External speakers

Prof. Fiona Denney - 27 November 2019

Leadership in Higher Education Wed 27 Nov 12 - 2
Speaker information 

Prof. Fiona Denney is the Director of the Brunel Educational Excellence Centre. Fiona was appointed on the first Academic Education contract at Brunel in 2014 and came to Brunel from being the Assistant Director of the Graduate School at King’s College London. Fiona has over 20 years experience in the UK higher education sector, spanning both academic and staff development roles. From an initial starting point of teaching management studies and researching for a part-time PhD, Fiona has developed interests in academic leadership and how universities can support their academic staff better to deal with the many challenges they encounter.

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Dr Simon Tweddell - 10 December 2019

Team-Based Learning: Optimising Active and Collaborative Learning Tue 10 Dec 12 - 2

This short workshop aims to introduce participants to Team-Based Learning (TBL) by experiencing it as a student would. TBL is a student-centred ‘flipped’ learning and teaching strategy designed to engage students through a process of preparation, assessment and application of knowledge. It shifts the focus of classroom time from conveying course concepts by the teacher to the application of course concepts by student learning teams.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the essential elements that make up a team-based learning unit
  • Describe the benefits and challenges of using TBL
Speaker information

Simon is a Senior Lecturer and a National Teaching Fellow at the University of Bradford

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Dr Karen Ottewell - 17 January 2020

Writing across Cultures: Supporting PG Students whose First Language is not English to Develop Their Discipline-Specific Academic Literacy Fri 17 Jan Time TBA

Kaplan noted in 1966 that just because you can write an essay in your L1 does not necessarily mean you can write one in an L2 and with it he founded the theory of contrastive rhetoric, which 50 years on, despite significant research in this area, still lacks a pedagogical framework. My experience of working with international postgraduate students at Cambridge has shown Kaplan’s conclusion to still hold true since the main difficulties they seem to face are not simply ‘language issues’, but far more the thornier issue of rhetorical transfer, since different cultures, both national and disciplinary, construct argument and express this in different ways. In my teaching I get students to reflect on what’s going on behind the writing so that they can consider the assumptions they are making about the construction and structure of argumentation in English – and this approach has proven to be instructive.

In this session I will present an overview of the theoretical principles which underpin this approach, followed by a discussion of practical strategies to support students to develop their written academic literacy.

Speaker information

Karen is the Director of Academic Development & Training for International Students section at the University of Cambridge, which provides training to assist international students in further developing and honing the skills required to succeed in an English-speaking academic context.

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Dr Robert Nash - 13 March 2020

The psychology of receiving feedback, and why (and how) we should equip students to do it better Fri 13 Mar 12 - 2

Why do our students, despite the considerable time and effort we invest in preparing feedback for them, often nevertheless fail to engage with this feedback?

I will begin this workshop with an introduction to some interesting psychological literature on why people react badly to feedback. With this literature as context, I will then describe our own research programme that explores this perennial issue among students.

Together, this work draws out the key concept of ‘feedback literacy’: a vital skill for enabling success in education (and indeed, in life), and yet one we often mistakenly assume our students would have perfected at school.

I will attempt to convince attendees that valid efforts to foster our students’ feedback literacy are potentially invaluable. I will describe my own efforts to work toward this ambition with my own students, and will share both the successes and frustrating failures of these efforts thus far.

I will invite attendees to reflect on how feedback literacy interventions might be integrated within their own disciplinary practices, and to reflect on their own feedback literacy!

Speaker information

Dr Robert Nash is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Aston University, where he is also Director of Undergraduate Learning and Teaching. He completed his bachelor’s degree and PhD in Psychology at the University of Warwick, before holding positions at Lancaster University and the University of Surrey, and moving to Aston in 2015. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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Half-day events