Virtual mentoring circles

Mentoring circles content Mentoring Circle Coffee Meetings

Mentoring circles

In April and May 2020 the LTA launched mentoring circles to support colleagues in the move to online learning and teaching. These were very well received and that is why we have decided to run more in 2020-21 covering new topics.

These one and a half hour 'coffee break meetings' will be facilitated by colleagues from across the academic partnership who have knowledge and experience in approaches to online learning and teaching. Topics include sustainable assessment practice, alternative approaches to work based placements and fieldwork, online practical and clinical practice and supporting student wellbeing and belonging. The coffee break meetings will offer an informal online space where participants are encouraged to be mentees and consider aspects of their practice they would like to explore or enhance.

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Format

Up to three mentors will share 5-10 minutes of their own practice; lessons learned and successes around the topic of the mentoring circle, the remainder of the meeting should be led by the participants who will be invited to ask questions and seek guidance from the mentors around their own practice.  There are five mentoring circles covering different topics, with mentor groups running two mentor circle meetings so participants are encouraged to return to the second meeting to continue the discussions and develop ideas.

Participants are encouraged to consider areas of their own practice in relation to the topic of the mentoring circle, that they would like to discuss at the meeting as mentors will be guided by the mentees in the discussion.

Testimonials

“during a time when almost everything has moved online and a lot of work days are filled with back to back virtual meetings, these are the ones I look forward to the most. I always come into them anticipating a golden nugget find, and, funnily enough, I always leave with at least one”

“I felt quite excited to put in practice some of the techniques the mentors shared with us!”

“We've all got experience or knowledge that can help others, even if we don't realise it. You might surprise yourself!”

“A very friendly environment for discussion of key themes associated with online learning and teaching. I would encourage anyone with an interest in developing their teaching to attend.”

Topics for 2020-21 content

Topics for 2020-21

Topic and Meeting DatesMentors

Alternative approaches to work based placements and field work

Dates: First meeting: 10 December 2020, 13:00 - 14:30

Second meeting: ;27 January 2021, 12:00 - 13:30

Scott Timpany

Shari Kane

Keith Smyth

Sustainable assessment practice

Dates: First meeting: 2 Feb 2021, 13:00 - 14:30

Second meeting: 4 March 2021, 13:00 - 14:30

Shari Kane

Alice Mongiello

Keith Smyth

Moving practical subjects online e.g. hairdressing, art disciplines, drama and music programmes

Dates: First meeting: 1 December 2020, 15:00 - 16:30

Second meeting: 28 January 2021, 13:00 - 14:30

Miriam Iorwerth

Stephanie Smart

Roxane Permar

Moving clinical practice online e.g. nursing and midwifery, dentistry and optometry

Dates: First meeting: 20 January 2021, 13:00 - 14:30

Second meeting: 23 February 2021, 13:00 - 14:30

Linda Gunn

Julie Armstrong

Supporting student wellbeing and belonging when in-person social spaces are no longer an option

Dates: First meeting: 25 November 2020, 12:00 - 13:30

Second meeting: 21 January 2021, 13:00 - 14:30

Julie Armstrong

Stephanie Smart

Roxane Permar

How to register

Please register by emailing lta@uhi.ac.uk, including the mentoring circle you would like to attend. There are 10 places on each mentoring circle and colleagues are asked to attend both meetings for the mentoring circle that they register for. Places will be on a ‘first come first serve’ basis.

Meet our mentors! content

Meet our mentors!

Meet our mentors!

Alice Mongiello

Photo of Alice Mongiello

As part of her undergraduate studies, Alice specialized in biological studies, sociology and psychology. Realising she wanted to pursue a career in education, she completed a Masters of Education, several Master's level modules and one year post-graduate research focusing on aspects related to ELC between 1992-1996. She has a particular interest in how children/adults learn and where adults position themselves during the learning process. The concept and practice of 'child/student-centredness' feature significantly in her academic and personal research.Alice Mongiello is Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Childhood Practice, HNC Childhood Practice and GA BA Early Learning and Childcare based at Inverness College UHI since 2005. She has been employed in the Further Education sector since 1996, working in several Scottish Further Education Colleges as an Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Lecturer. Prior to this, Alice was employed as an Early Years Practitioner for 6 years in a number of private nursery settings in Arizona and Scotland. Between 1999-2000 Alice was also seconded on a part-time basis to the Scottish Council for Research in Education (SCRE) working on a research project investigating the role of classroom assistants.

Continuing her career in education, Alice completed a Teaching Qualification in Further Education in 2002 and in 2015 completed a Doctorate of Education. Her doctoral research explored ways in which Childhood Practice graduate's lives were transformed as a result of completing a Degree in an online educational context. She has a particular interest in the transformative potential of education and ways in which online adult educators behave and interact that acts to 'humanises the machine'. Alice has written and presented numerous papers on the subject of online learning and teaching across the world. Her current research interests are non-traditional learner’s transitions and the online practice of authenticity. Is it possible to educate from the heart in an online context?

Alice believes that the key for delivering successfully online lies in an educator’s ability to build relationships and make connections; skills that lie at the heart of the learning and teaching process regardless of the context. It is human connections rather than the technology that promotes potential transformative learning experiences; the technology merely offers the platform in which these experiences take place. In 2016, Alice became a Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Academy.

Julie Armstrong

Julie Armstrong

As a lecturer at Lews Castle College in the Western Isles, Julie's current role affords opportunity, empowering people to make the most of their talents using technology and related apps. Julie is an active member of the UHI - Inclusive Practitioners Network (IPN) and champion Accessibility and Inclusion using Technology (AIT). Julie has contributed to funded projects for NHS Western Isles (Western Isles Disability Services, Men's Health and ECCI Project). A highlight of Julie's career was to meet The Flying Scotsman, Grame Obree whose inspiration led her to win a Gold Medal for Accessibility during a JISC eOlympics event.

Keith Symth

Keith Smyth

Keith Smyth is Professor of Pedagogy at the university, and leads the Learning and Teaching Academy. Keith works with colleagues across the university on strategic learning and teaching developments, funded projects and supporting staff to engage in educational research. Much of this work is taken forward through the activities of the Learning and Teaching Academy.

Keith has particular interests in co-creative pedagogies and curriculum models, open education, technology-enhanced learning, educational strategy and policy, and developing pedagogic research and scholarship. He has written and presented widely in these areas, and has undertaken funded projects for organisations including the Higher Education Academy, JISC, Scottish Funding Council and NHS.

Linda Gunn

Linda Gunn

Linda is a a registered Dental Therapist and Dental Hygienist who has worked across all areas of dentistry during my career. Linda moved into education a number of years ago and eventually ended up with UHI running the BSc course in Oral Health Science which qualifies Dental Therapists and Hygienists. Lindra graduated with Masters in Medical Education and a Masters in Leadership and Management, this one was through UHI.

Linda is interested in the educator role of clinicians and have developed two Post Graduate modules which are delivered through UHI which are based around teaching and assessment in clinical pedagogy. In this role Linda has mentored a number of tutors, who are clinicians, to their teaching role and this appears to have been successful.

In addition, as Linda is very keen for dental care professionals to have access to post graduate qualification in their own remit she has recently had approved the Masters in Oral Health Science course, also delivered through UHI.

These mentorships have been informal and Linda hopes to both learn more through mentoring others and supporting others in education as their mentor.

Miriam Iorwerth

Miriam Iorwerth

Dr Miriam Iorwerth is a lecturer on the BA (Hons) Applied Music course, teaching a range of topics including music technology, music in educational and community contexts, and research skills. The topic of her PhD was musicians’ experiences of Networked Music Performance, which has become a particularly important subject since the global pandemic, when many musicians have had to embrace working online. Outside her work at UHI she is Chair of the Loch Shiel Festival and an external assessor for Creative Scotland.

Roxane Permar

Roxane Permar

Roxane Permar, Reader in Fine Art, works as Research Fellow and Programme Leader for the MA Art and Social Practice at the Centre for Island Creativity, University of the Highlands and Islands. She is a Senior Fellow in the Higher Education Academy and has been working in universities in England and Scotland since the mid-1980s, and Shetland College UHI since 2001. The MA Art and Social Practice is the first postgraduate programme in the field of socially engaged art to be delivered entirely virtually and brings together her research and pedagogical practices, most recently in the research project, Repositioning Practice, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

Scott Timpany

Scott Timpany

Dr Scott Timpany is the current Programme Leader for the UG Archaeology degrees, based in Orkney College UHI. Scott leads modules at UG and PG level, including research-led modules such as Wetland Archaeology, together with employment-focussed Placement modules. Scott’s main research interest is in palaeoecology and intertidal archaeology, particularly in the study of submerged forests and investigating past woodland biodiversity and species richness of such sites across the UK. More recently though Scott has been working on investigating woodland management in the Scottish Iron Age through charcoal analysis of fuelwood used in metalworking activity. Scott has been working with the LTA through the Alpine HEA Fellowship Scheme since 2017, mentoring applicants at Associate and Fellowship level, together with taking part in Review panels. Previous to being at UHI, Scott was a Project Manager at Headland Archaeology Ltd, a commercial archaeology company with offices across the UK and Ireland.

Shari Kane

Shari Kane

Shari works with Perth College UHI as part of the Sport & Fitness team. Shari's main role, however, is to lead on 4 modules across the UHI partnership, 3 of which comprise the Work Placement Suite (levels 8-10). As part of this role, Shari is always looking for new and innovative ways to engage students, enhancing their academic experience whilst simultaneously upskilling them as future professionals in their chosen industry. A big part of this is to create module spaces, learning resources, and assessment practices that are flexible, industry-focused, and student-led – taking a step away from the ‘traditional’ model of teaching Work Placement.

Shari holds a BA Business Administration, and a BSc (Hons) Sport, Fitness and Exercise, and is in her final dissertation year of an MSc Physical Activity for Health. In conjunction with UHI Learning and Teaching Academy (LTA), Shari is currently in the process of completing her application for Senior Fellowship with Advance HE. Shari also recently received an LTA research scholarship focusing on the subject of flexible assessment menus, a research piece which is now underway.

In her own time, Shari delivers personal training to clients; volunteers for her local kindness group (completing admin, delivering shopping, collecting prescriptions, and making friendly phone calls, for the vulnerable and shielding members of her community); Shari is vice-president of education for Toastmasters International group, and she has just started as a Digital Champion volunteer for her local council supporting older adults and people with additional learning needs to use technology to engage with their world.

Stephanie Smart

Stephanie Smart

Steph is a trained actor, director and producer specialising in theatre and performance pedagogies based in the Highlands of Scotland. With a BA (hons) in Acting and English, and a Masters in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management, Steph left Edinburgh behind in 2017 and returned home to the Highlands where she took up the position of Lecturer in Drama and Performance at Inverness College UHI.

Across her career she has worked with companies like National Theatre for Scotland, Grid Iron Theatre company, Strange Town Theatre, Artichoke Trust, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Screen Academy Scotland, Canada Hub, Eden Court Theatre and Marvel studios to name a few. Her most recent projects being Processions and Infinity War.

Steph is an experienced director and educator within the performing arts industry, who has a demonstrated history of working on a multitude of projects, locally and internationally, within theatre and film contexts. Her specialties lie acting and performance theories and practice, within conventional, non-conventional theatre contexts and applied drama in practice. She is also involved in curriculum development and practice as/based research. Her research interests lie in resilience practices, wellbeing and drama in interdisciplinary contexts.

Previous mentoring circles topics content

Previous mentoring circles topics

Previous mentoring circles topics

Topic and Meeting DatesMentors

Connecting our learners by building social and emotional presence

Building an online social and emotional presence, through Brightspace, through using online tools and synchronous and asynchronous technology.

Dates: First meeting: 30 April, 11:00 - 12:00 Recording of session introduction

Second meeting: 21 May, 14:00 - 15:00

Alice Mongiello

Nicola Martin

Simon Bradley

Designing activities for active and interactive online learning

From using the university 'Benchmarks for the use of Technology in Learning and Teaching' to design and underpin learning activities for active student engagement in online learning and teaching spaces, to practical examples of using the Brightspace tools, including Bongo, Brightspace Quiz and Discussion Board to design learning and teaching activities.

Dates: First meeting: 22 April, 14:30 - 15:30 Recording of session introduction

Second meeting: 7 May, 14:00 - 15:00

Suki Haider

Keith Smyth

Formative and summative coursework and assessment in Brightpace

Using formative Brightspace quizzes, assessments with online submission, rubric marking, and Turnitin checking. Designing accessible and valuable assessment that positively challenges learners.

Dates:

First meeting:16 April, 11:00 - 12:00 Slides Recording of session introduction

Second meeting: 13 May, 10:00 - 11:00

Lois Gray

Elizabeth McFarlane