Vice-Chancellor visits staff in LTEO

On the latest of her departmental visits, the Vice-Chancellor met with staff from the Learning & Teaching Enhancement Office (LTEO) to find out more about how their work contributes to the quality of our students’ experience.   

Gwen van der Velden, LTEO Director, began the visit in the Graduate Centre with the launch of This is the LTEO – a video which outlines the wide range of areas covered by the department. Featuring many LTEO staff it was filmed by Learning Technologist David James in just three days. The video was well received and Dame Glynis suggested it was something other departments should try. 

The Vice-Chancellor then met Neil Bannister, Jeanette Muller and James McCombe from the Researcher Development Unit. They outlined their plans to continue building a strong community to support both postgraduate research students and research fellows. Dame Glynis expressed her hope that the University could ‘lead the way’ in this area. 

Over 11,000 students from 71 countries have signed up to our two free massive open online courses or MOOCs, available via Futurelearn. Dr Kyriaki Anagnostopoulou and the e-Learning Team of Marie Salter, Lisa McIver and Nitin Parmar explained that the courses have proved a huge success with one of the highest satisfaction level of any MOOC at 96 per cent. The team also manages Moodle - the Virtual Learning Environment designed to deliver content and a range of learning activities to students - which receives over 8,000 individual visitors a day. 

Dame Glynis then met the Student Learning Experience & Quality team who are responsible for student engagement and quality assurance. Kate Norris, Shaun McGall, Sarah Ibbitson, Neil Strevett, Georgina Eggleston, Wendy Hopkins and Cath Harrison have worked to further improve our rating in the National Student Survey and to ensure a successful Institutional Review by the QAA. Georgina Eggleston was acknowledged for her excellent work as Institutional Facilitator and Sarah Ibbitson was commended for her provision of information during the Review. 

Dr Helen King, Head of Academic Staff Development, discussed The Bath Scheme which offers a way for probationary lecturers and experienced staff to be recognised for their teaching – a recognition which is now to be included in nationally available statistics. Since November the scheme has accredited four Senior Fellows, four Fellows and two Assistant Fellows. Dame Glynis also met Hazel Corradi, Giles Martin and Rachel Carkett from Helen’s team. 

The new Academic Skills Centre - formerly the English Language Centre – was established in March this year and will be officially launched in October. The Centre’s Director, Maggie Ward Goodbody, introduced team members Miranda Armstrong, Diana Hopkins and Tom Reid who outlined the range of courses, tutorials and other skills development currently offered.   

Head of Pre-sessional (Academic English Courses), Mary Forbes, explained how the Pre-sessional courses support over 350 international students a year with their English language skills, helping them to prepare for their programmes of study here. Many of those students can be seen on campus at the moment. 

Sarah Turpin, the new Head of Academic Skills Resources, outlined plans to work with colleagues across the University to ensure coherent academic skills support - much of which will be available online to support independent learning. 

Dame Glynis said: “The high levels of commitment, innovation and professionalism in this department are clear for all to see.”

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