Welcome and Introduction

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Welcome to the Festival of Learning 2020, which celebrates your learning, teaching and assessment practices over a rather extraordinary academic year.  

Festival planning began before the world had embraced social distancing, but the theme of Designing Learning for Student Engagement has assumed even greater relevance as we consider the principles that will help us to organise and secure successful online and blended learning.  

The Festival belongs to you; it has been shaped by your efforts, which you have captured as a wealth of digital contributions.  

The Academic Exchanges showcase innovative academic practice and support for learning from across the institution and partner collegesMany of you share your direct experiences of moving teaching online, whilst others showcase pedagogic approaches that are important to transfer to blended learning environments.  

The Keynote Workshop, facilitated by Professor Mick Healey and Dr Ruth Healey, will encourage us to consider how we can work with our students to engage them in their learning, in offline, online and blended learning environments.  

The LIFT Lab shares stories from the 2019/20 Learning Innovation for Tomorrow projects, working on curriculum enrichment and student development with their subject communities, partners and across the university.  

The Three Minute Thesis Final showcases a range of postgraduate research, but who will emerge as the winner?  

And last, but by no means least, the Women Professors’ Group and UoG Women’s Network Discussion explores the ways that women can support and empower each other to strive for and to achieve career and personal goals within the university and in academia at large. 

There is an abundance of good practice across the institution and now more than ever we should share this internally and externally. Take time over the three days of the Festival to immerse yourself in the successes and productive failures that have attended our courageous pedagogy; learn more from the live conversations with colleagues; and feel proud of all that you have achieved this year. Above all else, be assured that our collective expertise, enthusiasm, courage and compassion places us in a strong position to move forward into the new era of blended learning, making lasting improvements to our students’ learning experience. 

In short, enjoy your Festival of Learning and I look forward to meeting you online very soon. 

Professor Jenny Hill, Head of Learning and Teaching Innovation   

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