#LTHEchat 141 How can staff development support effectively the work of professionals (staff and students)? with @DrRossEspinoza

There are multiple definitions of staff development and names used to describe this area of work. For this discussion, let’s start with one. Staff development can be described as a continuous process involving “education, training, learning and support activities”. It aims to encourage other professionals to grow in their workplace (Marriss, 2011). In a nutshell, staff development is about planting seeds for growth.

In real life, however, things are a little bit more complex. As we know, Higher Education faces turbulent times. We may have witnessed staff development resources becoming constrained or directed elsewhere. And if resources are available, with daily stresses, such as heavy workload, unfriendly and perhaps alien structures and systems, no wonder we may even forget about developing ourselves.

Traditionally, staff development provision has been influenced by a deficit model. In other words, such provision is organised in response to what knowledge, skills and attitudes staff may need in order to do their job effectively. While the intention is positive and as professionals we may require some of that kind of support, could combining strengths and areas of development possibly offer a more balanced approach to help professionals face job demands?

Moreover, Higher Education institutions are typically huge hierarchical entities, so provision is put together to explain the institution’s processes, systems and structures. Staff development, for example, may be put in place to pass on to staff and students how to use online systems that all have to use, to be aware of compliant procedures, and others. In the big picture, this is needed for institutions to continue functioning, but does not necessarily inspire or motivate us.

When we think of the development of our own profession, we consider, for example, attending courses, participating in a workshop, using technologies or other ways. However, it is not an uncommon experience that after taking staff development opportunities (for example, a course), the good effects may be lost when we return to where we work.

On the other hand, ingredients for effective staff development include ‘observation, reflection, planning and action’ (Marriss, 2011), which staff development integrates in their provision. There are also opportunities to enhance its effectiveness by situating staff development within the workplace, so it can take account of routine influences and take advantage of peer learning (Boud, 2006). So, the question remains: ‘How can staff development support effectively the work of professionals (staff and students)’

Staff Development has been my passion and profession since the time I was a university student. This week’s LTHEchat is dedicated to the work of so many professionals whose passion is to help other professionals grow and develop in Higher Education. This discussion seeks to explore potential avenues for re-invention, collaboration and partnership, when organising staff development.


Boud, D. (1999). Situating academic development in professional work: Using peer learning, The International Journal for Academic Development, 4:1, 3-10.

Marriss, D. (2011). Academic staff development. In A. McIntosh, J. Gidman, & E. Mason-Whitehead (Eds.), Key Concepts in Healthcare Education (pp. 1-5). Los Angeles: SAGE.

RossanaDr. Rossana Espinoza (https://www.linkedin.com/in/drrossespinoza/) is a free spirit who takes every opportunity to help others succeed in what they do. She is passionate about Education and technology (please note the capital E and lower case t!). Currently, she is on a mission to reinvent Marketing and Communications for her much-loved Staff Development Forum (SDF) Network on a pro-bono basis.

Weekdays, she is in London working as an Online Content Developer at the Centre for Academic Practice Enhancement at Middlesex University, helping staff with active practice based learning, collaborative learning classrooms or social media. When she isn’t training staff or developing online courses on Moodle, she is hanging out with friends, drawing, or making a tiramisu.

The Wakelet for this week’s chat is now here


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#LTHEChat 140 #RAISEEngAssess Authenticity in Assessments with @KiuSum @J_JutleyNeilson @OBrienUoL1

The next #LTHEchat will be hosted by the co-convenors of RAISE Special Interest Group, ‘Engaging Assessment’ (#RAISEEngAssess) discussing “Authenticity in Assessments”. (And yes, is double hashtags!)

Inspired by the successful #LTHEchat monthly chat with #AdvanceHE_chat with the recent topic on “Inclusive Assessment: Where Next”, this chat on Wednesday 13th March 8pm – 9pm discusses best practices on engaging students (and staff) in assessments. The  aim of the chat will be to explore the meaning behind “authenticity” within assessments, share the  practices and challenges of authentic assessments and explore potential strategies and approaches to enhance authenticity.

kiuKiu Sum (@KiuSum) is a Co-Convenor for the ‘Engaging Assessment’ Special Interest Group at RAISE, and currently sits on the committee as the Student Officer. Kiu has been involved in a number of student engagement, which led to her first publication (Sum, 2018) and becoming a reviewer in Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal (SEHEJ). Kiu has also taken on various roles in pedagogy projects, to help champion student engagement including collaborating with Jisc as their Student Partner. She has been an active #LTHEchat participant (led a few chats and part of organising team previously) and continues to work with students and staff in Higher Education by day.

jagjeetJagjeet Jutley-Neilson (@J_JutleyNeilson) is the Director of Student Experience and Progression at University of Warwick (Psychology), a Senior Fellow of HEA and a Co-Convenor for the ‘Engaging Assessment’ Special Interest Group at RAISE. Prior to Warwick, Jagjeet oversees the departmental student experience activities, NSS and TEF metrics, and leads on widening participation activities, student engagement, promoting student voice and pedagogical research. She also works with student on a one to one basis focusing on employability and academic skills. Jagjeet also teaches academic skills, developmental psychology to undergraduate students, and project supervisor to PhD and undergraduate students.

paulaPaula O’Brien (@OBrienUoL1) Principal Lecturer [Teaching] at Lincoln International Business School, Department of People and Organisations

I have extensive experience in the delivery of international MBA programmes delivered in UK, Hong Kong, Zambia and Oman. I possess experience in the development of staff and their pedagogic approach  and inform my own teaching through reflexive practice.  My roles include: College Student in the identity work of international students  with particular focus on diversity and inclusion . I am currently working on a number of student engagement related projects which are cross disciplinary .

RAISE Network website: http://www.raise-network.com/home/

The Wakelet for this chat is available

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#LTHEChat 139 Nurturing a feedback culture with @invisiblegrail

Honest feedback is hard. It can be hard to listen to, and difficult to give. Yet as Learning and Teaching practitioners, this is a core part of the learning process for our students; it helps them to listen and respond to challenge, and to adapt their mindset and approach. Over time, it builds resilience, and nurtures the expectation that seeking out opinions from others will ultimately end in a better outcome for everyone.

But whilst we expect our students to grow and thrive through our feedback, do we hold ourselves accountable to the same expectation?

Are we, as individuals and a community, receptive to feedback, using this as an opportunity to grow and learn?

Between colleagues, feedback can be challenging, and in hierarchical working cultures it can be daunting. Yet, if we don’t challenge each other we only ever preserve the status quo, and inaction becomes enabling.

If we were to nurture a feedback-rich culture, where we trust each other and so trust that when feedback is given it is thoughtful and thought through, we might also benefit from greater resilience and an adaptable approach, as individuals and as a community.

At a time when pressure is mounting to excel at the student experience, a feedback-rich culture that is expected, lived and valued by everyone in the university could help us adapt and thrive; consciously choosing to learn rather than battle to stay the same.

For this tweet chat, we want to know how we can tap into our skills in feeding back and use these to grow stronger communities in learning and teaching. We want to know how we can bring this narrative alive.

LC IG extras-1-7

Over the last six years Louise has crafted a career in marketing and communications within higher education. Specialising in professional development, Louise thrives on working with people to bring alive the stories that show the wider world who they are and why what they do matters.


The Wakelet for this chat is available: http://wke.lt/w/s/pQg5T

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#LTHEChat 138 Internationalisation in Higher Education – what does it mean and what can we do? with @JennyLewinJones

‘Internationalisation’ often features in university policy strategies.  Yet it is a slippery term, with a range of interpretations. We discussed ‘internationalisation’ on #LTHEchat back in 2015, but it is worth revisiting to discuss what it means and how it affects our practices now.

‘Internationalisation’ frequently refers narrowly to the strategic recruitment of international students, with financial benefits to universities through increasing numbers (Warwick and Moogan, 2013, p. 105). On the other hand, there are calls to broaden the understanding of ‘internationalisation’. A more holistic conception emphasises ‘internationalisation at home’ and the benefits for home students of studying alongside international students in an internationalised curriculum.

However, benefits of internationalisation do not happen automatically. Contact between home and international students does not necessarily lead to increased intercultural competence (Lantz-Deaton, 2017). Studies identify home students’ resistance to intercultural group work (Harrison, 2015), so whereas often the institutional emphasis is on ways to help international students assimilate and integrate, there may be a greater need to encourage home students to respond to opportunities. In fact, the division between international and home/domestic students has been questioned, with a call to consider them all together as heterogeneous populations (Jones, 2017, p. 934). Internationalisation often overlaps with issues around inclusion and inclusivity. Therefore a more optimistic view is that

“the diversity of the student body on university campuses provides a rich source of lived experience in cultural boundary-crossing that could be harnessed as a resource in promoting intercultural understanding and, in turn, developing graduates as global citizens” (Caruana, 2014, p. 86).

This is a more fundamental transformation of the study programme for all students than a bolt-on approach of rectifying deficits by providing additional support to just international students. The pedagogical choices made by staff in the classroom are key (Elliott and Reynolds, 2014, p. 318).

Leask and Carroll (2011, p. 657) call for the development of new approaches to motivate and reward intercultural interaction by all students, identifying the potential for intercultural communication. This #LTHEchat is a response to that call, with an opportunity to share experiences and ideas.

This also reflects the ‘HEA Framework for internationalising higher education’, available at: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/individuals/strategic-priorities/internationalising-higher-education. It includes these words:

“Everyone within HE can make a valuable contribution to the process of internationalisation, working in collaboration as an international academic community. Individuals bring a plurality of identities, cultures, languages and experiences that can enrich and enhance learning, teaching and research. Thus, responsibility for internationalising HE is shared among organisations, individuals and curriculum”.

Join in the discussion on Twitter, Wednesday 20th February, 8pm GMT, #LTHEchat.

Link to Wakelet of the chat: http://wke.lt/w/s/O4oor


Caruana, V. (2014) ‘Re-thinking Global Citizenship in Higher Education: from Cosmopolitanism and International Mobility to Cosmopolitanisation, Resilience and Resilient Thinking’, Higher Education Quarterly, 68(1), pp. 85–104. doi: 10.1111/hequ.12030.

Elliott, C. J. and Reynolds, M. (2014) ‘Participative pedagogies, group work and the international classroom: an account of students’ and tutors’ experiences’, Studies in Higher Education. Routledge, 39(2), pp. 307–320. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2012.709492.

Harrison, N. (2015) ‘Practice, problems and power in “internationalisation at home”: critical reflections on recent research evidence’, Teaching in Higher Education. Routledge, 20(4), pp. 412–430. doi: 10.1080/13562517.2015.1022147.

Jones, E. (2017) ‘Problematising and reimagining the notion of “international student experience”’, Studies in Higher Education. Routledge, 42(5), pp. 933–943. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2017.1293880.

Lantz-Deaton, C. (2017) ‘Internationalisation and the development of students’ intercultural competence’, Teaching in Higher Education. Routledge, 22(5), pp. 532–550. doi: 10.1080/13562517.2016.1273209.

Leask, B. and Carroll, J. (2011) ‘Moving beyond “wishing and hoping”: internationalisation and student experiences of inclusion and engagement’, Higher Education Research & Development.  Routledge , 30(5), pp. 647–659. doi: 10.1080/07294360.2011.598454.

Warwick, P. and Moogan, Y. J. (2013) ‘A comparative study of perceptions of internationalisation strategies in UK universities’, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education.  Routledge , 43(1), pp. 102–123. doi: 10.1080/03057925.2013.746573.


Jenny Lewin-Jones

Jenny Lewin-Jones @JennyLewinJones is a long-standing university teacher and researcher, initially in Germany and then for 20+ years in the UK. She currently works as an Associate Lecturer on the BA English Language and Sociology courses at the University of Worcester, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Jenny is also a part-time EdD (professional doctorate) student at the University of Birmingham, researching the discourses of internationalisation in Higher Education in the UK. She tweets on language, linguistics, and education @JennyLewinJones, and runs the Sociology course Twitter account @sociologyworc.

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#LTHEChat 137 How does technology support traditional study skills?

In the LTHEChat this week we would like to explore the role of the traditional student skills of note taking and critical reading. Software tools and mobile apps have been developed to allow rapid and easy access to multiple texts. Sophisticated search tools can compile a comprehensive set of resources. Lecture capture systems allow students to revisit difficult concepts. With these technologies so widely available, is note taking, and are critical reading skills, still key to student learning? And if so, how can we use the tools available to assist.

This week’s LTHEChat is lead by Sue Lee and Dr Lydia Arnold.

Image of Lydia Arnold


Dr Lydia Arnold @HarperEdDev is an Educational Developer and Principal lecturer at Harper Adams University. Lydia is a Principal Fellow of the HEA and a National teaching Fellow. She blogs at lydiaarnold.net

Image of Sue Lee


Sue Lee @suelee99 is the eLearning Manager at Staffordshire University. Sue is a Senior Fellow of the HEA and is based in Academic Development.



The Wakelet can be found here: http://wke.lt/w/s/BT7aw

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#LTHEChat 136 “I’m stuck! (But don’t help me…)”

New technologies come and go, energising those of us who are ‘early adopters’ of such technologies, while leaving those who are less enthusiastic about the latest gadget in its wake. These are people who are not ‘anti’ technology, or have what we used to call “barriers” to their technology use, but people who use technology for reasons other than being on top of the latest technology ‘fad’. My recent study involving two secondary schools in Australia found such people across the school community: teachers, parents, and even students. Not enamoured with technology, they used technology for efficiency and practical needs (typing up assignments for example), and were seldom using or exploring new technologies to explore new ways of teaching and learning. This chat will explore some of the ways people in higher education – lecturers and students –  get ‘stuck’ with a limited range of technologies; new pedagogies and old technologies; and ways we can entice them into further technological and pedagogical exploration.

JTThis week’s LTHEChat is lead by Dr Jacquie Tinkler. Jacquie is a Lecturer in educational technology at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Australia. Her recent work explores the ways in which the various members of school communities feel about, and experience, the use of digital technologies for teaching and learning in their schools. Her work in higher education and educational technology involves the exploration of new technologies for teaching and learning, particularly in the online environment.

The link to the Wakelet is here: http://wke.lt/w/s/M3hSQ

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#LTHEchat 135 -Teaching problem-solving with @scottturneruon and @DrGaryHill1

This week we welcome visualisation wizard Scott Turner from the University of Northampton (UoN), and his colleague Gary Hill. Scott and Gary are going to get us thinking about how to teach problem solving.

Problem-solving and problem-based activities are, arguably, central to both Engineering and Computing, but they have an application across many subjects. This chat will consider how problem-solving skills are developed in various subjects, giving participants the opportunity to share experiences from different subjects and explore similarities and differences.

scottDr Scott Turner @scottturneruon is Principal Lecturer in Widening Participation in the subject area of Computing at the University of Northampton (UoN) and regular collaborator with Gary Hill on research into problem-solving within Computing. Scott is also responsible for leading on research for the Computing subject at UoN.


garyDr Gary Hill @DrGaryHill1 is the Subject Leader for Computing, Business Computing and Games at the UoN. Over the last twelve years he has published on problem-solving and project-based learning applied to computing and his PhD is within this area.



Here is a list of research outputs and activities

The link to the Wakelet

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#LTHEchat 134 – Oh yes! #BYOD4L is back co-hosting our first #LTHEchat of 2019 with @debbaff and @SFaulknerPandO

We are off to a flying start this year with the first tweetchat of the year run as a joint tweetchat with the folks at #BYOD4L Bring your own device for learning. #BYOD4L is a free open online 5 day course that anyone can join in to explore how mobile devices can be used in learning and teaching.

Facilitators from the last community edition of #BYOD4L in January 2018 would like our wonderful community to feedback on ideas for the next version of the event which will run in 2019.  This is a great opportunity to get involved in the planning and organisation and help to shape the next iteration of the event, we are looking for willing volunteers to help organise, facilitate and participate. Join Debbie Baff and  Suzanne Faulkner on Wednesday 16th January 2019 for a fun filled and fast tweetchat and get those ideas flowing … Warning there may be bitmojis and / or gifs!

Deb BaffDebbie is a Senior Academic Developer at Swansea University in Wales, UK. A keen advocate of open education and open educational practice and enthusiastic member of #LTHEchat, #SocMedHE #BYOD4L, #CreativeHE and #ALTC, Debbie is also a part time online PhD student at Lancaster University. Her blog can be found at https://debbaffled.wordpress.com/ and can be found on twitter @debbaff 


Suzanne Faulkner is an award winning teaching fellow in Prosthetics and Orthotics, within the department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.
With 11 years teaching experience at the National Centre of Prosthetics and Orthotics, Suzanne is passionate about enhancing the student experience by focusing on improving student engagement. With an increasing international cohort of students, she has employed various techniques to enhance communication and engagement with all students. These include using Snapchat as a tutorial tool, using various cloud based student response systems, utilising social media in learning and teaching and playful learning. Suzanne is a facilitator qualified in the Lego Serious Play (LSP) methodology, she is currently undertaking a masters in advance academic studies where she is evaluating the use of LSP to enhance participation of non-native speakers of English in group work activities. She is also undertaking a diploma in digital management. Suzanne participates regulatory in the #LTHEchats, loves anything and everything to do with the to do with the amazing #SocMedHE community, and is a facilitator of #BYOD4L . . . . and probably uses Bitmoji’s too much! She can be found on Twitter as @SFaulknerPandO

The link to the Wakelet is here: http://wke.lt/w/s/lMB5F

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#LTHEchat 133 – Active Learning and Christmas Festivities

Active Learning and Disruptive Pedagogies

In this #LTHEChat, we would like to explore the disruptive potential of active learning.  

It is probably easier to define what active learning is not, than what it is. While a concise definition for active learning remains elusive, during our Active Learning course, we have bought into Kovbasyuk and Blessinger’s (2013) ‘vision of education’ as an ‘open meaning-making process’; the interaction between the teacherstudent and space at the core of active learning. This open process of negotiation inevitably and to some degree deliberately causes friction, even cognitive dissonance:  


O’Donoghue et al. [28] argue that that transformative learning constitutes situated processes of reflexive learning around tensions, discontinuities and risk in local contexts in multi-actor groups.” (Lotz-Sisitka et al, 2015, p.75) 

One of our course participants asked ‘Who are we disrupting, with our active learning strategies? Hence our second question: are active learning strategies actually disruptive, and who are they disrupting? The learners? The educator? The institution? We believe active learning can disrupt us as educators just as much as the learner. We are stepping back from what is expected; we create situations where outcomes are difficult to anticipate, and thus we are taking risks when using pedagogies that are more studentcentred.  

This is the last TweetChat of the year. So, our questions are not going to be purely serious and philosophical. We would like to explore where the magic happens. You know, the moments in teaching where you and your students are in flow’, where this negotiated meaning-making is happening and there is an environment of mutual trust and respect. Are these moments elusive? Why can we not just recreate these every day? Can we find the magic?  

What would you wish for? I [Nathalie] would love to have app developers or game designers at hand when planning active teaching. There are situations where gamification to convey a really difficult concept would have profound impact on students. Now in the physical classroom, it’s easy enough to bring in Lego™ or PlayDough or make up games—I have previously handsewn fabric fortunecookies! In a virtual learning environment with our distance learners, or when we want to encourage outside of classroom learning, digital games would have such an impact! That’s my wish anyway.  

My [Vicki’s] wish is already being granted – I think we are at a point where the learners, teachers, institutionsector and workplace are ready for active learning. Rather than being the signature of early adopters, active learning is rapidly becoming a pattern for the design of higher education, from our learning activities to teaching sessions to our learning spaces, whether online or face-to-face. There is still a lot of progress to be made though, so we would like to know what your Christmas wish for active learning is.  

Wishing everyone a happy festive season!


Dr Nathalie Sheridan @UofGLEADS undertook her first degree @tudresden_dein  Erziehungswissenschaften, and has worked in culture and museums education throughout her studies. Hence her interest in active pedagogies and integrating the students’ environment into the curriculum.

Dr Vicki Dale is a Senior Academic and Digital Development Adviser at @UofGlasgow with specific interests in blended and online learning and evaluating the learner experience of teaching methods that encourage students’ self-regulated learning.

Lotz-Sisitka, H., Wals, A. E., Kronlid, D., & McGarry, D. (2015). Transformative, transgressive social learning: Rethinking higher education pedagogy in times of systemic global dysfunction. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability16, 73-80. https://arjenwals.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/transgressivesociallearning.pdf  

 Kovbasyuk, O. and P. Blessinger (2013). Meaning-centered education: International perspectives and explorations in higher education, Routledge.

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#LTHEchat no 132 “Focus On: Graduate Skills – where are we now, and where are we going next?” with QAA Scotland Wednesday 5 December 2018 #QAAFocusOn

Wednesday 5 December 2018


With apprenticeships, work-based learning, and skills for work becoming increasingly important areas of development and activity across the higher education sector globally, QAA Scotland’s new ‘Focus On’ project examining Graduate Skills is relevant and timely.

We consulted with Scottish higher education institutions and students’ associations to identify the priority areas for development in this area. The themes that emerged from this consultation include:

  • Effective ways of embedding skills inside (and outside) the curriculum.
  • Digital skills for graduates from all disciplines.
  • Equality and diversity in skills provision and opportunities.
  • Skills for working in a global society.

These themes have informed the questions we are asking in this #LTHEchat.

Our project aims to:

  • Share effective practice, key messages and analysis of existing information on graduate attributes, skills and employability.
  • Explore student views – what approaches to skills development work well? How can we improve? What do students want more of?
  • Work with graduates and employers – what do graduates and employers tell us that we can do better in HE to support students for life after University, and how do we work most effectively with employers to embed effective skills development in the curriculum?
  • Inform and influence policy to better meet our future challenges and our readiness as a sector to take action.

We hope this tweetchat will allow us to engage a wider audience in debate around these issues and enhance our understanding of current thought and practice.

You can keep up to date with the project by visiting our website: https://www.qaa.ac.uk/scotland/focus-on/graduate-skills and by subscribing to our Focus On mailing list by contacting arcadmin@qaa.ac.uk). We would be happy to hear from you.


Link to the wakelet: https://wakelet.com/wake/3ec1be64-aecf-4477-b92e-59d950d0222e


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