Engage: annual learning and teaching conference 2017

Delegates at conference in lecture hall

Our annual learning and teaching conference, Engage, celebrates learning, teaching and assessment-related activities across our University. The conference includes keynotes, workshops and paper presentations.

Take a look at the resources from the keynotes and presentations from our 2017 conference.


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Download illustrations © by Matthew Brazier, Natalie Eldred and Farah Iqbal


View the montage of the 2017 Learning and Teaching conference.


What might university education look like in ten years? Issues for education strategy

Professor Iain Martin, Anglia Ruskin University
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Reconceptualising the retention puzzle through the lens of student resilience

Professor Jacqueline Stevenson, Sheffield Hallam University
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Reflections and looking ahead...

Professor Lesley Dobrée, Anglia Ruskin University

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Please see below for resources from all other presenters.

Parallel session 1 – 11.45–12.45

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This paper addresses the potentials and pitfalls of flipping the virtual classroom. We start with the premise that a modular experience potentially fragments student learning, increasing isolation within a digital campus, especially in competition with other social media. Whilst course-level LMS aim to bring cohesion, our experience under Sharepoint was that such spaces lacked virtual footfall and engagement. Our project, Virtual Learning Flipped, aimed to bring the camaraderie and goodwill found in live course events to virtual spaces, by encouraging English, Writing, and Film students to produce their own virtual enhancement content. Results were mixed, as our paper shows.


Eugene is University Teaching Fellow and holds a DVC Award for Excellence in Research and DVC Award for Excellence in Doctoral Supervision. He has held pedagogic funding from the HEA and the English Subject Centre as well as several international fellowships, including at Harvard, Texas, and UCLA. John is a Learning Technologist in the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences. He is a Fellow of the HEA and is particularly passionate about digital learning, accessible and inclusive design, and sustainability.

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One of academic staff's concerns at Anglia Law School is whether the drop in student class attendance could be correlated with recorded lectures being uploaded onto the VLE/LMS, should the university decide to adopt an ‘all lectures recorded’ policy. Given that the pedagogic literature on this question is inconclusive, we conducted an online survey with our law students and analysed its results against the student attendance electronic data and the analytics of recorded lectures’ viewing statistics on VLE over two academic years. In this paper, we'll be sharing the preliminary project findings and discuss the impact they may have on our university’s and Law School’s future lecture recording policies.


Egle is the Director of Learning, Teaching and Assessment and Senior Lecturer in Law in the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences. Her research focuses on European Union Law and legal education. She is a Senior Fellow of the HEA, a Steering Group Member of the Legal Education Research Network, and sits on the Executive Committee of the Association of Law Teachers. John is a Learning Technologist in the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences. He is a Fellow of the HEA and is particularly passionate about digital learning, accessible and inclusive design, and sustainability.

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Distance Learning (DL) has grown, is growing, and will almost certainly continue to grow as part of our portfolio, but sometimes it can be difficult to offer our DL students an experience comparable with those on campus. This session looks at ways of enhancing DL, in particular focusing on the Summer School held for Charity & Social Enterprise students, supported by the Course Leader Fund. I'll offer some practical lessons learnt from this specific activity, and we can discuss the relationship between DL and Face-to-Face more broadly, which may be timely as our LMS enters a new era.


Andy is a senior lecturer in LAIBS based in Chelmsford. He delivers content on leadership and social enterprise on our specialist third sector courses and other modules as appropriate. He is a director of two social enterprises in the East of England and a Senior Fellow of the HEA.

This presentation will explore how we can help our students manage the tricky transition to university and how we can support them to integrate into our community of scholars.


Adam is Deputy Head of Anglia Learning & Teaching at ARU. He is committed to aligning the provision of staff development with the ambitions and strategies of ARU, and with the needs of our academic and learning support staff.

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The advent of our new LMS and the ease with which digital items can be uploaded, streamed, and shared through it, means having a grasp of copyright issues has never been more important.


Jason has worked for ARU for over 25 years, initially within central assessments, then running the cross-University and HAFS awards boards. He worked for IT Services delivering staff development for a number of years, and is now working with digital media within Anglia Learning & Teaching. Katy is a practising solicitor and works in the University’s legal team.  She enjoys outdoor activities , keeping fit, going to the theatre and is a classically trained dancer.

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The presentation will showcase a model, processes and tools for embedding digital literacy in the curriculum through the use of the ARU digital literacy framework. The model builds on previous research that investigated the EU DIGCOMP framework for its appropriateness for defining and measuring the digital capabilities of students and staff involved in higher education. An example will be presented on how this model has been utilised to embed the digital-literacy characteristics of pilot programmes of study. Applying the model of embedding digital literacy to practice has presented implications on aspects of the curriculum design/delivery and quality assurance.


George specialises in technologies for learning, teaching, and assessment with a particular interest in digital literacy development and student analytics. Research interests include digital literacies/competences, curriculum development and quality assurance, student metrics/analytics and technology-enhanced assessment.

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This workshop will offer a hands-on opportunity to consider how playful and constructionist activities can be applied to curriculum design and development. Some of these activities will draw on principles outlined in my report for the HEA on innovative pedagogical practices while others are being used on an MA in Learning and Teaching module on curriculum design.  
The workshop will sketch out the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® approach and outline with practical activities how its principles can be adapted to higher education contexts. The session will also draw on literature and current initiatives concerning play in higher education and debunk the notion that the playful is incompatible with the serious, complex or challenging. Questions about, and examples from, participants’ own practices and contexts are welcomed.


Alison is Acting Director of Academic Quality and Development and Head of Learning and Teaching at the University of Winchester. She is former Associate Dean Learning & Teaching at the London College of Fashion and a Principal Fellow of the HEA in the UK. Her higher education career has focused on working with creative arts staff and students and, in May 2014, Alison was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. She has worked in creative arts education in a variety of guises, across all levels and many subjects – as educational and staff developer, researcher and policy maker and teacher.

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This workshop is informed by the principle that by its very nature, good assessment practice leads to an inclusive experience and to fewer individual accommodations. Conversely, it deduces that poor practice is very unlikely to be inclusive. In our session we’ll discuss practical and straightforward elements of effective assessment practice. Please bring with you an example or two of assessment descriptions. We’ll spend time discussing our audit tool and how to use it according to the needs and requirements of your module practice. To share ideas and suggestions, please bring your mobile devices.


Linda is an Academic Developer in Anglia Learning & Teaching at Anglia Ruskin University. Some areas of her work include developing guidance and resources for inclusive learning, teaching and assessment, leading on classroom management, and contributing to strategies for improved student retention and engagement. James is Academic Developer, Assessment, Anglia Learning & Teaching. Julian is Principal Lecturer in Academic Development, Faculty of Science & Technology.

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We must embed inclusive learning within our curriculum. Our project was based on the principles that social contact is one of best ways to challenge prejudice. By delving deeper into our teaching provision and challenging pre-conceptions of how students learn, we adopted a ‘Human Books’ concept where the learning resources aren't books but people. In partnership with students, a new ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ module has been developed. This student/staff-led interactive session will push boundaries so come along to be challenged as we encourage you to reflect on your human experiences and move beyond your own unconscious biases!


Sally is Deputy Dean (Quality and Student Experience) of our Business School and a Principal Fellow of the HEA. She is the chair of the Disability Working Group, co-lead of the Women’s Network and co-lead of the BME staff network which all promote equality and inclusion across our university. Steve McDonald is Director of Learning and Teaching, LAIBS. Katie is Equality, Diversion and Inclusion Manager. Grace is Students' Union Education Officer. 

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During this workshop, staff from Life Sciences will present a range of small initiatives that have been introduced to their learning and teaching practice over the past few years. Evidence will be provided to support how these ‘quick wins’ have improved student engagement, student retention and/or student grades. Elements of this workshop will be  interactive in nature, engaging you with generating your own ideas to take away and integrate into your own teaching practice.


Mat is a senior lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science. To support his teaching practice, Mat has obtained my PgCert(HE), SFHEA and MA Education. He is the course leader for the MSc Sport and Exercise Science and the Faculty Learning Lead for his department

Design Thinking is a methodology for innovation and complex problem solving. It is traditionally used by designers, but in recent years has been adopted by others who recognise its value not only for designing products, but also services, systems, procedures and organisations. Design Thinking makes use of visual thinking, non-verbal reasoning, ethnographic research methods, systems thinking and intuition. A key feature is that it seeks to deeply understand problems through genuine consultation with users and stakeholders, before attempting solutions. In their workshop, Michelle Fava and Beatriz Acevedo will be exploring what it would mean for universities to adopt the ethos of Design Thinking.


Michelle and Beatriz have been working collaboratively on a new 'Design Thinking' module, which applies methods traditionally associated with creative disciplines to 'designing' proposals for enterprise initiatives.


Parallel session 2 – 1.40–2.30

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Michelle will highlight the teaching and learning opportunities arising from collaboration between universities and museums. She will focus on an independent learning module which she's running in collaboration with Wisbech Museum and Cambridge County Council which she hopes to develop into a permanent module. Students visit the museum and town with Michelle and then develop a temporary exhibition for the following autumn based on any topic which falls within the broad remit of language and linguistics. The experience empowers students as subject experts and also encourages creativity as they apply their knowledge and skills to something new.


Michelle has been a Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at ARU since August 2015, before which she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge. In 2016 she became a Senior Fellow of the HEA and also has a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages.

A Hackathon is an event where a multidisciplinary team collaborate for an intense period of time to create something useable and tangible. Funded by a Learning and Teaching Project award, this Health Hackathon is the first event at our university where our electronic engineering and sport science students combined their expertise in movement science, physical therapy, coaching, designing human-machine interfaces, programming micro controllers, and installing sensors to hack a health problem. Specifically, they tackled challenges to make a difference in the way rehabilitation and physiotherapy could be provided in poor countries and, in particular, in crisis regions and war zones.


Domenico is the Director of the Sound and Game Engineering Research Group in CAT. Genevieve is the Director of the Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Science Research Group in FSE.

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With the advent of developments in assessment strategies and styles, a range of feedback approaches have started to become more prominent within the University. These range from the traditionally orientated written feedback through to less personal forms such as Grademark where standard phrases are used to facilitate the process. An alternative approach that has been successfully trialled for a number of years within Sport and Exercise Sciences is Audio Feedback. Using a system (Project Lighthouse) metrics will be presented to show how students engage with different forms of feedback and how this information is assimilated and fed-forward.


Dr Gordon is Course Leader for Sports Science and a Principal Lecturer in Exercise Physiology. He leads the Endurance Physiology Research Group in the Cambridge Centre for Sport & Exercise Sciences and has over 17 years’ experience as a lecturer in Higher Education.

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Students are becoming a more informed group, shaping their university choices and expectations through a range of resources. Many students are becoming more critical and less accepting of institutional sources, placing a greater reliance on social sources to shape their expectations of university life. This case study builds on Bordia, Bordia and Restubog’s (2015) model of the formation of the psychological contract through either institutional or social sources. The purpose of the research is to develop the space between the institutional and social sources through a communication between current and new students to improve transition to Anglia Ruskin University.


Natalie is a chartered accountant who worked in professional practice before entering academia in 2006. Natalie’s research interests are public sector finance and innovation and, through her role as Director of Postgraduate Courses, the construction of HE student identity and expectations and the impact on student experience, satisfaction and retention.

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This study explores how an undergraduate degree course in Human Resources Management at a UK Business School develops future HR professionals and leaders. Specifically, this research examines the pedagogic content of the course and how students develop a sustainable sense of self during their undergraduate education. The findings point to the importance of providing students with a platform to reflect on their own sense of self surrounding issues of sustainability. We propose that it is the role of education to not create a space where student ‘should’ be sustainable, rather that they want to be – equipping them with the skills to act sustainably and understand more about the personal and emotional attributes that require them to do so.


Caroline is a Lecturer at Henley Business School. Her research relates to creating healthy and productive workplaces through exploring the links between leadership and wellbeing in organisations. She investigates in particular how to manage executive stress, how to maintain authentic functioning at work, and the role of coaching for creating resilience for positive leadership.

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After many years of teaching ethics and responsible business, it is evident that without a clear personal engagement these ideas tend to be theoretical and abstract. This presentation concerns a proposal merging active learning, student engagement and art in education for sustainability in a project called RawTag. RawTag has two clear dimensions: it's an educational process, where the pedagogical event sparks discussions and transformations, and it has an artistic manifestation: in the pedagogical event and also in a material installation. RawTag has been exhibited in the Cambridge Sustainability Residency (2015) and also recently in Espacio Gallery (London). The next step for us is to use this approach in a core module on Responsible Business, where 250 students will get involved with the RawTag methodology while reflecting on social responsibility, ethics, and sustainable alternatives. Our presentation seeks to hear the audience opinion and suggestion on how this can be done.


Beatriz Acevedo is an artist and educator, university teaching fellow, HEA Principal Fellow, and co-director of Centre for Innovative Business Education. Beatriz is passionate about education for sustainability and has created projects such as the GoGreen Movement, the active learning module on STEP, and is trying to merge art with education. Carmen Lamberti is a multidisciplinary artist. Her artistic practice is influenced by Eco Aesthetics. Her art-based research and conceptual approach combines these practices to create natural environments that engage the perceptions of the material and the virtual. Currently she is doing a Masters degree on Art and Politics at Goldsmiths.

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This study reports on the first stage of a research project into the impact of a Pedagogic Research (PedRes) Directory in one UK Higher Education institution. The session aims to demonstrate how to build a directory to best serve the learning and teaching community, in the pursuit of capturing teaching excellence. The objectives are to get feedback on the development of the directory, open dialogue about how the resource can link to the TEF and REF environments and consult on next steps in carrying out the research.


Simon currently works with partner colleges on maximising their student success with a particular focus on ‘Good Degrees’. He is also working with academic colleagues from all faculties in developing our work in the field of Pedagogic Research across Anglia Ruskin. Mark is Research Fellow at Anglia Learning & Teaching. He carries out individual and collaborative research and/or evaluation projects that are relevant to the successful implementation of our Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Strategy.

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This presentation will report on the progress and adjustments made to digital teaching materials on the VLE during the course of the Inclusive Learning and Teaching Project ‘Making Learning Materials Accessible’ (MLMA). The rationale behind the MLMA Project was to meet our university’s growing digital accessibility agenda and, as far as possible, to reduce the increasing demands on colleagues’ workload to ensure that all of their already existing materials complied with accessible documents’ requirements. Therefore the original overall project aim was to make all learning, teaching and assessment materials available in accessible formats in the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences during 4–29 July 2016. Did we succeed in auditing and converting all Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Adobe PDF and other text and non-text files on the VLE? Come and find out! 


Dr Egle Dagilyte is the Director of Learning, Teaching and Assessment and Senior Lecturer in Law in the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences. Her research focuses on European Union Law and legal education. She is a Senior Fellow of the HEA, a Steering Group Member of the Legal Education Research Network and sits on the Executive Committee of the Association of Law Teachers. John Walsh is a Learning Technologist in the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences. He is a Fellow of the HEA and is particularly passionate about digital learning, accessible and inclusive design and sustainability.

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This short session presents the results of audits of learning materials and forms of assessment in the Faculty of Science & Technology. It highlights the most prevalent departures from inclusive/accessible practice and makes recommendations for 'quick wins' to improve inclusivity.


Julian works as an academic developer supporting staff in their teaching practice. His major areas of activity include assessment and feedback, student engagement and partnership, independent learning, and online learning design.

13 Visual communicaion: multimedia methods for engagement and active learning – Dr David Roberts

14 A new perspective: virtual reality in teaching, training and professional development – Paul Driver

15 Supporting our students towards a more responsible future – Victoria Tait

16 Active learning through TBL – Uwe Richter

Parallel session 3 – 2.45–3.45

17a Building an inclusive learning media lab – Dr Sally Everett, Marcus Hanwell, Steve McDonald and Mark Constable

17b Implementation and evaluation of letter-based grading system: a pilot – Dr Sebastian Rasinger

18a Students and lecturers as co-creators of enterprise in the race against job automation – Dr Lianne Taylor and Claire Johnson

18b Anglia Ruskin – an entrepreneurial university? A view from the Enterprise Academy – Marcia Baldry and Professor John Thompson

19a An evaluation of US and UK approaches to using a work placement portfolio – Sian Shaw

19b Early insights: understanding the value of the specialist practitioner qualification – Jane Young and Kellie Norris

20 Finding an authentic critical space: issues in supervising international doctoral students – Dr Zoe Bennett

21 Transitioning towards a digital campus – Dr Toby Carter and Dr Matthew Timmis

22 Your classroom management – Dr Linda Brown

23 Personalising educational technology: supporting accessibility and inclusivity – Dr Mark Kerrigan