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Queen Mary Academy

Thursday 11 March - Session Details

Thursday 10:00 Parallel Session One

Parallel Session 1A

What does the B. in Benoit B. Mandelbrot stand for? Controlling the "chaos" of Migrating MTH6107 - Chaos & Fractals to Blended Learning

Panel discussion - Dr Shabnam Beheshti, School of Mathematical Sciences with a panel of students from the module

In this panel session, I will discuss and reflect on MTH6107 - Chaos and Fractals, and field questions from the audience.  I shall describe my own teaching assignment and how I ended up running Chaos and Fractals, in terms of setup, mechanics and style.  In my view, it is a fairly standard third-year UG Maths module, so migration to blended learning has both “nuts-and-bolts” and pedagogy choices worth discussing; I might also be able to share how our (social) dynamics evolved as the weeks progressed, and use this to explain the lighthearted title of this session!

Simply sharing what I did and why could be useful for others, but I propose running this session as a directed conversation between myself and a panel of students from the module as well as the audience.   I am very much ok with laying bare the successes and failures of the module and letting the students take the lead on what parts worked/didn’t work and why, which could be interesting.  Also, I have experience in running panels and a collection of students have already enthusiastically agreed to give this idea a try, as seen the Week 12 chat when I rather nervously suggested the idea to the class: "I'm in" "Me too" "What's the deadline and do we need to help with the proposal?"  Join us, it's going to be fun!

Parallel Session 1B

Engaged Topics Network: What is Engaged Teaching

Two presentations by individuals who run engaged teaching modules, with a Q&A 15 minutes, and a wrap up/reflection of 5 minutes - Natt Day, Centre for Public Engagement

Engaged Teaching offers the opportunity for Queen Mary staff to work with external partners to co-design and co-deliver teaching, providing students the opportunity to apply their learning in wider society. In this session, we'll explore examples of Engaged Teaching already happening at Queen Mary, and the benefits it offers to students, staff, and external partners. There will be the opportunity to ask questions of those involved in Engaged Teaching, and find out more about how the Centre for Public Engagement can help you develop your own Engaged Teaching practice.

Parallel Session 1C

Looking after your wellbeing

Presentation - Laura Dabner, Organisational and Professional Development

Investing in your wellbeing has proven to help reduce stress and create a more positive work-life balance. Join us to, share best practice, find out what the University has to offer and open up the discussion around wellbeing.

Thursday 11:15 Parallel Session Two

Parallel Session 2A

Enabling effective group learning activities in an online environment

Interactive workshop - Paula Funnell, Student and Academic Services

Group activities are a vital part of learning, enabling students to pool ideas, share knowledge and experience, develop effective communication and collaboration skills, and learn from their peers. Maintaining this interaction in online formats is possibly even more important, when students perhaps get fewer chances to interact with their peers, but doing so effectively can be a challenge.

To begin with I struggled to find ways to convert activities that worked well in a classroom into online activities. Whilst group discussion can be achieved effectively by using breakout rooms, how to manage group activities, work on shared tasks, assess progress, and getting feedback from them, is much more difficult in an online environment where you’re not able to see the groups or walk around the classroom.

As I have done more online teaching I have discovered additional ways to incorporate and co-ordinate group activities online. As well as using tools such as Mentimeter or whiteboards for gathering simple responses from groups, I have developed the use of Padlet and Google slides to encourage effective collaboration, view the groups’ outputs, and provide feedback where appropriate.

This workshop will enable participants to see how some of these tools work in practice to actively engage students in their learning, and how the students feel that such activities have enhanced their learning experience. I will share my own experiences and those of others who have used and developed some of these ideas within their own teaching. There will be plenty of opportunity for participants to explore these tools and try out some group activities for themselves.

Parallel Session 2B

Engaging students and building communities in asynchronous learning contexts

An asynchronous activity on Padlet is now open

Interactive workshop - Dr Ana Cabral and Dr Stephanie Fuller, Queen Mary Academy

We are running an asynchronous session available on Padlet so that participants in the Festival can share ideas, engage in discussion and present examples of effective asynchronous teaching and learning (particularly where asynchronous delivery has been used to promote student engagement and community building).

The Padlet will remain open until Wednesday 10 March

Through the discussion and sharing of practice on Padlet, participants will be able to collaborate with academic colleagues and students in a shared opportunity for asynchronous co-creation.

During our session we will share some of the content that had been co-created on Padlet and draw conclusions.

We are proposing this approach within the context of an ongoing study into asynchronous delivery as part of PGCAP and will also share the context, aims and preliminary results of our study. Participants will be able to contribute to the development of this research.

Parallel Session 2C

Strategy and innovation with apprenticeships during a pandemic

Presentation - Dr Michael Page, Institute of Health Sciences Education

Degree apprenticeships make it possible for employers to access targeted financial resources for staff development via the apprenticeship levy fund, with recent government announcements confirming their ongoing commitment to these important programmes. Accordingly, there is an opportunity for higher education, industry and apprentices alike to benefit from these traineeships. However, for employers, there are significant opportunity costs associated with their delivery. These include the statutory requirement for apprentices to be granted substantial off-the-job learning time, the requirement for line managers to ensure that appropriate learning and development activities are provided, and the need for apprentices and line managers to invest significant time in tracking and evidencing apprentices’ development in line with the relevant competency framework. None of these additional commitments can be offset by funds from the apprenticeship levy, and so apprenticeships must be aligned with an organisation’s strategic objectives in order to justify this significant investment.

In this session we will hear from apprentices, line managers and senior leaders in NHS organisations who will be discussing the role of the IHSE’s Clinical Education degree apprenticeship in their strategic staff development and organisational change programmes. We will also be discussing their perceptions of the value of working in partnership with higher education to achieve their aims.

In the live plenary session that follows, the academic leads for the IHSE's Clinical Education degree apprenticeship will be on hand to take questions about how the programme was designed and delivered, in order to support QMUL colleagues who may be interested in offering their own degree apprenticeships.

Thursday 14:00 Parallel Session Three

Parallel Session 3A

Exploring the Impact of Higher Education Academy Fellowships in a Covid Era

Interactive workshop - Max Addo, Queen Mary Academy, Professor Sally Bradley, Senior Adviser (Professional Learning and Development), Advance HE
The engagement of staff and students who teach in teaching recognition schemes is often used as a proxy measure to demonstrate institutional commitment to teaching and learning. This work will explore the impact of Fellowships of Higher Education Academy (Advance HE) in an era that engenders innovation in supporting learning. It will also examine teaching recognition and professional skills development through reflective practice. Being reflective and developing reflective practice is considered important for developing educational excellence. There is an increased call for the evaluation of continuing professional development (CPD) and teaching award programmes to focus on innovation and changes to the culture of educational development practice at both individual and institutional levels.

Parallel Session 3B

The design and harmonization of QMplus pages across the Chemistry Department

Presentation - Dr Lesley Howell, School of Chemical and Biological Sciences

This talk will outline the design and harmonization of the QMplus pages across the Chemistry Department. In May 2020, in response to the switch to Blended Learning, the Chemistry Department worked together to identify key priorities for our blended delivery and one of these was the design and layout of our QMplus pages. I will outline briefly our design and thought process as well as what worked and what didn't work from a staff perspective. Furthermore and perhaps most importantly, we also have data from our first and second year students identifying from their perspective what worked and what didn't and this will also be discussed.

Thursday 15:15 Parallel Session Four

Parallel session 4A

Developing researchers as teachers

Presentation and panel discussion - Dr Stephanie Fuller, Dr Fryni Panayidou, Dr Anastasia Kapara, Dr Rita Pedrosa, Mirko Palestrino, Dr Alice Shia and Dr Rui Pires Martins (Chair)

Early-career researchers are often advised to gain experience in teaching or teaching qualifications to make themselves more competitive for future academic roles and to gain transferrable skills the teaching experience provides. The availability of teaching opportunities for researchers can, however, vary considerably between departments within an institution. The Train the Trainer programme run by the Researcher Development team offers Postdocs training and an opportunity to deliver training sessions on the PhD development programme, providing additional teaching opportunities for this group. The Certificate in Learning and Teaching (CILT) run by the Education and Learning team provides an opportunity to study key theories and techniques of teaching in Higher Education leading to a 30-credit postgraduate award and Associate Fellowship of the HEA. This session will also discuss the shift to online and blended forms of teaching in the wake of the closure of university campuses across the country.

Parallel Session 4B

Enterprise Education: Developing students' entrepreneurial skills in Covid times

Presentation - Julie Kouamo, Careers & Enterprise

As the Student Enterprise team at Queen Mary University we are responsible for all the elements of student enterprise support, ensuring high quality of service to students, external mentors and other stakeholders. Due to the pandemic, we had to move quickly all our face-to face delivery to online.I would be talking how we moved our flagship programme QIncubator online:

  • Developing new learning outcomes using internal and cross-institution collaboration
  • Implemented new modes of assessments
  • Moved the programme to Zoom and how we made the most of it.
  • Using new ways of communications such as QMPlus and Slack

In conclusion, QIncubator, fully online for the first time, had:

  • 69 participants and 80% attended 7 or 8 sessions, which saw an increase of 10% of participants and reduced the drop rate by 20%
  • 75% of our participants rated our programme Very good or Excellent.
  • 29 pitch deck submissions and 4 prize winners.

Thursday 16:15 Parallel Session Five

Parallel session 5A

Bringing clinical cases alive: Integrating clinical simulations scenarios into a distance learning MSc

Interactive workshop - Libby Thomas, Darryl Woods, Munanwar Farooq, Ben Bloom, Tim Harris, The Blizard Institute

This session will share with the delegates some of the ways we have created simulated clinical scenarios to integrate into our distance learning MSc and our Human Factors vertical curriculum. Led by Senior Clinical Lecturer Dr Libby Thomas who has a PhD in Simulation and is the MSc in Emergency and Resuscitation Medicine simulation lead, this is an opportunity to consider how virtual learning platforms do not need to stop us using interactive, experiential learning practices.

In this workshop we will:
  • share some of examples of simulations we have created for our MSc
  • review the pedagogy underlying simulation as a teaching modality
  • explore the pedagogical reasons for mixing in different modailities to a distance learning MSc
  • explore the integration of vertical curricula and the benefit this can bring to learning
  • ask delegates to consider ways they could do the same
  • brainstorm ideas for integrating simulation in small groups and then share these back with the rest of group
  • review some of the challenges and requirements for developing these learning adjuncts
  • hope to foster a community of practice of interested individuals across QMUL who can support and help each other to develop opportunities within their own teaching practices.

Parallel Session 5B

Blended learning: clinical skills in medicine

Presentation - Farah Jaffar, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry

Clinical skills is a core aspect of the medical undergraduate curriculum and is a form of learning that requires a hands on approach to develop psychomotor skills. The movement of education to virtual learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in active innovation and transformation of clinical skills teaching and a shift towards blended learning to maximise pedagogical experience for medical students. The utilisation of blackboard collaborate has been pivotal in delivering such an approach.

First year medical students have moved from having face-to-face clinical skills teaching sessions to online synchronous iBSc student-led teaching sessions in small groups. Demonstration and observation of skills continues despite remote learning for example hand-washing and percussion technique. Discussions to understand and relate basic physiology and anatomy to clinical skills learning continue with the use of online synchronous teaching.

The focus for second year students is heavily based on asynchronous workbook material and videos to cover clinical signs and the steps of physical examinations, lending itself to more self-directed and independent learning. This has been supplemented by a synchronous formative quiz with the clinical skills team. Despite restarting face to face clinical skills teaching for third year medical students, crucial to the planning of the sessions is a safe educational experience. Therefore, the blended learning approach continues in order to minimise contact time. Examples include the dissemination of learning material with allocated reading time prior to in person teaching such as for practical skills e.g. venepuncture.

As clinical skills learning relies heavily on physical contact and real-time feedback, the move towards virtual teaching for clinical skills poses potential challenges which are difficult to overcome using a blended approach. Despite the challenges, the School of Medicine and Dentistry quickly adapted and continued to deliver high standard, safe clinical skills teaching to medical students.