Teaching & Learning


Sharing experience and knowledge at the 2019 Teaching Administrators conference

2 April 2019

Teaching Administrators attended their annual conference to hear presentations and share their experiences.

Delegates at the Teaching Administrator Conference March 2019

The tenth annual Teaching Administrators Conference took place on Thursday 28 March.

Over 180 Teaching Administrators from almost every UCL department, as well as colleagues from Student and Registry Services, UCL Arena, UCL Students’ Union and ISD attended, along with colleagues from City University and a number of students, who helped on the registration desk and took part in sessions to ensure that the student voice was heard.  

This year, the conference started with a virtual welcome by Professor Anthony Smith, Vice Provost (Education and Student Affairs). In his welcome, he answered questions that delegates had sent through before the conference, about topics like the subject-level TEF, tuition fees, what UCL is doing to address the BME attainment gap, tackling period poverty for students, and career progression for teaching administrators. He also said how proud he was of the ‘high-functioning’ teams at UCL, of the Academic Career Framework, which rewards teaching excellence, and our new Student Centre.

Presentations and workshops

Throughout the day, delegates took part in sessions, attending workshops or seeing presentations, on a wide range of useful and fascinating topics. There were plenty to choose from, and here are just some examples: 

  • Managing Assignment Processes in Moodle
  • Supporting student health and positive wellbeing
  • What are Communities of Practice?
  • Social Media for Teaching Administrators 
  • Understanding SORAs (Summary of Reasonable Adjustment documents, which enable departments to support disabled students to access studies and have a full student experience)
  • Resilience and how to survive HE
  • Using Emotional Intelligence in the workplace 
  • What’s the issue with students? (Exploring questions like: ‘Why are students not satisfied?’ and considered how to overcome some of the frustrations of working with students).  

A final presentation discussed how to manage work life balance, and the day ended with concluding remarks from Dr Clare Goudy, Director of Education Planning, Office of the Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs), followed by afternoon tea for everyone. 

What delegates said

I usually dread going to conferences or away days as I tend to find that a lot of the content doesn’t necessarily apply to me …. but this conference was a completely different story! The variety of workshops meant I was able to pick workshops about topics that genuinely interest me, or are particularly relevant to my role. I had a really great time learning more about how things works across UCL as a whole, and getting to know Teaching Administrators from other departments and the issues they face, coming up with new ideas and having a genuinely great day!
As a new employee at UCL, this was my first TA conference and I found the whole day very fulfilling. The workshops gave Teaching Administrators the opportunity to meet fellow administrators and share different ways of working smarter. As a result of attending, I recommended a web-based list application called 'Trello' to my group, which helps me to stay organised. A colleague from a different faculty recommended an application called 'Wireflow' which helps to create process maps and user flows. This collaboration and idea sharing was the most useful aspect of the conference for me, and I also found out out just how many Teaching and Learning Administrators we have at UCL!
We found it a really exciting and inspiring event and we were very glad to have been given the chance to come along. We were impressed by the effort that has gone into improving services you provide and by the commitment demonstrated to professionalising administration. Visiting delegate from City University


Professionalising teaching administration

Lori Coletti Campbell, chair of the Teaching Administrator Conference Organising Committee, said: 

“This is our tenth event and it has got bigger and better with every year. I am extremely proud of the hard work that all of the Organising Committee put into making this event happen. We are all busy professionals who organise it in our ‘spare’ time so this is truly a grass roots initiative. The feedback received from delegates is always excellent and often ideas for future workshops and events stem from the engagement at the conference. Last year, we were able to invite some colleagues from City University, who gave us very positive feedback, and this year we were very happy to invite delgates from City again. We are hoping to continue to build on this collaboration and will be looking for further development opportunities to collaborate with other institutions, in a bid to professionalise teaching administration in the sector as a whole. I look forward to the 2020 conference, and would like to thank Professor Michael Arthur, Professor Anthony Smith, Wendy Appleby and Dr Clare Goudy for their continued support. I would also like to give a special thank you to the Directors of Operations in faculties across UCL who support the event financially”.  

Some of the workshops from the conference, and further related events will be developed and offered throughout the year under the umbrella of InEDITA (Induction, Engagement and Development Initiative for Teaching Administrators).