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 […]

Mystery-Mastery

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 http://www.iced2014.se/ 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 […]