Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th June

Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK

The SOLSTICE and CLT Conference sessions will run as parallel sessions over the two days.

Follow us on Twitter for updates about the conference:
@SolsticeCETL   @CLTatEHU

SOLSTICE Conference Themes:

  • Creative deployment of technologies to enhance the student experience
  • Getting the best out of the VLE
  • Adding value to large group teaching using technology
  • Creative use of technologies in the classroom
  • Electronic assessment and feedback
  • Student induction into HE and the role of technology
  • Going beyond PowerPoint
  • Technologies and formative assessment
  • The role and use of online classrooms
  • MOOCS and developments in online course structures
  • Approaches to enhancement of learning, teaching and assessment
  • Post Graduate Learners and learning
  • Technologies and internationalisation of the student experience
  • Lecture capture
  • Inclusive technologies
  • Evidence-based practice, pedagogic research
  • Others of topical interest

CLT Conference Themes:

    • Student induction and transitions
    • Implications of post-16 curriculum changes re planning for induction and transitions
    • Making the first year experience a success
    • Assessment for learning
    • Retention focused practices
    • Adding value to large group teaching
    • Enhancing employability
    • Skills and information literacy
    • Academic writing
    • Teaching and supporting international students
    • Leading change in the teaching and learning arena
    • Internationalisation and international students’ experiences
    • Feedback
    • Emerging challenges and improving student success
    • Education for sustainable development
    • Peer mentoring
    • Inclusive practices
    • Personal tutoring
    • Evidence-based practice, pedagogic research
    • TEF and teaching excellence
    • Others of topical interest

Confirmed Speakers:

We are delighted to confirm the following guest speakers so far:

Sue Beckingham, Senior Lecturer in Information Systems and Educational Developer (TEL), Sheffield Hallam University
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the Staff and Educational Development Association and Certified Member of the Association of Learning Technologies

Abstract:  The Project Based Learning (PjBL) Toolkit: Integrating digital and social media to enhance meaningful reflective practice in project based learning.

Projects may be carried out by both individuals and within groups. The outputs might include a report, presentation, poster, artefact or prototype (physical or digital). Project based learning is “a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.” (BIE 2015).

When undertaking a project, seven distinct stages have been identified that the project owner(s) go through. These are: the question, plan, research, produce, improve, present and evaluate. At each stage students may engage in a variety of activities. This multifaceted form of learning presents opportunities to participate in authentic and meaningful problems and to develop a range of skills along the journey. Reflecting upon these experiences, can encourage students to reconstruct what they have learned, and go on to confidently articulate the skills they have developed (or have yet to develop), and how they can apply these in other situations. Learning how to self-reflect on these experiences and developing a habit of doing so, can have a profound impact on learning. However for some this does not come easily and is often undervalued.

In my talk I will share the Project Based Learning (PjBL) Toolkit and how resources within this can be used to scaffold effective and meaningful multimedia reflective practice, develop confident communication skills and digital capabilities.

Prof. Sally Brown, Independent Consultant in Higher Education, National Teaching Fellow, Emerita Professor, at Leeds Beckett University, Adjunct Professor, at the University of Sunshine Coast, and James Cook University, (both in Queensland, Australia) and Visiting Professor, at the University of Plymouth

Dr. Mark Childs, Affiliate Consultant, Oxford Brookes University and Education Consultant (

Abstract:  Can learning from commercial providers of Technology-Enhanced Learning enhance our practice as educators?

Commercial providers of technology-enhanced learning have always had a mixed relationship with the higher education sector. Often focusing on content rather than social learning, and frequently equated with computer-based training, commercial provision has rarely been included within HE provision. This presentation explores the content of three courses run by commercial providers and analyses them for their learning design. The presentation examines whether the commercial sector can offer elements to support learning which complements the learning that takes place on undergraduate and staff development programmes. Delegates are invited to contribute to present their own experiences of commercial provision, and share examples of practice that incorporate these into their own teaching.

Prof. Peter Hartley, Independent HE Consultant and Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University

Abstract:  Back to the future: 25 years on.  Old issues or new challenges?

25 years ago, the Further and Higher Education Act of 1992 “abolished the binary system (or binary divide), allowing polytechnics to assume the title of ‘university’, and introducing the Higher Education Funding Council, with separate councils to fund higher education in Scotland and Wales.” This created 30 new universities alongside sweeping changes to the funding and administration of colleges. ( )

As another major bill wends its tortuous way through the Houses of Parliament, this session will revisit and reflect on some of the major educational issues which exercised us back then, and question whether these issues have been resolved or can now be regarded as historical curiosities.

Of course, we have seen enormous change and significant progress in learning and teaching over these 25 years but aren’t there some basic issues which still deserve our attention? For example, most of us are using a system of grading which dates back at least 100 years – is it still fit for purpose? Our knowledge of human learning and motivation has become much more sophisticated but is this always translated into the ways we teach? New technology now enables us to communicate in ways that were only represented in the science fiction literature in 1992 – but are we exploiting this technology to the full? As well as highlighting some persistent issues, this session will offer suggestions for future agendas and strategies which could resolve them.

Prof. Phil Race, Independent Consultant in Higher Education,
National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Visiting Professor at Plymouth University and at University Campus Suffolk

Abstract: Reinventing Assessment and Feedback

Assessment and feedback take up ever more of staff time and energy, and are of course vital for students. Despite our best efforts, overall student satisfaction with assessment and feedback remains relatively low. Part of the problem is that we tend to keep on trying to use the processes which used to work well enough years ago, but don’t satisfy today’s student needs and expectations – and often student numbers are higher too.

In this session, I will outline 15 ideas for making assessment and feedback more manageable for ourselves and for students, and which also make them more effective and efficient, and involve students themselves much more in the design of assessment and feedback.

Dr. George Roberts,  Principal Lecturer Student Experience, Oxford Brookes University


Abstract: Tricky space

After years of facilitating student-centred learning as a guide on the side, teachers rejoice in discovering that, thanks to the TEF, everyone is paying attention to them. Or are they? The TEF will largely be evaluated and regulated by the Office for Students (OFS) and the relationship is “tricky”.

We make bold claims for higher education as “an engine of social mobility, a driver of economic growth and cornerstone of our cultural landscape…” and yet the government suggest:   “students are dissatisfied with the provision they receive, with over 60% of students feeling that all or some elements of their course are worse than expected and a third of these attributing this to concerns with teaching quality” (Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) 2016, paragraph 5)

So is it the teachers? Or the students? The source cited by BIS for their claim is the 2015 HEPI-HEA Academic Experience Survey. The HEPI summary says:    “Those who felt their experience had not matched up to their expectations or had been better in some ways and worse in others were asked why. The most common option was that they had not put in enough effort themselves” [my emphasis].    The 2015 HEPI-HEA Academic Experience Survey report showed:    “an overwhelming majority of undergraduates are satisfied with their course, but beneath the positive headline statistics are some tricky issues [my emphasis] that need to be addressed.”

Or is it the institution? The report suggests we need to:

  • Support self-directed learning
  • Develop and recognise good teaching
  • Support the relationship between research, teaching and scholarship
  • Support the emotional and relational aspects of learning communities
  • Provide high quality learning spaces.

Despite a noisy year of “false news” and unreliable “truth”, we actually do know, with reasonable confidence, what good teaching and good learning are. That we sometimes do not like what we know? Well, as they say, deal with it. And that is what we will do here.

Prof. Keith Smyth, Professor of Pedagogy, University of the Highlands and Islands

Simon Thomson, Head of Digital Pedagogy, Centre for Learning and Teaching, Leeds Beckett University
National Teaching Fellow

Abstract:  Disrupting the ownership model of educational technology

What should the next generation of digital learning environments do?” – This was a question posed by Jisc earlier this year as part of their #codesign initiative.

What emerged, was a proposed shift from institutionally owned technology to a more personalised approach, similar perhaps to the “If This Then That”(IFTTT) model of technology integration.

Dabbagh & Kitsantas (2012) identified that these environments  provide a “potentially promising pedagogical approach for both integrating formal and informal learning” (p. 1) and yet most institutions have not been able to make effective use of these formal and informal spaces together.

At Leeds Beckett University we are exploring this through a HEFCE funded research project into Personalised User Learning & Social Environments (PULSE). This project explores the development of a hub for connecting students’ existing spaces with institutional spaces. This session will provide an overview of the project, experiences so far and invite participants to discuss the implications of a shift from #edtech to #mytech.

Join the conversation before the session using the hashtag #vle2ple & #SOLSTICE2017


Here are a selection of the confirmed abstracts, more to follow.

Monday 5th June:

Lecture capture and other stores – Dr Andrea Wright_Dr Charles Knight, Edge Hill University

‘It really made me think about teaching and learning!’ The Positive Impact of the EHU Accredited CPD Scheme on Staff – Dr John Bostock, Edge Hill University

Scholarship of teaching: The quest for thinking out of my box! – Prof Pieter Du Toit and Dr Liz Wolvaardt, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Interactive Essays; using multimedia and digital networks in summative assignments – Joanna Neil and Peter Shukie (plus 3 students), University Centre Blackburn College

Using Panopto (Lecture Capture Software) for Assessment of Practice of Teaching and Teachers Reflecting on their Own Practice – Anne McLoughin and Scott Farrow, Edge Hill University

Learning without Institutions – Peter Shukie, University Centre Blackburn College

What the flip?  Inverting the foundation maths classroom – Rachel Staddon, University of Sheffield

StudyCircle project: international peer education experiences to promote active e-learning of students and the student community. New perspectives at Edge Hill University  – Dr Anna Bussu and Julianne Harlow, Edge Hill University

Marketing simulation as rehearsal for real world employability – Fiona Syson and John Mercer, Edge Hill University

Using online simulation packages_John Mercer_Fiona Syson, Edge Hill University

Tuesday 6th June:

How forums and webinars can engage and support distance students in a dissertation module – Toni Bewley, Edge Hill University and David Callaghan, The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM)

Induction Strategies: A Practical Approach; Engaging the Work Based Distance Learner – Tracy White, University of Lincoln

Educators for the Future: Insights from European ESD Professional Development Initiatives – Dr Alexandra Ryan, University of Gloucestershire

Encouraging a positive culture around social media through the concept of ‘Brand Me’ – Patricia Parrott and Dr. Lydia Arnold, Harper Adams University

Hartpury Personal Tutoring – Emma Davies_Gillian Reindl, Hartpury University Centre

A case of transformative learning in an online setting – Hazel Partington, University of Central Lancashire

Turnitin: A formative feedback tool not a plagiarism tool – Laura Taylor, John Bostock and Adrian Cane, Edge Hill University

Digital Accessibility in Higher Education: a Model for Improvement – Claire Moscrop and Howard Bryan, Edge Hill University

The redesign of teaching rooms_Federica Oradini_Prof Gunter Saunders_Prof Peter Hartley, University of Westminster and Prof Peter Hartley, Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University and HE Consultant

An O.S.C.E.r for an O.S.V.E.! A joint collaboration between nursing and performing arts.Alexandra Swift and Lisa Adams Davey, Edge Hill University

The use of augmented verbal feedback in lesson observations – Dr Gillian Griffiths and Jessica Leigh, Edge Hill University and Helen Zoldan, Harper Green High School


The SOLSTICE and CLT Conference is taking place in the Business School at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK.

Edge Hill University’s stunning campus is located in the heart of the North West, close to the thriving market town of Ormskirk and a short distance from Liverpool, Southport and Manchester.

Click here for information on travelling to Edge Hill University

Printable Campus Map

In previous years, some delegates, particularly international delegates have attended the SOLSTICE and CLT Conference and also taken the opportunity to explore some of North West England. The following link might be helpful for anyone considering doing this:

If you require accommodation, there are local hotels a short travelling distance from Edge Hill University. If you would like the contact details of nearby hotels, please email:

Conference Fees and Registration:

The SOLSTICE and CLT Conference remains excellent value for money for a conference that offers keynotes, presentations and workshops from so many high-calibre colleagues year after year.  Fees include entry to keynotes and conference sessions, delegate pack, lunch and refreshments.  We hope you can join us in June for professional development, networking and a bit of fun too!

Delegates are welcome to book for the full conference or one day only.  The SOLSTICE strand and the CLT strand will run as parallel sessions over the two days.  Delegates are able to ‘mix’ the strands and choose which sessions to attend.

The SOLSTICE and CLT conference is open to everyone working in further and higher education, both nationally and internationally.  In previous years, we have welcomed delegates from UK, USA, Australia, Singapore, China, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and India.

£370* Full conference (Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th June 2017)
£190* One day only (Either Monday 5th June 2017 or Tuesday 6th June 2017)
(*Prices include VAT @ 20%)

SOLSTICE and CLT conference enquiries:

Please contact Lizy Reed, SOLSTICE and CLT Conference Organiser, on 01695 650750 or


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