Workshop examples

Redeveloping a Course

The curriculum in HE tends to evolve as individual academic staff introduce developments and move on, the field advances, and professional body accreditation requirements change. Sometimes this can lead to a loss of coherence in the student experience as elements of a course evolve independently. Often what is needed is not a new course, but fresh look at the current course, what it was designed to achieve, why it is successful and how it can be updated to retain the core values in a changing context.

In 'Redeveloping an Existing Course' we help you to review your current provision and develop an action plan for improving the course.

Integrating writing into the curriculum

How can writing become a more prominent part of teaching? Do your students struggle to write in the way expected in your discipline? Almost all assessment at university involves writing, and it can be time consuming dealing with problematic student writing. Can exercises and activities for students to practice writing be integrated into their study of the discipline?  In this workshop, we consider how activities such as free writing, reading into writing, short creative exercises, and preparatory writing can be integrated into a curriculum. We will explore ways in which writing can aid thinking, and we will consider how the increased use of short exercises might enhance student writing more generally.

Engaging students in the feedback process: helping students think about their writing

Giving students useful feedback is increasingly recognised as crucial for learning but constraints can make the writing of timely feedback difficult to achieve. This workshop concentrates on ways of using student-generated feedback to support writing development. In particular, we look at examples of using peer and self review, and we explore how students and tutors can use feedback to create a dialogue about their learning and writing.

Supporting PhD writers

This workshop will consider how PhD supervisors can support graduate students’ writing development.  Topics that we will consider include stimulating writing at the early stage of the PhD, helping graduate students see writing as a means of advancing critical thinking, the PhD writer’s development of a disciplinary voice, the management of the thesis, and setting up PhD writing groups in departments.  We will draw on work by Murray (2002) and Kamler and Thomson (2006), as well as our own research and our experiences as supervisors.

Collaborating and Communicating in online environments.

It is increasingly common to study and work in teams that are geographically dispersed. Even when they are not so dispersed they may use a range of technologies to facilitate collaborative work: to assemble resources, write and exchange documents, brainstorm ideas, develop and co-ordinate projects, mentor and manage. The most common collaborative tools are probably email, multimedia conferencing, shared databases and document sharing but social networking tools and mobile technologies are increasingly important. 

Face-to-face and technology-mediated collaboration are different. Research has shown that mediating technologies can influence the collaborative process and the roles and behaviours of individuals. To work effectively in a technology-mediated collaborative environment involves skills that are not necessarily the same as those needed for face-to-face interactions. 

The workshop aims: to raise awareness of the skills needed to collaborate in technology-mediated environments;  to enable participants to reflect on the collaboration involved in their work and make reasoned choices about their use of technologies to support this; to provide opportunities for participants to develop online collaboration skills and to use a range of technologies for tasks relevant to their study and careers