ESCalate Bulletin No. 37 (12 June 2008)


  1. We're nearly there
  2. Upcoming events
  3. Venues wanted for ESCalate funding workshops
  4. The lauch of a new website for ESCalate - Education for Sustainable Development
  5. Teaming up with JISC for some E Learning events - an update
  6. An ITE Update from Cumbria
  7. Veronica Windmill from ACER talks about the development of CETTs in England
  8. Early Steps with e-portfolios: 20/20 Hindsight ?
  9. Inclusive Practice Resource
  10. Supporting Teaching and Learning at the University of Aberdeen
  11. Multiculturalism and Education - Research Questionnaire
  12. Internationalisation events update
  13. Success North Spring Conference
  14. Our latest resources - click on the link to view

We're nearly there

We are nearly at the end of another academic year. This latest bulletin includes new events for next year, new resources and new articles sent to us by our constituents and some written by us here at ESCalate.

If you have any articles or features for our next bulletin which will be during the summer months please send them to for review.

Happy reading


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Upcoming events

Here is a list of events coming up that we hope are of interest to you. If it is an ESCalate event (with our logo) just go to your member page and register. If its and external event please contact the event organiser for more details.

Tue 3-Wed 4 June 2008

Contemplative Pedagogy: Principles and Practices

Talk and workshop by Professor Arthur Zajonc, Amherst College, MA, USA

Queen Margaret University
Wed 4 June 2008BAICE - CIE Research Student Conference "Adventures in Methodology, Ethics and Fieldwork: The Research Student Experience and Beyond

A FREE one-day workshop for BAICE student members to reflect on and discuss career development issues with colleagues who share a professional interest in international education and development

University of Sussex
Thu 5 June 2008Telling ePortfolio Stories 'The Road to Stickiness' Conference 2008

A call for papers - May 2nd

City Campus, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton,
Thu 5 June 2008Playing with Learning - Unlocking the learning experience

Playing with Learning is a unique opportunity for practitioners to engage with innovative and exciting ways of energising learning with Higher Education Students

Scarman House Conference Centre, Warwick
Tue 10 June 2008
The Gender Agenda & Improving access to and uptake of research by different stakeholders
Contact: Victoria White

From the Department for Children’s Schools and Families: a series of activities with schools, universities and local authorities to identify, develop, and share evidence and good practice in improving the education of underperforming boys & girls

University of Warwick
Tue 10 June 2008E-Learning, with a focus on ITE: part of a seriesSt Mary's University College, Belfast
Thu 12 June 2008
The Gender Agenda & Improving access to and uptake of research by different stakeholders
Contact: Victoria White

From the Department for Children’s Schools and Families: a series of activities with schools, universities and local authorities to identify, develop, and share evidence and good practice in improving the education of underperforming boys & girls

University of Leeds
Mon 16 June 2008Centre for Teaching, Learning & Assessment Colloquium: Assessment and High Quality Learning

This colloquium provides an opportunity to explore new findings, insights and perspectives on the role of assessment in sustaining and enhancing high quality learning.

Paterson's Land, Holyrood Road Campus, The University of Edinburgh
Tue 17 June 2008Into the professions: enabling entry and success for disabled learners

This one day conference aims to jointly explore practical issues faced in setting and implementing competence and fitness to practice standards at course or subject level, particularly in the light of the disability legislation.

The Royal National Hotel, Russell Square, London
Wed 18-Thu 19 June 2008The Third International Blended Learning Conference

Enhancing the Student Experience - Call for Papers, Case Studies and Posters - the aims of the conference are to explore how embedding the use of technology alongside more traditional face-to-face teaching can enhance the student experience.

University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK
Thu 19-Sat 21 June 2008This Learning Life 2

The Second International Conference on Education for Real -Life Learning

University of Bristol, Graduate School of Education
Wed 25-Fri 27 June 2008Writing Development in Higher Education Conference 2008

Conference theme: Times and Spaces for Writing

University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Wed 25-Fri 27 June 2008Learning Through Enquiry Alliance Conference 2008: Inquiry in a Networked World

We aim to continue in 2008 to provide an exciting focus for creative and critical exploration of inquiry-based learning, focusing on developments in practice and theory, and on the role of the inquiry approach in higher education in the UK and beyond.

University of Sheffield, CILASS (Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences)
Fri 27-Sat 28 June 2008British Education Studies Association Annual Conference: Culture and Education

BESA provides an academic community for all those working in Education Studies. The conferences provide opportunities for the sharing of ideas and experiences across the sector.

Liverpool Hope University City Centre Campus
Tue 1 July 2008Reshaping Education

With keynotes from National Teaching Fellows Sandy Gilkes (University of Northampton), and Professor Mike Neary (University of Lincoln) addressing the theme of Reshaping Education this promises to be an interesting and enjoyable event.

Middlesex University, Hendon
Thu 3-Fri 4 July 2008Spoonfeeding or Critical Thinking

A Level / Higher to First Year Progression in Religious Studies and Theology

St Anne's College, Oxford University
Wed 9 July 2008
The Gender Agenda & Improving access to and uptake of research by different stakeholders
Contact: Victoria White

From the Department for Children’s Schools and Families: a series of activities with schools, universities and local authorities to identify, develop, and share evidence and good practice in improving the education of underperforming boys & girls

University of London, Institute of Education
Wed 9 July 2008Assessment in Higher Education ConferenceUniversity of Cumbria, Carlisle Campus, Carlisle
Thu 10 July 2008UK ITE network for Education for Sustainable Development/Global CitizenshipCentral London (TBA)
Sat 12-Sun 13 July 2008Promoting Partnership: Responding to the Needs of the East Asian Learner in Higher Education

At this conference we aim to provide a forum for the discussion of policy and practice at of different levels and to provide a showcase for colleagues in the field to present their examples of good practice and lessons learnt

University of Portsmouth
Mon 14-Thu 17 July 20082008 ICET World Assembly

Learning, Leading and Linking: The Impact of Policy and Research upon Practice

University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Tue 15 July 2008Visual approaches to teaching and assessment: inclusive practice by Pauline Ridley, Alice Fox and Jane Fox

This session will present the findings of two interlinked pieces of research which provide insights into how visual approaches to teaching and assessment can be developed to benefit students with and without disabilities.

University of Brighton
Fri 18 July 2008Writing and Professional Practice day

A day workshop organised by The Practice-based Professional Learning CETL - a call for abstracts

The Open University in Milton Keynes
Mon 1-Wed 3 September 2008Improving Student Learning Through the Curriculum - 1-3 September 2008

The 16th Improving Student Learning Symposium

University of Durham
Tue 2-Thu 4 September 2008International Disability Studies ConferenceLancaster University
Tue 9-Thu 11 September 2008Association for Learning Technology Conference 2008: Rethinking the digital divide

Our keynote speakers will be David Cavallo, Dr Itiel Dror, and Hans Rosling

Leeds, UK
Tue 9-Thu 11 September 2008All our futures conference

Call for papers of April 18th for this event in September

University of Plymouth
Thu 18 September 2008UKCLE E-learning seminar series 2007/08

This is the fourth in the Subject Centre for Law's series and its theme is Simulation Learning. The aim is to provide four one day seminars which will deliver stimulating and challenging presentations and encourage dialogue on four key themes

University of Warwick
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Venues wanted for ESCalate funding workshops

After running two successful Funding Workshops in England and Scotland we are looking for venues in Northern Ireland and Wales.

These workshops are an opportunity for us to talk to colleagues from both within your education department and externally from other institutions, about ways in which ESCalate can offer funding for Research projects, Development Grants and Student research. Our aim is to provide information about the application process, what makes a good project proposal and how to manage a project if it is successful.

So we are looking for potential venues that hold 30+ people for a day and these would need to be able to provide catering (at our cost).

For more information or to offer possible locations please contact

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The lauch of a new website for ESCalate - Education for Sustainable Development

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new website for ESCalate dedicated to the ESD agenda.

ESCalate offers Education for Sustainability resources, links, news and help for tutors, students and teachers trying to embed ESD and Global Citizenship in ITE.

The website informs the "sustainability debate" in HE and schools, encouraging awareness, reflection, action and connection with a range of viewpoints.

In addition if you would like to download the publicity flyer attached to this bulletin please do, and circulate it within your institution.

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Teaming up with JISC for some E Learning events - an update

The four Bristol organised e learning events have taken place across the UK in Falmouth (for England), Swansea (S Wales), Glasgow (Scotland), with the last taking place on Tues June 10 in Belfast (NI). See a few pictures available under "Downloads."

We are grateful to each institution's kind provision of the venue with costs for travel, refreshments etc paid for via funding won by ESCalate through a JISC funding call. In the light of this ESCalate have been especially pleased to welcome JISC to each event through the JISC regional centres in order to update colleagues on their own latest work and resources.

The day events, which will have seen over 130 colleagues attending, have included sessions on Videopapers; Personal Development Planning focusing on Pebblepad and other systems; the REAP assessment work from Strathclyde; in addition VLE and Mobile technology project work have all been showcased along with local institutional e learning innovations such as provided through the excellent library staff at Falmouth. Delegates have also been able to hear about the newest developments and opportunities from ESCalate and take away resources and information to further support their own work.

Comments in feedback have included:

"I enjoyed the event -particularly the PDP and the videopapers slots and I'm going to try using video papers."

" Interesting and informative!"

"I felt the presenters had undertaken a lot of wheat and chaff separation - saving me a lot of time, thank you"

If you were unable to attend, we will have the PPT presentations available through the website.

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An ITE Update from Cumbria

Since the last bulletin, three major events for the ITE community presented by ESCalate at the University of Cumbria have taken place.

Creativity Seminar

The Creativity seminar took place at the Open University, Milton Keynes on April 8th 2008. This was a successful event with informative sessions by Donna Hurford, Dennis Howlett and Sally Elton-Chalcraft from the University of Cumbria, Robert Meadows from Creative partnerships and Emma Brown from the Central School of Speech and Drama. Delegates' ideas from the day can be found on The ITE Help Directory at

Assessment Seminar

The Assessment seminar took place at the University of Gloucestershire on April 17th 2008. The keynote address from Sue Bloxham was exceptionally well received and workshops throughout the day, led by Kristine Mason O'Connor, Sue Shorrock and Amanda Pill from the University of Gloucestershire and Kären Mills, Adrian Copping and Verna Kilburn from the University of Cumbria were much appreciated by delegates. Ideas from this seminar can be found on The ITE Help Directory at and .

4th ESCalate ITE conference

Our 4th annual conference took place at the Carlisle campus of the University of Cumbria on May 16th. 140 of us gathered and were rewarded with an excellent conference. Dr Neil Simco, the Dean of Education at the University of Cumbria welcomed us to the university and introduced our keynote speaker, Professor Ian Menter. Professor Menter set the seal on a very high quality conference with his keynote address on ITE in the four countries of the UK. The address was really appreciated by delegates who found it both entertaining and extremely interesting. The day was full of stimulating and thought provoking presentations and all presenters are to be congratulated on the high standard of presentation. There was plenty of evidence throughout the day that delegates would be taking away many ideas to impact immediately on their practice. We were extremely pleased to have a very fine poster presentation this year with a range of impressive academic posters for delegates to browse over lunch. Thanks to all helpers who chaired sessions, welcomed delegates, saw to technical requirements and put on an excellent spread for lunch. Particular mention must be made of Sue Scowcroft, our ESCalate administrator who tackled the organisation of the conference so impressively.

Material from the conference will be available on the website shortly and conference proceeding will be published as soon as possible in the autumn.

M level PGCE research

The M level research is progressing well and findings to date have been shared with the TDA, the Subject Networks and UCET. Some interesting data from headteachers and school mentors is on its way and will be posted in the M level PGCE folder on the Help Directory as and when it is available.


The ITE Help Directory has been expanded as promised. It is now possible to have folders on as many topics a we wish. If you think you have an idea for a folder, please get in touch and we will start one for you. As always we are interested in anything relevant to our ITE community and would be delighted to offer you space to share your ideas with the sector.

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Veronica Windmill from ACER talks about the development of CETTs in England

In 2007 DfES selected 11 bids to develop Centres for Excellence in Teacher Training (CETTs).

The concept of CETTs was first introduced in the DfES report “Equipping our Teachers” published in 2005, which identified CETTs as one of the key reforms taking place in 2007 to support enhanced initial teacher training in the post compulsory sector.

The eleven CETTs are based across England, yet there is no national coverage with some regions having three CETTs and two regions having none.

The set-up of the CETTs is varied. The majority are lead by HEIs, usually in partnership with colleges, some have a specialised aim, whereas others take a more generic approach.

The CETT programme is funded for three years, with year one funding being the same for each CETT. year two funding will be less and will be based on achieving year one outcomes and year three funding will be less again. Many CETTs are looking into ways of ensuring sustainability rather than seeing CETTs as a short-lived initiative. The CETTs are managed by the Quality Improvement Agency(QIA) during the three-year timescale.

The East of England CETT (EECETT) is regional with national links, and uses networks of ITT providers and representatives of employer groups to ensure that expertise is shared, capacity is increased and the quality of provision is improved.

For further information on EECETT or any other CETT, see the QIA Excellence gateway website -

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Early Steps with e-portfolios: 20/20 Hindsight ?

Technology underpinning a course for lecturers and trainers.

Julie-Ann Stobo (Gateshead College) Bob Bell (Regional Support Centre Northern)

The Regional Support Centres (RSCs) (nine in England, two in Scotland, one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland) exist to help hard pressed curriculum and support staff in FE and other colleges to get the best out of e-learning. RSCs were originally created to ensure that the 400+ colleges had a local point of contact, initially for technical support, but curriculum support quickly developed once JANET connections were up and running and over the last seven years that support has morphed into help with the systems and people aspects of e-learning. A typical RSC has about ten staff whose role primarily involves brokering training for client staff, promoting JISC services, providing advice on e-learning systems and technology and operating social networks and forums. The latter are very important in promoting self-help across communities. The RSC is able to monitor, and support the adoption of technology such as is being used in the programme described below at GatesheadCollege which is a college in the forefront of the use of technology to support its learners.

The post-graduate certificate of education provided by Gateshead College is a popular programme selected by a wide range of lecturers and trainers from FE, public service training environments and private providers. The backgrounds of the learners can be very diverse e.g. policing, hairdressing, plumbing etc. as well as from academic subjects such as history. The programme was ‘volunteered’ by the assistant programme leader Julie-Ann Stobo into COMPORT - a JISC-sponsored development project involving three other North East colleges. The project will compare and contrast approaches to the deployment of e-portfolios in a variety of ‘HE in FE’ environments.

Gateshead College are deploying e-Pet as their e-portfolio and this was made available to the learners back in the Autumn of 2007.

Julie-Ann is quite frank:-

“If I am honest I can now say we plunged in a little quickly at the time because the product became available to us as a staff team quite close to the start of the academic year; we had not really had the opportunity to become fully familiar with the system and were only a few pages ahead of the learners.”

The degree of familiarity of the learners with IT and their abilities with desk-top tools were quite variable and this itself presents a significant initial challenge to be overcome before an e-portfolio could be successfully introduced. Julie–Ann had to do the selling:-

“The need for new learners to work with Moodle and e-planning tools – e.g. for the development of lesson plans, schemes of work etc. – was quite a big challenge in itself and so using the e-portfolio for blogging and critical reflection required additional support and encouragement. ‘Can’t I just do it on paper and hand it in?’ was a not uncommon cry.”

However, sound progress has now been made and many learners have become enthusiastic bloggers and are making use of the obvious advantages of e-Pet such as being able to collect all kinds of evidence including image and video as well as documents and reflective comments.

Julie-Ann is totally convinced that after their initial uncertainties they are now forging ahead - and going very much in the right direction.

“No one with a career in education and training can hope to ignore the importance of the portfolio approach. The time is rapidly approaching when every learner will expect to develop and maintain a repository and reflective diary which evidences their learning – and so it must be the job of teacher training programmes such as ours to make sure that teaching professionals get the habit and get it early”

The second time around will be much better. Armed with a greater knowledge of the e-portfolio tool and the reactions which can be expected from the learners, Julie-Ann will ensure that IT skills are assessed and developed to a competent level. That will be followed by a gentle introduction to the e–portfolio idea, feeding into the learners a careful selection of opportunities to use the tool in a staged way so that familiarity with the idea builds naturally and comfortably. Julie-Ann is looking forward to using the tool for a second time:-

“There will always be those who love the diary-keeping approach more than others – but the advantages of capturing the outputs and the sense of the learning experience through the power of an e-portfolio are obvious. We also plan to make much more use of the tool to allow learners as a group to identify and store shared learning resources such as folders etc.”

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Inclusive Practice Resource

The Higher Education Academy leads an interest group of research managers
and specialists to support the dissemination of inclusive practices in HE
institutions. Members are working on collaborative projects for the HE
sector, which bring together and build on their own research, outputs and

One such project (led by the Higher Education Academy Psychology Network)
has sought to gather expert advice and guidance from leading experts in the
field. We are leading a project to provide academic tutors and others
involved in the provision of learning and teaching within higher education
with a series of three e-bulletins covering six key aspects of learning and
teaching. The e-bulletins can be seen at:

Each e-bulletin provides bite-size advice and guidance on a specific aspect
of inclusive practice as well as pinpointing key online resources that
provide more in-depth information. The second e-bulletin is now available
and covers the topics of:

* Inclusive Teaching Practice

* Inclusive Curriculum Practice

* Student Engagement

A third e-bulletin will follow during the coming months.

Thank you
Naomi Craig
Psychology Network

For more information contact:

Naomi Craig
Academic Co-ordinator
The Higher Education Academy Psychology Network
Psychology Department
1st Floor, Information Centre
Market Square
University of York
YO10 5NH

Tel. 01904 433652

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Supporting Teaching and Learning at the University of Aberdeen

ESCalate's Julie Anderson went up to Aberdeen to give a presentation on the role of the HEA Subject Centres and their work to support teaching, learning and assessment in universities. Click here for more of the story

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Multiculturalism and Education - Research Questionnaire

Crucible University Fellow Dr Richard Race is conducting research into
multiculturalism and education. If you are interested please return your completed questionnaire and ethics form (attached to this bulletin) to Richard by email --

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Internationalisation events update

This spring ESCalate, along with LLAS (the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies), has organised 15 internationalisation focus groups, including teaching staff, home students and international students, at five different institutions in diverse subject areas.

We have considered issues such as curriculum design, how best to teach students from a range of cultures and how participants have felt about their teaching and learning experiences. We hope to publish our findings on ESCalate's website as well as other sites and via papers and conference proceedings etc.

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Success North Spring Conference

The Success North Spring Conference held recently in Newcastle ( May 23rd) had 49 organisations represented with 22 speakers, including Julie Anderson speaking about ESCalate and working with subject centres. ESCalate also sponsored Jenny Moon to give a workshop on reflective learning. The resources from the workshops and forums are being uploaded onto the Success North VLE and to take a look, do visit

Please see flyer on the right hand side for more details about the event.

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Our latest resources - click on the link to view

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