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Quickfire Sessions

Social Responsibility at the University of Manchester

Julian Skyrme (University Director of Social Responsibility)

Julian will provide an introductory overview of the University's commitment to developing its Social Responsibility programme.

Professor Matthew Cobb (Associate Dean for Social Responsibility, Faculty of Life Sciences)

Professor Yaron Matras (SALC, Languages)

Over the next few years the University is going to introduce a series of 'Ethical Grand Challenges' for all undergraduates. These will be around sustainability (first year), social inequality (second year) and workplace ethics (final year). I will outline the logic behind this plan, and explain how we are going to pilot the first year project in two phases in 2014, before rolling it out to the whole university on a single day of activity in October 2015.


Dr Craig Blyth (SEED, Education)

  • Education's Alumni Magazine

The Manchester Institute of Education has embedded a range of employability related activities across its undergraduate programmes. These activities include providing all students the option to undertake credit bearing career management units and the provision of careers/employability student events throughout the year. In addition to these activities with current students, MIE are developing relationships with alumni with a specific focus on employability. The presentation will explore how MIE has developed an alumni publication and how this, in part, is used to engage our alumni in our employability related activities and how, in turn, this can provide current undergraduates with access to professionals working in a wide range of relevant fields. In addition, the use of the alumni publication as a tool to increase the number of graduates completing the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey (DLHE) will be discussed.

Anna Lomas (Careers & Employability Division)

  • MyFutureFest - Involvement from Schools & Faculties

Myself and colleague Sophie Wing will be presenting on a new 2nd Semester initiative for all students across campus: MyFutureFest. This week-long event (17th - 21st Feb) will focus on engaging students with the idea of planning for their futures and encouraging them to embrace the concept of employability. Through a wide variety of activities, we hope to inspire, motivate and support them in making them right choices for their future. We want to collaborate with Schools and Faculties to deliver and promote this event and look forward to discussing this with you.

Dr Claire Goulsbra (SEED, Geography)

  • Employability in the PGT programme

There is a strong focus on employability in the undergraduate programme, but this is also apparent in the PGT curriculum. The GeographyPGT courses offer a number of unique selling points to employers. This presentation reviews some of the ways in which these are delivered and looks at why our graduates are so attractive to potential employers.

30 Minute Presentations

Dr Richard Kingston (SEED, Planning and Environmental Management)

In this session you will see how I have used screencasts to support students in learning how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS). My method and approach could apply to students learning to any piece of computer software.

Andrew Richardson (Senior Learning Technologist, Manchester Business School)

The presentation will give a brief overview of MOOCs and a summary of development of the two humanities courses being developed for launch in 2014 on the Coursera Platform.

Dr Ian Hutt (Distance Learning Lead, Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences)

The Discover Geology Field Trip was designed to provide a flexible opportunity for distance-learning students in Environmental Sciences to experience a Geology field trip. Using Augmented Reality technology, the field trip allows a smartphone or tablet device to serve as a” pocket geologist”, providing directions and a full commentary on the geology and natural history of the area around Mam Tor in the Peak District. The application also includes several tools to help participants to discover and explore interesting features along the route. Although the software was originally designed for MSc students and has been successfully used with this group, the application has also been made publicly available. In August 2013 we ran a coach trip to launch the AR field trip, where members of the public along with several University staff walked the route using the new application. The feedback from all participants has been overwhelmingly positive.

Phil Styles & Emmett Flynn (Humanities eLearning Team)

Phil and Emmett introduce Blackboard Mobile Learn (for iOS and Android devices) and present some of the best ways to make courses work well with mobile devices.

Dr Paul Middleditch (SoSS)

  • Teaching with Twitter

Paul will present an interactive workshop/talk using Turningpoint responseware to measure attitudes towards Twitter as a pedagogical tool. Participants will be shown how their own attitudes change over the course of the talk.

Angela Gardner (Head: Executive Education Elearning Team, Instructional Designer)

Angela will present on her work in Executive Education Elearning – including programmes for BP, the NHS, Global Fellows and her team's open and customised courses.

Dr Elinor O'Connor (Manchester Business School)

Elinor has developed and introduced a confidential mentoring scheme to support academic staff in developing their teaching at Manchester Business School and will host a presentation to share her experience of this at the Showcase.

Andrew Gold (Humanities elearning Team) with Dr Judith Zolkiewski (Manchester Business School)

  • Using the Turnitin Mobile App

Andrew will demonstrate the use of the app. He will be joined by Judith Zolkiewski who has been successfully using it for the last few months, and who will share her practical experience.

Dr Jennifer O'Brien (SEED, Geography)

Workshops and Labs

Dr James Evans (SEED, Geography), with Andrew Karvonen (SEED, Architecture) Dr Ross Jones (SEED, Geography), Lucy Millard (Sustainability Team, Estates)

  • The University as Living Lab: Opportunities to Teach Using the Campus and Beyond

At 800 Hectares the University campus is the size of a small town and faces many of the challenges around service delivery, planning and design that characterise wider society. At the same time, the University recently announced a £1b investment programme to transform the campus into an inclusive and inspirational place to study and research. The University Professional Support Services are keen to work with academics and students on a range of issues to enhance campus operations, creating numerous opportunities for applied teaching that can enhance the employability and social responsibility profiles of students by addressing real world problems. This session will give an overview of the opportunities to use the campus and surrounding city to teach across a range of subjects, and showcase a variety of examples of current courses and programmes. It will also offer participants the opportunity to brainstorm their own activities and provide practical contacts and resources to follow these up.

Dr Gary Motteram (SEED, Education)

  • Thinking flexibly about your teaching

Most academics, if asked, are likely to say that making the move into distance learning is too difficult a learning curve and/ or would take too much time. This 'show and tell' workshop demonstrates how you can easily adapt the teaching material you currently use to make it both more easily accessible to your regular onsite students, but also make it ready for delivery at a distance.

Teaching can be captured live as 'videos', or you can create videos yourself with simple to use screen capture software. These can be supplemented with links to academic literature available from the library and other online materials available on the internet. All this material is storable on a wiki, which is quickly updatable, both by yourself and others, downloadable onto portable devices, or printed for offline reading. This covers the face-to-face side of teaching.

For blended or distance teaching your material is then linked into Blackboard via tasks (similar to those you might use onsite) to utilise a variety of asynchronous communication tools like forums, or blogs. For fully distance these activities can be supplemented with synchronous tools like Adobe Connect, or Skype, or if preferred the synchronous tools can be the main way of presenting materials and the content can support the synchronous activity. Material remains easily accessible and can contribute to your impact. It remains easily accessible to your students even when the course is finished.

Dr Michael O'Donoghue (SEED Education), Dr Rebecca Bennett (Law), Dr Drew Whitworth (SEED Education)

The context of the session is the increased University and Faculty interest in supporting Distance Learning. The Faculty has recently developed a Distance Learning Framework which combines an explanation of the programme approval process with support for the creation of DL provision. It provides a set of resources to guide academic teams from the initial idea and the design of learning materials, to delivery, review, and redesign where necessary.