SICSA Education – Learning & Teaching Scholars Update

And that’s a wrap – the first cohort of SICSA Education L&T Scholars has now completed the programme!

Over the last nine months, 16 L&T-focused colleagues from eight different SICSA member institutions came together to develop scholarship projects and share their teaching practice.

Beginning with an online speed networking session, our Scholars then identified a number of scholarship ideas relating to CS Education that they might like to explore, and formed teams around the most popular ideas.

Online speed networking session


At our face-to-face meet-up in June, the teams then began to flesh out plans for undertaking these scholarship projects. Projects included looking at the challenges of teaching CS to students with no prior CS experience, dealing with plagiarism in programming assignments, hybrid teaching models, and determining what students struggle with the most when learning to program.

Each group was offered a support session with colleagues from the University of Glasgow’s Academic and Digital Development Unit, to discuss the shape of their projects, and possible routes to publication. For the remainder of the event, Scholars worked on developing their projects, with input from a facilitator. The Scholars have continued to work on these projects, with the aim of publishing papers based on the outputs.

The Scholars’ next engagement was an online workshop on Influencing and Leadership Skills, led by the highly experienced Dr Robin Henderson from MY Consultants. This is an area that many teaching staff are expected to evidence in promotion and fellowship applications, but it’s not always obvious how we develop these skills – that’s where Robin comes in!

Each Scholar was also allocated a mentor from another institution, with whom they were encouraged to meet at least twice over the course of the programme. Our mentors were all expert educators, who were able to share their experience and career insights with our Scholars.

At our final meet-up, Scholars provided an update on their scholarship projects and discussed their plans for publication. The intention is also for Scholars to present their work at this year’s SICSA Conference, which will be great to see.

This inaugural cohort of L&T Scholars has been amazing, and I hope that we will all stay in touch. The plan is to run the programme again next year, so watch this space!

— Matt Barr

Our final, online meet-up