Author Archives: daphneloads

Learning with Lego

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 […]

Innovation! Innovation! Innovation!

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 […]

What do academic developers do?

creativecommons.wikimedia   I’ve been an academic developer for several years now and friends and family still ask What is it you do again? I usually say that I help university lecturers to improve their learning and teaching. But “develop” is such a slippery word. What exactly does it mean? A colleague and I recently posed […]


Daphne Loads Last month I had the privilege of participating in the biennial conference of the International Confederation for Educational Development in the beautiful city of Stockholm. ICED 2014 brought together 627 delegates representing 23 national organisations of educational developers from all over the world. Our hosts were SWEDNET, the Swedish network and we […]

Students’ journeys start before they arrive at Uni

Frances Parry and Alli Coyle (IAD) We attended the Student Recruitment and Admissions (SRA) PG student admission event on Friday 4th July . The on-campus event was for PG applicants or offer -holders for academic year 20014/15. It was only the 2nd time this event had run, but in response to feedback this year students […]

PTAS Learning and Teaching Forum 2014

Toby Bailey – Director of Teaching, School of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh I spent an instructive day last week at the 2014 PTAS Forum; I was expecting to hear about co-creation because everyone is talking about it, but I was surprised when the notorious comedian Roy “Chubby” Brown entered the discussion (more on that later). […]

David Hampton on winning the EUSA Best Course Award 2013-14

So I have been asked to write a short piece about winning the EUSA Best Course Award. Firstly I should say that I never contemplated any award as you could tell with the ‘short’ title of “Stem Cells, Neurodegenerative Diseases and Models”. I’m worried that it not only cost a fair chunk of university funds […]

Public engagement and university teaching

Heather Rea What does public engagement have to do with university teaching ? pub·lic  /ˈpəblik/ Adjective Of or concerning the people as a whole. Noun Ordinary people in general; the community. en·gage  /enˈgāj/ Verb 1)      Occupy, attract, or involve (someone’s interest or attention). 2)      Cause someone to become involved in (a conversation or discussion). In […]

Transforming university teaching?

Daphne Loads  How can university teaching be transformed?  What is the role of universities in transforming an unequal society?  I’ve just finished reading a book that faces up to both of these tough questions: “Re-imagining academic staff development: spaces for disruption,” edited by Lynn Quinn.  As an academic developer I have responsibility for helping lecturers […]