Share and Inspire – Improving Direct Entry and Foundation Degree/HND Student Transitions to Honours Degrees

Thursday 7 June 12:15-14:00 (lunch available from 1200)

Room: SJC, Conference Centre, CC004 (Worcester Room)

Description: This Share and Inspire session will outline the key findings from a University retention and success project aimed at improving the transition experiences of Direct Entry, Foundation Degree and HND students who progress to Top-Up/Honours Degrees.

Sector research (e.g. French, Kempson and Kendal, 2015; Thomas, 2002; Thomas, 2012; Yorke and Longden, 2008) identifies a number of key transition points in the undergraduate student journey and that experiences prior to and at these points can have consequences for student satisfaction, progression, retention and achievement. Findings from this project suggest differences in students’ experience of transition to Top-Up/direct entry to L5/L6 of Honours Degrees at course/discipline level and that this represents a particular point of transition that may have some similar as well as distinct student needs in comparison to the ‘typical’ Honours Degree student. In particular, their transition can involve changes in culture, purpose, and connectedness and this may challenge their resourcefulness and capabilities to succeed.

This session will identify the key challenges and factors that may impede successful transition, provide the opportunity for you to share your own experiences and best practice in managing effective transitions and will showcase some initiatives from Institutes which aim to improve the student’s transition experience and promote student success.

It is particularly relevant to course leaders and anyone else seeking to further develop their approaches to support transition for students on HNDs, Foundation Degrees or ‘Top-Up’ Degrees or those who have direct entry students joining undergraduate courses at Level 5 or Level 6 of the Honours Degree.

Please book onto the workshop via the staff development portal under ‘your online services’ and select ‘academic development’ from the dropdown menu.

High-intensity interval exercise research participants required

Final few participants required! Do you want to get more active? Do you want to be part of some novel research taking place at the University of Worcester? This novel research study explores a new approach to how and where we exercise. High-intensity interval exercise is recently becoming a more popular mode of training based on its time-efficiency compared with traditional, continuous and moderate-intensity exercise. However, the time-efficiency becomes questionable if a time-consuming visit to the gym is required in order to undertake this training. We are investigating whether high intensity workouts in the living room can be just as effective as a trip down the gym, by exploring many different effects of a bout of non-gym-based bouts of high-intensity interval exercise, such as star jumps, on the body.

For your time and efforts, you will receive a free month’s gym membership at the University McClelland Centre for Health & Wellbeing and the St John’s campus gym, as well as be entered into a prize draw to win a prize up to the value of £150.

If you are female, aged 18-50, currently doing less than 150 minutes of exercise per week and with a BMI of 25-35, we would love to have you involved. Participating in this study will require 3 visits to the laboratory from around 8am-2:30pm (over the next couple of months), but during most of this time you are free to work from the laboratory. If you are able to work away from your office for this amount of time and are interesting in participating, please see the attached poster and email Alice Burgin at a.burgin@worc.ac.uk. Thank you!

Recruitment Poster

David Jolley Lecture – Wednesday 18 July

2018 DAVID JOLLEY LECTURE – Wednesday 18 July 2018 at the University of Worcester Arena, Hylton Road, Worcester, WR2 5JN

CLAIRE HILTON: The Story of Barbara Robb – Her campaign, and how she set in motion improvements in mental health and older people’s services, and influenced the NHS more broadly.

16:00 (registration & refreshments); Lecture: 16:30 to 17:15 followed by discussion to 17:45

To book a free place please use the online booking system at: https://davidjolleylecture18july2018.eventbrite.co.uk

Further information attached: David Jolley lecture 2018 flyer.

Mental Health Awareness week – Green Ribbon Campaign

THIS IS me – THE GREEN RIBBON CAMPAIGN

UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER: DURING MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK (14-20 May 2018)

green ribbon

This new initiative builds on the inspiring impact of the ‘This is Me – in the City’, whose mission is committed to changing attitudes towards mental health, collaborating to build inclusive workplace cultures, reducing stigma, dispelling myths and improving employee wellbeing.

The stigma of mental health is such a huge issue in organisations and for individuals and we want to address this. We are inviting University staff and students to wear a green ribbon as a visible sign of support and to help de-stigmatise mental health by:

  • Creating a visible movement of support for ending the stigma
  • Showing those struggling that there is support and they are not alone
  • Demonstrating the level of support for this issue in your organisation
  • Encouraging people to share their story and to create inclusive cultures

Imagine everywhere you go around the University during Mental Health Awareness Week (14-18 May 2018) you see staff and students showing they want to help #endthestigma of mental health by wearing a green ribbon.

end stigma

The University is piloting the Green Ribbon Campaign to help #endthestigma of mental health. The green ribbon has the simple, but powerful, message of “Together we can #endthestigma”.

Green ribbons will be available to pick up at reception on St John’s and City Campus, Firstpoint, Students’ Union, The Hive and Jenny Lind.

We are encouraging staff and students across the University to wear a green ribbon during Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May 2018).

Are you interested in joining a staff mental health network providing informal peer support while contributing to creating a mentally healthy workplace at the University? Email: j_smith@worc.ac.uk for more details.

ribbon campaign

MH Awareness Week

Naked Blog: ‘This is me’

The Naked Blog: ‘This is me’ campaign aims to challenge stigma around mental health at work and to break the culture of silence by encouraging staff to share their stories.

The ‘This is me’ campaign was originally created to encourage understanding about mental health issues and develop an environment where employees could comfortably speak out about their own personal experiences of mental health and wellbeing. Sharing stories is a pillar of the campaign. This enables employees to be authentic in telling their story and to capture the whole person, not just a challenge or a mental health problem.

We are marking the lead up to Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May 2018) through a similar UOW ‘Naked Blog :This is Me’ campaign launch. The Naked blogs have been shared by members of the newly formed University Staff Mental Health Network, talking about their own personal mental health challenges at work. The stories offer personal experiences and perspectives on mental health at work, experiences of supporting family members with mental health difficulties while also still working and line manager perspectives on supporting staff who may struggle from time to time with their mental health.

We hope that these blog posts will engage and resonate with staff colleagues and help us move forward as a staff community by talking more openly about our mental health and the stories from our lives that we carry with us at work. The intention is to start a process to encourage understanding, empathy, peer support and be a vehicle for cultural change within the University.

Naked Blog #1: This is me …

Like most people, I get stressed at work from time to time. Mostly it’s not a problem, but every now and then, like many people, I’ll end up taking work stress home with me.  Generally speaking this never escalates into anything I’d define as more serious. I had a brief bout of anxiety a couple of years ago, following a health scare, and I had what I now recognise to be depression when I was studying for my PhD. Despite that, I consider myself lucky that I haven’t ever suffered what I would consider to be any serious mental health issues in my life.

However, that doesn’t stop me appreciating the importance of mental health, not just for myself, but for the team that I manage. I’ve seen both friends and colleagues suffer with problems, which can manifest themselves in a whole variety of ways in the workplace and at home.

I feel that I have a duty of care as a manager for the individuals in my team, as does the university as a whole. I can’t be responsible for an individual’s self-care, but I can make sure that they know where to turn for help, for spotting their individual early warning signs, and to make sure they know I’m there to support them – whatever that support looks like for them.

These are the reasons I will be wearing my green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May.

 

Naked Blog #2: This is me …

I have had ups and downs with my mental health for as long as I can remember.

I experienced post-natal depression a year after my twins were born where I felt exhausted with the demands of motherhood and coping with three children under the age of three. The triggers were physical exhaustion, balancing work, as a teacher, with family commitments, not feeling ‘good enough’ and the death of my best friend. I learnt that you should ask for help when you need it and that there is no shame in admitting that you are struggling.

My depression was treated with anti-depressants and my desire to rid myself of the symptoms of anxiety led to an interest in meditation, mindfulness and Buddhism. This allowed me to find space in my mind and a peaceful and grateful outlook on life. I was Buddhist for ten years and attended many retreats that strengthened my practice. I was in a very good place but, in May 2014, that all ended….

One of my daughters, Poppy, who was one of my identical twins, collapsed at school, aged 11, and died suddenly and unexpectedly. I was left feeling suicidal and desperate. I had lost my daughter, my faith, my job (as I was a teacher at the school where my daughter died) and I had lost any sense of joy in life. I still have days now when I long for an end to the suffering. However, I have my family to consider and therefore, keep going and trying to find ways to keep as healthy as I can, mentally.

I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder which can affect me at any time; life is full of painful triggers, but I have never shared this with anyone at work for fear of them judging my competency in my job. Work has been a double edged sword for me as I have found it an escape and a distraction, but at times I have felt overwhelmed with my emotions and have fought to appear ‘professional’ which has sometimes left me feeling drained and lonely. I mainly ‘keep it together’ at work. There are many mornings when a colleague may ask, ‘How are you?’ and I find myself answering ‘fine, thanks’ but in my head the words echo, ‘you are far from fine!’ I realise that I don’t want to burden colleagues or, even worse, feel pitied, so I often keep the bad days to myself.

My eldest daughter has recently been experiencing severe social anxiety and she is unable to attend Sixth Form due to this. Living with the helplessness of not knowing how best to support her, has propelled me into becoming involved in supporting mental health for adolescents, students, teachers and staff at the university. This is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I find it such a relief to discuss mental health needs with people at work in an honest way without them changing the topic straight away and looking uncomfortable. I wish we could all empathise and discuss openly the depths of despair that many people experience when their mental health is poor or life deals them an unlucky hand.

These are the reasons I will be wearing my green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May.

Naked Blog #3: This is me …

I have lived with Depression for nearly 4 years.

It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who knows me that I went through a bit of a “rough patch” late last year. It wasn’t entirely obvious that I was depressed, and my self-deprecating humour even managed to convince me that I was just going through an ‘eccentric’ phase. It’s only when I look back that I understand how dangerously low I had become.

For me, Depression first formed as a complete lack of interest in the life I had carved out for myself, then a desire to go straight to bed after work. This was followed by an addiction to binge eating, and a tendency to sleep the whole weekend through given the chance. I lost connection with the outside world, overwhelmed by a sense of being completely alone and unworthy of help even among friends and loved ones.

But I’m thrilled to say I have trudged through the funk of Depression and am now reflecting on past events through a much clearer, healthier, happier lens. It took me to hit rock bottom to finally listen to my intuition, to hear that something wasn’t quite right up there, in my brain, and get proper help.

After 3 years of ‘going it alone,’ I finally spoke to my manager, and they immediately investigated the services available with guidance from HR. I was referred for counselling and given a ‘wellness action plan’ that enabled me to talk freely about my condition and flag up potential ‘warning signs’ that may be identified by my team. Whilst this was tremendously useful, it was the very notion of being able to ‘talk and be heard’ that would prove to be one of the most crucial points in my recovery journey.

The issue is, mental health conditions – apart from a handful of discernible characteristics – are unique to the individual. As such, my experience of life’s hurdles are mine alone.

However, all experiences of mental health conditions are worthy of sharing, which is why mental health awareness campaigns like this are so invaluable. Talking about my condition helps me to forgive myself for being a bit off-balance at work last year, and for all the hours of sweet nothing I did. But talking about it also plants a tiny seed in the online arena, in a place where literally any pair of eyes could land on this page and think “hmm this sounds familiar…”

In short, unless we share our own experiences of survival, and finding happiness against the odds, this small nugget of hope may remain undetected. So it’s time to talk about mental health. It’s time to be proud of the human’s capacity to experience ebbs and flows, dramatic highs and dangerous lows. It’s time to come together to share, to plant our own seeds, and rejoice when others blossom.

Alongside my work, I am now using this experience and support to help others by way of studying MSc Psychology, continuing professional development and training for holistic coaching outside of work hours. Thank you so much to my colleagues, managers and friends at work, for being so incredibly supportive and helping me find happiness today.

These are the reasons I will be wearing my green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May 2018.

 

Naked Blog #4: This is me …

I am a PhD student, and I feel proud to be one of the early members of the University of Worcester staff mental health network. My research topic, my previous professional experience and my personal experiences all contribute to my reasons for wanting to do something pro-active and positive in terms of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

My PhD research is exploring adult mental health, specifically looking at the impact of a student suicide on staff in UK Universities. So you could say it is about workplace mental health, and how the things that happen to us in the course of our job-roles can affect the way we feel and behave.

My interest in this stems from my experiences of working for a children’s charity in child protection and young people’s mental health. I was lucky to work in a very supportive team where the wellbeing of colleagues was taken seriously and the impact of job-role stressors were acknowledged and supported. My job-role gave me opportunities to work with teams throughout the West Midlands and south west of England to support team wellbeing and to build healthy team cultures. I have seen first hand the difference that open dialogue and non-judgemental communication make within work teams in terms of creating non-stigmatising environments where it feels ok to say ‘I’m not ok’.

I also have my own experience of living with depression and anxiety, and finding ways to manage my mental wellbeing as an employee. My experience has been that sometimes life presents us with multiple personal challenges. When this happened to me I found it really hard to find the focus and energy I needed in order to do my job. With support from others I realised I needed to stop. I took five weeks off work to give myself the time that I needed to rest and mentally recuperate; it felt incredibly scary at the time. However, it meant I felt able to return to my challenging job whilst continuing to cope with the life struggles I was facing. On reflection, I now see the choice to stop and get better as one of the smartest and most empowering things I have done.

These are the reasons I will be wearing my green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May.

 

Naked Blog #5: This is me …

I expressed an interest in joining a staff mental health network for many reasons.

In my home-life I have lived with my husband of 17 years, who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have attended counselling sessions to help me understand the condition, providing me with coping strategies on not taking his rituals personally, or shouldering his problems, but giving me strength to support him during difficult times.

My eldest son also has severe anxiety, especially during exam times (he is currently doing his GCSEs). He was also diagnosed with attachment disorder at a young age due to being in close contact with his grandparents who were terminally ill.

In my professional life I learnt the importance of looking after oneself, physically and mentally. I worked with vulnerable children and soon realised the need to ‘de-brief’, share a cuppa and a chat with a colleague, just to offload. During a very disruptive time in my previous workplace, I began to realise the physical effects workplace stress can have on you. I became ill with Bell’s Palsy and took the difficult decision to leave a job I loved for my own mental health and wellbeing.

Throughout my experiences I have realised the importance of company, of talking to each other, sharing the good days and the bad. Taking a breath of fresh air, having a good cry when needed, or chocolate cake, or a soak in the bath, whatever you need to do to keep mentally well.

These are the reasons I will be wearing my green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May.

 

Naked Blog #6: This is me …

‘Physician heal thyself’ is a phrase that resonates whenever I find myself struggling with stress and anxiety. I do find, working in a University context, that it’s difficult to maintain an even, balanced workload and from time to time, work can be very demanding and pressurised. It is during these periods that I can begin to feel stressed and anxious. My stress signs are typically manifest first at home with irritability and a sense of ‘burning martyr’ and an expectation that my family will see how stressed and busy I am and ‘muck in’ to support and lift the load at home or nurture with tea and sympathy- which they don’t! It can affect my sleep and mood. At work, I can be tearful and sensitive to criticism particularly when I know how hard I am trying to maintain standards and complete tasks in a timely manner.

I do have a repertoire of coping strategies that I draw on where I purposely book time with friends, cinema/theatre visits to stop me working overtime and switch my brain off. I book regular gym classes and get off on my bike after work to wind down and relax my inner tension. I have tried to review ways to manage work differently- learning to say ‘no’ or ‘not on this occasion’, being ‘Teflon’ rather than ‘Velcro’ and not taking on extra tasks, delegating and reviewing workload priorities. I try to challenge myself to accept ‘good enough’ and encourage myself through positive self talk as my personal ‘internal coach’ telling myself I can get through this period and can do it.. I also seek support chatting and venting to peers and my line manager and often don’t need advice as its in the telling that I hear myself and realise I need to slow down and change my rhythm to one I can sustain.

I have found that acceptance of ‘this is how it is just now’ rather than feeling ‘this is unjust or unreasonable’ has been a helpful accepting mindset. Experience has shown me that just as these periods can arise and at times, overwhelm they will also calm and dissipate and I have become more confident in my ability to weather a storm. Like a stone tossed about in a rough sea that has its edges smoothed, I have adjusted my attitudes and expectations on myself to match the prevailing weather conditions and created ‘stress buffers’ in my routines and life to stop myself from getting totally submerged. I have found that implementing my own active coping strategies has been key rather than expecting others at work or home to see that I am struggling and expecting them to step up to relieve my load or solve my problems for me.

By far and away, one of the most helpful things I have found is talking to colleagues and to find that others experience similar feelings and it’s not just me who is struggling and at times failing to keep on top of things. Talking with others has enabled me to explore their coping strategies and discuss other ways of handling similar demand scenarios. It’s not perfect, I still get stressed but I think my mindset has changed to one of acceptance of demand periods but making sure this is balanced by times when I can recuperate and take my foot off the accelerator pedal to reenergise and re-boost for the next ‘perfect storm’!

These are the reasons I will be wearing my green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May 2018.

 

Want to get Involved?

To find out about joining the UOW staff mental health network and to feedback comments in response to reading these blogs, please e-mail: j_smith@worc.ac.uk

Opportunity for talented PL or SL

The Directorate of Quality and Educational Development (QED) is currently advertising a really good opportunity for someone who wishes to take on a cross-University development role. This is for a Joint Honours Co-ordinator, and the full details can be found via https://ext-webapp-01.worc.ac.uk/cgi-bin/personnel/login.pl?vacancydetail=yes&vacancy_id=3650. This fractional post does have administrative support from within QED.

Whilst there are a number of operational responsibilities associated with the role there is also potential to make a real difference in the Joint Honours student experience.  Individuals are welcome to contact Dr Marie Stowell, Director of Quality and Educational Development, for an informal chat about the role (telephone 01905 855579, or email m.stowell@worc.ac.uk) before Friday, 25 May 2018.

 

University Teaching Award Scheme

The 2018 University Teaching Award Scheme is now launched, and this has been developed as part of the initiatives to celebrate excellence at UW.

This new scheme is designed to recognise and reward excellent and outstanding practice in teaching, and in supporting and leading learning. The Scheme explicitly promotes innovative, inspiring and excellent practice which is outstanding in its impact to enhance and inspire student learning.

There are three categories of Award:

A             University of Worcester Teaching Award

B             University of Worcester Teaching Team Award

C             University of Worcester Leading Teaching Award.

Applications are welcomed from staff with a range of experience including academic staff, professional services and staff working in learning support. Full details are attached, and also available via the webpage http://www.worc.ac.uk/edu/1285.htm.

Introductory information workshops are scheduled through May and June. This year all applicants must attend an information workshop prior to application.

Bookings can me made via the staff development webpages

UW Teaching Award Scheme: Information Workshops

This workshop offers the opportunity to understand the requirements for the UWTAS, consider one’s next steps to an application and ask any questions.

NB: All applicants MUST attend an information workshop prior to application

Tuesday 15 May 2018                      9.30 am – 10.30 am                  room EEG021

Thursday 14 June 2018                     Information at the Learning and Teaching conference

Writing Workshops:

These offer the opportunity to write, ask questions and receive one-to-one support.

Wednesday 28 June 2018               2.30 pm – 4.30 pm                    room EEG024

Wednesday 12 July 2018                12.15 pm – 2.15 pm                  room CC 009 (Hereford Room)

Important Dates:

Register intention to submit an application: by 29 June 2018 via teachingaward@worc.ac.uk

Submit application: by 21 September 2018 (3 pm deadline) via teachingaward@worc.ac.uk

If you have any questions please email Kerry Whitehouse at k.whitehouse@worc.ac.uk or teachingaward@worc.ac.uk

Share and Inspire Session: Enhancing Student Outcomes: A Targeted Focus on Assessment and Feedback

Assessment and feedback lie at the heart of students’ educational experiences in Higher Education. Eckel and King (2004) share how assessment affects student access, retention, completion and student satisfaction. Harland et al (2015) draw connections between assessment and feedback and aspects of attendance. Ultimately, there are fundamental connections between students’ experiences of assessment and feedback processes and their educational attainment outcomes (Carless, 2015; Boud & Molloy, 2013). However, as the NSS reveals, this is the ONE key area where student satisfaction tends to be most vulnerable. In this Share and Inspire session, colleagues from the Institute of Education, Institute of Health and the Worcester Business School will share insights into assessment and feedback practices that clarify connections between learning, teaching, purposeful assessment and strengthening students’ capacities and outcomes. The session will help you to: generate positive strategies for group work assessments; learn from current innovations in assessment; and enhance feedback practices with the aim of strengthening learning outcomes.

Wednesday 23 May 2018
12:30pm – 14:00pm
St John’s Campus EE 2010

Please sign up for this session using the staff professional development webpages:

https://ext-webapp-01.worc.ac.uk/staff/index.html.

 

Boud, D., and Molloy, E. (2013). (Eds.). Feedback in Higher and Professional Education, London: Routledge, 202-217.

Carless, D. (2015). Excellence in University Assessment, Routledge, Oxon. UK.

Eckel, P., and King, J. (2004) An overview of higher education in the united states: Diversity access and the role of the market place. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.

Harland, T, A. McLean, R. Wass, E. Miller & K. Nui Sim (2015). An assessment arms race and its fallout: high-stakes grading and the case for slow scholarship, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 40:4, 528-541, DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2014.931927

Charity Auction Legoland and Thorpe Park – Thursday 17 May

Thanks to a generous donation, we have four tickets available for Thorpe Park and four tickets for Legoland. We will be auctioning these via written bids on Thursday 17 May in Reception, St John’s Campus, between 10am and 4pm. Starting bid £25 per pair.

Alongside this, there will be a wide range of new and used items for sale, including:

  • Books
  • Stationery
  • Gifts
  • DIY items

Come along for a bid or a browse and you may find something you didn’t know you needed – raising money for an excellent cause in the process.

Bids also accepted via email to d.fox@worc.ac.uk until 4pm on 17 May.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire Charity Challenge Team

Staff Development Workshops

Appraiser skills

A practical session which is a pre-requisite for members of staff who appraise others. The session aims are to develop an understanding of the nature of appraisal, its objectives and links with other university processes. We will also explore the skills and techniques that help to make the process effective, and become familiar with the University’s appraisal scheme and procedures and prepare for an appraisal meeting.

  • 16-05-2018 09:00 – 12:00 Room: WB023

Becoming a Mentor

Mentoring has been recognised as an important activity that helps to support people who are new to the University, moving into a new role or returning from a period of absence. Participants; All members of staff who have an interest in supporting and developing others Learning outcomes; This workshop will explain the mentor role, the process of mentoring, and consider some of the skills required. Prior experience required; Some experience of working in the University. Preparation before the session;None required, although the policy on mentoring is available on the HR webpages. Future opportunities; Mentors might wish to develop their skills into becoming an internal coach. The skills for mentoring are applicable to many other activities that colleagues undertake. Session facilitator; The session will be facilitated by Gill Slater, Head of OD. Gill has been a mentor to people in different roles and helped to develop the overall scheme here and in other organisations.

  • 22-05-2018 14:00 – 16:00 Room: WB023
  • 26-06-2018 10:00 – 12:00 Room: WB023

 

Courses Leaders Skills Gym Difficult Conversations and how to approach them

Jill Bowman is an experienced trainer who is passionate about developing staff and providing them with the tools to approach challenging conversations with confidence. This Skills Gym is aimed at developing the core skills of Course Leaders in relation to difficult conversations. Not only is the range of topics included in this very large and varied, the issues surrounding the reason why the situation has occurred can be very emotional at a variety of levels. When considering difficult issues there can be a multitude of factors that the individuals can brings to the conversation. This half day session will introducing the use of a strategy based on the ACTION model to give a framework to any difficult conversation. The session will look to develop the verbal and nonverbal skills required to know how to talk assertively and appropriately, bearing in mind the sensitivities that a difficult conversation meeting can bring. A major focus of the session is based on the aim of the meeting, as this is often where individuals go wrong. This Skills Gym will provide practical and engaging demonstrations of the different skills that would be employed by all staff in addressing challenging issues. The skills gym will also explore more complex matters that Courses Leaders may have to address and find uncomfortable, including two written case study scenarios.

  • 13-06-2018 09:30 – 12:45 Room: WB023

Information Security Awareness Training

IT workshops are designed to provide you with the opportunity to understand and comply with current IT security best practice and identify access appropriate support. The one hour sessions will help to: Improve your understanding of Information Security Find out about the wide range of IT services and support available to you Discover what tools are available to help you work more securely

  • 21-05-2018 11:00 – 12:00  Room: WB023
  • 04-06-2018 11:00 – 12:00  Room: WB023
  • 11-06-2018 11:00 – 12:00  Room: WB023
  • 18-06-2018 11:00 – 12:00  Room: WB023
  • 25-06-2018 11:00 – 12:00  Room: WB023
  • 02-07-2018 11:00 – 12:00 Room: WB023
  • 09-07-2018 11:00 – 12:00  Room: WB023

Making the most of your Appraisal (Appraisee)

It is recommended that all members of staff attend a briefing to prepare for their review meeting. This practical session will help you to get the best results from your appraisal. You will develop a clear understanding of the nature of appraisal, its objectives and the part that it can play in personal development planning as well as becoming familiar with the University’s appraisal Scheme. If you prefer, a session can be tailored for specific teams. Contact Rachael Stephens to arrange a date and time to suit you.

  • 16-05-2018 13:00 – 15:30 Room: WB023

Minute-Taking & Servicing Meetings

Work effectively with your chair, construct an agenda, take notes of committee/meeting discussions and produce quality minutes.

  • 07-06-2018 09:30 – 16:30 Room: WB023

Skills Gym Difficult Conversations and how to approach them

Jill Bowman is an experienced trainer who is passionate about developing staff and providing them with the tools to approach challenging conversations with confidence. This Skills Gym is aimed at developing the core skills of all staff in relation to difficult conversations. Not only is the range of topics included in this very large and varied, the issues surrounding the reason why the situation has occurred can be very emotional at a variety of levels. When considering difficult issues there can be a multitude of factors that the individuals can brings to the conversation. This half day session will introducing the use of a strategy based on the ACTION model to give a framework to any difficult conversation. The session will look to develop the verbal and nonverbal skills required to know how to talk assertively and appropriately, bearing in mind the sensitivities that a difficult conversation meeting can bring. A major focus of the session is based on the aim of the meeting, as this is often where individuals go wrong. This Skills Gym will provide practical and engaging demonstrations of the different skills that would be employed by all staff in addressing challenging issues. The skills gym will also explore more complex matters that staff may have to address and find uncomfortable. The course will include two written case study scenarios.

  • 27-06-2018 09:30 – 12:45 Room: WB023

If you’re interested in the above workshop you can now book a space through the workshop bookings system or by contacting the HR Training Team (training@worc.ac.uk).

Nominations open for Students’ Union RAG charity

The Students’ Union’s Raise and Give (RAG) works to facilitate student fundraising at the University. Every year we nominate a local charity that we fundraise for throughout the year, and who will be the recipient of all proceeds raised during RAG week and other fundraising events held throughout the year. RAG also supports students and student groups to raise for other charities during the year.

Nominations for our RAG Charity of the year for 2018-19 are now open and will close on Monday 28th May. Shortlisted nominations will be put to a student vote to decide who the next RAG charity will be.

We accept nominations from both individual students and directly from charities. Charities must be based in/or do a significant amount of work in Worcestershire. Regional branches of national charities are accepted.

If you would like to nominate a Charity simply submit your nomination here: https://worcsu.wufoo.eu/forms/q87o3601m10fjj/

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with Eleanor, Student Engagement Coordinator, e.york@worc.ac.uk

RAG

 

Share and Inspire – Improving Direct Entry and Foundation Degree/HND Student Transitions to Honours Degrees

Thursday 7 June 12:15-14:00 (lunch available from 1200)

Room: SJC, Conference Centre, CC004 (Worcester Room)

Description: This Share and Inspire session will outline the key findings from a University retention and success project aimed at improving the transition experiences of Direct Entry, Foundation Degree and HND students who progress to Top-Up/Honours Degrees.

Sector research (e.g. French, Kempson and Kendal, 2015; Thomas, 2002; Thomas, 2012; Yorke and Longden, 2008) identifies a number of key transition points in the undergraduate student journey and that experiences prior to and at these points can have consequences for student satisfaction, progression, retention and achievement. Findings from this project suggest differences in students’ experience of transition to Top-Up/direct entry to L5/L6 of Honours Degrees at course/discipline level and that this represents a particular point of transition that may have some similar as well as distinct student needs in comparison to the ‘typical’ Honours Degree student. In particular, their transition can involve changes in culture, purpose, and connectedness and this may challenge their resourcefulness and capabilities to succeed.

This session will identify the key challenges and factors that may impede successful transition, provide the opportunity for you to share your own experiences and best practice in managing effective transitions and will showcase some initiatives from Institutes which aim to improve the student’s transition experience and promote student success.

It is particularly relevant to course leaders and anyone else seeking to further develop their approaches to support transition for students on HNDs, Foundation Degrees or ‘Top-Up’ Degrees or those who have direct entry students joining undergraduate courses at Level 5 or Level 6 of the Honours Degree.

Please book onto the workshop via the staff development portal under ‘your online services’ and select ‘academic development’ from the dropdown menu.

Library News: How Web of Science and Scopus can support your research; Talis Award for Excellence in Marketing and Engaging Academics

How Web of Science and Scopus can support your research

Discover new research, track impact and find out about funding sources: how Web of Science and Scopus can support your research. Library Services will be running sessions on our citation and abstract indexes, Web of Science and Scopus, to show you how these tools can help your work.

Times and dates being considered include the lunchtimes of 5th, 6th, 12th or 26th June, or 17th or 18th July. Please send an expression of interest with your availability to Su Fagg s.fagg@worc.ac.uk or Hannah Hickman h.hickman@worc.ac.uk.

 

Talis Award for Excellence in Marketing and Engaging Academics

Library Services were the proud winners in the annual Talis awards, winning the prize for Excellence in Marketing and Engaging Academics and being highly commended is the Creativity Award. Here’s what the judging panel said:

“This award is for a dedication to academic adoption, shown impressive and creative methods and a well-executed plan. It’s clear that students and Academics are at the core of what the University of Worcester do. After Talis Insight Europe 2017, Allie Taylor’s presentation made waves in the community, with many other Talis Aspire users replicating the approach. The University of Worcester have also embraced LTI and section linking so that academics really can teach the modules in the way they designed. The library team were a part of the early beta phase for the new Student List View, and were quick to gather focus group feedback to support Talis Aspire in the development of the list view.”

“The University of Worcester showed a very holistic approach to advocacy. They seem to have begun and inspired a number of trends in advocacy in other universities, such as embedding a reading list session as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education qualification for academic staff.

The video they created certainly fits the bill as creative and the Talis Aspire User Group representatives loved the Lego copyright police and “one list to rule them all.”

Check out the award winning video right here.

External Examiner Follow up Workshop

22 May 2018
14:00 – 15:30
EE G021

“This workshop is most appropriate for those who have recently secured an external examiner post for the first time or those looking for additional support in conducting their external examiner duties. We will be focussing on your experiences to date as a new external examiner, the types and levels of support you have received from the institution and facilitate discussions around expectations and best practice. At the heart of the workshop is a practical session on writing your first external examiner report. We will provide examples of such reports for your consideration so that you can identify best practice to inform your writing.”

Members of staff can sign up on the Staff Development Workshop page.

Yoga – Tuesday 5:15-6:45pm

Yoga has many proven benefits including alleviating stress, boosting your sense of wellbeing, increasing flexibility, strengthening muscles, lowering blood pressure, aiding sleep and improving the immune system. If you would like to experience this for yourself, join Lovetree Yoga every Tuesday from 5:15-6:45pm in Gym 1. The yoga at these classes is Vinyasa Flow – a more dynamic style of yoga which links breath with movement to get you warm and keep you in motion throughout the session.

All levels of experience welcome! Mats are provided and you are welcome to bring your own. Prices are £8 to drop in, £3 for students or purchase a 5 class pass for £35. Remember that your first class is half price so perfect if you’re unsure and would like to have a go! The classes are open to all so please pass on this info if you have a friend or colleague who would be interested. Please contact Katy Chessum-Rice for further information at katy@lovetreeyoga.co.uk.

Please note that the session on 22 May is cancelled – back as usual on 29 May!

yoga

Katy Wareham Morris’s debut poetry collection: Cutting the Green Ribbon Launch

Dear colleagues,

I would like to invite you all to the launch of my debut poetry collection, Cutting the Green Ribbon, on Friday 18 May, 6pm in the Studio at The Hive. The collection is published by experimental, Bristol-based publisher, Hesterglock and I’ve received some positive feedback so far.

‘In Cutting the Green Ribbon, real-life contemporary experience is interspersed with the imagined voices of famous women, creating a multi-facetted and powerful collage of what it is to be woman. I’m reminded of the feminist slogan ‘The personal is political’, as vivid and startling imagery both strips bare and re-dresses notions of ‘femininity’. Even the language is alive, tantalising and tricky. Words and form interact playfully, and provocatively, in poems that are in turn tender and sharp, thought-provoking and paradoxical. This collection is hard, hungry, passionate.’ S.A. Leavesley (V Press)

‘Prepare yourself for this fast, furious, eminently female, visceral, sexy, brash, brave, experimental, roller-coaster of a poetry collection. I know of nothing else like it. This poet has found her own dark courageous, bold-as-brass voice. Brava!’ Deborah Alma (The Emergency Poet)

I will be joined by other female guest poets on the evening. Once again this event is free (no need to book) and open to staff, students and public, so please share it amongst your networks. There is a poster attached. I hope you can join us.

Best wishes,

Katy.

ctgr poster as JPEG

Athena SWAN Bronze Award

The University of Worcester has successfully achieved the prestigious Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

athena award 1

The awards, made by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), recognise commitment to tackling gender inequality in higher education and research.

The Universities application and associated action plan was developed by a Self-Assessment Team chaired by Dr John-Paul Wilson, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor Research, who is also senior lead for Athena SWAN with Professor Maggie Andrews as Academic Lead for Athena SWAN.

About Athena SWAN

‌ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter was originally established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

In May 2015 the Athena SWAN Charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

The Athena SWAN Charter covers women (and men where appropriate) in:

  • academic roles in STEMM and AHSSBL
  • professional and support staff
  • trans staff and students

In relation to their:

  • representation
  • progression of students into academia
  • journey through career milestones
  • working environment for all staff

Athena SWAN at Worcester

The University is a member of Athena SWAN and is fully committed to the principles of the Charter. We set out our commitment in our application for an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in November 2017, you can read the full application below.

For more information on Athena SWAN at Worcester please email AthenaSWAN@worc.ac.uk.

Mental Health Awareness week – Green Ribbon Campaign

THIS IS me – THE GREEN RIBBON CAMPAIGN

UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER: DURING MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK (14-20 May 2018)

green ribbon

This new initiative builds on the inspiring impact of the ‘This is Me – in the City’, whose mission is committed to changing attitudes towards mental health, collaborating to build inclusive workplace cultures, reducing stigma, dispelling myths and improving employee wellbeing.

The stigma of mental health is such a huge issue in organisations and for individuals and we want to address this. We are inviting University staff and students to wear a green ribbon as a visible sign of support and to help de-stigmatise mental health by:

  • Creating a visible movement of support for ending the stigma
  • Showing those struggling that there is support and they are not alone
  • Demonstrating the level of support for this issue in your organisation
  • Encouraging people to share their story and to create inclusive cultures

Imagine everywhere you go around the University during Mental Health Awareness Week (14-18 May 2018) you see staff and students showing they want to help #endthestigma of mental health by wearing a green ribbon.

end stigma

The University is piloting the Green Ribbon Campaign to help #endthestigma of mental health. The green ribbon has the simple, but powerful, message of “Together we can #endthestigma”.

Green ribbons will be available to pick up at reception on St John’s and City Campus, Firstpoint, Students’ Union, The Hive and Jenny Lind.

We are encouraging staff and students across the University to wear a green ribbon during Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May 2018).

Are you interested in joining a staff mental health network providing informal peer support while contributing to creating a mentally healthy workplace at the University? Email: j_smith@worc.ac.uk for more details.

ribbon campaign

MH Awareness Week

Naked Blog: ‘This is me’

The Naked Blog: ‘This is me’ campaign aims to challenge stigma around mental health at work and to break the culture of silence by encouraging staff to share their stories.

The ‘This is me’ campaign was originally created to encourage understanding about mental health issues and develop an environment where employees could comfortably speak out about their own personal experiences of mental health and wellbeing. Sharing stories is a pillar of the campaign. This enables employees to be authentic in telling their story and to capture the whole person, not just a challenge or a mental health problem.

We are marking the lead up to Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May 2018) through a similar UOW ‘Naked Blog :This is Me’ campaign launch. The Naked blogs have been shared by members of the newly formed University Staff Mental Health Network, talking about their own personal mental health challenges at work. The stories offer personal experiences and perspectives on mental health at work, experiences of supporting family members with mental health difficulties while also still working and line manager perspectives on supporting staff who may struggle from time to time with their mental health.

We hope that these blog posts will engage and resonate with staff colleagues and help us move forward as a staff community by talking more openly about our mental health and the stories from our lives that we carry with us at work. The intention is to start a process to encourage understanding, empathy, peer support and be a vehicle for cultural change within the University.

Naked Blog #1: This is me …

Like most people, I get stressed at work from time to time. Mostly it’s not a problem, but every now and then, like many people, I’ll end up taking work stress home with me.  Generally speaking this never escalates into anything I’d define as more serious. I had a brief bout of anxiety a couple of years ago, following a health scare, and I had what I now recognise to be depression when I was studying for my PhD. Despite that, I consider myself lucky that I haven’t ever suffered what I would consider to be any serious mental health issues in my life.

However, that doesn’t stop me appreciating the importance of mental health, not just for myself, but for the team that I manage. I’ve seen both friends and colleagues suffer with problems, which can manifest themselves in a whole variety of ways in the workplace and at home.

I feel that I have a duty of care as a manager for the individuals in my team, as does the university as a whole. I can’t be responsible for an individual’s self-care, but I can make sure that they know where to turn for help, for spotting their individual early warning signs, and to make sure they know I’m there to support them – whatever that support looks like for them.

These are the reasons I will be wearing my green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May.

 

Naked Blog #2: This is me …

I have had ups and downs with my mental health for as long as I can remember.

I experienced post-natal depression a year after my twins were born where I felt exhausted with the demands of motherhood and coping with three children under the age of three. The triggers were physical exhaustion, balancing work, as a teacher, with family commitments, not feeling ‘good enough’ and the death of my best friend. I learnt that you should ask for help when you need it and that there is no shame in admitting that you are struggling.

My depression was treated with anti-depressants and my desire to rid myself of the symptoms of anxiety led to an interest in meditation, mindfulness and Buddhism. This allowed me to find space in my mind and a peaceful and grateful outlook on life. I was Buddhist for ten years and attended many retreats that strengthened my practice. I was in a very good place but, in May 2014, that all ended….

One of my daughters, Poppy, who was one of my identical twins, collapsed at school, aged 11, and died suddenly and unexpectedly. I was left feeling suicidal and desperate. I had lost my daughter, my faith, my job (as I was a teacher at the school where my daughter died) and I had lost any sense of joy in life. I still have days now when I long for an end to the suffering. However, I have my family to consider and therefore, keep going and trying to find ways to keep as healthy as I can, mentally.

I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder which can affect me at any time; life is full of painful triggers, but I have never shared this with anyone at work for fear of them judging my competency in my job. Work has been a double edged sword for me as I have found it an escape and a distraction, but at times I have felt overwhelmed with my emotions and have fought to appear ‘professional’ which has sometimes left me feeling drained and lonely. I mainly ‘keep it together’ at work. There are many mornings when a colleague may ask, ‘How are you?’ and I find myself answering ‘fine, thanks’ but in my head the words echo, ‘you are far from fine!’ I realise that I don’t want to burden colleagues or, even worse, feel pitied, so I often keep the bad days to myself.

My eldest daughter has recently been experiencing severe social anxiety and she is unable to attend Sixth Form due to this. Living with the helplessness of not knowing how best to support her, has propelled me into becoming involved in supporting mental health for adolescents, students, teachers and staff at the university. This is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I find it such a relief to discuss mental health needs with people at work in an honest way without them changing the topic straight away and looking uncomfortable. I wish we could all empathise and discuss openly the depths of despair that many people experience when their mental health is poor or life deals them an unlucky hand.

These are the reasons I will be wearing my green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May.

Naked Blog #3: This is me …

I have lived with Depression for nearly 4 years.

It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who knows me that I went through a bit of a “rough patch” late last year. It wasn’t entirely obvious that I was depressed, and my self-deprecating humour even managed to convince me that I was just going through an ‘eccentric’ phase. It’s only when I look back that I understand how dangerously low I had become.

For me, Depression first formed as a complete lack of interest in the life I had carved out for myself, then a desire to go straight to bed after work. This was followed by an addiction to binge eating, and a tendency to sleep the whole weekend through given the chance. I lost connection with the outside world, overwhelmed by a sense of being completely alone and unworthy of help even among friends and loved ones.

But I’m thrilled to say I have trudged through the funk of Depression and am now reflecting on past events through a much clearer, healthier, happier lens. It took me to hit rock bottom to finally listen to my intuition, to hear that something wasn’t quite right up there, in my brain, and get proper help.

After 3 years of ‘going it alone,’ I finally spoke to my manager, and they immediately investigated the services available with guidance from HR. I was referred for counselling and given a ‘wellness action plan’ that enabled me to talk freely about my condition and flag up potential ‘warning signs’ that may be identified by my team. Whilst this was tremendously useful, it was the very notion of being able to ‘talk and be heard’ that would prove to be one of the most crucial points in my recovery journey.

The issue is, mental health conditions – apart from a handful of discernible characteristics – are unique to the individual. As such, my experience of life’s hurdles are mine alone.

However, all experiences of mental health conditions are worthy of sharing, which is why mental health awareness campaigns like this are so invaluable. Talking about my condition helps me to forgive myself for being a bit off-balance at work last year, and for all the hours of sweet nothing I did. But talking about it also plants a tiny seed in the online arena, in a place where literally any pair of eyes could land on this page and think “hmm this sounds familiar…”

In short, unless we share our own experiences of survival, and finding happiness against the odds, this small nugget of hope may remain undetected. So it’s time to talk about mental health. It’s time to be proud of the human’s capacity to experience ebbs and flows, dramatic highs and dangerous lows. It’s time to come together to share, to plant our own seeds, and rejoice when others blossom.

Alongside my work, I am now using this experience and support to help others by way of studying MSc Psychology, continuing professional development and training for holistic coaching outside of work hours. Thank you so much to my colleagues, managers and friends at work, for being so incredibly supportive and helping me find happiness today.

These are the reasons I will be wearing my green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May 2018.

 

Naked Blog #4: This is me …

I am a PhD student, and I feel proud to be one of the early members of the University of Worcester staff mental health network. My research topic, my previous professional experience and my personal experiences all contribute to my reasons for wanting to do something pro-active and positive in terms of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

My PhD research is exploring adult mental health, specifically looking at the impact of a student suicide on staff in UK Universities. So you could say it is about workplace mental health, and how the things that happen to us in the course of our job-roles can affect the way we feel and behave.

My interest in this stems from my experiences of working for a children’s charity in child protection and young people’s mental health. I was lucky to work in a very supportive team where the wellbeing of colleagues was taken seriously and the impact of job-role stressors were acknowledged and supported. My job-role gave me opportunities to work with teams throughout the West Midlands and south west of England to support team wellbeing and to build healthy team cultures. I have seen first hand the difference that open dialogue and non-judgemental communication make within work teams in terms of creating non-stigmatising environments where it feels ok to say ‘I’m not ok’.

I also have my own experience of living with depression and anxiety, and finding ways to manage my mental wellbeing as an employee. My experience has been that sometimes life presents us with multiple personal challenges. When this happened to me I found it really hard to find the focus and energy I needed in order to do my job. With support from others I realised I needed to stop. I took five weeks off work to give myself the time that I needed to rest and mentally recuperate; it felt incredibly scary at the time. However, it meant I felt able to return to my challenging job whilst continuing to cope with the life struggles I was facing. On reflection, I now see the choice to stop and get better as one of the smartest and most empowering things I have done.

These are the reasons I will be wearing my green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May.

 

Naked Blog #5: This is me …

I expressed an interest in joining a staff mental health network for many reasons.

In my home-life I have lived with my husband of 17 years, who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have attended counselling sessions to help me understand the condition, providing me with coping strategies on not taking his rituals personally, or shouldering his problems, but giving me strength to support him during difficult times.

My eldest son also has severe anxiety, especially during exam times (he is currently doing his GCSEs). He was also diagnosed with attachment disorder at a young age due to being in close contact with his grandparents who were terminally ill.

In my professional life I learnt the importance of looking after oneself, physically and mentally. I worked with vulnerable children and soon realised the need to ‘de-brief’, share a cuppa and a chat with a colleague, just to offload. During a very disruptive time in my previous workplace, I began to realise the physical effects workplace stress can have on you. I became ill with Bell’s Palsy and took the difficult decision to leave a job I loved for my own mental health and wellbeing.

Throughout my experiences I have realised the importance of company, of talking to each other, sharing the good days and the bad. Taking a breath of fresh air, having a good cry when needed, or chocolate cake, or a soak in the bath, whatever you need to do to keep mentally well.

These are the reasons I will be wearing my green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May.

 

Naked Blog #6: This is me …

‘Physician heal thyself’ is a phrase that resonates whenever I find myself struggling with stress and anxiety. I do find, working in a University context, that it’s difficult to maintain an even, balanced workload and from time to time, work can be very demanding and pressurised. It is during these periods that I can begin to feel stressed and anxious. My stress signs are typically manifest first at home with irritability and a sense of ‘burning martyr’ and an expectation that my family will see how stressed and busy I am and ‘muck in’ to support and lift the load at home or nurture with tea and sympathy- which they don’t! It can affect my sleep and mood. At work, I can be tearful and sensitive to criticism particularly when I know how hard I am trying to maintain standards and complete tasks in a timely manner.

I do have a repertoire of coping strategies that I draw on where I purposely book time with friends, cinema/theatre visits to stop me working overtime and switch my brain off. I book regular gym classes and get off on my bike after work to wind down and relax my inner tension. I have tried to review ways to manage work differently- learning to say ‘no’ or ‘not on this occasion’, being ‘Teflon’ rather than ‘Velcro’ and not taking on extra tasks, delegating and reviewing workload priorities. I try to challenge myself to accept ‘good enough’ and encourage myself through positive self talk as my personal ‘internal coach’ telling myself I can get through this period and can do it.. I also seek support chatting and venting to peers and my line manager and often don’t need advice as its in the telling that I hear myself and realise I need to slow down and change my rhythm to one I can sustain.

I have found that acceptance of ‘this is how it is just now’ rather than feeling ‘this is unjust or unreasonable’ has been a helpful accepting mindset. Experience has shown me that just as these periods can arise and at times, overwhelm they will also calm and dissipate and I have become more confident in my ability to weather a storm. Like a stone tossed about in a rough sea that has its edges smoothed, I have adjusted my attitudes and expectations on myself to match the prevailing weather conditions and created ‘stress buffers’ in my routines and life to stop myself from getting totally submerged. I have found that implementing my own active coping strategies has been key rather than expecting others at work or home to see that I am struggling and expecting them to step up to relieve my load or solve my problems for me.

By far and away, one of the most helpful things I have found is talking to colleagues and to find that others experience similar feelings and it’s not just me who is struggling and at times failing to keep on top of things. Talking with others has enabled me to explore their coping strategies and discuss other ways of handling similar demand scenarios. It’s not perfect, I still get stressed but I think my mindset has changed to one of acceptance of demand periods but making sure this is balanced by times when I can recuperate and take my foot off the accelerator pedal to reenergise and re-boost for the next ‘perfect storm’!

These are the reasons I will be wearing my green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week, 14 – 20 May 2018.

 

Want to get Involved?

To find out about joining the UOW staff mental health network and to feedback comments in response to reading these blogs, please e-mail: j_smith@worc.ac.uk

University Teaching Award Scheme

The 2018 University Teaching Award Scheme is now launched, and this has been developed as part of the initiatives to celebrate excellence at UW.

This new scheme is designed to recognise and reward excellent and outstanding practice in teaching, and in supporting and leading learning. The Scheme explicitly promotes innovative, inspiring and excellent practice which is outstanding in its impact to enhance and inspire student learning.

There are three categories of Award:

A             University of Worcester Teaching Award

B             University of Worcester Teaching Team Award

C             University of Worcester Leading Teaching Award.

Applications are welcomed from staff with a range of experience including academic staff, professional services and staff working in learning support. Full details are attached, and also available via the webpage http://www.worc.ac.uk/edu/1285.htm.

Introductory information workshops are scheduled through May and June. This year all applicants must attend an information workshop prior to application.

Bookings can me made via the staff development webpages

UW Teaching Award Scheme: Information Workshops

This workshop offers the opportunity to understand the requirements for the UWTAS, consider one’s next steps to an application and ask any questions.

NB: All applicants MUST attend an information workshop prior to application

Tuesday 15 May 2018                      9.30 am – 10.30 am                  room EEG021

Thursday 14 June 2018                     Information at the Learning and Teaching conference

Writing Workshops:

These offer the opportunity to write, ask questions and receive one-to-one support.

Wednesday 28 June 2018               2.30 pm – 4.30 pm                    room EEG024

Wednesday 12 July 2018                12.15 pm – 2.15 pm                  room CC 009 (Hereford Room)

Important Dates:

Register intention to submit an application: by 29 June 2018 via teachingaward@worc.ac.uk

Submit application: by 21 September 2018 (3 pm deadline) via teachingaward@worc.ac.uk

If you have any questions please email Kerry Whitehouse at k.whitehouse@worc.ac.uk or teachingaward@worc.ac.uk

Global Perspectives in Teacher Education International Conference

Tuesday 19 June – Wednesday 20 June

This exciting joint (with the University of Worcester and British Educational Research Association) conference entitled ‘Global Perspectives in Teacher Education’ will focus on a number of important themes related to the impact of globalisation and internationalisation on sustainable teacher education. The conference will consider ideas such as inclusion, sharing knowledge across the globe, curriculum and its impact on knowledge generation, globalising teacher education, developing evidence-informed practice and self-improving systems, diversity, global citizenship, and intercultural education. This conference takes forward some of the issues explored during last year’s conference entitled ‘Bridging the Global Educational Gap’, where we continued to look at UNESCO Education 2030: A Framework for Action and Education in a Global Context. This year’s conference will consider concrete solutions which support the UNESCO Education 2030 goals with the aim of allowing partnerships, networks and collaborations to be developed that will take forward some purposeful and real projects to support the development and vision of high-quality sustainable teacher education across the world.

The conference is aimed at researchers, academics, consultants, practitioners, teachers, research students and professionals working in fields such as international, inter-cultural and comparative education, curriculum development, education policy and practice. It will be a wonderful opportunity to make connections with others in your field and to support strong research-informed practice.

For further details please see the website at: https://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/global-perspectives-in-teacher-education.html

 

The Hive What’s On Guide May to August is now out

The new season of events includes comedy workshops with co-writer of the Royale Family and producer of Gavin and Stacey, Henry Normal on Wednesday 16 May, as well as the annual Reading Agency Summer Reading Challenge and the Ice Age Exhibition.

Download the latest The Hive – Whats On Guide Summer 2018

poetry on loan

Writing comedy for TV and Film – a workshop with Henry Normal – Wed, 16 May

Participate in a workshop with the hugely talented Henry Normal who has been working in TV and film for 25 years. Henry was co-writer of the Royale Family, Mrs Merton, Paul Calf, Coogan’s Run and the film the Parole Officer as well as producer of Gavin and Stacey, the Mighty Boosh, Moone Boy and the Alan Partridge film Alpha Papa and Philomena. Needless to say, Henry knows his comedy!

Wednesday 16 May, 4.30pm – 5.30pm

£15 per person (price includes a free ticket for Henry’s ‘Raining Upwards’ performance in the evening)

Book ticket

Henry Normal – Raining Upwards – Wed, 16 May

‘Succinct, heartrending and peppered with gentle punchlines’ – Hannah Verdier, The Guardian
The show Raining Upwards is both funny and poignant, exploring everything from before the big bang, to life, the universe, infinity and beyond.

Wednesday 16 May, 7 – 8.30pm.

£10 per person. £5 for concessions.

Book ticket

Students’ Union launches the ‘Big Worc Survey’

The Students’ Union has launched its first ever annual survey, encouraging students to shape their SU. We want to hear from all students at the University of Worcester, whether they’re part of a club or society, or have never even stepped inside the SU before.

We’re asking staff to encourage all students to take 15 minutes out of their day and complete the survey. The Students’ Union is vital to representing, supporting, and developing students during their time at university, and we want feedback from students to help the continuous improvement of our services.

The survey is open until 31 May and all students completing the survey will be automatically entered in to our prize draw, giving them the chance to win up to £100 in Amazon gift vouchers.

Students can find the survey via the following link – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BPLHVN8

Worc survey

ISES Research Seminars

Staff and students are invited to attend Institute of Sport & Exercise Science Research Seminars being held on 14 May:

Appetite and eating behaviour responses to acute high-intensity intermittent exercise in overweight, inactive females

Monday 14 May from 13:15-13:45 in EE 2033, St John’s Campus

Alice Burgin
PhD Research Student

Appetite and energy intake may be suppressed following high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE). Considering the potential for inducing a negative energy balance, this warrants further research in an inactive, overweight population. Yet, many previous studies have explored eating behaviour responses (appetite, energy and macronutrient intake) at pre-determined time points post-exercise which restricts the generalisability of these findings to the real world. In addition, the requirement of specialised apparatus of many HIIE protocols (such as exercise bikes) questions the effectiveness of many HIIE protocols for public health interventions. The purpose of the study that will be presented was to investigate participant-determined eating behaviours in response to a previously studied protocol of 4x30seconds of apparatus-free HIIE (star jumps) in inactive, overweight females. Findings may have important implications for the regulation of energy balance and weight management for this population.


Legacy, Education and Impact: a reflective piece on practice based research

Monday 14 May from 13:45-14:15 in EE 2033, St John’s Campus

Verity Postlethwaite
Final year doctoral candidate

The following presentation will be based on doctoral research conducted since October 2015 around the title – A legacy and policy evaluation in the case of education and the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics – the presentation will discuss a series of reflections around conducting research between academia and industry. The terms legacy and education will be considered from the perspectives of: academia, policy makers, media, sceptics and delivery agents; with a particular focus on how the differing angles have created a nexus of discourse and perception to the role of legacy within sporting mega event educational programmes. Secondly, the term impact will be considered from the perspective of a doctoral student who has proactively engaged with a non-academic audience throughout the research project, moreover, cultivated practical implications throughout the research.

Reflections of this nature are routinely undertaken and disseminated by academics and practitioners alike, this presentation will contribute to such; plus, suggest that there needs to be further problematisation and interrogation of particular challenges and tensions. The context for the presentation will be the nexus created by the terms – legacy, education and impact. Through the context and reflections the costs, benefits, opportunities and threats of working between academia and industry will be highlighted. In particular, how the expectations around impact from the beneficiaries, researchers and institutions must be articulated from the outset of practice based research, especially, in the realms of doctoral practice based research. The reflections will allow the author to articulate thoughts that will be useful to prospective doctoral students and then academic and non-academic audiences engaging with practice based research.

Fancy a game of rounders?

We are hoping to arrange a University wide mixed rounders tournament on 4 June at Lakeside campus starting at 5pm (weather dependent). If you would like to enter a team please email r.bullingham@worc.ac.uk there will be a fee for each person on the team to raise money for Smile for Joel. Rules can be provided for each team but the idea is a friendly work place tournament – no experience necessary.

 

Participants needed for Psychology staff project: Personality and Emotional Processing

I am running a study looking at the link between personality and emotional processing (a 45 min online survey, plus a 10 min computer based task to be completed on campus) & need research participants. This is a great way to experience the research process and, if you take part in the study, you’ll have the option of receiving feedback after completing the computer based task. If you’re interested and would like to know more, please click here (https://limefppw.ugent.be/limesurvey205/index.php/156193/lang-en) or email me, Dr Sarah Davis, Psychology: sarah.davis@worc.ac.uk. Thank you in advance!

Workplace Challenge events

Workplace Challenge Wheelchair Basketball – University of Worcester Arena

Join us for the 4th Workplace Challenge Wheelchair Basketball tournament in Worcester! We are offering businesses a chance to try their hand at the fast and fun Paralympic sport!

The tournament is a mixed event open to all abilities. Come along and get active, enjoy some friendly competition and try something new!

The event takes place on the 16th May from 6-8.30 pm at the University of Worcester Arena, Hylton Road, Worcester, WR2 5JN.

Registration is between 5.30 and 6 pm with games starting at 6.15 pm

Teams will consist of 8 members with 5 on court at any one time, with a registration cost of £40 per team. You will need to appoint a team captain, they will sign the whole team up. Please note this event is for over 18’s only.

Book at https://www.sportspartnershiphw.co.uk/events/2018/05/wpc-wheelchair-basketball

This event will be raising money for the Smile for Joel charity.

After losing three family members (Joel, Pat and Ade) in June 2015 during the Tunisian terror attacks, Suzi and Owen Richards wanted to make a difference in their name for others who have experienced losing someone they love in such a heart-breaking way.

SmileForJoel was set up as a fund raising charity to support and help shattered/ broken families who are victims of traumatic bereavement through homicide. They give direct to families the support that they desperately need. This support is very diverse, from time out for family breaks, special counselling, help with purchases of gifts or that special gift to a family to show them someone does care.

Thanks to all teams and volunteers taking part in the event


Workplace Challenge Mixed Netball – Hereford Sixth Form  

Join us for the 3rd Mixed Netball Tournament in Hereford.

The tournament is a mixed netball event open to all abilities, to come along get active and enjoy some friendly competition. As well as a chance to network with other businesses across the county.

The event will take place at Herefordshire Sixth Form College on Thursday 24th May, with a registration cost of £45 per team.

Timings:

  • Registration between 5.30pm and 6pm
  • Games start 6.15 pm

Teams can consist of a maximum 10 players (minimum of at least 7 is advised).

There should be no more than 3 men on court at any point so please consider this when planning your teams.

You will need to appoint a team captain, they will sign the whole team up. Please note that this event is for over 18’s only.

Prizes for the winners

Book at https://www.sportspartnershiphw.co.uk/events/2018/05/mixednetballhereford2018

 

Unlocking potential: the key to inspiring Life-long and Life-wide Learning University of Worcester Learning & Teaching Conference 13-14 June 2018

Call for papers

The theme for the University of Worcester Learning and Teaching 2018 conference is:  Unlocking potential: the key to inspiring life-long and life-wide learning.

In today’s culture of increasing accountability in Higher Education, this conference seeks to explore the opportunities for unlocking student potential. There are numerous strategies to inspire life-long learners, including authentic learning experiences, working in partnerships and sharing innovative approaches to learning, teaching and assessment.

The Conference will include a panel discussion on breaking boundaries and keynote lectures from:

Eric Stoller – A higher education thought-leader, consultant, writer, and speaker. He frequently gives keynotes on how educators can use social media for learning and engagement and is a proponent for teaching students about digital identity development.

You can get a taste of Eric’s work on his blog at http://ericstoller.com/blog/

Luke Millard – The Director of Educational Development Service at Birmingham City University; he is a Principal Fellow of the HEA and was Chair of the European First Year Experience conference in 2017.

We invite proposals which showcase teaching practice that encourages independent, holistic and continuous learning from those who work and study at the University of Worcester, partner colleges and beyond.

Abstract proposals and Titles for Ignite, should be submitted using the linked form.  Abstracts for Oral and Poster presentations should be no more than 250 words. A title and key words should be submitted for the Ignite presentations.

You are invited to submit an abstract to be presented in one of the following formats:

Ignite format – no more than 5 slides delivered in a short (max 5 minutes) session. Q&A will be at the end of all session along with networking opportunities. See www.ignitetalks.io for more information

Oral presentation – a presentation of no more than 12 minutes in duration with an additional 5 minutes for Q&A

Poster – specific guidance on the final layout and formatting will be provided upon notification of acceptance.

Although the conference committee aims to accommodate as many applications as possible, this is a selective process and spaces are limited. Where space is very limited in a particular strand, applicants may be asked to present in a different format to their original submission.

You will also need to register to attend the event in order to contribute to the conference; further information will be sent out in due course.

Criteria for acceptance

In order to be selected for the conference, your proposed contribution will need to:

  • Have clear relevance to the overall conference title and agenda
  • Be written with clarity so that the content is easily understood by the review panel and by conference delegates
  • Be of interest to conference delegates by describing practice or research from which others might learn
  • Ensure accuracy of citations, where these are used.

The closing date for submissions to the conference has been extended to Friday 11 May 2018. Submissions received after this date will not be accepted.

For further information please contact ltconference@worc.ac.uk.

Charity Auction and Table Sale – Thursday 17 May

Thanks to a generous donation, we have four tickets available for Thorpe Park and four tickets for Legoland. We will be auctioning these via written bids on Thursday 17 May in Reception, St John’s Campus, between 10am and 4pm. Starting bid £25 per pair.

Alongside this, there will be a wide range of items for sale, including:

  • Books
  • Stationery
  • Gifts
  • DIY items

Come along for a bid or a browse and you may find something you didn’t know you needed – raising money for an excellent cause in the process.

Bids also accepted via email to d.fox@worc.ac.uk until 4pm on 17 May.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire Charity Challenge Team

Share and Inspire Session: Enhancing Student Outcomes: A Targeted Focus on Assessment and Feedback

Assessment and feedback lie at the heart of students’ educational experiences in Higher Education. Eckel and King (2004) share how assessment affects student access, retention, completion and student satisfaction. Harland et al (2015) draw connections between assessment and feedback and aspects of attendance. Ultimately, there are fundamental connections between students’ experiences of assessment and feedback processes and their educational attainment outcomes (Carless, 2015; Boud & Molloy, 2013). However, as the NSS reveals, this is the ONE key area where student satisfaction tends to be most vulnerable. In this Share and Inspire session, colleagues from the Institute of Education, Institute of Health and the Worcester Business School will share insights into assessment and feedback practices that clarify connections between learning, teaching, purposeful assessment and strengthening students’ capacities and outcomes. The session will help you to: generate positive strategies for group work assessments; learn from current innovations in assessment; and enhance feedback practices with the aim of strengthening learning outcomes.

Wednesday 23 May 2018
12:30pm – 14:00pm
St John’s Campus EE 2010

Please sign up for this session using the staff professional development webpages:

https://ext-webapp-01.worc.ac.uk/staff/index.html.

 

Boud, D., and Molloy, E. (2013). (Eds.). Feedback in Higher and Professional Education, London: Routledge, 202-217.

Carless, D. (2015). Excellence in University Assessment, Routledge, Oxon. UK.

Eckel, P., and King, J. (2004) An overview of higher education in the united states: Diversity access and the role of the market place. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.

Harland, T, A. McLean, R. Wass, E. Miller & K. Nui Sim (2015). An assessment arms race and its fallout: high-stakes grading and the case for slow scholarship, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 40:4, 528-541, DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2014.931927

Library News: Talis Award for Excellence in Marketing and Engaging Academics; How Web of Science and Scopus can support your research

Talis Award for Excellence in Marketing and Engaging Academics

Library Services were the proud winners in the annual Talis awards, winning the prize for Excellence in Marketing and Engaging Academics and being highly commended is the Creativity Award. Here’s what the judging panel said:

“This award is for a dedication to academic adoption, shown impressive and creative methods and a well-executed plan. It’s clear that students and Academics are at the core of what the University of Worcester do. After Talis Insight Europe 2017, Allie Taylor’s presentation made waves in the community, with many other Talis Aspire users replicating the approach. The University of Worcester have also embraced LTI and section linking so that academics really can teach the modules in the way they designed. The library team were a part of the early beta phase for the new Student List View, and were quick to gather focus group feedback to support Talis Aspire in the development of the list view.”

“The University of Worcester showed a very holistic approach to advocacy. They seem to have begun and inspired a number of trends in advocacy in other universities, such as embedding a reading list session as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education qualification for academic staff.

The video they created certainly fits the bill as creative and the Talis Aspire User Group representatives loved the Lego copyright police and “one list to rule them all.”

Check out the award winning video right here.

 

How Web of Science and Scopus can support your research

Discover new research, track impact and find out about funding sources: how Web of Science and Scopus can support your research. Library Services will be running sessions on our citation and abstract indexes, Web of Science and Scopus, to show you how these tools can help your work.

Times and dates being considered include the lunchtimes of 5, 6, 12 or 26 June, or 17 or 18 July. Please send an expression of interest with your availability to Su Fagg s.fagg@worc.ac.uk or Hannah Hickman h.hickman@worc.ac.uk.

External Examiner Follow up Workshop

22 May 2018
14:00 – 15:30
EE G021

“This workshop is most appropriate for those who have recently secured an external examiner post for the first time or those looking for additional support in conducting their external examiner duties. We will be focussing on your experiences to date as a new external examiner, the types and levels of support you have received from the institution and facilitate discussions around expectations and best practice. At the heart of the workshop is a practical session on writing your first external examiner report. We will provide examples of such reports for your consideration so that you can identify best practice to inform your writing.”

Members of staff can sign up on the Staff Development Workshop page.