Festival of Learning
This takes place in June and provides a platform to communicate and share ideas about pedagogy and good practice.
Since 2019 the Academic Practice Directorate (APD) has built on the success of the UWE Bristol Learning and Teaching Conference and brought you a new style of event, the Festival of Learning.
The Festival champions inclusivity. It provides a platform for those involved in teaching and supporting learning to communicate and share ideas about scholarship and good practice, from undergraduate level to doctoral supervision.
The Festival of Learning is free to attend.
Festival of Learning 2023
Given the University-wide restructuring taking place during this academic year, we have decided not to run the Festival in 2023, and to take time to evaluate what form colleagues would like to see the Festival take going forward. Please could you spend a few minutes of your time filling out this short survey to let us know your thoughts.
Festival of Learning, 16-24 June 2022
The festival and inaugural early careers Symposium took place in June 2022. The Festival Symposium was aimed at postgraduate researchers, early career academics, associate lecturers and those who identify themselves as new to teaching in academia.
Visit the Festival of Learning SharePoint site (UWE login required) to view recordings of presentations and download materials from the Festival of Learning which was held between 16 and 24 June 2022. Materials are also available on Blackboard where they can be downloaded in alternative formats, such as audio. Please note that you may need a staff login to view these.
You can view full details of the event on the Festival programme (DOC) which includes over 50 contributions from diverse colleagues.
Based on the idea of rediscovery and fresh starts following a period of difficult circumstances, we chose an overarching Festival theme of “The Joy of Learning and Teaching”. Festival sessions (16-21 June 2022) addressed one or more of the following sub-themes:
- How do I know it’s working? (eg research-informed teaching, evidencing impact)
- Playfulness and creativity (gamification of learning, practices from outside teaching (eg theatre))
- Cultivating a community fit for learning (eg wellbeing, inclusivity, community, space, engagement, uncomfortable conversations and safe spaces).
Under the theme of “The Tentative Teacher”, Symposium sessions (23-24 June) addressed one or both of the following sub-themes:
- Comfort in the classroom – creating an atmosphere conducive to learning (eg wellbeing, inclusivity)
- Notes on Belonging: Welcome to Academia (eg imposter syndrome, transferrable skills).
Our first keynote was Dr Paul Campbell, Director of the Leicester Institute for Inclusivity in Higher Education, who discussed his work around awarding gaps, including decolonisation of the curriculum and of assessment – and how one might measure and evaluate the impact on the student experience.
The online keynote was Head of the Research Excellence Training Team at the University of York, Dr Karen Clegg. Using the scholarship into doctoral education and data in the UK Research Supervision Survey, Karen considered the role of supervision and what it does for the culture of a department and organisation.
Kate Lister was the inaugural Symposium keynote, exploring the concepts of comfort and joy, how they relate to and affect wellbeing, and how they can be embedded in teaching and learning to the benefit of staff and students.
As well as around 50 contributions from diverse colleagues, providing great variety in the programme, we are offering a more sustainable and inclusive event. For example, we continue with the Participant Commitment introduced to uphold the safe and inclusive environment and encourage all members of staff to get involved, food waste will be minimised, documents will be accessibility-checked, and the use of personal pronouns supported.
We are committed to creating and maintaining a friendly, safe and inclusive environment, regardless of age, disability, gender, gender identity, language, marriage/civil partnership status, national or social origin, physical appearance, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation.
Praise from the 2022 event
Colleagues felt the June 2022 Festival of Learning had an impact on their practice.
"I'm now planning how to do more research and feeling less intimidated by this"
"I would like to implement some of the new ways I have learnt to make teaching more fun"
"Gained confidence in some of the teaching approaches and methods that I am trialling"
"The attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) session confirmed my approach in teaching and I feel better equipped to request my teaching team to follow the advices given"
"There will definitely be ways in which I change my approach to teaching as a consequence. There have been quite a lot of stimulating ideas about assessment this time"
"Will follow up on new contacts and use new tools etc in the way that I teach"
"I will be more fearless and more authentic when teaching - instead of trying to fit a mould. I will also try and incorporate joy into my teaching, as well as my own work schedule"
"You could see collaboration happening before your eyes!"
Attendee Festival of Learning 2020
Festival of Learning resources
Festival of Learning 2021 resources
Visit the Festival of Learning SharePoint site (staff login required) to view recordings of presentations and download materials from the Festival of Learning which was held between 17 and 22 June 2021. Materials are also available on Blackboard (staff login required) where they can be downloaded in alternative formats, such as audio.
You can view full details of the event on the 2021 Festival programme (PDF) which includes over 50 contributions from diverse colleagues.
Festival of Learning 2020 resources
Visit the Blackboard course to view recordings of presentations and download materials from the Festival of Learning which was held between 18 and 23 June 2020. Please note that you may need a staff login to view these.
You can view full details of the event on the Festival programme which includes over 50 contributions from diverse colleagues.
The event was opened by Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost, Amanda Coffey. Vice Chancellor Steve West introduced our keynote, Nona McDuff – “Reducing the black, Asian and minority ethnic attainment gap – taking it seriously at an institutional level”. Nona is the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Students and Teaching at Solent University. She was awarded an OBE for her services to diversity in higher education and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Our second external speaker was Tony Churchill, Nottingham Trent University, with: “Scaling up Active Collaborative Learning for Student Success”. This workshop considered a successful pedagogic response to the challenge of ensuring that all students succeed, regardless of their background: Student-Centred Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies.
We are committed to creating and maintaining a friendly, safe and inclusive environment. Read over our Permissions and Notices for more information about our ethos, to view our privacy notice and request to use images.
Materials on Blackboard are in accessible formats wherever possible and can be downloaded in alternative formats, such as audio.
If you have any queries, please email the Academic Practice team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Festival of Learning 2019 resources
You can view full details of the event on the conference programme.
Events during the Festival included:
- keynote by Professor Jane Setter, University of Reading: “A thousand words: black, Asian and minority ethnic student life through a lens”
- keynote by Professor Osama Khan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Students and Teaching, Solent University, on digital learning and learner analytics.
Key themes were inclusivity and digital learning. You can catch up on slides and videos, including the very popular session by Professor Osama Khan on Sharepoint (UWE account required).
You can view full details of the event on the conference programme.
Events during the Festival included keynotes by: Professor David Read (University of Southampton) who argued for and against the use of lectures in modern university teaching; Fabienne Vailes (University of Bristol) about the ‘Flourishing Student', as well as an Enhancement Framework 101; and an update on the Grand Challenge discussion and workshop.
Please note that you may need a staff login to view these:
- Introduction by Pro Vice-Chancellor Jo Midgley and Professor Elizabeth Cleaver
- Professor David Read “Rethinking lectures – incorporating flipped teaching and active learning”
- Fabienne Vailes, "The Flourishing Student”
If you would like to see the slides from another presentation, please email email@example.com.