Journal June 15th 2015

Write a brief summary of any work-related activities undertaken on 15th June 2015 and/or your nearest working day . In posting your reply, you consent to the potential use of anonymised extracts from this material in resources that may in future be published by the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE), for educational and professional development purposes only.

Dr B

On Wednesday 24th June I was invited to visit South Downs College to talk to students and staff there about referencing and plagiarism. After racking my brains for hours and hours in trying to think of how I could possibly tackle this subject (LOL as the kidz would say), I hopped on a train to Havant in the company of a rather tasty slice of my colleague Isabelle’s lemon and rosemary cake.

I was met at the other end by Sarah Reed, the head of the college library. As we drove over we talked about some of the changes happening in our respective institutions, and she was very interested to hear about our new forthcoming system for printing, since that was implemented last year at South Downs and has been working extremely well*.

My first session was with a group of AS-A2 transition students, all doing an Extended Project over the summer, and all bar one intending to go to university (the bar one is joining the Army). There were 27 of them – a source of nightmare and trauma to some I’m sure, but this particular bunch of 17 year olds turned out to be polite, engaged and very bright, and the hour went by very quickly.
After a nice lunch in the staff canteen, where Sarah gleefully told everyone who passed about our new printing strategy, she took me for a tour of the campus. Well, originally we were going to look at the final year’s art and design exhibition, but it turned into a tour because there was so much to see on the way.

For instance, walking outside (in the lovely sun), we turned a corner to suddenly come across a large section of fuselage from a Boeing, for the travel and tourism students aiming to become flight attendants. Apparently they serve a good afternoon tea. Back inside, we dropped into the beauty salon where members of the public can have their hair cut and coloured for a mere 20 quid, although I imagine the requisite courage would be priceless. The climbing wall was in use, alas not by me, and we didn’t have time to drop in to the animal husbandry building and visit the animals. However, we did go (past the garage, where you can get your car fixed) to the nursery, where we were shown the garden with its mud kitchen, dinosaurland and actual rowing boat, and then a bunch of tiny people sang us a song (I say ‘sang’…). It was lovely!

After all that, we had five minutes to look at the exhibition before heading back for the afternoon’s session.

This one was with staff; a mix of curriculum verifiers, teachers and library staff. Mainly the focus was on tips for identifying plagiarism but I also got them to do a couple of the paraphrasing exercises I’d set for the students in the morning, and they were much more nervous than the students had been! Fortunately the tea trolley arrived along with the most enormous slices of Victoria sponge cake I have ever seen, and in my experience anything is possible with the right amounts of fat, sugar and caffeine in one’s system.

Finally at 4pm I head back westwards, well satisfied with my day from both a professional and a gastronomic point of view.

*sarcasm filter applied


What a brilliant day!! Will they give me a job? 


It’s been a strange month! We’ve been off running staff development session sin Romania as part of a European funded project. I was in Sibiu – Tom was in Bucharest. It was scarey – exhausting – exhilarating… then back to the UK and drowning in marking (all the scripts from our first year Becoming an Educationalist module) – so that leaves these few weeks to finish drafting the manuscript for the fourth edition of Essential Study Skills – due 10th August. No pressure there then!!

Helena Beeson

Today I spent an hour catching up and checking emails at one campus before heading to the other. There I trained a colleague in using Videoscribe (particularly the Unicorns section) and Xerte. Afterwards came final prep for this afternoon’s teaching of Time Management to Accelerated Law students for 2 hours. After a cup of tea I shall be preparing the discussion board for this group’s homework and then reading some articles on student expectations for possible research. Finally, Zumba!


Term’s over but although the one to one work has dropped off significantly now the undergraduates have left, we still have masters students and PhD students consulting us. I’m also very busy still with the last few workshops of the year – we’ve done all the usual ones over the term- exams, revision, dissertations…. but that means that now it’s the time for the unusual ones, the summer schools, etc, which means that they need writing pretty much from scratch for a very different audience. Hope it slackens off soon, because I have lots of loose ends to tie up after a busy term so I can start preparing for next year!

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