Author Archive

17th Annual SEDA Conference 2012 Excellence in Teaching: recognising, enhancing, evaluating and achieving impact

November 21, 2012 Leave a comment

I attend the above conference on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th November 2012 in Birmingham. The conference focused very much on activities to identify what “good” or “excellent” teaching is and can this measured objectively along with a range of schemes to provide recognition and reward.


There were some really interesting papers that explored using interviews and videos to observe teaching and then identify specific activities about good teaching but there were also many discussions about should we focus on good teaching or is it about lecturers who enhanced student learning a slightly different focus. We need to consider much more how we measure the impact on student learning of the good or excellent teaching if we really want to see the impact.

There are a range of award schemes running around the country too which now increasingly include student led schemes but these vary in how they are undertaken too. Some have just student nominations then staff decide the winners, others have student nominations and voting online but then are approved by staff and then some like ours here at City University London are student nominated and decided.

Oliver Williams from the NUS made some excellent points both about how can we ask students what excellent teaching is when we cannot always agree but also in terms of the need to work with students to discuss their expectations and their role in education.

Here is the link to my blog of the sessions I attended

and here is the SEDA conference website where further information can be gained

The ISSOTL Conference 2012

November 2, 2012 Leave a comment

I attended the ISSOTL conference in Canada at the end of October. This conference is focused on the scholarship of learning and teaching and was well attended with 550 people. There were some really good papers on issues such as teaching award schemes and students projects as well scholarship for learning and teaching and how this might change in the future.

I have posted comments about the papers I went to on my conference Blog so do follow this link if you want to know more

Categories: Reviews, Uncategorized

Student Engagement Workshop

April 21, 2012 Leave a comment

On the curriculum design and evaluation module Angela Dove and I ran a student engagement workshop. This workshop focused on why students should be engaged in designing curriculum but also how we might do this so it was meaningful. The session used a framework from the Learner Voice a handbook from futurelab published in 2006. The framework uses five types of participation which are:

  • inform
  • consult
  • involve
  • collaborate
  • empower

in the workshop a range of activities were suggested from co-chairing meetings, to using feedback to feed into the next year of the programme and providing optional modules with credit for students to be involved. There was also discussion around some examples of how to engage students in specific activities.

Defining Curriculum

April 21, 2012 1 comment

On the curriculum design and evaluation module on wednesday 18th April 2012 we had a great discussion about definitions of curriculum. Barnett et al (2001) and Fraser (2006) believed there was limited discussion of this term in higher education however this has changed at City University London over the last few years.

The group spent some time discussing what this term meant to them and their students. The discussion included references to:

  • was this about the module/programme content
  • the subjects taught and assessment of this
  • the competencies of the students
  • what the graduate would be at the end
  • a journey for the student
  • developing an individual
  • quality assurance delivery and recieving
  • promoting a change in behaviour linked to a role in society
  • is this about the programme and the university part of a programme only or was this about the entire educational experience

There was much discussion about how we need to define this for our students if we wish them to understand what the term means.

Professor Susannah Quinsee and I have defined this for our purposes for the PREDICT project and this definition is the

“Curriculum relates to all aspects of the student experience during their programme both within the institution and beyond which enable them to engage in their learning and achieve their potential” (Parker & Quinsee 2012:51).


Barnett R, Parry G & Coate K (2001) Conceptualising Curriculum Change Teaching in Higher Education Vol. 6 No 4 p435-449

Fraser S P (2006) Shaping the University Curriculum through Partnerships and Critical Conversations International Journal for Academic Development Vol. 11 No.1 p5-17

Parker P & Quinsee S (2012) Facilitating Institutional Change in Higher Education International Journal of learning Vol.18 (5) p.49-59

Curriculum Design and Evaluation Module on the MA Academic Practice

April 21, 2012 Leave a comment

MAAP Puzzle

This module is a masters level in year one of the MA Academic Practice Programme and can be taken as both a module on the programme or as a stand alone module and provides students with 15 credits.

The content of the model focuses on a range of areas that need to be considered both for design and evaluation. These are:

Definitions of curriculum

we discuss those that are published and well known as well as those that participants have and use with their students

Different categories for models and frameworks

We look at a range of models and frameworks that have been used from the traditional product approach where behaviouralism was a focus to more process orientated approaches such as experiential approaches to more recent models of the backward design and domains of learning

Stakeholders that should be involved

We discuss those who should be involved in programmes and how to engage them particularly students


This focuses on how to ensure what employers look for in terms of abilities are included and the careers team provide this session

Curriculum design process

We explore how the design is undertaken and invite some of those undertaking curriculum design in the University to come and discuss their approach

Curriculum approval

We discuss the process to getting from your idea and a need to gaining approval


This session explores sustainability and what this means for curriculum design

Curriculum evaluation

We discuss the approaches to doing this both throughout the programme and at key points

The module currently runs on two blocks of two days. The last day of the module is used for the assessment which is  a verbal presentation which is appropriate to the activity that has to be undertaken when trying to persuade others about a proposed module or programme. The assessment criteria are designed by the staff on the module and then these are used for self, peer and lecturer assessment.

Categories: Curriculum Design, PREDICT

Learning at City Journal

August 30, 2011 Leave a comment

We launched a Learning at City Journal earlier in the year so staff could publish articles about their work related to learning and teaching.

The journal will be published twice a year and is available on line with an ISSN number. If you have some work you have been doing and want to share this across the University do send us an article. The articles are all blind peer reviewed. The next edition is in October but we have open submissions for the journal so if you wish to submit something send it to Pam Parker at

This is a good chance to see your work in print and share it with others. Here is the  link to the first edition so you can see what articles were published earlier.


August 3, 2011 Leave a comment

PREDICT, which stands for ‘Promoting Realistic Engaging Discussions in Curriculum Teams) is a JISC funded project within the Institutional Approaches to Curriculum Design Programme. The project focus is to develop a new curriculum design process that is efficient, flexible, focuses on enhancing educational development and the student experience and, is supported with responsive technology to accommodate our curriculum models. It is essential that the design process takes account of our diverse stakeholders – whether learners, staff or employers.

The Project has been running for three years and we have provided information in a range of ways but would like to use our Blog which has a link to this one. Main sources of information for the PREDICT project are:

PREDICT aims to develop a new curriculum design process that is efficient and flexible and utilizes responsive technology to accommodate our curriculum models and enhance learning opportunities.

The main objectives of the project are to:
  •   Engage all stakeholders in the process
  •   Develop a curriculum design process drawing upon stakeholder experiences
  •   Use technology to support the curriculum design process
  •   Develop values and principles for curriculum design around educational  development and the student experience
  •  Complete the project with an evaluative and critical approach

We are really interested in case studies of curriculum design and review activity so please do visit our blog this year which will develop with information being added and hopefully will become a place for you to share your practice

Project Manager

Dr Pam Parker

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