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Durham University

Durham University News


Teaching Excellence Recognised at Learning and Teaching Conference

(14 September 2018)

Innovation in education was celebrated at the Learning and Teaching Conference on 13 September, where leading academics and teaching practitioners gathered to share best practice.

The conference offered all those engaged in innovations, projects, scholarship and research which focus on learning, teaching, assessment and the wider student experience, an opportunity to showcase their work, with a view to inspiring others and making Durham University an even better place for learning. 

Following an introduction delivered by Professor Alan Houston, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), delegates divided into a series of workshops led by University academic teaching staff, covering a wide-ranging topics including: Technology-enhanced learning; Inclusion and transition; Student engagement, enterprise and satisfaction; Empowering learners and Assessment.

Professor David Read from the University of Southampton was the keynote speaker at the event. Professor Read is a National Teaching Fellow, and has significant experience delivering outreach to schools, and is an advocate for the innovative uses of learning technologies. His presentation considered arguments for and against the use of lectures in modern university teaching, highlighting potential deficiencies and identifying strategies which can be employed to overcome them.

Durham Centre for Academic Development 

The third Teaching and Learning Conference follows the launch of the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD) on 1 August. DCAD will deliver sector-leading programmes in learning and teaching, enhancing Durham’s educational provision for both students and staff.

Professor Alan Houston commented: “This is fantastic opportunity for staff to share best practice, and through this, for us to challenge traditional teaching methods, to experiment and to innovate – a key objective of the newly-formed DCAD. The speakers today have all demonstrated ingenuity and dedication in their teaching practice. They are fully deserving of the recognition for their work, and I am very grateful that they have used this platform to share their learnings.”

“Investment in teaching and learning is a critical part of the University Strategy 2017-27. This is reflected in the launch of DCAD, and the new Teaching and Learning Centre, due to be open for use in the academic year 2019/20.”

Investment in teaching and learning 

Dr Sam Nolan, Assistant Director of DCAD, said: “We are entering an exciting period for the University, where learning and teaching practice have been given renewed vigour, and support systems are in place to enhance existing talent, open opportunities, and provide training for those who wish to develop in this area. The Learning and Teaching Conference showcases the remarkable work already taking place, and I am excited to watch how this will continue to grow and prosper through the support of DCAD.”

DCAD will sit within the new Teaching and Learning Centre when it opens in October 2019. The new building will house state-of-the-art facilities including an Education Laboratory which will serve as an experimentation space for teaching and learning practices.

Useful Links

Academic Development

Teaching and Learning Centre



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