ESCalate Bulletin No. 19 (13 December 2004)


  1. Welcome to the Academy
  2. ESCalate Team changes
  3. Web site development
  4. FDTL5 projects
  5. Centres of Excellence in Teaching and Learning
  6. Small research grants
  7. External Examiners
  8. Book Reviews
  9. Group Work Project
  10. Employability
  11. Student Writing Award Scheme
  12. Question Bank
  13. Recent and upcoming Events

Welcome to the Academy

photo of the Severn river crossingThe ESCalate team made the short trip over the River Severn to Cardiff on 25 October to celebrate the launch of the Higher Education Academy. In an important but brief ceremony Paul Ramsden the HE Academy Chief Executive welcomed Jane Davidson, Minister for Education who spoke about the work of the Welsh Assembly in pushing forward the teaching and learning agenda in the Principality's higher education institutions.

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ESCalate Team changes

We say goodbye and thank you to Rosemary Deem who has returned to full time working at the Graduate School in Bristol. Tony Brown is Acting Head of Centre and Julie Anderson is Acting Centre Manager. We welcome Jane Tuffill who joins ESCalate from Connexions. We're glad to say that Liz Hankinson continues as Centre Administrator and Teresa Nurser continues in her Centre Support role within the ESCalate office. We hope to appoint a Publications Officer early in 2005 to coordinate paper and web-based publications.

ESCalate is collaborating closely with the University of Stirling, Christ Church College University of Canterbury and St Martins University College. In addition, the team will be strengthened from January 2005 by the involvement of several Academic Consultants, who will advice and contribute articles in their specialist field, through 2005.

ESCalate is proud to have maintained active links in all four national regions of the UK.

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Web site development

A new ESCalate website is planned for mid December. The introduction of the HE Academy means a change of image and these changes coincide with the introduction of the new and much more powerful database-driven website.

The new site will be easier to navigate and will have a Google type search facility to help you find the resources you are looking for. It will also be possible to make online bookings of events.

ESCalate tries to have a named Contact in every Education department in all UK universities. With the arrival of the new site, contacts will be able to update their personal details.

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FDTL5 projects

The Education sector has been successful in winning a number of bids. There is not sufficient space to mention them all so apologies to those left out of the following list. Congratulations to the following universities:

  • Northumbria, Making a Difference: Educational Development to Enhance Academic Literacy;
  • Sheffield Hallam, Active Learning - Active Citizenship;
  • Surrey, Learning to Learn Through Supported Enquiry;
  • Newcastle, Developing Formative Assessment using ICT in Education;
  • Nottingham, V-Resort - A Virtual Resource for Online Research and Training.

ESCalate staff have already discussed support strategies with a number of FDTL5 project teams. A dedicated area of the new website will cover news and developments in FDTL5 projects.

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Centres of Excellence in Teaching and Learning

The education sector produced a high proportion of successful Stage 1 CETL bids in a very competitive process. Stage 2 bids were completed by end of October and the results of Stage 2 should be known by January 2005.

For ESCalate and the HE Academy, the requirement that the HEFCE funded Centres of Excellence should work in collaboration with Subject Centres, means both an increase in our activity and a change of focus.

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Small research grants

The very successful Small Grant Project continues with three rounds a year. In addition to the current annual Project fund of £45k, we invite you to consider putting in a thematic bid for 2005. Theme 1 - Enhancing the Student Experience.

To discuss further please contact Julie Anderson on

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External Examiners

Are you one of many people finding it hard to recruit External Examiners to your programme, or are you someone interested in becoming an External Examiner?

An ongoing ESCalate initiative has been examining the issues and hopes to establish an External Examiners database in the New Year.

To find out more, or get involved, please email with your offer of support.

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Book Reviews

Interested in reviewing a book? Email for our current list of titles. A recent delivery of new books includes the following:

  • Hayes D., 2004, The RoutledgeFalmer Guide To Key Debates In Education, Abingdon, RoutledgeFalmer
  • Ellis V., Second Edition 2004, Achieving QTS: Learning And Teaching In Secondary Schools, Exeter, Learning Matters
  • Lowes R., Peters H. & Turner M., 2004, The International Student's Guide: Studying In English At University, London, Sage Publications
  • Evans M., 2004, Killing Thinking: The Death Of The Universities, London, Continuum
  • Foley J., (Ed), 2004, Language, Education and Discourse, London, Continuum
  • Turner D, 2004, Theory of Education,London, Continuum
  • Boud D., Cohen R., Sampson J., (Eds), 2001, Peer Learning in Higher Education, London, Kogan Page
  • Baume D., Kahn P. (Eds), 2004, Enhancing Staff & Educational Development, London, RoutledgeFalmer
  • Edwards H., Smith B., Webb G.(Eds), 2001, Lecturing: Case Studies, Experience and Practice,London, Kogan Page
  • Kahn P., Baume D. (Eds), 2003, A Guide to Staff & Educational Development, London, Kogan Page.
  • McDrury J., Alterio M., 2003, Learning through Storytelling in Higher Education,London, Kogan Page.
  • Jaques D., 2000, Learning in Groups (3 rd Edition),London, RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Roffe I., 2004, Innovation And E-Learning: E-Business for an Educational Enterprise, Cardiff, University of Wales Press
  • Walliman, N., 2004, Your Undergraduate Dissertation: The Essential Guide For Success, London, Sage
  • Burns, T. & Sinfield, S., 2004, Teaching, Learning & Study Skills: A Guide For Tutors, London, Sage
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Group Work Project

ESCalate is collaborating with the Education Studies teaching team at University of Plymouth with a study of group work effectiveness. The study will explore:

  • The impact of group work activity on student learning experience,
  • Its demands on staff expertise
  • The extent to which group work activity can be embedded in the curriculum.

Our intention is to disseminate the findings at the BERA conference later in 2005 and through paper-based and web-based materials.

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ESCalate is moving into Phase 2 of this project, with the aim of embedding employability into education programmes. We are currently working with the University of Stirling, and we would be interested in hearing from others working in this area.

In another strand of employability agenda, we are collaborating with the Subject Centre for Physical Sciences, on a JISC-funded project to repurpose resources for the Education Community.

The resources will appear as online support, hopefully towards to the end of 2005.
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Student Writing Award Scheme

Following on from the success of the Engineering Subject Centre award scheme last year, ESCalate is inviting all students on Education courses to submit a short essay on their best learning experience. If you are a student - or teach students you would like to encourage to take part, please see the website for more details and/ or email for flyers to promote the scheme. With £150 first prize and many runner up prizes for the best entries, it could be time very well spent!

We will then collate the top essays into a resource for lecturers and any others who may be interested in hearing what the students have said worked for them!

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Question Bank

ESCalate has applied for funding to set up an Assessment Resource Bank, a resource for education staff. .

Please see the website for details, especially if you are working on accumulating good quality assessment activities including formative assessment items and examination questions.

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Recent and upcoming Events

ESCalate Past Events

Foundation Degree Conference 6th October 2004

This was lead by Canterbury Christ Church University College. Speakers included Professor Sonia Blandford, CCCUC; Professor Derek Longhurst, FDF; Georgina Stein, CCCUC; Dr. Michael Day, Director of Quality & Funding, TTA. 31 delegates attended on the day.

Event details

External Examiners

A working group of eight people met with Julie Anderson from ESCalate to discuss the support and resources that ESCalate could offer to colleagues in Education departments. An initial report on what was discussed has gone out to those that participated with a more detailed report covering all the activity - and request for further colleague collaboration - nearing completion. This will be available through the website in December 2004.

Event details

Upcoming Events

Date: 14th December 2004,

Title: Getting there and back again! Transport to learning for adults with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Hosted by NIACE.

Venue: Lakeside Conference Centre, Aston University.

For further information please visit:

Date: 13th December 2004,

Title: Building and Learning Communities and Workplaces: Supporting the potential of learning champions. Hosted by NIACE

Venue: Lakeside Conference Centre, Aston University.

For further information please visit:

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