Leading experts in learning and teaching practice will come together to look at new ways of enhancing the student experience at an Edge Hill University event.

This year’s SOLSTICE and Centre for Learning and Teaching Research (CLTR) Conference takes place on 8th and 9th June and attracts speakers and delegates from across the world who are keen to learn more about best teaching practice and how technology can improve the education environment.

The two-day event entitledEffective Practices: Enhancing Learning, Teaching and Student Success includes more than 60 sessions covering topics from student success in virtual worlds to the roots of attrition and ways to enhance learning through evidence-informed initiatives.

Professor Mark Schofield, Dean of Teaching and Learning Development, said: “Together SOLSTICE and the CLTR have provided 15 conferences for participants to actively engage in debate, analysis of evidence and case studies of good practice. We are mutually committed to enhancing teaching and learning practices and approaches to student support that are informed by and generative of research, which is why this two-day conference is a great way for practitioners to look at new ways to enhance the student learning experience.”

Day one focuses on elearning and will focus on effective practices from a ‘Technology Enhanced Learning’ perspective, such as: embedding technology in curriculum design; looking at physical and virtual spaces in a technology enriched environment.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Mark Childs, Teaching Development Fellow in e-Learning, Coventry University, where one of his responsibilities is to manage and evaluate the THEATRON project, developing learning resources and activities in ‘Second Life’. His other research includes e-learning technologies, immersive virtual worlds and video-conferencing.
  • Becka Colley, Dean of Students / National Teaching Fellow 2010, University of Bradford, who has created an innovative approach to supporting skills development. She is active in researching the student experience of e-learning, transition to University and initial engagement with Higher Education. Her current research is focusing on digital literacy and she has developed a typology of digital learners in conjunction with colleagues at Bradford. In recognition of her contribution to the University she was awarded the Baroness Lockwood Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2007.

Day two will focus on innovation and development in higher education learning and teaching practice, which has been at the heart of the CLTR’s mission for the last nine years. Key themes will include: making the first year experience a success; assessment for learning retention focused practices; internationalisation and enhancing employability.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Professor Phil Race, Emeritus Professor, Leeds Metropolitan University, who leads highly interactive workshops and presentations on assessment, learning and teaching in higher and furthereducation. His passion is about ‘making learning happen’. His work was recognised in 2007 by the Higher Education Academy when he was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship, and the status of ‘Senior Fellow’ of the Academy.
  • Professor Tony Cook, Professor of Teaching and Learning / National Teaching Fellow 2009, University of Ulster. He is the Director of the STAR project (Student Transition and Retention), which grew from surveys of students which clearly showed that they had serious misconceptions about what life and learning was going to be like at university. He is in great demand as a speaker at meetings related to student retention and has recently changed the emphasis of the work from retention of students at risk to student success.

The conference is open to everyone working in further and higher education, both nationally and internationally. The event is free to Edge Hill University staff but for other delegates it is £240 to attend the two days or for one day it is £125. For further information on the SOLSTICE and CLTR Conference, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/solstice/conference2011 or contact Amanda Boult, Conference Coordinator on 01695 650750 or email  boulta@edgehill.ac.uk