Spring 2007
ISSN 1477-1241

Faculty Learning and Teaching Reports

Faculty of Humanities, Law and Social Science

The Faculty was sorry to lose Margaret Kendall of Information and Communication Studies, who had been a Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow in the Faculty since 2001. Margaret was instrumental in many Faculty Learning and Teaching developments, including founding the WebCT developers’ group and acting as an e-learning mentor.

Sue Zlosnik, Head of the Department of English and Chair of the Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee, writes:

It’s with both pleasure and regret that I have to announce the appointment of Margaret Kendall to the post of Senior Lecturer in Learning and Teaching Technology. This means that she will be leaving the Faculty, where she has done much to inspire and encourage pedagogical developments, particularly in e-learning. We will feel her loss keenly. However, the University’s plans for more flexible learning require people with Margaret’s enthusiasm and talent to drive them forward. With her appointment, we can feel confident that we’re in safe hands. Good luck, Margaret and thank you for all you’ve done for us.

And so say all of us. Margaret joined the Learning and Teaching Unit on 6 March 2006 where her immediate focus will be supporting the move to WebCT Vista. Margaret will be much missed and we wish her well in her new post.

Note added in publication: Margaret has recently been appointed to a PL role within the Learning and Teaching Unit. Details can be found in this issue.


Faculty Mentoring Scheme

The Faculty e-learning mentoring scheme is back with a new cohort of mentees: Tony Adams (History), Cemi Belkacemi, Carmen Herrero, Idoya Puig, Isabelle Vanderschelden (Languages), Mandy Smith (Law), Liz Cain, Julie Scott and Joanne Massey (Sociology). Helen Jones moves from being a mentee to a mentor, alongside Eddie Higgins. Margaret Kendall will still be supporting the scheme, along with colleagues in the Learning and Teaching Unit, Anita Gill and Robert Ready, who’ll be running hands-on sessions. The mentees have met twice so far to discuss their projects and look at other e-learning developments in the Faculty, and are keeping in touch through a dedicated WebCT area.

Many of the first cohort of mentees have now successfully launched their projects, more details of which are available on the Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee’s webpages. We hope to draw on their experiences to inspire the new mentees.

Faculty Plagiarism event

Maria Wowk of Sociology and Peter Cuthbert from MMU Cheshire led an event on plagiarism detection on 15 March 2006. The focus was on the Turnitin software, and the session was hands-on. Participants were given the opportunity to judge their own originality by looking at reports on some work prepared in advance.

International E-communication project

The third annual Sociology e-communication project, spearheaded by Helen Jones, launched on 26 January 2006. Building on the success of the initial collaboration between MMU and the University of West Florida, this time there were seven participating universities and 10 academic members of staff steering the project:

  • Helen Jones - Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Julie Kunselman and Kathy Johnson - University of West Florida, USA
  • Paula Wilcox - University of Brighton
  • Maggie Sumner and Chris Hamerton -University of Westminster
  • Kimberly J. Cook and Michael Maume -University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA
  • Kenneth Mentor - University of North Carolina Pembroke, USA
  • Jennifer Dierickx - York College of Pennsylvania, USA.

The 2006 project involved the participation of 375 students from the seven partner universities. They took part in e-communication discussion groups via WebCT, addressing three topics over the course of the seven week project. MMU and Westminster University brought the largest cohorts of students to the project. The smallest group came from Brighton University who piloted the scheme with a cohort of 14 students. UK partners met at MMU on 20 January 2006 to review the progress and since then they have successfully secured a substantial grant from C-SAP to evaluate the 2006 project and make developments for the 2007 project which launched 12th February. An event to mark the end of the 2007 project will be held in the Geoffrey Manton building on March 23rd and two of the American partners will be speaking at the event.


Faculty of Science and Engineering

The Learning and Teaching Strategy of the Faculty of Science and Engineering has hit the ground running in 2007 with a strapline of E3 -Enable, Empower, Enhance; one that reflects the ambitions of the Faculty for both its students and its staff.

The Strategy is target-orientated and runs in five thematic strands (see Figure 1 below). Each strand is led by staff with expertise in the field (usually a Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow). Each strand draws a comprehensive and representative membership across the Departments and School of the Faculty. Importantly, staff contributions and cross-Faculty collaborations are recognised and resourced by agreement with each appropriate Head.

Four of the five strands focus on staff development or raising the quality of the student experience. The fifth – the Dalton Academy – is designed as an embryonic centre of excellence to raise the esteem of scholarship in learning and teaching. Download the strategy.



MMU Cheshire

Sadly, last term saw the retirement of Professor Gaye Heathcote. Gaye, from the Centre for Social Inclusion at Alsager, was the Chair of the Learning and Teaching committee and then the Head of Learning and Teaching for MMU Cheshire.

Rather more cheerfully, three of the staff of the Department of Exercise & Sports Science were awarded Fellowships in Academic Practice from the University Learning and Teaching unit last term.