Summits and Horizons
UCL Teaching and Learning Exchange

UCL Arena presents…

All events are in UCL Arena Room, 1-19 Torrington Place unless otherwise stated.

Follow @uclarena on Twitter for the most up-to-date information.

UCL Arena Exchange Seminars

These seminars are run by UCL staff. They outline examples of good teaching practice and discuss their work with colleagues. All are welcome.

UCL Arena Fellowship applicants can add attendance at these events to their record of professional development activities in Part 2 of their applications.

Date & Time

Session

Thursday 23 October
16.00-17.00

Using audit to improve teaching and learning: a case-study on students' use of feedback

With Pam Donovan, Physics & Astronomy

We give our students feedback on their work in the expectation that they will use it, but how do we know whether our feedback is effective? This seminar will begin with a case-study of an audit of 2nd year physics' undergraduates' use of feedback on laboratory coursework. We will then go on to explore the advantages and problems of auditing our teaching, and discuss how audits can be used to improve teaching and learning in a variety of contexts.

UKPSF Areas:

  • A3 Assess and give feedback to learners
  • K5 Methods for evaluating the effectiveness of teaching
  • V3 Use evidence-informed approaches and the outcomes from research, scholarship and continuing professional development

Please register via the Single Training Booking System.

Thursday 30 October
10.00-11.00

The UN rights of the child: Widening Participation, Student Research and Art

With Caroline Fertleman, Institute of Child Health

Five post-GCSE students who wanted to study medicine and met the UCLMS target medicine criteria for widening participation undertook  a research project as part of their work experience with 100 secondary school patients at the Whittington Hospital to rank five out of a total of 40 most relevant UN rights of the child. This work has been presented at national meetings and these five rights have been illustrated by an adolescent patient with chronic health needs transitioning to adult services as part of her A-level course work. The 'grand unveiling' was attended by all those involved in every single stage of this process which was itself conducted like a timeline to show the project from inception, pilot, data collection and analysis through to production of the final artwork demonstrating these rights.

UKPSF Areas:

  • A4 Develop effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance
  • V1 Respect individual learners and diverse learning communities
  • V2 Promote participation in higher education and equality of opportunity for learners

Please register via the Single Training Booking System.

Tuesday 11 November
13.00-14.00

Improving assessment and feedback scores

In this seminar Dr Klaus Abels and Dr Alastair McClelland will talk about how they have changed assessment on their programmes. Drawing on recent examples, they will show how changes have affected students’ perception of assessment and feedback leading to improved NSS scores. There will be time for discussion and sharing ideas for improving assessment and feedback.

Please register via the Single Training Booking System.

Wednesday 19 November
16.00-17.00

*repeat session due to demand*

When Perfect isn't good enough

With Catherine McAteer and Kate Joseph, UCL Student Psychological Services

This talk is about supporting students who have difficulties with low mood, anxiety, perfectionism and adjusting to university. Starting university is an exciting but often challenging time, when students feel a pressure both to achieve and compete with their peers, whilst also having the "time of their lives". Many students face pyschological and emotional difficulties at university and struggle to concentrate on their studies. This workshop for staff who teach or support student learning at UCL aims to help staff both understand and adapt to students whose emotional and psychological patterns impact on their learning and wellbeing. we plan to explore the common problems faced by UCL students: anxiety, low mood, perfectionism and adjusting to university learning. This session will address how to identify students who are struggling with emtional issues and explore how you cna best support them to maximise their studying and make the most of their university experience. In addition, we aim to explore how to design and deliver teaching that is both supportive and inclusive. We will use specific examples of students to generate practical tips and ways forward.

Please register via the Single Training Booking System.

Wednesday 14 January
10.00-11.00

Using blogs as a tool to develop students’ writing and critical thinking skills

With Kerstin Sailer

Critical thinking and being able to express this in written form is a crucial skill for students in evaluating ideas, applying concepts to real-life situations and solving problems. As a deep approach to learning it is inherently difficult to teach.


This seminar will present an approach that enables students to develop their writing and critical thinking skills using blogs as a tool. This is based on experiences from the module ‘Buildings Organisations Networks’(BON) in the MSc Spatial Design: Architecture and Cities at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at UCL, where blogs formed an integral part of the teaching and learning experience as well as the assessment.
The seminar will give a brief overview of the approach and then focus on a round table discussion to share questions, views, perspectives and ideas to apply this approach to different teaching practices and settings.

UKPSF Areas:

  • A1 Design and plan learning activities and/or programmes of study
  • A3 Assess and give feedback to learners
  • K3 How students learn, both generally and within their subject/disciplinary area(s)
  • K4 The use and value of appropriate learning technologies

To register, please visit the Single Training Booking System

Monday 26 January
13.00-14.00

Developing Students' Research, Writing and Collaborative Skills Using Wikis

With Parama Chaudhury, UCL Economics

We will discuss introducing wikis as a part of required coursework in two undergraduate economics modules. The wiki project had three main objectives: it gave students an opportunity to do a literature survey or other research, it required them to write analytical prose and it facilitated group work. Since our modules tend to be large in number and our student body quite diverse, students don’t often get a chance to write extensively, research or collaborate. The wiki project was a way of getting around this. We will describe the way we set up the wiki activity and present data on student engagement, and evaluation of the project.

To register, please visit the Single Training Booking System.

Monday 26 January

16.00-17.00

Undergraduate Students Interview Researchers in Brain Sciences

With Julie Evans

Please register via the Single Training Booking System.

Monday 2 March
16.00-17.00

Introduction and assessment of a new robust peer-assessment in Engineering

With Pilar Garcia Souto, Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering

Peer assessment has been gradually introduced at university level as it enhances students’ learning and development of critical skills. In this seminar a new peer assessment method, investigated in collaboration with Gwyneth Hughes (Institute of Education), which addresses the weaknesses of the traditional peer assessment and ensures that students engage and see it as a learning tool and an accurate and reliable way of assessing their work will be introduced. It promotes students’ discussion/support and engages them in the assessment of feedback which increases their learning and critical thinking. Following the student’s preferences, an online system is used and anonymity is ensured.

UKPSF Areas:

  • A1 Design and plan learning activities and/or programmes of study
  • A3 Assess and give feedback to learners
  • A4 Develop effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance
  • K2 Appropriate methods for teaching and learning in the subject area and at the level of the academic programme
  • K3 How students learn, both generally and within their subject/disciplinary area(s)
  • K4 The use and value of appropriate learning technologies
  • K6 The implications of quality assurance and quality enhancement for academic and professional practice with a particular focus on teaching

To register, please visit the Single Training Booking System.

Wednesday 4 March 2015
16.00-17.00

Interdisciplinary Learning: Student Voices

With Carl Gombrich

The seminar proposes to look at an analysis of interviews with 12 successful Art and Sciences BASc students after the completion of their 2nd year of the degree.

Particular attention will be paid to 3 topical yet contentious questions:

1. Is teaching creativity possible? 
2. What is interdisciplinarity from an undergraduate's perspective?
3. Can we differentiate between the value of knowledge vs skills from an undergraduate's perspective?

UK PSF Areas:

  • A4 Develop effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance
  • K3 How students learn, both generally and within their subject/disciplinary areas
  • V1 Respect individual learners and diverse learning communities
  • V3 Use evidence-informed approaches and the outcomes from research, scholarship and continuing professional development

To register, please visit the Single Training Booking System

Monday 9 March
11.00-12.00

Introducing e-learning environments to the Biomedical Engineering Programme: Complex quizzes and problems with real time feedback and personalised training

With Pilar Garcia Souto, Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering

We aim to offer a 24 hour learning environment where students can test their understanding of a subject and obtain real time feedback and personalised training addressing their particular needs. For example, a student solving a mathematical problem will be shown if each of their steps is correct, and be offered assistance and examples when needed. This seminar will look at the implimentation of a system at UCL and more specifically in the Integrated Engineering Programme that can be used for formative self-assessment or summative coursework. This system improves the teaching and learning as: (1) increases the revision and application activities which promote and reinforce learning; (2) students can identify and address their weak points at an early stage and allow lecturers to adapt their teaching to the class; (3) addresses the current limitations of out-of-class contact time that result in the learning process being stopped/delayed. The benefits of using the new system will be quantified initially by students’ perceptions of the system. Modules have also been selected carefully to allow for direct comparisons of students’ academic performance.

UKPSF Areas:

  • A1 Design and plan learning activities and/or programmes of study
  • A3 Assess and give feedback to learners
  • A4 Develop effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance
  • K2 Appropriate methods for teaching and learning in the subject area and at the level of the academic programme
  • K3 How students learn, both generally and within their subject/disciplinary area(s)
  • K4 The use and value of appropriate learning technologies
  • K5 Methods for evaluating the effectiveness of teaching
  • K6 The implications of quality assurance and quality enhancement for academic and professional practice with a particular focus on teaching

To register, please visit the Single Training Booking System.

*This event has been postponed. More information will follow when it becomes available*

HEA STEM (Built Environment): Embracing peer-contribution(s) in assessment practices

This one day workshop is designed for postgraduate students, young academics and other non-permanent academic staff / practitioners who are involved in teaching and supporting student learning specifically in planning and other built environment disciplines (teaching, demonstrating, fieldwork assistants, guest lecturing, marking, etc). The participatory sessions will explore PAL (peer assisted learning) as an environment and as a tool for learning and the value of peer assessment and feedback. Undergraduate students that actively participate in peer assisted activities at UCL will share their experiences with you and lead/facilitate discussions in the sessions. There will also be an opportunity to bring your own teaching related problems to a question and answer session. 

Summits and Horizons

Summits and Horizons

The event, a joint venture between CALT and ELE, is a series of lunchtime events looking at new e-learning in UCL in which two or three speakers discuss how they've used new technologies in their teaching.

These sessions are on Mondays, 13.00-14.00, open to all UCL staff and take place in the UCL Arena Room, 1-19 Torrington Place.

Next session: Monday 13 October 2014

This summer, Sarah Warnes, a teaching fellow in the department of Management Science & Innovation attended a JISC Netskills course entitled E-Learning Essentials. Rather than focusing on technological tools, the course concentrated on instructional learning design and how this may be applied when designing learning online. On her return she successfully applied for an E-learning Development Grant (ELDG) to put what she had learnt into practice. Working with Matt Smith, Learning Technology Officer for the department and student developer Colleen Sutcliffe, Sarah has redesigned her course MSIN6001A: Understanding Management. By employing a role-play scenario based blended learning model, Sarah hopes to successfully engage learners across a large cohort as well as offering greater opportunities for deeper learning at each stage of the course.

Future dates:

  • 10th November 2014
  • 8th December 2014
  • 19th January 2015
  • 9th February 2015
  • 16th March 2015
  • 11th May 2015
  • 8th June 2015

There is no need to book. Please just come along.

UCL Arena Essentials

Topical lunchtime sessions for anyone who teaches and/or supports students' learning at UCL.

All sessions are 13.00-14.00.

To book, please click on the title of the session to be taken through to the Single Training Booking System.

Session Title Dates

Effective Lecturing

This session is based on experiential learning. We'll try out different ways of making lectures effective. Participants will consider if/how they would like to use these approaches in their lectures.

Thursday 13 November

Monday 2 February

Evaluating Your Teaching

This session will introduce approaches to gathering and analysing feedback from your students with the aim of improving your teaching.

Monday 17 November

Wednesday 11 March

Wednesday 3 June

Helping students understand assessment

Students need help to understand tutor expectations, tutor feedback and to act on feedback to improve their work. This session explores ways of helping students understand assessment.

Wednesday 19 November

Wednesday 11 February

Wednesday 13 May

Peer Observation of Teaching

This session outlines engaging approaches to collaborative work to develop teaching.

Thursday 20 November

Wednesday 21 January

Thursday 5 March

Thursday 21 May

Designing Sessions and Courses

This session will get you started on designing teaching, whether degrees, courses or sessions.

Wednesday 26 November

Wednesday 4 March

Tuesday 19 May

Giving Quicker Feedback

We look at ten ways to give quicker feedback to students and think about why quicker feedback is important.

Monday 1 December

Monday 2 March

Wednesday 10 June

Students Learning with Peers

This session includes managing student group work, peer review and feedback.

Wednesday 3 December

Thursday 12 February

Thursday 14 May

Personal Tutoring

This session will review the main purposes of personal tutoring and discuss ways of achieving them.

Thursday 4 December

Thursday 26 February

Wednesday 20 May


If there is another topic not listed here that you'd like to be included or would like to contribute to, please email arena@ucl.ac.uk with your suggestion.

Object-based research - With UCL Museums and Collections

Museum objects can be employed in a variety of ways, to enhance and disseminate subject specific knowledge and to facilitate the acquisition of research, communication, practical and observational skills. Students can research objects, inspiring discussion, group work and lateral thinking – all essential key, transferable, skills. In this session you will have the chance to participate in an object based learning (OBL) session, review existing OBL resources and discuss the development of new OBL resources tailored to your student’s needs.

Session dates and times:

16.00-17.00, 14th October 2014, Petrie Museum

16.00-17.00, 11th November 2014, Petrie Museum

16.00-17.00, 2nd December 2014, Petrie Museum

16.00-17.00, 13th January 2015, Grant Museum

16.00-17.00, 17th March 2015, Grant Museum

16.00-17.00, 19th May 2015, Grant Museum

Please Register via the Single Training Booking System

Research Supervision


If you would like to lead an Exchange Seminar, please complete the proposal form.


Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES) Seminar Programme, Institute of Education

The CHES seminars provide a forum for debate and analysis of issues affecting policy, practice and research in higher education, supporting the exchange of views and experiences across higher education.  Seminars are normally held at 17.30 hrs, on the first Tuesday of the month at the Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way. For more information, please visit their website.

All UCL staff are invited to attend these free events. Please email Alison Peacock to register.


Other series interested individuals can attended at UCL:

  • EconomicsEducation, informal discussions about teaching methods and materials in the UCL Department of Economics.

Page last modified on 06 oct 14 11:27