Learning and Teaching Conference 2021

Summer 2021 Learning and Teaching Conference - 
Lessons learnt: the future of blended learning and student engagement   

This year’s virtual Learning and Teaching Summer Conference was held virtually on Thursday 24th June 2021via Blackboard Collaborate. Around 140 delegates attended. It focused on the positive lessons staff and students have learnt since the pandemic started, from a learning and teaching perspective. The “blended learning” model has been around in Higher Education for a while, but has been drastically revisited to cater for more remote learning since March 2020. The “online” or “digital” dimension of students’ engagement has been highly developed, and teaching staff have adapted the support they provide.  

It has been a learning curve for all of us, but this chaotic period has allowed us to develop successful innovations that now need to be cemented in our future practices. The conference encouraged staff who teach or support learning, and their students, to take a step back, reflect on and evaluate changes they have put in place, and determine if these practices could be taken forward, sometimes with some refinement, once campuses have fully re-opened to us all.  

Louisa Dale, from Jisc, was our keynote speaker.  Louisa facilitated Learning and Teaching Reimagined, a Covid-19 response support programme for university leaders, which engaged over 1000 contributions, shaping a vision and roadmap for technology-enhanced learning and teaching for UK universities.Before the pandemic, Louisa was Director of Insight at Jisc, ensuring the organisation respond to members and customer needs. Louisa brings nearly twenty years’ experience in a variety of roles advocating for the transformative power of technology in the education and research sectors. 

Her presentation was titled “Seven ways to power digital transformation in learning and teaching in 2021/2", and is available to watch here. In this session Louisa introduced the work and findings of this sector-wide initiative, and explored some emerging trends and technologies which Jisc experts believe will influence learning and teaching in the coming decade.

Other recordings from the conference are available below:

Welcome and introductions - Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Helen James OBE, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

‘There's a real world out there!: The challenges and opportunities of delivering Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in blended learning contexts' - Adriana Consorte-McCrea and Nicola Kemp (Sustainability Team)


 Breakout Room 1: 

1) 'A student-led evaluation of flipped learning: developing ‘cooperative blended learning’ to build relationships and enhance learning and engagement in Politics.'- Dr Susan Kenyon; Joe Inge (Level 5 Politics student)

2) 'Boost student success in 20 minutes' - Jodie Calleja, Claudia España

3) 'Undergraduate and postgraduate student and staff perspective on audio feedback as a tool of summative feedback in one School.' - Dr Chris Harvey, Dr Gemma van Vuuren Cassar

4) 'Partnership working to support dissertation students during the pandemic: A case study of work with Theology and Religion, Philosophy and Ethics students' - Michelle Crowther, Dr Maria Diemling, Dr Gaynor Williams; Ruby Coles & Jay Dacombe (Student Representatives)

5) '(Re-) Evaluating the role of digital technologies in democratizing seminar discussion and developing students’ critical thinking.' - Mr Finley Lawson

6) 'Understanding CCCU students’ university experience under Covid' - Kate Little, Dan Bichener (CCSU)


 Breakout Room 2: 

1) 'The future of take-home exams' - Dr Cécile Hatier

2) 'Embedding academic and information literacies through the BA Primary Education degree' - Rebecca Austin, Catherine Sherwood, Silvina Bishopp-Martin

3) 'Teaching Sustainability in a virtual world: Connecting with the University' - Dr Poh Yen Ng, Dr Peter Rands

4) 'Co-Creation of a Virtual Placement: Bridging the Gap to Leadership' - Helen Carr, Mary Makinde, Sarah Jane Ryan, Channine Clarke; Emmanuel Alli & Ibrahim Fofanah (Y3 Physiotherapy students)

5) 'Inclusive online and blended learning' - Dr John-Paul Riordan

6) 'Recreating the Foundation Year Community Online' - Dr Martin Watts, Dr Rob McPherson, Dr Simon Prince; Alex Dadd & Dan Mitchell (FY Students)


Previous Learning and Teaching Conferences

Summer 2018Summer 2019, Summer 2020


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Last edited: 31/03/2022 12:27:00