Our Course Leader for the Foundation Year, Tom Ironmonger, has recently returned from presenting at Advance HE’s Teaching and Learning Conference hosted at Northumbria University. This year’s flagship conference was designed by Advance He to:
“…explore how we [as an academic community] are enhancing student success through all aspects of the student experience including transitions, curriculum design and development, enterprise and employability, assessment, engagement and inclusion, sustainability and much more.”
The conference was well-attended by institutions around the sector, with keynote speeches from Shakira Martin, Head of Student Experience at Rose Bruford College, on how to improve inclusivity from the perspective of student services, and from Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Leeds, Jeff Grabill, who spoke about the radical new curricular redesign being undertaken by his university.
Tom’s presentation focused on his research into how widening participation students feel about reading in 2022, and included a short film on the student reading group programme he led in 2018. His paper (on which the presentation was based) gathered evidence from ethnographic observations, recordings of reading groups, secondary research on the neuroscience of reading, as well as notions of what constitutes as literacy within the global sector. The paper was well-received, inspiring a lively discussion in the Q&A that followed (as well as in the café the night before).
The next focus of Tom’s research will be to further gather in-depth interviews of students relating to their relationship with reading, with a longer documentary film to follow. Stay tuned for more!