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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 a couple of sessions per term around topics of interest.

Organiser for 2019-2020: Nayia Constantinou (email: p dot constantinou dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk)

2019-2020 Sessions

Date: 2-3pm, 8th November (Friday)
Location: MB2.22

Presenter: Dr Martyn Parker (Warwick)
Title: Recognising and developing those that `teach’.
Abstract: Recent research shows a slowly changing HE landscape that is more explicitly orientated towards valuing education and teaching alongside research. Several reports highlight the need for relevant developmental opportunities for staff at all career stages. Nevertheless, teaching-focus staff can find it difficult to engage with these opportunities or even know they exist. The purpose of this talk is to highlight a personal journey that will hopefully raise awareness of how staff can develop and gain recognition for their practice.

Date: 2-3pm, 11th December (Wednesday)
Location: MB2.22

Presenter: Prof Duncan Lawson (Coventry)
Title: Excellent teaching in mathematics and statistics.

Presentation slides here.
Abstract: Excellent teaching in higher education takes many forms. Ways of identifying and measuring excellent teaching are even more numerous. This talk will scratch the surface of some of them. Since we cannot reflect on excellent teaching in the mathematical sciences in isolation from the subject, during the course of this presentation we will also do some mathematics - so make sure you bring a pencil and some paper.

The Government has recently introduced a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) to measure the quality of teaching in higher education. So far, this has formally only been used at institutional level, but a subject-level framework has been piloted and is waiting to be rolled out.

The focus on excellent teaching pre-dates the TEF and there has been a considerable body of research carried out in trying to determine what constitutes excellent teaching. One conclusion of this research is that there is still “contention around the definition of teaching excellence” (Gunn & Fisk, 2013). Nonetheless, there is broad agreement in the literature about some of the characteristics of excellent teaching.

One such characteristic is active learning. We will spend some time thinking about what active learning is, what it might look like in the mathematical sciences, if it is practical to implement it and what the barriers might be to such implementation.

This talk will not give a definitive answer to the question “What is excellent teaching in mathematics and statistics?” but hopefully it will generate some discussion which may enable us to learn from each other how we might improve our own practice.

Date: 2:30-3:30pm, 17th January (Friday)
Location: MB2.22

Presenter: Prof Elena Nardi (East Anglia)

Presentation slides here.
Title: Synergy between mathematicians and mathematics educators: A story of many, and potent, facets.
Abstract: I draw on my experiences as a mathematics education researcher collaborating with research mathematicians in order to tell, and celebrate, a story of paths crossing at four points: in research, teaching, professional development and public engagement. I discuss these four tiers of examples to propose a re-imagining of this story, not merely as a story of paths crossing – but as a story of paths ‘meeting’ at a vanishing point, a point where the boundaries between the two communities fade into insignificance, recede and may even be replaced by a strong sense of joint and multi-faceted enterprise. I conclude with indicating how this joint enterprise may look like in the near future and for action that may bring about positive and lasting change. The session will start with a brief lecture and conclude with a mini-workshop in which participants will engage with a mathtask an activity that involves: solving a mathematical problem; considering a university mathematics teaching and learning situation relating to this problem; and, discussing possible reactions to this situation.

Date: 2-3pm, 14th February (Friday)
Location: MB2.24

Presenter: Dr Elke Thonnes (Warwick)
Title: Student engagement through partnership.
Abstract: The UK Quality Code sets out the expectation that all higher education providers “take deliberate steps to engage all students, individually and collectively, as partners in assurance and enhancement of their educational experience”. In this teaching forum we will explore the concept of “students as partners” both within the wider HE context but also more specifically with regards to Warwick’s plans for operationalising student engagement. I will also share first experiences with a department pilot scheme for students-as-partners in enhancement projects. At the end of the teaching forum we (Zorana and Elke) would like to invite you to fill out an anonymous questionnaire to evaluate the session. This questionnaire is entirely voluntary. The information collected will provide input into a research study that hopes to contribute to the enhancement of education at the Department of Statistics.

Link to jisc webpage:

Date: 2-3pm, 1st May (Friday)---POSTPONED FOR NEXT ACADEMIC YEAR
Location: MB2.22

Presenter: Dr Ioannis Kosmidis (Warwick)
Title: TBC
Abstract: TBC

Date: 2-3pm, 15th May (Friday)---POSTPONED FOR NEXT ACADEMIC YEAR
Location: MB2.22

Presenter: Dr Elinor Jones (UCL)
Title: TBC
Abstract: TBC