Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Research Group


Are you interested in joining the CfLAT Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Research Group?

The Group provides opportunities to:

*discuss key issues in teaching, learning and the student experience;
* share ideas, theories, beliefs and practices;
*consider internal and external drivers impacting on teaching and learning;
*share perspectives across disciplines;
* develop bids for research and TAL awards; and
* present research findings for informal critique.

For further information, or to add your name to the email list, please contact Sue Robson


Forthcoming seminars:

Assessing student learning in Higher Education: the potential of alternative methods
venue: Howden Room, KGVI, 28 Oct 4.30-6.00pm
Speaker: Clara Pereira Coutinho, PhD, Center for Child Studies, Minho University – Braga - Portugal

Within the context of change in Higher Education, there is growing recognition of the importance of assessment as a key factor for quality teaching and learning and academic achievement. Existing international literature points to the need to examine further the impact of different methods, especially the so called alternative methods, for students’ learning and achievement as well as for teaching methods in classroom, as evidence of their effectiveness is still scarce. Also of importance is the need to better understand the ways in which different methods of assessment lead to different learning approaches and academic achievement. Earlier work has shown that assessment plays a key role on how students spend their time and what they regard as important, and this can have either positive or negative influences on their learning. This is even more crucial at a time of great pressure and change upon Higher Education institutions, resulting from the Bologna process which emphasises the need for a more student centred paradigm, one which recognises the need for independent learning and development of both technical and soft skills. Within this context, it is essential to get to know what has changed in higher education in terms of teaching and learning and, especially in terms of assessment and feedback, as these have implications for the development of teaching learning process and academic achievement. Literature has also highlighted that more empirical work is needed in order to provide sufficient data to develop a comparative profile of assessment practices used in HE institutions in different courses and different countries. The main goal of this project is then to examine what is known and what needs to be known in this regard by exploring the questions that remain answered. In this seminar we will present the state of the art on this issue, combining a review of existing literature on the use of different methods and perspectives to explore assessment in HE in order to identify and disseminate best practices, in particular those involving ICT.

Previous Events

Rethinking Internationalisation in Higher Education: Methodological and Conceptual Challenges

Held at Newcastle University, 13-15 May 2015


Seminar Resources

Resource 1: The tensions between transnational competitive horizons, methodological nationalism(s) and equality: Internationalization and key emergent leadership challenges in higher education
David Hoffman, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland

Download Resource 1

Resource 2: Re-imagining International Communities of Scholars: From (w)here to possible futures?
Meeri Hellstén, Södertörn University, Sweden

Download Resource 2

Resource 3: Formative peer assessment as an innovative pedagogic and assessment approach to facilitate students’ academic and intercultural learning in the international classroom: a case study
Meng Fan, Fuzhou University, China

Download Resource 3

Resource 4: Transcultural approaches: Reciprocal learning and dialogue across cultures
Janette Ryan, Higher Education Academy Academic Associate Internationalisation

Download Resource 4

Resource 5: New forms of internationalisation and the rise of the East
Catherine Montgomery and Dina Lewis, University of Hull, UK

Download Resource 5

Resource 6: Are Emerging Economy Universities the next big thing?
Philip Warwick, Durham University Business School, UK

Download Resource 6a

Download Resource 6b

Resource 7: The multilingual Business Management classroom: Benefits, drawbacks and potential for change
Rosie Hedger, York St John University, UK

Download Resource 7

Resource 8: Significant Learning Experiences Guiding Meaningful Internationalisation
Elina Lehtomaki, Josephine Moate (University of Jyvaskyla), and Hanna Posti-Ahokas (University of Helsinki)

Download Resource 8

Resource 9: Interdisciplinary perspectives on international Master students’ academic, social and psychological adjustment
Yuwei Liang, Newcastle University, UK

Download Resource 9

Resource 10: Towards an integrated conceptual model of international student adjustment and adaptation
Alina Schartner and Tony Young, Newcastle University, UK

Download Resource 10

Resource 11: ‘Actors in Our Own Drama’? Or Why We Still Seem to Struggle With Internationalisation
Sheila Trahar, University of Bristol, UK

Download Resource 11

Resource 12: Rethinking “Internationalization” from the Perspective of Actors Driving the Internationalization Process of a Chinese Research University
Mei Qu, Aarhus University, UK

Download Resource 12

Resource 13: Ethical Internationalism in Higher Education Research Project

Resource Link

Resource 14: UK Higher Education Academy Internationalising Higher Education Framework

Resource Link




Previous seminars:

‘Cross-Cultural Communication and Engineering Education: A Collaboration between Newcastle and Tokyo Universities’
Monday, 27th July 12:30-13:30, Research Beehive 2.20 (Old Library Building)

This seminar will feature two talks:

Talk 1: Internationalisation at the University of Tokyo
Michael Handford and Yu Maemura, University of Tokyo

Talk 2: Intercultural communication as a graduate attribute: A needs analysis among engineering students and staff at Newcastle University
Tony Young, Alina Schartner and Adam Brandt, ECLS, Newcastle University

Please view the poster for abstracts.

NB: There will be a sandwich lunch from 12:00 in the break-out area. For catering purposes, please sign-up for the event:

‘Pecha Kucha’ Research Sharing Event
Tuesday, 19th May, 9.30 – 1.30
ECLS staff room 3.04 (3rd floor King George VI Building)

This research sharing event is an opportunity to showcase exciting new research ideas and/or projects being undertaken in your department/research group.
‘Pecha Kucha’ presentations are dynamic, fast-paced and highly visual, with speakers restricted to 20 slides at exactly 20 seconds per slide (six minutes and 40 seconds in total). The event will provide opportunities for:

 Informal discussion across departments and disciplines
 Exploring possibilities for research collaboration
 Seeking feedback from colleagues

Refreshments and a sandwich lunch will be provided.

For information, download the poster here and for booking, please contact:

‘Investigating pedagogy in research methods’
Visiting Professor Melanie Nind:
Thursday 2 April, 12.00-13.00, Research Beehive 2.22 (Old Library Building)

How social science researchers learn social research methods is not something that is well-understood. Hence, in research I am leading for the National Centre for Research Methods, one of the fundamental questions we are exploring is how teachers of research methods develop and use their pedagogical knowledge for developing the methodological learning of others. Our funding body, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), has been concerned enough about the UK’s social science research global competitiveness to make capacity building in methods the focus of major investment for the last decade. This marks a shift from the UK model in which doctoral researchers have largely learned through apprenticeship and supervision only. Yet the upsurge in taught courses and formal training in advanced research methods has not, to date, been informed by pedagogical evidence on how to approach this. Discourses are developing about doctoral education and about training and capacity building, but the latter in particular has had virtually no pedagogic space, with the talk largely limited to deficits in skills or capacities and finding effective modes of delivery. Our research is intended to create dialogue between teachers of research methods, those concerned with providing and guiding advanced methods training, methodology researchers and learners of research methods. We are moving the evidence base from the current dominance of in-house action research, evaluations or case studies of particular cohorts, contexts or challenges. Instead, we are engaging participants from across disciplines, organizations and methods in a multi-component research design. This comprises an expert panel method, video stimulated recall and reflection focus groups, learner journeys, and case studies of pedagogical and methodological innovation. In the paper, I will share some of these methods and what the pilot one-year project has indicated is distinctive about the teaching and learning of research methods and warranting further attention.

**International guest speaker – Fri, 5th Dec**

For our last seminar before the Christmas break, we have a special treat in store: As part of her visit to ECLS, Meeri Hellstén, Professor of Education at Södertörn University, Sweden will give a lunchtime seminar to the Teaching and Learning in HE Research Group on Friday, 5th December. Meeri’s talk ‘Imaginaries of global citizenship: International heuristics of a Nordic case’ will report on an international research project funded by the Academy of Finland in partnership with 20 universities in 10 countries. The project examines internationalization processes in higher education and how these processes construct notions of epistemic difference, transnational literacy and global citizenship.

Abstract: Abstract: This seminar presents interim results from an inter-disciplinary international mixed-methods research project funded by the Academy of Finland in partnership with 20 universities in 10 countries (Andreotti 2012 - 2015). The project examines internationalization processes in higher education and how these processes construct notions of epistemic difference, transnational literacy and global citizenship. Official policies and initiatives, as well as the perceptions of faculty, students, and managers engaged with internationalization processes are reviewed and compared across national boundaries globally. In this lunchtime seminar we focus on a small sample of Nordic data forming a case study focusing on imaginaries of global citizenship. We will present a heuristic co-created by project partners and use it to analyse responses from the student survey data. The heuristic informs about processes in higher education that raise ethical considerations deriving from the interceptions between the imagined and lived experiences.

About the presenter: Meeri Hellstén received her PhD in (comparative) education from Griffith University, Australia. Over the course of a twenty-year period Meeri lectured at several universities in Australia and left Macquarie University in 2009 to take up her position at Södertörn University. Her research focuses on the meaning of (international) scholarship and its implications for teaching and learning. Meeri has co-edited the books Internationalizing Higher Education (with Peter Ninnes) and Researching International Pedagogies (with Anna Reid) on the subject of internationalization of higher education and its impact on pedagogy and practice. Meeri is currently a research partner in a large international project investigating ethical internationalization (Andreotti 2012-15) funded by the Academy of Finland. She is active in a number of research networks and is the immediate past Editor-in-Chief of the journal Issues in Educational Research.To download the PowerPoint presentation, please click here.

The seminar will take place from 13:00-14:00 (1.36B, KGVI) with a buffet lunch served in the ECLS staff room (3.04) from 12noon. If you would like to attend the seminar + lunch, could you please confirm your attendance via e-mail (

**Invited External Speaker** **POSTPONED**
Tuesday, 18th November, 4pm-5pm, 1.36C King George VI Building
‘Developing intercultural learning materials for mobile students: the IEREST project’
Dr. Prue Holmes, Reader in International and Intercultural Education, Durham University

Monday, 13th October, 4pm-5pm, LT5 King George VI Building
'How working in partnership with students enhances student engagement and enables transformative learning and graduateness.'
Colin Bryson and Ruth Furlonger, Newcastle University.

To download the PowerPoint presentation, please click here.


Tuesday, 4th November, 1pm-2pm, 1.36B King George VI Building
'Development of a new end-of-year appraisal format for medical students'
Clare Guilding, Newcastle University.

To download the PowerPoint presentation, please click here.


Dr. Mairin Hennebry and Dr. Kenneth Fordyce (Edinburgh University)
‘Modes of Learning and the Development of Graduate Attributes: A Postgraduate Taught Masters Programme Case Study’
Thursday, 12th June, 1pm-2pm, 1.36C King George VI Building

To download the PowerPoint presentation, please click here.


Thursday, 22nd May, 12.30-1.30, room 1.43B King George VI Building
Speaker: Dr. Maddalena Taras, University of Sunderland
Title: 'Student-centred learning – fact or fiction?' To download the PowerPoint presentation, please click here. To download an associated paper of interest, please click here.

Tuesday, 6th May, 12.30-1.30, room 1.43A King George VI Building
Speaker: Richard Sober, Teesside University
Title: 'Students supporting students: Peer mentoring and pre-induction'

To download the PowerPoint presentation, please click here.


Wednesday, 23rd April, 12.30-1.30 in 1.43B King George VI Building. Dr. Philip Warwick, Durham University Business School. Title: 'The international business of higher education'

To download the PowerPoint presentation, please click here.


Tuesday, 8th April, 1pm-2pm in 1.36 King George VI Building. Colin Bryson and Ruth Furlonger, Combined Honours Centre, Newcastle University. Title: 'How working in partnership with students enhances student engagement and enables transformative learning and graduateness.'



Thursday, 20th March, 12.30-1.30 in 1.43B, King George VI Building.
Tony Young and Alina Schartner, ECLS
Title: 'The effects of cross-cultural communication education on international students' adjustment and adaptation'

To download the PowerPoint presentation, please click here.


Thursday February 6th at 13.00 in Ridley Building 2 Room 1.59

Professor Ray Land, Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching and Research in Higher Education.

Title: TBC

School of Medical Sciences Education Development seminar

Tuesday 21st January, 12.30-1.30 in 1.36b, King George VI Building.
Dr Sue Mathieson, Academic Coordinator, Enhancement, Northumbria

Title: University: 'Academic Workgroup Cultures of Teaching and Learning and the Disciplines: A South African Study'

To download the PowerPoint presentation, please click here.

CfLAT Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Research Group Seminar


Tuesday 3 December 12.30 staffroom, KGVI Building
Dr David Rose, Philosophical Studies

Title: Context-based learning, ownership and competences

David Rose’s major research interests are in social ethics, Hegelian thought and rational hermeneutics. The main themes of his work are grounded in readings in the history of ideas, especially the writings of Hegel and Vico, and more generally in counter-enlightenment ethical thought. He has published various articles on the history of European thought, ethics and political philosophy as well as an introduction to Hegel's social philosophy and a monograph on the concept of free-will. David has also published on issues in contemporary applied ethics and culture as well as producing work in the area of educational philosophy.

Thursday December 5th 2013 13.00-14.00 Ridley Building 2 Room 1.59
Professor Steve McHanwell, School of Medical Sciences Education Development, Newcastle University

Title: Anatomy Education in the UK: Where are we now and where are we going?
School of Medical Sciences Education Development Teaching and Learning Seminar Programme 2013/2014

Tuesday 5 November 2013 12.30-1.30 ECLS Staffroom 3rd Floor KGVI Building
Dr Catherine Montgomery, Reader in Education, University of Hull.

Title: Internationalisation of the Curriculum for Global Citizenship in HE

To download the PowerPoint presentation, please click here.

CfLAT Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Research Group Seminar


Wednesday November 6th 2013 13.00-14.00 Ridley Building 1 Room 2.04A
Dr Gillian Vance, School of Medical Sciences Education Development, Newcastle University

Title: to be announced
School of Medical Sciences Education Development Teaching and Learning Seminar Programme 2013/2014


Thursday 14 November 12.30-1.30 ECLS Staffroom 3rd Floor KGVI Building
Dr Simon Forrest, HEA International Scholar and Teaching Fellow in the Centre for Medical Education Research, Durham University

Title: The role of HEA Rob Cook international scholars in internationalisation: the case of the ‘Learning to doctor’ project in the development of understanding the role of academic practice in supporting acculturation

Abstract: The HEA International Scholarship programme has set out an agenda around supporting academics in the exploration and transfer to the UK of pedagogic innovation from HEIs in the wider world. I will use a description and analysis of my scholarship experiences in Australia examining the role of non-clinical community placement learning in medical education, as a context for raising issues about the potential of experiential learning to facilitate acculturation for international students. As the medical profession in particular and health services in general draw increasing on expertise from overseas and population health needs incline us more and more towards trying to encourage professionals to work in socially deprived localities and regions I ask, what does putting students into these challenging settings have the potential to add to their professional development, to community and health services in the UK? And, is there learning here relevant to the challenge posed by the over-representation of international medical graduates among doctors in difficulty? To download the PowerPoint presentation, please click here.

CfLAT Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Research Group Seminar


Tuesday 15 October 3013 12.30-1.30 ECLS Staffroom 3rd Floor KGVI Building
Rob Walton, Higher Education Academy

Title: An overview of HEA research and 3 year programme to support research on the impact of HE reforms on learning and teaching in the UK

Abstract: Last year the research and policy team at the HEA started a 3 year programme of work to undertake and commission research on the impact of the HE reforms on the changing HE landscape, with a focus on the learning and teaching experience. This session will provide an update on research recently completed, currently commissioned, and planned for the coming year. The session will be used as an opportunity to ask participants to consider what other research might be undertaken relating to the enhancement of the teaching and learning experience in HE. The different types of funding schemes available at the HEA for researchers will be outlined, and include: teaching development grants; the doctoral programme; international scholarships; national teaching fellowships; other specific research calls. Finally, an overview of HEA resources available for pedagogic research will be considered. This will include an update on the planned launch of the new resources centre/evidence net, and also the new HEA journals platform. To download the powerpoint from this presentation, please click here.

CfLAT Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Research Group Seminar


Thursday October 3rd 2013 13.00-14.00 Kings Road Centre, Alnwick Room
Dr Vicki Gunn, Learning and Teaching Centre, University of Glasgow

Title: What have disciplinary research-teaching linkages got to do with either employability and/or global leadership?’ Considering the links between what we teach, how we teach, and ‘big agendas’.

Abstract: What we teach and how we teach in our disciplines are areas that respond well to rethinking research and teaching links. Less clear, however, is how all of this connects to broader educational agendas such as employability and global leadership. These broader initiatives often (but not always) seem too abstracted from what we do to make practical sense when it comes to rethinking course and module redesign. Drawing on work undertaken for the Scottish Quality Enhancement Theme generally and at Glasgow University specifically, which drew together research-teaching linkages and employability, this session raises how research-intensives can use adaptations in the way we think about researcher development in our disciplines to address the bigger ‘macro’ level educational agendas, particularly graduate attributes for employability and global leadership. This presentation:
• reviews some of the key assumptions in the research-teaching linkages literature;
• suggests that we use the research on researcher orientations to rethink the links between disciplinary learning and socialisation and the broader attribute development of our students;
• demonstrates how curriculum mapping and assessment blueprinting across programmes might be the initial process in linking key elements of researcher development with those of broader educational agendas at an undergraduate level;
• suggests the role student engagement might play in such a process.

School of Medical Sciences Education Development Teaching and Learning Seminar Programme 2013/2014


Tuesday 7th May 2.00 - 3.00 Research Beehive, Room 2.22: Sandra Wills, Steve McHanwell, Elaine Hall and Sue Robson
Title: The Higher Education Academy Benchmarking Project on Promotions Policies and Processes

This international and inter-university project aims to produce resources to guide and improve academic promotion policy and practice to reflect the recognition of teaching as core to the assurance of standards in higher education. The project involves four British and Australian universities developing a benchmarking framework wherein they will share and compare promotions policies, processes as well as staff perceptions of promotion. The benchmarking process includes the development of a benchmarking framework with performance indicators and measures which can be adapted and applied across the higher education sector. The cornerstone of the Promoting Teaching Good Practice Framework is that promotion must be based on provision of evidence to support description of excellent teaching. Therefore a key goal for this project is to develop a set of perspectives to assist universities in clearly articulating evidence that would count in promotion applications. An essential parallel task is wide discussion within universities to understand and define the changing nature of teaching in today’s increasingly complex higher education sector.

Tuesday 5th February 12.30-1.30 Professor Joelle Fanghanel, Room 1.71B, KGVI Building.

Title: Worldly becoming: resisting liberalism in universities
In this presentation, I discuss the impact on academics of the forms of governance that have come to prevail in UK higher education over the past two decades or so, as reliance on state funding has gradually decreased whilst, at the same time, state control ‘from a distance’ (Neave, 1998 ) has significantly increased. This work is based on fifty interviews with academics in institutions in the UK, Australia, US, South Africa, and Zambia. Using ideological positioning as a theoretical framework to underpin my argument within the broader discussion of the tensions between structure and agency (Archer,1995), I show that academics’ responses to what has been broadly referred to as managerialism (Deem et al, 2007) is complex, and not of one piece. I examine areas of practice which illustrate the complexity of this positioning. I argue that it is possible for academics to enact their personal beliefs and ideals as educators, and that a rich, critical and empowering potential exists within the academy to counteract the liberal stance. The perspective discussed here seeks to promote ways of working in the academy that lead to alternative forms of engagement with students and practices. It builds on previous work that had identified ‘filters’ to practice affecting the way lecturers conceptualise teaching and learning in HE.


Thursday 11th April 12.00-1.00 Dr Jarka Glassey, Room 1.71B, KGVI Building.

Title: Self-reflection and peer assessment in engineering - the educators journey.
A reflection of an engineering educator on a journey from a very conservative educational background through a transformative experience of the EQUATE project towards facilitating the development of more autonomous chemical engineering graduates with positive attitudes to lifelong learning. The challenges faced and lessons learnt on a personal level will set the background and the observations and experiences with introducing self-reflection and peer assessment into in-course assessment of a professionally accredited course will hopefully provoke a debated and exchange of experiences. The observations will touch upon the differences between home and international students, staff and student buy-in and system issues with the implementation. To download the powerpoint from this presentation, please click here.

A range of past speakers have also included -



Dr Paola Gazzola, Shifting teaching cultures in educational reforms – A student/staff perspective

To download the powerpoint from this presentation, please click here.

Dr Franck Michel: They can’t stop YAePing! Developing student learning autonomy in the School of Modern Languages: from Equate to the Year Abroad ePortfolio

To download the powerpoint from this presentation, please click here.

Steve Walsh: Investigating small group teaching in a higher education context.

To download the powerpoint from this presentation, please click here.

Savvas Papagiannidis: researching the module databases

To download the paper from this presentation, please click here.

Richard Young: the CASAP International Programme

Alan Firth: Researching the University as Communities of Practice: Cross-Cultural Communication in Globalized Higher Education

To download the powerpoint from this presentation, please click here.

Tony Young, Peter Sercombe, Itesh Sachdev, Rola Naeb & Alina Schartner: Success Factors for ‘International’ Postgraduate Students’ Adjustment to Life and Study at Newcastle University.

To download the powerpoint from this presentation, please click here.

John Pryor: Formative assessment in disciplinary spaces: assessment for becoming

To download the powerpoint from this presentation, please click here.

Dr Christine Brown and Professor Sandra Wills, University of Wollongong: Reward and Recognition in Higher Education

To download the powerpoint from this presentation, please click here.

Professor Emeritus Michael Byram, School of Education, University of Durham: ‘But when you are doing your exams it is the same as in China’ – Chinese students adjusting to western approaches to teaching and learning

To download the powerpoint from this presentation, please click here.