Nicholas’ teaching tip #2


Nicholas Houghton’s tip for this week is:

If your teaching involves using technology, arrive early enough to be able to set it all up and ensure it is all working; ensure you have the contact details of the person to contact if it goes wrong and always have ‘up your sleeve’ [in reserve] a plan  B, that doesn’t involve technology, so that the session can proceed if the technology doesn’t work.

Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash

Posted in Learning Technology, teaching tips | Leave a comment

Student Induction: Mitigating withdrawal and enabling retention?

Smiley girl 2 copy

Studies at UCA on the first year experience (Barratt, 2017; Allder & Fitzwater, 2018) have shown that introducing students to disciplinary cultures at an early stage in their HE journey has many advantages in terms of increasing student preparedness, easing transition, establishing a sense of belonging, fostering student’s resilience and ultimately potentially reducing the likelihood of withdrawal.

In an attempt to take some of the recommendations forward from this in-house research, the University’s Student Success Committee formed two working groups: one on Student Induction and one on Personal Tutoring.  Membership of both groups was drawn from lead practitioners in both academic and professional support departments.

The Student Induction Working Group met on three occasions in 2018 and its outputs now include an Induction Checklist for course teams, as follows:

Induction Checklist Guide for course teams                                                          Continue reading

Posted in First Year Experience, Retention, Student Centred Learning, Student Engagement, Student Induction, Student Success | Leave a comment

There’s nothing quite like being found out


Photo by Eneida Hoti on Unsplash

I recently put together a teaching session on making digital technology accessibe in teaching. The session was part of UCA’s PGCert in Creative Education, which I lead, and so I should know what I’m talking about.

I’ve used Prezi for the last few years because I believe it to be a ‘better’ tool than Powerpoint, and I’ve been using it on the PGCert. It looks nice. You can change the colours easily. And the fonts are lovely.

But given the focus of the session on accessibility, I thought I’d better check out how accessible Prezi is. it turns out that it isn’t very accessible at all – you can’t add ‘alt text’ to images, the transcript feature is buggy, and you can’t use a screenreader to read the text. Continue reading

Posted in accessibility, How Students Learn, Inclusivity, Learning Technology, Student Centred Learning | 2 Comments

Nicholas’ teaching tip #1


I’m fortunate to work with a colleague who has extensive experience of teaching and supporting learning in creative contexts, Dr. Nicholas Houghton. Over the past few weeks, Nicholas has been sharing his teaching tips with participants on our PGCert – and I”ll be reposting these on the Creative Education Network.

Please do respond and share yours in the comments!

Tip #1

Plan any session imagining that amongst the students will be one who is deaf, one is a wheelchair, one from China, one from Brazil, one from a non-traditional background, one on the autism spectrum and one with dyslexia. This will not only help to make it inclusive, but also help all students.

Photo by Jens Johnsson on Unsplash

Posted in Creative Education, Curriculum Design, diversity, Inclusivity, teaching tips | 4 Comments

Listening Post @ UCA Gateway

Rosie Holmes- Learning Support Coordinator, shares her summary about initiating the Listening Post project. 


Image: Anthony Browne (1977) A Walk In The Park

UCA is currently piloting a new pastoral service for students called ‘Listening Post’ at Farnham, Epsom and Rochester Gateways: a friendly and informal, drop-in listening service, for students encountering any kind of difficulty that might be affecting their studies or well-being.

Listening Post will:

  • Enable students to come talk through any stresses or concerns with a trained volunteer ‘listener’ from the local community
  • Offer a compassionate space where students will be fully listened-to in a non-judgemental, anonymous and confidential manner
  • Provide signposting to other services when needed
  • Be located within the library but within a quiet, comfortable screened-off space
  • Last from 5-50 minutes
  • Offer a friendly listening ear

Listening Post will not:

  • Be counselling or therapy
  • Provide ‘advice’ or tell students what to do

Continue reading

Posted in First Year Experience, Inclusivity, Retention, Student Engagement, Student Success | Leave a comment

The impact of internationalisation on the UCA curriculum – Tomasz John and John Sutter

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Webinar recording: The impact of internationalisation on the UCA curriculum

  • Dr. Tomasz John (EAP Coordinator and researcher in the internationalisation of HE)
  • John Sutter (Learning Enhancement Manager)
  • Dr. Tony Reeves (Subject Leader, Creative Education)

UCA’s increased focus on internationalisation presents implications for the design and delivery of our courses. Ensuring the success of international students will require inclusive and intercultural approaches to teaching, learning and assessment, and a clear awareness of the linguistic requirements of increasingly international cohorts. Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum Design, Internationalisation, Webinars | 12 Comments

Call for Papers for our new journal JUICE


The Creative Education Network is proud to announce the call for papers for the inaugural issue of our new journal, JUICE – the Journal of Useful Investigations in Creative Education.

JUICE welcomes contributions from both established and early career researchers, and provides a platform for those working in creative education and related areas to share their research. The journal is open access, all submissions are peer reviewed, and there is no article processing charge for publication. Your submission can be entirely text-based, or consist of text, images and video (please note that you must have appropriate rights to all images and video prior to submission).

For our first issue, we invite you to submit research into:

  • Creative teaching
  • Innovative assessment
  • Creative Arts Education
  • Creative use of learning technology
  • Creative curriculum design and redesign
  • Supporting learning in creative contexts
  • Creative approaches to employability and student success
  • Inclusive teaching and supporting learning in creative contexts
  • Co-creation of curricula with students
  • Internationalising creative arts curricula

We welcome submissions in the following formats:

  • Articles
  • Case studies
  • Visual essays
  • Opinion pieces
  • Reviews (e.g. books, technology, exhibitions)
  • Conference reflections

Our editorial board consists of:

  • Editor: Tony Reeves
  • Sub-Editor: Sallyanne Theodosiou
  • Editorial Board: Dr. Nicholas Houghton, Annamarie Mckie, Ray Martin, Heidy Waywell

The deadline for submissions is 31st August 2018 – please respond with your proposals to We look forward to receiving your submissions!

Posted in Creative Education, JUICE | Leave a comment