As we approach the end of the Summer Term, the Education Blog team have been taking the opportunity to reflect on some of the outstanding educational practice at LSE in 2017/18.

On the 9th May, the Education Symposium, and the Students’ Union Teaching Awards event provided an opportunity for colleagues to network, share best practice and hear about a range of exciting innovations and ongoing work, then come together to celebrate outstanding achievements in 2017/18.

staff in discussion circle

Taking place throughout the Parish Hall, this year’s LSE Education Symposium presented a range of sessions and poster presentations that highlighted everything from the use of games in education in the departments of Anthropology and Social Policy and LSE100 to building student communities in the Department of Geography and Environment and the European Institute and discussions of methods that can support excellent team teaching led by staff from LSE100 and the departments of Economics and Gender Studies.

[I attended] The Lottery of Life session. It was a great game and we continued discussing our characters well after the session ended.

Feedback from one attendee

staff playing card game at education symposium

The Teaching Awards event that followed celebrated both the LSE Class Teacher Awards and the LSESU Student-Led Teaching Excellence Awards. The LSE Class Teacher Awards highlighted staff from across the School who inspired, challenged and supported their students with new resources, well-facilitated discussions and inclusive attitudes. The LSESU student-led Teaching Excellence Awards highlighted outstanding individual practice, with students detailing many examples of excellence, including outstanding welfare and pastoral support that helped them continue their studies in the face of major challenges in the Department of Law and reflective practice that evolved through the course to support different classes in the Department of Economics. The Department of Economic History was awarded the Departmental Excellence Award, based on its community feel, engaging teaching and focus on improvement and listening to student feedback.

If I could nominate her a thousand times, I would. I want her to know that she well and truly has been the reason I have managed to get this far. I don’t know how I could have managed without all the help she has given. When I hang my degree up on the wall — it will be her I think of.

Student nomination, Welfare and Pastoral Support Award

This year the Economic History Department has been incredibly responsive and open about receiving feedback, and has been able to act on most of it. Their ability to incorporate students in the feedback process shows how much they value their students’ input, and it is rare to feel like equals on a feedback panel.

Student nomination, Departmental Excellence Award

We also asked departments which education activities made them particularly proud this year and a few of their responses are below:

The Department of Government told us:

“We released exam feedback to all continuing undergraduate students and dissertation feedback to GV499 before it became part of the Academic Code and amended our dissertations supervisor allocation process to better match student dissertation topics with faculty research areas. We’re also proud of our Undergraduate Political Review Team, who sent two separate teams of students to two different conferences to present their papers this year (you can see more about that on the blog here: experiences:http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/government/2018/04/24/a-wonderful-introduction-to-the-world-of-academic-research-undergraduate-research-takes-centre-stage/).”

The Department of Anthropology explained that they have:

“Really listened to our students about stress and overwork, and have reworked assessments so that diversification is seen across the undergraduate programme, rather than within individual courses, for which assessments have been streamlined.”

The Department of Statistics highlighted work this year on:

  • their new GTA mentor
  • working with student mentors
  • establishing an undergraduate common room
  • the new MSc Data Science programme
  • their new Icebreaker sessions for students
  • their expanded Undergraduate Research Assistantship Scheme

And the Department of Economic History were particularly proud of:

  • Winning the LSESU Departmental Excellence Award
  • Professor Patrick Wallis, who was awarded a Highly Commended in the category of Mentoring and Personal Development at the LSESU Teaching Excellence Awards
  • Professor Eric Schneider, Winner in the category of Research Guidance and Support
  • Professor Natacha Postel-Vinay, who was awarded Runner-up in the category of Mentoring and Personal Development
  • The introduction of a peer mentoring scheme for our 1st-year undergraduate students
  • The introduction of student research internships

This post just covers a small sample of the work going on across the School this year but we hope that it’s inspired you to look back on your own year and take the time to celebrate your own success and that of your colleagues and students. If you’ve got any projects you’d like to share on the Education Blog, or ideas you’d to like to discuss or develop in your own teaching, do contact your TLC Departmental Adviser, LSE Teaching and Learning Centre or the Educational Strategy Unit.

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