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January 2017 showcase

Humanities Teaching and Learning Showcase: 12 January 2017

showcase images, The University of Manchester

Testing! Testing! Assessment for the New Millennium

What are the the challenges associated with assessing students in Higher Education today? And how can we overcome them? Exactly how do teaching staff know that they've engaged with their students, and that their lectures have had the impact they've been aiming for? At this event, we'll explore these questions, and provide some strategies and techniques to guide you through the assessment maze.

The Winter 2017 Humanities Teaching and Learning Showcase

The Showcase will take place:

  • Date: Thursday 12 January 2017;
  • Time: 11am to 3pm - see the full timetable below in "Registration";
  • Venue: Alliance Manchester Business School;
  • Lunch will be provided from 12.50 to 1.50pm in the atrium;
  • The event will be of interest to colleagues with a background or interest in teaching and learning;
  • Please check this page for updates, and watch out for further announcements.


Registration is now open. Please use this survey to register and select the presentations you'd like to attend. Each of the 30 minute sessions is repeated once. For full details of the the day, please refer to the current timetable

Please sign in at the registration desk on the day, and assemble in Room B10 for an introduction and welcome from Dr Fiona Smyth, Vice Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students, Faculty of Humanities.

30 minute presentations

Drew Whitworth (School of Education, Environment and Development) Discussion Forums for Assessment (HNAP S9/S10)

This presentation investigates the use of online discussions as an alternative form of assessment. It will explore the pedagogical justification for this practice, and outline how discussions can be used as both formative and summative assessment, integrated with course content and activities to help the students become practitioners in particular contexts. Practical issues around the facilitation, moderation, grading and administration of discussions will be explored. With respect to grading, evidence will be presented that suggests how, with Teaching Assistant support, the method scales well and relatively large cohort sizes can be accommodated.

Weika Tan (Student led video presentation) Student perspectives on exam preparation. Cancelled

Due to presenter availability, this session has been cancelled and will be included in the Summer 2017 event

Mike O'Donoghue and colleagues (School of Education, Environment and Development/Manchester Institute of Education)  Pecha Kucha assessments (HNAP S9)

This session will look at the uses of Pecha Kucha as assessment elements in a broader teaching context. Pecha Kucha is a short form presentation format which makes use of maximum of 20 PowerPoint slides, each of which is shown for no more than 20 seconds. This session will provide some examples from practice and discussion.

Jacqueline Suthren Hirst (School of Arts, Languages and Cultures) and Walter Riggans (Cliff College) Challenges and approaches to creative assessment Parts 1 and 2 (HNAP S4)

It is sometimes feared that creative forms of assessment fail to prepare students for the rigorous critical engagement an essay or examination requires and take up too much time. Jacqueline's presentation showcases examples from Religions and Theology which address these issues. They were shared with colleagues within her department and one of our partner institutions in a workshop in December 2016. Like the examples from Cliff College which will be presented in Dr Walter Riggans session (see outline below), the methods presented can easily be adapted for other Humanities disciplines.

In Walter's follow on presentation, he will review how modes of assessment can be tailored towards the kind of problem solving and communications skills that graduates will be called on to demonstrate while maintaining the university's commitment to the ILOs and academic standards.

One hour workshops

Sam Aston and Chris Millson (The University Library) Open Blogging for assessment in the PGCertHE (HNAP S9)

Open Knowledge in Higher Education is a unit delivered by The University Library on the Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. The unit makes use of the online publication platform Medium to both scaffold the unit and publish participant assessment tasks. The course conveners are a librarian and an educational technologist and they will discuss why they chose Medium. They will share their views and take a detailed look at the assessment and how it worked in practice while holding it up to assessment theory.

The session will engage the audience through active participation and discussion as the presenters share their experiences and encourage attendees to reflect upon their own practices.

The outcomes for the workshop are:

  • To discuss the motivation for using Medium to support the unit
  • Explore the reach of alignment of assessment
  • To evaluate Medium and Blackboard as a platform to support teaching

Cinzia Pusceddu-Gangarosa (Humanities eLearning) Game-based teaching and assessment with Virtual Reality (HNAP S9 & S10)

The presentation will begin with an introduction to the the principles of Game-based learning and teaching, as well as a brief history of Virtual Reality (VR) in education, with a focus on the strengths and weaknesses of learning in VR. A few general examples of applied game-based teaching and the use of VR for assessment will follow. Finally, past and current VR game projects as well as those currently in development in SALC will be introduced by Rosalind Bell from Digilab. Courtesy of the Digilab staff, a VR station will be available in the foyer for trying the VR experience out directly.

Paul Gratrick (Humanities Careers Service) Linking assessments to employability skills

Hear from Humanities colleagues and the Careers Service about current practice across the Faculty and University with regards to embedding employability skills in your assessments. A variety of existing practices will be explored in order to show how this can be done within a range of discipline areas. Key outcomes of this presentation will be an increased knowledge of how to link your assessments to employability skills, what support is available from the Careers Service in achieving this, and what the current student and graduate labour market trends are.

Stalls in the atrium

Throughout the day there will be a number of stalls providing information and demonstrations relating to teaching and learning in Humanities. Please visit and talk to colleagues about the support they can provide.

  • The Library
  • Peer Support
  • Humanities eLearning
  • Student Support and Advice
  • The Careers Service
  • Digi Lab
  • Association of University Administrators
  • eTekkatho Library