MA Modern History Student and SALT Student Intern Isabel Costello talks about her time at Swansea Academy of Learning & Teaching .
As I am approaching the end of my contract at SALT Chris Hall (aka the boss man) has asked me to write a blog about my time in the Academy…hopefully it won’t bore!
I began working for SALT in May 2014 as part of Swansea University’s Week of Work scheme. I shadowed Phil Brophy, the Strategic Projects Manager for Student Experience and ‘wanna be student’, during the week. I attended university meetings on the Bay Campus, Module Feedback and the iloveswansea campaign. The highlight of the week was definitely ‘having a meeting for a meeting’ – it was bizarre!
After my Week of Work, I began my six week SPIN Placement in the Academy to write a report on the effectiveness of formative assessment and to provide proposals to enhance the student experience at Swansea. The report was based on the University’s strategic plan to encourage the use of formative assessment, it was presented to the University’s Learning and Teaching committee, where it received a positive response and has informed the enhancement of the University’s approach to assessment from 2014-15.
During the placement I also worked with Matthew Allen to organise the Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award and the Student Support Award, producing recommendations on how to raise awareness of the awards. One of my proposals was to make a SALT Excellence in Learning and Teaching walk of fame on the Mall…the idea didn’t really catch on (perhaps after this blog it will?!)
In October 2014 I was appointed as SALT’s first Week of Work Extra student. My main role was to co-ordinate Make One Change; a twenty-one month project aimed to encourage and assist staff in making small changes in their teaching. During the project I filmed and edited fifteen videos, wrote cases on a number of staff, designed the Make One Change section of the website and created a Make One Change poster to promote the project at the SALT 2015 Conference. For me, the highlight of the project was definitely talking to staff about their teaching. The experience made me really proud not only to be part of the SALT team, but also to be taught by these fantastic people. Swansea lecturers are the best!
During the internship I worked as a team to publicise the Excellence in Learning & Teaching Award and the Student Support Award. I co-ordinated with the Marketing Department to arrange for Student Ambassadors to hand out leaflets and arranged for SU TV (student society) to film the Director of SALT talking about the awards. I also contributed to the campaign ‘Keep Calm & Upload to Turnitin’, suggesting methods of raising awareness of Turnitin.
From using publisher to design flyers, excel to analyse and interpret National Student Survey data, to contributing to the SALT Annual Impact report, to communicating with academic and professional staff at all levels I have gained a range of relevant and transferable skills. But I have also had the opportunity to work with a group of really lovely people, nothing is too much bother for the SALT Team and everyone works together to improve learning and teaching at Swansea. And I don’t think in any other institution would you find the Director of Learning and Teaching with twigs in her hair because she is gardening in the office…now that was an experience!
I would just like to say thank you to everyone I have worked with during my time at SALT. It has been a pleasure to work in the department, and I will be sad to go…but I know that it is time for me to leave for new adventures and to boss some more people around (future employers whoever you are, I am joking)!
Anyway, thank you! Swansea, I will be back.