Q&A with keynote speaker Liz Barnes

programme and registerFollowing on from our mini-interview with Simon Lancaster, we caught up with our second keynote speaker, Liz Barnes, who is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor here at Sheffield Hallam. Here’s what she shared with us.

mastermind-chairWhat will be the theme of your keynote?

I have been asked to share some of my experiences throughout my career in learning and teaching and how my thoughts and practice have been shaped. From this I will say something about my vision for the future at SHU

What excites you about teaching today?

I have always been interested in how we engage students in their learning more effectively and we have so many more tools to support us in this now with the advances in technology, but also our ability to disseminate practice much more widely.  Access to resources has taken teaching and learning to a whole new level.

What do you think has been the biggest shift in how students approach their learning in the last few years?

We have always talked about students taking more responsibility for their learning and how we support them to become autonomous learners,  but through the use of technology and particularly social media I think we are seeing a much greater emphasis on informal communities of learning and students accessing a wealth of resources and being much more creative in how they present their work.

And for staff?

It’s much the same – the ability to share and develop practice. The challenge though is keeping up with all the changes and being able to select tools that genuinely add value and enhance learning as opposed to being the latest ‘gimmick’.

What do you hope to get out of the day?

I am always overwhelmed by the diverse and rich practice that is shared and find it really exciting hearing about how students’ learning experience continues to change and evolve. I also welcome the opportunity to network and spend some time with our staff hearing about the challenges and opportunities and about their hopes for the future.

What one thing do you hope delegates will take away with them?

Excitement that drives them to continue to reflect on, develop and share their practice in facilitating learning.