#Take5 #35: The Best Way to differentiate?

Happy new academic year!

#Take5 is back and ready to go. This year our hope is to bring you at least one post a month – and to kick us off we have a great post from Jennie Dettmer, one of the organisers of an inspirational event that took place between ALDinHE and SIGMA – the maths people! 

ALDinHE and SIGMA in An Event of Four Firsts

This #Take5 post is brought to you from Jennie Dettmer, one of the organisers of the joint ALDinHE and sigma Network regional event on ‘Current Issues in Differentiating Learning Development’ at the University of Bedfordshire on Monday 22nd July 2019.

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Jennie Dettmer

First Joint Event

This was the first joint event between ALDinHE and sigma Network. sigma Network supports maths professionals across the country, similar to how ALDinHE supports Learning Developers nationally.

The presentations outlined differentiation issues across the different subjects and highlighted the good practice that can be shared between all Learning Developers.

Topics covered included:
Student-centered workbooks covering Maths and IT skills for science
Differentiation in stats workshops for international students
Implementing an open science policy for stats support
An integrated approach to differentiation of academic skills
Meeting increased expectations…
Differentiation for diverse groups…
Supporting students in Foundation Year writing modules.


Questions for the presenters naturally led to a group discussion after the morning and afternoon presentations with the event facilitating networking between members of the two organisations.

dettmer delegates in the room

Delegates in room

Shared tips: Accessible Presentations & Google Slides

Accessibility checklists for PowerPoint were sent out prior to the event, which ensured that all the presentations delivered at the event were accessible.

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Powerpoint checklist

On the day, one of our presenters, Theresa Elise Wege, piloted the use of Google slides which creates automatic closed captions during a presentation.

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Theresa presenting

Reaching Out Online: watch the session videos

This is the first time that a free regional event has recorded the presentations and made them accessible to ALDinHE and sigma Network members. This enables those who were unable to attend to access the presentations and we hope that this will encourage other organisers to do the same.

By enabling access to recordings, we hope to broaden the reach of good practice from the regional event. The recordings are available at http://bit.ly/symposiumrecordings and are hosted on YouTube so that the accessibility functions of close captions and scripts are available to viewers where needed.


For the first time, a regional event had twitter hashtag. This provided another marketing avenue and delegates were able to interact with the event online.

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Twitter interactions


Jennie works at the University of Bedfordshire as a Learning Developer Tutor, with an interest in TEL and accessibility. Within ALDinHE, she is a member of the LearnHigher working group and the Conference Working Group. She is also the joint Secretary and Vice Chair of the Association of Learning Technology (ALT) East England group. Follow her on Twitter: @JennieDettmer

Jennie is happy to talk to anyone who wants to include any of the practices outlined above in future regional events.

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