2017 SOLSTICE and CLT Conference

The 2017 SOLSTICE and CLT Conference took place on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th June at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK.

The next SOLSTICE and CLT Conference will take place in June 2018.

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@SolsticeCETL   @CLTatEHU

2017 Programme:

Please click on dates below to view the 2017 SOLSTICE and CLT conference schedules.  SOLSTICE and CLT sessions ran as parallel sessions over the two days.  Delegates were able to ‘mix’ the strands and choose which sessions to attend.  On the schedules, the sessions shaded blue are ‘SOLSTICE’ and the sessions shaded green are ‘CLT’ focused.  You can click on session titles to view the abstracts.

Further down this page, there are links to abstracts, papers and presentations (2017).

Monday 5th June

Tuesday 6th June

2017 SOLSTICE and CLT Conference – book of abstracts

2017 Guest Speakers:

Monday 5th June:

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. (http://oxfordindex.oup.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095839655 )

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.

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.

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. 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.

Tuesday 6th June:

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

Abstract:  Situating digital space and place within the Porous University

Framed within the concept of the ‘Porous University’ as one which values open engagement in the sharing and development of knowledge, and where formal boundaries are fragmented and intersect, this session will explore how digital space and place can contribute to the porosity of our universities in established and emerging areas of educational practice. These include:

•             Bridging informal and formal learning opportunities
•             Learning across cohorts and communities
•             The curriculum as a co-operative space
•             Students as public scholars

Within the above context and areas of practice, an important question concerns the extent to which we can apply ‘third space’ thinking to: re-conceptualise the university as a place of education; extend the ways in which digital spaces and places can supported distribute collaborative learning; and explore where physical and digital spaces for learning can intersect to support greater engagement within, through, and beyond higher education and higher education institutions.

While this session is unlikely to fully answer the ‘third space’ question above, the examples to be drawn upon point towards what is possible when we mindfully situate digital space and place within contexts of open, co-located and co-operative approaches to education.

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

Abstract: Developing and using small pedagogic research projects as a basis for writing for journals and in books about learning and teaching

Many interested in meaningful development of student-centred learning are keen to research the pedagogic aspects of our innovations, and to disseminate findings and good practice. Doing this alongside a full teaching-load is challenging, so for at least three decades, individuals and teams have sought funding both to support the research and to share outcomes with colleagues. Nowadays funding is much more difficult to attain that previously, but there are still opportunities within institutions, nationally and internationally to achieve funding for such activities.  In this very pragmatic session led by a very experienced projectolsti bidder and evaluator, we will explore such questions as

  • What makes a bid successful (and what will set off alarm bells for the reviewers)?
  • What are the features of successful teaching and learning project bids?
  • How can you evaluate a pedagogic project?
  • Where do you want to disseminate your findings and how can you make dissemination meaningful?

Participants in the workshop will be encouraged to find like-minded colleagues at the session, with the potential to foster productive inter-institutional future bids.

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

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.

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

Links to Abstracts, Papers and Presentations (2017):

This section includes all available information that presenters have permitted us to share.

Monday 5th June:

Breakout 1 (10.35 – 11.20):

Taking the Ass out of Assessment: Getting rid of the ‘Donkeywork’- Prof. Mark SchofieldEdge Hill University

Learning without Institutions – Peter Shukie, University Centre Blackburn College
Paper: Learning without Institutions
Presentation link

Critical Realism for Evaluating the Impact of Postgraduate University Learning on Professional Practice – Alison Wells, Edge Hill University and University of Cambridge

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

Breakout 2 (11.40 – 12.10):

Lecture capture and other stories – Dr. Andrea Wright and Dr. Charles Knight, Edge Hill University

Using Technology to Scaffold and Enhance the Assessment and Feedback Process – Claire Moscrop_and Dr. Chris Beaumont, Edge Hill University

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

‘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

Breakout 3 (14.00 – 14.45):

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

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

The impact of Quality Concerns on Institutional Culture(s): Navigating the impossible? – Manyane Makua, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Republic of South Africa

Promoting academic confidence and social integration through induction and programme structures – Prof. Pauline Kneale, Dr. Rebecca Turner and Prof. Debby Cotton, University of Plymouth

Breakout 4 (14.50 – 15.20):

Using Poll Everywhere to enhance the student experience: An institutional perspective – Dr. James Trueman, Anglia Ruskin

Blended Learning as a Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education: Student Perceptions Towards the Diffusion of Innovation – Dr. Ntabeni Jere, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

An Introduction to Critical Realism for Evidence Based Practice – Alison Wells, Edge Hill University and University of Cambridge

The impact evaluation of a course related holocaust visit (and teaching) on University Students’ social relational skills, Dr. Peter Leadbetter, Dr. Anna Bussu and Dr. Michael Richards, Edge Hill University

The Evolving Document: using Google Docs as both formative and summative assessment – Dr. Lawrence Eagle, University of Sunderland

Breakout 5 (15.40 – 16.10):

Using Kahoot for better formative assessment – Pete Atherton, Edge Hill University

Using Panopto for students’ self-submitted lesson observations – Anne McLoughin and Scott Farrow, Edge Hill University

From Freshers to Scire Feci: LLB Portfolios and Pathways to Legal Practice – Dr. Alice Diver, Sharon McAvoy and Robert Collinson, Edge Hill University

Raising Awareness of Child & Adolescent Mental Health Issues for Undergraduate Trainee Teachers – Candi Kitt and Richard Kitt,Edge Hill University

Monday 5th June – Poster Presentations (Displayed in foyer and opportunity for informal discussions during refreshment breaks):

The Role of Gamification in Attacker-Centric Cyber-Security Education – Dr. Chitra Balakrishna, Edge Hill University

Using online simulation packages_John Mercer and Fiona Syson, Edge Hill University

The Graduate Trainee Scheme: Providing an insight to working within the HE sector – Ivy Sala, Edge Hill University


Tuesday 6th June:

Breakout 1 (10.35 – 11.120):

Induction Strategies: A Practical Approach; Engaging the Work Based Distance Learner – Tracy White, University of Lincoln  * Cancelled * Replaced with:
Extending Interactions with Text and other Media (EXIT-M) and the Active Learning Toolkit, Prof. Mark Schofield, Edge Hill University

Learner transformation: A case study of research-rich technology enhanced learning and teaching – Prof. Dr. Stanley Oliver, David Stoten and Paul Trueman, Northumbria University
Paper: Learner transformation: A case study of research-rich technology enhanced learning and teaching

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

Hartpury Personal Tutoring – Emma Davies,_Gillian Reindl and Richard Whincup, University Centre Hartpury

Breakout 2 (11.40 – 12.10):

Lecture capture – enhancing the International student experience. Can recording of a lecture really enhance the quality of life for an International student? Richard Dockery and Dr. James McDowell, Huddersfield University

Using innovative technology in Blackboard – Mark Sutcliffe, Edge Hill University

Student Led Practice Learning – Catherine Coates, Leeds Beckett University

The Role of Technology in Assessment, Feedback and Faculty Affordances – Andrea Ward and Prof. Sally Brown, Leeds Beckett University

Breakout 3 (14.00 – 14.45):

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

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

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

The thorny issue of feedback: how to enhance student and staff experience of feedback with technology – Gareth Bramley, Kate Campbell-Pilling and Ian Loasby, University of Sheffield

Breakout 4 (14.50 – 15.20):

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)

Assessing and Fostering Teamwork: The Behaviour in Teams (BiT) system – Prof. Rod Nicolson, Edge Hill University, Samuel Farley, Daria Hernandez Ibar and Jeremy Dawson,  University of Sheffield, Rose Evison, Change Weaving and Neil Rackham, Rackham Associates, Virginia, USA

The (re)design of teaching rooms to enable teaching excellence: choices and opportunities – Federica Oradini and Prof. Gunter Saunders, 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

Breakout 5 (15.30 – 16.00):

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

E-Safety or E-Healthy? – Graham Stow, Edge Hill University

An exploration of the links between confidence, resilience and the uptake of academic literacy support sessions on an undergraduate degree programme – Christina Donovan and Marianne Erskine-Shaw, Edge Hill University

A snapshot of the student experience: Exploring student satisfaction through the use of photographic elicitation – Dr. Linda Kaye, Edge Hill University and Joseph McCann, University of Cumbria and Edge Hill University

Tuesday 6th June – Poster Presentations (Displayed in foyer and opportunity for informal discussions during refreshment breaks):

The Role of Gamification in Attacker-Centric Cyber-Security Education – Dr. Chitra Balakrishna, Edge Hill University

Final conference sessions:

(16.05 – 16.30) Student Led Staff Awards: What students value – Rachel Arland, Edge Hill Students’ Union
Link to presentation

(16.30 – 16.45) Closing note and presentation to University Learning and Teaching and SOLSTICE Fellows, Prof. Mark Schofield, Edge Hill University

SOLSTICE and CLT conference enquiries:

Please contact Lizy Reed, SOLSTICE and CLT Conference Organiser, on 01695 650750 or clt@edgehill.ac.uk.



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