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Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Reflecting on our May event in the National Teaching Fellow (NTF) seminar series with Nigel Francis

30 May 2024

Written by Dr Nigel Francis, Senior Lecturer in the School of Biosciences and Professor Emmajane Milton, Professor in Educational Practice.

We had another brilliant and engaging discussion-based session on 15 May 2024 in our regular National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) networking and discussion series.

Nigel’s session titled “Assessments that encourage collaboration and not collusion: the importance of teamworkprovided a stimulus for colleagues to consider the benefits and challenges of incorporating teamwork into students’ assessments. Nigel shared his experiences of working in this way and explained the significant benefits for both staff and students, not least in terms of staff workload. Teamwork is a social endeavour and crucially, it helps students build relationships with each other. This made me think about how we can use these types of ways of working to foster positive, supportive, and collegial experiences that support our students to be successful, to foster a sense of belonging, and an improve their well-being. This is especially important it seems many students continue to feel some degree of isolation since the pandemic….

We discussed how to manage group dynamics and the tensions that can occasionally occur, and how to mitigate this. These ideas included proactively teaching the expectations of what constitutes great teamwork, and having mechanisms for group self-regulation. The Education Development Toolkit has very useful resources for those thinking about using teamwork, and from the Study skills team for students participating in group work.

We asked Dr Nigel Francis for his reflections too:

“Teamworking is such a key skill for graduates, so we must offer them opportunities to practice this as part of their course. Importantly, teamwork tasks should be part of a programme-level assessment approach. The discussions at the webinar were stimulating and challenged my thinking, in positive ways, to help me continue to enhance this process for my students.”

Participants particularly liked:

  • Having opportunities to learn about what other staff are doing and examples from other disciplines
  • Learning about how staff are constantly evolving their teaching methods
  • The links to the emerging strategy and future of the University
  • Being encouraged to think about WHY we do different types of assessment and the skills we want our students to develop.
  • The value of the process rather than the product when using teamwork and the importance of calling it teamwork over group work
  • The use of Padlet for encouraging questions and contributions

Join us at our next seminar

We warmly invite you to join us at our next National Teaching Fellowship seminar on 19th June from 13.00-15.00 on the Cathays campus in the Glamorgan Building in room -1.80. Please register through Core.

Our next event is with NTF winner Professor Jason Tucker from the School of Law and Politics and his colleague Jon Forbes from the Centre for Student Life and they will be presenting on what promises to be a really important and timely session – “Graduate attributes as a golden thread of the Cardiff student experience – an exercise in co-creation.”

Please book your place through the HR System using the code: TEAC9691

We look forward to seeing you there.