Latest headlines

symposium teaching assessment

How a symposium can be used to assess students’ work

Judith Hillmore heard Dr Suzanne Ruddy, UCL Molecular Biosciences, tell attendees at the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference 2014 how her students take part in a realistic symposium as part of their assessed work. More...

Published: Apr 11, 2014 2:34:19 PM

Tutorial teaching

Students prefer tutorial-based teaching, a new study shows

Clare Goudy reports on a study into student attitudes to small-group teaching, presented at the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference 2014 More...

Published: Apr 11, 2014 1:58:19 PM

Beatrice Lok personal tutor study

What do students want from their personal tutors?

Abbie Willett, Beatrice Lok and Dr Paul Walker, CALT, revealed the top five most valued aspects of personal tutoring to attendees at the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference 2014  More...

Published: Apr 11, 2014 1:33:39 PM

off-campus project work teaching learning conference

Going off-campus: help create a new framework for student project work

Dr Jamie Harle, Medical Physics and Bioengineering, told the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference 2014 about a new framework for student and external supervisor engagement in off-campus work. Mark Copestake reports More...

Published: Apr 11, 2014 10:20:35 AM

Providing graphics skills through distance learning

Open-source GIS

The Bartlett is providing postgrads with vital graphics skills before they arrive at UCL via the Urban Skills Portal.

Read more »

Effective teaching videos

'Frame yourself': an illustration by Mike Howarth

A selection of tips to help create professional-looking, powerful videos that complement face-to-face teaching.

Read more »

Gain teaching qualification

UCL Arena logo teaching learning

Formal recognition for HE teaching is available through the UCL Arena scheme. 

Read more »

Anthony Smith asks, "Are you a 'glass half-full' person?"

31 May 2012

Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost (Education), considers the importance of personal outlook and urges the teaching and learning community at UCL to make every contact count.

Professor Anthony Smith, UCL's Vice-Provost (Education)

Are you a 'glass half-full' or 'glass half-empty' person? Your point of view will largely determine how we face the next 18 months.

We have multiple priorities: completing preparations for the REF exercise by securing the very best output and impact cases, implementing the new enterprise and international strategies, and further enhancing the student experience at UCL. Perfect storm or perfect opportunity? I favour the latter and believe there is no better time to reflect on our teaching and learning practices.

Now five months into my role, one of its many pleasures has been getting to know the extraordinary UCL community. Hardly a day goes by when I don't meet colleagues who are doing wonderful work with their students. Each of them brings outstanding academic scholarship to their students, often associated with the exploration of new techniques and technologies to enhance student engagement and provide more support and feedback on performance. Across the diverse range of disciplines there is a common theme and that is a real focus on the quality of interaction between students and faculty - an approach I am calling 'make every contact count'.

With so much focus quite rightly on the student experience, accelerated by the new tuition fees arrangements, the onus is on all of us to give a distinctly UCL experience to all of our taught students. This is characterised by research-led teaching, where research and education interact creatively with each other, and our Education for Global Citizenship agenda. For UCL graduates to be best-placed in an extraordinarily competitive employment market it is essential for them to think and express themselves critically and clearly in their discipline and to have had the opportunity to study global issues from different disciplinary perspectives.

Through the Teaching and Learning Portal and its newsletter we will be showcasing teaching and learning practices across UCL and providing tools and support to programme leaders, departments and faculties who wish to adopt them. Being exceptionally time poor is a fact of life for all of us, irrespective of our discipline. I hope these case studies will give you the headspace to reflect on your own teaching and learning. With scholarly innovation, particularly around assessment and feedback, there is every opportunity to 'make every contact count' and gain that most precious resource, time. Overly optimistic? Maybe, but then I am a 'glass half-full' person!

Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost (Education)

Page last modified on 31 may 12 12:29

Tell us about the inspiring teaching and learning taking place in your department: email