University of Reading: 20th January

Just back home in Newcastle after a great day at the University of Reading, at the conference on Assessment. The slides Sally and I used for our joint session this morning are now here: Reading-10w.pptx (75 downloads)
My slides for my afternoon workshop are here too. Assessing-large-groups-w.pptx (62 downloads)
The Twitter hashtag for my contributions was #philatreading – thanks for loads of Tweets during the day. It was really good working with you all, and many thanks to Deb and colleagues for organising the event – hope to be back in March.

In Plymouth

I’m off with Sally to Plymouth for a week on Tuesday 5th, and running a session at the Pedrio Conference on Masters Level on Friday there, and participating  there in the NTF pop-up meeting on the TEF consultation.
My task at the World Cafe lunchtime session is reproduced below.

Learning to be Masterly (World Cafe session led by Phil Race)
In discussion with colleagues, please jot down your individual or collective answers/responses to each or any of the questions below on post-its, and stick them onto a sheet or chart bearing the individual questions. Please move as you wish between one question and another.

  1. (Easy) What are the three most important differences between working towards a Masters qualification and undergraduate study?
  2. (Fairly easy) What are the top five skills which a successful graduate needs to acquire to be equipped to succeed at Masters level?
  3. (Medium) Which student attributes can really help, and which can get in the way?
  4. (Harder) What principal kinds of evidence, at the end of the day, do Masters level assessments (in their various forms) actually measure? (And how can we help learners measure up?)
  5. (Deep) What are the most important things we can do to help learners gain Mastery?
  6. (Hardest!) What would be the best ‘metric’ to evidence teaching excellence in the context of masters level learning?

I left the workshop with loads of completed post-its, and a summary will appear on the Pedrio Website at Plymouth before long.

Happy New Year

May I wish you a successful, healthy and above all happy New Year.
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University of Luxembourg: December 2nd and 4th

Here are the main slides from my full-day workshop on ‘Making Learning Happen’ in Luxembourg on 2nd December (minus the pictures and video links). Thanks for your feedback on the day (including that of the one participant who wouldn’t recommend the day to a colleague!). Hoping to see at least some of you at Friday’s half-day workshop on course design. Making Learning Happen (170 downloads)

Here are the main slides from my half-day workshop on ‘Curriculum Design at Course Level’ on December 4th, and a word file of the learning outcomes checklist grid. Course Design (94 downloads) , Learning outcomes checklist for students (73 downloads) . Thanks to Paul, Cassandra and everyone for making Sally and I so welcome this week.

Trip to South Wales: 17th-20th November

I’ll be in South Wales for most of this week, with my wife Sally Brown. On Wednesday 18th, we’ll be at the University of South Wales (back to my old stamping ground, where I worked from 1971-1995), helping to launch the ETC Toolkit (which you can get from The main slides I used in my morning keynote on ‘Energising Students in Large Groups’ can be downloaded here. USW keynote (99 downloads) . Sorry I couldn’t include the pictures – file size – but should anyone wish to have the full works, including the ‘museum of antiquities’ slides, just email me for them! You were a splendid audience – well done for joining in so well, and for all the Tweets.
On Thursday 19th and Friday 20th we’ll be at the SEDA Conference in Cardiff.
On Sally’s website, ( you can download her afternoon keynote presentation at USW, and materials from her workshop at the SEDA Conference.


Now in Santander

After a brilliant trip with Sally to Cadiz (where she was external at a successful PhD by publication viva),  we’re about to start a conference on formative assessment at the University of Cantabria. Sally’s giving a keynote (in Spanish and English) on Saturday morning, and I’m running a workshop (just in English!) tomorrow. Phil concentrating(Photo caught me trying to follow Spanish at start of conference!).

Here will be added my main slides from my workshop on 18th September Santander workshop slides (151 downloads) . You were a great audience, and I very much enjoyed working with you and learning from you.
Here also are the popular slides on my ‘Ripples’ model of learning Ripples model seven factors (26348 downloads) , and a Word file of Chapter 1 of the 2015 edition of ‘The Lecturer’s Toolkit’ Chapter 1 of 'Toolkit' 4th edition (302 downloads) . Here as well are slides from a presentation I did of the ‘Ripples’ model translated into Spanish, from a previous visit Slides about 7 factors in Spanish (91 downloads) .

Jo Johnson’s speech: (and the TEF) 9th September

The Minister for Universities and Science yesterday pointed to the shape and nature of the Green Paper to be published in the autumn. Headings such as ‘Teaching at the heart of the system’ may look promising, but later his words include ‘And there is lamentable teaching that must be driven out of our system. It damages the reputation of UK higher education and I am determined to address it’.
For anyone wondering about whether the focus of the TEF will really address teaching excellence, or whether the forthcoming Green Paper will be much more about higher education moving yet further towards the status of a commodity rather than a right for students, the links below may help. I’ve posted the link to the official document, and a Word document of the text, in case that makes it easier to quote from the speech. (I’m all for encouraging teaching excellence, but commodifying it is not a sensible way towards achieving it).  Jo Johnson's speech, 9th September: Word document (106 downloads)

You may also be interested in recent posts about the TEF on Sally’s website, and the #LTHEchat Tweet chat held on August 26th.

University College, Cork: 4th September

It was great to visit UCC again today, and to run two sessions on a day celebrating the retirement of Bettie Higgs, long known to all keen on teaching, learning and assessing. In particular, a splendid send-off celebratory lunch was laid on at a nearby hotel. Here are the main slides I used in my presentations: UCC interactive lectures (102 downloads) , UCC self and peer assessing (104 downloads) . Sally’s slides are as usual on her website too.