2022 Conference

Working together to develop a university for public good

The University of York Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2022 took place in person and online on Friday 18 March 2022.

Conference abstracts and recordings

Page contents

You can use the links below to navigate the available abstracts and recordings

Welcome talk and keynote lecture

Welcome talk: Louise Rudd, Chair of the 2022 Learning and Teaching Conference

Keynote Speaker: Professor Udy Archibong MBE, University of Bradford – “Optimising the learning environment for inclusive education”. 

This session aimed to explore the different means of improving the learning and teaching environment to meet the needs of diverse learners. It sought to discuss the sociological, emotional, and psychological domains that may contribute to improving a person’s learning experiences to promote belonging. It addressed different kinds of knowledge and methods of knowledge production. It also involved a consideration of differences in learning styles, abilities, backgrounds, experiences and other factors that may impact diverse learners.

Session recording (UoY Panopto login required)

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Presentation 1: Using MOOCs to facilitate international lifelong learning for Prehistoric Archaeology

Andy Needham, Iain Barr, Don Henson♰, Becky Knight, Andy Langley, Nicky Milner, Steph Piper; Archeology / Centre for Lifelong Learning

Aim: To communicate experiences in building and running an online course for non-specialist learners and explore the type of impact a MOOC can have in the area of international and lifeline learning amongst diverse populations of learners after three years of delivery.

Takeaway: The presentation will provide a sense of workflow and time commitment associated with the creation, delivery, and upkeep of a MOOC. The presentation will provide insight into the type and extent of impact that can be generated amongst a non-specialist and diverse audience.

We report on the development and delivery of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) via Future Learn. By virtue of limited coverage in school curricula, the extent of knowledge of prehistory amongst the general population can be variable. The MOOC was designed to promote Mesolithic Archaeology, based around new excavations at Star Carr, Yorkshire, UK. This MOOC is a guided learning resource for the public to develop their knowledge of archaeology, excavation methods, and how artefacts or site features advances our understanding of past behaviour. The MOOC assumes no background knowledge of archaeology, and can be used in tandem with free online resources and open-access academic books detailing the Mesolithic site of Star Carr and 10 years (2005-2015) of new excavations and discoveries at the site. The MOOC was launched in 2019 and is open throughout the year, delivered with the help of expert educators for one month on an annual or bi-annual basis. The MOOC has attracted thousands of participants each year from across the world and over a wide age demographic. The comments left by learners for each other, and to expert educators, provides important insight into the efficacy of the resource and its impact. As we approach the fifth run of the course, we reflect on our experiences of building and delivering the MOOC and evaluate the feedback received, with particular interest in the extent to which it has proved to be an effective learning tool for lifelong learners both nationally and internationally.

Session recording (UoY Panopto login required)

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Presentation 2: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Personalised Audio Feedback (PAF) at the Europe Campus in the Era of Sound-Bites and GDPR: A Two Case Analysis

Christakis Liasidis, Business Administration and Economics

Aim: Tips for making the recorded feedback messages more understandable, less boring, and more ‘fun’.

Takeaway: An interactive discussion will be held with participants on the challenges faced in PAF and engaging with them to propose solutions relevant to their particular subject areas and/or issues with PAF in general (including GDPR).

This session (presentation) raises the issue of personalized audio feedback (PAF), a practice that has been piloted recently at the Europe Campus.

Two cases of such practice will be presented (UG & PG level), discussing the positives and areas of concern that have emerged, and proposing adjustments to improve the overall student learning experience.

The issue of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is also raised, considering that audio feedback sent to a student from a module leader could easily be widely disseminated (FB, Internet, Blogs) etc.

Colleagues may be interested in this session because they will become more acquainted with PAF practice, and if they already use it, they can become further engaged in figuring out ways out of the deadlock that such practice can create.

Issues such as PAF, as well as group/class general audio feedback, will be discussed in an effort to find an appropriate balance between individualized and general audio feedback that seeks to balance the needs of students and the department as a whole.

Best practice ‘tips’ will be provided related to improving this practice to ensure that students indeed listen to the entire recorded audio file and do not just focus on their mark.

Those who come from disciplines where PAF may appear inappropriate and impossible (e.g., Engineering, Applied Sciences), since feedback needs to be given on numerical exercises, would see the value of it, and attempt to follow a similar practice with certain alterations.

Session recording (UoY Panopto login required)

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Presentation 3: University Art Collection as a bridge between academia and the public – from research and teaching to community cohesion and engagement

Helena Cox, Borthwick Institute for Archives / History of Art

Aim: My talk will focus on student and public engagement, including life-long learning and impact. I will talk about using art to reach out to the public, and I will touch on both local, national, and international collaborations. The core of my talk deals with using the university art collection to promote community cohesion and enhance the student and academic experience.

Takeaway: The participants will learn about the existence of the University Art Collection (which is not a widely known fact at the moment!) and will find out how the art collection can be used to boost academic research and impact, enhance the student experience and create lasting collaborations across the university. They will also find out how the art collection can help with community engagement and cohesion, and how we plan to use the collection to foster and strengthen the links to our local communities.

The University Art Collection currently holds over 900 artworks dating from 1500 to the present day, including painting, sculpture, pottery, textiles, prints and photography. Public art played an important part in the concept of the original campus, and the collection has been growing organically since the 1960s. In January 2022, I became the inaugural Art Curator, overseeing the collection. In this talk, I will share the amazing opportunity that I see for the Art Collection to engage with both students, academics as well as the public. I will elaborate on the different roles that the Art Collection plays in fulfilling the ‘University Strategy 2030’ and I will present an outlook on the many benefits that the collection brings to the University’s varied communities. This includes working closely with the students and students’ unions, facilitating object-led learning, as well as engaging in research activities across departments and specialisms. I will also focus on the ways of opening the campus to the public and connecting to our local communities using art as well as putting the collection on the cultural map of York. Such outreach will include national and international collaborations as well as fostering local links. This is a historic moment for the Art Collection which I believe will become a priceless platform for strengthening the mutually beneficial connection between the academic and local communities in York and beyond.

Session recording (UoY Panopto login required)

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Presentation 4: Video projects: Enhancing student’s digital skills to enhance employability

Ana Cruz, BAED

Aim: Enhancing students employability through video projects

Takeaway: As a student understand how digital skills and particularly video projects can enhance their employability profile., For educators some lessons learned and best practice will be shared to enhance students digital skills, their employability profile and enhancing both student engagement and satisfaction.

During the pandemic and after the lockdowns video interviews, online meetings and remote working increased dramatically. This has highlighted the need for students to be more digitally literate and even more confident with the use of technology and online presentation skills and digital communications. Evaluation methods in universities also need to be aligned with market needs and the digital skills required from students particularly in marketing and management disciplines. The paper will draw on lessons learned through the implementation of evaluation methods including the creation of viral videos and screencast presentations as a method for evaluation in integrated marketing communications and developing corporate identity. The paper will provide practical lessons for students but also for educators on what aspects work better to enhance both the digital skills of students as well as enhancing their employability profile.

Session recording (UoY Panopto login required)

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Presentation 5: Solutions-based learning, critical pedagogy and the challenge of climate change education

Dr Sally Beckenham, Environment and Geography

Aim: Empowering future climate change activists 

Takeaway: A new way to think about how to teach climate change

Teachers within universities and beyond have long noted the difficulties of approaching the subject of climate change, and this question of how to teach it now forms the basis of a substantial body of pedagogical literature (Hayden et al, 2011; Filho et al, 2021; Svarstad 2021). This is not surprising, since it requires us to draw from insights across social science disciplines – of human geography, development studies and international politics for example – but also engage with scientific knowledge and discourse. Beyond this, the challenge is to teach a subject of global consequence but also such specificity in lived experience, to capture a constantly shifting picture of vulnerability and disaster, and to convey efforts of adaptation and resilience in global governance alongside the dire planetary trajectory on which we are on.  This requires us to think carefully about how to deliver and facilitate lessons on climate change that will empower students as engaged climate conscious citizens but also foster critical thinking skills with which students can think and make decisions for themselves about climate change. Here I argue that the transformative potential of critical pedagogy can be brought together with a solutions based learning  agenda to generate new approaches to climate change problems and simultaneously empower a new generation of climate activists.

Session recording (UoY Panopto login required)

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Presentation 6: Fostering partnerships for the public good; collaboration, innovation and impact

Dr Adrian Gonzalez and Jenny Pollard, Environment and Geography

Aim: Highlight the value of multi-scale and multi-partner collaborations and reflect on the role that public bodies and students play in fostering positive change.

Takeaway: An understanding of how the Sustainable Business: Leadership, Innovation and Management programme has fostered a collaborative approach to learning, empowering students and business to work in partnership to make changes for public good.

The challenges that global society faces, from the climate emergency through to the covid-19 pandemic, indicate that strong collaboration between different institutions and actors including governments, businesses, and communities are critical if we are to succeed in confronting these issues. This presentation will explore the role that Universities can play in fostering partnerships for the public good. It will start by providing a brief contextual background, paying particular attention to how these “wicked problems” require solutions grounded in multi-actor partnerships. It will then set out how Higher Educational institutions have sought to amplify their role in helping resolve these problems through the facilitation of multi actor and multi-scale partnerships. As an example, we focus on the York-Maastricht Partnership (YMP) and the design and delivery of the MSc Sustainable Business: Leadership, Innovation and Management. We will outline the partnership successes and how these are being used to drive future collaboration for public good.

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Student panel

This was a discussion session led by students who attended the conference about their thoughts on the themes and what they had experienced during the day. There was an opportunity for questions during the session.

Session recording (UoY Panopto login required)

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Closing Talk and Conference Poster Awards

Dr Glenn Hurst, Chair of the Learning and Teaching Forum

Session recording (UoY Panopto login required)

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