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Teaching Forum

Welcome to the Teaching Forum!

The Teaching Forum has been established as a place to think about, learn about and discuss teaching. The aim is to organise one session per term around topics of interest.

Organiser for 2018-2019: Nayia Constantinou (email: p dot constantinou dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk)

2018-2019 Sessions

Date: 2-3pm, 7th December (Friday)
Location: Staff Common Room

Presenter: Dr Matina Rassias (UCL)
Title: We don’t just hear you… we listen to you!
Abstract: During this talk we will have the opportunity to share our experience on how to best engage with our students inside and outside the class as: (a) an instructor of Statistics modules for both specialist and non-specialist students, (b) a tutor with pastoral care duties and (c) an educator who via the role of the departmental tutor for undergraduate students aims to contribute towards their well-rounded Statistics education. We will discuss about the students’ role in an institution which promotes a connected, research-based education and what are the lessons we have learned along the way. We aim finally to address the renewed focus on teaching and learning, given the most recently Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), including subject-level TEF, and the possible impact of TEF on the mathematical sciences.

Date: 2-3pm, 11th February (Monday)
Location: Staff Common Room

Presenter: Dr Mary McAlinden (Greenwich)
Title: Exploring the transition to university with our students.
Abstract: The transition to university presents many challenges both for students and their lecturers who seek to build on prior knowledge and facilitate the educational transition to university study. In this session the primary focus will be on the teaching and learning aspects of this transition, with particular reference to the teaching methods and modes of learning as experienced by students in the Mathematical Sciences at Warwick. Drawing on feedback from a student focus group, and prior studies from the literature, the session will provide an opportunity for a discussion of ways of assisting students with the transition into university study in their chosen discipline. Participants will be encouraged to explore how, both individually and collectively at programme level, they can assist students in overcoming the challenges they experience.

Date: 11.00-12.00, 27th March (Wednesday)
Location: Staff Common Room

Presenter: Dr Lynne Bayley (Warwick)
Title: Discussion on Lecture Capture and Moodle
Abstract: Some of the discussion points are below:

- Who communicates with students whether a module is lecture captured or not? Is this the responsibility of the module leader (which may lead to influence on the SSLC feedback) or is this provided through module choice information (which may affect students' module choices) or are there other alternatives?

- What detail do we provide to students about the reasons why lecture capture is / is not used in different scenarios and where / how do we provide this information?

- Do we provide students with warnings about attendance where lectures are captured and / or information and training about how to make the best use of lecture capture? Would provision of this information raise expectations? NB: A useful guide for students, which was forwarded to me by Jon Warren and Vicky Henderson, is available here

- Should the policy include anything about the provision of other resources where lecture capture is not used or is this outside the scope?

- How do we manage or accommodate requests from disability services for individual students to record lectures?

- How do we manage or protect individual academics from student pressure?

- At what stage do we make our position about lecture capture known to students - is this something that should be mentioned during admissions to manage expectations from an early stage?

- Where lectures have been recorded in previous years should the policy prohibit use of the captures by the department to replace teaching sessions in the event of industrial action and / or any other reason?

Date: 2-3pm, 8th April (Monday)
Location: Staff Common Room

Presenter: Dr Nayia Constantinou (Warwick)
Title: Discussion on assessment criteria
Abstract: Assessment criteria are used to evaluate the level of attainment students achieve against the learning outcomes of a module. In this session, I would like to present some arguments in favour of adopting clear and transparent assessment criteria for setting exams for the benefit of (mostly) our students but also staff members who act as examiners and/or moderators. In this session, I would like us to work in groups in order to:

  • identify standards for fair, clear, transparent and effective assessment criteria;
  • discuss the general assessment criteria published by the University of Warwick and work together to translate them in the context of mathematics and statistics. The University of Warwick has published descriptors on what constitutes a fail, pass, second class and first class degree 1. But these descriptors are somewhat general and not of direct use to our students. The main aim of this session is to develop more detailed and context specific criteria, which would be of direct use to the Department of Statistics.

Feedback from this session will be summarised in order to be presented to the Teaching Committee.


Date: 2-3pm, 24th May (Friday)
Location: Staff Common Room

Presenter: Dr Stephen Connor (York)
Title: TEF: every cloud has a bronze/silver/gold lining
Abstract: The University of York is one of 50 institutions currently taking part in the OfS subject-level pilot of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF); earlier this year I was responsible for writing our Mathematical Sciences submission. In this talk I'll give an introduction to TEF (for those of you lucky enough not to know much about it yet), describe the approach being used for the subject-level pilot, and highlight serious concerns about the entire process. I'll also attempt to suggest ways in which departments may be able to benefit from the exercise, despite its many shortcomings.

Date: 2-3pm, 7th June (Friday)
Location: Staff Common Room

Presenter: Dr Ric Crossman
Title: Tech War: Providing Support Materials in the 21st Century
Abstract: Students tell us they like it when we provide them with video material. But do they know WHY they like it?
This academic year, I created a series of video solutions to problems and exam questions for our 2nd year Games, Decisions and Behaviour module. I also produced a parallel set of "pencasts" - a form of animated pdf with accompanying narration. Both were then made available to the module cohort, to allow them to decide for themselves which of the two forms of technology they preferred, and whether they preferred either of them to me not bothering at all. The ultimate aim was to begin forming a picture of how we can most effectively use new(ish) technology to support our teaching, without providing material that is popular, without being pedagogically sound.In this session I will take you through the basics of preparing a pencast, discuss what I learned through the creation of a dozen or so pieces of educational media, and present my findings following two questionnaires given to the students regarding the project.