Medway Festival of Learning and Teaching 2020

The Universities at Medway Sixth Annual Festival of Learning and Teaching: Thursday 10th September 2020. Creative and Inclusive Assessment and Feedback

Canterbury Christ Church University logo

University of Greenwich logo

University of Kent logo

Book your place for 10 September

Bookings are now open for the sixth annual Festival of Learning and Teaching hosted by the Universities at Medway. This year the focus is 'Creative and Inclusive Assessment and Feedback'.

About the Festival

The Medway Festival of Learning and Teaching is co-jointly organised by the Universities of Greenwich, Kent and Canterbury Christ Church who share the Medway campus.

The Festival aims to share, celebrate and promote our practice to benefit all students studying on the Medway campus. Our focus this year is on Creative and Inclusive Assessment and Feedback. It is a consistently strong theme that runs through the sector and is a priority for all three universities and their partner colleges.

As in previous Medway Festivals, the event enables us to reflect on our own development needs and career aspirations as we start the new academic year. Attending or presenting can help colleagues to evidence professional development or maintain 'good standing' for Advance HE (formerly HEA).

Joining instructions

The main session and Stream 1 are hosted in one channel and Stream 2 and the Mindfulness workshop will be hosted in separate Teams Meetings.

Click here to join the Medway Festival of Learning and Teaching 2020 Main Session and Stream 1 on Microsoft Teams
Presenters please join at 8:45

See the conference website for details:

Click here to join Stream 2 Sessions: opens 10:55 to 12:25

Click here to join Mindfulness Workshop: opens 11:55 to 12:55

Presentations will be available in the chat area of each session: subject to presenter approval.

Conference theme

Our focus this year is on 'Creative and Inclusive Assessment and Feedback'. It is a consistently strong theme that runs through the sector and is a priority for all three universities and their partner colleges.

The conference will include keynotes from Leaders from the three Medway Universities followed by a keynote by Professor Debbie Holly and Anne Quinney.

Debbie Holley is Professor of Learning Innovation at Bournemouth University. Her expertise lies with blending learning to motivate and engage students with their learning inside /outside the formal classroom, at a time and place of their own choosing. This encompasses the blend between learning inside the classroom and within professional practice placements, scaffolding informal learning in the workplace. She writes extensively the affordances of technologies such as Augmented Reality, Virtual/ Immersive Realities and Mobile Learning

Anne Quinney is the academic lead for the pedagogic theme of 'Assessment and Feedback' at Bournemouth University, based in the Centre for Fusion Learning, Innovation and Excellence (previously the Centre for Excellence in Learning) and is responsible for policy innovations to promote student-centred and research-informed assessment and feedback strategies. A recent initiative has been the Assessment and Feedback Toolkit. Anne's research interests include arts-based pedagogies and research approaches, including the use of photo-elicitation

Important dates

Presenters Submit presentations/e-posters Monday 7th September 2020
Conference Thursday 10th September 2020


Start finish Duration
09:15 09:20 00:05 Introductions and Welcome from Conference Chair:
Dr Kristina Masuwa-Morgan, University of Greenwich
09:20 9:35 0:15
Opening keynote from (P)VCs
09:35 10:20 00:45 Keynote: Debbie Hollie and Ann Quinney (Bournemouth University)
introduced by Dr Louise Frith, University of Kent        
10:20 10:35 00:15 Q&A
10:35 10:45 00:10 Break
10:45 10:55 00:10 Medway Projects x 2
Creating inclusive campus communities: A peer networking and support event for students with dependents/carer responsibilities

The use of hand-held ultrasound in the teaching of functional anatomy; the impact on student outcomes
10:55 11:25 00:30 Presentation Stream 1
Chair: Yang Yang, University of Greenwich 
Presentation Stream 2
Chair: Dr Cecile Hatier, Canterbury Christ Church University
Adaptation of Chatbot in Enhanced student experience, supported learning and Assessment.
by Karthikeyan Muthumayandi, University of Kent/ School of Sports and Exercise Sciences.
Using quality indicators to review effectiveness of simulation

by Gary Gilkes, Programme Director, Canterbury Christ Church University

Developing a Culture of Feedback Literacy in Prospective Students
by Poppy Ring, University of Greenwich
Adjusting to the 'new normal': assessment challenges for environment and engineering
by Dr Debbie Bartlett and Deborah Sims, University of Greenwich, 
A collaborative assessment based on the development of a Web Page to publish the group critical review
by Dr Giulia Getti, University of Greenwich
Profit or Save the world?
cancelled - please join the other session
11:25 11:45 00:20 Q&A Q&A  
11:45 11:55 00:10 Break
11:55 12:25 00:30
Workshop 1: STAART - Preferred Assessment and Feedback for Disabled Students
by Dr Melanie Thorley and STAART Ambassador, Rebecca Cordina
Workshop 2: Developing student assessment and feedback literacy in the context of blended/online delivery
by Dr Rachel George and Dr Eve Rapley, University of Greenwich
Workshop 3: Mindfulness
12:25 12:55 00:30 Research Papers (10 minutes each)
'It mixed normal life with academic life. I felt safe and more engaged'. How an assessment accidentally built community, confidence and belonging.
by Dr Susan Kenyon, Ruth Phillips and Baithnet Robinson, Canterbury Christ Church University
Exploring assessment and feedback through the lens of wellbeing a conceptual mapping and suggestions for practice emerging from a recent a literature review
by Dr Alison Gilmour, University of Greenwich 
Blended learning in chemical engineering labs: A partnership with students
by Dr Pablo Garcia Trinanes
12:55 13:10 00:15 Q&A



Adaptation of Chatbot in Enhance student experience, supported learning and Assessment. (Presentation Stream 1)

Karthikeyan Muthumayandi/Lecturer /Director of Sports Therapy Programme, University of Kent/ School of Sports and Exercise Sciences.

The chatbot SS352 is a natural language conversational chatbot that is under development. The chatbot SS352 is a standalone application that will be made available to the Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation students through any one of the multiple platforms like Moodle, Google assistance, Alexa, Twitter Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Slack in September 2020. The main objective of this project is to evaluate this pilot chatbot SS352 in supporting student learning, student module support, assessment, subjective feedback, peer assessment tasks, student experience, and engagement.

The Chatbot SS352 will be deployed along with the regular lecture and seminars for one week (week 4) in the Stage 1 Peripheral Joint Assessment module of the Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation programme. A problem-based task will be provided to the students where they will have to complete the task with the help of the natural conversational chatbot SS352 through inquiry-based learning. The conservational chatbot SS352 will help the student to understand and evaluate the problem, clinical reasoning, and retention of knowledge.

The chatbot SS352 will be trained to provide answers to any queries the students may have on the module. Even though all the information on the module is available on the Moodle page like FAQ, more new questions crop up year on year. It also adds more workload to the module convenor in replying to students' email. The students demand information quickly. This chatbot SS352 would be able to answer most of the queries faster. As it is an AI-based chatbot, it gets better trained with time. We want to test if this conversational chatbot SS352 will provide better and faster answers to the student's queries?

The chatbot SS352 will so provide a quiz to check the students' understanding of the topic and provide instant feedback through natural conversation. The chatbot will be both help to assess and to learn.

Peer assessment helps in improving student`s ability to promote self-assessment and improving formative assessment and learning. We would train the chatbot SS352 to evaluate the peer assessment through marking/grading, analysis, and feedback through natural conversation. We would set a task where each student will have to conduct a random peer assessment of at least five smaller versions (500 words) of the final assignment (2000 words).

The chatbot will be available for a demonstration at the beginning of September. We want to present this project in the Learning Festival to look for any suggestions and potential collaborators who would like to be involved in this project.

Developing a Culture of Feedback Literacy in Prospective Students. (Presentation Stream 1)

Poppy Ring, Access and Applications Support Project Co-ordinator, University of Greenwich: Communications and Recruitment: UK Student Recruitment

The session is designed to share a new workshop developed by the Education Support Unit to be delivered in schools and colleges around Kent and London. The aim of the workshop is to further develop feedback literacy in pre-entry students which will in turn assist in a successful transition into university.

The Feedback Workshop seeks to further build upon our successful suite of GREat Skills Workshops which help students to develop academic skills that will assist them not only whilst at school or college, but also to assist in creating a successful transition to University.

The interactive workshop covers definitions of feedback, encourages students to think about where or whom they receive feedback from and the emotional impact of feedback and also provides an opportunity for students to write and give their own feedback. The aim of the session is to familiarise students with giving and receiving feedback and looking at how and where they can use this to further develop their skills.

The workshop will be tested through student ambassador focus groups and teacher and adviser networks over the summer period with a plan to launch the workshop in schools and colleges/ virtually in the Autumn term. Insight and stakeholder engagement will hopefully ensure that we have a successful take up of the workshop next academic year.

As this is a new workshop we are looking for suggestions and comments from colleagues from across the University as to other tools and resources we could use to help develop this workshop further.

A collaborative assessment based on the development of a Web Page to publish the group critical review. (Presentation Stream 1)

Dr Giulia Getti (Associate Professor, University of Greenwich/School of Science/Faculty of Engineering and Science)

This session will cover how a group-based coursework developed for level 6 students in 2011 has evolved into a novel and inclusive assessment that incorporates reflective practice, peer feedback and enhancement of IT skills.

The novel assessment is a based on a case study of an infectious diseases. It is a group work and aims to exploit technology to engage students to work together and take ownership of their work as well as to gain confidence. It involves the creation of a web page within which each member is responsible for creating and managing an individual topic. The individual page contains an in depth critical review of a topic which is relevant to the case study itself. Within the web page the group works together on the structure, presentation and development of communal pages. Group members are required to arrange meetings, take minutes and record discussions and tasks. The coursework is divided into 3 parts, learners are actively encouraged to start working on the assessment in the first week of terms and are required to submit each part individually throughout the course. Progression is checked half way through the course. Although only progression is marked, submission of drafts is rewarded by extensive feedback. This approach has been extremely successful with over 90% of learners engaging with the process and submitting early drafts, effectively shifting the focus from achieving marks to improve learning. Breaking down the assessment allowed weaker learner to engage with each task with more confidence and resulted in better engagement and successful completions. Groups are pre-formed in a random order to maximise collaboration of learners from different backgrounds and stimulate novel interactions. This has proved particularly useful for those who just joined the University in their final year. One of the required parts of the assessment is to provide feedback to the work produced by other members of the group. Peer feedback encourages each group members to look at other's work in depth and learn both from the shortcomings but also from good practice. The final mark for this assessment is calculated from a mix of individual work (85%) and group work (15%) making sure that individual efforts are recognized and rewarded even within a group-based assessment.

As formative assessment is included where confidential feedback on the performance of all group members as well as a reflection on the assessment itself is produced.

Using quality indicators to review effectiveness of simulation. (Presentation Stream 2)

Gary Gilkes, Programme Director, Canterbury Christ Church University, BSc Paramedic Science

The session will explore an introductory research piece which looked at using clinical quality indicators as a means for evaluating "success" in simulation. The session will discuss the proposal made, the methodology of establishing the appropriate quality indicators, and the discussion on the findings following qualitative and quantitative evaluations from students.

The session will conclude with proposals on further research and suggestions on changes to teaching and practical simulation, as well as evaluation methods on simulation.

A secondary element to the session will be to look at the use of emotional and cognitive stress within simulation. The students were exposed to high intensity, hyper-realistic scenarios that pushed them to and beyond their stress thresholds. This included the use of environments such as open water, confined spaces, and the underside of a train carriage. The students were also exposed to "no win" situations where despite best efforts they were unable to successful save all their patients. The session will explore the risk assessment and management of purposefully exposing students to realistic, traumatic environments. A wider discussion will take place on the enhancement to multiple aspects of teaching and learning that the inclusion of stress provides, exploring how utilising the upper limits of a student's stress threshold within a controlled environment may produce more successful results.

Adjusting to the 'new normal': assessment challenges for environment and engineering. (Presentation Stream 2)

Dr Debbie Bartlett, Principal Lecturer and Deborah Sims, Senior Lecturer, University of Greenwich, Faculty of Engineering and Science

As professionals active in our respective PSRBs, as well as teaching in the University, we are committed to authentic assessment and facilitating student competency development to enable them to take their first steps on the career ladder.  Traditionally the applied disciplines of engineering and ecology/environmental management have required a significant number of site visits, enabling students to observe professionals in their working environment, and fieldwork during their research projects.  We have previously presented our research on authentic assessment and involving students in co- design and it is in this context that we would like to share our learning from these experiences to develop our approach to the challenges of the 'new normal'.

For ecologists and environmental managers the CIEEM Competency Framework provides the basis for career progression and, when making job applications, evidence of specific competencies are required.  The situation for aspiring engineers is similar, with relevant competencies defined in the 'UK Spec'. We have found that the key to developing assessment literacy is to facilitate student understanding of how learning outcomes are evidenced by assessment tasks and further, how these relate to the evidence of professional competency they need in their career journey.  Examples will be given of different ways this has been achieved.  We have found it can lead to greater engagement with the formative assessment and feedback process as students recognise reworking to improve and achieve final signoff is what will be required by future employers.

It is anticipated that some students will need to study remotely while based in different locations, with some remaining overseas for at least part of the programme.  This is particularly challenging when fieldwork and practical experience-based learning is required.  The MSc Environmental Conservation students produced an assessed portfolio, cross referenced to the CIEEM Competency Framework, and this has demonstrated that independent student-led field investigations can be highly successful in evidencing learning outcomes.  In fact, we feel that the increased student engagement in active learning as they have the (relative) freedom to explore their own specific areas of interest, encourages them to take responsibility for their development. A further dimension is the benefit of enabling them to contextualize this within their local setting.  We will provide examples of how this approach, which we see as having genuine positive benefits for learning and teaching, rather than merely being a workaround in response to the 'new normal' situation, can be applied.


STAART: Preferred Assessment and Feedback for Disabled Students (Workshop 1)

Dr Melanie Thorley and STAART Ambassador (TBC), Communications and Recruitment Directorate, University of Greenwich

This workshop will provide an engaging, interactive workshop related to our STAART inititave. A brief overview of how our outreach, transition and retention is enhanced for disabled students. We will share how our pre-entry workshops, events, social media and e-newsletter can prepare our students. We will also have a presentation from one of our STAART Ambassadors about their journey into HE and how STAART has supported them. One area disabled students may need extensive support with is assessment and sometimes interpreting feedback and STAART is part of the support mechanism. We will also discuss the preferred assessments of 130 disabled students. Whilst this engagement initiative is focussed on disabled students the case study that we are presenting merits wider dissemination and we welcome the opportunity for additional ciritcal insights from all colleagues from all faculties and professional staff.

Developing student assessment and feedback literacy in the context of blended/online delivery (Workshop 2)

Dr Rachel George, Senior Lecturer in HE Teaching and Learning and Dr Eve Rapley, Senior Lecturer in HE Teaching and Learning , Greenwich Learning & Teaching, University of Greenwich

In this session, we will focus on how we can support students in developing a better understanding of and engagement with the assessment and feedback process, with specific reference to the context of blended/ online delivery of teaching. Studies have shown, and many HE teachers report, that students' performance on assessments may be impacted by a lack of understanding of the assessment process and what teachers and assessors expect of them. Furthermore, they may not fully understand how to use feedback to improve their performance in the future and therefore do not make use of this resource. This disconnect between feedback and subsequent action and improvement can impact negatively upon students' learning relationships with teachers, and upon their performance overall. Programme/ module design can help to address this issue by including dedicated time and activities for developing assessment and feedback literacy. In the blended delivery mode, adaptations may be need to provide opportunities for both synchronous and asynchronous work with students.

In this workshop, participants will have an opportunity to explore and reflect on their practices and their experiences of working with students on assessment. They will have the opportunity to learn about assessment and feedback literacy and its practical applications. Participants will be able to explore ways in which they might develop understanding in their own students and within their own learning and teaching contexts. This will specifically relate to the context of blended/online delivery.

Research Papers

'It mixed normal life with academic life. I felt safe and more engaged'. How an assessment accidentally built community, confidence and belonging (Research Paper)

Dr Susan Kenyon , Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching and Principal Lecturer in Politics, Transport and Society , Ruth Phillips, Baithnet Robinson, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Social Sciences and Canterbury Christ Church University

This presentation considers the unanticipated benefits of a two-stage, authentic assessment design.

We will present both academic and student perspectives.

The idea for this session has been developed jointly by the module lead and two students.  The presentation will be written and presented jointly by the module lead and two students.

Assessment design is fundamental to learning.  At its best, assessment is for learning, developing students' interests, motivations and engagement.  More recently, authentic assessment has been promoted as a tool to enhance graduates' employability, by providing students with a task that they would expect to find in the workplace.  By replicating a task and performance standard in an assessment provides a form of work-related experience, valued by employers.

Good assessment design also promotes feedback literacy, encouraging students to use, understand and value feedback, to enhance their learning and assessment attainment.  Assessments that enhance feedback dialogue can support the development of feedback literacy.

As such, I developed a two-step assessment design for my Level 5 Politics students.  At the outset of the module, students identified a transport issue that was important to them, or their communities.  They were tasked with investigating this issue and all learning on the module was designed to support this.  Half way through the module, the first assessment was to present a verbal briefing on their case study, to a decision maker of their choosing.  The second assessment, at the end of the module, was a written options and decision briefing paper, on the same case study, to the same decision maker.

Formal evaluation, considering attainment and module evaluations, suggests that the assessment achieved its aims, increasing the use and understanding of feedback, increasing feedback dialogue and enabling students to use their learning in a practical way.  The impact on attainment was unclear.

However, the feedback revealed other, unanticipated benefits.  Attendance and engagement were high.  Community and a sense of belonging developed.  Students gained confidence, felt included, comfortable and safe.

In this presentation, we will discuss the assessment, before considering the intended and unintended consequences.  Much of the presentation will be delivered by our student presenters, who will discuss the benefits of the assessment, before suggesting improvements for next year and discussing ways in which these benefits could be realised by other modules.

Exploring assessment and feedback through the lens of wellbeing: a conceptual mapping and suggestions for practice emerging from a recent a literature review (Research Paper)

Dr Alison Gilmour, Greenwich Learning and Teaching, University of Greenwich

There is ongoing focus on student wellbeing that has been heightened in recent months due to Covid-19. Whilst a 2017 Advance HE Report (Houghton and Anderson, p. 5) noted that 'providing a positive learning environment that fosters positive mental wellbeing can seem so obvious that it is overlooked', recent years have seen a sector shift: wellbeing is increasingly considered in light of learning and teaching. For example, at the University of Greenwich, our Health and Wellbeing Strategy (2019) outlines a commitment to a 'whole university approach', with wellbeing of staff and students should not simply be addressed solely in the provision of support services for staff and students but also in the broader University culture and environment. The recent University Mental Health Charter (Hughes and Spanner, 2019) included focus on learning, teaching and assessment. However, it's significant that Jones et al., (2020, 2) recognise, 'The effect of assessment practices on the wellbeing of students in UK higher education has not, to date, been comprehensively examined.' This proposal is based on a developing area of scholarship in Greenwich Learning and Teaching on embedding wellbeing in the curriculum. It uses a literature review of wellbeing interventions to outline a conceptual map and suggestions for the enhancement of practice informed by considering assessment and feedback through the lens of wellbeing.

Wellbeing in the curriculum can be conceived in terms of 'curriculum content' (where course content can cover themes of health and mental wellbeing relative to the discipline) and 'curriculum process' (where there may be processes around the curriculum that affect wellbeing such as the assessment, approaches to feedback, module activities and tasks) (Houghton and Anderson, 2017, pp. 16-20). Whilst the latter of these includes assessment design and feedback practices that seek to avoid undue stressors and barriers, that is not to say that challenge is removed from assessment. This proposal will review core concepts related to student wellbeing in higher education such as resilience, self-efficacy and perception (Turner et al., 2017), and application to assessment and feedback practice as curriculum process. This includes issues of authenticity and choice in assessment design, affective dimensions of feedback evident in, dialogic approaches to assessment feedback and feedback literacy (Hill et al., 2019). Connection and relationships feature strongly in wellbeing literature, considered in relation to collaboration and group assessment through to incorporation of compassionate pedagogy and how this can be assessed (Gilbert, 2017).

Blended learning in chemical engineering labs: A partnership with students (Research Paper)

Dr Pablo Garcia Trinanes , Greenwich/Engineering and Science/Engineering/Chemical Engineering

This session will provide an insight on new opportunities to improve chemical engineering labs at Medway as well as mitigation of the damage surged due to the lockdowns and restrictions implemented at the time and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also include a review of the current practices in the sector.

Important skills that get less conventional teaching time such as simulation and modelling experiments, comparison between different data sets, self-evaluation or other forms of interaction between staff and students, perhaps in a less structured way, can benefit and become really important at present times. Lab participants benefit from practical opportunities to develop, implement and critically evaluate the use of technology for open and inclusive learning and staff also benefits from these teaching practices boosting satisfaction.

Getting the best from synchronous and asynchronous learning is an example of the favourable circumstances that this crisis might bring. In these circumstances' students can be offered to pick their lab activities at convenient times and it may have a positive effect in time management and organisation skills.

Virtual learning environments (VLE) offer the possibility of providing pre-lab teaching and assessment material, quizzes and a range of gate questions too. Another benefit is the possibility of adding videos with pre-recorded lab sessions, experiences with virtual reality and simulated or remote-controlled environments. After the labs are completed the acquired knowledge of students can be teased using the VLE again. The blended approach, considering social distancing issues, still provides interaction with equipment while encourages students to enhance their learning experience and engagement and does not penalise students that might be shielding or have on campus access difficulties. In conclusion, by thinking about the Learning Outcomes and through a partnership of learning with the students it seems plausible that the student experience can be enhanced thanks to an effective learning environment that contributes to mitigate the effects of the damage to the students and teaching staff normal  lab activity and morale.

Further information

Email address for help:

Contacts in your institution:

Canterbury Christ Church University

Learning and Teaching Enhancement


University of Greenwich

Kristina Masuwa-Morgan


Tel: 0208 331 9383

University of Kent

Louise Frith


Tel: 01634 888849