Open Door

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” – Terry Pratchett (1990 – Truckers)
Please note, the Open Door Programme is currently only open to teaching staff.

Open Door

What is the open door programme ?

The Open Door programme matches teachers with teachers, to facilitate the development of skills, knowledge and confidence.

Teachers with questions, issues, ideas or stumbling blocks get the opportunity to sit in on sessions delivered by colleagues who are known for certain aspects of their teaching. They can pick the sort of session they’d like to sit in on, where possible they can pick the discipline. Afterwards they can talk to the Open Door Teacher to discuss how it went and why.

The programme does not promise to offer perfect sessions without fault, it merely offers examples for you to observe and think about.

Click here to find out how to book yourself in to observe one of the sessions

First you need to pick the session you want to observe. You can search by teaching method, College, Campus (these three from the links on the top right of this page) or by looking at the sessions being offered by the individual Open Door Teachers below.

At the top of each session write up is a link that you can click to send an automatically addressed and subjected email to us at SALT to book you onto the session. There is also an indicator of how many more spaces are available for that session. We can’t book you onto a session that is full (as we’ve been given numbers by the Open Door teachers that are suitable for the room and size of the class), but we can try to get more sessions from that person / using that teaching method etc., so feel free to send an email for that session even if it is fully booked.

We’ll reply confirming. You then just have to go along to the session (when and where as stated) and watch. While you are watching please try to notice two things (at least) that were particularly noteworthy.

After the session the Open Door teacher will hopefully be available immediately to talk to observers about the session. How it went, what worked, what didn’t work, why they did what they did etc. and to answer any questions you may have. Those two noteworthy things might come in useful in the conversation …

Finally, send us an email to telling us which session you went to see and what your two noteworthy things were … just so we know !

Who are the Open Door Teachers ?

Click on the name of the teacher for more information and to see the sessions (as details become available) they are offering:

Ute Keller-Jenkins (Arts and Humanities – Modern Languages)

Ute won the Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Award in 2013, which coincided with her third win of the Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award (or its precursor the Distinguished Teaching Award). She is known for her interactive approach to teaching, involving her students in the session at every opportunity. She is highly organised and clearly has the respect of her students !Having watched her teach, Ute directly engages her students and uses many features of performance in her teaching. She uses the room and the available space, physical motion and voice modulation. Ute is very supportive of her students and involves each one with carefully directed questioning. She uses group activity in the classes too, facilitating it by rearranging the students’ seating if necessary.

Click here to see the sessions Ute is offering for the Open Door programme →

Dr Tom Hannant (Hilary Rodham Clinton School of Law)

Tom comes recommended by his Head of College, Heads of L&T and his students. Having watched him teach, I felt I had my eyes opened a bit ! As a dilogically challenged engineer, I managed to get through the whole of my degree course (years ago) without ever being exposed to a seminar, so although I had an idea of what to expect it was a pleasure to see Tom in action and I really enjoyed it. He has a very easy going style and uses careful questioning techniques to tease engagement from the students. If you want to see what seminars entail, go and watch Tom !

Click here to see the sessions Tom is offering →

Sian Rees (Arts and Humanities – Media and Communication)

Sian won a Distinguished Teaching Award (the precursor to the Excellence in Learning and Teaching Awards) in 2011 and receives further nominations every year ! Always highlighted is her clarity and the obviously high standard of her presentation / handouts / case study notes etc.Having watched Sian teach, she is highly prepared and organised and really gets her students involved with the content she is delivering. She uses a range of hooks keep the student’s attention throughout the session, drawing them back in, time and time again. Visual aids, video clips, case studies, individualised questioning, short group activities even in large lectures, discussions … Sian engages her students with the subject, her approach and her attention to detail.

Click here to see the sessions Sian has on offer →

Dr John Knight (Human and Health Sciences – Interprofessional Studies)

John won an Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award in 2014 and has been repeatedly nominated ever since. His students always emphasise his ability to make the really difficult things seem interesting and understandable, and the way uses his deep subject knowledge, smooth delivery and sense of humour to make his sessions something to really look forward to.Having watched John teach, he carefully guides his students through the material, referencing previous work and stated objectives. He uses stepped progressions and regular recaps to keep the students all up to speed, with gentle questioning to check understanding. He uses clear and simple visuals, encouraging active listening in his students. He includes all the students in the learning process and has a very calm and welcoming atmosphere in his sessions.

Click here to see the sessions John is offering →

Dr Joanne Hudson (Engineering – Sport Science)

Jo delivers almost hybrid sessions that are part lecture, part workshop and even have elements of seminar about them (where student numbers are small enough).Having watched her teach, Jo has a clear structure in what she is doing and works carefully to keep the students on task and on track. She uses case studies, research, video clips and questioning techniques to grab the student’s attention and her sessions are sprinkled with group work, discussion and technology all of which clearly engage her audience. Jo recognises the role of student talk in the learning process and likes to get groups working collaboratively in her sessions. Lots to see here.

Click here to see the sessions Jo is making available →

Trish Rees (Hilary Rodham Clinton School of Law)

Trish teaches on a range of modules across the Law School and is the module director for both Medical and Reproductive Law. Trish comes highly recommended by her Heads of L&T and is well known for her teaching. Having watched her teach, Trish has a relaxed style and handles potentially sensitive subject matter smoothly, and easily. Her use of Kahoot was outstanding, highlighting its use to gauge student opinion and benchmark it for revisiting further through the course. She uses questioning to provoke student response and to query student thinking. Very good example of how to navigate through quite polarising material.

Click here to see the sessions Trish is offering →

Finally … how can I become one of the Open Door Teachers ?

We are grateful for your enthusiasm, and salute you for it ! However, at the start of this initiative, so we can manage it and enable it to grow in a sustainable manner, SALT is working with just a selection of contacts within Colleges to establish the necessary processes and get them working for everyone. So for now, it is an invitation only job ! We have plans though for nomination processes in the future (including self nomination).

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