Event: ‘Uncovering Creative Intuitions’ – A webinar with Dr Gillian Lazar

On 6th November 2020, Gillian Lazar presented to the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication at Birkbeck University on the topic ‘Uncovering Creative Intuitions’.

What happens when we write materials for language learning, whether professionally for publication or for use with a particular group of learners we are teaching? This seminar will begin by providing some background to the field of materials writing in ELT with a brief summary of key themes. We will then explore the process of the writing from the material writer’s point of view, a perspective which has been described as surprisingly under-investigated (Tomlinson and Masuhara 2017). Previous research endorses the view that writers appear to rely heavily on their own intuitions during a highly recursive writing process, in which they balance spontaneous creativity against the constraints of a syllabus and a ‘tacit’ framework of principles (Prowse 2011; Hadfield 2014). But what kinds of intuitions inform our creativity while we write, and how do these shape our final product?

This talk will reflect on a single piece of material, designed in a specific publishing context, in order to critically analyse the intuitive processes shaping its design. This analysis is intended to identify some of the more tacit aspects which inform the work of the materials writer, including the impact of context, writing practices and sense of audience. By doing so, I hope to provide some insights into the inevitable conflicts and tensions experienced during writing, and to suggest some useful pointers for those wishing to work further in this area.

Dr Gillian Lazar is a Senior Lecturer in the Education Department at Middlesex University, where she is joint programme leader for the Post-graduate Certificate in Higher Education (PG Cert HE). As an applied linguist, she has worked as a teacher of EFL, teacher educator, lexicographer and lecturer in EAP/Academic Literacies. She has published widely on the use of literature in language teaching, figurative language and academic literacies. She is the author of Literature and Language TeachingA Window on Literature and Meanings and Metaphors, all published by Cambridge University Press.

The Power of Play in Higher Education Roundtable: Where do we go next? Free CHEF Webinar, 3-5pm Monday 30th November

For more information and to sign up click here.

Registration deadline: Please no later than November 25th, 2020, at 23.59 Central European Time (CET)

Time: November 30th, 2020, at 15.00-17.00 Central European Time (CET) 

Max. participants: 120

Chair: Rikke Toft Nørgård, Associate Professor, Aarhus University, Denmark

The Power of Play Roundtable marks the conclusion of this autumn’s Playful Webinar Series intending at establishing intercultural dialogue within the field of playful higher education. As well as aiming to establish a foundation – or a magic circle – for a powerful and playful fellowship of researchers, thinkers and practitioners striving towards more playful universities, higher education and higher education institutions.

In the concluding roundtable the key talkers of this autumn’s webinar series meet up to discuss the power of play, the potentials of playful higher education and the possibilities of more playful higher education futures. What big projects could we create together? What are some big dreams? How could the Playful University Project be a platform for and help support a league of playful thinkers, researchers and practitioners? And where should we go next?

Everyone is invited to join in, dream big and discuss the potential futures of playful higher education. We will during the roundtable create a collective output to catch our dreams and move the agenda forward.

Webinar: The challenges of research and publishing in learning and teaching in higher education

Wednesday 15 July 2020 at 10:30am

The following webinar will be given by Professor David Boud,Work and Learning Research Centre at Middlesex, and renowned international researcher:

Being scholarly about ones teaching is normal business for us all. The increasing expectation of academics is not only that they are on top of their subject but also on top of how to help students learn in their subject area. For some, the latter aspect will involve going beyond the familiar learning and teaching approaches in the discipline, to contribute actively to the scholarship of learning and teaching. This typically involves small scale investigations with colleagues in their own courses, trials and presentations of new approaches and their evaluation, gaining a deeper understanding of their own students’ learning. For a much smaller number, it will involve a further step into becoming a researcher in the area of learning and teaching who undertakes research studies and publishes in higher education journals.

The session will draw on Professor Boud’s extensive experience of collaborating with many staff in a wide range of disciplines in researching learning, teaching and assessment. It will start with an initial focus on the area of the scholarship of learning and teaching and move to what is involved in making the transition to being a researcher of learning and teaching. It will map the territory of the transition and what is involved in it. It will address questions such as: How similar is research in higher education to that in one’s own discipline? How to get started in learning and teaching

research? What is involved? What forms of support are available?

David Boud is Alfred Deakin Professor and Foundation Director of the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning, Deakin University, Australia, Emeritus Professor at the University of Technology Sydney and Professor of Work and Learning at Middlesex University. He has previously held the positions of Head of School, Associate Dean and Dean of the University Graduate School at UTS and has been responsible for academic staff development at the University of New South Wales. He has been a pioneer in developing learning-centred approaches to courses and assessment across the disciplines, particularly in student self-assessment, building assessment skills for long-term learning and new approaches to feedback. He is one of the world’s most highly cited academics in the field of teaching and learning in higher education. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from Linköping University, Sweden, is an Australian Learning and Teaching Senior Fellow (National Teaching Fellow) and is a former President of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. 

Philosophy and Theory of HE Conference: UNIVERSITIES UNDER SIEGE? 19-20 October 2020

4th annual Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Conference

19–20 October, 2020, Uppsala University, Sweden

the crisis of the universityis a familiar topos in contemporary discussions about higher education. It is said that the University is facing untold threats from, inter alia, the anti-intellec- tualism of populist politicians and authoritarian regimes, the commodification of knowledge resulting from neo-liberal ideas about utility and international competition, the politicization of teaching and learning arising out of identity movements, the fragmenting of the university in response to stakeholder demands, and so forth.

This conference poses the question: Is this really the case? And, if so, what exactly is be- ing threatened? The aim of the meeting is to take a serious look at what is ultimately at stake, among other things, by examining the roots of these developments in terms of our conceptions of what is useful knowledge, why it is desirable and what is required to establish, maintain and develop it through our institutions of higher education.


KERI FACER Professor of Educational and Social Futures, University of Bristol; Zennström Chair in Climate Change Leadership, University of Uppsala

STEVE FULLER Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology, The University of Warwick

The titles of their lectures will be announced shortly on the conference website: https://www.uu.se/phec2020/

Event: International diversity management – Issues, experiences and implications

Date & time: 9th January, 2018; 12.30pm-5pm

Location: Boardroom, Middlesex University, London

This seminar will offer opportunities to discuss how organisations from a range of sectors manage their international diversity strategies; the issues and concerns they confront; their experiences; and the impact they achieve. The seminar goal is to seek to develop a best practice model that can be applied to strengthen and improve diversity management within international organisations.

Attendance by invitation only, for more details and to request a place please contact Professor Paul Gibbs: p.gibbs@mdx.ac.uk

Event: Conversation on HE Pedagogy

On Saturday 18th March Middlesex University hosted a conversation on pedagogy in Higher Education, led by Professor Paul Gibbs.

Following a search of the Middlesex University repository for those academics who have published on pedagogical issues (over 60) we have now collated a list on the CERS website. Based on the evidence of excellence in pedagogical practice and at fairly short notice the academics below agreed to come together to participant in pedagogical conversations to share and improve practice on Saturday 18th March.

  • Adesola Akinleye – Transitional space: embodiment, dance technique and critical thinking
  • Carol Costley – Learning without barriers
  • Christine Eastman – Integrating literary works into coaching conversations
  • Adam Edwards – On the margins: Information literacy and the holy grail of curriculum integration
  • Paul Gibbs – Compassions and caring in pedagogical
  • Lola-Peach Martins – Responsible Leadership curriculum development.
  • Paula Nottingham – On the ‘balancing act’ of students doing online learning using social media
  • Clare O’Donoghue – Teacher cognition and teacher beliefs in novice teachers – the act of becoming a teacher in various contexts, including HE context
  • Tarek Zoubir – Teaching using technology and also inclusivity

Talking about what they have achieved and are striving to achieve was inspirational.  So much so that we want to invite more colleagues to join us for pedagogical conversation, we will host notification of future meetings and outcomes on this site, but in the meantime please contact Paul Gibbs if this is of interest.

Event: Consumer behaviour in HE – a seminar with Professor Jane Hemsley-Brown

Date & time: 22nd November, 1-2pm

Location: Middlesex University – Vine VG06

Jane Hemsley-Brown, Professor & Associate Dean (International), University of Surrey. BA Hons (London), MA, PhD (S’ton), Adv.Dip Mgt, CertEd, FHEA, AMRS

The first seminar in this years Higher Education SIGN seminar series


Jane held a number of Principal and Senior Research fellow posts prior to her appointment at Surrey Business School: Post Doctoral Fellow at University of Greenwich, London (1995-6), Senior Researcher at University of Southampton, School of Education (1996-2001); and a Principal Researcher with NFER (National Foundation for Educational Research) (2001-2002).  Her research interests are in the field of Education Marketing (Higher Education Marketing), and Research Utilization (RU) (the effective dissemination of research outcomes, for utilization by managers and practitioners).  Prior to her role as a Professorial Fellow, Jane was a Reader in Marketing (2007-2014), Head of Division of Business (2007-2011), Deputy Head of Surrey Business School (2013-14), and Associate Dean (International) for the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law (2011-2014). Jane is currently (Acting) Associate Dean (International) for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (2015-)

Symposium: Creative methods in teaching and learning in HE

On 9th September CERS held a symposium around the use of creative methods in teaching and learning in higher education.

Attended by academics from across the country, the event gave a group of CERS staff the chance to showcase their latest research, as well as

The day kicked off with an introduction from Professor Paul Haywood, Deputy Dean in the School of Art and Design. Researchers from CERS then introduced their project on using mobile digital photography to enrich students’ theoretical understanding (a project funded by the Centre for Academic Practice (CAPE) at Middlesex).

Other presentations across the day included:

  • ‘Lost Luggage’ – a report on an intensive, one-week material-based learning workshop designed as a student engagement project to open up new learning dialogues across different subject disciplines and different stages of learning.
  • Multimodal Composition in Digital Platforms – exploring creative methods and research-based pedagogies for higher education.
  • Troublesome knowledge in 3D – a workshop exploring pedagogic approaches to engaging learners with troublesome knowledge and practices, using LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®