Thursday, 21 May 2009

Queen's CED Assessment and Feedback Conference

Instructional Technologists Fiona Doherty and Karen Virapen attended Queen's CED Assessment and Feedback Conference, held over two days on the 19th and 20th May in the Lanyon Building.

This conference is particularly relevant and timely, as Viewpoints are currently developing an Assessment and Feedback tool as part of their suite of reflective curriculum tools for University staff.

Keynote speakers at this conference were Dr Chris Rust from Oxford Brookes University, and Professor David Nicol from the University of Strathclyde. David Nicol is the director of the REAP project, as well as working on one of the JISC Curriculum Design Projects in our cluster group, PiP (Principles in Patterns).

Both Rust and Nicol stressed the need to engage and empower students regarding assessment and feedback. Both keynote speakers presented ideas of what constituted good practice, along with numerous examples of how to put these principles into practice. Their evidence showed that good assessment and feedback practices enhance learning in the following ways:
  • Improved student satisfaction
  • Better student grades
  • Decreased teaching/preparation time for staff
  • More enjoyable experiences for staff and students alike.
Queen's academic staff presented a series of interesting and engaging parallel sessions, covering a range of topics such as using Jing screencast software for feedback, skills assessment, online assessment tools and making feedback effective.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

JISC Curriculum Design programme meeting

Viewpoints staff Alan Masson, Fiona Doherty and Karen Virapen attended this one-day JISC Curriculum Design meeting at the Aston Lakeside Centre, Birmingham. 50 delegates from the 12 different Curriculum Design projects were invited.

The theme of the day's workshop was 'Transformation: managing and measuring change'. We looked at change strategies, ways to measure change, and stakeholder engagement.

This event was a good opportunity for the two Instructional Technologists, Fiona Doherty and Karen Virapen, to meet key members of the JISC programme team, including Sarah Knight and Marianne Sheppard.

We also had a chance to talk to delegates from the other JISC-sponsored projects. The final discussion session with our Critical Friend Peter Bullen and members of our JISC cluster group allowed us to follow up ideas from the CAMEL meeting which took place in April. Catherine Owen, Project Manager of the Strathclyde PiP project let us know that the cluster has had a paper accepted for the ALT-C Conference in September of this year.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Stakeholders Engagement meeting with CHEP

The Viewpoints team were invited to a meeting in Magee to brief staff from two of the Centre for Higher Education Practice working groups, Creativity in the Curriculum and Research and Practice in HE.

This meeting was a chance for the team to brief staff on the work of Viewpoints to date.

Presentations on the day included the following:
The meeting generated a lot of useful debate on assessment, student cohorts and curriculum design processes, and the feedback from this meeting will inform future development of Viewpoints tools. We also identified synergies in the work that we are doing and looked at possible ways we could work together with CHEP members.

This is the first in a series of Ulster stakeholder engagement meetings that will take place in the next few months.