Sharing Insights: KIITE reading and writing retreats presented at national conference

Two Learning Developers from the Keele Institute for Innovation and Teaching Excellence (KIITE) recently presented their work on academic reading and writing retreats at the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) Spring Teaching Learning and Assessment Conference 2019.

The SEDA Spring Conference explored the theme of ‘collaboration to support the student experience and progression’, examining approaches to and techniques of collaboration, both within and across institutions. This included innovation in and evaluation of effective methods for collaboration with students, and collaboration in both physical and digital spaces.

Dr Chris Little and Angela Rhead, both Teaching Fellows and Learning Developers within KIITE, led a workshop on ‘Academic reading and writing retreats for students: Using extracurricular provision to explore curricular content to enhance student learning.’

The workshop explored the development and impact of student-facing academic reading and writing retreats, which use the individuals’ discipline and programme specific material in interdisciplinary events as a vehicle for student development.

Angela Rhead commented:

“This was my first SEDA conference, and as a learning developer it was very interesting to notice the same themes, values and challenges debated in the academic development sphere as ours. Our presentation of reading retreats in particular, where staff and students participate equally, chimed with an apparent shift to ‘educational development’ and a blurring of boundaries.”

Workshop participants considered the relationship between learning development, disciplinary learning and the relationship between academics and learning developers in planning extracurricular learning events, and encouraged participants to identify opportunities to further embed subject and discipline-specific concepts and learning within extra-curricular learning development events in their practice.

Dr Chris Little commented:

“The conference really gave us an opportunity to share our work on retreats with a new crowd, which is always exciting. I was fortunate enough to go to a number of really great sessions that will directly influence my work over the next 12 months. The SEDA conference also gave us a chance to extend our professional networks and represent KIITE’s student-facing work at a prestigious event.”

For more information about the SEDA Spring Conference 2019 visit the conference website.