In this short testimonial, two of this year's invited keynote speakers discuss their experiences of the conference:
"The Enhancing Student Learning through Innovative Scholarship Conference, on the 21st and 22nd July at the University of Sheffield provided an inspiring two days amongst a group of students focused learning and teaching practitioners. Over 120 delegates representing over 20 H.E. I’s delivered and participated in sessions on a range of stimulating and highly relevant topics including, amongst many, writing for publication, preparing students for the world of work through simulated placements,
In the opening presentation where Paul Latrelle (University of Sheffield) talked about their strategy of “Excellence in practice” and the importance of removing silos and moving away from the unhelpful notion of “teaching only” roles. This theme was picked up in Claire Allam and Joan Upson’s (University of Sheffield) keynote where collaboration and ownership were put forward as essential elements for successful curriculum review and every member of the entire team had a vital role to play. Sam Nolan (University of Durham) picked up on the notion of “belonging” in his workshop on Transition to HE and this resonated with our workshop on “Working with students in partnership to discover their transforming identities” where the concept of belonging is critical to forming and adapting professional identity. We returned to the issue of “teaching only” roles in Anne Tierney’s keynote presentation “More than just a Teaching Fellow” on Friday morning who raised a number of debatable questions including the perceived relative status of research vs teaching, the paradox of “doing more on scholarship of Learning and Teaching leaves less time for your students” and the tensions relating to income generation where teaching income seems to be virtually invisible – or at least does not appear to be quantified. Jane Pritchard’s (Bristol University) response was to encourage everyone engaged in Scholarship of Learning and Teaching to lead the agenda and ensure its strategic importance in our Institutions. Jane also led the final , optional workshop “Writing for refereed journals”, exhorting us to be “excellent – not just good!” which is perhaps the enduring motif that everyone attending both arrived and left with, in the context of their professional roles.
ESLTIS17 allowed us the opportunity to present our LITE project to an external audience of peers for the first time. Presenting our work and receiving feedback has provided us with the confidence to disseminate this work more widely and to better position the project within the UK HEI context, which we hope to increase its impact on the sector."
Clair Souter and Melissa Schuessler