As we start to build back following the global pandemic, how can we best support students to achieve their goals and transform their lives?
Special guest speakers from colleges and universities across the UK shared a range of insights, experiences and innovative technologies during Bradford College’s Staff Development Day.
The event took place as the country marked one year since the first lockdown, when learning and teaching at colleges across the country was moved online. Staff across the college took part in virtual sessions around the themes of Digital Learning pedagogy, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and Wellbeing.
Sarah Cooper, Director of People Services at Bradford College said:
“Our amazing staff have been unwavering in their work and dedication to students in the last 12 months. Moving from face-to-face to online teaching and support in such a short amount of time. They have adapted the way learning is delivered and got to grips with new technology without pause. I am so proud of every single member of staff.
Craig Tupling, Vice Principal – Quality & Student Experience said:
“Whilst we are now transitioning back to face-to-face learning, teaching is changing, and we expect most students will want some form of blended delivery moving forwards. This development day provided an opportunity to review our practice & learn from the last 12 months to further develop staff skills & knowledge to continually improve the way we do things to deliver an outstanding experience to our students. The day has been greatly enhanced by the input from a range of colleagues from across the sector an on behalf of the college, I’d like to offer our thanks to Dr Emma Roberts, Dr Robert Green OBE, Wayne Hall, Dale Munday, Tom Button, Natalie Vernon, Elaine Topham and all the other speakers who delivered sessions at our staff development day.”
Dr Emma Roberts, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Chester, discussed skills and techniques for engaging students in an online learning environment. She said: “The most important thing in my view to keep your students engaged is to raise their awareness as to your presence; be yourself whilst maintaining professionalism and integrity and remain mindful of individual circumstances, showing empathy and compassion in considering whether students are engaging as we expect them to.”
Dr Robert Green OBE, Reader in Forensic Science and the Director of Student Engagement within the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Kent, gave his insight into engagement, assessment and feedback in challenging times. He also offered some personal reflections on how he has supported students over the past year.
Dale Munday, a Digital Learning Facilitator at Lancaster University, looked at how tools such as Teams and Class OneNote can help create an inclusive teaching and learning environment.
Wayne Hall, DFE EdTechDemo Project Manager at Darlington College, demonstrated how Google Tour and Google Earth enables students to explore and learn about sights and wonders across the globe.
Tom Button and Natalie Vernon from the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP ) demonstrated some new tools that have emerged to support students studying English and maths.
Elaine Topham, Senior Learning Technologist at the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education talked about ‘app smashing’ – which is the art of using different education technology tools together in new and effective ways.
The speakers were organised by Cristina Nicolae, Learning & Quality Manager. She said: “I wish to offer our warmest thanks to our wonderful guest speakers, who showcased great practice in different settings. They will help staff at different levels of digital maturity to apply research-based pedagogy and engaging ways to deliver content”.