Events

Creating an inclusive environment for discussion in large groups

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The Quiet Room, Meeting House, Friday 6th December 12 – 1.30pm

Professor Alison Sinclair, School of Life Sciences

Facilitating discussions in large groups is difficult. Whatever the background of the group – students, faculty, professional services – both gauging the level of engagement with the topic and encouraging participation from all members pose challenges for the session leader. It is easy for a single voice or view to predominate and for the rich diversity of opinion and interpretation to be lost. I will provide examples of the value of a simple tool that allows for all opinions to be expressed and collected. We will explore the creative uses of the tool as we work in small groups to analyse the content and impact of a simple document leading to a period of reflection on all of the views.

Past events


Digital tools for Learning & Teaching: Open Mic

Wednesday 6th November 10:30 – 12:00, Room 76, Falmer Bar

Come along to our collaborative forum for those who have an interest in the use of technology to support teaching and enrich student learning. If you have something to share you can take the mic, or just learn from others – it’s an opportunity to get involved in conversations around the use of learning technologies at Sussex, network with colleagues and share ideas and practice. Coffee & tea will be provided.

Outdoor learning: Walk on the wildside (with wild technology)

Theme: Small group teaching

The Quiet Room, Meeting House, Friday 8th November 12 – 1.30pm

Dr Paolo Oprandi & Dr Wendy Garnham, Technology-Enhanced Learning & School of Psychology

How can seminars be more engaging and fulfilling for students and tutors alike? This meeting will have the great outdoors as its focus. We will share some ideas and thoughts from academic teaching staff at a range of other institutions both in the UK and internationally that focus on how to make the most of the outdoor environment in our teaching. Smart phone and mobile technology makes activities and discussion possible from remote locations. In this session we will look at the rise of identification apps that have become available . You will be introduced to different types of identification apps which will include audio and visual identification, and music, birds, plants and insects. We will then go on a to use the apps and see what you can identify

Using boundary objects to engage students with challenging conceptual contexts

Theme: Small group teaching

TEL Training Room 133 in Essex House, Friday 11th October 12 – 1.30pm 12 – 1.30pm

David Eggleton, Science Policy Research Unit

Students, like many of us, often have challenges with engaging with extremely conceptual course material. Boundary objects can be used to ease the diffusion from literature to mind. We will briefly look at some of the underlying theory of boundary objects. However the bulk of this talk will be experiential and we will look at two potential tools incorporating boundary objects into teaching. The first is the use of playing cards as a tool for teaching machine learning algorithms to non-technical students. The second, which will form the exercise, is Lego serious play™ as a modular tool for visualising concepts.

Step to Learn: Embodied representation for Learning in Organisations

Theme: Risk-taking in teaching

Friday 3rd May, 12-1pm, The Quiet Room, The Meeting House, University of Sussex

Margarita Steinberg, leadership Coach with a specialism in Psychosynthesis psychology, and Argentine Tango teacher. Margarita’s innovative work with embodied learning is included in ‘Disrupting traditional pedagogy: Active Learning in Practice’, to be published by Sussex University Press in June 2019.

See details

Organisations get stuck, trapped in unproductive patterns, as easily as people do.

How do we promote learning in organisations such as Sussex?

And how do you, as an individual, galvanise the eco-system of your organisation to shift what no longer works?

The risk in organisations is doing WHAT or HOW has not been done before. Safety is (apparently) in keeping to the known: precedent, tradition, existing procedures. What can people in organisations draw on for courage to act differently?

I am not expecting to bestow ready-made answers. Instead, this embodied learning workshop brings you a format for individual-within-collective learning.

That means: Your presence matters.

The version of this workshop presented at last year’s AL Conference focused on learning about situations between two people. This year, we’re going BIGGER!

We will be looking at larger patterns playing out at Sussex, and how you can play a part in adjusting what is stuck.

Bring yourself (+ a friend), your knowledge of Sussex, and your willingness to play and have fun with it!


Tutors, risk-taking and good-practice teaching

Theme: Risk-taking in teaching

Thursday 11th April, 12-1pm, Bramber House room 235, University of Sussex

Dr Chowdhury Shabab: Tasks in teaching can be nerve wracking, but can help students experience deep learning by providing a better example of the ways in which we learn


Active Essay Writing: Risk taking and specialism based learning

Theme: Risk-taking in teaching

Friday 8th March 2pm-3pm, Essex House 133, University of Sussex

Wendy Garnham & Heather Taylor: how do we get students to move beyond mere regurgitation of the lecture or the readings, to develop independent, well researched essays? In the active learning network meeting this month, Heather Taylor and myself will be presenting the active essay writing project that we have been running with Foundation Year students. The project aims to encourage students to take risks in their writing using an approach known as specialism based learning. In the meeting, we will be giving you a chance to experience some of the activities we used with our students and would love to hear your feedback and ideas on this to help us develop the project further.


Enjoying risk-taking and not knowing: Practical ideas to inspire a lifelong love of learning from an early age

Theme: Risk-taking in teaching

Friday 8th February, 12-1pm, Meeting House Quiet Room, University of Sussex

Dr Marcelo Staricoff, Associate tutor, School of Education and Social work University of Sussex, Creator of ‘The joy of not knowing (JONK)’, author ‘Start thinking’ and recent headteacher

See details

The session will share a wide of range of practical examples, illustrated with children’s work, of how learning environments and routines can be established to inspire students to enjoy ‘not knowing’, to embrace uncertainty and confusion, to explore alternative methods of solving problems and to equip students with the lifelong learning dispositions and behaviours that enable them to relish taking risks with their learning.

How can we equip students with the tools, resources, dispositions and freedoms that enable them to feel intrinsically motivated to want to take risks with their learning and with their thinking?

How can students be equipped to enjoy launching into their learning with equal enthusiasm when they feel clear of the outcome and process, they are following, as well as when they have little idea of what their exploration will lead to or know how to start?

How can we equip students with the resources that enable them to enjoy getting to the same end point but after trying out many different avenues to get there? How can we encourage them to venture into the unknown, speculate about the findings along the way and develop their creative and innovative thinking skills?

How can we establish classrooms learning environments in which the teacher feels able to confidently model risk-taking as an integral part of their teaching and learning process?

How can philosophy as a distinct lesson and a philosophical approach to the curriculum and to learning objectives be used to nurture a risk-taking culture in the classroom, beyond the classroom and at home? The talk will illustrate how to use philosophy to create classrooms as communities of inquiry in which students are able to share and discuss their thinking in a safe and respectful environment. Examples will be presented of occasions in which children and teachers changed their minds after considering the thoughts, views and opinions of others!

The talk will show how establishing a  risk-taking culture, helps to develop all the values, dispositions and behaviours in learners that enables them to develop the critical thinking skills that are so invaluable if they are to succeed in and contribute to the sustainability of our world as successful, caring, versatile, and responsible citizens from an early age.


Inclusive Learning
Friday 7th December, 12-1pm, Meeting House Quiet Room, University of Sussex

How can we create environments where people feel comfortable to voice their own ideas and ask questions?

Shared summary of the event can be found on our interactive cork board (Padlet) here. Feel free to contribute helpful links and thoughts on the subject.


The Use of Visual Media in Learning

Friday 9th November, 12-1pm, Meeting House Quiet Room, University of Sussex

Using visual media to help ourselves and others learn

In association with Digital Discovery Week at the University of Sussex

Shared summary of the event can be found on our interactive cork board (Padlet) here. Feel free to contribute helpful links and thoughts on the subject.