Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) 2015 Annual Learning and Teaching Staff Colloquium took place on April 17th. This year’s theme “Boundaries in Transition” offered presenters from XJTLU and the University of Liverpool (UoL) an opportunity to inform fellow peers about their explorations into learning and teaching approaches and innovative practices that challenge the norm.
With 13 presentations and in total around 22 presenters from across various departments, the event highlighted XJTLU’s academic spirit of exploring and embracing new ideas and developments through a curiosity lens. The colloquium had two parallel events throughout the day covering four major themes: assessment and feedback, learning technology, teaching practice and teaching practices in a Chinese context.
This year’s colloquium introduced three new activities. First, an opening and closing symposium discussing “what is a XJTLU teacher”, involving all participates to brainstorm the key elements that make XJTLU teachers stand out; second, a highly informative Educational Technology in Transition presentation that introduced current cutting edge experiences and future developments in learning technologies at XJTLU; third, at the end of the day, a CPS awards ceremony was held celebrating the achievements of colleagues who had successfully completed the Certificate of Professional Studies in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.
The CPS has been run at XJTLU since 2009 and over this time, 209 teachers have been registered on the programme. So far, 48 XJTLU teachers have received the CPS award by UoL, including 13 from the latest cohort of Semester 1, this academic year.
In the afternoon session, the colloquium was delighted to have two colleagues from the School of Life Science, UoL, Dr. Luiciane Vieira de Mello and Peter Alston.
Dr. Luciane Vieira de Mello presented a speech entitled “Staff-student partnership and peer facilitation fostering student engagement and teaching skills development”. She pointed out that teaching and mentoring are important skills boosting students’ graduate development and employability; a peer-learning approach which has been applied between peer facilitators (past students) and peer receivers (current students) received positive outcomes at UoL. Dr. Luciane also suggested that peer-learning could be implemented among Y2 students at XJTLU and Y3 students at Liverpool or graduate students during their holidays.
Peter Alston placed his focus on online learning. In his talk on “Re-thinking assessment practices in a digital age”, Peter discussed the necessity and feasibility of e-assessment, as well as some of the challenges faced by academics using e-assessment up to now. He then commented on the “Educational Technology in Transition” presentation delivered by Roland Sherwood from the Academic Enhancement Centre, XJTLU, indicating how he was excited to see some of the most cutting edge technology being implemented in XJTLU’s teaching and learning activities and would be interested to exchange and communicate further with the team of XJTLU on e-learning and e-teaching activities.
Speaking of personal experience during the colloquium, Dr. Penelope Scott from the Department of English, Culture and Communication indicated that “I’m interested in the resources Roland Sherwood from the Academic Enhancement Centre discussed and I found the demo very helpful for visual presentation. I will use the shared notepad in my module “Semantics and Pragmatics”.