Aiming to foster sharing of best practice and facilitate collective reflection on latest developments in teaching and learning, Brunel Business School faculty gathered at the prestigious Hallam Conference Centre, to take part on a teaching and learning away day on the 6thof June 2018. The theme for this day was ‘Innovating in teaching and learning’.
The day started with a presentation and open discussion on peer mentoring of teaching as reflective practice, with Professor Tom Betteridge, Dean of the College of Business Arts and Social Silences (CBASS) of Brunel University and Professor William Spurlin, Vice Dean (Education) CBASS. The presenters discussed with BBS faculty their own transformative experiences of acting as mentors to each other’s teaching practice. This, in turn, led to a discussion on how peer mentoring enhances teacher development and growth, in a context of reflective discourse, mutual trust, and collegial support, so that teaching faculty are enabled to analyse and critically assess their own teaching and that of their colleagues in meaningful and supportive ways.
This was followed by a presentation by Professor Rob Macredie, former Pro Vice Chancellor, Dean and Head of School, Department of Information Systems and Computing at Brunel University titled “(not quite) everything you always wanted to know about Brunel and higher education but were afraid to ask”.Discussing recent developments in education policy and Brunel University latest practice, Rob demonstrated a highly innovative approach to team based learning that enthused colleagues and provoked dialogue on a range of factors contributing to the enhancement of our students’ learning experience.
After lunch, Dr Stephen Smith, one of Brunel Business School’s star academics based on student feedback and satisfaction, demonstrated his unique approach to teaching and learning which has been praised by students and colleagues for a number of years! Titled “objectifying grid and group: problem solving”, the session hybridised of a type of Applied Drama called “Object Theatre”, and Cultural Theory as developed especially by Michael Thompson in Anthropology, in order to address what are known as “Messy Problems”. The session proved highly inspirational and was commended for its originality and effectiveness.
The day closed with an exciting presentation delivered by Sue Hardman, the school’s learning technologies and applied research in pedagogy champion. Sue demonstrated the findings of her latest two projects, “The Transition Project” looking at improving the learning experience of students with non-traditional entry qualifications, and the “Student Success Project” looking at ethnicity attainment gaps. Within this session colleagues had a great opportunity to discuss the school’s recent successes in improving student achievement and the challenges that lie ahead.
A social event, after the completion of the presentations, facilitated informal interaction between colleagues, and fostered reflection on the school’s teaching and learning practices, achievements, and plans for continuous improvement.
Dr Grigorios Theodosopoulos, Brunel Business School’s Director of Teaching and Learning, who led the team organising the event said:
Our teaching and learning away day for 2018 has been a great success and received very positive feedback from participating colleagues. It has, therefore, laid the foundation for more events of that kind to be organised in the future, aiming to promote sharing of best practice amongst academics and to consolidate our school’s excellence in offering a world-class learning experience to our students.