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Planning the new normal

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The Faculty of Medicine Postgraduate Education Team hosted an online conference over two afternoons in September 2020 to discuss teaching and learning that enables inclusive learning communities. The conference explored how we can overcome challenges to bringing all students and staff on board.

Provided below are post-conference materials that we hope both attendees of the conference and those who weren’t able to join us, will find helpful.

Please direct any questions to EducationTransformation@Imperial.ac.uk.

Session summaries

Day 1: Thursday 17 September 2020

Session 1: PLAN: Prepare Learning for All Needs - Join Day 1, Session 1 via Teams Live Events

Time: 14.00 to 14:55

Session Facilitators:

  • Katie Stripe | Senior Learning Designer | FoM PG Education
  • Dallas Alexandrou | Operation Manager | FoM PG Education

Two sides of the same coin - why taking account of every student and every teaching colleague when planning our programmes can't be ignored.

A series of insightful personal narratives from our Imperial College community, to stimulate your approach to considering and supporting every student and every colleague, as you work with your teams to plan your programmes. These authentic accounts will allow us all to consider wider perspectives from within our own community. The presentations are collectively themed as MEET - My Experience in Education and Teaching.


  • Professor Sara Rankin | National Heart and Lung Institute | Teaching, learning and neurodiversity
  • Dr Sarah Essilfie-Quaye | Faculty of Medicine Centre | Representation Matters: Why I’m not a Black Female Academic at Imperial
  • Alejandro Y Luy | Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship | Being Colour-Blind at Imperial
  • Katie Stripe | Faculty of Medicine, PG Education Team | Exploring the issues of LGBTQ+ students in the new online university environment

Session 2: Adapt and Thrive - Join Day 1, Session 2 via Teams Live Events

Time: 15.05 to 16.00

Session Facilitator:

  • Ania Jones | Education Transformation Fellow (Academic Development)

How do we manage expectations, gain student buy-in, and prepare our students in an inclusive manner as they transition to postgraduate-taught (PGT) study? Furthermore, how do we do this in the online context? In this session students and staff speakers from across the Faculty will unpack their experiences and share insights into how we can effectively support students through their journey of adapting to online PGT study.


  • Freedom Green | Faculty of Medicine PGT Student
  • Margarita Koufaki | Faculty of Medicine PGT Student
  • Heather Hanna | Department of Infectious Disease
  • Dr Katya Yarovova | National Lung and Heart Institute
  • Dr Stefano Sandrone | Department of Brain Sciences

Conference Café: Virtual chatroom - Join the Day 1 Conference Café via Teams

Time 16.05 to 16.45


  • Jeffrey Vernon | Principal Teaching Fellow | PG Medicine

Join presenters, organisers and colleagues to draw together the afternoon’s themes in a more informal setting.

Day 2: Tuesday 22 September 2020

Session 1: Classroom Updating – Now With Remote Control - Join Day 2, Session 1 via Teams Live Events

Time: 14.00 to 14.55

Session Facilitator:

  • Heather Hanna | Clinical Teaching Fellow, Department of Infectious Disease

Session Hosts:

  • Elaina Maginn | Education Transformation Fellow (Academic Development) and Alexandra Pitt | Senior Academic Developer (Education Transformation)

Adjusting to online, remote, and blended teaching can be challenging for staff, as well as students. As educators, how do we manage the online space, and how do we do so with confidence and resilience? This session will take the form of a panel discussion. Contributors will debate key questions and share their own experiences of the remote teaching space – the good, the bad, and the ugly! Sharing perspectives on this will enable us to support each other with empathy and compassion.

The panel will be chaired by Heather Hanna | Clinical Teaching Fellow | MSc Paediatrics and Child Heath) and will comprise:

  • Dr Gillian Forrester | Reader in Psychology | Director of Undergraduate Studies | Assistant Dean (Equalities) School of Science | Birkbeck, University of London
  • Professor Phil Newton | Professor of Neuroscience and Director of Teaching and Learning | Medical School, Swansea University
  • Osbert Parker | Animator | Senior Lecturer in Stop Motion Animation | Visual Arts | Middlesex University
  • Elizabeth Staddon | Reader in Higher Education Practice and Development | Medical Education | St George’s, University of London

Session 2: I-dentity, We-dentity: Co-constructing Staff and Student Professional Identities within Online Communities - Join Day 2, Session 2 via Teams Live Events

Time: 15.05 to 16.00

Session Facilitators:

  • Latha Ramakrishnan and Ania Jones | Education Transformation Fellows (Academic Development)

‘Display a strong sense of personal and professional identity’ is a key Imperial graduate attribute. Identity formation is an on-going process involving the individual but also the community, and the opportunities and experiences the community affords. The deliberate exchange of influence between the person and their community, leading to conscious change of the individuals' attitude and behaviour, is known as co-construction. Engagement is directly influenced by identity which is therefore crucial for both the student and staff experience at the College.

In this session we will explore the elements that can be embedded within our online classrooms and academic communities to enable this process. Insights and case studies from across the Faculty will be shared followed by a discussion.

Case Studies:

  • Resilience learning through critical reflection | MRes Studentshapers research project | Dr Latha Ramakrishnan | Education Transformation Fellow (Academic Development)
  • Embedding professional identity development via critical thinking | MSc Immunology | Ms. Ania Jones | | Education Transformation Fellow (Academic Development)
  • Changing identities of staff in the online environment | Dr Prabha Parthasarathy | Senior Strategic Teaching Fellow, School of Medicine

Conference Café: Virtual chatroom - Join the Day 2 Conference Café via Teams

Time: 16.05 to 16.45


  • Jeffrey Vernon | Principal Teaching Fellow | PG Medicine

Join presenters, organisers and colleagues to draw together the themes from both afternoons in a more informal setting.