Joint tweetchat on Wednesday 22nd February 2017 – Can Curriculum Development be Guided by Product Design

Joint Tweetchat on Weds, 22nd February  8pm – 9pm (UK time).

This week’s joint chat with the HEA is hosted by Dr Kate Cuthbert & Dr Helen May

In their blog post – Can Curriculum Development be Guided by Product Design Kate and Helen focus their on curriculum development and the design process that sits behind this. They discuss how curricula is developed and ‘imagined’, how the design principles are assumed when developing curricula and hope that you are able to join the chat and share your own curriculum design practices.

Prior to the chat there has been activity on twitter to capture some principles from others – #Designcurr

We hope you will join us in the joint #HEA and #LTHEchat on Wednesday between 8pm – 9pm. It’s a collaborative effort on the last Wednesday of the month!

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#LTHEchat 76 – Virtual Reality with Ethan Leung


Ethan Leung, Information Technology and Business Management student at University College London.

This week’s tweet chat is kindly hosted by Ethan Leung, Information Technology and Business Management student at University College London.

Ethan is from Hong Kong and has a deep passion for learning technologies, spending the previous summer developing strategies for companies to use virtual reality to boost profits and enhance customer experience.

Ethan’s specific areas of interest include virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. He is currently working on his dissertation, which is focused on assessing the potential of adopting virtual reality in university curricula.

Topic: Virtual Reality in higher ed?


“Fiat 500X” flickr photo by Janitors shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license.

Virtual reality is a major technological advance, unlike any technology the world has seen before.

The computer-generated simulation of a 3D environment enables users to feel as if they are in a completely different setting than the one they are currently in. Based on the description of virtual reality alone, one can perceive its vast potential.

However, the current development of technologies and software that enable virtual reality is heavily focused on the entertainment sector.

What if virtual reality is applied to an area that is in pressing need of reform?

What if it is applied to higher education?

Studies have shown that lectures are an ineffective way to educate students, where the goal is information transfer rather than developing higher order thinking skills.

Incorporating virtual reality into university curricula can be a revolutionary change that can transform higher education and bring tremendous benefits to educators and students. This is what this TweetChat aims to discuss.

Please see the Storify here.

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#LTHEchat 75: Managing the Sophomore Slump, OR, how to Motivate Second Year Students as the Middle Child of the Higher Education Experience?

This weeks chat is kindly hosted by Dr Kerry Gough & Luke Millard



Dr Kerry Gough (@drkerrygough) is a Learning and Teaching Consultant at Nottingham Trent University. Having spent some time focusing upon the development of student transition programmes, this interest has recently shifted to consider the motivation of second year students in the continuation of their studies and the responsibility of higher education for supporting that .





Luke Millard (@millluca) is Head of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Birmingham City University. His investment in the second year experience is informed by a desire to enhance students’ employability skills in support of BCU’s Graduate+ programme.





What is this week about?

In the last decade, student engagement has become synonymous with innovation and re-design of the Higher Education learning experience, with much attention being paid to the transition, retention and progression of first students (and, of course, the associated financial implications for both the individual and the institution!) (Stuart Hunter et. al., 2010).

But, what happens when our students successfully transition and progress into their second year of study?

Many students report feelings of alienation and isolation as the social integration activities drop off, the expectations of their growing academic capability increases and the looming pressures of career choice exposure foretell the coming closure of the excitement of their higher education lifestyle. Termed the ‘second year blues’ in the UK and the ‘sophomore slump’ in the US, Yorke (2015) highlights how ‘the lack of focus, the drift, the seductiveness of socialising, the difficulties with relationships and a limited commitment to second-year work’ are characteristic of this period in a students’ higher education experience.

In effect, our second year students have become the middle child of the Higher Education experience. The honeymoon is over and now it’s time to study!

In our #LTHEchat, we are interested in exploring the research experiences and expertise of colleagues who are invested in supporting and reinforcing the second year student experience in higher education. This is an area that is achieving some critical attention in the US, as supported through the work of the National Resource Center for First Year Experience and Students in Transition, while many UK institutions are looking to extend the engagement work conducted around the first year experience, and to adopt the resource and support developed in support of the second year student experience. These developments include approaches to academic advising, development of career pathways, curriculum development, inter-disciplinary and inter-faculty projects, undergraduate research, study abroad programmes, opportunities to participate in undergraduate research and extended residential engagement.


Come and help us to develop the second year student experience by engaging

in the conversation on Wednesday, 8th February 2017 8-9pm (UK time) at: #lthechat



Stuart Hunter, Mary, et. al. 2010. Helping Sophomores Succeed: Understanding and Improving the Student Experience. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Yorke, Mantz, 2015. Why Study the Second Year? In: Milsom, Claire, Martyn Stewart, Mantz Yorke & Elena Zaitseva (Eds.) Stepping Up To The Second Year at University: Academic, Psychological and Social Dimensions. London: Routledge.


The storify is available here.

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#LTHEchat 74 What do you see? Using visual media to communicate our teaching and research

This week’s Tweetchat is kindly hosted by Alex Spiers and Tünde Varga-Atkins.



Alex Spiers                             

Alex is a Learning Technology Developer in the eLearning Unit at the University of Liverpool with over 12 years experience working in the learning technology field. He is the coordinator of the ALT North West England SIG which is a network that brings together learning  technologists with the aim of supporting the informed use of learning technologies in the region. He is also a member of MELSIG (Media Enhanced Learning SIG) organising group having presented and supported a range of events since 2008. His areas of interest include the use of social media to support authentic learning and develop digital literacies. He is also passionate about the use of personalised mobile devices to support learning and has co-facilitated the Bring Your Own Devices for Learning open online course for the past two years. He studied History of Art at the University of Glasgow and is a regular contributor to the music and art scene in Liverpool.



Tünde Varga-Atkin

Tünde is a Learning Technology Developer and researcher at the eLearning Unit, University of Liverpool, developing a specialism in TEL (technology-enhanced learning) research and evaluation. She co-facilitates TEL Research @Liverpool which is aimed at building capacity around TEL research within the institution and also co-convenes a regional research group, ELESIG NW with colleagues from Manchester and LJMU. Her specific areas of interest include learner experiences of e-learning and the development of digital literacies. Her interest in visual research methods all feature in her research and evaluation work. She is currently studying on Lancaster University’s E-research and Technology-Enhanced Learning PhD programme, and embarking on a thesis that would like to focus on exploring the use of visualisation of TEL research activity to benefit organisational learning.

Tweetchat (Weds, 1st February)

What do you see? Using visual media to communicate our teaching and research

Taking up the baton ofseeing’  from last week’s #LTHEchat on park running and teaching on “Excellence…I know it when I see it”, we will share ideas this week on using visual media to communicate our teaching and scholarship.

You know this quote is coming: yes, a “picture paints a 1000 words”! Why is this the case?


What do we mean by visual media? There are certain ways of thinking about visuals: they can be ‘found’ or created images – although nowadays this binary has become quite blurred.  Banks (2001) distinguishes a verbal-visual spectrum, placing words and text on one end and images (photos, drawings) at the other end. Diagrams, for instance, are somewhere in-between, contain both textual and visual information. We have lots of sub-genres of visuals like maps, mind-maps, concept-maps. Then we have static and moving images!

Certain disciplines have special relationships with visuals. Art historians, archaeologists will be immersed in visual imagery of paintings, photos, drawings, sketches – visual representations of artefacts. Engineers and designers will be conversant with diagrams, 2D and 3D representations of spaces and objects. English and other writers will be fond of typography. Marketing and social media experts will be apt observers of how visual communication channels and artefacts work in different cultural contexts. What about when it comes to our teaching practice? Do we have the same relationship to visual communication as we do in our respective disciplines? Are we making best use of this mode of communication for meaning-making and learning (and helping others to learn)?

How? What works? What doesn’t? Have you got any practical tips for tools to use that help you creating – or finding – visual artefacts?  

Are pictures ‘just’ for illustration? (Madeleine Hallewell and Natasa Lackovic conducted a really interesting piece of research into the use of images within powerpoint slides in psychology lectures) Do you use them for learning and meaning-making? There is a whole body of literature on multimodality in social semiotics (Kress, Jewitt). This is concerned with different (hence multi) resources, or modes, that can be used for meaning-making. Examples modes are:

  • Written text

  • Spoken word

  • Audio

  • Visuals

  • Kinetics e.g. TOUCH etc.


What they argue, or interested in, is how the different modes can interact to create or enhance meaning, or when traversing between different modes, how different insights can be created during such a conversion process. You have all probably experienced how putting together a presentation slide or a poster of an academic article helped crystallise salient points – due to the fact that content or findings had to be converted and communicated in a visual form.


In preparation for this week’s #LTHEchat, we would love you to reflect on what visuals you work with, and how you use them in your teaching. We hope to share ideas, experiences or learning tasks in which you ask students to draw on the visual mode to help access, communicate their learning or leading them to insights in different (visual) ways.

See you soon!

Alex and Tunde

The Storify for #LTHEchat 74 can be found here.



Banks, Marcus. 2001. Visual methods in social research. London: Sage.

Hallewell, Madeline Jennifer (2013) Creatively re-mediating the integration of visual resources with spoken expositions during slideshows in undergraduate psychology lectures. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

Lackovic, Natasa. 2010. Creating and reading images: towards a communication framework for Higher Education learning. – International journal of media, technology and lifelong learning Vol. 6 – Issue 1 – 2010


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The challenge of defining excellence – I know what it is when I see it


Dr Kay Hack

Joint Tweetchat on Weds, 25th January 8pm – 9pm. 

This week’s joint chat with the HEA is hosted by Dr Kay Hack, Academic Lead for STEM with the Higher Education Academy – and regular parkrunner.

In her blog post, The challenge of defining excellence – I know what it is when I see it, Kay considers what excellence looks like within the parkrun community, and asks whether there are  lessons to be learnt for the TEF.

She hopes this will spark some  lively debate about what excellence is, and what it can look like in different disciplines. Hopefully this will help us all to develop a clearer picture of teaching excellence and how it can be evidenced.

Join both HEAchat and LTHEchat on Wednesday between 8pm – 9pm. It’s a joint effort on the last Wednesday of the month!


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#LTHEchat 73 Change, leadership and pedagogic research

A photograph of Dr Hala Mansour

Dr Hala Mansour @HalaMansour the winner of #LTHLEchat Golden Tweeter Award Senior Lecturer in HRM/OB.

This week’s Tweetchat is kindly hosted by Dr Hala Mansour, Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management at the University of Northampton.

Hala received her PhD in Management 2012 from Keele University and MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 2013 from Keele University, UK. From 1995, Hala has held, also, research and teaching commitments in different universities.

Her research focuses on Organisational Effectiveness, Organisational Culture, Organisational Change, Human Resource Management. She is also interested in publishing from her teaching practices in Assessment and Feedback in Higher Education. Dr Mansour won the prestigious Keele University Excellence Award in Teaching and Learning (2014).

Tweetchat (Weds, 18th Jan)

Change, leadership and pedagogic research.

This chat aims to develop a conversation around the impact of changes and leadership in HE on pedagogic research and practice.

Although profound changes redefining the role, mission and value of universities are sweeping through the HE sector, current conceptualizations of leadership and change management lean towards New Public Management’s high-level objectives and efficiency (Mansour, et al, 2015).

Alternative models, such as Whitchurch’s (2013) concept of ‘third space’, the strategic management of intellectual capital, primarily human resources (Devecchi and Petford, 2015), and notions of shared or even absent leadership (Laloux, 2015; Robertson, 2015) provide new ways to analyse how different stakeholders can create new and mutually effective ways of working together.


A team from The University of Northampton @UniNorthants and Keele University @KeeleUniversity is working in a project funded by the Leadership Foundation in Higher Education @LFHE about Change and Leadership in Higher Education @LCTinHE.

Through a mixed method approach, this project develops an understanding of the dynamics of leadership practices and strategies, and how these impact on academics, professional services, managers, and formal leaders’ ability to cope with change.


Dr Cristina Devecchi, Associate Professor in the Centre for Education and Research, Faculty of Education and Humanities.

Dr Cristina Devecchi @dmc_devecchi is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Education and Research, Faculty of Education and Humanities, at The University of Northampton where she is responsible for the PhD programme in Education.

She has carried out national and international research on various aspects and stages of education from the inclusion of children with disabilities to transition of young people with disabilities from secondary to further and higher education.

Her main interest is in how educational settings manage and foster collaboration between different members of staff. She was winner of the Outstanding Author Contribution Award at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2011) [Devecchi, M. C. and Nevin, A. (2010) Leadership for inclusive schools and inclusive school leadership. In. A. Normore (Ed.) Global Perspectives on Educational Leadership Reform: The Development and Preparation of Leaders of Learning and Learners of Leadership Advances in Educational Administration, Volume 11, 211–241]

LinkedIn profile Researchgate profile University profile 

Photo of Dr Jackie Potter

Dr Jackie Potter, Head of Learning and Professional Development at Keele University.

Dr Jackie Potter @Jac_Potter is the Head of Learning and Professional Development at Keele University.

A Fellow of the Staff and Educational Development Association since 2008, and more recently a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, she leads teams of professional services staff that deliver educational development, learning technology support,  researcher development, staff development and some organisational development for the University.

She maintains a research profile with her most recent activity focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning .

LinkedIn profile Academia profile  Researchgate profile


Nick Allen, Executive Officer in the Office of the Vice Chancellor at the University of Northampton.

Nick Allen @NAllen1976 is Executive Officer in the Office of the Vice Chancellor at the University of Northampton.

In this role, Nick works with the Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer to support, among other activities, strategic planning and risk management processes.

Nick has previously worked at The Open University and Sheffield Hallam University and is currently one of two Joint Midlands Regional Co-ordinators for the AUA.  His research interests relate to governance in higher education and the relationship between academic and professional services staff.

The Storify is available here

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#LTHEchat 72 Student Engagement – New year, new partnership: @RAISEnetwork

In the first of our partnering chats we’re joined by RAISE members around the globe for a chat led by two of the RAISE coordinating team: Tom Lowe and Amarpreet Kaur (‘Abs’) who will be tweeting from @RAISEnetwork.

RAISE (Researching, Advancing & Inspiring Student Engagement) is a network of academics, practitioners, advisors and student representatives drawn from the Higher Education Sector who are working and/or interested in researching and promoting student engagement. The network now includes over 1500 members, drawn from across the globe although the majority are based in the UK where the network is based.

Tom LoweTom Lowe is currently the project manager of the HEFCE catalyst funded REACT project, where he facilitates collaborative development between 15 UK HE institutions around Student Engagement with Educational Developments. Previously, Tom was Vice President, Education, at Winchester Student Union, sitting on The Steering Group for the Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP) and starting up the Winchester Student Fellows Scheme. Tom additionally sits on the Quality Assurance Agency Advisory Committee for Degree Awarding Powers and is the Acting Secretary for RAISE.


Amarpreet KaurAmarpreet Kaur is currently an MPhil student at the University of Cambridge where she is studying the Sociology of Reproduction and is the graduate Welfare Officer for her college. She was a course representative throughout her BA (Hons) in Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, and is now a student representative within her department. During her undergraduate years, Amarpreet was also a Peer Mentor, a Student Panelist for Review Boards, a Student Ambassador and a Chair of the Time to Change Society. She was elected to RAISE network as a student committee member and then co-opted to the role of SIG Coordinator in 2015.



What’s this week about?

In this chat we’ll be asking the community’s different perspectives of student engagement – perspectives which form the theme of the September 2017 RAISE conference.

We know that student engagement has an increasingly important role in institutions, and in student expectations but what does it mean – to students, to academics, to institutions? It is always the same thing to everyone? We want to think about how student engagement happens and what makes it effective.

Join us for a student-engagement-focused LTHEChat!

More about RAISE

Here are a selection of RAISE activities:

RAISE holds an annual conference in September which is expanding in 2017 to span 3 days as a result of increasing demand and interest in student engagement.

The network has now launched the peer reviewed Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal to which they extend an open invitation to LTHEChatters to submit relevant research papers and case studies.

A series of Special Interest Groups which meet at least twice a year in some form, organised by a coordinator or coordinators but led by members


The Storify is available here:


If you are reflecting on this specific #LTHEchat please share your post with us so that we can reblog.

If you participated/are participating in any way in the #LTHEchat, please complete our short survey and let us know if you have other suggestions on how we could make the #LTHEchat more valuable for you. Thank you.

See you Wednesday, same time, same place😉 – 8-9PM GMT #LTHEchat

The LTHEchat team

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#LTHEchat thank you to all & Happy New Year!

Dear colleagues,

teresa mackinnon

Teresa MacKinnon

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our current #LTHEchat organising team, Teresa MacKinnon, Dr Isobel Gowers and Hayley Atkinson and their helper Debbie Baff for all their hard work and commitment this term to the community and for organising a series of really interesting and thought provoking chats for all of us. The chats were all organised very smoothly and with great professionalism and autonomy. Thank you so much. We are grateful for your contribution. 

Isobel Gowers

Dr Isobel Gowers

This term and year is coming to an end. A new team and a new collaboration starts in January. We will share related information in the New Year. 


Hayley Atkinson

We would like to thank all members of all organising teams this year, the HEA and all  #LTHEchat guests and the community for their ongoing support and lively engagement. But also our very own illustrator Simon Rae and his unique creative contributions throughout this year. It has been a fascinating year with so many opportunities for sharing of ideas and practices and connecting with colleagues from nearby and further away. 

We wish you all a special festive season and a healthy and happy New Year. 

The #LTHEchat steering group

ps. If you wish to become a member of a future organising team and/or be a guest,  we would love to hear from you. 

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#LTHEchat 71: Christmas special with Daniel Scott


Our final chat of 2016 will provide an opportunity to get into the mood for the festive season through a range of fun digital activities mediated by Daniel Scott, @_Daniel_Scott. Daniel is an award winning learning technologist who recently received the learning technologist of the year award from the Association for Learning Technology. We will be asking you to share your christmas cracker jokes and join in the fun and games as we wind down for the end of the year.

Get into the festive spirit, exploring apps from the current activities in the 12 Apps of Christmas course, #12AoC  @12AoC and enjoying some seasonal silliness. We look forward to seeing you there!




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#LTHEchat 70: Linguistic diversity in the classroom and online.

Alastair Creelman works as an e-learning specialist at Linnaeus University in Kalmar, south-east Sweden. Originally from Dundee, Scotland, he has lived in Sweden and Finland since 1983. His main areas of interest are open education, the use of social media in education aalastair-creelmannd widening participation in adult and higher using digital media. He is involved in several national and international organisations and projects: eg committee member in the Swedish network for IT in Higher Education (ITHU), EDEN NAP steering group, Nordic Network for Adult Education, member of ISO standardisation committee PC288/WG1. See LinkedIn

He blogs regularly on educational technology in English at and in Swedish at

On Twitter he is @alacre where he tweets on educational technology in English, Swedish, Norwegian and sometimes other languages.

In this #LTHE chat we will be discussing how we can enable more linguistic diversity in education. Today’s technology enables adequate translation between languages so maybe it’s time to learn to live with a multilingual environment both in the classroom and on line. Allowing students to use their full linguistic ability can be empowering and with the help of tools and multilingual students everyone can express themselves and translation is always available. How can we give everyone a voice rather than letting the confident native English speakers dominate the discussion? Tonight’s chat will also be part of the #ALTC winter conference programme.

The storify available here.



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