Leaning and teaching support activities

In the latest of our monthly posts from the Forum committee, Helen Bedford from Health Sciences encourages us to take advantage of the York Professional and Academic Development scheme.

As a relative newcomer to the University of York and rookie member of the Learning and Teaching Forum, I am enjoying accessing opportunities to enhance my scholarship of learning and teaching and to network across the institution. For this blog, I have been reflecting on some of these activities, and I would encourage colleagues to get involved with what’s on offer.

As a facilitator for the York Professional and Academic Development (YPAD) scheme, it’s a privilege to work with colleagues seeking recognition within the Fellowship category of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). YPAD is a pilot programme founded on the University’s Peer Support for Teaching (PST) Policy. The recently revised PST Policy Appendices articulate the breadth and scope of PST activities. These are invaluable within our YPAD Action Learning Group, where colleagues are planning and progressing individual PST projects amongst ‘critical friends’.

Joining the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (SoLT) Network has been thought provoking and challenging. The SoLT network operates via a journal club over an informal lunch. Delving into pedagogical literature that I may not otherwise have accessed has caused me to rethink the extent and nature of evidence that supports effective learning and teaching in HE in general, and in my professional discipline of midwifery in particular. Typically I leave the sessions with more questions than answers, but having engaged with a welcoming and vibrant multi-disciplinary membership.

As I write I’m poised to attend one of the regular workshops organised by the Learning and Teaching Forum. Forum workshops offer collegial opportunities to explore and respond to common challenges, issues and opportunities encountered in practice, or to showcase initiatives and innovations. Reflections on this most recent one, ‘The Workshop’ Workshop’ will form a future blog post from the Learning and Teaching Forum, so watch this space.

Finally, plans for the annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2016Value added graduates: enabling our students to be successful’ (7th June 2016) are progressing well. The programme will be announced soon and you will be able to book your place. In the meantime, if you have an initiative to showcase on any learning and teaching topic, not just the specific conference theme, poster submissions are welcomed. There’s plenty of time before the submission deadline of 6th April 2016, so why not submit and get involved.


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