ESCalate Bulletin No. 6 (1 February 2002)


  1. Contacts Conference
  2. Learning Exchange
  4. Book reviews
  5. Small Grants Scheme Awards List January 2002
  6. Invitation to Contribute to the Bulletin
  7. Expertise Database
  8. ESRC TLRP Phase 3

Contacts Conference

Our first contacts conference is approaching. The date is 18th April at Scarman House. If you would like to join in what looks like being a very enjoyable and stimulating day, please send in the booking form soon. All departmental contacts have been sent a copy, and it is also available on the web at app.doc. For details please see

We provide a free place for one person from each department, which can include overnight accommodation on the 17th April for those who live a great distance away from Coventry. If additional colleagues wish to attend we shall have to charge £39 for the day or £130 for overnight accommodation at the Hotel plus the day's conference. Unfortunately we cannot reimburse travel expenses. Thus far around 50 delegates have reserved places, representing all parts of the UK. It should be a very interesting day.

Can we ask all those who are still interested in attending to sign up by the end of term (29th March). We will need to confirm numbers with Scarman House for food, rooms etc by a date during the Easter break, so it will make life much simpler if we have a neat deadline.

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Learning Exchange

In the December issue we advertised a scheme whereby we would pay book tokens of £50 and £100 for the first 100 small and 25 long contributions to the Learning Exchange. So far we have received 6 long contributions, and book tokens are on their way to them. Have a look at the Learning Exchange and see what is on offer there.

There is still a real need to have more contributions of teaching and learning ideas. We are hoping to structure the Learning Exchange around the different programmes colleagues teach on, with a designated staff member from ESCalate co-ordinating the development of that section. Professor Colin Harrison from Nottingham has the overview of the whole Learning Exchange site. Sections will focus on PGCE (schools); PGCE (FE); PGCE (HE); Masters/Diploma; Doctoral programmes; BA/BEd (QTS); BA/BEd (Education studies non-QTS)

  • PGCE Secondary and Primary
  • Cert. Ed/PGCE FE
  • Cert. Ed/PGCE HE
  • Short courses
  • Undergrad ITT

(B Ed/BA Ed)

  • Undergrad non-ITT

(BA/BSc Ed Studies)

  • Foundation degrees (e.g. learning support, early years education etc)
  • Other access courses funded by the HE funding councils
  • Masters degrees CPD
  • Research degrees: MPhil/PhD/EdD

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 or use to start a discussion with colleagues elsewhere would be suitable. Try for a short item to start with: they do not take very long to prepare for sending off, and they may activate others to contribute items on a similar theme.

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We are currently focussing on Obtaining and Using Student Feedback as one major topic area. Any case studies, short ideas, techniques adapted for postgraduates etc would be very warmly welcomed.

Another hot topic is Guidelines for programme Directors. We plan to produce some guidelines to help new course directors cope with the demands of their roles. We shall be commissioning a working party to work on this theme shortly. Invitations to take part will appear in the March Bulletin.

Please send contributions to the Escalate secretary at Nottingham, who will pass them on to Colin and team for processing. Any enquiries about the Learning exchange can also be directed through Helen, or sent to

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Book reviews

One new book on offer this month

Burke, Penny J 2002 Accessing Education: Effectively Widening Participation. Stoke on Trent, Trentham Books

In addition the following are still available from last month:

Biggs J., 1999, Teaching for Quality Learning at University, SRHE & Open University Press, Buckingham

Goodson I. & Sikes P., 2001,Life History Research In Educational Settings: learning from lives, Open University Press, Buckingham

Hannan A. & Silver H., 2000,Innovating in Higher Education: Teaching, Learning and Institutional Cultures, SRHE & Open University Press, Buckingham

Rowland S., 2000, The Enquiring University Teacher, SRHE & Open University Press, Buckingham

Once again, many thanks to all who have offered to do reviews, a number of which are now on the website.

Book reviews should be fairly brief. 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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Small Grants Scheme Awards List January 2002

The following colleagues have been awarded small grants of up to £5000 to develop, with colleagues from other departments, topics related to teaching and learning in Education studies. The list below only names the grantholders, not all of the partners. If any colleagues are interested in any of the topics, or are working in similar areas they may like to contact the grant holders. For contact details please contact Arlene Gilpin.

  1. Reflective Journalling for development of abilities: Developing and piloting resource material, both for staff development and for support of facilitative tutors
  2. Lead department at – University of the Highlands & Islands Millennium Institute, Perth College

  3. Research methods teaching and learning: Effective on-line support
  4. Lead department at – University of Nottingham

  5. Widening Participation in Continuing Education: Using ICTs to enhance the learning environment
  6. Lead department at – Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sussex

  7. Enhancing the effectiveness of student feedback and support in a distance learning context
  8. Lead department at – St Martin's College, Lancaster and Ambleside

  9. An investigation of student usage of academic & professional journal articles & suggested strategies for improvement
  10. Lead department at – University of Manchester

  11. Professional Development in the Use of Peer - & Self - Assessment Instruments and Techniques

Lead department at – Anglia Polytechnic University

The next deadline for proposals is 29th March 2002.

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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 feel 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 both on our website and through the bulletin should contact the Centre Manager

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Expertise Database

Please keep on sending in suggestions for our expertise database. There will be opportunities for consultancy work through it.

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John Kanefsky, Assistant Director, ESRC Teaching and Learning Research Programme, sends the following message:

We would be grateful if you could e-mail out to colleagues in your network to let them know that there are still seven weeks to the deadline for outline bids for the £9m. Phase III of the ESRC Teaching and Learning Research Programme. In particular, we like to emphasise that we welcome relevant bids from researchers in any discipline and from cross-disciplinary teams. Equally, the research may focus on improving outcomes for learners in any area of post-compulsory learning, not just teaching and learning in universities.

Full details of the Specification for Phase III can be found on our website at:

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