Teaching and learning challenges under spotlight at annual symposium

Teaching and learning challenges under spotlight at annual symposium

Around 70 staff attended the Centre for Learning and Teaching’s second annual Learning and Teaching Symposium, which took place on May 19.

The theme was The 21st Century Learner: Challenges and Opportunities and its purpose was to showcase innovative teaching within the University of Aberdeen and provide a ‘talking shop’ for staff from diverse disciplines to discuss related ideas.

The Symposium was opened by the Centre’s Dr Darren Comber, Chair of the Institutional Steering Group for the Graduates for the 21st Century Enhancement Theme. Dr Richard Neilson then gave an engaging presentation entitled Formula Student, in which University of Aberdeen School of Engineering students work in groups in a national competition to design a racing car.  This was followed by Dr David Carey’s presentation, Rethinking Traditional Delivery: Recent Experiences in Psychology, where he shared his experiences of lecture recording and electronic voting systems in lectures.

The opening keynote, delivered by Professor Philip Winn, Chair of Graduates for the 21st Century Enhancement Theme and Vice Principal (Strategy), University of Strathclyde, was a thought-provoking talk on Enhancing Graduates in the 21st Century.

The morning keynote, Ancient, Modern and Postmodern, was delivered by Professor Trevor Salmon, Director of Teaching and Learning, College of Arts and Social Sciences.

There followed parallel sessions with presentations from the University of Aberdeen’s Dr Margaret Harris, who is Project Facilitator for Responding to Student Needs Enhancement Theme, and Dr Vicky Gunn, University of Glasgow and Project Facilitator for Employability Enhancement Theme.

The afternoon keynote, delivered by Robin Parker, President of the Students’ Association, was a stimulating talk on The Drivers of the 21st Century Learner.  Group discussions were then held on topics including Diversity in the Classroom, Employability and the Co-Curriculum, Impact of future technology and Curriculum for Excellence.

The day ended with a lively panel session, with an ‘Any Questions’ format, chaired by Dr Mark Young, Academic Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching.

Dr Young said: “The success of the event was thanks to inspirational and thought-provoking talks and contributions by academic colleagues from across and also outwith the University”.

Professor Salmon said: “I was delighted to see so many staff from across the three Colleges attending the event. The event provided an excellent opportunity for academic staff from diverse disciplines to come together and share their ideas and practice.”

Further information about the event, including web-captured versions of the keynote presentations and the good practice ‘showcases’, can be found at www.abdn.ac.uk/clt/symposium