The Annual Learning and Teaching Conference hosted by the Learning and Teaching Forum provides the opportunity to showcase the excellent work from across our institution and partners.
Our keynote speaker is Professor James Pickering from the University of Leeds; he has won several awards for his work on anatomical education and is Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Digital Education at Leeds.
The Changing University: The theme of this years' conference was chosen to represent the shift in higher education we have seen in recent years. The conference sub-themes are all areas that have increasingly gained importance in the sector, resulting in significant change in recent times. Much of the content that will be explored within these sub-themes through the presentations, workshops, posters, and discussions is novel and forward-thinking.
Employability Within Higher Education: Students are placing increased emphasis on their future careers from the moment they commence university, and often before then. Many programmes and courses are now specifically designed according to the employability requirements desired by employers in their field.
Innovation and Digital Learning: Innovation is seen throughout all sectors of higher education - we'll be exploring some recent practices that have taken place within the University and its partners. Digital learning has long been on the agenda for universities, and while there are a lot of common place practices, there are many instructors who are looking to explore how to best engage students, facilitate learning and teaching, and support online and blended delivery that has become increasingly important.
Decolonisation: Often described in the context of decolonising the curriculum, decolonisation is about creating means for a dialogue on the representation of cultures and knowledge systems used. While this is by no means a new area, universities are now working to specifically address the issues it covers to ensure they have a fully inclusive institution. We have a central team leading on this, as well as departmental-led initiatives, working with students as partners and their unions to develop inclusive policies, processes, and practices.
Interdisciplinary Methods of Teaching: Interdisciplinary instructional approaches allow for the synergistic combination of two or more disciplines such that the resultant understanding is more holistic and greater than the sum of the constituent parts. Through such interdisciplinary instruction, students have the potential to be better equipped in solving grand challenges, requiring more lateral and collaborative approaches to problem solving. This is an area where there is significant development and changes within the sector and is a current focus for the University. There are many benefits to be gained from delivering more interdisciplinary curricula for both students and staff, which will be explored during the conference.