School of History & Heritage awayday: transitions and resilience to university

by Dr Jamie Wood

On the afternoon of 12th September we gathered for the School awayday at the Junxion to discuss issues of transition to university study and developing resilience in our students. We had two external speakers. The first, Rafe Hallett director of Keele University’s Institute for Innovation & Teaching Excellence and a National Teaching fellow, delivered a talk on developing students’ capabilities as digital curators as a means of helping them manage the transition to independent learning (you can see his very attractive Prezi presentation here). Rafe talked about the potential benefits of encouraging students to present their work to online audiences beyond their tutors and peers as a means of increasing ownership and harnessing skills that many students use in other areas of their lives. Our second speaker was Lydia Bleasdale, an associate professor in the School of Law at the University of Leeds and 2018 Law Teacher of the Year, who spoke about research she has conducted into building student resilience across the curriculum in a number of different disciplines. Lydia addressed a wide range of issues relating to transition of students – most interesting, for me, were her points about how we communicate our expectations around ‘success’ and ‘failure’ and how such messages impact on students’ understandings of their university experiences.