Creative Education professional development opportunities at UCA 2019

Grad hats in air copy

To support the university ambitions to develop excellent teaching, the Creative Education team have worked with key stakeholders across the university re-accredit our provision with the Higher Education Academy (part of Advance HE).  We have now developed an overarching framework of taught and experiential CPD learning and teaching, mapped against the UK Professional Standards Framework.  The Creative Education Professional Development Framework offers both taught and experiential routes to teaching qualification and/or professional recognition (see Visual on attached which articulates this) designed to fit around busy teaching schedules, as follows:

  • The new Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Education offers a 60-credit taught route to achieving HEA professional recognition aimed at newer teaching staff.
  • The Creative Education CPD scheme (UKPSF Descriptor 1-3) provides a self-directed route to achieving HEA professional recognition for experienced teaching staff.
  • Both routes provide an online, collaborative experience with face to face campus support, provided by a dedicated teaching team and/or network of campus based Creative Education Mentors.
  • Rather than produce a written account of professional practice, all participants are now required to ‘present their claim’ for recognition based on the evidence they have from reflecting on their teaching/supporting learning practice through the UKPSF (eg teaching observations and reflective commentaries)

If any teaching staff are interested in doing either a teacher qualification and/or making a claim for HEA Fellowship, please see the Creative Education Professional Development Framework.  If you require any further information please email the CEN team on


Posted in Creative Education, HEA Fellowship, Professional Development | Leave a comment

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

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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