3rd Meeting SIG Curriculum Development

On the third meeting of the SIG “Curriculum Development” (23/03/2015) the following topics were discussed

  • Concepts for curriculum development
  • Practices of curriculum development
  • Existing guidelines

Please refer to the SIG page for documentation: http://www.sfdn.ch/?p=760

The next meeting will take on 9th June 2015, 9am. Please fill in the Doodle till 2nd april 2015.

Please register here: http://doodle.com/kh7a2dqztpn45h8n


ICED Continental Symposium: “Evidence-based Educational Development”, June 14 & 15, Victoria, British Columbia

Presidents and Educational leaders from 24 countries around the world will participate in an outstanding collaboration of workshops, panels and open conversations. This continental symposium will dive into a range of evidence-based practices across disciplines and professional practice and push the boundaries of development by sharing very diverse perspectives. Engage with these leaders as they unpack and reveal national approaches that generate evidence worth sharing in a variety of contexts.


Please find details here: http://miietl.mcmaster.ca/site/iced-2015/



SFDN-Workshop on Academic Writing: Strategies for Inspiring Faculty and Yourself

What evidence-based strategies can academic developers use to inspire faculty to write more confidently, prolifically, and with greater pleasure?

Workshop with Helen Sword (University of Auckland)

Wed, 13 May 2015, 9.30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

University of Berne, UniS Schanzeneckstrasse 1

Details can be found here: SFDNworkshop_AcademicWriting_13May2015.

Please register here: https://unilu.doodle.com/ig3488iatqnz6ukd.


Looking forward to seeing you in Berne on May 13!


Avatar Benno Volk Avatar Ariane


European Conference on SoTL, University College Cork, June 8-9 2015


Many educational development initiatives emphasize a scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) approach, but what does this mean, in theory and in practice? How can the scholarship of teaching and learning help to tackle some of the key challenges higher education is currently facing, and help institutions and academics stay focused on quality student learning?

The inaugural EuroSoTL conference, a regional event of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, will take place in University College Cork in June 2015. The conference will address these general themes and is open to all Higher Education staff and students with an interest in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.


Keynote Speakers

  • Professor Kathy Takayama, President of ISSOTL Executive Director of the Sheridan Center for Teaching & Learning and Professor of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, USA “Authentic inquiry in STEM through collaborative e-Portfolios”
  • Professor Veronica Bamber, Chair of the QAA ‘Student Transitions’ Enhancement theme and Director of the Centre for Academic Practice in Queen Margaret University, UK Making the most of SoTL to support students in the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate taught students”
  • Professor Joelle Fanghanel, Professor of Higher Education and Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Development & Scholarship), University of West London, UK “Defining and supporting the scholarship of teaching and learning: a sector-wide study”


Plenary Panel: “Conceptions of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning“
Discussions based around video contributions by:

  • Professor Pat Hutchings, Senior Associate and former Vice President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, USA
  • Professor Mick Healey, Higher Education consultant and researcher, and Emeritus Professor, University of Gloucestershire, UK


Call for abstracts

The call for abstracts is just out and registration has recently opened. We welcome submissions of emerging, ongoing, or well-established work, and interested participants are invited to submit a 300 word abstract for a paper, poster, workshop/panel or Pecha-Kucha style presentation to nairtl@ucc.ie. The deadline for abstract submission is February 22nd 2015. Please go to www.nairtl.ie/conference2015 for further details and to download the abstract submission form.

Questions to be addressed might include:

– How can SoTL help bridge boundaries between languages, cultures, nations, or between academia and society?

– What role does SoTL play in supporting interdisciplinary work?

– How can SoTL inform the changing roles and expectations of students and teachers in higher education?

– Is SoTL assisting the cultural shift involved in building digital literacy?

– How can SoTL inform key transitions in the student’s journey?



Early bird registration rates are available up to March 15th 2015, and there is a further discount available to ISSOTL members. Click here to register for the conference.


For further information please contact the following:

Dr Bettie Higgs                          [E]: b.higgs@ucc.ie                              [T]: 021 4904578

Dr Catherine O’Mahony             [E]: catherine.omahony@ucc.ie          [T]: 021 4904690



SFDN-Workshop with Prof. Eric Mazur @ ETH (Nov., 28th 2014)

Prof. Eric Mazur: Flat space – deep learning



Based on the principles of backward course design (Wiggins & McTigh, 2005) Eric Mazur presented the redesign of his own course at Harvard. He promoted the backward course design approach that recommends to start “with the end in mind” by defining desired learning outcomes of a course at first.

The next step is about planning ways to measure the learning outcomes with “acceptable evidence”, and finally thinking about a suitable “instructional approach” that relies on the principle of students having the ownership of learning (November, 2012), and collaboration as a perfect way to develop knowledge and skills.

Therefore, he changed his course from a lecture into a course based on a team and project-based approach. Mazur mentioned that redesigning a course must be seen as a long-term process, and couldn’t be finished after one semester. He gave an inside view in the process of the planning process, and the realization of his didactic concept at Harvard.


Mazur@ETH-06 IMG_1504

Slides of the presentation:




Tool for Peer Instruction: https://learningcatalytics.com

Team Based Learning: http://tblc.roundtablelive.org

Resources  concerning Mazur’s course “AP50”: https://www.dropbox.com/s/x9d9wcaoe1l5nzh/Visitor%20Packet%20Complete.pdf?dl=0

nb (notabene) – an annotation taking tool online: http://nb.mit.edu/welcome



Grant P. Wiggins & Jay McTigh (2005). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Alan November (2012). Who owns the learning? Bloomington, Indiana: Solution Tree Press.


Mazur@ETH-04 Mazur@ETH-05






Designing Environments for Learning


During the last 2 years, the Educational Technologies Unit at the University of Basel conducted a study and subsequent project on Campus Development, exploring and discussing questions like: How do modern technologies drive change in learning, and how does the university campus accommodate that development? What kind of learning environment can facilitate the modern learners’ diverse needs, both in physical rooms and e-learning settings? In what respect might this campus development support the university’s strategic goals? And how should different stakeholders collaborate on the way towards the “campus of tomorrow”?

The project involved almost 100 internal and external experts and users. As a result, a working group on “Learning Spaces” (AG Lernräume) now connects the different players in the fields of campus infrastructure and services as well as didactics, in an ongoing process of conducting projects, evaluating and refining rooms and processes alike. Various pilot projects explore ways and methods e.g. of appropriate user participation, be it in workshops, through interviews or questionnaires, or in a permanent student group for early feedback on ideas and projects.

For further information on the study and project, please visit the weblog on https://itsi.ltn.unibas.ch, for information on pilot projects see https://bbit-hsd.unibas.ch/tag/lernumgebung.

working group learning spaces

SIG University Teaching Education

The SIG University teaching education aims to create a space where practitioners and researchers can share and reflect together practical concerns, so that together generate ways to face current and forthcoming challenges in this area. This SIG have also the mission to identify cross-institutional concerns and support the development of collaborative projects.

A virtual space was created to facilitate the exchange and reflection among the members (SWITCH toolbox platform).

If you have any question, comment or are interested in participate in the SIG activities please contact Vania Guerra (guer@zhaw.ch)



Successful Kick off meeting of SIG University Teaching Education

Dear SFDN members,

The past friday 31st October was taking place the kick off meeting of our SIG University Teaching Education. 6 enthusiastic SFDN members worked together during 3 hours, where we shared our interests and through an interesting and intense discussion we built a common understanding of the goal of our SIG, how we will start working and some visions about what we are aiming at.

impressions from a nice and intensive work session… (Photos: Monica Feixas)

We want to thank Monica Feixas for her participation and the documentation of the event! That’s why we can not see her in the pics ;).

For more information about our meeting and our activities you can contact Vania Guerra (guar@zhaw.ch) or go to the SIG section were we will be posting soon the minutes and more information about our internal activities.