Loading Events

« All Events

Heriot-Watt University Learning & Teaching Symposium 2021

November 1 @ 8:00 am November 3 @ 6:00 pm

Join us for a series of seminars, roundtables and tea-break conversations.

  • Connect with colleagues.
  • Share practice and experience.
  • Be inspired by creative ideas in learning & teaching.
  • Pause, take a breath and reflect on the semester.

This semester’s Learning and Teaching Symposium is a space to connect across our global community to share successes, shape practice, and spark conversation about what we truly value in our approaches to curriculum, assessment and teaching.

  • What can we learn from our experience for Responsive Blended Learning to shape our practice and approach to learning and teaching in the years to come?
  • How do we sustain a focus on care, compassion and wellbeing in our curriculum?
  • What is distinctive and valuable about the Heriot-Watt curriculum and the learning experience we offer our students?

Connect across our vibrant learning and teaching community to share ideas and shape practice.

Register on Eventbrite.


Monday, 1 November 2021

08:00 – 09:00 UK | 12:00 Dubai | 16:00 Malaysia

Embedding positive education practices into university teaching
Professor Deborah A Hall, School of Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University

Contemporary debate proposes that adolescent growth extends to 24 years of age. This in turn extends the window of opportunity for skills development, especially in cooperative activities that require emotional awareness and regulation. Research has shown that enhancing students’ strengths in positive emotion, engagement and meaning in life promotes a growth mindset, facilitates improved learning, increases life satisfaction and counteracts the risk of poor mental health. Therefore, the goal of positive education is to improve students’ well-being and learning. Two-thirds of the world’s population lives in Asia, yet most of the academic literature on positive education is conducted in Western countries. Moreover, while there are numerous examples of positive education in schools, the discipline has had fewer inroads in the higher education setting. This presentation maps out the literature on positive education in university teaching, seen through an Asian lens. Key points will be drawn on illustrative evidence from a compulsory holistic educational course for all year 1 students enrolled at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia. Course design and educator style incorporates the principles of positive psychology by blending development in personal effectiveness skills (such as self-confidence, self-reflection, personal responsibility, leadership, and time management), with an emphasis on developing self-awareness, discovering purpose and creating a plan to mobilise that purpose into positive impact.


09:45 – 10:45 UK | 13:45 Dubai | 17:45 Malaysia

Masterclass: “Understanding academic integrity: nine things to know
Dr Erica Morris, Higher Education Consultant

This masterclass will provide an opportunity to explore the concept of academic integrity and the other side of the coin, student academic misconduct, particularly plagiarism, collusion and assessment outsourcing. Drawing on research and established perspectives in the field of academic integrity, the session will focus on nine things that are valuable to know in the following areas: the extent or prevalence of academic misconduct, including whether the issue is increasing; explanatory factors, looking at the reasons as to why students may engage in plagiarism or outsourcing behaviours; and interventions related to institutional policy, the use of technology, students’ skills and literacies, and assessment practices. Consideration will given to practical strategies that can make a difference.


11:00 – 11:30 UK | 15:00 Dubai | 19:00 Malaysia

Tea-break 1: Tea-break with Dr Erica Morris

This tea-break session is open to all and will provide space for further discussion with Erica Morris following her keynote presentation.

Tea-break 2: New to Teaching Tea-break

This facilitated tea-break session is specifically for those who are in their first three years of teaching. It will provide some relaxed space for reflection on the messages of the morning’s talks and discussion around how they might impact on our teaching practice.


11:30 – 12:30 UK | 15:30 Dubai | 19:30 Malaysia

Canvas Conversations

This session focuses on getting the most from Canvas, our new VLE. It provides an opportunity to explore some of the tools and to explore what works to engage and support students via the VLE. It will also discuss the interplay between teaching on the VLE and on-campus. This session brings together colleagues from across the University to share their practice.


Tuesday, 2 November 2021

08:30 – 09:30 UK | 12:30 Dubai | 16:30 Malaysia

Surviving Lockdown – reflecting on life, learning and teaching
Dr Kate Carruthers Thomas, Birmingham City University”

In her new graphic novella Five ‘Survive’ Lockdown Kate Carruthers Thomas turns her academic research on gender and higher education and her own experiences of lockdown into the interwoven stories of five fictional female academics during the first UK lockdown in 2020. These are local stories of a global pandemic, of an extraordinary time when work moved into the home and everything changed. In this session, Kate will introduce her work as a starting point for discussion and reflection on life and work during the pandemic – and implications for future action. Come and share your reflections and ideas in this open session. You can view the 5 Survive Lockdown book launch here.


09:45 – 10:45 UK | 13:45 Dubai | 17:45 Malaysia

Old classroom, new tricks! Sharing what works.
Facilitator: Rosemarie McIlwhan

As we move back to campus, now is a good time to share what works in on-campus teaching and to explore what new tricks we learned working online that can also be applied on-campus. We will also consider some of the challenges of teaching on-campus e.g. social distancing and dual mode teaching. Colleagues from across the global campuses will share what’s working on their campus and in their teaching.


11:00 – 11:30 UK | 15:00 Dubai | 19:00 Malaysia

Programme Directors Tea-break

This tea-break session is specifically for members of the Programme Directors’ network and will provide space for discussion around how the learning from the symposium can be applied in this specific role.


12:30 UK | 16:30 Dubai | 20:30 Malaysia

“Walk. Talk. Teach. An Edinburgh Campus Tour”
Led by Professor Martha Caddell, Heriot-Watt University

As we return to campus-based teaching, this walking tour is a chance to meet with colleagues and share ideas and insights about making effective use of learning spaces online and on-campus. We will use various campus locations as the spark for discussion and sharing practice about engaging students in active learning.

The event will be outdoors – so dress for the weather!

Meet at Heriot-Watt Edinburgh campus, Main Reception.


Wednesday, 3 November 2021

08:30 – 10:30 UK | 12:30 Dubai | 16:30 Malaysia

Connecting Cross-Campus: Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Napier Universities Sharing Practice”
Lightning talks.

This session is a showcase of mini-projects carried out by colleagues at Edinburgh Napier and Heriot-Watt Universities, as part of the QAA Enhancement Themes. We will have short presentations of the project ideas and outcomes, followed by time for discussion of how we generate interest for these projects, and take learning from them to implement in different contexts. The session is open to anyone interested in hearing more about this work, and who is thinking about implementing something new into their teaching.