Sijen Educational Consultancy

See: Institutional Development Sessions

Simon Atkinson has been offering educational consultancy services, advice and guidance in the area of e-learning, learning design and academic educational development since 2000.

Simon has focussed on his experience in tertiary education to offer workshops, seminars and interventions primarily intended to support institutions own capacity building efforts for flexible, distance and on-line delivery.

All sessions are tailored to meet the unique context of institutional, regional or national strategies for learning design and academic educational development. Simon’s focus is on tailored workshops and professional development programmes for learning & teaching staff, across all disciplines, preparing to develop and support learning in increasingly mixed, or blended, modes of delivery.

In October 2016 Sijen designed a portable exhibition to support the Commemoration of  New Zealand’s First World War soldiers buried in Botley, Oxford as part of the Commonwealth War Graves . In partnership with the History Faculty’s ‘Globalising and Localising the Great War’, the exhibition features thirteen A2 panels which detail the stories of the nine New Zealanders who died in the First World War, showcases local responses to the war and a supported narrative outlining key learning messages linked to KS3.


Examples of Invited Interventions

Simon’s University level work includes working internationally with colleagues such as the Institute or Women, Gender and Development Studies – Egerton University, Kenya entitled ‘Capacity Building for Distance Learning and e-Learning Development’ (funded by British Council), and as part of formal projects as in the case of a keynote address as part of the Croatian National e-Learning Project EQIBELT (TEMPUS). He also supported the development for proposals for online development for part-time Fire-fighters for NZ Fire Service.

In direct support of his own scholarship agenda he ran a series of workshops over 2006-2009 (with Kevin Burden) on the effective use of digital artefacts, principally video, in tertiary education as part of a JISC funded project entitled the DiAL-e. Simon has also more recently developed a framework for evaluating students orientation to learning in UK Universities entitled the POISE, a means of establishing the epistemological foundations of new entrants.

Institutional Development Sessions

Simon is happy to be invited in to work with colleagues, in association with educational and staff development units, PVC/Deans of Learning & Teaching or Learning Media Groups. All costs are negotiable depending on group size and contextual complexity. As a guide a daily rate of £550 ex VAT plus travel and accommodation costs as appropriate should be taken as the basis for discussion.

All interventions are responses to an institutional brief and all are negotiated to meet pre-defined strategic needs. Below are three session offerings but everything can be customised to meet the institutional need.

Learning Design (SOLE) – 1 day clinic (£500)

Who is it for? For module and programme leaders who are trying to diagnose and redevelop an existing module or programme that is presenting challenges. Participants require access to a desktop computer.

  • Part 1 (1.5 hrs): An introduction and demonstration of the Student-Owned Learning-Engagement (SOLE) model and its associated Excel toolkit.
  • Part 2 (3-4 hrs): Participants actively engage with the Toolkit to build their modules. As they do so they pay particular attention to students notional hours of study, the alignment of learning activities to intended learning outcomes (ILOs), balance of assessment and the media mix/mode of study.
  • Part 3 (1-2hrs): A group comparison of outputs making use of the diagnostic visualisations provided by the toolkit.

The intention is that participants will go away with a clear set of design principles to address the challenges that their module might present.

Simon in Workshop

University Module Design – 2 day workshop (£1000)

Who is it for? Designed for a small number of new inter-related modules, or a single module, within a well defined programme.  The intention is to generate all of the paperwork necessary for module validation within your institution.

  • Day 1: First session will orientate the modules in the context of the programme. The level of the modules, the students, any progression issues or revalidation challenges. For the remainder of the day we will explore the authorship of intended learning outcomes (ILO) across four domains of learning, knowledge, cognitive, affective and psychomotor, in order to correctly balance the ILOs for this module (s) in the context of the programme.
  • Day 2: The focus on day two is on constructive alignment. We will explore the articulation of the ILOs through assessment, with reference to expectations and best practice in the given discipline. We will design appropriate assessment to allow students to evidence achievement against the ILOs and outline the learning and teaching strategy to enable students to rehearse these ILOs.

Simon in Workshop

University Programme Design and Curriculum Development – 5 day workshop (£2250)

Who is it for? Designed to support an entire programme team, multiple module leaders, learning and teaching support staff are welcome. The workshop aims to provide a new programme with all of the paperwork necessary for programme validation within your institution.

  • Day 1:  engaged in a extensive exploration of the alignment of the entire programme (to graduate outcomes, QAA Benchmarks and other external reference points). Discussion about the sequencing of modules across stages and levels, credit worthiness and overarching assessment strategy within the discipline.
  • Day 2: the focus will be on ‘profiling’ students and faculty. Identifying the skills sets they bring to the programme, any identifiable deficits. This will serve to identify for example the degree of work-based learning, independent study and on-line learning that can be supported by the programme.
  • Day 3: in smaller module groups, as appropriate, we then follow a detailed learning design process to generate all of the paperwork necessary for validation within your institution. Starting with clarity as to the progression pathways through modules and levels through the programme. Any articulations with parallel provision and options will be explored here. We will explore the authorship of intended learning outcomes (ILO) across four domains of learning, knowledge, cognitive, affective and psychomotor, in order to correctly balance the ILOs across the programme.
  • Day 4: focusing on Assessment. In the light of institutional limitations for how to deploy assessment across the programme, timing and supporting progressive skills development at each stage. We will ensure that each module and programme is constructively aligned throughout.
  • Day 5: begins with an exploration of the practical learning and teaching opportunities that the emergent programme represents, testing ideas back to the profiles developed on Day 1. Workshop ends with presenting our outputs back to the entire group and a peer evaluation process.

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