Learning and Teaching Conference "Phenomenal"

Learning and Teaching Conference "Phenomenal"

Issued: Tue, 03 Apr 2018 08:00:00 BST

Professor Frank Coton addressing the 11th annual Learning and Teaching Conference.The 11th annual Learning and Teaching Conference - this year running over two days - has been praised for its "phenomenal" programme. 

Dr Matthew J. Williamson, Director of the Learning Enhancement and Academic Development Service (LEADS) shared the role of formally opening this year's conference with Professor Frank Coton, Vice Principal (Academic & Educational Innovation).

Dr Williamson told delegates the University of Glasgow could be justifiably proud of the excellent and truly innovative practice that continued to keep the University's learning experience amongst the best in the world and the quality of the annual Learning and Teaching Conference underlined the fact.

Professor Coton spoke of the growth of the conference since his first involvement in 2010. This year more than 400 delegates were registered to attend. They included colleagues from other parts of the United Kingdom, but also visitors from Indonesia, Gaza, Ukraine, Sweden, Serbia and the Republic of Ireland.

"It really is a phenomenal programme," he said. "We have been very fortunate over the years to have excellent Learning and Teaching Conferences. The feedback we have received tells us that everyone goes away from here thinking about how they are going to do things differently, how they are going to develop their own practice. It is an opportunity for reflection, an opportunity to connect with like-minded colleagues and an opportunity to think about the future and evolve what we do."


Professor Coton told the audience about the strength of the learning and teaching environment at the University of Glasgow. It was, he said, a continuing journey. "We are making significant investment in the physical infrastructure. At the same time as we committed to building the Learning and Teaching Hub, which will open next year, we also increased the amount of money we were spending on refurbishing existing teaching spaces. Annually, we are now investing £2million in upgrading the teaching environment.

"We are also now seeing quite significant developments in the digital environment. We are investing in some of the basics: like pervasive, high-density Wi-Fi, lecture recording capabilities and audio-visual facilities. We are also looking at the specialist digital systems that underpin a whole range of our learning and teaching activities.

"We have also hosted a quite significant growth in on-line distance learning. And in the next few years you are going to see that grow even more. As that happens, more and more people here will become engaged in that actiivity."

The Vice Principal ended his remarks by mentioning the upcoming project to examine assesment and feedback. "There has been a lot of discussion of this at the University in recent years but we are really now at the starting point with this project. As we move forward, we will be consulting with the university community about how we want to assess and how assessment should be supported in the future. We will look at best practice in the University and beyond. We will ask fundamental questions about the nature of assessment and we will build an environment here where staff are properly supported in assessment and feedback, ensuring that the student experience benefits from that."


Professor Coton highlighted the excellence of the Learning and Teaching Conference programme and paid tribute to the quality of the external keynote speakers, who had helped to establish the pedigree of the annual event. He told delegates: "We have been very fortunate over the years to bring some of the world's leading thinkers to the conference to help us to look at how we might develop our practice in the future. This year is no exception we have a really stellar line-up of external speakers."

2018 Keynote Speakers
Dr Claudia Krebs, University of British Columbia

Professor Paul Chapman, Glasgow School of Art

Adam Finkelstein, McGill University

 This year's conference featured an exhibition showcasing a selection of external companies and institutions working in visualisation, AR and VR. They included: 

  • Canon Medical Research Europe Ltd
  • eCom Scotland
  • E-VR
  • Glasgow School of Art
  • Primal Pictures
  • Swivl
  • Touch Surgery

University of Glasgow stalls:

  • CSPE VR/AR Lab
  • Illusions Index
  • Learning Enhancement and Academic Development Service (LEADS) and Glasgow University’s Teaching Tips Online (GUSTTO)
  • Library, Archives and IT
  • Peer Support Programme and Counselling & Psychological Services (CAPS)