X Close

Events

Home

UCL events news and reviews

Menu

R=T?: Creating a dialogue between research and teaching

IrrumAli23 November 2015

UCL R=T?Tuesday 17 November saw the UCL Centre for Advancing Learning and Teaching (UCL CALT) launch ‘R=T?’, a forum to explore how teaching and research can best be brought together and valued.

UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur introduced the event, noting how research and teaching have always been close partners. He commented how they work together to ensure learners feel a valued part of their academic institution; students often express a keen interest in working with their inspirational teachers and researchers.

Professor Arthur also expressed how fundamentally important taking learners through the research-based approach is: it enables them to realise their full potential by helping them to understand how knowledge is created, as well as core attributes such as team work, problem solving, critical thinking and communication skills. A research-based education, he stressed, equips our students with what they need to be contributory members of society: an idea that is at the heart of the UCL 2034 strategy.

Following this, Dr Vincent Tong, Principal Teaching Fellow (Connected Curriculum) at UCL CALT and the lead on the R=T initiative, explained how the launch of the dialogue and associated masterclasses are designed to enable staff and students to share ideas, initiatives and solutions to bring research and teaching closer together, and to have further impact at UCL and beyond. He also highlighted his own experience in leading an Earth science research consortium, which reinforced how crucial partnerships can be.

(more…)

Is today’s educational technology (ed-tech) fit for purpose?

IrrumAli12 November 2015

ed-tech eventIs today’s educational technology (ed-tech) fit for purpose? That was the question posed during Tuesday 10 November’s panel session. A variety of speakers – academics, business leaders and UCL students – collectively sought to find out if there was an answer.

The evening began with short statements from the eight panellists, effectively answering the question before it had been ‘debated’. The starting points of the eight panellists showed how little consensus there is on how technology should work in education. Some argued that ed-tech needs to be productive for the teacher; it isn’t bespoke enough for what teachers are trying to do and often there is confusion about its purpose. Further comments pointed towards ed-tech’s lack of focus on the user experience.

Beginning with a challenge faced by ed-tech, the panel considered whether collaborative learning was enabled, or hindered, by today’s technology. The CEOs of tech companies on the panel argued for a more systematic, research-based approach to show its impact on collaboration, and suggested that there may be issues within higher education itself that work against its use. They also mentioned that teachers find ed-tech time consuming.

The two UCL students on the panel reported that technology is not currently being used to encourage collaboration, and that if collaboration is happening, it is not necessarily driven by the teacher. Meanwhile the academics lamented that managing content between technologies needs to be improved so that connectivity and collaboration become easier.

(more…)

UCL President & Provost’s Lunch Hour Lecture

KilianThayaparan19 October 2015

UCL President & Provost Michael Arthur speaks at the inaugural 2015-16 Lunch Hour Lecture

UCL President & Provost Michael Arthur speaks at the
inaugural 2015-16 Lunch Hour Lecture

A diverse audience filled the Darwin Lecture Theatre last Tuesday (13 October) for the first Lunch Hour Lecture of the season, given by UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur – as has become tradition for the opening lecture every other year.

Including staff, students and members of the general public, the audience were in attendance to hear more about the university’s recent accomplishments, its challenges and what lies ahead.

Professor Arthur began with a frank summary of his time at UCL, so far, stating: “I’ve been at UCL for two years now, and this place can throw up its challenges.” And for a university with so much reputation and history, he emphasised how important its values are to its success, adding that UCL’s current values, although a “bedrock”, are being revisited to adapt to the new challenges that it faces.

He also touched upon what it’s been like to take over from the previous UCL President & Provost Professor Malcolm Grant, explaining: “I’ve been told that there’s a difference between my style and Malcolm’s – I’ve been told that mine is more ‘managerial’, which I take as a compliment.”

(more…)

The Provost’s Awards for Public Engagement 2014/2015

KilianThayaparan29 January 2015

Attendees of the Provost's Public Engagement Awards 2014/2015

Attendees of the Provost’s Public Engagement Awards.
Credit: Kirsten Holst.

UCL’s Main Quad was the setting for the sixth annual Provost’s Awards for Public Engagement, which recognises the exceptional work that UCL staff and students are doing to engage with the public in collaboration with the UCL Public Engagement Unit.

Bringing together people from both within and outside of the UCL community, the event was a celebration of the individuals and achievements that continue to put the university at the forefront of two-way public engagement activities.

Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President & Provost, opened proceedings by briefly introducing Simon Cane, UCL’s recently appointed Director of Public and Cultural Engagement.

“Simon’s obviously a man of good taste as he’s joined the best university in the country for seriousness about public engagement,” he joked. “We hope that UCL’s excellence in public engagement will become evident over the course of the evening.”

(more…)