Category / Centre for Excellence in Learning

Call for project proposals – T/REFF funding

cel-logo-web                  cemp-logo

We are happy to announce this first TREFF call for proposals

TREFF (German word) – meeting point / coming together (thanks to Stephen Jukes!)

Two projects will be funded (£750 maximum each). One TREFF project will be funded in FMC by CEMP and one from UoA25 for non-FMC staff.

With the forthcoming Teaching Excellence Framework and the new version of REF, after the STERN report, ahead of us, we are keen to explore ways of working that converge pedagogic innovation with educational research in BU’s subject areas. Our view is that separating TEF and REF is problematic and that the STERN report and TEF together provide rich opportunities for higher education practitioners to align teaching excellence with impactful research.

Towards this, we are offering 2 small grants of £750 to fund T/REF pilot projects (TREFF).
The funding must be spent by the end of July 2017 and be supported by line manager(s), with the following outcomes:

An action research intervention that aims to make a significant difference to learning and teaching, related directly to the criteria for TEF;

The submission of a journal article reporting on the findings of the project and their significance for educational research (or a related field) outside of BU;

A presentation to faculty staff / CEL on how the project converged TEF and REF criteria (for unit of assessment 25 – Education)

More info on TEF:

FMC proposals should be submitted to both Isabella Rega and Julian McDougall

Non-FMC proposals should be submitted to both Debbie Holley and Julian McDougall


Proposals should be submitted by email, consisting of 2 elements:
A succinct proposal for the action research project, including the proposed outcomes (no more than 2 sides of A4)
A detailed expenditure plan for the funding – maximum £750.
Line manager support must also be confirmed at the point of application.

Deadline for proposals – Feb 28th 2017

Projects to be completed / funding spent by 31.7.17


Submissions for the Research Photography Competition are closing soon!

Paris photo

There’s not long left to submit your entry to the Research Photography Competition. Submissions will be closing on Friday 27 January at 5pm. 

We have already seen a number of fantastic images submitted from both our staff and student researchers, but there’s still time to submit your image. This a great opportunity to present your research that you’re either currently working on or have already completed. The competition allows your research to be showcased across BU and is a great addition to your portfolio.

You can find out more information here. 

If you have any questions then email us.

Please read through the terms and conditions here.

Introduction to Education Practice: A Programme for Research Students

The next session of our ‘Introduction to Education Practice‘ course will run from the 27th to the 29th of March.

This is a research-driven, practice-based course, aimed at doctoral students who are or will be supporting teaching activities.

The course has four main aims:

  • To introduce students to theoretical and practical knowledge on adult learning, with special emphasis on the UK context.
  • To introduce students to the UKPSF and the dimensions of Areas of Activity, Core Knowledge and Professional Values that underpin teaching and supporting learning.
  • To familiarise students with BU’s services and schemes for teaching and learning, as well as with leaning technology tools.
  • To provide students with opportunities to discuss and reflect about their particular teaching goals, and to offer a collegial space where they can receive feedback on their teaching practice.

IMG_20151207_100926Topics covered in the course include:
• The student experience of learning.
• Planning student-centred learning.
• Working in large and small groups.
• Assessment for learning.
• The potential of learning technology.

On the last day we celebrate our students’ learning by engaging them in a micro-teaching task, where they receive feedback and recommendations to improve their teaching practice.

The course is supported through materials in myBU.

Taking the course as a stepping stone, an optional follow up session will be organised for those students who would like to apply for Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy through the internal scheme TeachBUa great way of enhancing the doctoral studies experience in preparation for academic posts.

To see images and resources shared by previous cohorts, check out out #TeachBU on Twitter.

Course Convenor: Dr Jacqueline Priego (CEL).

To enroll please contact Organisational Development (register earlier to avoid disappointment, as spaces are limited).

Featured image credit: Tess Watson (CC BY 2.0).

From Draft to REF with CEMP’s new Publishing Partnership Initiative

Do you have an incomplete paper that you’ve been sitting and can’t seem to finish? Have you recently presented at a conference, but haven’t written-up a paper out of your presentation yet? Did you get a rejection and are struggling to get motivated again? Or maybe you’ve written a couple chapters of your PhD and are hoping to turn one into a publication?

Whatever the scenario, CEMP’s new Publishing Partnership Initiative (PPI) can help you to collaborate with another researcher to turn your ideas into a viable REF-ready journal article. And did we mention, you can win a free dinner for two?

Publishing Partnership Workshop
Thursday January 26th
Talbot Campus, BU
WG 05 (Weymouth House)

To launch the initiative, this workshop will introduce the Publishing Partnership Initiative and help you find a good match to develop your REF output. We will also discuss strategies and tips for working toward REF submissions:

11:00-11:15 Introductions and coffee

11:15-11:30 Welcome to the PPI scheme (Anna and Richard)

11:30-12:00 Hear No Evil, See No Evil: What you need to know about REF and the Sterne review (Julian & Dan J)

12:00-12:45 Interactive session: Strategies for fitting writing into our busy schedules (Brad & Karen)

12:45-13:15 Academic Finding the right journal and writing partner for your research output (Anna and Isa)

13:15-14:00 Catered planning lunch with our publishing partners

To participate: Send a 500+ word rough draft or outline of a potential research paper to AND Richard by Monday 23rd January 2017. This might be an abandoned draft, a conference version of a paper presentation or an outline for a possible research paper. At this stage, any draft you have might be gold, so don’t be shy!

To be a mentor or writing partner: Send an email with a list of your research and methodological areas of expertise to AND Richard by Monday 23rd January 2017.


Eat your Success! Partners who successfully submit a paper to a peer review journal within the 5 month time frame will receive a ‘dinner for two’ voucher to celebrate their success.*

*Voucher is worth up to £45.00. Does not cover alcoholic beverages.

We will aim to pair colleagues around expertise either in the same research area or in relation to the methodological approach. At least one partner will be accustomed to journal publishing and the REF process, as well as to the challenges facing us to find the time to research and write. In the first instance, this workshop is geared toward UoA 25, 34 and 36 entries (covering Education, Media Practice and Media Studies). For full details see:

*This project was initiated by Anna Feigenbaum and Richard Berger. It is supported by the UoA 25 development fund, CEMP, the Civic Media Hub & the Journalism Research Group.

BU: At the vanguard of integrating TEF and REF


BU’s recent promotion of Dr Debbie Holley to Professor, acknowledges the important and unique integration of her work, which inspires excellence in Higher Education pedagogy, underpinned by her own research.

Professor Holley – who is focussing on both BU’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) submission and co-convening unit of assessment 25 (Education)  in the upcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF) – is a leader in pedagogy, learning, innovation and creativity.

Well known across the sector, Professor Holley holds both a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship and a Principal Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy (HEA). From an industry background initially, Professor Holley now specialises in pedagogic research and enhancing the student experience through learning excellence.

Professor Holley said: “BU is unusual in the sector in drawing together preparation for both REF and TEF, mirroring their Fusion agenda of excellence in research, education and professional practice. It is exciting to be at the centre of these policy opportunities, to build synergy in a way that will further enhance the student experience. At BU we pride ourselves on delivering innovative teaching and learning that works for all of our students, regardless of background.”

In recognition of its sector-leading approach to blending pedagogy and research, BU established the Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL) in 2013 and – as Deputy Director – has placed Professor Holley in an important position to share and inspire others through her example.

CEL creates a focal point where high quality pedagogic practice can be generated, piloted, evaluated and shared, raising the profile of education as a valid source of scholarship. Its key aim is to harness energy and provide leadership that inspires excellence in learning, whilst conducting pedagogic research.

The Centre has proved to be very timely with the advent of the TEF, investing considerable energy over the last three years moving towards the majority of our academic staff becoming Fellows of the HEA or having a teaching qualification. CEL offers extensive staff development opportunities, inspiring colleagues to innovate in their teaching practice and to use BU’s new, state of the art building – The Fusion Building – to best advantage.

More information about BU’s pedagogic research, innovations and staff development opportunities can be found on the CEL website.

Successful HEA Reaccreditation

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) has reaccredited TeachBU and the PG Certificate in Education Practice until 2020 as routes to gaining national recognition as HEA Fellows. HEA Fellowship is an international recognition of a commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education and demonstrates that education practice is aligned with the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). To date over 75,000 individuals have become Fellows of the HEA.

The Accreditation Panel commended Bournemouth University on its commitment to the professional development and recognition of all staff that teach and support learning and the Academic Career Matrix, which further embeds the UK Professional Standards Framework within HR policies and processes.

They commented that the Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL) is a driver of significant change and improvement across the institution and promotes research-engaged teaching which is aligned with the UKPSF.
They also felt that there is an impressive infrastructure in place to support and develop the TeachBU provision and that participants are well supported by the clear guidance provided in the handbook which explains the requirements of each descriptor very well. Processes are well defined and the templates provided support applicants to structure their application to present the evidence of practice required.

We now have over 60% of BU academic staff with either HEA Fellowship and/or a recognized teaching qualification, with the ambition of raising this to 100% by 2018. Further details about TeachBU are available online here (via the ‘Working at BU’ tag on the staff intranet), together with details about upcoming introductory sessions and submission deadlines.

Dr Sue Eccles
November 2016

NVivo workshop and surgery – 4 November

As part of the Graduate School’s Research Development Programme 2016/17, Jacqueline Priego from CEL will be delivering an NVivo workshop. Details below:

Date: 4 November 2016

Time: 9.00-11.00

Venue: S103

Bookings via myBU *

Audience: This workshop is suitable for PGRs with some knowledge of qualitative analysis approaches.

Intended learning outcomes. By the end of this workshop you should be able to:

• Confidently identify the main elements of the NVivo interface

• Open and create new NVivo projects

• Prepare and modify documents

• Create codes and code documents

• Rearrange the coding system

• Perform simple retrieval of coded documents

• Use annotation and linking tools.

If you are already using NVivo for your research, you might like to drop in for the last half an hour of the session, when an open surgery will be held.

Jacqueline Priego has been delivering CAQDAS workshops and training postgraduate students and researchers on qualitative analysis since 2010. She is also available for queries relating to MAXQDA (not supported at BU).

*Spaces are limited due to room capacity – please book through myBU to avoid disappointment.

Try something different

With its vast agile space, glass-fronted seminar rooms and buzzing collaborative zones, BU’s new Fusion Building offers the perfect opportunity to reimagine learning scenarios – both inside the new walls and elsewhere on our campuses.

The Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL) is supporting staff to ‘try something different’ and inspire our students through innovative learning.

  • There are resources on the Try something different pages of the CEL website, looking specifically at how academics can use the spaces for different learning scenarios.
  • The Try something different video includes advice from BU’s Professor Stephen Heppell, who is a world expert in contemporary learning.
  • A series of i:Innovate workshops will help staff explore different technologies to deliver the curriculum, take new approaches to assessment and feedback, reimagine teaching large groups and much more. View the full list of i:Innovate workshops on the Staff Intranet.

Try something different today – and see where it takes you.

Festival of Social Science: widening participation and photography


“I want to take a break… stop autopiloting … everything that you do makes you feel”

Student, 10/10/2016

In My Voice, My Story, we explore what it means to be a non-traditional student at university through the participatory photographic and story technique, photovoice. This technique sees students become the researchers of their own lives through taking photos and telling their stories.

The photovoice method is a participatory approach used to inform policymakers, so that meaningful policy changes can be shaped the lived experiences of the communities the policies are intended to serve.


We focus on students from non-traditional backgrounds because we know how the lived experiences of these students are often marginalised by institutions and that this impacts upon their attainment and degree outcomes. Learning together in this way is a central tenet to our programme of Fair Access Research.

This research contributes to new, more participatory, ways of doing and thinking about widening participation which is a core tenet to BU’s Fair Access Research project.


Students Who Bounce Back, led by Dr Jacqueline Priego

We invite you all to a workshop where we will listen to the students’ voices, learn from the students’ stories, gain insights into different research methods and work together to develop practical responses to what we see and hear.  

Monday 7th November 2016 10:00 -13:00 in the Fusion Building, F105

Book a place here!

You will gain insights into the power of arts-based social participatory research methods for eliciting deep stories and re-represented for social action. Having engaged with storytelling, participants will discuss ways in which the students’ lived experiences could shape policy changes and interventions to better enable students to belong.

 Feel free to share this invitation  with your colleagues or networks.


For more information about this project or BU’s innovative Fair Access Research, email the Principal Investigators, Dr Vanessa Heaslip ( and Dr Clive Hunt (






Best paper award for CEL

Dr Debbie Holley and David Biggins presented a paper, co-authored with Dr Marketa Zezulkova and George Evangelinos, at the 3rd EAI International Conference on e-Learning e-Education and Online Training (eLEOT) in Dublin between 31st August and 2nd September 2016.  The paper was entitled Digital Competence and Capability Frameworks in the Context of Learning, Self-Development and HE Pedagogy.  The paper was possible through funding granted by the REF Committee as part of Unit of Assessment 25 (Education).

The paper was awarded the conference’s Best Paper Award.

The paper explores and compares the EU digital competence framework with the digital capabilities framework introduced within the UK higher and further education context in 2009 and updated in 2015.  The similarities and differences between the frameworks were explored.  Similarities include the focus on data in the context of privacy and overall literacy, as well as the inclusion in the latest release of both models of wellbeing into the key areas. The main difference between the digital competence and capabilities frameworks is in the former’s neglect of life-long learning and self-development. The paper concludes by arguing for a human-centered approach to digital competence and capability frameworks, in which learning, self-development and wellbeing should play a vital role.

BU’s TEL Toolkit was used as a case study example of how the frameworks can be used to underpin and inform physical implementations of digital solutions that benefit staff and students.   The team’s presentation at the conference acknowledged the creation of the Toolkit was a collaborative project for BU involving LLS, IT and academic staff.  The TEL Toolkit contains help, support and information to allow academic staff to use technology to develop their teaching, promote learning and enhance the student experience.  Since its launch in February 2016 it has been accessed 2,409 times, with 40% of the traffic coming from outside BU.  To access the TEL toolkit please click here.

The team were very pleased to receive this prestigious award.  Their research into frameworks and how TEL can be used to support teaching and learning is continuing.

eLEOT Best Paper award - Sep 16 LR

For further information about the papers delivered at eLEOT 2016, the twitter feed is #eleot2016.

If you would like more information on using TEL in your teaching, please contact David Biggins, TEL Theme Leader.

New paper Dr. Catherine Angell on CPD in Nepal

nnaCongratulations to Dr. Catherine Angell (FHSS) who just had her paper ‘Continual Professional Development (CPD): an opportunity to improve the Quality of Nursing Care in Nepal’ accepted in Health Prospect.   The paper is co-authored with BU Visiting Faculty Dr. Bibha Simkhada and Prof. Padam Simkhada  both based at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), Dr. Rose Khatri  and Dr. Sean Mackacel-logo-weby (also at LJMU), Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen in the Centre for Midwifery and Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH), and our colleagues in Dr. Sujan Marahatta and Associate Professor Chandra Kala Sharma. Ms. Chandra Kala Sharma is also the president of the Nepal Nursing Association (left in photo).  Health Prospect is an Open Access journal, hence freely available to anybody in Nepal (and elsewhere in the world).

dsc_0124This paper is first of several based on a study aiming to improve CPD in Nepal and it is partly funded by LJMU and partly funded by BU’s Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL).  The CEL-funded part of the project centres on focus group research with representatives of the Ministry of Health & Population, the Ministry of Education, the Nepal Nursing Association and the Nursing Council, and Higher Education providers of Nurse Education (both form Government-run universities and private colleges). The focus group schedule will include starter questions to initiate discussions around the kind of CPD nurses in Nepal need, its format, preferred models, the required quality and quantity, and ways of  checking up (quality control). In addition we will be asking a subgroup of nurses registered in Nepal about midwifery skills as midwifery is not recognised as a separate profession from nursing in Nepal. Hence there will be three focus groups specifically about midwifery CPD: one at MIDSON (the Midwifery Organisation of Nepal), one with nurses providing maternity care in private hospitals and one with nurses doing this in government hospitals.

The research is a natural FUSION project in the field of nursing & midwifery as it links Research in the field of Education to help improve Practice in Nepal.


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen




  1. (CPD): an opportunity to improve the Quality of Nursing Care in Nepal, Health Prospect (Accepted) 



Learning together: widening participation with you


We’ve been finding out how people working in higher education learn, think and feel about and put into practice widening participation.

Exploring the idea of widening participation as a process of organisational learning aligns with the core strategy of BU’s innovative Fair Access Research project — through working and learning together we can make a difference for students, where we work, how we work, yourselves and society.

At a time of uncertainty and inequality  in society and great changes in the sector, finding ways for us all to learn together in kinder and more effective ways matters.

Over the summer we have been doing some fieldwork and collecting sector-wide survey data to establish how different people in different organisations learn about widening participation.

We want to know how you, here at BU, understand, learn about and practice widening participation. We’ve designed a survey to capture your voices and experiences. 

In July we had the privilege of meeting with colleagues from across the university to explore some of these issues – we want to open that invitation to more of you through this survey.

For more information about the organisational learning project, email Dr Maggie Hutchings on

For more information about BU’s innovative Fair Access Research, email the Principal Investigators, Dr Vanessa Heaslip ( and Dr Clive Hunt (

To complete and share the survey follow this link.