This year’s event offered colleagues here at Bath the opportunity to identify, discuss and develop good practice in learning and teaching. It featured contributions from leading HE experts as well as insights from within our own institution, sharing experiences from across the University and the wider HE sector.

The key theme of EduFest 2019 wass Empowering students and staff in the delivery of teaching excellence. The sub-themes - Employability, Inclusivity, Research-engaged learning and Student engagement - were selected for their importance to the shaping of students’ outcomes and experiences across the University.

Keynote address

Engaging students in their learning: voice, partnership and co-creation

Student engagement is a key component of UK higher education. However, the term covers many different areas, ranging from student representation to academic study and students’ involvement in extra and co-curricular activities. Despite the lack of definition, measuring student engagement across the sector is increasing—including through measures of student outcomes and ‘learning gain’; updated questions on the National Student Survey (NSS); and the development of the HEA’s UK Engagement Survey (UKES). Student engagement and student voice have become contentious aspects of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) and the Office for Students (OfS) whilst also being celebrated through institutional-based student awards and national representative bodies. At the same time, student engagement with the curriculum is growing, with student voice reshaping the curriculum around diversity and inclusion and new forms of co-creation occurring through nexuses of teaching and research.

This keynote will explore the different dimensions of student engagement, the different levels of how students engage with learning and different ways of measuring and acknowledging how students engage with their learning. The discussion will be grounded by three main areas of research: research on students’ expectations and perceptions of higher education and their engagement; research on students as co-developers; and evolving evidence from 13 pilot projects on learning gain funded by OfS. Challenges and benefits of student engagement in policy and practice are explored. The discussion will focus on the use of student engagement in policy development across the sector, within institutions and departments, and implications for the practices of individual academics, course teams and students. The role of students in pedagogical research will be debated, particularly across different disciplinary fields.

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Photo of Camille Kandiko Howson
About Camille Kandiko Howson

Dr Camille B. Kandiko Howson is Associate Professor of Education in the Centre for Higher Education Research & Scholarship (CHERS) at Imperial College London.  She was the evaluator of the Office for Students Learning Gain Pilot Projects and is an international expert in higher education research with a focus on student engagement; student outcomes and learning gain; quality, performance and accountability; curriculum change; and gender and prestige in academic work. Formerly she was Academic Head of Student Engagement and Senior Lecturer in Higher Education at King’s College London.



Camille’s current research focuses on international and comparative higher education, with areas of interest in the student experience, student engagement and the curriculum; interdisciplinarity and creativity; academic motivation, prestige and gender; and developing the use of concept mapping in higher education and intersectionality in research design.


Masterclass: Understanding and developing pedagogical research

Led by: Corony Edwards MA BA (Hons) CertEd PFHEA

In this interactive, workshop-style style session we will draw on a range of sources to explore four key aspects of successful pedagogical research:

  • The scope, purpose and characteristics of pedagogical (and higher education) research
  • The knowledge and expertise needed to conduct high quality pedagogical research
  • How pedagogical research expertise can be developed
  • The contextual factors that help or hinder pedagogical research endeavours

For the final part of the workshop we will undertake an initial gap-analysis of the extent to which the University of Bath currently supports pedagogical research activity, identify some priority actions for strengthening this support, and propose the next steps for taking these actions forward. It is intended that the outputs of this final stage will form the outline proposal for a project and project team members to develop an institution-wide approach to fostering high quality pedagogical research at Bath.


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Masterclass: Developing intercultural understanding in HE

Interested in developing intercultural understanding in learning and teaching?

Come along to our first meeting of the new community of practice on Tuesday 17th September at 11:00-12:00 in 1W 2.01.

For further information, contact Eleanor Parker:

Led by: Dr Eleanor Parker, Dr Isabella Stefanutti, Sam Cook, Dr Trevor Grimshaw, Clara Balona Pichel

What is a culture? How can we develop understanding between cultures in learning and teaching? This masterclass will explore these key questions and will allow for discussion around research and theoretical viewpoints related to intercultural competence. Through a combination of reflective case studies and good practice examples from within the Bath community, the session will also demonstrate practical ways of engaging with intercultural understanding as part of an inclusive approach to teaching. No prior knowledge of the field is required and all staff and students with an interest in this area are warmly welcomed.

By attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Examine and critique research perspectives which explore intercultural understanding in/outside the curriculum
  • Share (and experience) different practical approaches to developing intercultural understanding in learning and teaching, including student-led initiatives such as Language Peer-Assisted Learning
  • Sign up to join a community of practice in this area



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Panel abstracts and speakers


Panel discussion: Enterprising students: Embedding life skills in higher education curriculum

Panellists: Dr Henrietta Sherwin (Management), Dr Gan Shermer (Chemistry), Dr Monia Mtar (Management)

Chair: Dr Andy Pitchford (Centre for Learning & Teaching)



Students who choose to study at Bath bring with them all kinds of talents and capabilities. But to what extent do we build on these talents in the curriculum? What opportunities exist to enable students to act, to lead and to have agency? This session considers the nature of our current offer, and considers examples of good practice from across the university where students are encouraged to engage with real life issues and to make a difference - however small - to the world around them.

Panel discussion: Does teaching excellence advance your academic career?

Panellists: Professor Richard Joiner (Psychology), Professor James Betts (Health), Dr Cassie Wilson (Health), Professor Momna Hejmadi (Biology & Biochemistry)

Chair: Professor Andrew Heath (Centre for Learning & Teaching)


This session considers the nature of excellence in teaching and learning, and how the University recognises, supports and develops this aspect of our experience. Colleagues from across the institution share their experiences of progression, recognition and promotion, and discuss the challenges and opportunities that staff face in this realm. In addition, the panel will ask what we can do collectively to enhance the status of teaching as a valued and respected practice.

Lightning Talks

This year, EduFest introduced a fast and furious lightning talks session. The themes covered by the 30-minute session of five-minute talks were: research-engaged learning, employability, citizenship, inclusivity and sustainability.
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