Festival of Learning

A platform to communicate and share ideas about research and good practice.

The UWE Bristol Learning and Teaching Conference was first held in 2011 and became an annual event. Now the Academic Practice Directorate is excited to build on its success with a new style of event.

The Festival of Learning will continue to provide a platform for those involved in teaching and supporting learning to communicate and share ideas about scholarship and good practice.

In response to your feedback, the Festival format allows us to take advantage of the facilities at several sites, as well as giving you the opportunity to pick your own sessions and build your own programme to fit in with your existing commitments. You can attend as much as you like in this flexible format. The Festival of Learning is free to attend.

Festival of Learning, 18-23 June 2020

Building on the success of the 2019 Festivals of Learning, the Festival took place entirely online in 2020 - bringing you lots of inspiring content despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the overarching theme of “Working collaboratively to enhance the student learning experience at UWE Bristol” the sessions during the Festival addressed one or more of the following propositions:

  • Proposition 1: The reduction of attainment gaps is the responsibility of everyone at UWE Bristol.
  • Proposition 2: Robust, inclusive and authentic assessment and constructive feedback should be treated as fundamental elements of the student learning experience.
  • Proposition 3: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: why collaboration has greater impact on student learning than going it alone.
  • Additional content to support ongoing remote delivery of Learning and Teaching.


Colleagues felt the June 2020 Festival of Learning had an impact on their practice and 98% of respondents said their expectations of the Festival were met or exceeded.

"Has given me new ideas for how to teach online."

"It widened further my network of colleagues to work with to enhance the student experience"

"I'm keen to explore some of the points raised about digital assessment. I have also emailed a fellow attendee to continue a conversation we started at the conference, about assessment."

"I think this Festival has enabled a greater Team approach to implementing new practices. Some of the technology demonstrated will enhance our on-line programme delivery and create confidence in those new to this form of delivery to try new approaches and even develop new ways of working."

"I have already spoken to our Programme Lead and the wider teaching team about how we make our programme more relevant to BAME students and work has begun on reviewing the syllabus and reading lists."

"I am more confident using online tools and also how to make my existing content more interactive."

"You could see collaboration happening before your eyes!"

Attendee, Festival of Learning 2020

Attendee Festival of Learning 2020

Festival of Learning resources

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 BAME 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 academicpractice@uwe.ac.uk.

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: BAME 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).

February - March resources

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: 

If you would like to see the slides from another presentation, please email academicpractice@uwe.ac.uk.