A lecturer’s perspective on ETT’s CPD sessions

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This autumn the Educational Technology Team (ETT) which works with the School of Arts & Social Sciences and the School of Health Sciences ran its programme of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for teaching staff. Sessions were run by members of ETT, colleagues from LEaD’s Learning Success and Academic teams and teaching colleagues in the School of Health Sciences. They covered a variety of topics ranging from learning and assessment design to sessions on addressing key University priorities. Have a look at the brochure (City staff only) for a full list of sessions and topics.

We talked with Dr Justin Needle, Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research & Policy, who attended several of the sessions. We asked why he chose to attend and what kind of sessions he benefits the most from.

Why attend?

“My view is always that if there is one thing you can walk away with from a session, then it’s really worth it”

Justin’s view is that “no matter how experienced you are  at teaching, or facilitating student teaching and learning, there’s always more you can learn from colleagues”. Things change, students change, curriculum and policies change. It is therefore important to keep abreast of these changes and be given an opportunity to discuss them with fellow educators. For him it is about getting new ideas for teaching and learning, sharing practice, discussing issues with colleagues and raising questions that may have occurred to us.

Types of sessions

This is why he particularly liked the format of most of the sessions, which was a balance between giving information about the topics (whether practical, theoretical or policy-related) and being able to reflect on and apply new skills and knowledge in the ensuing group activities and discussions.Learning from each other by sharing practice and (positive and negative) experiences is one of the objectives of the CPD on offer, especially with the Teaching and Learning Innovators sessions where academics present their work to colleagues. This term’s (packed) session was presented by Julie Attenborough from the division of Nursing and also SHS’ Associate Dean. Julie presented on  “co-creating an online resource with undergraduate students to support the use of storytelling“.

In terms of topics, Justin appreciated the mix of what he calls “niche” areas, i.e. approaches and or tools that may not yet have been widely adopted within Higher Education, such as SHS’s colleague Raf Benato‘s session on incorporating queer theory in education, and “bread and butter” topics such as student engagement in large group teaching.

Our team is always interested in hearing from academics’ experiences of support and development that we offer, as well as scoping areas of interest in terms of approaches and tools. If you have a suggestion for a future session, drop us a line!

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