Wednesday, 4 July 2012


Many people gave their time and expertise to make the 12th Middlesex University Annual Learning and Teaching Conference a successful event. The conference organising team would like to share their sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone involved especially those mentioned here.

Thanks to:

Professor Margaret House, DVC and Dr Nicky Torrance, Director of Learning and Teaching for chairing the keynotes

Ridhima Galhotra for administrative support and help on the day

All session presenters and chairs

Joyce Clancey for her support and loan of the pin boards and table cloths

Angus Macdonald and John Parkinson for filming and producing videos of the keynote sessions and several parallel session  and Art & Design for the loan of an extra camera.

Diana Tamics-Bahadoor and Edina Kurdi for persuading participants to share their conference impressions on video and the Business School for lending their Flip camera's

Louis Slabbert and media support services at Hendon

Colleagues in the Centre for Learning and Teaching Enhancement for their support, contributions and report writing

EFMS  and the excellent catering for the event from Chartwells' Catering Services

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Presenter profile - Track G: Luciano Celini

International Students' Learning Journey

Luciano Celini, Senior Lecturer in Academic Writing and Language, Learner Development Unit.
Luciano Celini
Luciano joined Middlesex University in 2009 as a lecturer in English for Academic Purposes. Since then, he has taught in-sessional Academic Writing and Language in the Business School, the School of Art & Design and the School of Health & Social Sciences. Earlier this year, Luciano was appointed Coordinator of Academic Writing and Language for the Business School.

Special interests: Luciano is particularly interested in the relationship between technology and pedagogy in writing instruction, and has been involved in various projects developing online academic writing materials for the Learner Development Unit at Middlesex University. Luciano is also interested in professional writing instruction in higher education. He is currently researching the use of professional writing simulations in undergraduate Business School programmes.

Friday, 29 June 2012

MJET - Middlesex Journal of Educational Technology

MJET is Middlesex’s in-house electronic journal for educational discourse. It aims to provide an unintimidating way for authors to publish papers and working papers. The journal is interdisciplinary in approach and the papers are directed towards the study and research of learning in its diverse aspects: pedagogical, curricular, sociological, economic, philosophical, and technical that contribute to the development of both theory and practice in the field of education.

For more information see:

It is a possible outlet for contributors to this conference. The latest issue is currently being edited and will be available shortly. The following are the articles included in the issue:
My iPad and i. Ellie Franklin
Using iMmediate video feedback. Phil Barter
Examples of ways of working away from the desk with an iPad: strengths and limitations. Steve Nunn and Nollaig Frost
Towards the development of a mobile learning model for smart phones using stakeholders’ analysis. Evangelos Moustaka and Isabel Oliveira
Using an old technology in a new way or using a new technology in an old way? Exploring the use of audio feedback post-teaching observation? Carole Davis and Agnes Ryder
Creating an integrated online learning module for information literacy, academic writing and communication skills: The BRILO project. Adam Edwards

The inaugural issue was published in 2011 and is available (in PDF and EPUB formats) at :

Steve Chilton
MJET Co-editor

Chris Shiel: Keynote presentation - Contributing to a learning planet

Link to abstract

Contributing to a learning planet?
What do we need to understand about the planet and what do we mean by global education?

Chris Shiel’s keynote speech delivered an inspirational and passionate view of internationalisation and sustainable development. She started us thinking by asking if anyone was wearing anything that was sourced and made exclusively in the UK, which neatly led into the issues to be covered – Internationalisation and Sustainable Development – ‘HUGE AND HIGHLY COMPLEX SUBJECTS’, as she put it (her caps).

A key issue was the strong link between internationalisation and employability. HE is a global industry but – in the UK – how are we ensuring our students have a global awareness? Nowadays many employers are more interested in knowledge and awareness of the wider world than in A-level results and there is evidence that they feel graduates’ horizons are not broad enough. The UK, she argued, will be left behind by fast-growing countries such as China, India and Brazil unless we really start to educate our young people to think globally.

Chris pointed out that although Educational Sustainable Development (ESD) was signed up to by most Vice-Chancellors, the awareness of this policy at the ‘chalk face’ was low (a point she supported by asking for a show of hands from us). Chris also questioned the myth of student mobility, asking whether UK students can actually meet the challenge of moving to another country. She suggested we need support to weave the global perspective into the curriculum and gave examples of how this is being achieved at Bournemouth University through embedding global and international perspectives throughout the learning experience. On the wider stage, her important considerations are: curriculum, pedagogy, mobility, extra-curricular, and social entrepreneurship.

It was a challenging presentation, asking a lot of questions of us: Do we assume we know everything? Do we ask often enough what we can learn from our overseas colleagues?

She feels we should be contributing to a learning planet by connecting agendas and balancing the regional with the global. She left us with a quote: “The global economy demands global thinking. We are preparing learners for a future that is evolving, uncertain and global – that future needs to be sustainable” and a YouTube clip:

Celia Cozens, CLTE

Track A: Barriers and benefactors: Overseas masters students’ experience of seeking success in the UK HE environment

Link to abstract
Presenters: Clare O'Donoghue & Stephen Burbidge, Middlesex University

Stephen gathered his data through the use of  ‘rich pictures’ were students expressed themselves through icons.  He has found this to be a good tool which highlights student’s concerns in their first 2 weeks after their arrival in the UK.

Clare gathered data from 68 completed  questionnaires.  The first set of questions related to personal data, educational context in which English was learnt and types of academic assessment.

The second questionnaire contained questions ranging from accommodation to wellbeing.  The questionnaires offer rich data which gives an in-sight into the experiences of students.  A number of analyses have been produced from the questionnaires including  pre-arrival anxieties which came true. I highly recommend that you visit the link below to get a fuller picture and believe the results would be beneficial to any one involved with over-seas students.

Betty Sinyinza, CLTE

Participant video feedback

Dr David Killick, Leeds Metropolitan University
Matthew Jones, Statistics, MDX London

Participant video feedback

Theresa Bourne, Midwifery, MDX London
Matilda Filolli, MDX London Student
Kate Healy, Learning Resources, MDX London

Participant video feedback

Matthew Quaife, Social Work, MDX London
Sophie Ball, Student Exchange, MDX London
Eva Szatmari, Learner Development Unit, MDX London
Mark McPherson, Marketing and Enterprise Department, MDX London

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Track B: The challenges of mature global distance learners: Lessons from the MUBS online MBA's

Link to abstract
Presenters: Dr Simon Best & Dr Kristian J Sund, Middlesex University

What a lively and thought-provoking session! Kristian and Simon shared their experiences of teaching and managing the MBA in Shipping and Logistics and the MBA in Oil and Gas respectively. The MBA in Shipping and Logistics was launched in 2009 and was designed to equip current and future maritime leaders with the skills, knowledge and tools they need to manage their business successfully. The programme focuses on major topics such as maritime administration, ship finance, risk management, maritime economics and trade, maritime law etc. The online mode of delivery has provided a wealth of experience for teaching and administrative members of staff. Kristian placed particular emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of the tutor, the administrative requirements for successfully running such an international programme and the importance of authoring high quality learning materials.

Simon provided an overview of the MBA in Oil & Gas, which was launched in 2011 and is delivered exclusively online over 24 months. The programme is designed and delivered so that students can accelerate their professional development without having to pause their career or take long periods out from their work which in many cases takes place on oil rigs. He also shared with the audience his belief that face-to-face and online teaching are almost mutually exclusive in terms of some of their key teaching prerequisites.

It was very interesting to compare the experiences of running two exclusively online programmes and draw on their similarities and differences. Perhaps most importantly, Kristian and Simon outlined future research plans on factors that lead to students satisfaction and achievement; they intend to look into the quality of tutoring and devise ways of measuring the quality of online tutoring. They are interested in both quantitative and qualitative aspects of student learning for example type of posts, frequency of student participation and response time to students. The session was well-received and contributions from the audience highlighted the relevance of the teaching practices currently developed at the Business School.

Mike Mimirinis, CLTE

Track H: Developing communication strategies to support remote teaching teams

Link to abstract
Presenters: Cathy Minett-Smith & Kirsteen Macdonald, Middlesex University

The challenges of supporting remote teaching teams are manyfold, and the roles of staff in developing a strategy to deal with them is often unclear. Cathy and Kirsteen explained how important the role of the module leader is as part of an international team, and suggested that in most cases there is a genuine desire to develop an effective partnership with staff overseas. However, there is an element of academic staff who are frustrated with the effort involved in including international students in their curricula, and are generally of the opinion that the phrase 'my students' refers only to their UK students.

It was explained that it is not easy to build relationships with remote teaching staff when the teams change so often, and lack of time and differing calendars can make communication difficult. When communication does occur, it is usually by telephone or email, which can be quite limiting. We were split into groups and given scenarios to discuss. Issues were raised such as consistent and fair marking while being aware of cultural differences, and the varying expectations that module leaders have of module co-ordinators.

The session highlighted the need for improved, natural communication with remote teaching teams. Tools such as online chat, video conferencing and lecture capture were discussed. It was emphasised that so-called 'virtual teams' consist of real people and communication should reflect that. The end goal would be to move away from the 'parent/child' relationship that exists between module leaders and overseas tutors, and towards a more collaborative team effort.

Paul Smith, CLTE

David Law: Keynote Presentation - Internationalisation - a crowded world?

Link to abstract

Internationalisation - a crowded world?

David Law, from Edge Hill University, gave a fascinating keynote to close the conference. He struck a good balance between entertaining and informing, keeping the audience engaged after what had been a long day.

He started by outlining the increasingly competitive nature of the competition of the global HE field, and immediately noting that there was no one recipe for success if pursuing internationalisation. What worked for his (and our) institution wouldn’t work for, say, a Russell Group University.

Devising and delivering an appropriate strategy was a major consideration for institutions trying to operate more globally. This strategy may have many strands though. David proposed that this strategy should include an enabling leadership, and encompass academic practice, student support and cultural inclusivity.

David ran through traditional models of importing students, exporting students, and even partnerships, before suggesting that a networked model might be the way forward (even between institutions). He concluded that “universities must operate in a consistent and consciously co-operative way (even though there are many features of a competitive market)”.

Steve Chilton, CLTE

Introduced by Dr Nicky Torrance, Director of Learning and Teaching, MDX

Track J: What is university education for? England and South Africa compared

Link to abstract
Presenters: Mariette Jones & Maureen Spencer

Maureen and Mariette gave us a very topical and thought provoking presentation. They started by providing a context of higher education today, positioning our uni in current UK and global political context. They also discussed liberal education and how these ideas influence our and our students expectations of what universities should do. They shared with us the initial findings of their research project where they investigated the views of students in the UK, Mauritius and South Africa regarding the role of universities. Surprisingly the student responses were very similar, even though the students themselves represented distinct groups and had different cultural backgrounds.

Agi Ryder, CLTE

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Registration 2012...

Track L: A view of internationalisation

Link to abstract
Presenter: Dr David Killick, Leeds Metropolitan University

‘I don’t care what these international students have to say’ interestingly, (and perhaps, given the flavour of the conference, thankfully) this quote was not directly from Dr Killick himself. Instead, and of importance to Dr Killick’s talk, it was a quote proffered by one of his students. The student offered this view upon completion of a piece of group work in which they had worked within consciously created multi cultural groups. Interestingly the student was studying language and was about to embark upon a year studying abroad. In offering this quote, Dr Killick far from trying to ‘out’ a racist student instead cleverly used this quote to cause his audience to recognise that the incorporation of an international identity into a student’s life is a complex and difficult task.

Dr Killick proceeded to offer an introductory framework by asking ‘Internationalisation, by whom, to whom and why’? He stated that the we are pre-conditioned by the discourse of internationalisation into thinking about mostly geographical and business related issues and endeavours namely; overseas campuses, exchanges, partnerships and mobility. He also challenged the audience by reminding us that still, internationalisation may have negative connotations to domestic students and if we are to move on in this area we need to understand these views and why they occur.

Dr Killick next shared the work which Leeds Met have been carrying out in order to counter act the potentially negative student view of internationalisation as well as to produce global graduates. Leeds Met have incorporated internationalisation when defining their graduate attributes. The ‘global outlook’ attribute incorporates 2 areas; Inclusivity and Global relevance. Leeds Met has stated that the development of graduate attributes is not separate from discipline knowledge and so is to be embedded within the curriculum. In conjunction with the idea of constructive alignment Leeds Met looked at rewriting learning outcomes to encourage the development of graduate attributes.  

This exercise started with Dr Killick’s team authoring generic ‘global outlook’ learning outcomes from which teaching teams then created discipline specific learning outcomes (examples of each were offered and are available within the slides).

Dave Westwood, CLTE