ESCalate Bulletin No. 5 (1 January 2002)

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Handsome prizes for short contributions to the Learning Exchange
  3. Contacts' conference
  4. Small Grants Scheme
  5. Book reviews
  6. Invitation to Contribute to the Bulletin
  7. Expertise Database

Introduction

A belated Happy New Year to everyone.

The management team thought it might be a good idea to start the year by trying to define more clearly the community of ESCalate. Our official title is LTSN Subject Centre for Education and Continuing Education. However, this does more to confuse than clarify the issue of the constituency boundaries for many colleagues.

To make matters a bit simpler, a short list of the different programmes for which we are collecting teaching and learning support ideas includes all of the following, and if you work on any of these then this is your subject Centre.

  • HEFCE funded courses leading to HNC/Ds and Foundation degrees in Education Studies/Learning Support/Early Childhood studies delivered in FE Colleges and partnerships
  • Undergraduate ITT (B Ed/BA/Sc. in Education); BA/Sc. or BEd in Education (non-ITT including early childhood etc);
  • PGCE Secondary and Primary (CH); Cert. Ed/PGCE HE; Cert. Ed/PGCE FE;
  • Masters degrees CPD (MA in Education; MSc in Education or M Ed)
  • Research degrees: MPhil/PhD/EdD

Some schools of Education offer a fairly wide range of continuing professional development courses for other professionals: nurses and health professionals; librarians; business studies; sports science and so on. Continuing Education departments offer an even wider range of subjects. There are subject centres for many of these colleagues. A full list of all the LTSN Subject Centres can be found at http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/474.htm

I hope that this quick introduction has clarified things a little, and has left no glaring omissions. If there are areas omitted please do get in touch.

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Handsome prizes for short contributions to the Learning Exchange

See http://www.escalate.ac.uk/exchange

A reminder that we are offering substantial book tokens for contributions to the web. Three have been received already. When they arrive they are vetted by a group at Nottingham, convened by Professor Colin Harrison who leads the development of the Learning Exchange. When the contributions are put on the web the LE team advise me, and a token is sent to the contributor.

The Learning Exchange was launched in June last year, and resources trickled, rather than poured in - not surprising, perhaps in a year dominated by QAA, RAE and the ubiquitous OfSTED! We wanted to give the Exchange a good kick start in the New Year, and agreed to commit a budget to its development. We are offering 100 book tokens of £50 and 25 of £100 to the first 125 contributions received in 2002. £50 book tokens will be offered for short articles, and £100 for more developed articles of a publishable standard with a stronger rationale and evaluation included. We are hoping to start an e-journal and the latter group will form the basis for the first issues. On the website there are a number of examples at http://www.escalate.ac.uk/exchange. Two illustrate short contributions: Using Post-it Notes and Starting An Adult Learning Session With A Quiz. Longer ones are illustrated by two of those recently submitted by colleagues, Learning Logs submitted by Nick McGuinn and Sylvia Hogarth, Department of Educational Studies at the University of York, and Developing a Critical Voice: liberating students' thinking from Caroline Walker, Alan Gleaves, and John Grey, School of Education, University of Sunderland. (£100 book tokens are on their way to each of the winning teams). One other contribution is still being scrutinized.

What topics would be suitable?

Any teaching and learning initiative you have used, are using, or are currently working on, which would be of interest to fellow practitioners. This need not be a very fully developed initiative: you might be 'testing the water' for possible future topics. Any good practice you would like to share outside your own institution.

What format should it be in?

Please supply a short summary in plain text. You can supplement this with web links, MS Word documents or PDF files if you wish. If you wish to submit a more substantial article then please supply a brief plain-text overview and send in the body as a Word or PDF file.

Please send your contributions to Helen.Ireson@nottingham.ac.uk. Helen is the office co-ordinator for the Nottingham team, who have developed and manage the Learning Exchange.

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Contacts' conference

Details of our conference are now firmed up and invitations will shortly be sent out to you.

  • Each department can send its contact free of charge (or a substitute if the contact person is unable to attend)
  • Date: 18th April 2002
  • Place: Scarman House University of Warwick
  • Time: 9.30 to 4.00
  • Facilities: for colleagues who could not travel to Warwick and back in one day we are offering B&B at Scarman House on the night before
  • Themes: How have research, policy elites and technologies influenced teaching and learning in Education in HE?
  • Speakers: Cliff Allen, Director LTSN; Andrew Pollard, Director ESRC TLRP Phase; Marian Philips, Head of new Technology for Student Support at the OU, and a panel including Professor Bart McGettrick, University of Glasgow, and Vivian McIver, Assistant Chief Inspector, Education and Training Inspectorate in Northern Ireland.
  • Invitations will be issued to all contacts this week. Please make a note in your diaries.
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Small Grants Scheme

We are extending the deadline for the next round of bids to 29th March 2002. We felt the 28th February deadline came too soon after Christmas and term one / semester one marking deadlines.

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Book reviews

We have had a very generous response from colleagues re. book reviews. The first ones are now on the ESCalate website, and offers continue to come in. Many thanks to everyone. . We have recently received a very generous donation of books from the Open University Press. The following are available for review this month. Deadline for reviews: one month after receipt of the book.

  • Rogers J., Fourth Edition 2001, Adults Learning, Open University Press, Buckingham
  • Brown T. & Jones L., 2001, Action Research and Postmodernism: congruence and critique, Open University Press, Buckingham
  • Furlong J., Barton L., Miles S., Whiting C. & Whitty G., 2000, Teacher Education in Transition: Re-Forming Professionalism?, Open University Press, Buckingham
  • MacNaughton G., Rolfe S.A. & Siraj-Blatchford I., 2001, Doing Early Childhood Research: International Perspectives On Theory and Practice, Open University Press, Buckingham
  • Macbeath J. & Mortimore P., 2001, Improving School Effectiveness, Open University Press, Buckingham
  • Goodson I. & Sikes P., 2001, Life History Research In Educational Settings: learning from lives, Open University Press, Buckingham
  • Biggs J., 1999, Teaching for Quality Learning at University, SRHE & Open University Press, Buckingham
  • Rowland S., 2000, The Enquiring University Teacher, SRHE & Open University Press, Buckingham
  • Hannan A. & Silver H., 2000, Innovating in Higher Education: Teaching, Learning and Institutional Cultures, SRHE & Open University Press, Buckingham

Book reviews should be fairly brief (no more than 1000 words). They should describe the content of the book, perhaps link it to others available in the field, assess its usefulness, and state what kind of course it might be useful for, as either a supplementary reader or a more central text.

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Invitation to Contribute to the Bulletin

All colleagues are invited to submit copy for the bulletin: it may take the form of a reference to a development that you fell we need to air; it may be to advertise a book you have written or contributed to; it may be to publicise your event; it may be to ask colleagues for their views on a problem you face. Whatever it is, send it along. If you prefer to have your contribution anonymous that is fine. It would be great to hear from you.

(Any colleagues who wish to advertise events either on our website or through the bulletin should contact the Centre Manager A.Gilpin@bristol.ac.uk).

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Expertise Database

Some of you have kindly sent in recommendations for experts, but our database is growing very slowly. Do you know someone who is an expert in some area of teaching and learning, and is a lively leader of seminars? We are frequently asked to recommend a speaker for a staff development event, and need to build up our expertise database. We are particularly keen to find experts in needs analysis linked to course design (an area which was often mentioned in OfSTED reports for the TTA funded CPD provision as weak). Other topics of interest include assessment, particularly at Master's level; teaching and learning perspectives on widening participation, where groups may be fairly heterogeneous in composition; obtaining and using student feedback for quality enhancement; using the results of peer observation to improve practice within a department. We know the expertise is out there. NB All of these topics may also lend themselves to contributions to the Learning Exchange and win you a fat book token.

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