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Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2018

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‌Creativity and Innovation in Teaching

Learning and Teaching Conference 2018

The Annual Learning and Teaching Conference will be held in the Queen's University Belfast Peter Froggatt Centre on 28th March 2018. This year’s theme is ‘Creativity and Innovation in Teaching’ and will explore:

  • Creative and innovative learning activities
  • Creative and innovative assessment practices
  • Use of digital technologies in teaching and assessment
  • Encouraging creativity and innovation in students






Professor Rhona Sharpe

Professor Rhona Sharpe, University of Surrey

Innovation in Digital Education – moving from definitions of digital literacy, to a graduate attribute, to a measure of learning gain

Definitions of digital literacy, fluency or capability are now commonplace. Many universities and colleges have adopted or adapted some version of one of these definitions as an aspiration for their staff and students. Sometimes the focus is on digital skills to perform professionally orientated tasks, sometimes the ambition is more broadly defined in terms of the contribution graduates make to a global, networked society. Having agreed on a definition, how can digital literacy be developed across and within our complex organisations? This presentation will draw on evidence from the evaluation of the graduate attributes project at Oxford Brookes University and related learner experience research to help us understand how students develop their digital literacies and how this progress might be tracked within an institutional context.

Professor Carol McGuinness

Professor Carol McGuinness, Queen's University Belfast

What is creativity – and can we teach it?

Within the bigger picture of desirable learning outcomes for students in higher education, creativity can sometimes be seen as secondary to other desirable outcomes such as problem solving, critical thinking and, indeed, specialist disciplinary knowledge. Nevertheless, creativity assumes increasing importance for 21st century learning as students embark on unpredictable and uncertain futures, both personally and professionally and its importance is now recognised in earlier school systems as well as in tertiary education.
The purpose of this talk is to explore the many meanings associated with creativity and the idea of ‘being creative’ – at the level of the individual, the team, and the organisation. The purpose is to make more explicit what exactly needs to be enhanced in order to promote creativity in student learning and to identify what challenges are presented for higher education pedagogy.



Dr Philip Hanna NTF

Dr Philip Hanna National Teaching Fellow, Queen's University Belfast

Group projects: The good, the bad and the ugly

There are lots of reasons why working with others on a project is educationally beneficial. Projects provide a fantastic opportunity for students to exercise their creativity whilst bringing together different aspects of their subject and developing a range of transferable skills.

However, group projects can also present several challenges. What students do and how they collaborate may not be visible to educators, increasing the risk of collusion, plagiarism or students ‘being carried’ by their group. Some students may not like working with others or feel concerned if their ‘final mark’ depends on the actions of other students.

This talk looks at the experience (good, bad and downright ugly) of using group projects within EEECS and explores how new innovative technologies and tools can be used to promote the positive aspects of group projects whilst minimising the negatives. It is hoped that the talk will offer some insight into a form of learning and assessment that works well within the new QUB academic year structure.



Register now for one of our afternoon workshops to avoid disappointment  (see details below).  Registration is open at

Lego Serious Play Workshop

‘Building’ Creativity into your Teaching: Using LEGO to explore creative approaches
2.30 - 3.45pm

This practical session will model a creative approach for exploring issues with students and allowing them to reflect on their learning. Based on the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY methodology, this workshop uses Lego as a learning tool and has been used successfully with students in Medicine during Development Weeks. 

Facilitators: Clare Thomson, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences; Helen Reid and Dr Mairead Corrigan, Centre for Medical Education

Picture of a dummy baby being 'treated' by medical students

Simulation and experiential-based learning at Queen's
2.30 - 3.45pm

Increasingly simulation-based teaching methods are being use to progress learners through these developmental transitions. Simulation allows learners to experiment and rehearse their skills, and be guided by bespoke feedback.  The aim of this workshop is to: 

  • Bring together educators from right across the university who are using, or would like to use, simulation in their teaching;
  • Share teaching experiences and best practice  in simulation based education.

Facilitator: Dr Gerry Gormley, Centre for Medical Education


Mixing Realities: Using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Teaching and Learning
2.30 - 3.45pm

Virtual and Augmented Reality are interesting additions to lectures and workshops, and Mixed Reality takes it a step further by allowing the holograms interact with the physical environment.  In this hands-on demo, we’ll examine teaching with holograms and apps using Microsoft HoloLens, and explore how we can build novel teaching experiences with Mixed Reality.

Facilitator: Stephen Howell, SMARTlab, School of Engineering, University College Dublin and Academic Program Manager for Microsoft Ireland

 Word Cloud with educational technology terms

Educational Technology Speed Date
2.30 - 3.45pm

This session will showcase a number of free to use educational technologies and websites, including Canvas, Sway, Class Notebook and PRS. You will get 10 minutes with each application/website to find out how they can be used in your teaching.


Special Requirements

If you have any special dietary or access requirements, email .