Journal March 15th 2015

Write a brief summary of any work-related activities undertaken on 15th May 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.

So the day started as it usually does, sorting through emails. It was then a day of meetings.

The first meeting was to discuss our workshop programme for next year. It’s actually quite exciting as we will be based in a new library with shiny new teaching spaces. We have plans to really expand our workshop offering and make it more dynamic so fingers crossed it will really appeal to our students.

I then met with colleagues to discuss ideas for further developing our Flying Start resource. This is a resource aimed at new students, just before they come to Leeds, to help ease their transition to academic studies at university. We considered the overall themes and then went into a bit more detail about what content we needed to create.

I then met with a PhD student to help her with an EndNote enquiry. It turned out she was really new to her PhD studies and feeling a bit lost. I pointed her to the many courses on offer, which she wasn’t familiar with so I think that really helped her and she booked on one of them there and then!

My colleague and I then practiced our presentation for the LILAC conference. I think we need a couple more goes before it’s as smooth as we would like!

Finally I did some reading in preparation for a session I am running on personal learning networks in the module that I am managing.

So a typically non typical day!


Mine was not as lively as others! Mine was a Readers and Professors away day (I usually teach Fridays, but got cover, only to find our away day was actually on site with no lunch – guess we are all cutting back!) So a review of REF2014 and starting to plan for REF2020. We had a great talk by our UK bidding manager, who was so encouraging, and it can be done – good news to those of us who have been writing with no success thus far this academic year. The main benefit was the chance for all of us to catch up face-to-face. Hopefully more exciting Fridays forthcoming…


My day: In the morning I am supporting the Becoming an Educationalist module – this is a year-long programme that has replaced our Higher Education Orientation module – and Tom Burns & I had great fun in designing it – and building in loads of cool stuff: simulations & role plays; Blogging & Drawing to learn; Develop a Digital me; Live Performance; real research projects… This week we were getting students to engage with how they might write up their Research Projects by taking them through the relevant processes. Specifically – we set them the task of considering this collaborative poem: as data on Connected Learning. We asked them to brainstorm connected learning – to consider that the Method had been ‘collaborative writing’ – and then to analyse the data… We made time in class for them to write and share how they might represent those data as Findings and Discussion…
In the morning I was teaching on our MALTHE – specifically the Managing the Assessment and Feedback Process module. We started the session by asking staff in groups to prepare a collage response to the prompts: How do you enable effective feedback; what assessment strategies do you use; what are your assessment ‘sticking points’. The collage-production was fun – and provoked much discussion. It seemed akin to a Patch Work Quilting session – where collective reflection is mediated by the creative and physical task. Each group presented their collage to the group – and we moved on to forming Project Groups – where each group will research and assessment-connected topic – choosing which of the module LOs the project will meet – and designing their own assessment criteria and feedback pro forma. (The group presentations themselves will be self-, peer- and tutor-assessed.)
My ‘ah ha’ moment was that I would use the staff collages to seed a further Data Analysis session on the 25th – taking the Becoming students through an Image Mediated Dialogue session – as a warm up to analysing the collages as raw data…
Any gaps in the day were filled with emails!!


Obviously – the second part should say: In the afternoon I was teaching…

Janet Morton

Here’s my day!
Yesterday I was invited to speak at an academic staff forum as a Library Learning Advisor from Learning Services, University of Leeds. The theme was ‘integrating personal development into teaching’ so I presented a session called ‘Skills@Library: helping you to develop your students’. I spoke of the student journey and the different online resources we have created to support students in their academic skills development at the different stages in their academic progress. The journey starts even before a student arrives, with the transition from school to university. I made the point that by introducing the concept of academic skills as a sound foundation at the transition stage, students would hopefully perceive the development of academic skills as a way of enhancing their learning strategies and performance, rather than a remedial action part way through their studies.

As well as raising awareness of our different resources and online tutorials that students can use, I promoted our tutor materials such as lesson plans and ready made hand-outs which are available for lecturers to use, or better still, to work with me and my colleagues including Michelle, to create something which is a blended resource using our existing general materials made more subject-specific with their input. Staff were gratified to hear of these potentially labour saving materials in these times of heavy workloads, and I was equally thrilled to be able to share.

It is the intention of Learning Advisors to update some of the materials over the summer, and it often takes time before academics respond to our invitations, so hopefully they will be pleased with what awaits them.
This forum culminated in a tasty lunch which led to an equally valuable networking opportunity, and led to lots more interesting questions.

My afternoon was then spent answering emails, and fulfilling promises I had made to new contacts in the morning. Not all days feel so rewarding, but this one is up there!

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