Innovative approaches to learning and teaching celebrated at major event

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A two-day event celebrating and sharing innovative and exploratory good practice in learning and teaching began today, Thursday 7 April, at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University.

The 2016 Annual Learning and Teaching Colloquium officially began with a keynote speech by Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner (pictured below), world-renowned pioneers in the field of social learning.

Their work focusses on communities of practice, cross-boundary processes and the use of new technologies. Their opening speech at the colloquium explored the future of learning, a topic which Beverly said matters “because it defines how we organise ourselves and how we develop as a species.”

The pair had also taken part in a pre-colloquium CPS/CPD workshop on planning and assessing the value created by learning in communities, which was open to all attendees.

The colloquium, which this year was held under the theme “imagining the next 10 years in learning and teaching”, is an annual opportunity for colleagues across the XJTLU community to share good practice with peers.

Over two days, the colloquium explores not only current but also potential future trends in learning and teaching approaches and practices. Participants examine how these trends fit into or around the XJTLU context as an independent transnational English as a Medium of Instruction institution.

And this year, for the first time, the event was opened up to external attendees from across China and the East Asia region to attend and present.

James Wilson, Director of the Academic Enhancement Centre at XJTLU, which organised the event, said: “We have more than 20 external attendees from Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Nanjing, Ningbo, Shanghai, Wenzhou, Wuhu, Yichun and Suzhou who are here to embrace the culture of learning and teaching at XJTLU, and to provide us with an insight into learning and teaching practice in their respective institutions and countries.”

Participants at the event will take part in parallel sessions with 28 presentations not only from across various departments at XJTLU but also from presenters from Singapore and Hong Kong, who will explore topics such as “flipped classrooms” and “communities of practice”.

The colloquium also offers participants the opportunity to experience innovative developments in educational technologies from across various departments at XJTLU, with the Educational Technologies Team within AEC hosting an educational technology showcase tomorrow [Friday 8 April].

The showcase will include demonstrations and examples of good practice presented by staff from across the University, and the development of key technologies at XJTLU will be explored by the team.

During the event’s closing lunch XJTLU staff who have successfully completed the XJTLU Certificate of Professional Studies (CPS) in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education this academic year will be honoured and certificates will be awarded to those who have successfully completed the programme.

James added: “The Academic Enhancement Centre would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone participating in the colloquium. We would like to also express our sincere appreciation to everyone who has supported this effort and helped make it happen.”

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