Wednesday, 8 April 2009

ALDinHE conference 2009

I've just returned from the ALDinHE 2009 conference at Bournemouth University. I've not been to many conferences, but the ones I have been to, more often than not, have left me underwhelmed. This one, however, was different. Stimulating keynotes, a wide choice of workshops, time to network, brilliantly organised and a cracking conference dinner.

Monday's keynote was from Dr Dennis Hayes entitled From flagellation to therapy: what are students learning today? Dennis, with Kathryn Ecclestone, is the author of The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education. His presentation was thought provoking and controversial (especially in this context). I must say I enjoyed his straight talking (many didn't), even though most of his assertions seemed to be based on anecdotes. He had loads of time for questions, which was just as well, because there were loads of questions. Conversations (often heated) spilled over into lunch and well beyond. It really did the job of encouraging debate.

Tuesday's keynote was from Professor Alan Mortiboys entitled Using Emotional Intelligence in Learning Development- what does it mean for the tutor to use emotional intelligence in learning development, and why is it important? Alan is the author of Teaching with Emotional Intelligence. His presentation was much less controversial, but I thought had much less content. I was struck by his comment that we should aim for emotional as well as cognitive learning outcomes. He got us to do various activities around developing our emotional intelligence as learning developers.

I also attended some very useful workshops, not least one entitled The magic resource maker. Many of the workshops I went to though weren't really workshops, but rather presentations with a few minutes for questions at the end, which was a little frustrating. Not that I mind presentations (although I can't cope with many after a keynote), I just don't like them being called workshops.

However, even though the keynotes and some workshops were very stimulating, perhaps the most useful aspect was meeting colleagues from similar services to ours from across the UK. I particularly enjoyed meeting people I'd previously met on Twitter, including Becka Currant and John Hilsdon. The image below is a wordle formed from the tweets of the conference, which might give you a flavour of what went on.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like an interesting conference Stuart - great post about it. I loved the wordle from the tweets! A great idea - we've found in the past that twitter search has a limited life, so Alan has pulled the text using RSS or into google reader to preserve it. Now that twitter search is within twitter I guess this may change.

    Looks like you converted a few delegates and picked up some new twitterers in your network too.