Last week Myself, Fiona and Clarissa attended the change agent’s network conference that took place at the Univeristy of Lincoln. This national meet up (summarised in my storify) run by Jisc was an opportunity for student and staff partnerships to showcase the innovative work they have been completing on student engagement.
We travelled up to Lincoln the day before in preparation for the conference. The long journey up allowed ample time for the final touches to be added to the presentations and talks we would be giving throughout the day, and this left us feeling very excited and nervous for the following day. This is mainly due to the fact it was Clarissa and I’s first conference, and also the first conference we would talk at!
The morning session began with the University of Lincoln, who talked about their student staff partnership experiences and projects they were currently working on. This presentation really did show the dedication and depth to which the Univeristy of Lincoln were developing their partnerships, and I was very impressed with their dedication.
My personal favourite part of the day (apart from lunch) was when we got to learn about other projects going on across the country. One that I was very impressed with was Co_LAB, and their academic book project. In brief, this project aimed to pull resources together and create a “blended learning” space. So for instance, if you’re reading a book, this website could provide you with videos or articles relevant to the section you’re reading and therefore enhance your learning. This project really did capture my imagination and made me so excited to hopefully create something similar for our academic unit Chemistry, as it is always useful to be able to share online resources that help with your learning.
Whilst at the meet up, I also attended a workshop run by REACT , a project which aims to increase student engagement with “hard to reach” students, and therefore improve their “academic growth”. This workshop was well run and made me aware of both the engagement gap many students face, and also ways of tackling this.
The day finished with the student panel, which as I mentioned earlier Clarissa and I were a part of. We opened the panel, talking about the skills and experiences we’d had in our first year as an iChamp for the University of Southampton. While we were both extremely nervous talking to an audience of 200 strong, it was a very proud moment for the two of us, being able to have the confidence to present our work alongside the other students.
All in all, I had a great time at my first conference and I’m eager to implement my new ideas I have taken from this conference into my work!