First Call for TIA Funding!

This is the first call for submissions for Loughborough University applicants seeking funding under the 2017 Teaching Innovation Awards.

These high profile awards support individuals or teams of staff or students and staff to develop and share innovative teaching ideas both internally and externally. These awards are a key part of Loughborough University’s commitment to developing teaching and learning, and attract significant attention.

Previous winners have been invited to speak at conferences, to deliver workshops, and to publish their developed ideas. We hope our 2017 winners will seize the available opportunities to disseminate their excellence in teaching innovation to support developments across our two campuses but also across the higher education sector.


Staff and/or students with ideas to innovate current learning and teaching practice at Loughborough drawing on research, literature, pilot studies or a variety of approaches are encouraged to apply for funding.

This year an increased sum of £30,000 has been ring fenced for these key awards, and applications are being sought from students and staff on both our campuses.

Guidance documents and application forms can be found on the Centre for Academic Practice website as CAP administers the awards for the University

The closing date for applications is 28 February. The decision panel, with membership from across the university including Loughborough Students’ Union, will meet in late March. Award winners will be notified in April and their success announced publicly at the 2017 Loughborough University Learning and Teaching Conference in June 2017.

If you have an idea which you would like to discuss prior to submitting an application please contact Deena Ingham in CAP

Loughborough Academics Publish Research in Prestigious Journal

2010 Teaching Innovation Awards winners, Dr Lawrence Leger and Dr Karligash Glass (Kenjegalieva), have recently published their work in Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education.  Their research article, ‘What if best practice is too expensive? Feedback on oral presentations and efficient use of resources’, suggests that ‘less resource-intensive [teaching and learning] methods need not compromise learning outcomes’. [1]

To read their article, click on the link below:

[1] Lawrence A. Leger, Karligash Glass, Paraskevi Katsiampa, ShiboLiu & Kavita Sirichand (2015): What if best practice is too expensive? Feedback on oral presentations and efficient use of resources, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2015.1109054, p.1.

Developing Outreach and Employability through Innovative Teaching

A group of student historians from Loughborough are heading out into schools across the UK this winter on a mission to research teaching.

The staff-student collaboration project, Developing Outreach and Employability through Innovative Teaching, led by Dr.Catherine Armstrong and final-year student Lauren Porter involves students observing how history is taught in schools. Both primary and secondary teaching is under the spotlight as the students explore picwhat a teaching career in history means in reality.

To get the project going, the team created an observation logbook which allows participants to log all the observations they make. The next step involved recruiting innovative History students to take part in this new project. Various lecture shout-outs took place; a blog and social media sites were set up to contact participants. The team received plenty of interest and were delighted to welcome fifteen students to the group.

The team reported that their first project meeting was successful; it started with an ice-breaker activity and then moved onto exploring questions, such as: ‘What makes a good teacher?’ and ‘What is positive teaching practice?’ The questions aimed to stimulate independent thought and allow the participants to think about the nature of the project in more depth.

The second meeting included a presentation by CAP’s own Deena Ingham who presented various clips that tested and enhanced participants’ observation skills. Students viewed film of different teaching styles and explored what makes for good learning and crucially what stopped the learning process.  They compiled a comprehensive list of questions to ask when observing and interviewing the teachers they observe. In this way their insight into what it means to teach history will become a valuable resource for future students.

The team are excited about seeing the project develop further over the next few months, but it is already proving beneficial for several of the final-years students involved.  Lauren Porter said:  ‘The project has provided me with the confidence boost needed to teach. To recruit undergraduate participants for this project, I stood in front of lectures and spoke to students about this exciting new project. This process seemed daunting at first; however, it filled me with confidence going into my teacher training interviews and it has allowed me to be successful and gain a place starting next Autumn.’

Changes are a-coming in Disabled Students’ Allowances

This blog post has been contributed by Karisa Krcmar from the Counselling and Disability Service at Loughborough University.

Image of students in a lecture theatreI am a little hesitant about writing about disability legislation and cuts in funding in a month Centre for Academic Practice have dedicated to inclusive learning.

In an ideal word there would be no need to talk about adjustments in teaching or assessments because teaching and assessment and learning would all be … well, inclusive.

A disability, or medical, model of teaching puts the emphasis on the individual: this person has a particular problem and so we, as an institution, have to make special arrangements to adapt to this individual so that he or she can reach his or her potential.  We have a bumpy playing field and we engage someone else to build a raised pathway across it for a recognised individual.  At the same time, there are other players, without a recognised difficulty, but for a whole variety of reasons, they are struggling to cope with those bumps.  They get ignored.  Then … guess what?  The funding for the raised pathway is withdrawn and the cost of maintenance reverts to the owners of the field.  The best response to this might take a bit of thought and planning, but why not just level off the whole playing field, making it accessible for all players whatever their individual strengths and weaknesses.

This, in effect, is the scenario we are facing in the HE sector.

The Equality Act 2010 requires us to make reasonable adjustments for disabilities.  The law defines disability as:

“A physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term effect on a  person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”

This includes:

  • Physical disabilities
  • Sensory impairments (visual impairment, hearing impairment)
  • Mental health difficulties (even if these are no longer ‘present’)
  • Specific learning differences (dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD, autistic spectrum disorders, etc.)
  • Autistic spectrum disorders
  • A number of medical conditions, including diabetes, asthma, ME, epilepsy
  • HIV, cancer, MS (from the point of diagnosis)
  • Severe disfigurements

All the different services within the Counselling and Disability Service (mental health support team; study support service; counselling service; note taking service; disability office and needs assessment centre) work with students and departments to provide that pathway through the playing field and help departments to understand, and comply with, the law.  Students with disabilities have also been able to access a grant called Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) and this has paid for many of the services: for example, specialist study support and note taking.  This has allowed students to successfully access the curriculum and complete their degrees.

Changes are a-coming …

Funding is being seriously cut …

We don’t yet know the full implications …

We do know that the Equality Act of 2010 has not changed.

But we anticipate that funding the pathway will change from DSA to the university – i.e. your department and you will be asked to provide more in the way of support for your students.

Wouldn’t it be easier to spend the time now just to consider how you can level the whole playing field and make it more inclusive for all students?  Design for inclusivity; teach for inclusivity; assess for inclusivity and feedback for inclusivity.  That way, there will be real inclusive learning which embraces all students – it will be legally compliant but even better, it will be good planning, teaching and learning.

Academics' teaching innovation takes awards

Supporting dissertation students and improving the ways we use technology to develop learning are at the heart of this year’s 2014 Teaching Innovation Awards winning bids.

The Teaching Centre has invested a total of £18,443.26 in the winning projects to proactively enhance student learning not only in the six departments who won, but across the University. Some of the projects will support students at both Loughborough and Loughborough University in London, whilst others have potentially even wider impact for schools, other universities and in industry.

Dissertation students are a focus of the academics’ attention in two projects, whilst using technologies most effectively also emerged as a strong theme. The technologies in question range from computer aided design, session recording and remote labs to the best effect to support student learning

The 2014 Teaching Innovation Award winners in alphabetical order are:

  • Marcus Collins, Catherine Armstrong, Thoralf Klein, Paul Maddrell in PHIR for a pilot project looking at ways of supporting undergraduate dissertations.
  • Mark Jepson, Nicola Jennings, Simon Hogg for an interdepartmental project between Materials and Chemistry entitled Understanding the Art of Flipping
  • Vicky Lofthouse in Loughborough Design School for a project to create a new teaching tool for carbon footprinting for designers.
  • Jonathan Millett in Geography for a project to develop GUMCOM – the development of teaching resources to enable dissertation students to achieve greater depth and scope.
  • Abby Paterson in Loughborough Design School for a project to support learning of Computer Aided Design software.
  • Sheryl Williams and Richard Blanchard from EESE for work to evaluate student responses to and learning utilising remote, simulation and real labs.

More information from the winners and details of their projects as they emerge will be appearing on the blog in the coming months, together with updates from last year’s winners.

For more about the Awards, visit

Another award funded by the Teaching Centre to enhance teaching and learning at Loughborough is the Research Informed Teaching  Awards – applications for which close on April 28th. For details see

Improving the learning experience

There is a major feature in the latest news at lboro (pp.12-13) regarding the Teaching Centre in an article entitled “Improving the learning experience”. Indeed, our work with students, their representatives and colleagues across campus features on the Spring 2014 cover page!

The major focus of the articles are the Teaching Innovation Awards (TIAs), the next iteration of which have an application deadline of March 7th, while attention is also drawn to the Research-informed Teaching Awards (RiTAs), which have their next deadline on April 28th.

The TIAs were established in 2005, and the main pieces in this edition of news at lboro centre on the innovative nature of previous awards, and detail the work undertaken by a number of recent recipients:

  • 2011 – Emma Dresser (Loughborough Students’ Union) & Dr Robert Harland (School of the Arts) – “Feedback: facilitating reflection to promote learning” supported the development of the LSU Feedback resource
  • 2012 – Dr Thomas Jun and Dr Tom Page (Loughborough Design School) – “Lego-based learning initiative for systems design and ergonomics teaching – efficiencies in teaching through the use of technology (Lego Mindstorms NXT: programmable robotics kit)”
  • 2013 – Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold (English and Drama) – “Loughborough University Press: How a student-led teaching press can lead to enterprise and employability” supported the development of Lamplight Press

Meanwhile, the RiTAs are about to enter their second year, and they will be looking to add to a roll of honour that includes Prof Jonathon Chambers (Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering), Prof Barbara Jaworski (Maths Education Centre), Dr Carol Robinson (Maths Education Centre), and Dr Adrian Spencer (Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering). Enjoy your read!

The Maya Project eBook

The Maya Project eBookIt is not always easy to determine where R (Research), T (Teaching) and E (Enterprise) might begin and end, indeed whether this post should be on the e@lboro blog!

Working in the School of Sports, Exercise and Health Sciences here at Loughborough, Dr. Maria Inês Varela-Silva is Director of The Maya Project within the Centre for Global Health and Human Development, and she has just launched a crowdfunding initiative to raise monies to produce an eBook about the Maya people. Entitled The Maya: a living culture of the 21st century, there are further details regarding this project at; for this initiative to work, the eBook project needs to raise £15,000 before February 10th, 2014.

Kickstarter may be a little new to people accessing this T&L blog but, in addition to disseminating some funds through the Teaching Innovation Awards scheme, one of our roles in theTeaching Centre is to provide feedback to colleagues who are looking for support in preparing bids for teaching-related funding.

It will certainly be interesting to monitor the progress made in terms of funding this particular project regarding the Maya, as this may well be something for other colleagues to consider when it comes to thinking about how to resource learning and teaching projects.

HEA call for proposals for research into “The impact of the shifting UK HE landscape on learning and teaching”

HEA logoThe HEA has just put out a call for proposals for new research relating to their theme of “The impact of the shifting UK HE landscape on learning and teaching” the aim of the research is to “seek to understand, discuss and debate the impact on learning and teaching and the student experience in higher education of the recent significant changes in UK higher education policy”

There are a number of strands that can be addressed:

  • How has the status of teaching changed in institutions in the context of an increased emphasis on teaching excellence in national HE policy?;
  • Are there any early signs that the diversification and reconfiguration of higher education providers is resulting in an improved student learning experience?;
  • Transitions into undergraduate education from schools and colleges and returning adult learners;
  • The changing nature of postgraduate study: how, if at all, might curriculum and the support of learning for postgraduate (PGT and PGR) provision be changing?;
  • Foundation degrees and work-based learning;
  • Barriers to part-time learning in the new HE landscape.

Proposals can be up to a maximum of £20,000 and the HEA expected to fund five projects in total. The deadline for the proposals is 10 January 2014 and all work must be completed by 31st March 2015.

For full details go to the HEA website at:

HEA Workshop and Seminar Series – funding available

HigherEducationAcademyIn support of its 2013-14 workshop and seminar series, the Higher Education Academy (HEA) has issued calls regarding STEM, Social Sciences, and Arts and Humanities subjects, as well as opening up a theme-based stream.

The HEA wishes to cover a number of areas (see below), and a grant of £750 is available to support each workshop/seminar, with the deadline for submissions set for 31 July 2013. Further information is available at


  • improving the employability skills of STEM graduates;
  • innovative approaches to teaching and assessing large classes;
  • giving effective feedback to students;
  • growing diversity in the student population;
  • practices in peer mentoring;
  • impact of information technology in learning and teaching;
  • students as partners;
  • enhancing lab skills.

Social Sciences

  • teaching research methods in the Social Sciences;
  • active and experiential learning in the Social Sciences;
  • employability and global citizenship.

Arts and Humanities

  • interculturalism, global citizenship and the Arts and Humanities;
  • creativity, innovation, professional practice and the Arts and Humanities;
  • interdisciplinarity and the Arts and Humanities.

thematic focused

  • employability;
  • education for sustainable development (ESD);
  • internationalisation;
  • the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).

LUDT funding opportunity

Loughborough balloon

The Loughborough University Development Trust (LUDT) have recently put out their annual call for funding applications. Fuller details are available on the Lboro Noticeboard  but, as that posting says, the “Loughborough Fund exists to provide support for projects that enhance the student experience. You can submit a bid for up to £5,000 at any time, and bids submitted by 21st October will be considered at the Trustees’ meeting in December.”

Support has been received for a number of Teaching Centre projects in recent years including:

Initial funding for these resources came through the LUDT. You can read more about this fund, including how to submit a bid, via the Development and Alumni Relations Office website