2nd Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship Conference (#ESLTIS16)

Increased focus on the quality of higher education provision by employers, students, parents and the government is driving the sector to invest in more innovative and effective education practices

The second Enhancing Student Learning through Innovative Scholarship Conference (Twitter #ESLTIS16) will bring together leading education-focussed academics in the UK to take stock of the rapidly changing education landscape within the UK. The conference is being hosted by the Centre for Engineering Education at University College London, and will take place over two days, from Tuesday 28th to Wednesday 29th June.

The aim of the conference is to raise the profile of education-focussed academics within UK higher education by shining a spotlight on the innovative learning and teaching they undertake. The conference is therefore a forum to share innovative scholarship across disciplinary boundaries and to develop a national voice for education-focussed academics.

“This year’s conference comes at a very critical time for higher education,” said conference Co-Chair Dr Abel Nyamapfene, a Senior Teaching Fellow with the Faculty of Engineering Science, UCL. “Access to university education is no longer reserved for the academic elite, but for everyone. This notion is further reinforced by the recently published white paper on higher education entitled ‘Success as a knowledge economy: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice’, recent proposals for a regulatory body called the Office for Students, and the introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework.”

Over the next few years, higher education is expected to undergo profound changes as the Teaching Excellence Framework takes roots, and as more competition from the private sector is introduced. The profile of learning and teaching is now expected to grow rapidly so that in the near future it will be on par with research. There is now an expectation that all academics should have training in education, and throughout the sector, institutions are moving rapidly to appoint academics to education-focussed roles. Currently, education-focussed academics constitute around 25% of all academics at UK universities.  In addition to day to day teaching, education-focussed roles now include specialist education functions like programme management, curriculum design, and scholarship focused specifically on teaching and learning enhancement.

The conference will cover topics relevant to the promotion of quality student experience in higher education. This includes the following topics:

  • Driving the evolution of teaching at university;
  • Supporting the development of university-wide learning and teaching;
  • Defining scholarship and its role in the professional development of teaching focused staff;
  • Developing holistic assessment practice within departments, faculties, and within and across universities.

This year’s keynote speakers are Professor Dilly Fung, Director, UCL Centre for Advancing Learning and Teaching, and Professor Carol Evans, Professor in Higher Education, University of Southampton. Dilly will speak on “Scholarly leaders or second class citizens? Rewarding educators and education leaders in research-intensive universities,” and Carol will speak on “Developing and implementing holistic assessment practice.” Following Dilly’s keynote speech, Conference Founder and Co-Chair, Dr Sam Nolan, Assistant Director (Academic and Researcher Development) at the University of Durham, will lead a panel session on the education-focussed academic role in UK universities.

In addition, there will be a post-conference workshop to share ideas and insights into the National Teaching Fellow application process. Professor Carol Evans will convene this workshop. Carol is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), UK, and an Associate member of the HEA. She is also the international officer for the Committee of the Association of National Teaching Fellows (CANTF).

Additional Information Available on the Web

For more information on the conference, see the conference Web page at:

http://community.dur.ac.uk/teachingfocussed.academicconference/

For more information on the UCL Centre for Engineering Education, visit:

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/centre-for-engineering-education

To share conference discussion via Twitter, use the hashtag: #ESLTIS16

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