ESCalate Bulletin No. 33 (11 October 2007)


  1. Introduction
  2. Internal Events (Oct - Dec)
  3. Advance notice of ESCalate events for 2008
  4. External Events (Oct-Dec)
  5. An ITE Update
  6. Tansferability of e-Portfolios in Education
  7. Learning in the 21st Century - Results from the recent Blackboard survey
  8. the First Year Experience on Education Programmes
  9. 2008 Research Grant funding
  10. HE Academy/Subject Centre Internationalisation project
  11. The Professional Doctorate
  12. Activity with Key Partners in the FE Sector
  13. Integrated Children's Services in Higher Education (ICS-HE): Preparing tomorrow's professionals.
  14. New resources
  15. Book reviews
  16. Contributing to ESCalate - Tell us your news


Welcome back to another busy term, we hope you all had a restful holiday and are ready with verve and vigor for the months ahead.

The HEA have set all Subject Centres the task of working within three main themes in this forth-coming year; Employer Engagement, Assessment and New Academics. We aim to bring you news of how we are continuing to address these issues over the next year. In the meantime, do please use the search facility on our web site to find out what resources already exist.

We have already a long list of events for you to think about, new resources and news from around the UK

If you have anything you would like to comment on or add to our next bulletin please contact us on 0117 331 4291 or email:

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Internal Events (Oct - Dec)

Here are the ESCalate events coming up in the next few months please click on the link for more details.

Professional Wisdom and Responsible Decision Making in Education Thu 8-Fri 9 November 2007, University of Newport. A series of workshops exploring the theme of ethical decision making

University life uncovered - how are students' experiences outside the classroom impacting their learning? Fri 9 November 2007, Manchester Metropolitan University. A national one day research conference

Becoming a Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education - an ESCalate workshop Thu 22 November 2007, University of Birmingham Conference Park. A one day practical workshop for new teacher educators

The Higher Education Role in Integrated Children’s Services: Preparing Tomorrow’s Professionals Mon 26 November 2007,  Manchester Conference Centre. This conference is for educators and training providers in Higher Education, together with their partners (practitioners, employers and service users) who are developing and delivering programmes to meet the needs of Integrated Children’s Services.

The Professional Doctorate Wed 5 December 2007,  Roehampton University. An EdD conference on research degrees in Education including the QAA and European perspectives - current issues and debates

New events are being added all the time; there are three ways to keep up to date:

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Advance notice of ESCalate events for 2008

We have two conferences that you might like to know about, happening in 2008

The Teaching-Research Interface: Implications for Practice in HE and FE Tue 29-Wed 30 April 2008, University of Stirling. A collaborative conference with CRLL

4th Annual ESCalate ITE Conference - Innovation and Development in Initial Teacher Education Fri 16 May 2008, University of Cumbria. Call for papers - the deadline for submissions is Monday 21st January 2008

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External Events (Oct-Dec)

Here is a list of External Events that we feel might be of interest, please click on the link for more information.

Healthy Kids Summit Mon 15 October 2007,  Radisson SAS Portman Hotel, London

First Generation Students into Higher Education Tue 23 October 2007, School of Oriental and African Studies, Central London

Enhancing the Quality and Outcomes of Disabled Students' Learning in Higher Education Conference Wed 24 October 2007, Godfrey Thomson Hall, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh

Survey Research in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities Wed 24 October 2007,  The Royal Statistical Society, Errol Street , London

UKCLE E-learning seminar series 2007/08 Thu 1 November 2007,  University College London

Management, Leadership and Influence - a leadership development event Thu 1-Fri 2 November 2007,  National College for School Leadership, Nottingham

UCET Annual Conference 2007 Fri 9-Sat 10 November 2007,  Staverton Park Conference Centre, Daventry, Northamptonshire

Enhancing Child Well-Being: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives Conference, Wed 14 November 2007,  Turner Sims Hall, University of Southampton Contact: Teresa Davis, Email:

The Practice of Academic Writing Wed 28 November 2007,  Staffordshire University

The Assessment of Professional Learning; Theory and Practice, Wed 28-Fri 30 November 2007,  University of Rouen, Contact: Mike Radford, Email:

Challenging the orthodoxies: alternative approaches for research into Higher Education, Thu 6 December 2007,  Mary Ward House, Tavistock Place, London Contact: Michelle Haynes, Email:

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An ITE Update

The University of Cumbria

It is all change for ESCalate Initial Teacher Education as St.Martin’s College became the University of Cumbria in August this year. From now on our e-mail contact is or . All change too for the administration of ESCalate. Kate Wenham, whom many of you have had contact with over the last two year, has left to pursue other interests in Higher Education. We wish her well and thank her enormously for the excellent work that she has done for the teacher education community.

M level PGCE research

The M level PGCE research project is on its way with 11 institutions contributing data. The project to date will be presented at the UCET (University Council for the Education of Teachers) conference in November and delegates will be invited to comment on the data collected so far. A section of the Help Directory will be dedicated to this shortly and news of this will be forthcoming in the bulletin and on the website. Please contact if you would like more information.

4th ESCalate ITE conference

Our 4th conference is planned for May 16th 2008. We are hoping to hold this at our Carlisle campus this year – just one hour from our usual venue in Lancaster. The Call for Papers is on the website /3915. Professor Ian Menter from the University of Glasgow will be giving the keynote and we hope to have as excellent a range of papers of all types as we did this year.

Interprofessional Working

We are moving on from our work with Every Child Matters to look to create material specifically for teacher educators to use with students. More on this shortly.

Seminar – Becoming a lecturer in Initial Teacher Education

ESCalate is pleased to support Pete Boyd, Jean Murray and Kim Harris in the continuation of their work on the induction of teacher educators by presenting a seminar for New Teacher Educators. The seminar will take place in Birmingham on November 22nd. This is an excellent opportunity for new teacher educators to get together and share experiences and we hope that a lot of colleagues will take advantage of this chance to talk together about their induction into Higher Education. The reference for details and the booking form are at:

Seminar on creativity

We are planning a seminar on creativity for later in the Spring term. More details will be available later.


We are always interested to hear about ideas for workshops that you or your colleagues could present to the community. If you have any ideas, however vague in the first instance, please contact

Papers to be published

The journal Perspectives in Education is looking for papers to publish in a special edition. Please go to for details.

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Tansferability of e-Portfolios in Education

Transferability of e-Portfolios in Education

The first phase of the ESCalate Devolved e-Learning project has been successfully completed by ESCalate@stirling and the project has now moved forward into phase two.

Phase one evaluated the current uses and designs of e-portfolios in Higher Education Teacher Training courses within the UK. The results suggest that respondents feel very positive about the possibilities of e-portfolios within their teacher training programme with 93% of respondents either using e-portfolios or planning to do so.

Full reports from phase one can be accessed at

Phase two of the project involves developing an understanding of staff and learner expectations, and the actuality, of e-portfolios as a teaching and learning tool and has a number of specific aims:

For the Learners:

  • Evaluate learner expectations on their use of the selected e-portfolio tool
  • Evaluate ongoing learner experiences during their introduction to the use of e-portfolios to facilitate learning
  • Evaluate learner reflection on the impact of e-portfolios as a tool for learning (including uptake of e-portfolios)

For the Teacher Educators:

  • Evaluate teacher educator views on their use of the existing e-portfolio tool
  • Prior experience with tools
  • Training with tools
  • Expectations of the e-portfolios software tool
  • Views on educating new teachers and how it may impact on e-portfolios

For the Teachers/Practitioners:

  • Evaluate practicing teachers views on current CPD practice
  • Experience with e-portfolios
  • Use of e-portfolios to enhance learning.

Phase two will incorporate Learner Questionnaires investigating the demographic background of the learners, prior learning and educational experience, and prior experience with IT and with e-portfolios; a Discussion Board to highlight issues of e-portfolio ‘usability’ as they occur across the academic year, giving an insight into the learner issues as their interaction with e-portfolios develops; Learner Blogs which will highlight ongoing learner interaction with the development and use of e-portfolios in a more detailed and reflective manner; and Teacher Educator questionnaires and interviews which will examine the interaction of teacher educators with e-portfolios and how they use and develop them as an aspect of their teaching practice. Practicing teachers will also be surveyed on aspects relating to how the use of e-portfolios can be, and in many cases has been, developed as a tool for in-service Continuing Professional Development and highlighting their needs for supporting CPD using e-portfolios.

To get involved with this project and for further details, contact:Derek Young Blake

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Learning in the 21st Century - Results from the recent Blackboard survey

Learning in the 21st CenturyA successful 21st century university is a student-centred institution, unconstrained by time and place that operates simultaneously in a local and global context. It should measure and communicate its progress, and continually renew its commitment to students, community and the economic competitiveness of the country.

By Gordon Freedman, Vice President, Education Strategy, Blackboard

Colleges and universities are confronted with new types of students who are younger and more technology-driven, as well as older and more career-driven. They are facing unprecedented competition, aggressive accountability demands and a view of operating in a global context. In such scenarios, education leaders increasingly realise that in order to achieve 21st century education they have to take a more market-oriented, student-centred and businesslike management and accountability approach, whilst preserving their academic mission, focus and values. Recently, Blackboard embarked upon a survey to learn from higher education leaders about their greatest challenges in achieving the goals of 21st century education. Blackboard was surprised at the consistency of the answers given to the changes needed in Higher Education relating to: Student Engagement, Institutional Accountability, Revenue Generation and Globalisation. contd.

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the First Year Experience on Education Programmes

Coming soon

A series of reports on the First Year Experience on Education Programmes

With the continuing drive to expand widening participation in Higher Education there is now, more than ever, a need to address the parallel issues of social inclusion, learner retention, and learner progression. Within the field of Education, ongoing research has shown that 27 per cent of current learners undertaking Education Programmes have considered withdrawing from their programme of study within their first year (Young 2006).

These reports carried out by ESCalate@stirling investigate the first year experience from the learner perspective and address such issues as identified and perceived barriers to widening participation in Education. subjects covered include Retention and Progression; Learner support (Social profiling); Gender; Age; Social Integration; Social Isolation, Study Trends, and Learner Expectations and Aspirations.

The reports highlight the needs and concerns of differing groups of students, and identifies areas of diversity across the Higher Education sector, within one disciplinary field.

This project is part of an ongoing research programme undertaken by ESCalate, and moves previous first year experience research a step forward. It examines issues relating to retention, as identified by the learners themselves, and by surveying those who considered withdrawal is able to identify the motivational issues that persuaded them to continue with, and progress through, their programme of study.

By building upon previous research on student retention, this research expands on a successful pilot study from 2005/6 (Young 2006) and has collated sectoral data from over 50 UK HEIs, providing a comprehensive data set from which large-scale trends and common issues can be identified.

Sectoral comparisons are made at the disciplinary level, highlighting the needs and concerns of differing groups of students, including mature and part-time learners. Potential implications for academic and support practitioners are highlighted at departmental and sectoral level.

Reports will be available on the ESCalate web site.

For further information on this project contact: Derek Young

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2008 Research Grant funding

The theme for the annual Research grants has just been announced as Employer engagement/ Employability. This is a deliberately wide ranging theme which should allow any colleague working on an Education course in the UK to create a suitable project bid if they wish. Please note though that Employer engagement/ Employability needs to be the substantial focus of the work!

Details about how to apply are on the website pages at . The deadline for expressions of interest (EOI) is April 2008.

There are links to both HE Academy work in this field as well as links to other ESCalate specific work such as the online employability module and the Discussions series booklets for staff and students with photocopiable resources. These links may help colleagues with their own ideas; for example some of you may wish to use the free resources and embed them in your own course and create a research bid around that. Whether that appeals to you or not, do take a look at what is there as any successful EOI/ bid would be expected to demonstrate some awareness of what has already been done.

We are currently considering inviting successful EOI bidders to an event where they can present their ideas to a panel. We would be interested in feedback on this idea to The intention is that it would shorten the process and help projects start sooner - but if not popular with colleagues we will leave the process as before.

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HE Academy/Subject Centre Internationalisation project

Julie Anderson at ESCalate@Bristol is heading up an internationalisation project with Ali Dickens of the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies. It is HE Academy funded, working with Dr Sean Walton as Project Officer in York and our ESCalate academic consultant Dr Sheila Trahar.

Dr Trahar wrote the ESCalate Discussions in Education series booklet ( available to download at ) and it was in part due to the popularity of this publication across the Subject Centres and amongst staff at HE Academy York that ESCalate was invited to support this project.

A substantial part of the project’s work will be via short events across the UK, inviting both staff and students to meet together to discuss common questions around the topic of what it means to have an internationalised curriculum in the UK. With dates and venues to be confirmed, it is likely that different geographical regions will host subject specific/ discipline focused groups. We at Bristol will host the Education group. If this is of interest to you, please be in touch with with possible dates that you could make either late this term or next - and we will do our best to accommodate you!

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The Professional Doctorate

ESCalate@Bristol is organising an EdD event with Roehampton University. It is planned to be an EdD conference on research degrees in Education including the QAA and European perspectives, current issues and debates.

Dr Dennis Hayes of Canterbury Christ Church University has kindly agreed to be one speaker but the programme is not finalised. Many thanks for those who have already been in touch but if you or your colleagues would still like to contribute ideas, including ideas for speakers, we would still be delighted to hear from you! Please email to discuss or offer suggestions by October 15.

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Activity with Key Partners in the FE Sector

ESCalate has, writes, over the last year, contributed to the project steering group set up by LLUK to look at the commitment made in ‘Equipping our Teachers’[1] for the development of a teacher educator framework. ESCalate has worked closely with UCET(Universities Council for Teachers) on this activity and the initial phase of work has been completed. The steering group will be re-formulated into one looking at the CPD needs of experienced teachers and teacher educators. contd.
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Integrated Children's Services in Higher Education (ICS-HE): Preparing tomorrow's professionals.

The website for ICS-HE is entitled: Integrated Children's Services in Higher Education (ICS-HE): Preparing tomorrow's professionals. It is the key resource for the project and focuses on professional education for integrated children's services to meet the Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda.

The website outlines the project aims and activities and is the main source of up to date details for events, news, other resources and contacts.

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New resources

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Book reviews

Interested in reviewing a book? Check out the book review section of the website to find out all the books that are available; this is updated regularly.

Once you are a registered user, you can request up to two books to review at any one time, through the registered user’s section of the web.

Do keep an eye on this section of the website.

If you would like to know more about the book reviews or would like to recommend a particular book, please email

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Contributing to ESCalate - Tell us your news

Thank you for reading until the end. Please do let us have news of developments and activity within your department, or look out for the next bulletin.

Next Bulletin: December 2007

Deadline for Copy: November 19 2007 emails to the ESCalate Team

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