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

ReThese 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


Date to be re-scheduled soon. Please contact for more details

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

Thursday 5 March

Meet the Researcher Pilot Project in the Faculty of Brain Sciences

With Julie Evans, UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences

The seminar will discuss in detail the methodology and feedback of a pilot project run in the Faculty of Brain Sciences which gave first year students on their BSc psychology and BSc Psychology and Language Sciences programmes the opportunity to spend time with researchers in their first few weeks of term, in line with a research intensive faculty and the strategic aims of UCL to provide a research-embedded education for students in line with the Connected Curriculum concept. 

The project aimed to engage students in real world research with applied applications from the beginning of their studies at UCL, give them an idea of how specific research questions can be studied from a number of different perspectives and at different levels, introduce them to group work with a coherent aim, improve presentation skills and experience of peer reviewing others’ work.

Researchers were required to explain their research in a two minute video.  Students were organised into seminar groups and part of the seminar programme required them to view the videos and select a researcher whose work interested them and interview the researcher in the first four weeks of term.  The main seminar group was divided into two and each smaller group interviewed a different researcher.  The purpose of the interview was to elicit enough information in order to give a short power point presentation about the researcher’s work to the other half of the seminar group, which was peer reviewed as formative assessment.

Please register via the Single Training Booking System.

Tuesday 10 March

Improving NSS Assessment and Feedback Scores

*Repeat session due to demand*

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.

To register, please visit the Single Training Booking System.

Wednesday 18 March


Using web-based audience response systems to engage students.

With Parama Chaudhury, UCL Economics

Using clickers to engage students in large classes is fairly common. Parama extends this to the use of web-based audience response systems (ARS) which allow free response, make it easier to track individual students and can be used on students’ own devices. In this  session she will discuss how she has used two different ARS in several different types of classes, and how the special features of this kind of ARS have affected both the content and the methods of her teaching.

Please register via the Single Training Booking System.

Monday 23 March 13.00-14.00

Students as Researchers: Investigating PhD Supervision and Feedback

With Steven Bloch, UCL Brain Sciences

Whilst all UCL PhD students are encouraged to complete an annual survey, there have been no attempts to establish what issues matter to these students particularly in the areas of academic supervision and feedback. In the past year focus groups have been organised in the Faculty of Brain Sciences to explore student experiences and views. Uniquely, students were invited to facilitate these groups themselves. In this seminar the preliminary results will be presented together with reflections on the process. Participants will be invited to explore the potential for working with students as researchers in their own areas of teaching, learning and supervision.

Please register via the Single Training Booking System.

Thursday 26 March

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.

Thursday 23 April 13.00-14.00

Competence Measurement in Leadership Skills in Health and Social Care Disciplines

With Neil Ralph and Jarrod Cabourne, Department of Clinical, Health and Educational Psychology

The NHS Clinical Leadership Competency Framework (2011) states that as well as being competent in their chosen clinical discipline, health and social care professionals must demonstrate skills in leadership and management. To ensure professionals are equipped with the relevant skills, there is the need to identify and develop robust assessment methodology. In this session a review of the literature identifying existing methods of assessment in the development of leadership competences relevant to vocational training within the School of Life and Medical Science will be presented. The review will identify and evaluate how health and social care disciplines have approached the issue of competency assessment.

Please register via the Single Training Booking System.

Wednesday 17 June 13.00-14.00

Using ipsative assessment to motivate all learners

With Gwyneth Hughes, UCL Institute of Education

Learners can be motivated through competitive marks and grades but learners who do not perform highly may become demotivated and even high performers may experience pressure and anxiety. In an ipsative assessment learners compete only with themselves. The aim is to improve on a previous performance at the learner’s own pace. The session will explore how both ipsative feedback and ipsative marking can be used in higher education. Participants will be encouraged to think about how elements of ipsative assessment could be introduced into their practice and what the benefits and challenges might be.

Please register via the Single Training Booking System.

Thursday 18 June

Friday 19 June

Wednesday 24 June

Thursday 25 June


The Art of Teaching: Theatre Techniques for the Classroom

With Jo Tomalin, San Francisco State University

Theatre training is not only for actors, but it is also of great value to everyone - especially to those who require confidence and effective communication skills in order to give presentations, lectures, or speeches. The practical and theoretical theatre experiences in this workshop also provide introductory tools to develop creative teaching strategies that encourage student participation and, as a result, enhance the learning experience.

Please register via the Single Training Booking System.

Friday 26 June

More Techniques for the Classroom

With Jo Tomalin, San Francisco State University

Additional workshop day for participants of June 24th and 25th sessions of 'The Art of Teaching: Theatre Techniques for the Classroom'. More practice applying techniques from the first workshops This workshop can also be a 'standalone' session although priority will be given to those registering for two sessions.

Please register via the Single Training Booking System.

*To be rescheduled* 

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.

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 9 February 2015

Who are Bob and Lynda?

BOB and are two popular new resources available to staff and students at UCL. This session will give an overview of both resources and discuss how they can enhance your modules.

BOB (Box of Broadcasting)

BoB is a broadcast service that UCL subscribes to. It allows educational use of TV and radio programmes:

  • Share a link to a programme with your students, add a link to an online reading list or even tweet it
  • Save clips from programmes and create playlists
  • Programmes can be viewed by any BoB users, which includes all registered students and staff at UCL (only inside the UK)
  • Using BoB in your teaching helps stay copyright compliant.

A huge range of high quality video tutorials supporting learning in software, creative and business skills — all free to UCL staff, and currently enrolled students. is on trial currently and we are keen to make sure as many UCL students and staff are aware of this.Andrew Wills will explain how he has designed and made a maths problem server, which is (in simple language) a quiz-making machine to help his students practice their problem-solving skills. Andrew will discuss the context for his initiative and the challenges he faced, and will take questions about his work.

Everyone is welcome, tea and coffee is provided.

Future dates:

  • 16th March 2015 - E-learning and modern languages. With Esther Tarsoly, SSEES
  • 11th May 2015 - Peermark. With Lawrence Bellamy, Biosciences
  • 8th June 2015 - E-learning for formative assessment. With Alex Murray​, Bartlett

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.

Future sessions to be scheduled.

Equality and Diversity in Teaching

An interactive seminar-style session looking at the Equality Act 2010 and its implications for inclusive teaching practices

Tuesday 5 May 

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 13 May

Students Learning through Groupwork

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

Thursday 14 May

Personal Tutoring

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

Wednesday 20 May

Giving Quicker Feedback

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

Wednesday 10 June

Designing Sessions and Courses

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

Wednesday 4 March

Tuesday 19 May

Evaluating Your Teaching

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

Wednesday 11 March

Wednesday 3 June

Peer Observation of Teaching

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

Tuesday 17 March

Thursday 21 May

Developing a Scenario for Effective Blended Learning

Last summer, Sarah Warnes, a teaching fellow in the department of Management Science & Innovation attended a JISC Netskills course entitled E-Learning Essentials. Rather than focussing on technological tools, the course concentrated on instructional design and how basing a course around a scenario can make blended learning more effective. Upon 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 redeveloped her undergraduate elective module Understanding Management. The aim – to maintain student levels of motivation and engagement throughout the ten weeks of the course and ensure her teaching was reaching all students in the cohort.

In this workshop, Matt and Sarah will share their findings and aim to demonstrate how developing a scenario can provide the missing link between teaching taking place in and out of the classroom. This session is aimed at those currently teaching and will include time for participants to begin developing a scenario for their own course.

Wednesday 25 March

Online Course Development

This session provides a framework for delivering online course materials to students via Moodle in a structured and supportive way. Moodle may be used at any (or a mix) of three levels: to provide supplementary information; deliver mandatory activities; and enable distance learning.

This course is based on current research into learning and teaching with technology. It uses the UCL E-Learning Benchmarking Framework to look at some of the following areas:

  • Orientation & Induction
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Accessibility, usability & cross-platform compatibility
  • Copyright & IPR
  • Resources & activities
  • Assessment and feedback
  • Programme / module evaluation

This workshop relates to the following areas of the UKPSF (depending on what participants choose to focus on): A1-4; K 2, 4, 5; V1-2

Wednesday 6 May

Thursday 7 May

If there is another topic not listed here that you'd like to be included or would like to contribute to, please email 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, 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.

Need help with registration or can't find what you're after?

Please mail if you need help with registration.

Please let us know (via if we do not offer any events in an area which interests you. We will do our best to arrange new sessions.

Page last modified on 27 feb 15 12:17