Lego bricks are a constant presence in my life.  I’ve nurtured a love for Lego bricks in my kids and live with the consequences!  Lego bricks and creations litter my home; Christmases and birthdays involve hours of constructing models; on rainy weekends, hours are spent building.  And in the last year I’ve also started using Lego in […]

Recently I took part in an unusual event at Queen Margaret University that drew on Open Space Technology.  Despite the name, this is a delightfully low-tech approach that draws on the potential for groups of motivated people to organise themselves around a meaningful theme.  It usually starts with an open invitation from the facilitator to […]

How do we make higher education meaningful?  And how do we ensure that our graduates have the life skills that are so important to prospective employers?  For Scott Wurdinger the best way to do this is through experiential learning, and he was kind enough to come to the University of Edinburgh earlier this month to […]

In universities, we often think about equality and diversity at a relatively high level, for example university policy (at Edinburgh, the ‘Equality and Diversity Strategy’, and the ‘Accessible and Inclusive Learning Policy’ or departmental or School codes of practice, which are usually implemented by senior teaching teams.  Diversifying the curriculum has been highlighted as a […]

A student (we shall call him Homer) emailed me a few weeks ago saying that he had not attended my lecture and was watching the video but could not make out what I had said between minutes 37 and 40. Could I please tell him? I was perturbed for quite a few reasons, one of […]

One of my favourite New Yorker cartoons shows two disgruntled-looking dogs walking along the road. One says to the other “It’s always, ‘Sit!’ ‘Stay!’ ‘Heel!’ – Never ‘think’, ‘innovate,’ ‘be yourself.’” Unlike the New Yorker dogs, university teachers are constantly being urged to innovate, innovate, innovate, but this often makes us feel equally disgruntled. We […]

As teachers and learners we know that the human brain is a wonderful thing, but many of us are a bit vague about how it actually works. So it was great to have the opportunity to spend a whole day in the company of Patricia Riddell, Professor of Applied Neuroscience at the University of Reading.  […]

Over the past couple of years, we’ve been involved in organising a reading group for colleagues here at the University of Edinburgh who are interested in assessment and feedback.  The reading group was developed to critique literature and to think about new ideas that could be applied in our settings at the University.  And it’s […]

Here at the University of Edinburgh we’re always keen to learn about what works well in teaching and to use this knowledge and understanding to inform our own practice.  Increasingly, the Schools are opening up new spaces to discuss teaching and to provide opportunities to learn from leaders in the field.  One such initiative is […]

This post first appeared as part of the Pubs and Publications blog site in the College for Humanities and Social Sciences and is reprinted with their permission.  You can find the original post here. For the past eighteen months, I’ve been working in the Institute for Academic Development as part of a team supporting tutors […]