LLS Dissertation Conference 2018

LLS Dissertation Conference 2018

28 February 2018


The annual LLS Dissertation conference,  ‘Get Your Dissertation or Extended Report Sorted!’, took place this year on 28 February. CLaSS internal placement student, Hasan Ates, attended the event in his dual capacity as a member of the organising team, on the one hand, and as a student interested in developing his dissertation writing skills, on the other. His reflections are presented below.

Students and staff alike had a great time attending the Dissertation Conference on Wednesday, with over 90% of attending students rating the event as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’! They enjoyed the multiple workshops hosted that day as well as the Keynote speech by Jane Adams and the ‘Ask the Marker’ Panel Q&A.

The day started off well! Lecturers from Library and Learning Services (LLS) held workshops which were essential for any student who wants to do well in their dissertation, final year project, or extended report. Over half of the students who offered us feedback attended the ‘Planning and Structuring your dissertation or final year project’ workshop and most described it as ‘Good’ or ‘Very good’ and stated that the demonstrations were great!

The Director of LLS, David Parkes, welcomed participants and introduced the keynote speaker, Royal Literary Fund Fellow Jane Adams. He also signposted the services LLS offers to students.

Jane Adams, RLF Fellow at DMU

Jane Adams then gave us a wonderful talk about how it feels to write a dissertation or any other extensive piece of work. She gave us tips about what we should do to move forward with our writing. She gave us advice such as taking short regular breaks in-between writing sessions as well as taking longer breaks for a day or two before continuing with your work. Jane demonstrated the need for quality writing time instead of quantity. You can find the link to Jane’s talk here, or click this link to take you to David Parkes’ mind map of Jane’s talk.

Ask the Marker Panel

Following Jane’s talk, we had our annual ‘Ask the Marker’ Panel session. This is the part of the day students said that they had enjoyed the most! We had 5 lecturers and dissertation markers on a panel answering questions by the audience. Students were able to ask any question they wanted to and were able to gain a valuable insight into the thought process of a Marker. Many students rated this session as ‘Excellent’ and stated that they had learnt new ideas and will use them in the future. Click here for the link to the recording of the Panel.

We ended our day with a final batch of parallel workshops which will help students develop their skills for completing their dissertation, final year project, or extended report. 92% of the students who attended ‘How to sound ‘critical’ in your writing’ had positive feedback of the session and one student noted that the session was ‘Clear, concise and straightforward’.


Reflections from November Learning and Teaching Morning

On 27 November 2017, colleagues in Library & Learning Services came together for a Learning and Teaching Reflection Morning.  The event took place in the Collaboratory which is a new LLS space encompassing the digital classroom.  Colleagues received an overview of how the technology works.  If you would like to use this space and want more information, contact Rob Weale or Julia Reeve from CELT.

The morning started with an update on the last reflection morning where the digital landscape was a key theme.  Neil Stokes, Academic Team Manager, CELT outlined the progress that LLS have made in this area.  Infographics as a means of communicating data and the services that we provide was also discussed at the previous event and examples of Infographics to produce Faculty Action Plans and NSS Improvement Plans, produced byJenny Coombs, Academic Team Manager, Academic Liaison, were shared with attendees.

Next, Kaye Towlson, Academic Team Manager, Academic Liaison and also the Fair Outcomes Champion for LLS and Carol Keddie, Senior Assistant Librarian, Academic Liaison and also UDL Champion, delivered an interactive inclusive practice workshop.  We were asked to reflect in groups on how our work fitted into the three UDL areas: Flexible study resources, Flexible ways to learn and Flexible ways to show learning.

The morning finished with a “speed dating” activity where 5 colleagues delivered 10 minute updates on a learning and teaching initiative to attendees who visited each table in turn.

Richard Vallance from CELT covered inclusive assignment feedback, Jason Eyre from CLaSS demonstrated the Dissertation Toolkit, Adele Creak from Academic Liaison showed us how to create videos using Powtoon free software, Joanna Dare from Academic Liaison shared her use of timers in interactive teaching and Heather Conboy from CELT explained the use of OneNote for inclusive learning. This activity proved to be a really fun and engaging way of sharing best practice and expertise with colleagues.

We now look forward to the next Teaching Reflection Morning later in the term where we hope to involve colleagues from the University of Nottingham, to share best practice between our respective universities and library services.