Learning and Teaching Conference 2022: Tomorrow and Beyond

Keynote Speakers

The all-new Learning and Teaching Conference featured morning and afternoon keynote speakers. Full details of each keynote are available below.

How do we assess and enrich the cultural sensitivity of curricula?

As we reimagine curricula for tomorrow and beyond, we will consider how it could promote racial equity in higher education (HE) by reflecting a wider range of cultural histories, experiences, contexts, knowledge, and perspectives. We will outline our conceptualisation of a culturally sensitive curriculum and a novel survey we have developed to assess it from students’ perspectives. We will then discuss a variety of other methods we have developed to evaluate the cultural sensitivity of HE curricula. Attendees will be prompted to consider implications for their own practice.

  • Prof. Kathleen M. Quinlan, PhD PFHEA is Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Kent, UK. She has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, 10 book chapters, and two books, including How Higher Education Feels: Commentaries on Poems that Illuminate Emotion in Learning and Teaching (Sense, 2016). Her research is broadly in the areas of learning, teaching, assessment, and student engagement in higher education. She specialises in research on students’ holistic development, with a focus on how curriculum and instruction can support students’ hopes and interests.

In the past 10 years, she has been a principal investigator on grants from the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes, NERUPI, the Royal Academy of Engineering HE STEM Programme, and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, as well as co-investigator on projects funded by Advance HE and the Higher Education Careers Advisory Unit.

  • Dr Dave S.P. Thomas, PhD SFHEA is Senior Advisor for Diversity, Equality, Inclusivity and Inclusive Leadership at Advance HE.  He completed his PhD at the University of Kent with an investigation of the cultural sensitivity of the curriculum and its impact on students’ engagement in higher education. He has authored several peer-reviewed journal articles on matters relating to educational equity, equality, inclusion and diversity. He has also co-edited three books on race equality in higher education, including, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonisation (Practical tools for improving teaching, research and scholarship (Bristol University Press, 2022) and Doing Equity and Diversity for Success in Higher Education (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021).

He is co-investigator on a NERUPI project assessing the cultural sensitivity of the curriculum. Dave is a Board Member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) as well as a member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Panel.

Ungrading – towards more compassionate, enjoyable and effective education

Given the time and energy that teachers, students, and education leaders spend on assessment and grading, you’d assume that it was a fair and reliable way in which the education and wellbeing of students was significantly enhanced. It’s easy to argue that this is not the case. Perhaps we only assess in this way because we ‘have to’. But do we? Let’s explore some of the problems with current approaches to assessment and the wide range of ways that we, at an individual and institutional level can move the focus of education away from grades or even eliminate them altogether.

  • Dr Richard Craggs, PhD SFHEA is a teaching-focused lecturer and Dean of Personal Tutoring at The University of Leicester. After his PhD in Artificial Intelligence (before it was trendy!) from The University of Manchester, Richard spent a decade as a software engineer and project manager. While Director of Software Engineering at Jadu in Leicester, he guest lectured at the University of Leicester and joined as a full-time lecturer in 2014. After a period as Director of Learning and Teaching for the School of Informatics, during which NSS Overall Satisfaction increased by 21%, he was appointed as the University’s first Dean of Personal Tutoring. He is also Deputy Head of School for School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. Richard is a dad of two, living in Ashby de la Zouch. By the day of the Learning and Teaching Conference, he will have just finished a run as juggling, unicycling, P.T Barnum in the musical “Barnum”.