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Forget teaching excellence: make teaching excellent

Guest post from Christel Pontin, SLTI


This year’s learning and teaching conference was a fantastic concoction of energy, enthusiasm and… a sweet cart!

With nearly 270 people attending throughout the day, there was a sense of excitement over ways to make teaching excellent; something far from what keynote speaker, Ruth Pickford, saw as teaching excellence. She gave us some of her top tips for achieving this, including leading from the back and working with what you’ve got to make it work for you. Most importantly, we have to do better things, not just do things better!

Parallel sessions ranged from taking students on a strategy safari in research to going back to the future with curriculum design and supporting fearless females achieve their potential, just to name a few. The Bournemouth crew even had their workshop group doing salsa to get them out of their comfort zone – mission accomplished! You can follow our day with the brilliant graphic representation created by Leah Appleton, Lecturer in Animation, or visit


The afternoon took a celebratory turn as we congratulated those who have achieved the varying levels of HEA fellowship over the last year. The pride for our staff as they rose from their chairs for their recognition brought joy to colleagues and externals alike as Osama Khan invited them to “please stand up” -  even Eminem would have been proud.

Prof Tansy Jessop brought us a condensed version of the process involved in creating Solent’s Real-world Curriculum Framework. Here we saw her passion for making sure that what we’re offering students really envelops this idea of personal knowing. Prof Julie Hall followed by divulging the Academic Career Pathways and preparing internal staff for the future at Solent University.

We ended the day with a well-received cheese and wine reception to bring together the remaining delegates who powered through the whole day for networking and further celebration.

Here’s to the next SLTCC2019 on Friday 21 June 2019 – put it in your diaries!