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Academic Engagement: Engaging who and to what end?

University of Bedfordshire
23 September 2011 10:00-16:00

Through a series of workshops and interactive sessions, this one-day SEDA workshop aims to explore and understand the nature of staff and student engagement within what is becoming an increasingly complex, changing higher education environment and to identify the inherent challenges and potentialities for educators and academic developers in their practice.

With its practical focus, the event will be of interest to those responsible for curriculum design and facilitating learning opportunities at all levels of HE. The programme offers significant scope for small group discussions and interaction, with both experienced practitioners and other delegates. Participants will be encouraged to learn from one another, reflect on, and share their experiences and their practice, as well as be guided to explore the emerging challenges and potentialities of encouraging authentic academic engagement.  

The workshops, like the research, case studies and the practice they present, are purposely positioned within the wider context of contemporary issues which are at the centre of educational developers’ and teaching staffs’ work and practice, more specifically the workshops explore issues around :

  • The changing nature of student engagement in learning;
  • The challenges of engaging staff to engage students;
  • Academic engagement in staff development;
  • Engaging the diverse range of student and staff transitions in higher education. 

It is anticipated that workshops will generate significant insights and practical ideas around the nature and range of challenges and potentialities facing educators and academic developers in their practice that will be documented and shared with delegates post-event.

The facilitators for the one-day event are:

  • Sam Elkington [lead facilitator] is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Management and Teaching Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire where he takes an active interest in pedagogic development in relation to integrated approaches to the academic engagement of students and staff. 
  • Lesley Lawrence [facilitator] is Head of Academic Professional Development at the University of Bedfordshire.  Based in the Centre for Learning Excellence, her current research interests lie primarily in how we effectively support staff transitions. 
  • Helen Corkill [facilitator] is Co-ordinator for Part-time Provision at the University of Bedfordshire.  Based in the Communities and Partnerships Office, she has undertaken extensive research on student transitions, particularly the student experience of transition from foundation to bachelor degree. 


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