Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Away Day 2012

On a wet and windy Friday (22 June) the Department met at the Saïd Business School (Oxford University) for their annual Away Day. The weather meant that lounging in the ampitheatre was not an option, so it was straight down to the business of the day. And it was an excellent day - lots of ideas and some great presentations. Photos by Franco Cheung (FC) and Rachel Dixon (RD).

Joe Tah (Head of Department) introduces the day - photo by FC 

After a short introduction from the Head of Department, Gina Dalton and Michael Hill took the floor and gave two presentations: the first was on the Oxford Brookes Programme to Enhance the Student Experience (PESE) and how it fits in with what the Department is doing; the second featured the PETAL Project (that's Personal ePortfolios for Teaching and Learning). For more information on both these projects, click on the links in the text.

Gina and Michael present PESE and PETAL - photo by FC

Next it was over to Albert Cao to talk about 'engaging the first years in learning'. Brave topic. And some good ideas which were mulled over later on in the workshop sessions.

Albert engages his audience, but will it work on the first years? - photo by FC

Refreshments next. Then onto the workshop sessions:

1. Assessment and Feedback - Quality of Feedback
2. Enhancement of Maths and English within our programmes
3. Student Attendance and Engagement

Each workshop group was asked to discuss the issues surrounding their chosen area and to identify the causes behind them. They were then challenged to come up with possible solutions and develop a series of related projects involving staff and students. The workshop groups will be responsible for carrying out these projects over the next year. Keep an eye on the blog for more information on the workshop projects as they develop.

Talking about student attendance and engagement - photo by FC

Franco presenting the big issues from the student attendance and engagement workshop - photo by RD

After feedback from the groups it was time for lunch. Rated 8 out of 10, mainly for the tomato salad. A visit to South East Asia came next. Peter Dent and Ye Xu presented an update on activities and initiatives. For more information on what is going on in South East Asia, take a look at one of the earlier blog posts here.

Peter, Ye and a map of SE Asia - photo by RD

The administrators took over to talk about the big MOVE. Coming our way very soon. There will be a few changes over the course of July. Watch the blog for more information when it happens.

Sofia, Andressa, Charlotte and the MOVE - photo by RD

Afternoon tea (9 out of 10 for the cakes - some involved serious amounts of chocolate) was followed by a presentation by Gina Dalton and Rachel Dixon on academic use of social media with a demo on current activity (yes, this blog included). During the session staff were asked to rate themselves (beginner through to expert) for their driving skills and their social media skills. A few surprises. And we learnt who not to accept a lift from (useful).   

Most of the staff made it to the ampitheatre for a group photo. 

Photo by FC

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