On a sunny afternoon on 17th July 2019, academic and professional colleagues came together on the 6th floor at Bunhill Row for the 3rd Cass Teaching and Learning Exchange.
The two-hour event was again introduced by Dr Martin Rich, Course Director, BSc Business Management, who co-hosted with Learning Enhancement and Development (LEaD). Once again colleagues from Cass and LEaD shared their own experiences and offered new ideas and initiatives.
Professor Clive Holtham started the event with an activity-based session involving paints, credit cards and sketchbook pages. In the session, entitled ‘Getting started in creative journaling for leadership’, participants were encouraged to be artful by creating their own journal using an art-based approach. The activity demonstrated how intuitive and rational leadership qualities can complement each other as participants were encouraged to work in a non-linear and innovative way.
An engaging panel session followed, chaired by Dom Pates, Cass Relationship Lead from LEaD, which explored methods of teaching with large groups. The panel consisted of Dr Martin Rich, Dr Russell Gerrard, Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning at Cass, and Dr Ruth Windscheffel, Senior Lecturer in Educational Development in LEaD. Members of the panel were asked to comment on quotes from an article taken from the Times Higher in which eight lecturers had shared their top tips on how to make lectures interesting. Participation was also invited from the audience. Additionally, some comments were shared from BSc Management students who had been asked a series of related questions.
A break for afternoon tea followed which gave participants the opportunity to network and to enjoy a selection of sweet and savoury treats.
Participants were encouraged back to their seats with an offer of money. James Stewart, then from LEaD, and now part of the Cass Digital Learning (CDL) team, provided details of a new Innovation Project Fund which Cass staff can apply for by submitting a project proposal. The fund is designed to provide opportunities for Cass staff to enhance student learning by using technology to implement new teaching and learning approaches. Successful projects will be chosen because they show a clear benefit to teaching and learning and appropriate use of technologies. Their implementation will be supported by colleagues from CDL and LEaD.
Following the launch of the new project fund, Dr Sara Jones, Senior Lecturer and Course Director of the Masters in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership (MICL) introduced an approach to generating new innovative ideas known as SCAMPER, (Substituting, Combining, Adapting, Modifying, Putting to another use, Eliminating and Reversing). The SCAMPER technique (or checklist) can inspire ideas related to problem solving or improving solutions. Participants were encouraged to use SCAMPER to consider three ways they could improve an existing module, or tackle an issue by purchasing equipment or software, bringing in external providers or developing new online content.
Dom Pates demonstrated the use of synchronous remote technologies in a session called ‘Learning to Fly, Tips and Tricks from Experiments from Synchronous Blended Learning’. Dom talked about three instances where remote guest speakers from around the world had been brought into face-to-face sessions using Adobe Connect, an online web conferencing tool, and a range of other technologies. Dom demonstrated how a wireless microphone, hidden inside a padded cube, a catchbox, can be passed around to participants in a room to encourage remote interaction. Whoever is holding the cube can talk directly to the guest presenter in another part of the world using a combination of the wireless microphone inside the cube and Adobe Connect.
To demonstrate a method of interacting with large groups, Dom brought the event to a close by asking the audience to use their own mobile devices to participate in some polls using an online polling tool, Poll Everywhere. Participants were asked to suggest any topics they would like to see included in future Cass Teaching and Learning Exchange events to help with planning future sessions. The ideas put forward were:
- Actor workshop
- Improv workshop as in 1999
- Making and editing video
- Block teaching
- Activities in large groups
- Collaborating with colleagues from other schools
- Teaching that happens outside modules e.g. from student support staff like Academic Learning Support
- Flip teaching examples
- Pre-sessional activities for students
- How to engage students with writing
Participants were also asked to consider one thing they could take from the event and apply to their own practice. Funding, SCAMPER and Journaling were all popular responses, while Quodl, learning communities and catchboxes were also noted.
A recording of the full event (requires City login) including anonymous results of these polls, is available.
We are in the process of arranging the next Cass Teaching and Learning Exchange at Bunhill Row. You may notice from the recording that we had originally intended to run another event in the Autumn term, but we are now working towards Spring term. We have 2 possible dates, 14th January and 19th February 2020. If you have a preferred date, please open the form and indicate your preferred date by Friday 22nd November. We will confirm the date as soon as possible after 22nd when we will send a notification of the date and time for your diaries.
If you would like to contribute additional ideas for future events, there is space on the form to capture this information. You can also provide your name if you would be interested in taking part in, or running, one of the sessions.
We look forward to seeing you at the next Cass Teaching and Learning Exchange.
Martin Rich, Dom Pates and Lisa Baker