Thursday, 9 January 2020

Fwd: Free workshop to improve the engagement and success of commuter students

Edge Hill University, in collaboration with the National Union of Students, is pleased to offer a free workshop for higher education providers and students' unions to utilise research evidence about developing a whole institution approach to improving commuter student engagement and success.  This will take place in central London on Friday 27th March 2020.
  • The workshop is intended for teams of staff and students (made up of between two and five members), and priority will be given to carefully selected teams if places are limited.
  • Participants will be sent pre-workshop materials and will be expected to have undertaken a review of data, evidence and activities prior to attending the workshop.
  • The workshop will focus on using the research evidence to develop interventions, including cultural and structural changes, and to plan how to evaluate them.
  • Post-workshop materials will be provided to support the on-going work and evaluation.
  • Participants are requested to provide feedback on the progress and impact of their work up to three times via an on-line survey, email or a phone call.

The anticipated outcomes are that by the end of the workshop each team will have:

  • Reviewed their institution's strengths and weaknesses with regards to commuter student engagement;
  • Assessed their institution's progress towards a whole institution approach to improving commuter student engagement and success;
  • Identified priorities to improve commuter student engagement and success;
  • Developed evidence-informed interventions, approaches or strategies to enhance the engagement and success of commuter students, and contribute to a whole institution approach; and
  • Planned the evaluation strategy (based on theory of change and logic chains, identifying intermediate and longer-term impact) that can be used to evaluate the impact of the intervention.

After the workshop institutional teams are expected to implement and evaluate their interventions, approaches or strategies, and share their experiences and impact with Edge Hill University.

For more information please contact Liz Thomas

Professor Liz Thomas
Faculty of Education
Edge Hill University

Thomas, L. (2019) I am just happy doing the work... Commuter student engagement in the wider higher education experience. Higher Education Quarterly (online)DOI: 10.1111/hequ.12243

Fwd: UP North 2020 - Call for Proposals

A opportunity for those working in Northern Higher Education Institutions, in a variety of roles, to share and explore innovations and developments in Learning and Teaching. The keynote is by Dr Fiona Smart from Edinburgh Napier University entitled, Beyond the metrics,: identifying, evidencing and enhancing the less tangible assets of higher education.


This year, the theme is The Responsible University. Proposals are invited based around learning, teaching, assessment or student engagement in relation to one or more of the sub-themes below (further details are available via the website).

  • Social Innovation
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • Education for Sustainable Development


We are interested in individual and collaborative proposals from students, academics, professional managerial staff, and academic support. Collaborative activities between universities and communities or businesses are also welcomed.


Detailed information and guidance about the submission process and formats is available at   


The deadline for proposals is Sunday 23rd February 2020 at 17:00.



Mark Dransfield, Senior Lecturer in Academic Practice, York St John University,
Direct Line: 01904 876271


Fwd: Save the date: 3-4 June 2020 for the ucisa Spotlight on Digital Capabilities conference


Title:     DCG-DEG Spotlight on Digital Capabilities 2020

Date:     Wednesday 3 June – Thursday 4 June 2020 

Venue:  Birmingham Conference and Events Centre


After the success of ucisa DCG Spotlight 5, we are delighted to announce the Digital Capabilities Group (DCG) will be collaborating with the Digital Education Group (DEG) again to organise this year's event.

It will take place on 3 – 4 June at the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre, just a few steps from New Street Station, in Birmingham.


If you weren't able to attend the 2019 event, here's what some of our delegates said:


'I wasn't sure what to expect and it was a smaller conference than others I have attended (in terms of numbers of delegates and sessions). This worked very well and allowed for much better networking and less FOMO.'


'Really good. Packed with relevant, interesting sessions. A really worthwhile 2 days.'


'[I] met lots of people from different types of support areas in a Uni -usually I just meet people in similar job to mine.'


'Being able to hear what other institutions are doing to help develop digital capabilities'



This year, we'll be focussing on student skills development. We will be encouraging student participation and presentations.

We would like to invite contributions for plenary speakers and parallel sessions from a wide range of roles e.g. academic staff, academic development professionals, learning technologists, IT trainers, Library and other professional services. 

A call for papers will be sent out shortly, with theme and session details. We had a fantastic response to last year's call and are looking forward to hearing about the great work of our community. 


We'll provide full details on the call for papers, programme and booking arrangements in due course.


Twitter hashtag for the event is #udigcap. 


We look forward to seeing you in June!


Best wishes,


DCG/DEG Conference Committee



t: 01235 980120




ucisa, Lumen House, Library Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Didcot, OX11 0SG




Fwd: Research led teaching conference




Research-led teaching: Defining and celebrating a tradition


Are research and teaching conflicting priorities?


Research-led teaching (RLT) is supposedly definitional of higher education, and yet research and teaching are often treated as conflicting demands upon staff time.  How can we pursue these practices in an integrated and authentic way?  How can we explain to senior managers, prospective students and their parents – and actual students – what the value of RLT is for learners and teachers alike?


Featuring speakers from Kent and further afield (China, Australia, Wales) this conference will equip attendees to develop and articulate research-led teaching in their professional practice.


Attendance is free.  You are welcome to come for all or part of the day.  Please sign up by Friday 31 January to indicate which aspects of hospitality you are likely to require (tea breaks, lunch, closing reception) so that we have a reasonable sense of numbers for catering purposes.  (However, if you make a last-minute decision to attend, that's fine.)  You can also attend the event remotely.  Please email if you wish to do so.



  • Date: Wednesday 26 February (week 19/reading week at Kent)
  • Time: 10:00-17:00
    • 10:00-13:00 in Keynes Lecture Theatre 2
    • 14:00-17:00 in Grimond Lecture Theatre 3
    • lunch in Aphra Foyer 13:00-14:00
  • Details: check the conference website for the latest news and details/timings of papers so you can drop in and out


We look forward to seeing you there.


Prof Charlotte Sleigh & Dr Julia Hope (conference organisers)



Twitter: @resledteach




Sent from Mail for Windows 10



Monday, 6 January 2020

Fwd: 14 Jan Puzzle of Positive Motivation Event

Connect Event Series: Face-to-Face Event

The Puzzle of Positive Motivation

The difference between doing something and doing something well is often down to a peculiar human quality called motivation. Sometimes it actually influences whether or not we do something at all, and for teams, projects and organisations it can be nothing less than the breakpoint between success and failure.  

But what is it?  What is this hidden energy and how does it work?  And, more specifically, how does it work and manifest itself in the context of higher education? Ahead of the event, read our blog 'How do we get people engaged?'.

Date: 14 Jan 2020, Hotel Novotel, Bristol

Time: 10am - 4pm GMT

During this one-day event, we will survey our own motivations, share insights, hear from experienced colleagues contrasting stories of motivation and engagement, consider the facets of higher education, both ancient and modern, that influence how motivation works, review some established and emerging thinking, play with giant carrots, and work together creatively to develop our own models of motivation to help unlock this vexing puzzle.

Our speakers include:

  • Paul Blackmore, Professor of Higher Education, The Policy Institute, King's College London
  • Shraddha ChaudharyCommunications and Engagement Officer, University of Exeter
  • Jim Longhurst, Professor of Environmental Science and Assistant Vice - Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability at UWE, Bristol.

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