Authentic pedagogies: partners in risk

Education Day is Imperial College's annual conference for everyone involved in learning and teaching. This year, we are focussing on how we might go about implementing authentic and innovative pedagogies following the recently concluded curriculum review and redesign phase of the Learning and Teaching Strategy - ushering us into the pedagogic transformation stage. At this year’s event we are aiming to critically examine possible risks associated with transforming curricula in promoting active learning and authentic assessment. We will have a showcase of case studies and workshops from across the College illustrating examples of implementation of innovative and potentially risky teaching methods, projects, redesigns of programmes and modules and innovative approaches to assessment followed up with critical discussions of how risk was managed in such situations.

Our keynote speaker is Professor Colin Bryson. Colin is Director of the Combined Studies Centre at Newcastle University, and a National Teaching Fellow. Colin has been instrumental in initiating and developing research on student engagement, by placing the student at the centre of learning and teaching. His seminal work in this field has provided an evidence base for student engagement and partnership. More recently, he has been researching staff-student partnerships in relation to curriculum design, and will be co-presenting with a student on implementation challenges and how to overcome them.

Resources from 2019

Embracing risk as a space for learning - Alejandro Luy, Deputy President (Education)
Embracing risk as a space for learning Tiffany Chiu, Deesha Chadha and Marsha Maraj
Educational communities of practice - Jo Horsburgh and Sonia Kumar

Breakout workshops

Breakout workshop 1: How do we get it right? What makes a good staff-student partnership?

Workshop Padlet wall

Imperial Visualisations is a project which aims to enhance students’ conceptual understanding of abstract concepts through online interactive visualisations. Key to the project is that every visualisation is developed in a staff-student partnership. Now in its third year running, the project has given us valuable insight in how to set up and maintain successful partnerships.

In this workshop, we will explore what are the key features of a partnership as opposed to a student-supervisor relationship, and how to create an authentic work environment. We will translate the educational background into the practical process of working in staff-student partnerships to create innovative learning and teaching materials. Further, we will look into the impact of working in partnership on both staff and students as well as the final product. We will finish with an opportunity to discuss how the Imperial Visualisation development process can be transferred to workshop participants’ own projects.

Lead by Dr Caroline Clewley, Principal Teaching Fellow, Department of Physics

Breakout workshop 2: Don't flip out while flipping!

Don't flip out while flipping! Ana P. Costa Pereira

Re-designing an undergraduate programme is tough. No doubt about it. But redesigning a programme whilst changing learning and teaching methodologies, redefining the curriculum, developing a new virtual learning platform, and/or embedding new technologies and new learning environments could be said to border on madness! And, yet, the BSc Medical Biosciences proves that this is possible and that the rewards of moving from a primarily teacher-centric approach to a student centric one are high for both teachers and students.

Together, we will use this workshop to partially unravel some of the risks and hurdles that need to be overcome in an endeavour that involves moving away from lectures to on-line learning and flipped sessions; from scripted lab practicals to authentic unscripted Lab Pods. Beware, they are not always obvious and will likely vary from programme to programme.

Lead by Dr Ana Costa-Pereira, Senior Lecturer, Department of Surgery & Cancer

Breakout workshop 3: Learning analytics to evaluate pedagogic transformation

Learning analytics to evaluate pedagogic transformation - Irene Kalkanis

As we transform our pedagogical approach at Imperial there is an inherent level of risk in respect to the impact on teachers and learners. While new interventions are often based on learnings from years of teaching experience, as well as sound educational theory, we must also ensure we have evidence to evaluate pedagogical transformation and ensure it has the intended impact. In this session we’ll demonstrate some of the learning analytics approaches used by the Digital Learning Hub to evaluate innovative teaching and learning, including the use of learning curves, clickstream analysis and video engagement analysis. More importantly you’ll be taken through the process of building your own evaluation framework. At the end of the session you will have the foundations and techniques to develop measurement and evaluation frameworks for your own transformation projects, as well as guidance on how to implement the required analytics.

Lead by Irene Kalkanis, Data Analyst, and Helen McKenna, Digital Learning Designer, Digital Learning Hub

Breakout workshop 4: REVENG! REVerse ENGineering of consumer products for the teaching of materials and manufacturing

How do we get 1st year students interested and engaged in materials and manufacturing? By giving them REVENG! REVENG is a lab where students, form an engineering consultancy team with the aim of taking apart, analysing and ultimately redesigning a consumer product for a different purpose. The tear down and analysis allows students to apply their materials and manufacturing knowledge, with the redesign process allowing them to synthesis new content. The intentionally vague brief introduces students to issues around how to handle ambiguity and critical thinking. With each student group receiving a different item and redesign brief, this encourages unique solutions and the formation of communities of learning as they share interesting design features of their own items. In this workshop, we will explore the pitfalls and challenges of implementing an authentic learning environment and its assessment.

Lead by Dr Billy Wu, Senior Lecturer, Dyson School of Design Engineering

Breakout workshop 5: More than just apprenticeships: authenticity in practice

What is educational authenticity and how practical is it to implement within our programmes, modules and teaching sessions? In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to discuss the principles of educational authenticity and define it within your teaching context. We will hear examples of authentic learning approaches that are already running within the College and what educational and logistic tools were required to ensure success. We will also discuss the challenges and risks to making learning more authentic, dispel some of the associated myths and analyse the differences between situated learning and the ‘authenticity of being’.

Lead by Dr Andy McKeown, Senior Teaching Fellow, School of Public Health, Dr Jo Horsburgh, Principal Teaching Fellow and Professor Martyn Kingsbury, Director, Educational Development Unit