Festival of Learning 2021 - Sessions

The details of live parallel and pre-recorded spotlight sessions at this year's festival are available to review below. A total of 25 sessions over a wide range of themes were delivered by our staff and students during the course of the festival. Each live session is now available to view on-demand on our Festival venue (on the Learning and Teaching intranet site).

The full schedule of content is also available to view.

Day One, Tuesday, 20 July

Parallel Session 1a:

Equality and Inclusion: Supporting Psychology, Nursing, Counselling and Health and Social Care students to work within an anti-racist approach in your area of practice. 

  • Presented by: Michelle Brooks-Ucheaga (Lecturer in Health and Social Care)
  • Department: University of Derby Online Learning 
  • Theme: Equity and inclusivity 

About: This was a brief session to explore current thoughts and theory in relation to intersectionality with a focus in this session on race. There are unfortunately disparities specifically liked to race in the field of health, mental health, psychology, higher education and social care. The session seeked to stimulate, encourage and explore how you could improve the inclusion of Black and Asian clients/patients that you work within your practice. The session encouraged you to think about approaches that we can implement in our services and our in one to one work that is inclusive and supportive.

Sustainability and the Foundation Pathways Programme 

  • Presented by: Jo Vale (Lecturer – Foundation Pathways Programme) and James Keith (Lecturer - Foundation Pathways Programme)
  • Area: Buxton and Leek College 
  • Theme: Education for sustainable development 

About: A recent revalidation has offered the Foundation Pathways Programme (FPP) a valuable opportunity to reflect on who we are, who we want to be and what values we will be fostering in our students. As a programme which sits on the border between further education (FE) and higher education (HE), we have also suffered from a lack of identity within the University. It is this need to address this ‘identity crisis’ and a strong desire to be a small, but meaningful, cog in the machinery of sustainability and global citizenship which brings us to the beginning of an exciting new journey into education for sustainable development.

Parallel Session 1b:

The Importance of Student Socialisation: Exploring strategies to connect students with one another in a blended environment.

  • Presented by: Chris Bell (Senior Learning Technologist - Digital Practice) and Rob Higson (Learning Technologist - Curriculum Development)
  • Department: Digital Learning team
  • Theme: Socialisation and building a vibrant cohort identity 

About: Student socialisation is the process by which individuals establish those connections needed for meaningful social interaction with others, across a learning environment. 

One of the most important things to consider when developing module content is an awareness of the kinds of activities we are designing, and whether we are just sending students off to work in isolation, or whether we are encouraging whole-cohort learning through interactions. This session explored how effective student socialisation can help to build a bridge across modes of study, such that students can seamlessly transit through a high-quality blended environment whilst retaining a deep connection to their learning context. 

Parallel Session 2a:

Student Roundtable: Teaching Global History - Decolonization, Inclusion, and Sustainability.

  • Presented by: Dr Oliver Godsmark (Lecturer in History) and Dr Tom Neuhaus (Head of the Discipline of Humanities)
  • Student co-presenters: Helen Purcell (BA Hons History and Journalism, Stage 1), Molly Woodcock (BA History and Popular Music in Society, stage one), Aliyah Nadim (BA History, stage one), Giles Galton (BA History, stage two), Joel Murray (BA History, stage three), Luka Knezevic (BA Hons History, stage three), Sophie Mason (Integrated Masters in History, stage four), Joel Murray, (BA Hons History, stage three), Nyasi Saya, (BA Hons History with Global Development, stage three), Karla Thomson (Integrated Masters in History, stage four), Sophie Mason (Integrated Masters in History, stage four) and Robyn Taylor (Integrated Masters in History, stage four). 
  • College: Arts, Humanities and Education 
  • Themes: Education for sustainable development / Equity and inclusivity

About: This session explored student perceptions of how we can decolonize curricula and focus on issues of inclusion, equity and sustainability. Taking the inclusion of global history modules into the history curriculum as a case study, this student roundtable explored what benefits students see in decolonization, equity and inclusion, what challenges they face when engaging with these themes, and what pedagogic tools (from curriculum design to decolonization of reading lists) they perceive as useful (and which ones they don't). The students provided critical reflections based on their experience and will be open to discussion and questions from the audience.

Parallel Session 2b:

I spy with my little eye, a blended learning model for outdoor extra-curricula activities.

  • Presented by: Debbie Alston (Lecturer in Biodiversity) 
  • Student co-presenters: Kelly O'Shea (Zoology, foundation year), Liz Oldring (MSc Conservation Biology, year one) and Tammy Roberts (BSc Zoology, year two)
  • College: Science and Engineering 
  • Theme: Blended learning 

About: Extra curricula activities can add significantly to the student experience if they are suitably targeted. Wildlife I Spy was born in September 2019 to increase the employability skills of our Zoology, Biology and Conservation Biology students. It was an outdoor-based face-to-face activity, then COVID hit, what did we do?

In this session, delegates found out how the team transferred this activity online and increased participation. They could try some activities themselves and think about how it might be applicable to their subject. Delegates also got to hear from some of the students on how it has helped and inspired them.

Using Panopto to Provide Video Feedback.

  • Presented by: Dr Samantha Drake (Senior Lecturer in Forensic Chemistry)
  • College: Science and Engineering 
  • Theme: Blended learning 

About: Have you ever wondered if there was a way to provide feedback that students engaged with, understood and found helpful? One that avoided spending time typing unambiguous feedback comments or waiting for Turnitin to find that elusive preprepared “quick” mark? The answer is Panopto! This presentation:

  • highlighted the advantages to using video feedback on your students’ work
  • gave an honest appraisal of some of the limitations and potential pitfalls when using video feedback
  • let delegates know what students and an external examiner thought
  • provided plenty of top tips for smooth implementation
  • answered any questions delegates have about video feedback

Parallel Session 2c:

Beyond theoretical: integrating a live project brief into an interior design module.

Using Media in your teaching for Dynamic Learning.

  • Presented by: Matt Gilooly (Learning Technology Media Advisor) and Barbora Horackova (Campaigns Marketing Intern)
  • Department: Digital Learning team
  • Theme: Digital skills and digital learning 

About: This session explored how media can be used within your teaching for both creating of learning and teaching content as well as facilitation of sessions with your students for media creation. This session was for all levels of media creation and looked at current tools and practice, as well as giving delegates an opportunity to think about how you can get their students interacting with the digital tools. It also included a student perspective on why digital skills and opportunities within your course are beneficial not only in an academic atmosphere but professional one while sharing her own experience.

Parallel Session 3a:

Responsibility and Resilience for the Creative Industries: Raising Student Ambitions in a Civic University.

  • Presented by: Dr Paul Whickman (Senior Lecturer in English), Dr Thomas Neuhaus (Head of Discipline, Humanities), Matthew Keefe (Associate Lecturer in Publishing) and Dr Cath Feely (Senior Lecturer in History)
  • Student co-presenter: Paul Handley (Graduate), Bearded Badger Publishing Company
  • College: Arts, Humanities and Education 
  • Theme: Creativity and resilience

About: Graduates of disciplines such as History, English and Creative Writing are heavily represented in industries like publishing, games, marketing and advertising. These ‘Creative Industries’ value the perspectives that Humanities disciplines provide their students, seeking those graduates who can combine these perspectives with industry skills. Our session demonstrated how the Humanities programmes at Derby provide this blend. We showed how our programmes build creativity and resilience through active and applied learning and engagement with external organisations. A recent graduate attested to how our programmes helped him to establish his business and make a positive impact in the region.

Parallel Session 3b:

Sowing the seeds of research: Co-creating learning content for the Psychology, Nature and Wellbeing module.

  • Presented by: Dr Caroline Harvey (Senior Lecturer in Psychology)
  • Student co-presenter: Chris Winson (BSc Psychology, Level 5)
  • College: Health, Psychology and Social Care 
  • Theme: Working in partnership with students

About: Find out more about the benefits of student involvement in the development of course content. Our interactive overview looked at how a student’s work experience project as a research assistant helped to co-create learning material for the new Psychology, Nature & Wellbeing module. From the initial work experience engagement, followed by the design of a dedicated module component based on the research through to a published blog post. This overview highlighted the benefits of the module, how it helped the lecturer, and what it meant to the student. Join us in harvesting the benefits of co-creation! 

The Benefits of Live and Applied Research Projects. 

  • Presented by: Dr Charles Spring (Senior Lecturer in Applied Management)
  • Student co-presenter: Klara Visnjic (BA Hons, International Tourism Management)
  • College: Business, Law and Social Sciences 
  • Theme: Working in partnership with students 

About: This research builds on previous presentations, papers and the chapter of a book delivered by the co-authors. The first project of this four-year study involved a collaboration of research with academics, students, and staff from the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust to determine the wants and needs of residents and visitors for the future use of the Pump Room. Subsequently, other projects followed including an event organised by students and held at the Pump Room before its official opening.

This project has now reached its conclusion and the work undertaken in cooperation with the developers and students enabled a range of work-related/research experiences to be accessed by our student body. This research explored the perceptions of students during and after the project work to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges they faced and the skills developed and learned.

It was vital that the right people were employed and that training with clear objectives for the project work were given. Academics ensured that activities were designed to engage all learners in a manner that suited individual learning styles. The projects have helped students to contextualise theory learned in the classroom with practise.

Day Two, Wednesday, 21 July

Parallel Session 4a:

Learning Labs - what next?

  • Presented by: Dr Tamsin Bowers-Brown (Head of Social Justice & Pedagogic Practice Associate Professor of Learning and Teaching) and Prof. Ian Turner (Professor in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education)
  • Department: Digital Learning team
  • Theme: Blended learning

About: Over the past year colleagues have worked creatively to deliver active applied on-campus experiences in the form of student learning labs. In this facilitated conversation, we offered an opportunity for colleagues to come together and share what worked well and why, and to discuss collaboratively how we may share the best of our experiences to inform our future ways of working.

Parallel Session 4b:

Developing Digital Capabilities.

  • Presented by: Erica Bellamy (Senior Lecturer in Pre-Qualifying Health Care)Matt Gilooly, (Learning Technology Media Advisor), Jane Hager (Senior Lecturer in Pre-Qualifying Health Care) and Caroline Morton (Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing)
  • Student co-presenter: Naomi Somers (BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult))
  • College: Health, Psychology and Social Care 
  • Theme: Digital skills and digital learning

About: This interactive discussion engaged the audience in considering how digital skills can be incorporated into curricula to support learners in developing skills aligned to graduate outcomes, to meet the growing sector-wide demand for digitally proficient and productive personnel. We shared the successes of collaborations to enhance students' digital capabilities and hosted a live discussion with the students that these learning experiences have benefitted, to appreciate learner perspectives on developing digital capabilities.

Parallel Session 5a:

Student Experiences of a Dual Component Remote Learning Model. 

  • Presented by: Dr Dean Fido (Programme Leader and Lecturer in Forensic Psychology)
  • Student co-presenters: Kayleigh Dewhurst (MSc Forensic Psychology, Level 7) and Megan Wildin (MSc Forensic Psychology, Level 7)
  • College: Health, Psychology and Social Care 
  • Themes: Working in partnership with students / Blended learning

About: Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, lecturers on the MSc Forensic Psychology programme developed and implemented a novel teaching response to the need for remote teaching provision. Weekly sessions were split into two sections. The first comprised pre-recorded and edited material containing core unit-specific information, which was accompanied by four asynchronous activities of varying lengths, difficulties, and purpose.

The second comprised a synchronous live session at a later date/time, where the purpose was to consolidate information, facilitate socialisation, and to answer residual questions. In this session, we presented this framework and explored student-led accounts.

Working towards student success - The Uni-Comms Derby story.

  • Presented by: Suzanne Nelson (Lecturer in Journalism) and Joanne Hine (Senior Lecturer in Journalism)
  • Student co-presenters: Adam Wilsher (Specialist Sports Journalism, Level 5)Elizabete Masena (Journalism, Level 5), Blake Mills (Magazine Journalism, Level 5) and Mark Bodey (Football Journalism, Level 5)
  • College: Arts, Humanities and Education 
  • Themes: Active and applied learning / Blended learning 

About: The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a permanent shift to home working for many businesses and organisations, including within the media industry. As a result, it has become increasingly tough for Journalism students to find work placements. This session explored the innovative approach taken by lecturers in the Journalism Department to tackle the problem - setting up a communications agency, called Uni-Comms Derby, to offer real-world work experience to students. 

Parallel Session 5b:

Ethics in education? or Ethical education?: Enhancing ethical conduct amongst school children to improve integrity. 

About: This workshop looked at the ways to embed academic integrity education and enhance ethical behaviour amongst school children. It emphasised the importance of integrity education at school level and share the authors’ experiences of working with primary (Dr Khan) and secondary schools (Dr Sivasubramaniam).

Authors also discussed the enablers/barriers of carrying out integrity education. Preliminary data on the effects of initiatives on enhancing students’ understanding was also shared. The workshop ended by having a plenary discussion session on ways to establish HE-School partnerships and engage school teachers and students in establishing regular integrity enhancement sessions via school partnerships.

Parallel Session 6a:

Building a toolkit to support flexible learning for all students.

  • Presented by: Dr Paula Shaw (Associate Professor of Online Teaching and Learning)
  • Student co-presenters: Sarah Fitzsimons (Masters in Criminal Justice and Criminology, Level 7), Joseph Godfrey (LLB, graduated in 2019. Accepted to study LLM at the University of Cambridge) and Zhiyi Wang (BSc Information Technology, Level 5)
  • Department: University of Derby Online Learning 
  • Theme: Digital skills and digital learning 

About: For this Festival of Learning, we shared with a showcase of best of practise in blended applied learning from both campus-based and apprenticeship programmes. This workshop introduced a Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and Thinglink (digital visualisation app) supported project, which aimed to enhance programme management and the design of flexible modules.

This project had supported four students to develop their skills as research assistants. During the workshop, they will explain how we produced a digital exhibition of flexible learning and a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Festival participants toured the exhibition, with guided commentary from our student researchers.

Parallel Session 6b:

Building collaborative communities: Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) & the Union of Students (US).

  • Presented by: Erica Bellamy (Senior Lecturer in Pre-Qualifying Health Care), Sophie Davies (Lecturer in Pre Qualifying Healthcare), Jennifer Allam (Peer Assisted Learning Coordinator) and David Lochtie (Student Opportunities Manager)
  • Student co-presenters: Sian Hill, Student PAL Leader, BSc Nursing (Child), Level 5 and Tony Longbone, Student PAL Leader, BSc Nursing (Mental Health), Level 5
  • College: Health, Psychology and Social Care / Union of Students
  • Theme: Working in partnership with students 

About: This session showcased the success of the online Peer Assisted Learning Scheme during the global pandemic at the University of Derby. This was a valuable opportunity to understand how the institutional scheme operated by the University of Derby Student Union and implemented by Student Peer Learning Leaders in collaboration with academics, can benefit all courses to improve student engagement through the development of vibrant cohort identities and a positive student experience to support progression.

Pre-recorded 'Spotlight' Sessions

How to Cultivate Student Self-Belief and a Sense of Being Valued.

  • Presented by: Gavin Jinks (Senior Lecturer in Social Work)
  • College: Health, Psychology and Social Care 
  • Theme: Equity and inclusivity 

About: Having initiated the creation of an award-winning Student Peer Mentoring project on BA Applied Social Work, Gavin Jinks came to the conclusion that student self-belief makes a crucial difference to both academic achievement and personal development. He has undertaken three further pieces of work to explore the cultivation of student self-belief. These pieces of work have provided him with evidence of the factors that assist in this process. This presentation explores his findings and asks you to consider if these findings might lead you to adapt your approach to teaching and tutoring.

Digital Choreography.

  • Presented by: Alice Marshall (Vale) (Programme Leader MA Dance & Choreography \ Programme Leader BA Dance)
  • Student co-presenters: Ana Raquel Azevedo (BA Dance, level six), Ceara Batson (BA Dance, level five), Grace Hodges (BA Dance, level six), Rosie Hopkins (BA Dance, level four), Cody Jukes (BA Dance, level six), Charley Mitchell (BA Dance, level six) and Kyle Spencer (BA Dance, level six)
  • College: Arts. Humanities and Education
  • Theme: Digital skills and digital learning

About: Join Alice Marshall and some of her BA Dance students for a little Digital Choreography. Observe as they create choreography via Zoom and reflect upon the way the art-form of dance has evolved during the past 18 months to embrace digital enhances. You will see elements of the process, the final piece and student feedback at the end.

How to Teach Mechanical Engineering Design Using Industry Methods While Still Assessing to University Criteria.

  • Presented by: Martin Sole (Senior Lecturer in Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering)
  • College: Science and Engineering 
  • Theme: Active and applied learning 

About: Modern mechanical engineering design has grown in complexity as computers and software have grown in power. A design engineer just 20 years ago would not recognise the skills and knowledge a modern design engineer must have. This presentation will take you through some of the changes made to the design module in the final year of a BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree to incorporate the methods and systems used by industry today. The research uncovers a surprising difference between our part-time and full-time students.

(New) Teams, (Using) Teams, (Supporting) Teams: enabling a student-led conference in a socially distanced world.

  • Presented by: Dr Ruth Larsen (Senior Lecturer in History), Dr Ian Whitehead (Academic Lead, UDOL) and Dr Robin Sims (Programme Leader for BA (Hons) English)
  • Student co-presenters: Khadijah Shahid (BA English, level five) and Matthew Stillwell (BA History, level five)
  • College: Arts, Humanities and Education
  • Theme: Working in partnership with students and employers 

About: This session will explore how we have run two of our second-year conference modules during the Spring of 2021. It considers our use of remote technology and how we were able to use this to not only teach and support our students’ teamwork but also to run a live conference that had both in person speakers and remote delegates. It also highlights how it is possible to run a module that is driven by academic challenge while enabling students in developing their transferable skills and, crucially, their confidence. 

Experiential Group Work in an Online Context: Lessons Learned.

  • Presented by: Heather Bullen (Lecturer in Occupational Therapy) and Sarah Carter (Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy) 
  • Student co-presenters: Charlie Nuland (MSc (pre-registration) in Occupational Therapy, level seven)
  • College: Health, Psychology and Social Care 
  • Theme: Socialisation and building a vibrant cohort identity 

About: We present a module based around experiential groupwork that was moved online following the national lockdown in January 2021.

Outcomes included developing creativity, resilience, and cohort identity. Activities in small groups module helped students to develop confidence and supported safe relating at a time when many were feeling isolated due to the pandemic.

The presentation provides an overview of some key activities that supported group cohesion. It discusses how the Padlet was used to consolidate and build on this and allowed tutors to oversee and monitor groups, and respond to student needs, learning and engagement.