Friday, 23 November 2007

Learning development conference call

Learning Development - Who Needs It?

5th Annual Symposium of the Learning Development in Higher Education Network, Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th March 2008 at the University of Bradford

Keynote Speaker: Professor Ray Land
Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement at the University of Strathclyde. Ray’s research interests include the theory and practice of educational development, threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge, and theoretical aspects of digital learning.

The 2008 LDHEN Symposium
Since the establishment of this network 2003 the phrase ‘learning development’ has entered the vocabulary of UK Universities, and can now be seen in the names of services, in post titles, research projects and publications. This is at least in part due to the success of members of LDHEN in their various academic and strategic initiatives, including the establishment of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning “LearnHigher”.

The distinctive approach of those adopting the term ‘learning development’ revolves around concerns to demystify academic practices and to work alongside students in making sense of and getting the best from their learning. So we now ask the provocative question - does anyone ‘need’ learning development or learning developers? If so what is it that they really need? Students, university managers, academics and those outside HE are likely to have varying views about what this work should be. Notions such as study skills, personal tutoring, learning resources, mentoring and facilitation are all relevant – but this network has served to raise broader questions about how students learn - promoting inclusive, accessible and humane practices in teaching and assessment – and an HE culture which encourages students to take part in and be empowered by their learning experiences, rather than be subjected to them.

The ALDinHE Steering Group would like to invite presentations, workshops, round-table discussions and posters for the Symposium to reflect as many views as possible about the role of learning development activities in universities. We are offering 45 or 90 minute slots for presentations and workshops.

Abstracts of approx 250 words will be required by 15th January 2008. There will also be an opportunity for presenters submit papers for consideration for inclusion in the first refereed ALDinHE journal by 1st May 2008.

Full details about the 2008 Symposium, including registration fees, accommodation, session types and how to submit proposals will follow shortly - and will also be posted on the ALDinHE website WATCH THIS SPACE!

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After 18 years I am leaving my job at London Metropolitan University (nee Polytechnic of North London, UNL) to take up a post in Queen Mary University of London as Head of Academic Practice - hence the change of title of this blog (although not the address).

While still involved in the development of academic practice in the digital age and with a focus on the use of e-learning to develop academic practice I am no longer involved in e-learning policy (with some relief!). This change in focus will be seen in this blog.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007