Friday, 29 June 2012

MJET - Middlesex Journal of Educational Technology

MJET is Middlesex’s in-house electronic journal for educational discourse. It aims to provide an unintimidating way for authors to publish papers and working papers. The journal is interdisciplinary in approach and the papers are directed towards the study and research of learning in its diverse aspects: pedagogical, curricular, sociological, economic, philosophical, and technical that contribute to the development of both theory and practice in the field of education.

For more information see:

It is a possible outlet for contributors to this conference. The latest issue is currently being edited and will be available shortly. The following are the articles included in the issue:
My iPad and i. Ellie Franklin
Using iMmediate video feedback. Phil Barter
Examples of ways of working away from the desk with an iPad: strengths and limitations. Steve Nunn and Nollaig Frost
Towards the development of a mobile learning model for smart phones using stakeholders’ analysis. Evangelos Moustaka and Isabel Oliveira
Using an old technology in a new way or using a new technology in an old way? Exploring the use of audio feedback post-teaching observation? Carole Davis and Agnes Ryder
Creating an integrated online learning module for information literacy, academic writing and communication skills: The BRILO project. Adam Edwards

The inaugural issue was published in 2011 and is available (in PDF and EPUB formats) at :

Steve Chilton
MJET Co-editor

Chris Shiel: Keynote presentation - Contributing to a learning planet

Link to abstract

Contributing to a learning planet?
What do we need to understand about the planet and what do we mean by global education?

Chris Shiel’s keynote speech delivered an inspirational and passionate view of internationalisation and sustainable development. She started us thinking by asking if anyone was wearing anything that was sourced and made exclusively in the UK, which neatly led into the issues to be covered – Internationalisation and Sustainable Development – ‘HUGE AND HIGHLY COMPLEX SUBJECTS’, as she put it (her caps).

A key issue was the strong link between internationalisation and employability. HE is a global industry but – in the UK – how are we ensuring our students have a global awareness? Nowadays many employers are more interested in knowledge and awareness of the wider world than in A-level results and there is evidence that they feel graduates’ horizons are not broad enough. The UK, she argued, will be left behind by fast-growing countries such as China, India and Brazil unless we really start to educate our young people to think globally.

Chris pointed out that although Educational Sustainable Development (ESD) was signed up to by most Vice-Chancellors, the awareness of this policy at the ‘chalk face’ was low (a point she supported by asking for a show of hands from us). Chris also questioned the myth of student mobility, asking whether UK students can actually meet the challenge of moving to another country. She suggested we need support to weave the global perspective into the curriculum and gave examples of how this is being achieved at Bournemouth University through embedding global and international perspectives throughout the learning experience. On the wider stage, her important considerations are: curriculum, pedagogy, mobility, extra-curricular, and social entrepreneurship.

It was a challenging presentation, asking a lot of questions of us: Do we assume we know everything? Do we ask often enough what we can learn from our overseas colleagues?

She feels we should be contributing to a learning planet by connecting agendas and balancing the regional with the global. She left us with a quote: “The global economy demands global thinking. We are preparing learners for a future that is evolving, uncertain and global – that future needs to be sustainable” and a YouTube clip:

Celia Cozens, CLTE

Track A: Barriers and benefactors: Overseas masters students’ experience of seeking success in the UK HE environment

Link to abstract
Presenters: Clare O'Donoghue & Stephen Burbidge, Middlesex University

Stephen gathered his data through the use of  ‘rich pictures’ were students expressed themselves through icons.  He has found this to be a good tool which highlights student’s concerns in their first 2 weeks after their arrival in the UK.

Clare gathered data from 68 completed  questionnaires.  The first set of questions related to personal data, educational context in which English was learnt and types of academic assessment.

The second questionnaire contained questions ranging from accommodation to wellbeing.  The questionnaires offer rich data which gives an in-sight into the experiences of students.  A number of analyses have been produced from the questionnaires including  pre-arrival anxieties which came true. I highly recommend that you visit the link below to get a fuller picture and believe the results would be beneficial to any one involved with over-seas students.

Betty Sinyinza, CLTE

Participant video feedback

Dr David Killick, Leeds Metropolitan University
Matthew Jones, Statistics, MDX London

Participant video feedback

Theresa Bourne, Midwifery, MDX London
Matilda Filolli, MDX London Student
Kate Healy, Learning Resources, MDX London

Participant video feedback

Matthew Quaife, Social Work, MDX London
Sophie Ball, Student Exchange, MDX London
Eva Szatmari, Learner Development Unit, MDX London
Mark McPherson, Marketing and Enterprise Department, MDX London

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Track B: The challenges of mature global distance learners: Lessons from the MUBS online MBA's

Link to abstract
Presenters: Dr Simon Best & Dr Kristian J Sund, Middlesex University

What a lively and thought-provoking session! Kristian and Simon shared their experiences of teaching and managing the MBA in Shipping and Logistics and the MBA in Oil and Gas respectively. The MBA in Shipping and Logistics was launched in 2009 and was designed to equip current and future maritime leaders with the skills, knowledge and tools they need to manage their business successfully. The programme focuses on major topics such as maritime administration, ship finance, risk management, maritime economics and trade, maritime law etc. The online mode of delivery has provided a wealth of experience for teaching and administrative members of staff. Kristian placed particular emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of the tutor, the administrative requirements for successfully running such an international programme and the importance of authoring high quality learning materials.

Simon provided an overview of the MBA in Oil & Gas, which was launched in 2011 and is delivered exclusively online over 24 months. The programme is designed and delivered so that students can accelerate their professional development without having to pause their career or take long periods out from their work which in many cases takes place on oil rigs. He also shared with the audience his belief that face-to-face and online teaching are almost mutually exclusive in terms of some of their key teaching prerequisites.

It was very interesting to compare the experiences of running two exclusively online programmes and draw on their similarities and differences. Perhaps most importantly, Kristian and Simon outlined future research plans on factors that lead to students satisfaction and achievement; they intend to look into the quality of tutoring and devise ways of measuring the quality of online tutoring. They are interested in both quantitative and qualitative aspects of student learning for example type of posts, frequency of student participation and response time to students. The session was well-received and contributions from the audience highlighted the relevance of the teaching practices currently developed at the Business School.

Mike Mimirinis, CLTE

Track H: Developing communication strategies to support remote teaching teams

Link to abstract
Presenters: Cathy Minett-Smith & Kirsteen Macdonald, Middlesex University

The challenges of supporting remote teaching teams are manyfold, and the roles of staff in developing a strategy to deal with them is often unclear. Cathy and Kirsteen explained how important the role of the module leader is as part of an international team, and suggested that in most cases there is a genuine desire to develop an effective partnership with staff overseas. However, there is an element of academic staff who are frustrated with the effort involved in including international students in their curricula, and are generally of the opinion that the phrase 'my students' refers only to their UK students.

It was explained that it is not easy to build relationships with remote teaching staff when the teams change so often, and lack of time and differing calendars can make communication difficult. When communication does occur, it is usually by telephone or email, which can be quite limiting. We were split into groups and given scenarios to discuss. Issues were raised such as consistent and fair marking while being aware of cultural differences, and the varying expectations that module leaders have of module co-ordinators.

The session highlighted the need for improved, natural communication with remote teaching teams. Tools such as online chat, video conferencing and lecture capture were discussed. It was emphasised that so-called 'virtual teams' consist of real people and communication should reflect that. The end goal would be to move away from the 'parent/child' relationship that exists between module leaders and overseas tutors, and towards a more collaborative team effort.

Paul Smith, CLTE

David Law: Keynote Presentation - Internationalisation - a crowded world?

Link to abstract

Internationalisation - a crowded world?

David Law, from Edge Hill University, gave a fascinating keynote to close the conference. He struck a good balance between entertaining and informing, keeping the audience engaged after what had been a long day.

He started by outlining the increasingly competitive nature of the competition of the global HE field, and immediately noting that there was no one recipe for success if pursuing internationalisation. What worked for his (and our) institution wouldn’t work for, say, a Russell Group University.

Devising and delivering an appropriate strategy was a major consideration for institutions trying to operate more globally. This strategy may have many strands though. David proposed that this strategy should include an enabling leadership, and encompass academic practice, student support and cultural inclusivity.

David ran through traditional models of importing students, exporting students, and even partnerships, before suggesting that a networked model might be the way forward (even between institutions). He concluded that “universities must operate in a consistent and consciously co-operative way (even though there are many features of a competitive market)”.

Steve Chilton, CLTE

Introduced by Dr Nicky Torrance, Director of Learning and Teaching, MDX

Track J: What is university education for? England and South Africa compared

Link to abstract
Presenters: Mariette Jones & Maureen Spencer

Maureen and Mariette gave us a very topical and thought provoking presentation. They started by providing a context of higher education today, positioning our uni in current UK and global political context. They also discussed liberal education and how these ideas influence our and our students expectations of what universities should do. They shared with us the initial findings of their research project where they investigated the views of students in the UK, Mauritius and South Africa regarding the role of universities. Surprisingly the student responses were very similar, even though the students themselves represented distinct groups and had different cultural backgrounds.

Agi Ryder, CLTE

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Registration 2012...

Track L: A view of internationalisation

Link to abstract
Presenter: Dr David Killick, Leeds Metropolitan University

‘I don’t care what these international students have to say’ interestingly, (and perhaps, given the flavour of the conference, thankfully) this quote was not directly from Dr Killick himself. Instead, and of importance to Dr Killick’s talk, it was a quote proffered by one of his students. The student offered this view upon completion of a piece of group work in which they had worked within consciously created multi cultural groups. Interestingly the student was studying language and was about to embark upon a year studying abroad. In offering this quote, Dr Killick far from trying to ‘out’ a racist student instead cleverly used this quote to cause his audience to recognise that the incorporation of an international identity into a student’s life is a complex and difficult task.

Dr Killick proceeded to offer an introductory framework by asking ‘Internationalisation, by whom, to whom and why’? He stated that the we are pre-conditioned by the discourse of internationalisation into thinking about mostly geographical and business related issues and endeavours namely; overseas campuses, exchanges, partnerships and mobility. He also challenged the audience by reminding us that still, internationalisation may have negative connotations to domestic students and if we are to move on in this area we need to understand these views and why they occur.

Dr Killick next shared the work which Leeds Met have been carrying out in order to counter act the potentially negative student view of internationalisation as well as to produce global graduates. Leeds Met have incorporated internationalisation when defining their graduate attributes. The ‘global outlook’ attribute incorporates 2 areas; Inclusivity and Global relevance. Leeds Met has stated that the development of graduate attributes is not separate from discipline knowledge and so is to be embedded within the curriculum. In conjunction with the idea of constructive alignment Leeds Met looked at rewriting learning outcomes to encourage the development of graduate attributes.  

This exercise started with Dr Killick’s team authoring generic ‘global outlook’ learning outcomes from which teaching teams then created discipline specific learning outcomes (examples of each were offered and are available within the slides).

Dave Westwood, CLTE

Track K: Internationalisation and pedagogy

Link to abstract
Presenter: Aftab Dean, Leeds Metropolitan University

Aftab Dean has been researching aspects of university branding, international student recruitment and their experience for a number of years and has compiled a large amount of compelling data and expertise in this field. I last attended a presentation that he gave at a Business School promoted conference back in September 2010.

Aftab was pleased to be able to report on a study that he had recently completed that was based on the successful recruitment and enhancement of learning for Indian students from which he has been able to draw some significant conclusions. This work started with his involvement in reviewing NSS data from an international student perspective on behalf of the HEA. He presented a huge amount of data as graphs and tables that looked very interesting, but were difficult to assimilate in this time restricted presentation.

One of the most interesting aspects of this study is that Aftab was able to look not only at India as a single entity, but had broken the country down into 4 geographical regions that he discovered had their own identifiable separate needs and concerns in respect of their higher education experience. This would allow his university to both target recruitment more accurately as well as tailor the student experience to suit these needs.

The presentation covered important issues such as the time it takes for international students to acclimatise to a UK-based institution. He noted the impact of growing competition and the development of India’s own higher education system, combined with the UK border agencies recent stance on student visas.

In addition Aftab had identified some significant ‘pull factors’ that explain why international students chose a British based education and broken these down into 9 catagories (all beginning with C). Perhaps unsurprisingly the most important category was 'Career' that headed up the key concern from a wide range of responses. Further to this he had identified some significant differences between the learning preferences of home and international students, with the former preferring individual tasks and assignments and with the latter expressing a preference for group work and the use of social media as an education tool. Both groups wanted the programmes to make use of YouTube and visual media within the curriculum.

In conclusion Aftab has evolved an enhancement process for working with international students called M.A.T.E.S. This is an holistic approach that incorporates the roles of Market, Advertising, Training, Engagement and Support in the consideration of an international student’s entire higher education experience.

Mike Seignior, CLTE

Track G: International students' learning journey

Link to Abstract
Presenters: Salma Ibrahim, Shelia Karsan, Bob Fisher, Luciano Celini, Middlesex University

The team has given us a wonderful overview of the work they have been doing on the BA International Business Administration (BAIBA) programme. This programme is taken by students all over the world and the challenges of supporting the academic needs of such a diverse group was discussed. One of the key points highlighted was the need to recognize the power of collaboration and that students don’t learn in silos. Collaboration was also necessary on the behalf of the programme team in order to co-ordinate the input of staff from Learning Resources, the LDU, Student Achievement Advisors, and Academic Assistants. The feedback received from students showed that they appreciated all the support offered and helped them gain more confidence and improved the various skills expected from graduates in the 21st century.

Agi Ryder, CLTE

Track E: The view from over here: Branch campuses and their role in the development of Middlesex as a global education provider

Link to abstract
Presenter: Dr Lois Smith 

Dr Lois Smith is Head of the MA Education Programme, and Teaching and Learning Coordinator at Middlesex University, Dubai. The aims of Lois’s workshop were to look at branch campuses’ perceptions of teaching & learning and to raise awareness of their place in a ‘global’ University (Middlesex). She pointed out that whilst Trans-National Education (TNE) tends to have a ‘hub & spoke’ approach, with fly-in, fly-out faculty, Middlesex has gone beyond that model and established full offshore campuses in Mauritius and Dubai.

The first question posed to the workshop attendees was “What does Middlesex as a ‘global’ University mean to you?” (This led to some discussion of what actually constituted global & how it differed from ‘international’ – some definitions were offered but no agreement reached & that one will run and run.) Some responses to the question included the observation that individuals at the Hendon ‘chalk face’ don’t really sense the ‘global’ until they actually encounter colleagues from the branch campuses. It was pointed out that those involved in the VLE are well aware of the global nature of the University but only in a ‘virtual’ sense. There was general agreement that London is somehow ‘Head Office’ and the campuses’ awareness of each other is very unbalanced – i.e. branch campuses are far more aware of London than vice versa.

Lois asked us then to consider academic standards & quoted Wilkins (2011) who found that 73% of UK international students felt quality to be higher in the UK than in branch campuses. This, she added, was a common perception. The next question was “How are Academic standards maintained at branch campuses?” The two questions were put to staff at Mauritius and Dubai & we were shown their responses on video.

Summary of staff responses on the ‘global’ nature of Middlesex:
  • Students from all over the world
  • Multi-cultural faculty and students
  • Students learn how to deal with diverse cultures
  • Many nationalities give a ‘global’ vibe
Summary of staff responses on maintaining quality:
  • Staff apply ‘expected’ standards (Lois pointed out branch campuses would like to be more involved in setting those standards)
  • Staff try to avoid dumbing down and maintain rigour
  • Appraisal designed to keep standards high
  • Emphasis on CPD
  • Assessment procedures clear & transparent
  • Co-ordinate with London colleagues to maintain high standards
  • Many exams marked in London (some discussion that this could be a two-way process)
  • Staff keep up to date with latest developments in subject matter and pedagogy
There was a sense that the branch campus staff ‘deferred’ to Hendon rather than the other way round. The next video showed Dubai and Mauritius students’ responses to two questions: “Why did you choose Middlesex?” and “How are standards maintained?”

Summary of student responses:
  • Getting a British education was key factor
  • Diversity of staff and students
  • Strong identity with a British university but also having a global reach
  • Felt the combination of a British degree and an international context made them more employable
  • Quality maintained by having the same academic standards as London.
In conclusion, Lois summed up by emphasising that branch campus colleagues see themselves as part of a British and a global University and are acutely aware of their own role in upholding and developing the international reputation of Middlesex.

Wilkins, S. and Huisman, J. (2011). International student destination choice: the influence of home campus experience on the decision to consider branch campuses. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 21 (1), pp. 61-83.

Celia Cozens, CLTE 

Track I: Enhancing our students' experiences with student exchange

Link to abstract
Presenters: John Hammond, Caroline Reid, Nosheen Rachel-Naseem, Sophie Ball, Dominic Lenaghan and Matilda Filolli
Caroline Reid, Dominic Lenaghan & Nosheen Rachel-Naseem,

Caroline, John, Nosheen, Sophie, Dominic and  Matilda delivered a fantastic session highlighting the importance of student exchange and the significant role it can play in enhancing the student experience. The session covered  how an exchange could be incorporated into the curriculum and drew on the extensive experience of the speakers and the many years they share of organising, promoting  and participating in student exchange. The session went some way to dispel many of the myths that have grown up around the difficulties of organising and managing student exchange and showed that the benefits to both student and institution far outweigh any perceived problems of fitting exchange into the Universities academic structures, it is in fact surprisingly straight forward.

The session also highlighted the need to encourage more of our students and staff to take up this unique opportunity  as although Middlesex has over 130 partners and an exceptional student exchange programme we still receive far more students than we send out. With the introduction of fees an exchange is an incredibly effective way of adding value to a student’s degree and of developing vital employability and skills, it is something that can give a real edge to our students in an increasingly globalised, mobile and competitive jobs market.

If the audience was left in any doubt of the benefits of exchange the compelling account from two Middlesex students, Dominic and  Matilda, further highlighted the huge benefits to be gained. Both students had very different experiences but shared a common belief that it had fundamentally changed them and allowed them to develop as both individuals and learners.

I, for one, will be taking away how important this is for us as an institution and will be doing my best to arrange my own exchange in the coming year......yes staff can go on exchange too.

Alex Chapman, CLTE

Track F: Post-graduate exchange programme in US (MU London, Loyola University Chicago)

Link to abstract
Presenter: Dr Evangelos Moustakas, Middlesex University

Since October 2006, an International Exchange Program has been organised for graduate students between the Business School Marketing Department and Loyola University of Chicago. The current collaboration has been initiated by Dr. Raymond Benton Jr. (Professor at Loyola University Chicago) and Dr Evangelos Moustakas (Middlesex University in London). More specifically, during 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011, a group of graduate students of Middlesex University have been accompanied to Chicago. Students had the opportunity to attend lectures and workshops at the School of Business Administration (Department of Marketing) of Loyola University Chicago. Graduate students from both Universities were given the opportunity to attend Marketing classes and take part in professional residential visits which included Microsoft Technology Centre, Google Corporation, Chicago Bulls' United Centre Arena and Chicago Board of Trade, as well as research workshops at the University of Illinois in Chicago and at the Columbia University in Chicago.

Evangelos shared his experiences with interested conference delegates, describing how the trip had been planned, funded and delivered as well as discussing possibilities for further improvement. He was able to answer questions from delegates about cultural differences and give evidence how exchanges can improve employability chances, confidence and achievement for Middlesex students.

Carole Davis, CLTE

Track D: Teaching transnationally - The challenges and opportunities of flying faculty visits overseas

Link to abstract
Presenter: Dr Karen Smith, University of Greenwich
Karen presented a talk on Trans National Education (TNE), the challenges facing “Flying Faculty” – the process of teaching and supporting staff from the home institution by flying out to the remote campus for short, high intensity bursts of teaching.  Karen described her experience of being thrown in at the deep end as a member of a flying faculty at her University, and her research on Disorientating Dilemmas.

Karen’s description of flying faculty is very similar to Middlesex’s experience of teaching overseas before it established its permanent overseas campuses, such as those in Dubai, Mauritius, and Hong Kong.

John Koushappas, CLTE 

Participant video feedback

Ashley Hoolash, MDX Mauritius Campus

Dr Dirk Wilderboer, MDX London

Dr David Law, Edge Hill University (part 1)

Dr David Law, Edge Hill University (part 2)

Track C: Raising awareness of cultural differences & appreciation of advantages & challenges of working with a diverse group

Link to abstract
Presenter: Malcolm Clay, Learner Development Unit, Middlesex University

Malcolm began with an introduction to the issues raised in teaching diverse groups of international students, the most obvious being the language barriers. He discussed some of the ways he attempts to get students with very little English to start talking in class, whether it was the uses of a single word or getting the students to describe things to each other.  Other than that there were cultural differences and the difficulties that arise in attempting to get different groups to mix and work together. He described the way students of the same nationality would naturally gravitate towards each other and group themselves together.

He pointed out that the most important issues to be aware of not only concern differences in language and culture, but also in terms of learning styles and academic standards. Whereas students (and teachers) in the UK are used to certain styles of education, the different modes of teaching and learning in China, for example, offer up a lot of issues and problems for Chinese students.  He described the difficulties in getting Chinese students to participate in class discussions and explained the need for telling his students the importance of learning to “speak up” while learning a new language.

“To sum up we need to be aware of the cultural reasons which might hold back the progress of the student and we need to put in place methods to circumvent common problems which impede the students."
One of his main resources in getting students to relax with one another, to be more comfortable and confident speaking up in class and to work together is by using humour. If a point can be put across to the students more easily and more effectively using word play, jokes, or games, then this was “very, very important in the class to create a good affect.”

The session ended with an exercise in which the audience were put into groups of three or four. They were given a printout with a picture of an onion which represented the various cultural layers which make up and impact on their personality. After discussing the commonalities and differences with their group, the important “differences” were offered up as discussion points for the whole class.

Angus Macdonald, CLTE

Monday, 25 June 2012

Presenter profile - Track F: Evangelos Moustakas

Post-Graduate Exchange Programme in US (Middlesex University in London, Loyola University Chicago)
Evangelos Moustakas
Dr Evangelos Moustakas is an expert in the area of e-Marketing and Social Media and Chair of the Special Interest Group in e-marketing at the Academy of Marketing in the UK. Evangelos holds a doctorate in e-marketing from Middlesex University, a Master of Science in e-Commerce and two Undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Accounting. He has authored over a dozen research publications and presented his work at International Conferences. He is a regular, invited columnist to several practitioner IT and Digital Technology magazines and keynote speaker at International Conferences in Europe, US and the Middle East.

His presentation at the Learning Planet Event will be delivered electronically from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.(Using a product called Adobe Connect)

Friday, 22 June 2012

Presenter profile - Track I: Nosheen Rachel-Naseem

Enhancing our students' experiences with a Student Exchange

Nosheen Rachel-Naseem, Student Exchange Manager

Nosheen Rachel-Naseem
Nosheen Rachel-Naseem is a PhD student at Middlesex, currently at the writing up stage of her thesis on the introduction of student peer mentoring to Universities in Pakistan. Nosheen is also the Student Exchanges manager for the University. After completing her Masters in Chemistry at the University of the Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan, she taught Chemistry at O and A level at Lahore Grammar School, as well as teaching Science Education at Ali Institute of Education to pre- and in-service teachers. She joined Middlesex to take a Masters in Education: Leadership, Management and Change, after which she began her PhD in the School of Arts and Education. Inspired by the effectiveness of peer-mentoring in UK HE and after experience as a mentor with the Aimhigher and Student Associate Schemes here at Middlesex, she developed her PhD project with the aim of bringing these benefits to HE in Pakistan where such schemes to enhance student support were non-existent.

Through her work in international education, and especially in the student exchange area, she has gained considerable expertise in both the principles and the practice of student mobility in higher education. As one of the presenting team on the topic of student exchange as an enhancement of the student HE experience, she will bring detailed knowledge of the benefits of this cost-effective and highly valued strategy for enriching the lives of students, for increasing employability for those taking part in exchanges, and in the benefits to the University of supporting a much expanded scheme of student exchange at Middlesex, particularly as the 2020 target approaches for 20% participation of all HE students across the EU in cross-border student mobility.

Nosheen’s research interests are: The emotional and social development of young people, including counselling and student needs in specific cultures; Comparative analysis of student support services in higher educational institutions in developed countries and their implementation in developing countries. Management of change and measuring the impact of change in educational institutions in developing countries through action research. Management in Education for Sustainable Futures and Global Citizenship. Policy and Practice, Learning and Teaching in Science Education.

Information on the student exchange programme at Middlesex can be found here

Presenter profile - Track H: Cathy Minett-Smith & Kirsteen Macdonald

Developing communication strategies to support remote teaching teams

Kirsteen Macdonald & Dr Cathy Minett-Smith
Kirsteen Macdonald - Senior Educational Developer, Centre for Learning and Teaching Enhancement
Kirsteen joined Middlesex in 2001, and was based first in the Business School and since 2008 in the Centre for Learning and Teaching Enhancement. She has extensive experience of advising and supporting the use of learning technologies and the virtual learning environment both for MDX London colleagues and partners and branch campuses (Dubai and Mauritius). She has also taught on the MDX International Foundation Programme and has experienced some of the challenges of co-ordinating the delivery of a module running simultaneously in London and Dubai. More recently Kirsteen has been working closely with programme teams on the development of online distance education programmes where communication and collaboration are central to the success of the programmes and a key player in terms of student satisfaction.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Presenter profile - Track E: Lois Smith

The view from over here: Branch campuses and their role in the development of Middlesex as a global education provider

Lois Smith
Lois Smith moved to Dubai from the UK in 1994, which prompted a career change from nursing to teaching. Starting as an English language teacher, she soon moved into higher education to teach academic skills, and then worked on developing a university Foundation programme. At the same time she completed a Masters degree in Adult Education and Training as a distance student. After that, she pursued her interests in adult education through her role as an educational developer at the offshore campus of an Australian university. She introduced the University’s tertiary teaching qualification for academic staff at the  offshore campus, and successfully ran this programme for 5 years. At the same time she continued to work in academic development through various initiatives to support student learning.

After completing a PhD in Educational Research from Lancaster University, UK, she  joined Middlesex University’s offshore campus in 2008 where she has taught on a range of programmes and has worked towards bringing new programmes to that  campus. She is currently the campus Teaching and Learning Coordinator and the Programme Coordinator for the MA Education (Leadership, Management and Change) and the PGCertHE. Her main research interests lie in transnational higher education, particularly in its impact on academic work practices and identities.

The conference session will present the branch campus perspective on Middlesex as a global university, and it will be centred around 2 short videos featuring academics and students at the Dubai and Mauritius campuses talking about how they see Middlesex in global terms. They also talk about what being part of Middlesex means to them and how academic standards are maintained across campuses, which is a key factor in the success of a global university. Participants in the session will be given the opportunity to reflect on their own understanding of being part of a ‘global’ university and how that affects their academic work practices.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Presenter profile - Track B: Kristian Sund & Simon Best

The Challenges of Mature Global Distance Learners: Lessons from the MUBS Online MBAs
Dr Simon Best & Dr Kristian J Sund
Dr Simon Best, Programme Leader MBA Oil & Gas
Simon began his working life as a chef, and has spent most of his career working in a number of different countries such as Bermuda, USA, Germany, Austria, Italy and the Sudan before migrating to Australia.  In Australia he changed careers and started or bought a number of small businesses.  This included a news agency and general store, guest house and market research agency.  Looking for a third career change Simon went to Griffith University and took an undergraduate degree in Adult and Vocational Education majoring in Human Resource Development.  After a short spell teaching in a private college Simon completed his MBA online through the University of the Sunshine Coast.  This was one of the first online degree courses in the world.  While completing his MBA, Simon worked as a small business management consultant.

On completion of his MBA he started his own consultancy, working with micro entrepreneurs and small business owners.  During this time Simon completed his PhD through Swinburne University of Technology.  In 2008 he relocated to Vietnam and started a consultancy there.  This focused on executive coaching and training for clients such as UNESCO, Linfox, The Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.  Simon joined Middlesex in September 2010.  His research interests are quite broad and currently include investigating the notion of necessity versus opportunity, entrepreneurship, improvisation and bricolage and learning by small business owners.

Dr Kristian J Sund, Programme Leader MBA Shipping & Logistics
Kristian has a Ph.D. in Management and M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and is currently Principal Lecturer in Strategic Management at Middlesex University Business School, where he teaches strategy to both undergraduate and MBA students. He leads the online distance-learning MBA in Shipping & Logistics and has been involved in executive education for close to ten years, both as an educator and a program director. Kristian is passionate about teaching but also research, where his current focus is on managerial and organisational cognition. He has edited three books in the last three years, in the areas of e-governance strategy, and postal sector strategy and is a member of the Advisory Council of the Royal Mail Group and in general tries to work regularly with the outside world.
In terms of teaching, over the last three years Kristian has worked hard at improving attendance rates, as he believes high attendance is linked closely to high general achievement (in fact his own data states that there is a relatively high 45% correlation between seminar attendance and exam performance on his undergraduate module). The result has been an attendance rate of over 75% this academic year (with a cohort of 260 students). Kristian has also focused his attention on the issues related to group work and hopes to introduce online peer assessment within the foreseeable future.
In this session, the two online distance education programme leaders will share their experiences of working with module leaders and tutors in online learning. We will share best practice (and worst practice), based largely on student feedback and achievement and hope to stimulate a discussion about what constitutes “excellence” in online teaching and learning.

Presenter profile - Track G: Bob Fisher

International Students' Learning Journey

Bob Fisher,  Senior Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes
Bob Fisher
BA in English & Related Literature (York University); DTEFLA (Barcelona); MA in TESOL (Institute of Education, London University).
Bob has worked as a lecturer for Pre-sessional, In-sessional and Foundation courses at Middlesex since 2004. He has also worked at the Universitat d’Auutonoma de Barcelona, the Institute of Education, Imperial College and Brunel University. He has been Postgraduate Pre-sessional Coordinator at Middlesex since 2007.
Professional Interests
He has written course materials for the Pre-sessional and IFP and his academic interests include Socio-cultural Theory, cross-cultural awareness, corpus linguistics and phonology.
Conference presentations include 'Pre-sessional Listening Assessment – microskills testing or an integrated approach?' BALEAP Professional Interest Meeting, Glasgow University, 2009.

Bob's Co-Presenters:  Salma Ibrahim, Sheila Karsan, Bob Fisher & Luciano Celini