Keynote Speakers

Dr Jon Turner

Curriculum Transformation Project Lead
Institute for Academic Development
University of Edinburgh

Professor Jeff Grabill

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education
University of Leeds

Dr Melissa Highton

Assistant Principal
University of Edinburgh

Curriculum Transformation at the University of Edinburgh: co-creation and the relationship between local innovation and institutional change

Talk description: I will use the themes of reflection and experiential learning, skills development and assessment (including programme level assessment and changes in assessment practice) to explore this process in more detail. This includes the link between disciplinary and institutional curriculum reform, learning from local innovations and changes, and using this to inform University level changes and support.

Bio: My current position is leading the University wide Curriculum Transformation Project. This is a major and long term initiative for the University considering all areas of the University’s undergraduate and taught postgraduate curriculum. Prior to this Jon set up and led the Institute for Academic Development (IAD) at the University of Edinburgh. The IAD provides University level support for teaching, learning and researcher development, including direct support for students and staff, and support for enhancement and innovation in curriculum development, the student and researcher experience. Jon has a PhD in petroleum geology.

Education is an Experience That Should Be Designed

Description: We have any number of problems and opportunities as universities, and universities must adapt to help students from diverse backgrounds develop the knowledge and skills they need to thrive and make a positive impact in the world. Key to those adaptations is understanding that we provide students with an experience. We ought to design them with intention and purpose. This talk with take up this argument and ground it within a large educational transformation project at the University of Leeds.

Bio: Jeff Grabill is Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Education at the University of Leeds. Prior to joining the University of Leeds, Grabill was at Michigan State University (MSU) in the United States for nearly 20 years. He served Michigan State University as the Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. In that role, he was responsible for facilitating innovation in learning and educator professional development via his role as Director of the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology. Grabill’s research focuses on how digital writing is associated with citizenship and learning. That work has been located in community contexts, in museums, and in classrooms at both the K-12 and university levels. Grabill is also a co-founder of Drawbridge, an educational technology company.

Dr Melissa Highton. Assistant Principal, University of Edinburgh

Talk description: A journey through the stories told by wicca data. How a neglected research data set was used by students to overturn historic injustice and shed new light on the lives of women in Scotland.

Bio: Melissa has worked for many years in higher education at some of the UK’s finest cand most ancient institutions. In each place she enjoys discovering the hidden histories and less heard voices which can be surfaced in new ways using the most up to date and open technologies. She is a champion of playful and curious approaches to engagement with audiences on campus and online, and is an invited speaker at events about dangerous women.