#Becomingeducational Week 3: Time to think about a pedagogy of learning development?

This week we are sharing a post from our colleague – and newly appointed National Teaching Fellow, Helen Webster – as she asks us to consider whether there is actually a distinct pedagogy for learning development.

Helen starts like this:

Towards a Signature Pedagogy of Learning Development


The notion of signature pedagogies was developed by Shulman (2006) when looking at education in the professions. “These are types of teaching that organise the fundamental ways in which future practitioners are educated for their new professions. In these signature pedagogies, the novices are instructed in critical aspects of the three fundamental dimensions of professional work – to think, to perform and to act with integrity.” Each profession has its own characteristic way of doing this, reflecting the differing emphasis it places on each of the three dimensions. Think of the medics in their OSCEs and dissections or the lawyers with their case problems and debates.

And the complete post can be found here:


Do go to Helen’s original post – and join in the conversation!!

Happy new academic year!

All the best,

Sandra & Tom


#5MinuteReflection 7: Escape rooms for professional development

#Becomingeducational As the summer looms – our thoughts turn to escape… rooms!

This excellent post from #1MinuteCPD explores how they used the Escape Room at a Manchester Metropolitan University creative practice festival…

There are some lovely tips and tricks for helping us to think through using escape rooms… and a discussion of the pros and cons.

Have you built them into your *teaching* practice yet?


Last week some of the @1minuteCPD Colin, Kate and I delivered an immersive escape room style professional development workshop as part of the Manchester Metropolitan University’s Festival of Learning. It aimed to enable participants to experience using the technology we advocate, as they would be used by students. Participants worked in small teams to complete a series of challenges that highlighted both good and bad practice in their use.

The session went well and we would highly recommend this style of TEL workshop. We would like to share with you some of the things we learnt along the way:

1.  Trying new things is a double edge sword

We are always looking for ways in which we can make the professional development sessions that we run better. Whether that be by looking at the material that is presented or the method of delivery. We had a really good feeling about…

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#524 Can’t decide? Let Wheel Decide for you

#Becomingeducational Just a swift re-blog of a #1MinuteCPD post

You know when you have to choose a topic – or an activity – or a study group – or who goes next…

Well – the pain has gone – let the wheel decide.

One-minute video showing the use of a tool so simple, even we can use it!!


Wheel Decide is a free online spinner tool that helps you make decisions when a coin toss won’t do! You can use it for all sort of things such as where to go for dinner or what film to see. From a teaching and learning perspective, you can use it in your classroom to randomly choose someone to answer a question, pick a topic or spin a wheel of questions to answer in a revision session. The great thing about Wheel Decide is that it has no bias! It also has an embed code.

Watch this short video to show you how to create your own wheel…

Photo by Matheus Frade on Unsplash

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Mapping the Literature

#Becomingeducational So your students have to produce a literature review…

In this post our Helen Webster considers useful ways to tackling the literature review when for most students the literature is overwhelming – the arguments already produced unassailable – and the gaps… What gaps?!

Illustrated with some brilliant ‘mapping the literature’ templates that we personally can’t wait to use!!

All the best,

Sandra & Tom

rattus scholasticus

Words words words wordswordswordswords….

One of the challenges of a literature review is gaining enough distance to see the wood for the trees. Especially for students whose disciplines don’t generally involve writing words about words, a literature review can be more bewildering than orienting. We see this in literature reviews which become a catalogue of isolated, often descriptive entries: I read this text and it says this….and then i read that text and it says this….and then I read another text and it says this…..

One of the difficulties is that academic writing is by its nature persuasive. Each article, each book, wants the reader to believe that this is the most important text on the subject, this is the most significant contribution to debate, this is the final word on the matter. It’s what a REF-driven research context demands. So they’re ALL important, all significant, all authoritative and unassailable…

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Zen and the Art of Learning Development

#Becomingeducational My name is… and I am an expert Learning Developer

We are posting this re-blog from Helen Webster because her thoughts on the status and role of the Learning Developer here is so thoughtful and nuanced – so absolutely insightful and spot on – that it has taken our collective breath away.

A wonderful coda to #aldcon…

And we could think of no better way of wishing you all a Happy Easter!!

All the best,

Sandra & Tom

rattus scholasticus

At the ALDinHE conference this year, two colleagues, Carina Buckley and Louise Frith, presented some work they’ve been doing on professional identity within LD. They outlined a model of how within a distributed community of practice like ALDinHE, we might grow in expertise through moving through various roles or levels of networkedness. We discussed this model, where we might locate ourselves, how we’ve progressed and where the sticking points were.

During this discussion, something emerged which I’ve observed in other conversations with LDers. Everyone shied away from that central status, Expert.

There’s various reasons why this might be. For lower status professions in Higher Education, the term ‘Expert’ might seem reserved for academics, not for the likes of us who don’t spend our lives researching and teaching in a specialised field. It might also be to do with the way knowledge is broken up into disciplines – we LDers teach…

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TLC webinar: Authentically Student-centred LD

#Becomingeducational… Loves the TLC (Teaching and Learning Conversations)!!

Today’s conversation is from our Dr Helen Webster – on the FIVE P’s of LEARNING DEVELOPMENT!!
When: Tuesday 2nd April 2019 12:00-13:00 (UK Time)

Joining the conversation

Simply follow this link http://mmu.adobeconnect.com/tlc/ and enter as a guest by typing your name, institution and country into the name field and clicking on the “Join Meeting” button.

Whether or not you have previously participated in a webinar or online activity using Adobe Connect we advise that you make sure that you do some checking and preparation in advance. Check your set-up and connection here.

You may also find our Adobe Connect Webinar Participant Guide useful to print out in advance of the session.We really hope that you will be able to join for what should be a lively and highly interactive TLC.

rattus scholasticus

I’m presenting my 5 Ps approach to Formulation at the Teaching and Learning Conversations webinar today. This is a fab series of discussions on a variety of topics around teaching and learning which I’ve followed for a while, and can strongly recommend – always interesting speakers!

Anyway, today’s session is the latest and longest opportunity I’ve had to talk about where I’ve got to in developing this work. If you can’t make it, they will be recording the session and making it available on their website. Or the slides are here:

TLC Authentic 121 LD

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The One Day Board Game Workshop

#Becomingeducational Play. That. Game.

We are really happy to pass on this blog on the playing – designing – and playing of board games for learning.

Just a little challenge to you – how could you use these ideas in your own practice?

Go on – let us know?

All the best,
Sandra & Tom

Tactile Academia

I had so much fun creating the game that I couldn’t put down the marker eventually politely took it off me 🙂 The facilitation of the workshop was excellent. Thank you & and all others for this inspiring day! ()

After our workshop on making a Sociological Research Board Game had been so well received at last year’s Undisciplining conference, The Sociological Review asked Katy and myself to do another one – but this time we had the luxury of a full day!

detail from the handout

The venue was another art gallery, this time The Lowry at Salford Quays, and based on feedback from the conference at The Baltic, we had also set some time aside to go on a short tour of the permanent exhibition about Lowry himself during the lunch break.

The bag…

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