Registration now open

The 13th Annual University of Glasgow Learning & Teaching Conference will take place over three days:

  • a morning symposium (inc. lunch) in the Senate Room on Thursday 13 February
  • a full-length day with parallel sessions on Wednesday 1 April
  • a morning symposium (inc. lunch) in the Senate Room on Wednesday 10 June

Advance registration is now open so that you can secure your place on all three dates.

The programme for our first date is detailed below.

Our call for lightning talks and posters for the full day in April will follow shortly, as will our detailed programme for the April and June dates. Please register now for all days that you wish to attend. Registration is free for University of Glasgow staff, as well as staff from validated institutions.

If you have any questions, get in touch on 

Conference theme: 'Transforming Learning & Teaching'

This theme will allow us to consider submissions on a broad range of aspects of learning and teaching, while retaining a focus on developments that drive forward the attainment and the experience of our students as our learning and teaching spaces become more flexible, our student expectations continue to evolve, and the World Changing Glasgow Transformation project on assessment and feedback progresses. 

We will have five sub-themes:

  • Using Technology to Transform Learning and Teaching
  • Assessment and Feedback
  • Using Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) to Transform Learning and Teaching
  • Inclusivity and Internationalisation
  • Active Learning

Waim to showcase the most effective enhancements implemented across the University (or beyond) that address such issues: that transform learning and teaching. 

Programme Thu 13 Feb (Sub-theme: Inclusivity and Internationalisation)

TimeSpeaker(s)Session details
09:30 - 10:00

Prof. Stephany Biello

Dean L&T, College of Science & Engineering; co-lead on Accessible & Inclusive Learning Policy (AILP)

Opening talk
10:00 - 10:30 Cameron Graham & Gayle Pringle-Barnes

Evidencing effective and engaging strategies for group work

This paper reflects on a project in which staff and students worked together to develop video resources on effective and engaging group work practices. Group work is used increasingly in university study (Adelopo et al, 2017) and can offer opportunities for improved learning (Curşeu and Pluut, 2013). However, the introduction of group work activities can also bring challenges, and can be a source of stress for some students (Elliot and Reynolds, 2014). We therefore aimed to explore student experiences of group work and to develop resources that utilised the expertise and experience of a student group to promote inclusive strategies. The project was supported by the University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Development Fund.

We will report on key findings from a survey of 550+ undergraduate and postgraduate students, identifying key challenges and strategies students associate with group work. These include concerns about equal contribution and participation of group members, communication strategies and a perceived lack of guidance on effective group work. We will then discuss how we worked with four PGT students to use these findings and the students’ expertise to produce a series of short videos addressing key issues such as collaboration, team roles and inclusivity.

During the session we will reflect on our experiences of working collaboratively to deliver a short-term project. We will also discuss the outcome of the project and consider further activity that could support both students and teaching staff with inclusive approaches to group work.

10:30 - 11:00 Chiara Horlin, Maria Gardani & Emily Nordmann

Don’t need to ask, don’t need to tell; mainstreaming inclusive teaching and wellbeing strategies

As teaching staff and advisors, we are often approached by students seeking support for personal situations outwith their primary academic activities. There is a five-fold increase in the number of students disclosing a mental health condition (since 2005/6) leading to an increase of 94% in demand of counselling services (Thorley, 2017). Supporting student mental health and wellbeing is necessarily receiving increasing focus in higher education and supporting students to thrive and succeed within and beyond the learning environment is a key focus of the University’s Mental Health Action Plan, and Learning and Teaching Strategy.

To support over-burdened formal services, staff from the School of Psychology will discuss strategies to facilitate the recognition of students at risk, and proactive initiatives to create supportive and enabling communities and curriculum. Drawing from our work on this matter we will open the discussion to issues affecting students who may or may not disclose mental health concerns, students who may or may not disclose diagnosis or self-identification with neurodiversity, and LGBTQ+ students at all stages of the coming out process (and not limited to).

11:00 - 11:30 Geethanjali Selvaretnam & Wenya Cheng

Two-nation group formations to enhance cross-national interaction to enhance learning experience 

Western universities have increasingly large cohorts of international students in addition to the large number of local students. This can enrich the learning experience as well as cause some challenges. The purpose of this research is to investigate how class rooms with students of different nationalities affect learning, interaction, benefits and challenges.

There is a lot of literature discussing the non-interaction between foreign students and local students. In a world where cross-national interactions are becoming quite important in all types of careers, it is important that our students develop such skills. From an education point of view, student interaction is known to improve learning.We wanted to investigate the effectiveness of an intervention on learning, specifically designed to promote cross-national interaction.

Specifically, we wish to investigate the experience of working in a small group of four which has students from two countries. The students worked on a group project over a long period of 8 weeks to give them sufficient time to develop relationships and interact. Then they were asked to answer some reflective questions about this group experience after submitting the group project. These answers will be analysed to provide some insight. The findings will be useful for us to take steps to enhance students’ learning experience in an increasingly international class environment.

11:30 - 12:00 Coffee & networking
12:00 - 12:30 Adam Donnelly 

Intercultural disagreement and inclusive knowledge construction: a case study of seminar discussions

Higher education (HE) is a diverse, international arena where students are expected to engage with peers and staff from a range of linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Spoken interaction is of particular significance here, not least because speech events such as seminar discussions serve a core pedagogic function in HE. In these settings, the co-construction of knowledge is particularly privileged as students are expected to negotiate meaning through complex exchanges (Aguilar, 2016). Indeed, collaborative knowledge building is widely regarded as a cornerstone of academic discourse and an important vehicle for learning enhancement (Hyland and Shaw, 2016).

In the process of shared knowledge making, the expression of disagreement is highlighted as a central feature of academic discussions; speakers challenge, refute and enthusiastically debate problems, theories and content in the pursuit of shared understandings (Basturkmen, 2002; 2016). Given the widespread recognition that values surrounding appropriate discussion behaviours, and particularly how disagreement is expressed and managed, differ considerably across cultures, an important challenge exists for all L&T stakeholders to foster an environment which recognises and values the complex breadth of culturally-informed interaction orientations at play in the modern international university. Tellingly, students who naturally adopt interactional behaviours characterised by avoidance-based, face-saving tendencies, typical of many spoken cultures outside the western discursive norm, are often negatively evaluated by both peers and instructors and are potentially excluded from important routes to learning enhancement (Nakane, 2006). The need for enhanced intercultural awareness in HE and a truly inclusive approach to L&T provision is, therefore, pressing.

This talk reports a substantive SoTL project investigating the interactional tendencies of international students during seminar discussions, with particular focus on the management of disagreement as a route to enhanced learning, exploring the impact of SoTL activity on teaching, and illuminating the cultural dimension of inclusive L&T practice.(References supplied) 

12:30 - 13:00 Susan Finlay & Jennifer MacDougall

What about Watt? Engaging transnational Engineering students through an English-language project

Our project took place in Glasgow College, UESTC (China), where the James Watt School of Engineering delivers a joint undergraduate programme. We are involved in transforming the credit-bearing English-language provision, delivered to first and second year students, to create learning that is more fully aligned with the needs of transnational Engineering students. The James Watt bi-centenary events in 2019 led us to consider how to incorporate this into learning and teaching.

We wanted to offer our students the opportunity to develop the graduate attributes of effective communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills while building confidence and the ability to work independently and in teams. We hoped to provide innovative English-language project-based learning and help our Chinese students identify with and feel included in the University of Glasgow learning community.

Classroom input focussed on learning about Watt’s life and achievements through authentic written and multi-media content. The student output, including poster presentations, other written materials, and videos, was showcased in a student-led event. Students collaborated with teachers to form a committee, making joint decisions on the design and organisation of this showcase event. They produced all marketing material in English, promoting the event through social media.

At the event, as the teachers took a back seat, the students both hosted and took part. Student volunteers ran the event, including delivering the opening and closing addresses. Participants presented their posters and videos, and evaluated the work of their peers.

Our presentation will focus on partnership working between students and teachers and the transformative potential of student involvement. We consider how engaging students in the co-creation and evaluation of the learning experience might provide opportunities to develop graduate attributes and meet the University of Glasgow’s learning and teaching strategy through democratising the curriculum. 

13:00 - 13:30 Sophie Mason & Neeraj Bhardwaj

Accessibility and Inclusivity by Design: Where we came from, and where we are now 

In the Digital Education Unit we have been focussed on digital accessibility over the last year. Since the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 have come into effect we have been working towards ensuring that all our online programmes are fully accessible while still remaining engaging.

In this presentation we will describe how the Digital Education Unit has incorporated accessibility into the design of the programmes and what tools and techniques we have employed. We will also demonstrate some of the lessons learned along the way and give an idea of what we believe can still be done better.

13:30 - 14:30 Lunch & networking

Sub-theme explanations

1. Inclusivity and Internationalisation

With an increasingly diverse student population, it is important for us to be as accessible and inclusive as possible. Rather than merely being reactive to accommodation when the need arises, we are particularly interested in proposals discussing proactive initiatives to make learning, teaching, and assessment accessible and inclusive to all.

2. Using Technology to Transform Learning and Teaching

Technology is ubiquitous in learning and teaching. Now, more than ever before, learning technologies are enabling new forms of communication and interactivity regardless of location. They allow online-only students to participate in full Programmes of study, and they also allow staff on campus-based courses to redesign their teaching where relevant in the interests of authenticity of assessment and application of knowledge.

We are interested in receiving proposals in the successful deployment of learning technologies to support and enhance students’ and or staff learning, being cognisant of the challenges as well as benefits that this can bring. 

3. Assessment and feedback

We are interested in proposals that will show how approaches to assessment and feedback reflect any changing approaches to teaching and facilitating learning. This might include moves towards formative and summative assessment tasks that are more meaningful, wherever this has been identified as an opportunity for improvement

4. Active Learning

At previous conferences, we have heard from a diverse selection of keynote speakers about the ways in which active and blended approaches have improved outcomes for their students. As we continue to build and refurbish our campus-based teaching spaces, staff are able to make more flexible use of contact time with their classes.

We are interested in submissions related to successful (or unsuccessful!) teaching and assessment designs that incorporate an element of active learning - whether in a new teaching space or not.

5. Using the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) to Transform Learning and Teaching

Whilst many teaching developments come organically from a need identified within a course, the field of published educational scholarship provides a rich evidence base of innovations and their evaluations from which to draw inspiration. Such evaluations might relate to a broad variety of outcomes: attainment, satisfaction, retention, inclusion, etc. As an increasing number of Glasgow staff engage in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), publication of the work conducted here increases the visibility and the reputation of Glasgow as a centre of excellence in the HE sector.

We welcome abstracts that showcase the use of scholarly interventions related to teaching, learning and assessment and the accompanying evaluation of their effectiveness.

Selection Criteria


  • The proposal aligns with the title and themes of the Conference.
  • The work is sufficiently accessible and interesting to a wide audience.
  • The proposal links to the University's Learning and Teaching Strategy (not applicable to external contributions).
  • The proposal demonstrates how students have been or will be engaged in preparing for or delivering the presentation or workshop, or in the development, running or evaluation of the project being presented.
  • The work can be clearly and effectively presented in the allocated time.
  • The authors of this work have thought about how they will engage participants.
  • The outcomes proposed in the presentation/workshop seem realistically achievable within the scope of one presentation (20 mins + 10 mins for questions) or one workshop (60 mins)