Authentic Assessment: 3-Step model for implementation

"Teaching excellence" is a much used term in today's Higher Education sector, but what does it really mean? How do we achieve it, at subject and institutional level? These are the questions which this one-day conference, organised by the University of Plymouth's PedRIO unit, sought to explore. Colleagues from the Academic Development team were in attendance and here we give a brief summary of the event.

Following a last minute change of venue due to extreme weather (the building which was originally booked had been flooded!), the conference opened with a plenary from Wonkhe's Louis Coiffait. Using the metaphor of "high seas", appropriate given the weather and the coastal location, he did a fine job of outlining the "small gusts" and "prevailing winds" which are on horizon for the sector. 

Our own workshop shared insights into ongoing professional development activities to support teaching excellence here at Coventry, as well as inviting colleagues to engage in dialogue about such endeavours at their own institutions. We explored the role of metrics in informing CPD activities as well as the importance of tailoring provision to meet the needs of individuals and different communities within the University. 

Other conference contributions explored wide ranging topics such as the scholarship of teaching and learning, education for sustainable development, and careers guidance. Among the themes that ran throughout the day was institutional responses to metrics and incoming initiatives (notably Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF)), and the relationship between teaching and research. We also gained insights into creative use of learning spaces, and enterprise activities, thanks to Plymouth's own students!

Thank you to the conference organisers for doing a great job of supporting the presenters and to colleagues who participated in the discussions. The conference showed that whilst the sector is indeed navigating high seas, riding the storm can be both exciting and rewarding.