The Anxious PhD: 3 x 3 Useful Strategies for completing a PhD with anxiety

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay  I completed my PhD in English Literature at the University of York, in the UK, in 2014. I was diagnosed with anxiety in around 2013, but I’ve had some form of anxiety for much, much longer. I wanted to write this post to highlight some of the things I found most difficult, … Continue reading The Anxious PhD: 3 x 3 Useful Strategies for completing a PhD with anxiety

Earthquakes, Experiences and the short term future of Higher Education

by Santanu Vasant, Head of Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at the University of East London The world has been through a societal earthquake since March. Higher Education has also adapted to the challenges of the global health crisis in recent months, as best as it could, just like other sectors and … Continue reading Earthquakes, Experiences and the short term future of Higher Education

Online meeting etiquette: seven alternative rules

The Wall Street Journal recently published a list of ‘Seven Rules of Zoom Meeting Etiquette’: the article’s paywalled, but Dr Barry Rubin helpfully summarised them as : Don't be late.  Turn on camera.  No eating.  Learn how to interrupt.  Close your door.   No multitasking.  Sit still.  These rules, as many have already noted, are ableist … Continue reading Online meeting etiquette: seven alternative rules

Putting the ‘design’ back into ‘curriculum design’: why is design thinking important in curriculum creation?

(N.B. This post is written as a reading for the module ACAD1287: Learning Design and Evaluation on the University of Greenwich's PGCert and Award in Learning and Teaching in HE). We often talk about curriculum ‘design’: but when we create a curriculum for our students, what do we mean by the ‘design’ part? In this … Continue reading Putting the ‘design’ back into ‘curriculum design’: why is design thinking important in curriculum creation?

Responding to negative student feedback: retain your confidence, improve your teaching

Image by skeeze from Pixabay. The Guardian recently published an article by an anonymous academic entitled ‘Student surveys are destroying my confidence’. The writer reports that ‘our mandatory student feedback surveys are crushing [my] confidence. They report that I seem “inexperienced” and the block that I teach is “uninteresting”.’ This criticism means that ‘rather than being guided through the … Continue reading Responding to negative student feedback: retain your confidence, improve your teaching

What Learning Outcomes Aren’t

It’s pretty easy to discern what Jeff Noonan thinks about learning outcomes from the title of his blog post, ‘Ten theses in support of teaching and against learning outcomes’. For Noonan, where learning outcomes are present, teaching can’t happen. He claims that learning outcomes ‘state the obvious, i.e., that a class on Greek philosophy will … Continue reading What Learning Outcomes Aren’t

Guest post: Educational Development Centres – Issues, Challenges and the Future

(This is a guest post by Santanu Vasant, Head of UEL's Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching as part of #HEBlogswap) As you may know, I am coming up to a year in the post of Head of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at the University of East London. I have … Continue reading Guest post: Educational Development Centres – Issues, Challenges and the Future

HEA Senior Fellowship: getting started

‘Senior Fellow’ has always struck me as a singularly inappropriate term. Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy) insist that its different categories of Fellowship award (Associate, Senior and Principal, as well as Fellowship) are not ‘levels’ but merely descriptors: that is, there is no hierarchy. I’m inclined to agree: it describes a different role, … Continue reading HEA Senior Fellowship: getting started

What Students Need: on wellbeing and contact hours

This post was inspired by Alice Thomson’s piece in The Times, entitled “Students need better teaching, not lower fees”. In response to Philip Augar’s recommendation that university fees be lowered to £7,500 a year, Thomson sensibly points out that, as government is unlikely to fund the shortfall caused by any reduction in fees, universities will … Continue reading What Students Need: on wellbeing and contact hours