In the build up to the final date of submissions for the Widening Participation Conference 2014 (30 April – 1 May 2014, Milton Keynes, UK), theme leaders from the conference’s steering group have been fleshing out their theme in more detail, outlining potential areas of interest and raising questions.

In today’s post, Dr Amanda Chapman, Senior Lecturer in Academic Development at University of Cumbria provides some detail on the ‘Innovation in design and pedagogy’ theme:

Innovation in design and pedagogy

Higher Education needs to be responsive to the increasing diversity of the student body and recognise the growing importance of the ‘student journey’. This theme aims to bring together those who recognise that an inclusive classroom ‘virtual’ or ‘physical’can be a result of innovative design in pedagogy. Whilst creating an inclusive environment for students is not a new challenge, the combination of flexible delivery, blended learning and different modes of study can mean that the underpinning pedagogy gets forgotten. For Higher Education to truly be transformative, all students need to be given the space to develop their ability to write effectively, to be confident and articulate, and to think creatively and critically. However, HEIs need to balance these higher level skills with employability and work opportunities. An innovative design approach is needed to capture these, often conflicting, tensions within academia.

We would welcome papers that seek to challenge traditional pedagogic practices and offer a new perspective. In particular we would like to hear from those practitioners who are experimenting with pedagogic design, such as:

  • Creative assessment design
  • Developments in e-learning
  • Using students as partners in curriculum design
  • Embedding employability

Submissions

Poster and paper submissions are being welcomed which speak one or more of the conference themes:

  • Innovation in Design and Pedagogy
  • Impact of Curriculum Reform
  • Curriculum Openness
  • Flexibility and modes of Delivery
  • Measuring and Demonstrating Impact
  • Revisiting Theory

Full details about making your submission can be found on the the conference website. The final date for submissions is 1 November 2014.

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