August project: your questions, please?

Can I try to answer some of your questions about learning, teaching, feedback and assessment? I can not guarantee, of course, that my answers will be sensible!
For most of August, apart from the usual frantic few days in Edinburgh delighting in Festival events, I’m pottering around at or near home in Newcastle. I propose to have a go at answering some questions posed by readers of this site (and of Twitter), so please feel free to email me one or two short sharp questions, and I’ll have a go. If you’re willing for your question and my response to be included in a reply-blog on this site, please indicate so, and include your email or Twitter handle. Over to you…

Co-facilitating Writing Retreat at Leeds: 13th-14th July

This week, Sally and I are helping a group of colleagues from Leeds Beckett at an away-days residential at a conference venue in Leeds get going with writing materials on teaching, learning and assessment to submit for publication. Any slides we use will appear on this website later – the handouts are here:  developing-your-writing-w.doc (75 downloads)   Co-authoring-multipuposing-networking-w.docx (60 downloads)   Getting-published-in-Journals-with-top-LT-from-Google-docx-w1.docx (79 downloads)
The main slides Sally and I used are here:  GetPublished-Leeds-Beckett-Sally-and-Phils-main-slides.pptx (69 downloads)
I really enjoyed seeing you all and working with you, and wish you all the best with your future plans to write and get published.

What can I do when….?

This extract is from my disc version of most of Chapter 9 from the 2014 edition of ‘Making Learning Happen’, where I attempted to provide creative or practical solutions to a number of the problems which can be encountered when teaching in higher education. You may well have better solutions of your own – please share.  Thanks again to all the folk who helped supply the problems.  What-can-I-do-when-...-w.docx (514 downloads)

TEF on a single sheet! 22nd June

Today, the Times Higher published online the TEF results (in a table of “TEF results 2017: gold, silver or bronze? HEIs and alternative providers with university title”. So far, the press coverage we have seen or heard is mostly about some institutions feeling unfairly treated, rather than about those who have done well celebrating. It is interesting to note where institutions with the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-2017 (which did not inform the TEF) best scores lie in the new table. Whether the metrics really measure ‘teaching excellence’ is of course a matter for some debate! Sally and I thought it might be useful to have a compact version where all the information could be on a two-sided sheet (if your printer will cope with narrow margins), so here is a version which you can download and print, or look at online.  TEF-table-4a.docx (100 downloads) . For more detail please go to the original on:


Newcastle University Business School: 21st June

It was a real pleasure to return to my original university to run two half-day workshops on learning, feedback, assessment and lecturing. (Photo of one of the fine views from the 8th floor)

The workshops were supposed to be repeats, but of course were not, as different groups asked different questions to which I responded. Therefore the main slides which you can download here will contain things one or other group didn’t do, so please look carefully at those slides – and better still, get a colleague who attended the other workshop to talk you through them, so that they learn by verbalising.  Newcastle-Business-School-2017-w.pptx (72 downloads)

Solstice Conference: Edge Hill University: 5th June

Thoroughly enjoyed Day 1 of the Conference – thanks to all whose sessions I attended. Here are the main slides from my concluding keynote:  reinventing-assessment-15-2017-Solstice-w.pptx (120 downloads) . A transcript of most of your wonderful responses to the post-it task is now here: Solstice-Post-its.docx (78 downloads) . Here are two more post-its which escaped the main batch when I transcribed them, but are very relevant… Assessment needs reinventing now because: (1) it doesn’t assess people’s competence of ability from an employability perspective and (2) We are always complaining about assessment overload, but still setting the same assessments (and children are taught differently than we were). Thanks for being a great audience.

Edge Hill University

I am delighted to announce that I have been given the title of Visiting Professor within the Centre for Learning and Teaching, at Edge Hill University – and so indeed has Sally!
I am also delighted that we are visiting Edge Hill next week for the Solstice Conference, and look forward to working closely with the University.