Forthcoming Learning & Teaching Conferences

Nov_17_Forthcoming Learning and Teaching Conferences

The list of conferences related to the student experience and learning and teaching in HE, has been updated for the coming year. Information in the listing gives deadlines for proposals for papers where relevant as well as link to conference webpage.


Share and Inspire Seminars Semester 1, 2017/18

Share and Inspire seminars for the next period are aimed at generating discussion and sharing practice in relation to issues of academic practice that we know are challenging to colleagues.

Research inspired teaching and employability are key considerations for any undergraduate or postgraduate curriculum – but how can they be related to provide effective learning?  This session will explore examples and identify ways in which students can develop employability through developing research sills and understanding.

Strategies for engaging student pre-entry
This share and inspire workshop aims to interactively explore a range of strategies used to engage students prior to formally starting their University studies. It will consider strategies used from initial interest in studying at the University and following the offer of a conditional/unconditional place.

Sharing Best Practice in Doctoral Supervision
This Share & Inspire session will share best practice in doctoral level supervision through a series of short talks from experienced supervisors across Institutes.

Further details below.  Please book through the University Staff Development pages.

Subject Date and time
Research Inspired Teaching 

An exploration of ways of enriched student learning and enhancing their employability skills by engaging them with the challenges and excitement of research.

Monday 4 December 2017

12.30 pm to 2.00 pm

Strategies for engaging student pre-entry

This Share and Inspire workshop aims to interactively explore a range of strategies used to engage students prior to formally starting their University studies. It will consider strategies used from initial interest in studying at the University and following the offer of a conditional/unconditional place. It will focus on the use of Taster events and summer/winter schools and how these can introduce students to learning and teaching in Higher Education.  Furthermore, the role of social media as a tool for communicating with applicants will be explored, including its role in allowing important information to be circulated to students, but also facilitating students to get to know each other. These pre-course strategies can provide students with effective support and equip them with the skills and capabilities to be successful in Higher Education, as well as having a positive impact on attrition during the first year.  A case study approach, using BSc Nursing as an example, will be utilised and will review experiences from both the academic and student perspective, with opportunities for participants to critically reflect on the application of these or similar strategies to their own subject area.

Tuesday 9 January 2018

12.30 pm to 2.00 pm

Sharing Best Practice in Doctoral Supervision

This Share & Inspire session will share best practice in doctoral level supervision through a series of short talks from experienced supervisors across Institutes. Talks will focus on: the transforming early PhD proposals, supporting students in developing philosophical foundations for doctoral study, inter-institute supervision, working in supervisory teams, and the role of coaching as an alternative model of doctoral supervision. The session will also highlight some of the developments in the research supervisor training programme at University of Worcester. This session is particularly relevant for colleagues currently supervising doctoral students, or those who may become engaged with doctoral level supervision in the near future.

24th April 2018

12.30 pm to 2.00 pm

Realising Teaching Excellence in Teacher Training

The fifteen PGCE Modern Languages trainee teachers at the University of Worcester have made a great start to the teacher training course. On 29th September 2017, they celebrated the European Day of Languages at the Lacon Childe School in Cleobury Mortimer by teaching French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish to Year 9 pupils. Lessons focused on aspects of culture. Pupils found out about the Oktoberfest in Munich, the festival of lights in Lyon, the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, Italian landmarks, Brazilian and Spanish food and how All Saints Day is celebrated in Mexico.

Trainee teachers team-taught the same lesson three times so that all the year 9 groups could experience learning about six different aspects of culture. It was for some trainee teachers their first teaching experience in England, either because they are native speakers or because they taught in France, Germany or Spain on their year abroad. The initiative gave them the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the English education system before the start of the school placement. It gave them an insight into the importance of working collaboratively with each other, building effective working relationships with pupils and contextualising their teaching to engage pupils.

Here is what some trainee teachers said:


‘I really enjoyed my day at Lacon Childe. I felt that the lessons we taught went really well overall and I really enjoyed creating a rapport with the pupils.  l can see just how much I have learned in only three weeks.’


‘This week I gained confidence through teaching at Lacon Childe and learnt a lot about the school system and teaching in general. It was a great introduction to teaching and I now feel more confident to start placement one. As a group I feel that we delivered the lesson to the best of our ability.’


‘I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the 4 groups of Year 9 today and I found that when I started teaching I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm and passion for languages which I hope I managed to convey to the students. It was one of the best days of the course for me so far and gave me yet another opportunity to realise how much I will love a career in teaching.’

Isabelle Schafer

Modern Languages PGCE Subject Tutor, Institute of Education



Student information and study skills; a learner journey from pre-entry to level 6 – what can we expect and how do we support students in completing the journey to independence?

This is a report of a project undertaken by Dr Sarah Pittaway from Library Services.  She explores:

  • What is reasonable to expect of level 4 students in terms of study skills when they arrive at University?  The project found that there are wide variations in expectations of the study skills of students before they come to University:  ‘students lack basic academic writing skills’ vs ‘students are expected to have a basic understanding of academic writing’; ‘student lack research skills, including searching for material’ and ‘students are expected to be reasonably internet savvy and able to search’.
  • What study skills are students expected to develop through level 4 and what are the most effective ways of developing this? Some courses focus on textbooks, others on Resource Lists, there is variation in introducing journal articles and making this explicit in marking matrices.
  • What should we expect of students at level 5 in terms of referencing?  Should they be more or less ‘perfect’?
  • General agreement that at level 6, students should demonstrate ‘independence’ but some students struggle with this.  How can independence be taught and facilitated?

Read the full report

Bronze, Silver or Gold – how’s your Blackboard site looking?


Baseline standards for VLE use were introduced in September 2015 and an audit of modules from the 2016/17 academic year has found that 94% of modules now have a tutor enrolled indicating a minimum level of engagement with the VLE. An increase of 2% from last year.

A further spot check of 50 random courses found that the vast majority were complying with baseline standard requirements with many exceeding the minimum and providing online learning resources and activities which were engaging and attractive and clearly enhanced the students’ learning experience.

With this high level of engagement, we wanted to encourage teaching staff to think about their Blackboard sites and  consider ways that they might provide a better learning experience for their students.

With this in mind we have designed a self-audit tool which staff can use to appraise their own use of Blackboard in line with the baseline standards, and we have used the bronze, silver and gold categories to mirror the TEF.

You can access the Blackboard Module Self Audit but if you would like us to come and talk to your course team and provide some examples of “gold” standard sites we would be happy to attend a team meeting or provide a bespoke workshop. Please contact to arrange.

New National Teaching Fellow

Many congratulations to Lerverne Barber, Deputy Head of the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, who has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship.

Having had a very successful career as a Secondary Physical Education teacher and Physical Education Adviser/Inspector, Lerverne Barber joined the University of Worcester in 2004 as a Lecturer in the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science. Lerverne’s passion for inclusive learning and teaching and her extensive experience and subject expertise, ensured that she was quickly promoted to Course Leader and then Principal Lecturer, for Learning, Teaching and the Student Experience.

Read the full news story about Lerverne via

HEPI/Unite Students Reality Check report published today

Results from a survey carried out by HEPI/Unite examining university applicants’ attitudes and perceptions have just been published. This is a new survey looking at how young people applying to university for the first time think about the upcoming transition to life as a student.

Headline outcomes are as follows:

  • For over one-third of applicants (36%), the university open day is one of the main reasons for choosing a particular institution
  • Almost three quarters (72%) rated a TEF Gold rating as important, with just over a quarter (27%) of all applicants rating it as very important
  • More than half of applicants (53%) expect that there will be more support for mental health issues at university than is available at school
  • 78% of applicants expect more financial advice from university than they received at school
  • In comparison to their school experience, two thirds (66%) of applicants expect more group work
  • More than half (60%) expect to spend more time in lectures than in their school classroom
  • Almost half of those surveyed (46%) believe that there will be more one-to-one academic support available at university, compared to their experience at school

The report is available at  There are some interesting examples of how universities are addressing these issues, including providing pre-arrival support for disabilities and mental health issues, and promoting the idea of the ‘Sticky Campus’ which is of particular benefit for commuter students; UK universities implementing the sticky campus concept include Abertay University, the University of Manchester and Staffordshire University.

How sticky do you think our campus is and what can we do to make it stickier?!