GDN Logo Proceedings from the HEFCE/DENI FDTL Geography National Conference

Summary of Questionnaire Answers

What were the two most useful or meaningful things that you learned from this conference? (62)
Teaching/learning/assessment: (20)
e.g.:
How geography has it's teaching & learning act together
Peer/group assessment is practical/defensible
Discussing with others teaching & learning issues
Ways to make teaching more interactive
A re-affirmation of the importance of the whole teaching & learning debate
Information about HEFCE plans/views on learning & teaching
Geographers appear to be committed to subject & learning & very dynamic

IT: (5)
e.g.:
The value of the virtual geography department
Value of having more than one student at a terminal when using IT for active learning

Change/development: (12)
e.g.:
There are still considerable barriers to change
That the discipline has come a long way since early JGHE days
Huge amount of more research/materials/ideas available than I was aware of
Pace of change in methods, philosophy, and resources for teaching & learning and their continual evolution
Many solutions to our problems exist. We don't have to reinvent the wheel

Networking/discussion/feedback: (12)
e.g.:
Importance of having a network
Discussing with others teaching & learning issues
Networking
There's a lot of useful expertise to call upon
HEFCE's plans for discipline networks
Strength of the discipline network

Others: (13)
e.g.:
Need to do a key skill audit
The guides will be useful
Varying approaches to curriculum design
Information on FDTL projects & their relevance to what I do
Enthusiasm still exists
Extent of innovation across the UK
Ron Cookes outlining of key issues - including need to focus on questions relating to 'adoption'

What questions remain uppermost in your mind? (30)

Future/survival/change: (6)
e.g.:
How to manage major changes in institutions
Implementing change in a very traditional department
What will happen to geography in the next 5 years?
What will happen to sustain the work of the FDTL initiatives?

Dissemination/transferability: (5)
e.g.:
How can Earth Sciences catch up?
How to disseminate ideas widely in own department
Why can't I get this to even begin to happen in Australia?
How the hell are we going to get a network together in Biology

Teaching/learning/assessment: (6)
e.g.:
How are school/FE/HE teaching & learning links made in students best interests?
Can we persuade colleagues to agree about the importance of teaching?
Evaluation
How to introduce 'deep' learning approaches successfully
How to assess group work
How to embed these developments in the curriculum

Funds/resources: (7)
e.g.:
Will I be able to apply for one of the new fellowships?
Is there enough time/resources to develop further projects without special funding?
How to obtain the resources to support teaching & learning (people & equipment)
How to find time to put everything on the WWW

Others: (6)
e.g.:
Too many to list

What changes will you consider making to your teaching as a result of this conference? (54)

ICT: (12)
e.g.:
Getting students to put things on line/on web
Increased use of web sites for student resources
Really introduce e-mail discussion groups (not just talk about it)
Encourage students to collaborate (in 2's or 3's) on using IT packages for data analysis/responses

Skills: (6)
e.g.:
Try to embed more skills
Ensure skills progression
Make key skills explicit & assessed

Active learning: (15)
e.g.:
Increased use of group activities
Look at changing lecturing pattern to include discussion
Change the format of some lab classes
Introducing specific activities covered in workshops
I'll try to introduce a deep learning approach in my modules
Attempt to introduce student based learning into one of my modules
Greater attempts to engage students thinking with a wider variety of teaching & learning approaches

Other changes: (21)
e.g.:
Varying methods of delivery & assessment
Assessment changes
Evaluation
Consideration of more explicit incorporation of assessment criteria & student awareness
Think about how I structure modules
New venue for fieldwork i.e. Malta
Peer review of teaching across department
Network with other departments
Better informed decisions about curriculum design
Try to identify learning outcomes more clearly
I will stop lecturing to first years
Implementation of some innovations set out by, for example, University of Greenwich

What suggestions do you have for topics for future conferences & workshops? (28)

Teaching/learning: (10)
e.g.:
Relating experiences of implementing key skills, learning & teaching resources etc. If we are try & implement change & use GDN guides it would be useful to reflect at the end of the year on our success/failures, etc
Deep learning - how to achieve it (outside IT based approaches)

Network: (2)
e.g.:
Using the same mode of presentation once subject network set up

Assessment: (2)
e.g.:
Quality assessment

Student/staff: (5)
e.g.:
Conference for new lecturers
Encouraging students to participate in creating teaching/learning materials

Other: (9)
e.g.:
Marketing geography to future undergraduates
Managing change - for oneself & departmentally
More virtual departments & putting material on the web
A 'preparing for benchmarking' conference
Interoperability and its consequences for sharing educational materials (objects)

What other comments do you have about the conference as a whole or about specific elements? (41)

Venue/organisation: (7)
e.g.:
Conference very well organised & lovely venue
Very well organised programme covering a wide spectrum of areas of interest
Great venue, nice pace of timetable, well organised, busy
Perhaps better to fill the gap 15.45 - 18.00 rather than finishing so late on Thursday evening

Sharing experiences: (5)
e.g.:
Good to mull over shared experiences & learn from others not just in workshops
Invaluable - good to meet colleagues of like mind in England
Excellent opportunity to find out what is going on in other institutions
Particularly good to have people from beyond Britain - new perspectives

Presentation & workshops: (9)
e.g.:
I would have liked to have attended more of the workshops - too many interesting topics ran against each other
Excellent standard of presentation & workshops (& facility & food!)
Good variety of topics
Need to be careful to avoid possibility of these meetings being dominated by educators disconnected from subject matter
Loved the debate/democracy

Other: (21)
e.g.:
An excellent experience
A very worthwhile conference. I'm glad I came
Very thought provoking & inspiring
Convivial & stimulating
Hugely stimulating
Valuable to attend, lots of goods ideas, supportive environment
Well done
More please
Bloody nice conference


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