Learning and Teaching Matters

Archive for May 2008

For your information, I attended this conference last week (21st May 2008).ย  There was a series of presentations and two keynote speakers.ย  Details of all the presentations can be accessed via the HEA web site.


Do you have experience, either as a student or as a member of staff, of higher education in another country? If so, would you be willing to share your knowledge and insights with me?

I am currently in the process of drafting guidelines for lecturers with responsibility for helping international students adjust to the demands of teaching, learning and assessment in the UK. Arguably the differences between the UK and elsewhere with respect to, for example, contact hours, styles of lecturing, small group teaching, marking criteria and information literacy, are greater than the similarities. Thus, international students are often surprised or even shocked by what they find here. Equally lecturers may find it difficult to know how best to support them in their transition from what is familiar to what is unfamiliar. Hence it is important to provide as much guidance as possible. This is likely to be more credible and robust if it is informed by inputs from those with direct experience of higher education elsewhere. Which brings me back to my appeal.

If you would be prepared to spend up to an hour discussing this topic with me please do get in touch. My email address is rmo2@soton.ac.uk I look forward to hearing from you.

Roger Ottewill


We are very excited to offer you a pilot course this summer in which Second Life experts from Clemson University in South Carolina, the University of North Dakota will be collaborating with the University of
Southampton to learn more about Second Life and how it can be used as a tool for education.

Second Life is a 3-D avatar-based virtual world, which universities around the globe are experimenting with for educational purposes. Second Life has been in the news and in the press, including the Times Higher
Educational Supplement. The School of Modern Languages has been running research projects in Second Life since December 2006.

If you would like a place on the course to explore this emerging technology, and find out how YOU can use it in your classroom, please contact: Ann Jeffery Rm 2173 (Building 65, Avenue Campus) acj1@soton.ac.uk or Fiona Grindey (LATEU) Highfield Campus, fg@soton.ac.uk.

Sessions will held on Mondays at the Highfield Campus, beginning June 9, 2008 to July 21, 2008
with the week of June 30th off for 4th of July celebrations.

If you or any of your colleagues are using virtual worlds, like Second Life, There.com or Home to enhance your teaching then please let us know.ย  In September, LATEU will be hosting an event aimed at showcasing innovations in education using these immersive environments and in particular, Second Life.ย ย ย  There will also be an opportunity for colleagues to discuss future directions, and to get their own avatar in Second Life. ย  Why not come along and find out how you can get a second life – possibly get some ideas of how you can use this for your own lectures!

Further information and updates are available on Southampton Educators.ย  Click here if you would like to join.

LATEU are reviewing the University processes for collaborative provision.ย  A meeting took place this week where there was a very informative and productive discussion over how the University gathers information from Schools about the different types of collaborative provision.ย  Part of the review of the process will involve the refining of procedures for drafting contracts of engagement with other insitutions in order to improve the speed of service.ย  If you would like to know more about this or have any comments to make, then please contact Fiona Grindey.

This event is taking place on 21st May in Oxford. A LATEU representative will be attending and will report back on issues raised.ย  For more details about this event, either visit the HEA web site or if you are a member of the Southampton Educators Network you can see these details in the RSS section (along with all the other events).

LATEU have launched their latest initiative to bring colleagues who are interested in education together. ‘Southampton Educators’ is a network of colleagues who have all signed up using a social network site called ning.com. There are spaces for discussion, images, video, files and much more. There are currently 41 members which is growing all the time.

Recent topics include a discussion following on from events which have taken place at the University, inlcuding the latest Good Practice Lunch and the School of Management’s Second Life presentation. There are over 40 members already from Schools across the University. Videos and files from the presentations are available here also.

If you are interested in becoming a member and would like more information about this, please contact Fiona Grindey or click here