Director’s update: Spring 2017

steve (2)Welcome to this, the Spring Edition of the FMS ERDP Newsletter.

In this edition you will read about some of the work that has been undertaken with the support of funding from the ERDP grant scheme.  I am pleased that the Committee have been able to fund such a wide range of activity including a Study Visit to Harvard, a workshop for anatomy educators, a study on resilience in students and a trial of Voice Thread; studies that are supporting curriculum development, development of our staff and work with our students.  We have two further deadlines for applications for funding in April and June and I look forward to receiving more applications that speak to the great range of educational activities that staff in the Faculty are undertaking.

Can I also remind you of our events programme?  Many of you have attended Journal Club, What I mean When I Say or Seminar events.  If you have not been before please can I encourage you to come along? They are informal and with plenty of opportunity for discussion provide opportunities to talk about teaching and share experiences away from the desk or teaching room.  If you have only managed to come to occasional events please come to more and find out what your colleagues are doing or are interested in.

In this newsletter Patrick Rosencrantz draws our attention to a resource for teachers in psychology.  This publication from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology is truly comprehensive and while there is a lot of content that is discipline-specific this e-book contains much that will be of interest to all teachers in HE.  It is a good example of how well-developed some of these discipline-based teaching networks are in the USA.  They exist for many disciplines, certainly two that I know of in anatomy as part of the American Association of Anatomists and the teaching networks for Engineers are extremely well-developed.  So, if you have not investigated whether your discipline has a well-developed teaching network in North America then I would urge you to find out as it would be a valuable means to find out what is going on in teaching in your area of interest and could also be a route to dissemination of your own work.

In June ERDP will be joining an event organized by Jarka Glassey in CEAM when Suzanne Kresta from Alberta and one of the editors of the Education for Chemical Engineers journal will be speaking on learning and teaching and we will be advertising that event shortly.  This an event whose interest will extend well-beyond chemical engineering because education is an activity that unites all who teach students in Newcastle and we can all learn something from the way subjects are taught in other disciplines.

Finally, many of you will be going to education conferences between now and when the next newsletter is due to appear.  If you would like to write a short piece on the highlights of the conference you attended we will be happy to receive it. Please send it through to

Prof Steve McHanwell, Director, FMS Unit for ERDP

Leave a Reply