Female student studying in the library

#LTConf20 13th Annual
University of Glasgow
Learning & Teaching Conference

2019-20 Conference theme: 'Transforming Learning & Teaching'

Last year's theme allowed 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 had 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

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


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.

Distributed conference programme

Our usual two-day conference was spread over multiple days and half-days this year:

  • February symposium: sub-theme - 'Inclusivity & Internationalisation'
  • April full-length day: three sub-themes - 'Using Technology to Transform L&T', 'Assessment and Feedback', and 'Using SoTL to Transform L&T'
  • June symposium: sub-theme - 'Active Learning'
  • August symposium: lightning talks, posters, and launch of recording bank

Where available, recordings are embedded in the programme sections below.

Day 1: Thu 13 Feb - Inclusivity & Internationalisation Symposium

Conference Presentation Playlist (7 videos)

To watch an individual video from the seven recordings in this playlist, click the '1/7' icon at the top right of the player.

Programme & abstracts

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

This session will open with a brief talk about where accessibility and inclusivity sit on our students’ lists of priorities, as well as about the review of the Accessible & Inclusive Learning Policy (AILP). Participants will then be offered an opportunity to feed back on: existing areas of good practice around accessibility; the resource implications these practices have; where we are not meeting our students’ needs; and what the main barriers to inclusivity are here at Glasgow.

Participants will also have an opportunity to add to these thoughts throughout the day, and then submit them as feedback notes for the attention of Prof. Biello and others at the end of the event.

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

Day 2: Wed 1 April - Full Day (via Zoom)

Given the current situation, many of this year's accepted presenters have rightly chosen to prioritise the effective realignment of their teaching and assessment activities for an online environment at the moment.

This date therefore ran with a streamlined, single-track programme. The remainder of the accepted presentations will be recorded individually over the summer, and released as a bank of videos at a launch event in August.

Conference Presentation Playlist (12 videos)

To watch an individual video from the 12 recordings in this playlist, click the '1/12' icon at the top right of the player.


Time Session Duration Title Speakers
09:45   15 mins

WELCOME - Transforming Learning & Teaching - Vice Principal (Learning & Teaching)

Moira Fischbacher-Smith
10:00 1 30 mins Student-led development of online support material (pre-lab technical films and Moodle quizzes) to facilitate transition into Year 1 Chemistry

NB: The video featured in this presentation can also be viewed separately in full quality here.

Jarrett Gray, Ciorsdaidh Watts & Linnea Soler
10:30   5 mins Handover & joining  
10:35 2 30 mins How a tablet device can transform lectures, leading to improved engagement, attendance and active participation Andrew Smerdon
11:05   5 mins Handover & joining  
11:10 3 30 mins Giving students more choice in what feedback they receive – a way of improving feedback effectiveness? Maria Jackson, Leah Marks, Gerhard May & Saeeda Bhatti
11:40   5 mins Handover & joining  
11:45 4 30 mins A POGIL inspired student-developed teaching resource (“Using Roman Pigments to Teach Heritage Science”) to support Chemistry pupils by using sequential game-based, small-group problem-solving exercises, underpinned by genuine Archaeological research. Craig Sproul, Louisa Campbell & Linnea Soler
12:15   5 mins Handover & joining  
12:20 5 30 mins Contingent learning in a laboratory environment

NB: This presentation will be broadcast from a recording before the team take Q&A live. If you have problems with the quality of the recording over the live stream, you can also watch it directly on our YouTube channel here, before returning to Zoom for the question session.
Keir Gowan, Sean Morris & Eric Yao
12:50   50 mins


 - Includes additional short session at 13:05 from Dr Amanda Pate: Exploring the power of Digital Storytelling for delivering teaching, facilitating learning, and undertaking assessment online.

Amanda will be around after the pre-recorded presentation for Q&A.

13:40   5 mins Welcome back  
13:45 6 30 mins 7 pedagogical principles for online teaching Jo-Anne Murray
14:15   5 mins Handover & joining  
14:20 7 30 mins Zoom - Online Lecture / Tutorial / Meetings John Kerr
14:50   5 mins Handover & joining  
14:55 8 30 mins Lecture Capture & Share John Maguire
15:25   5 mins Handover & joining  
15:30 9 30 mins Moodle Assignment & Feedback Craig Brown
16:00   5 mins CLOSE Scott Ramsay & Matthew Williamson


Session Title
1 Student-led development of online support material (pre-lab technical films and Moodle quizzes) to facilitate transition into Year 1 Chemistry

My perceptions, as a student transitioning from school to undergraduate Chemistry, were that there was an increase in: expected background knowledge, complexity of lab environment, and extent of required independent thought. This cognitive overload was particularly stark during practical sessions. Feedback from my peers confirmed that I was not alone in feeling underprepared, and overwhelmed, by the amount of learning[i]. Evidence shows that many students encounter cognitive overload when beginning a degree course at university, irrespective of the subject area [ii].

Pre-lab resources (in the form of online simulations) have been available to Year 1 students for some time, and results show that this approach improves student confidence and proficiency[iii]. However, simulations do not demonstrate the specific equipment that our students will encounter. Therefore, in an attempt to complement existing resources, we began a project to co-create tailored online support material. This involved designing and producing short pre-lab films, demonstrating key techniques encountered in our Year 1 labs. Videos have been made accessible using subtitling and text pop-ups [iv]. These attempt to highlight safety information and practical advice, as well as assist students to familiarise themselves with the labs that they will actually use in Year 1. In order to further build on the visual learning associated with videos, accompanying Moodle quizzes were also developed, to promote deeper learning[v]. We will measure the impact of the resources on student perceptions of their ability and preparedness. This project demonstrates innovative use of technology to build inclusivity, and co-creation of curriculum by students.

[i] S De Meo, J. Chem. Educ. 2001, 78, 3, 373.

[ii] B Eddaif, IOSR-JRME 2017, 7, 2, 33-37.

[iii] RAR Blackburn, J. Chem. Educ. 2018, 96, 1, 153.

[iv] A Ardisara, J. Chem. Educ. 2018, 95, 10, 1881.

[v] DF Jolley, J. Chem. Educ. 2016, 93, 1855-1862.

2 How a tablet device can transform lectures, leading to improved engagement, attendance and active participation


I would like to share my experiences using a tablet device (a Lenovo Miix) to exclusively deliver and transform a third year Undergraduate Accounting course. This has involved a shift away from traditional teaching using detailed powerpoint slides to writing on slides during lectures and workshops. Students are provided with skeleton slides in editable form,which they can then annotate. This effectively combines powerpoint slides with a visualiser but using a single device. Additional resources include:

  • student Moodle polls to encourage student input into course design
  • multiple choice Moodle quizzes voting technology
  • voting technology (Turningpoint) during lectures and workshops
  • workshop recordings where key techniques are reviewed or where questions /answers are analysed and reviewed

The impact has been increased levels of attendance and student engagement. There is a greater degree of active learning and this style of teaching caters to a broad range of student learning styles, cultures and needs. Student feedback has improved substantially and student results are excellent. I would like to share the benefits and challenges.

3 Giving students more choice in what feedback they receive – a way of improving feedback effectiveness?

In external surveys of student satisfaction it is apparent that feedback to students on coursework is consistently an area which scores poorly (eg Mulliner & Tucker, Assessment &Evaluation in Higher Education 2017, 42[2] 266-288). In particular, many students report that feedback is not useful to them and this perception may influence their engagement with feedback.

One problem for us is that grading of coursework is generally anonymous, so that, when writing feedback, we comment on aspects that were good and areas for future improvement, but these comments may not address the key concerns of that student. We have no awareness of how a student might have been trying to apply previous feedback into the current assignment. Thus the feedback provided on the current assignment may not provide the student with any insight in relation to whether or not they have successfully applied previous feedback.

Our recent study was undertaken in a post-graduate taught course. For the second semester 1 assignment, we invited students to identify one aspect of their report on which they would particularly like to receive feedback. For example, if previous feedback had highlighted a need to improve use of evidence from relevant literature to provide depth to the writing, and they had therefore put extra effort into getting this right in the current assignment, the student could request specific feedback on this point, thus helping to close the feedback loop.

The effectiveness of this approach has been evaluated by individual questionnaires and focus groups to explore student views and to characterise overall trends in the type of feedback requested by students. Students were, in general, positive about the opportunity,and our results suggest that this approach may represent a way of increasing student engagement with feedback by allowing them greater interaction with the process.

4 A POGIL inspired student-developed teaching resource (“Using Roman Pigments to Teach Heritage Science”) to support Chemistry pupils by using sequential game-based, small-group problem-solving exercises, underpinned by genuine Archaeological research.

Process Orientated Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL)[i] is a student-centred learning pedagogical technique where the instructor facilitates the collaborative learning process of small-group teams. Originally developed for chemistry, POGIL can be used across many disciplines to support the development and learning of key concepts. This constructivist approach, where teams are led sequentially through a series of exercises to support concept assembly and to reach the appropriate conclusions, develops desired process skills such as problem-solving and deductive-reasoning,[ii] enhances higher-order learning,[iii] and improves confidence. [iv]

A novel outreach teaching resource, inspired by key POGIL attributes and developed by a Chemistry (BSc) project student, aims to support the SQA Chemistry curriculum and to highlight the role of Chemists in Heritage Science, specifically in the field of Archaeology, by linking this project to genuine research in the identification of Roman Pigments on stone sculptures along the Antonine Wall. Using the POGIL approach, a series of exercises to identify “mystery” compounds, in a game-based format, [v] is used to mimic real-life approach with hopes that this will improve both ability and confidence in problem-solving.

This presentation will demonstrate how POGIL can be used for SoTL in other disciplines.

[i] (a) Farrell, J.J.; Moog, R.S.; Spencer, J.N. J. Chem. Educ. 1999, 75, 570-574. (b) Moog, R.S.;Spencer, J.N. Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL); American Chemical Society:Washington, D.C. 2008.

[ii] https://pogil.org

[iii] Bloom, B.S.; Englehart, M.D.; Furst, E.J.; Hill, W.H.; Krathwohl, D.R. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Classification of Educational Goals, I. Cognitive Domain; DavidMcKay Company: New York, 1956.

[iv] Abraham, M.R. Inquiry and the Learning Cycle Approach. Chemists’ Guide to Effective Teaching; Pienta, N.J.; Cooper, M.M.; Greenbow, T.J./ Eds.; Pearson-Prentice Hall: N.J, 2005;pp 41-52.

[v] Kapp, K. M. The gamification of learning and instruction: Game-based methods and strategies for training and education. Pfeiffer, 2012.

5 Contingent learning in a laboratory environment


In large university classes, limited attention is paid to individual students’ learning forcing the students to develop their independent learning skills. To a degree this is desirable.However, in practical laboratory settings, individualised instruction and feedback is essential. Usually, laboratory demonstrators are deployed in these situations. However,from the teaching perspective this can be repetitive and labour intensive. At the same time,from the learners’ perspective there may be a perception that there are inconsistencies between demonstrators, particularly when assessment is involved. We proposed to address this complex problem by using the contingent learning (CL) approach [1]. In contingent teaching, the teacher identifies and responds appropriately to an individual learner's needs.We will show the design of our interactive laboratory sessions for a level 1 Physics course.Unlike conventional laboratory instructions, the CL labs will guide each student through the content and hence achieve the learning objectives in response to students’ action: methods and procedure chosen, data obtained, and conclusion drawn etc. This work is built on the successful implementation of active learning in a laboratory setting [2]. We focus particularly on improving the conceptual understanding of students. Such an approach can be applied to a wide range of disciplinary areas where practical work forms a major component of student learning.

[1] - Belland, B., Walker, A., Kim, N. and Lefler, M. (2016). Synthesizing Results From Empirical Research on Computer-Based Scaffolding in STEM Education. Review ofEducational Research, 87(2), pp.309-344.

[2] - McAllister, C., Yao, E. and Parreira, P. (2018). Implementation of problem based learning in STEM undergraduate laboratory teaching. Talk presented at the 11th Annual University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Conference, session 2-1D.

Additional short lunchtime session

Exploring the power of Digital Storytelling for delivering teaching, facilitating learning and undertaking assessment online


Digital Storytelling has the potential to be a powerful tool for delivering teaching, facilitating learning, and for designing assessment – all of which can then be delivered online.

This session provides an introduction to the concept of digital storytelling and explains how it can be useful as a pedagogical tool that can be used by both staff, who are teaching, and students, who are learning, remotely .

It also provides guidance on the process of creating a digital story, and some tips for bringing your digital story project together

6 7 pedagogical principles for online teaching
  A presentation from Jo-Anne Murray, Professor of Educational Innovation
7 Zoom - Online Lecture / Tutorial / Meetings
  A presentation from the Educational Innovation Support Unit
8 Lecture Capture and Share (with Medial)

Record your screen, your webcam, your voice, or all three. This session will look at the Medial screen recording tool available through UofG Moodle. We will show you how to create a simple recording session, and use the easy editing tools to trim the start and end or chop out that cough in the middle.

We'll round off the session discussing the differences between Medial, Powerpoint recording, and Camtasia.

9 Using the Assignment Tool in Moodle to Create and Mark Digital Submissions

This session will look at how to use the Assignment activity in Moodle to receive student assessments, along with examples of how these can be marked digitally. This session will also contain a practical demonstration of how to set up an Moodle assignment.


To choose from the videos in this playlist, choose the menu icon at the top right of the video player to expand a list of the presentation titles.

Programme & abstracts

TimeSpeaker(s)Session details
09:30 - 09:45

Joining time

09:45 - 10:00


Welcome Address

Prof. Moira Fischbacher-Smith, VP Learning & Teaching

10:00 - 10:30 Leo Konstantelos

Blending Moodle activities with active learning: experiences from Digital Media and Information Studies

In April 2019, Information Studies (School of Humanities) embarked on a journey to re-assess the delivery of the Digital Media & Information Studies Level 1 (DMIS L1) undergraduate course, so that it incorporates elements of active and blended learning. Our aim was to remain true to the course’s intended learning outcomes (ILOs) and constructive alignment principles, while identifying methods where active learning is intertwined with use of technology. Our approach was informed by pedagogical theory, but also tailored to meet the technology and physical space facilities available for the course’s lectures and labs.

The first iteration of the revamped DMIS L1 combines Moodle activities – such as Workshop, Lesson and Choice – in order to actively engage students in interactive lectures; weekly group work; collaboration on- and off-campus; peer assessment; and curriculum content delivered via multimedia-rich online lessons. Students have the opportunity to work both individually and collaboratively, discern the relevance of the curriculum to their own interests and real-life concerns, and reflect on their learning.

Along the way, further benefits emerged from this approach. Using Moodle Workshops for lab-based group work improved access to collaboration for students who – due to personal circumstances - cannot attend sessions. Researching and presenting a topic with the assistance of Lessons encourages learning-by-teaching. Peer Assessment allows students to participate in the assessment process and generate rich feedback for their peers.

These benefits come at a cost. Our experience thus far shows that managing face-to-face sessions alongside online activities creates additional administrative load, e.g. monitoring online components to ascertain that they work – and are used - as intended; and supporting students uncomfortable with active learning environments and/or use of technology. This presentation will provide key milestones, student feedback and pointers on the feasibility of running a course with blended and active learning components when staff resources are limited.

10:30 - 11:00 Geethanjali Selvaretnam & David Nicol

Analysis of Two Stage Exams from an Inner feedback Perspective

This research examines two-stage exams from an internal feedback perspective. Active learning includes interaction with peers to evaluate one's own work, increase knowledge, gain feedback and improve. While immediate feedback from peers has been proposed as one of the main factors contributing to learning gains in two stage exams, this conception of feedback is very narrow as it addresses feedback only in terms of its external manifestation, that is, in what the students are presumed to say to each other during the group discussion stage. The research on two-stage exams says little about internal feedback, the feedback that students generate themselves as they participate in the group stage and compare what they have produced individually, and their thoughts about this, with the ongoing group dialogue and with the emerging written group output. The latter is the focus of this article. 

We conducted a two stage exam in an honours level class in Economics, where students had to work on a question on their own, followed by attempting the same question in a small group. This involved plenty of interaction and we find significant learning benefits. We provided opportunities for students to answer reflective questions, carefully designed, just after finishing their individual submission and after the group submission. These reflections have been analysed in this research, to shed some useful light about the benefits of two-stage exams to learning. We find this can lead to a deeper level learning, which can have long term benefits. 

11:00 - 11:30 Sarah Honeychurch, Iyke Ikegwuonu & Niall Barr

Team-Based Learning

This presentation will provide an overview of the central techniques of Team Based Learning. TBL is a student-centred learning and teaching strategy which follows a structured process and uses a variety of active, collaborative learning techniques in order to fully engage students in their learning. It is suitable for use with any size of class, including large classes; can be adapted for use in a wide range of academic subjects; and can be used for all levels of study in HE from pre-honours to PGT. The techniques used in TBL will be of particular interest to those interested in teaching in the new active learning spaces, but can also be adapted for use in more traditional classroom settings.

TBL is comprised of three broad stages: pre-class preparation, in-class test of knowledge, and application exercises. This session will begin by engaging participants with the second stage of TBL, which is short two-stage test. We will then give a short presentation to talk through the rest of the process and explain the key principles that underpin this approach.

Participants will then have the opportunity to discuss the learning design and the principles underlying TBL, and to consider how they might adapt these techniques into their own teaching.


Reference: Michaelsen, L. K. and Sweet, M. (2011), Team‐based learning. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 41-51. doi:10.1002/tl.467

11:30 - 12:00 Coffee break
12:00 - 12:30 Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel & Riley Allumbaugh

Service Learning: Applying Knowledge Through Community Service

Service Learning is a teaching strategy that bridges knowledge obtained at university with real-life problems in the community. Here specifically the aim is to teach university students various research-informed learning strategies from Cognitive Psychology. Cognitive Psychology looks into how our mind works and tries to understand how we learn and remember information.

In class, university students discuss empirical findings and theories and evaluate them. Then, they are asked to think outside the university box and to design hands-on "How-To-Study" tutorials for pupils to meet an existing problem in the community: Pupils in school often do not know how to study effectively and teachers have no time to learn about research-based study strategies to teach their pupils. Thus, this calls for a much-needed service that university students can provide to schools in the community. Students deliver these tutorials to pupils in local schools.

After providing service in the community, students return for reflection sessions to discuss and share their experience of having provided service and how well empirical research findings can support real-world problem solving.

Service Learning is a win-win-win situation: The university students win because they experience immediate application of knowledge; the community partner (here: schools) wins because they get superior service for free that solves prevalent problems; the university wins because Service Learning is evidence for outreach and giving back to the community.

This presentation will be delivered in collaboration with a student who attended the Service Learning module in autumn 2019 to provide the audience with a well-rounded perspective of this teaching strategy.


12:30 - 13:00 Ismail Zembat, Cristina Mio, Susie Marshall & Evelyn McLaren

Teacher Educators Walking the “Active-Learning” Walk

Active Learning has its roots in the learning theory of Constructivism which suggests that learners learn new concepts through their active reflection on the given tasks/activities based on their available understandings. Recent research suggests that pre-service teachers in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes should be given opportunities to learn about this principle and be expected to align their future teaching practice with it. Therefore, ITE lecturers should model pedagogical practices that promote deep understanding to help student teachers move from their already established mindset of direct knowledge transmission mode to guiding mode that fosters learners’ active involvement and knowledge construction.     

In the School of Education at University of Glasgow, we made changes to the delivery of the Primary Mathematics Teaching course during 2019-2020. We discarded whole-cohort (187 students) lectures in favour of seminars given to groups of 20-25 students. We designed the seminars in such a way that students first went through theory-driven learning experiences adopting the pupils' perspectives; then, they analysed the learning/teaching experiences wearing the teacher's lenses. We carefully designed the activities so that students actively discover the whys behind mathematics procedures, leading to an increase in their interest in mathematics and in confidence in their own mathematical abilities. Students experienced first-hand how learning happens, and the positive feelings elicited in them when they were given the control of their learning. They also had the chance to analyse videos of learning/teaching situations. These activities helped students move away from the perception of mathematics as a difficult and boring subject consisting of disconnected rules that must be memorised. In their feedback, students valued the active participation element and the opportunity to critically reflect on their learning experiences leading to a change in their view of the role of the teacher. This presentation will draw on these experiences and findings. 

13:00 - 13:30 Frances Docherty & Beth Pashke

Student-led curriculum innovation: Developing graduate attributes whilst supporting student learning

The MSc in Chemistry is a one year programme comprising of two semesters of lectures and a formal exam followed by a summer research project. PGT students come to the University of Glasgow from very varied backgrounds and with a diverse range of practical knowledge and skills. In preparation for the project work, it is essential that all students have an equitable and balanced level of training.

We describe a student-led project : Bridging the gap between student and researcher: the development of the  Research Skills MSc project module. This project, led by final year undergraduate students, investigated examples of good practice and used this information to create new practical projects that combine aspects of inquiry-based learning and practical skills.

This research skills module was implemented for the first time in academic year 2018/19.To evaluate its effectiveness, the undergraduate researchers gave the PGT students pre and post module questionnaires and held a focus group to learn about their experiences and needs. The outcomes from this evaluation, which provided valuable feedback for supporting international students in the future, will be discussed.

This project describes a model for student-led curriculum development which is beneficial to those developing as well as those receiving the training. In addition to creating valuable material for supporting PGT students it has given undergraduate researchers exposure to a wide range of transferable skills which will be beneficial in their future careers.

NB: This presentation has been pre-recorded, and the speakers will be available to take questions live for the final 10 minutes of this slot. In the event that the pre-recorded video suffers buffering problems, you also have the option to watch it here directly from YouTube. Regardless of when you start playback here, the speakers will be taking questions live in the symposium from 13:20.

Day 4: Tues 25th Aug 10:15 - 13:00

Lightning Talks, Posters & Release of Recorded Presentations 

This event featured this year's lightning talks and posters.

It was also a chance to network with colleagues in themed breakout rooms. Staff were able to discuss issues around the upcoming semester, and the shift to remote and blended teaching.

The event was also be the launch of this year's presentation recording bank. Many of our scheduled presenters were unable to deliver their presentation at our main April event due to the time-pressures of the pivot to online exam provision. They have been recording their presentations over the summer instead.

If you have any questions about any of the Learning & Teaching Conference, contact LEADS-LTConference@glasgow.ac.uk


Programme & Abstracts

TimeSpeaker(s)Session details


Zoom session opens & welcome comments

10:30 - 10:40 Julie Langan-Martin, Laura Sharp, Laura McNaughton, Dimitar Karadzhov & Matthew Weldon

Delivering Sensitive Course Content by Embedding Self-Care Resources for Students in Learning Materials

The mental health and wellbeing of students is of upmost importance and it is becoming increasingly recognised that students at universities in the UK are experiencing more and more mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Some estimate that up to 1 in 4 students may experience a mental health problem. In some universities, there has been an increase in students dropping out and, in others, more worryingly, there have been a number of student suicides. As such, addressing the mental health and wellbeing of students should be a priority.

Teaching practice should be adapted to minimise the potentially distressing or triggering impact of sensitive topics taught as part of the curriculum.

Within the Global Mental Health Masters, we discuss a number of topics (such as child abuse and neglect, torture, gender based violence, suicide and chaining), which may adversely affect students’ mental health and wellbeing. In recognition of this, we have embedded a number of self-care resources and activities within our learning materials.

In this presentation, we explore what self-care is and describe our experiences of embedding self-care activities within the learning materials of our taught modules. We present some provisional feedback from students on their views of these activities.

10:40 - 10:50 Ronnie Young & Corey Gibson

Using Moodle Lessons to Support Essay Presentation and Referencing  

In this talk, I will showcase ideas for using the Moodle lesson plug-in to support students in the writing of their class assessment. The proposed talk comes from a successful LTDF student staff project to work with undergraduates in developing blended resources in Scottish Literature and is based on a presentation given to the Moodle Users Group.

We set up a Moodle lesson that asked our level 1 students to work through our guidelines for style, presentation and referencing in essays, followed by a short quiz to test their knowledge. Access to the essay questions for the class was conditional on the student having first completed the lesson and quiz.

This lightning talk will showcase two slides related to our project that can be applied to other areas of learning and teaching: 1. Using Moodle lessons to enhance general skills rather than deliver course content; 2. Using ‘conditional’ activities in Moodle (e.g. to ensure student completes task x before moving on to task y.)

The advantages of using the VLE for this purpose might be considered as follows: Firstly, we encourage felixble learning and, by developing blended activities to support student writing, we also saving time in lectures and seminars. Secondly, by ensuring that new students read our guidelines for style and presentation, we not only address common errors in citation and referencing but also begin at an early stage to promote positive behaviour related to research. 

10:50 - 11:00 Bjorn Heile

Research Internship as a Model of Research-informed Teaching 

Although the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy prioritises embedding ‘research methodologies in our curricula to support our students to be investigative, reflective learners’, in the Arts and Humanities, research-led teaching is still often informally reduced to teaching one’s own research specialism.

To move from a research-led, teacher-focused to a research-based, student-focused model (Healy 2003), I set up a course in which students make distinct, assessable research contributions to staff research projects (on the basis of Jenkins, Breen & Lindsay 2007; Kyvik 2015). While similar forms of collaborative research between staff and students are common in the Sciences, the only precedent in the Arts and Humanities seem to be summer projects. Therefore, Research Internship in Music may be the first example of a regular, credited course of its kind.

Its introduction has been very successful, with students emphasising in particular the employability skills they have developed. In addition, the course has resulted in excellent student work and a new partnership between staff and students.

My presentation will foreground student voices.


  • Healy, Mick, ‘Linking Teaching and Research’, in Ronald Barnett, Reshaping the University: New Relationships Between Research, Scholarship and Teaching (Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill, 2003), 68-78.
  • Jenkins, Allan, Rosanna Breen and Roger Lindsay, Reshaping Teaching in Higher Education: Linking Teaching with Research (London: Routledge, 2007).
  • Kyvik, Svein, ‘The Relationship between Research and Teaching in the Humanities: Results from a Survey to Academic Staff in Norwegian Universities and Colleges’, NIFU Working Paper 2015:21, https://www.nifu.no/en/publications/1292588/ (accessed 2 Dec 2019)
11:00 - 11:10 Yvonne Skipper, Joseph Reddington & Patrick Leman

"White Water Writers" - A Novel Way to Enhance Learning 

"White Water Writers" is an intervention which gives groups of people the opportunity to collaboratively write and publish their own full-length novel in a week. Each stage of the process is based on psychological literature linked to learning and motivation.

Participants plan, write and proofread their novel as a team of around 8 writers. They are supported by a trained facilitator, but all the ideas and text are produced by the authors themselves. At the end of the week the book is placed for sale on Amazon and a few weeks later we host a book signing event where authors are presented with professionally printed copies of their novels at a book signing event attended by friends and family.

The project has demonstrable positive effects on literacy and aspiration. It also enhances soft skills such as team work and ability to work to deadlines. We have also found a positive impact on psychological variables such as self-efficacy and locus of control. The students also comment on the project enhancing their employability and previous authors have managed to access funding only available to published authors.

11:10 - 11:40 Break / themed networking rooms
11:40 - 11:50 Wendy McAllan, Laetitia Brocklebank & Ziad Al-Ani

Evaluating the effectiveness of Quality Assurance in Dental Radiography Resource

All third year dental students (BDS3) and second year dental therapy students are currently taught Fault analysis and quality assurance (in dental radiology) as a lecture. An online learning package was developed using some of the material from the lecture as well as further cases.

Our aim was to evaluate if students receiving the online learning package have a better knowledge and comprehension of fault analysis and quality assurance after viewing the package before the lecture.

Half of the students were able to view the online package before the teaching session. The students used an electronic classroom voting system (YACRS) to capture their responses. During the lecture, there were six questions which were also in the package, and so referred to as recall, and six not in the package and dependent on previous teaching, referred to as understanding.

There was a small increase (6%) in the students’ comprehension of the topic in the group that had seen the package, which makes it a great addition to the blended learning approach of the teaching.

11:50 - 12:00 Bernhard Reinsberg

Continuous feed-forwarding through in-class quizzes 

In this talk, I share my positive experience with in-class quizzes for student learning.

In a typical course, in-class quizzes are administered three times per semester at random session dates. Each quiz is taken at the end of a seminar, lasts for 10 minutes, and covers the material of the previous week. A quiz entails two multiple-choice questions in K-Prim format and two short essay questions, where students may be asked to explain a concept or to apply it to a specific real-world case discussed in the seminar or elsewhere in the literature. Taken together, the two best quizzes (out of three taken overall during the term) form part of one component of the course assessment, typically covering half of the total credits.

I have administered these quizzes in two courses thus far. While I am unable to draw any robust conclusions about the effectiveness of in-class quizzes—which would require randomized control trials—my experience suggests several benefits of in-class quizzes. For one, they provide an incentive for continuous learning. Since quizzes are taken at random session, students are encouraged to revise materials for each session. At the same time, the fact that not all quizzes count toward the final grade leaves students flexibility and removes pressure to perform.

In addition, the quizzes represent a useful feedback mechanism for lecturers to monitor to what extent students achieve intended learning outcomes, which affords them the possibility of adapting teaching methods as deemed necessary.


12:00 - 12:20 Poster session (free choice in breakout rooms) - see below for poster details
12:20 - 12:30 Linnea Soler & Smita Odedra

Degree Classification Calculations: Reducing the procedural pain and stress through a customisable and interactive database co-developed by students in a cross-disciplinary project (Chemistry & Computer Science) intended to support staff campus-wide

Currently, determining degree classifications is a cumbersome and time-consuming process for class heads across the institution. Because MyCampus is not designed to determine final GPAs for specific programmes, degree outcomes must be calculated manually by collating several years of grade data, by applying different course weightings for multiple degree options, and by considering Good Cause, as well as Discretionary Zone, cases. Subsequent spreadsheet modifications require further time-investments: results must be anonymised and ranked for exam boards, and particular file structures are required for uploading final results to MyCampus for publication of degree classifications and course results. Most of these calculations are done using spreadsheets and, whilst these are effective, there are significant risks for errors to creep in. These requirements contribute to increased stress, anxiety and workload of those who must ensure that the calculations are robust, reliable and defensible.

Our dream was to create a database that is flexible, modifiable, interactive, secure, easy-to-use and that it both imports and exports files compliant with MyCampus requirements for facile publication of results. We harnessed the power of the Computer Science “Software Teams Project” programme to revolutionise this process in a staff-student co-design/co-creation initiative. Our two teams have independently created databases intended to meet all of these objectives.

We will showcase these databases in order: to demonstrate their potential for University-wide application, to support our colleagues who face similar challenges in degree calculations, and to highlight the CS TEAMS project, the power of cross-institutional collaboration, and the results of our Team projects.

12:30 - 12:40 Natalie Marr, Pamela Rattigan, Hannah Mathers & Allan Hollinsworth

The Role of Teaching Observations in GTA Development​

This talk focuses on the role of teaching observations as a starting point for thinking through GTA development and the experiences of GTAs within their wider teaching community.

Our talk draws on preliminary research conducted in 2019, which invited GTAs in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences to reflect on the following:

  • GTAs as first point of contact for students: from course-related to external and health and well-being issues.
  • Both student and staff: vocational identities of GTAs.
  • What is a learning community? Reflective practice and mutually-supported learning across all levels.
  • What does the role of GTA look like in the future?
  • Navigating structures, shared challenges: where are we now and where do we want to be?

We will also reflect on our experience of working together on this project and how we'll be taking it forward.

Our presentation will be made by GTAs and a member of academic staff who teach across undergraduate Geography and Earth Science courses at the University of Glasgow, undertaking roles that include lab demonstrating, lab and tutorial leading and field tutoring.

12:40 - 12:50 Sajjad Hussain, Qammer H. Abbasi, Linnea Soler, Ciorsdaidh Watts, Eric Yao & Muhammad Imran

Customised Student Learning 

We have developed a web content which can provide the students a customised learning experience. The instructors have the flexibility of creating online contents including lessons, audio, video etc. and branch the formative or summative learning in a way that based on the student performance at a specific learning level, the next levels are adjusted.

As an example, a wrong answer at level 1 would not lead to level 2, rather it will take the student to some guidance material to practice level 1 before taking them to the next level.

The customised student learning will have positive impact on student directed or self-learning performance.

12:50 - 13:00 Wrap-up

Posters & Poster Abstracts

Poster authors will be available for questions 12:00 - 12:20. Registered attendees will receive an email with links to the separate Zoom sessions where each poster author will be based.

When the poster session is over, the day will continue in the main Zoom session with the next talk at 12:20.

Author(s)Poster Details

Kirsty McIntyre and Leah Marks

Bridging the gap: implementing an online induction course for first year medical students

Students entering higher education encounter a series of transitions on their journey towards graduation. In the context of undergraduate medicine, students must develop new skills common to all those entering higher education (e.g. academic writing, digital skills), as well as subject-specific knowledge such as professionalism and anatomical dissection governance. Whilst some areas of the medical curriculum such as problem-based learning are well supported during our integration week, delivery of content related to other aspects of the curriculum have traditionally been delivered in a dry, didactic manner.

We developed a five-unit online induction course using existing resources available under creative commons licensing. The course used an interactive approach to deliver teaching and signpost key resources related to digital and academic skills (e.g. referencing, avoiding plagiarism), student expectations and professionalism. The course was released to incoming students via the institutional public Moodle site prior to their arrival at Glasgow.

Student engagement with the course was high: 95% (301/316) of students accessed the course, and 89% (280/316) of students completed the course achieving 100% in all five end-of-unit quizzes.

Student feedback was overall positive however key differences between students with different demographics were highlighted. These insights will be of key importance to both our own context but also widely applicable to others interesting in adapting and implementing this induction course in their own settings.

Download poster: Bridging the gap - Implementing an online induction course Yr1 Med (.pptx 500kB)

Jeany Liseth Argueta Villalobos, Antonio de Jesús Trejo Portillo, José Eliseo Villanueva Ortiz (all Universidad Gerardo Barrios, San Miguel, El Salvador), and Gustavo LaFontaine (Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas, Venezuela​)

Performance Differences from a TOEFL Simulation in San Miguel, El Salvador

In El Salvador, students from the English Language Teaching degree are required to score 520 points in the TOEFL ITP to graduate from the university and 551 points to be able to graduate with a teaching certificate, level 2. Students struggle to reach either score. In 2016, 39.5 % of students graduated and there is not enough research in El Salvador that can provide an explanation or offer solutions.

This study derives from a longitudinal study and its objective was to determine the level of performance that students at the third, fourth and fifth year of the English Language Teaching degree are developing at Gerardo Barrios University in San Miguel. The findings presented pertain to 2017-2018 study and are the possible explanations that the multivariate analysis can offer to the nature of the changes found in the measurements of a TOEFL Simulation and how these results can be used for future adjustments in the curricula. The study also looked into student’s self-perception, study habits and course relevance.

Download poster: Performance Differences from a TOEFL Simulation in El Salvador (.pptx 1.8MB)

Iain Grom, Lynsey Crawford, and Lindsey Pope

Truth told in Jest?  Professional value confessions at the end of a Medical Curriculum


During week 1 of medical school, we ask the first year students “What makes a good doctor?” Collectively they generate a list of attributes subsquently used in small group Professionalism teaching. In 2019, for the first time, we asked the 5th year students the same question to see how their recognition, and understanding, of professional values had changed. 


The list of attributes generated in 2015, when the students were in 1st year, was retrieved and a new list was collated in 2019, when the cohort were in final year. Analysis for similarities and differences, that may throw light on our professionalism teaching and impact of the medical curriculum was undertaken.   


We had been expecting a comprehensive list of professionalism attributes that more fully reflected key professionalism documents (1, 2). Conventional attributes did develop over the 5 years, however, analysis revealed many surprising “attributes” e.g. “a robust ovarian reserve” “cute placement clothes”,*. There was concordance with 31 values between 1st and 5th year but 17 attributes did not survive to final year. The manner of anonymous data collection used might encourage more freedom of expression than conventional methods.The findings may also be an expression of student stress or the impact of the ‘hidden’ curriculum? Further exploration through focus groups would be of interest.   


Were these uncoventional findings a one-off expression of student feelings in jest or do they reveal on-going tensions that require to be addressed? Why did imminent graduates not identify a full range of professional values?

  1. GMC Good Medical Practice 2014 https://www.gmc-uk.org/ethical-guidance/ethical-guidance-for-doctors/good-medical-pract [Accessed Feb28 2020]
  2. RCP London 2018 https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/advancing-medical-professionalism [Accessed Feb28 2020]

Download poster: Truth told in Jest? Professional value confessions at end of Med (.pptx 2.4MB)

Gerhard May

‘Levelling up’: A pre-master’s revision course

The MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics and sister programmes attract a diverse cohort of students including not only home and EU, but also a significant number of international students. These students arrive in Glasgow with different degrees from different Universities and therefore, variable background knowledge in basic molecular biology. Consequently, in previous years some of our students struggled with more advanced molecular concepts and therefore didn’t reach their full potential.

In order to identify these students early and offer additional help, we have developed and implemented a Moodle course containing basic molecular biology revision aids, which students are given access to before they arrive in Glasgow.

At the end of week 1 of their programme, students take a brief test based on the principles explored in this revision course. Students who score low in this test are invited to attend additional, optional revision tutorials, in which staff use customised problems to work through basic molecular biology concepts.

We believe that this combination of online learning material, formative assessment, and face to face interactive teaching helps us in making our courses more accessible to students from a diverse background. We will give an overview of these learning activities and present results of a recent evaluation of the revision programme. We believe this approach to revision can be adapted for programmes in other disciplines.

Download poster: ‘Levelling up’- A pre-master’s revision course (.pptx 700kB)

Natalie Marr, Pamela Rattigan, Hannah Mathers and Allan Hollinsworth

The Role of Teaching Observations in GTA Development

Our poster focuses on the role of teaching observations as a starting point for thinking through GTA development and the experiences of GTAs within their wider teaching community. It presents preliminary research conducted in 2019, which invited GTAs in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences to reflect on the following:

  • GTAs as first point of contact for students: from course-related to external and health and well-being issues.
  • Both student and staff: vocational identities of GTAs.
  • What is a learning community? Reflective practice and mutually-supported learning across all levels.
  • What does the role of GTA look like in the future?
  • Navigating structures, shared challenges: where are we now and where do we want to be?

Our poster will be presented by GTAs and a member of academic staff who teach across undergraduate Geography and Earth Science courses at the University of Glasgow, undertaking roles that include lab demonstrating, lab and tutorial leading and field tutoring.

Download poster: The Role of Teaching Observations in GTA Development (.ppt 900kB)

Julie Langan-Martin, Laura Sharp, Suzy Syrett, Heather McLelland, Seonaid Cleare, Dimitar Karadzhov, Tiago Zortea, and Rory O'Connor

Designing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called “Understanding Suicide and Suicide Prevention Strategies in a Global Context


Suicide prevention is a global public health challenge. Increasing evidence-based knowledge and understanding of suicide is central to suicide prevention. We aimed to design a 3-week MOOC to allow students to gain a broader understanding of suicide. 


A multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, suicide researchers, people with lived experience and digital learning technologists developed the educational content. To ensure a safe learning environment, the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on safe reporting of suicides was adhered to. Self–care activities were embedded throughout the MOOC and wellbeing resources were signposted. Once the draft MOOC was completed, extensive consultation occurred. External feedback was obtained from key stakeholders and a number of organisations were approached for endorsement or accreditation. Five teaching assistants were employed for course moderation.

Results / Discussion

The MOOC launched in March and September 2019 with five organisational endorsements and one accreditation. Over 3,000 students engaged with 4,410 comments. The MOOC had a global reach: 51% of learners resided in the UK, 5% in Australia, 4% in the United States, 3% in Mexico, 2% in Canada, India and China and 1% in Russia and Saudi Arabia. Completion data from 276 learners reported that 93.5% (n=258) felt the course met/exceeded expectations and 95.7% (n=264) reported new learning.

Conclusion: There appears to be a global demand for education on suicide prevention. Early outcome data suggested that new knowledge can be delivered through a MOOC. Learner safety needs to be carefully considered when developing and delivering online learning. 

Download poster: Designing a MOOC “Understanding Suicide & Prevention Strategies (.pptx 2.1MB)

Recordings of presentations postponed from previous dates

Several of the presenters accepted to deliver a talk at this year's conference event in April were, understandably, focussed at short notice on this effort to pivot to online exams.

They have since recorded their presentations.

To choose from the videos in this playlist, choose the menu icon at the top right of the video player to expand a list of the presentation titles.


Author(s)Poster Details

Hooi Ling Eng, Shona McQuilken, Eilidh Ferguson & Leighann Sherry

Computer based exams with TestReach

The School of Life Sciences is piloting a cloud-based assessment system, TestReach with the School of Veterinary Medicine from February 2019 to August 2021. The system supports the creation, delivery, marking, moderation, analysis, and reporting of assessments aligned to ILOs and course/programme competencies.

The scope of this project is to use the TestReach system with selected formative and summative assessments whilst testing integrations with existing central IT systems, feasibility of the use of WiFi connectivity and IT equipment (including University laptops and BYOD) and reviewing suitable exam accommodation (e.g. PC labs, exam halls and off campus submission of assessments).

The School has conducted three formative tests using a mixture of multiple choice, short answer, drawing and essay questions. The exams were marked automatically for MCQs or by markers online via the system. Results and feedback were returned to students either on-screen or as PDF files on Moodle.

In this presentation we will share our early experience of using TestReach to create the questions, set up the exam papers and run the exams in a University IT cluster. We will also share the student evaluation of the system.

Carole Macdiarmid & Aneta Marren

TransFORMing Feedback to TransFORM Learning - Focusing on the process

The importance and value of formative feedback and assessment for learning are well-attested in the literature (Black & Wiliam, 2006; Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Nicol, 2010; Nicol, Thomson & Breslin, 2014). In this presentation we will describe how we have transformed our approach to feedback through the design of constructively aligned formative tasks in preparation for assessments. These include approaches to engage students with formative feedback, that is feedback for learning. We will also present the findings of a staff-student collaborative evaluation of these approaches providing valuable insights into the students’ perceptions of assessment for learning.

The MEd and MSc TESOL programmes, a small and small-medium masters, are professionally oriented and cater to a range of student profiles. Many are new to HE in the UK, some are returning after a considerable time away from study, and all need to be able to negotiate the diverse assessment requirements. As 1-year PGT students, this transition needs to happen in a compressed time period. Drawing from our background in education and language teaching, we have implemented a variety of ways to scaffold students in preparing for summative assessments. This ‘front loading’ of feedback encourages reflection along with a focus on the process of learning and has increasingly incorporated assignment familiarization tasks and peer feedback, partly to engage students with criteria and promote active learning and partly as a response to growing numbers. The programmes receive very good evaluations in PTES and course evaluations for assessment and feedback but these only provide a general picture. We present findings of a staff-student evaluation of the approaches to feedback for learning, in order to provide a better understanding of what works and what is less effective. The approaches discussed in the presentation can be applied to a wide range of courses.

Mitchum Bock

Using R software on students' own devices and combining results LIVE via pingo (PRS)

The free statistical software environment R is rapidly becoming ubiquitous in many disciplines and is a vital tool to illustrate and apply many data related concepts (such as sampling, estimation and inference). It can be illuminating for students to use simple R code in a classroom setting where the only technology available to them is their own device (e.g. smartphone, tablet, laptop). This is especially true when combining the individual results of all students running the R code illustrates a concept (such as randomisation, variability and sampling distributions).

This presentation describes and demonstrates a pilot study where these objectives were pursued with a class of 170 Level 1 students. Several approaches to enable students to run R code on their own devices will be described/demonstrated (with varying degrees of success). A free personal response system (PRS) called “pingo” will also be described and used to combine numerical responses from participants, as it’s the only PRS known to the author which recognises numerical responses and summarises them appropriately.

Mitchum Bock, Craig Alexander, Eilidh Jack & Michael McEwan

Study Design & Quantitative Analysis in Learning and Teaching Scholarship: Case Study Exploring Student Attitudes to Introductory Statistics

This talk describes the design, execution and analysis phases of a scholarship project undertaken to better understand students’ attitudes to studying introductory statistics at university. Specifically, the scholarship project adds to the understanding of issues surrounding statistical anxiety and self-efficacy and their relationship with performance by examining three cohorts of students. Within each cohort, students were asked about their demographic and academic backgrounds and their general attitudes to studying statistics via both qualitative and quantitative questions. To enable comparisons with previous studies, validated instruments measuring statistical anxiety and general self-efficacy were administered to students to quantify these characteristics. Finally, the responses were matched with grades obtained in the course as a measure of performance. The emphasis of the talk will be on illustrating key issues of quantitative scholarship using the practicalities of the project, especially the approaches taken to:

  • Design and administer a survey using Moodle to provide both quantitative and qualitative information on students’ attitudes and backgrounds
  • Extract and prepare data for analysis
  • Analyse the data and disseminate the findings
  • Implement changes to course design and teaching practice in light of the findings
  • Reflections on this scholarship
Eilidh Jack & Colette Mair

How Do You Teach Online in a Subject that Requires Hand-Written Content?

The School of Mathematics and Statistics developed online distance-learning programmes (PgDip/PgCert/MSc) in Data Analytics as part of the University's Blended and Online Learning Initiative. The programmes have been highly successful (with an average of 60 students enrolling each year) and have considerable innovation in the course content, the course management and delivery, and in tutorial support.

The programmes' targeted audience comes from all over the world and is already in employment and has professional experience from a variety of sectors (e.g. finance, banking, IT services, etc.). Furthermore, the programme is accessible to students coming from a broad range of backgrounds (and educational experiences) and levels of knowledge (in terms of Mathematics and Statistics).

Thus, developing a teaching style to meet the needs of such a varied audience is of high importance. Another key challenge in this situation, where hand-written content is imperative to student learning, is in finding ways to offer learning material which takes advantage of various learning technologies.

In this talk we will discuss the numerous methods that we use to deliver course content, with a particular focus on three approaches that we use for hand-written content:

  • filming lecture-style videos with static typed solutions
  • filming Khan-Academy style videos (tablet drawing) to record the hand-written content
  • filming lecture-style videos with a novel “light-board” which allows lecturers to be face-to-camera while writing

We will also present results from a study where students were asked to engage with the three different styles and vote on which approach they found the most useful. In addition to presenting the results from this study, we will explain and demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of each technique and illustrate how these technologies can be used to enhance student learning for both online and on-campus programmes across a wide range of disciplines.

Ashley Le Vin

Reflections on Feedback – Engaging Students to Feed Forward

Feedback is hugely important in order for students to learn and advance academically (Price, Handley et al. 2010) as they can reflect on graded work using markers’ feedback and consider how to improve future work (Fry, Ketteridge et al. 2003). Without feedback, students may find it hard to improve upon past mistakes and therefore, not improve their grades. However, feedback is not a passive process and students must engage with the feedback, reflect on it to understand it and then consider how it can feed forward to improve future work. However, from personal observations students often continue to make the same mistakes, perhaps as they may not physically pick up written feedback (Winter and Dye 2004), they may not read or engage with it and subsequently do not act on it. Therefore, exercises that encourage students to engage with feedback should be beneficial to student learning and should foster good practice in the future.

In this study students were asked to write a short (less than 150 word) reflection on previous feedback in some pieces of their in-course assessment, reflecting on how the feedback aided them in improving. Students were given guidance notes on what was expected in such a reflection.

From this exercise the study aims to investigate if reflection leads to increased student engagement with feedback and if students find feedback to be more helpful after reflecting on it. Additionally, the study looks to investigate why students engage, or not with feedback, what they think the purpose of feedback is and how they think feedback could be improved. Answers to these questions will be collected via questionnaires to the students before and after they have written reflections on their feedback. The research hopes to increase student engagement with feedback fostering them to be responsible learners and promoting critical reflection.

Michael McEwan & Nathalie Sheridan

SoTL (Scholarship of Teaching & Learning) at Glasgow: What help is out there?

As McEwan (2019) has shown, SoTL can be cultivated and grown at a research-intensive university where REF-able research is highly valued. However, SoTL lacks a clear theoretical positioning across the sector (Fanghanel, Pritchard, Potter, & Wisker, 2016, Sheridan, 2019) and is thus both poorly understood at such an HEI (Gunn, et al 2014) and often misconceived by newer practitioners (McEwan, 2019). However, to grow a culture of evidence based development of learning, teaching and assessment, and widen the knowledge base and theoretical foundation of praxis (wissenschaftlich reflektierte Handlungsfähigkeit) of academics and grow the institutional skills capacity, well-defined support is paramount.

This presentation highlights the work of LEADS in supporting the growth of SoTL in the institution. LEADS provides both credit bearing options leading to postgraduate qualification and professional recognition and a non-credit bearing framework of support in developing the skills and ways of thinking and practicing required by SoTL. It further supports the development of institutional community of practice, to promote this shared domain, repertoire and resources, and encourage relationship building (Wenger & Snyder, 2000)

Fanghanel, J., Pritchard, J., Potter, J., & Wisker, G. (2016). Defining and supporting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL): A sector-wide study Executive summary. Higher Education Academy.

McEwan, M.P. (2019, submitted). The Journey to SoTL: institutionally supporting a transition to scholars of teaching and learning. International Journal of SoTL.

Sheridan, N. (2019). The scholarship of learning and teaching: a victim of its nomenclature? | srhe. Retrieved December 2, 2019, from SRHE Blog website: https://srheblog.com/2019/03/25/the-scholarship-of-learning-and-teaching-a-victim-of-its-nomenclature/

Wenger, E. C., & Snyder, W. M. (2000). Communities of Practice: The Organizational Frontier.

Selection criteria - main presentations & workshops


  • 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)

Selection criteria - lightning talks & posters

  • These will be selected on the basis of how interesting or useful the proposed content will be to other delegates at the conference (as well as alignment with the Conference subthemes), so please think carefully about how to make your work transferable, interesting and relevant to others.