillor and UK representative for the International Association for Geoscience Diversity, which works to promote access and inclusion for students and geoscientists with disabilities and is on the committee of Higher Education Network of the Geological Society.
Annabeth Robinson is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist, predominantly working with digital tools and game technology to create interactive artworks and visuals for stage, gallery and screen. She is currently a Senior lecturer at Leeds College of Art, teaching across BA(Hons) Animation and MA Creative Practice. Her recent work involves collaboration with Arts Council funding project Vespertine#15 to develop a Google Cardboard 360 flythrough of LIDAR data of the National Center of Early Music, York, 2015. In the virtual world of Second Life she is known as Angrybeth Shortbread, where her work has been shown internationally including; ISEA Singapore 2008 & Belfast 2009, as part of the Kritical Project, and was commissioned by the Long Now Foundation to recreate Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings in Second Life, 2007. Her interest in Game technology and Second Life has also involved research into serious games for education, having given talks on Virtual World education at various RSC-JISC and HEA events including HEA-ISC Workshop 'Massively Multi Learner' at Paisley University, 2007. She is currently developing Virtual Training Games for School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, which has been awarded a Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching or Research 2016.
Lis joined the Central Teaching Laboratory in 2012 after completing her doctorate in Geology. She has led the establishment of modules that provide geography and geology students with authentic communication experiences. Since establishing the popular cross-curricular module Geoarchaeology she has been investigating the effects of interdisciplinary group work on the perception of home disciplines. She has also focussed on understanding integrating international students in group work as part of a faculty funded collaboration with chemistry. Her most recent project, the CTL eco gardens, is growing well and provides students and visitors a glimpse into plant development.
Helen joined the Central Teaching Laboratory team in 2011 and has helped develop the operations and educational practices for the multi-disciplinary shared space. She was student-nominated and then awarded a Faculty Teaching Excellence prize. Since then she has advised and supported staff to develop new activities and modules across disciplines. Her recently funded projects include leading the design and validation of a new programme MPhys Physics with Education jointly with the School of Education at Liverpool John Moores University and the co-curricular community outreach project “#SciJamLiv: Science Jamboree” which provides undergraduates with project management and communication experience.
Cate joined CTL in 2014 after working at an international college in Manchester. She teaches across the chemistry degree programme and is involved in a variety of outreach activities. She was recently awarded a RSC outreach grant for a "bring a grown-up" science club and runs Spectroscopy in a Suitcase. She is currently researching digitisation of laboratories in CTL using tablets for data capture and electronic lab books and investigating co-curricular hive learning of python with @HiPyLiv.
Our Chief Executive, Nicola Dandridge, is responsible for the leadership and management of Universities UK with members of the senior management team reporting to her.
The chief executive is appointed by the UUK Board and reports to the president.
Nicola has been in post since September 2009. She was previously Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit, a higher education agency that works with the sector to promote equality for staff and students.
Before joining the Equality Challenge Unit, Nicola was a lawyer, qualified in both England and Scotland and working in private practice.
Dr Geoff Stoakes is Head of Special Projects at the Higher Education Academy; he is currently leading for the HEA on the Teaching Excellence Framework (in collaboration with the Department for Education); on External Examining, and on Learning Gain. From 2012-1214, he was Head of Research at the HEA. A historian by training, Geoff was formerly Vice Principal and Deputy Chief Executive of St Mark & St John University in Plymouth. He was a founder member of the Higher Education Advisory Panel of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and is a Fellow of the Academy. He has published widely on Nazi ideology, US foreign policy and UK higher education policy, most recently a Review of External Examining Arrangements across the UK and the HEPI-HEA Student Academic Experience Survey 2014.
Stella Jones-Devitt is Head of Student Research and Evaluation at Sheffield Hallam University. She is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In January 2017, Stella was appointed as one of two national Ambassadors for Teaching Excellence in higher education. She is presently convenor of the sector's Flexible Learning Community of Practice, working in partnership with the HEA. She has an eclectic and convoluted professional background, having worked initially as a freelance illustrator after graduating in Graphic Design and ending up - prior to working in H.E. - as an NHS Specialist Health Promotion worker. Stella chaired the recent QAA Subject Benchmark review of the Health Studies curriculum and chaired the previous iteration in 2007. Her wider academic interests include exploring new approaches to impact evaluation methodologies, flexible pedagogies and applied critical thinking. Within the confines of market-led H.E., she has a keen interest in understanding more about whose voices don't get heard, why and what should be done to make these lesser-heard voices more audible.
Jane McNeil is Director of Academic Development at Nottingham Trent University, where she has an institutional responsibility for educational development and quality management. Her perspective on higher education has been shaped by her experience as a lecturer, as a practice innovator, and as a policy developer. With a background in medievalism and technology, she was an early adopter of online learning as a history lecturer in the 1990s. Her current interests include innovative and disruptive pedagogies, with a focus on how to engage and support colleagues in developing their teaching practices. She is also interested in learning spaces, and the wider use of technology to enhance student experiences and outcomes.
Jane led the first institutional, multi-disciplinary SCALE-UP project in the UK, at NTU in 2013. SCALE-UP was pioneered by Professor Robert Beichner at North Carolina State University and uses a highly collaborative, technology-rich learning environment. The NTU project found benefits for students’ conceptual understanding and overall attainment. Subsequent benefits have been realised in wider adoption, including influencing planning assumptions for the estate and challenging the dominance of lectures for large group teaching.
Jane is now leading a HEFCE Catalyst funded project using active learning pedagogies at three institutions to address attainment disparities.
Ruth is part of the Senior Leadership Team at Bishop Grosseteste University. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Leadership Foundation. Previously Dean of the School of Culture, Education and Innovation at BGU, she now has a cross cutting senior role with responsibility for leading Learning and Teaching and also the International Office. Her research interests are mainly in educational drama and community placement work. Ruth was on the Executive Committee of National Drama for several years and co-edited an international on-line research journal in educational drama. In her current role, Ruth has worked closely with the Higher Education Academy and the Leadership Foundation to shape bespoke staff development packages for staff at BGU. She has established a Centre for Enhancement in Learning and Teaching at the University and makes regular contributions to internal and external conferences, speaking on a range of themes associated with learning, teaching and student engagement.
Phil has a first degree in physics and a doctorate in nuclear physics from St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford. Phil’s early career was in e-learning development, support and strategy, at Cardiff University, University of Hull and King’s College, London. Phil then moved into information services and IT senior management, at Aberystwyth, Plymouth and Loughborough Universities, with fifteen years’ experience at that level.
Phil took up his role as Chief Innovation Officer at Jisc in November 2013, with responsibility for identifying and shaping opportunities for new, digitally-enabled ways of working in the UK higher education, further education and skills sectors.
Donald Clark is an EdTech entrepreneur. He was CEO and one of the original founders of Epic Group plc, which established itself as the leading company in the UK online learning market, floated on the Stock Market in 1996 and sold in 2005. As well as being the CEO of Wildfire Ltd. he also invests in, and advises, EdTech companies.
Describing himself as ‘free from the tyranny of employment’, he is a board member of Cogbooks, LearningPool, WildFire and Deputy Chair of Brighton Dome & Arts Festival. He is also a Visiting Professor and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He has worked in schools, vocational, higher, corporate and adult learning, delivering real projects to real learners. These include change management, strategy, tool selection, content design and build.
Donald has over 30 years experience in online learning, games, simulations, semantic, adaptive, social media, mobile learning, virtual reality and AI projects. He has designed, delivered and advised on online learning for many global, public and private organisations. He is an evangelist for the use of technology in learning and has won many awards, including the first ‘Outstanding Achievement in E-learning Award’ and ‘Best AIM Stock Market Company’.
An award winning speaker at national and international conferences, he has delivered keynotes in Europe. US, Africa, Australia, Middle and Far East. Also a regular (and controversial) blogger (10 years+) on learning technology, his iconoclastic pieces on learning theory, MOOCs, VR, AI, Robinson, Mitra and others, attracted lots of attention. His series on learning theorists is a valuable open resource.