Students Staff
University of Essex

June 13, 2017

Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Diversifying Leadership programme

Filed under: Developing Excellence — Tags: , , — Mohammed Alam @ 12:30 pm

As part of the University’s commitment to increasing the diversity of staff at senior levels, the University has funded two places on the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Diversifying Leadership programme designed to support black and minority ethnic (BAME) staff transition into leadership roles. The programme is aimed at early career BAME academics and professional services staff, up to and below senior lecturer level (or equivalent).

This year Ai Gooch and Kojo Koram were selected to attend the Diversifying leadership programme. Below is Ai’s experiences of the event and how it has impacted her.

ai gooch

Subject Librarian for Business and Law

‘’I am a Subject Librarian for Business and Law. I applied for this programme because I am fairly new in my position and I wanted to know more about leadership in the context of UK higher education. The programme has been intensive, but rewarding. The course combines a theoretical framework of leadership and practical exercises to develop skills. For example, we looked at leadership theories through different timelines and across the world to raise awareness of the variety in the concepts of leadership. I also discovered various concepts and approaches related to leadership – sponsorship, for example, is something I had never heard of but I now have two sponsors, who have been a fantastic encouragement to me. Practical exercises, on the other hand, provide opportunities to do things without worrying about failure and to receive feedback. Such examples include ‘elevator pitch’ and ‘active learning sets’. Another positive thing about the programme is to have an opportunity to work with BME staff from other institutions and share experiences. It is really encouraging to meet people who struggle and succeed in similar circumstances. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to progress.’’

 

For more information on the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Diversifying Leadership programme and other development programmes please email Organisational Development at ldev@essex.ac.uk

 

 



June 2, 2017

Removing the ‘one box identity’: The effects of intersectionality on life experiences

Filed under: Athena SWAN,Developing Excellence,Developing Knowledge,Gender equality — Mohammed Alam @ 1:22 pm

Many of you will be aware of work going on around the University to improve the experiences and outcomes for different groups of staff and students through participating in initiatives such as Athena SWAN and the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. This work has led to a number of changes to policy, practice and process across the University, all designed to create a more inclusive environment, but what challenges remain, what barriers still exist that prevent people from being accepted without exception and how can we move towards understanding how individuals’ multiple identities interact to affect their working, learning and social experiences?

This is the beginning of a series of discussions on the broad topic of inclusivity which we hope will create a platform for bringing together people with a range of expertise and personal experiences which in turn can help inform our work in this area. The session will take the form of short talks by each of the speakers followed by a panel discussion, taking questions from the audience.

Event details:

Monday 3 July 2017
6pm until 7.15pm followed by a drinks reception until 8pm (Colchester Campus)
Essex Business School building EBS.1.1 and video linked to Southend campus room GB.2.18
Bookings to be made via HR Organiser for staff.  For students, friends and family please email ldev@essex.ac.uk

Speakers

Thomas Currid, Lecturer, Health and Human Sciences

Thomas will talk about how he uses intersectionality in session content design and in his teaching. His expertise lies in the area of mental health and he will describe how he asks students to reflect on the multiple identities of the mentally ill and also the challenges they face e.g. sexism, racism, ageism, singularism, homophobia, etc. Thomas will also talk about intersectionality approaches in dementia and others with mental illness and through this lens, discuss mental health and the LGBTIA+ community.

Dr Sonia VirdeeDirector of Strategic Planning and Change

Sonia will give a brief personal narrative to stimulate discussion on attitudes and approaches to equality in Higher Education, from the perspective of a woman and an ethnic minority.

Fr. Alex Gowing-Cumber, Anglican Chaplain, Essex and East London Workplace Chaplains 

Alex will reflect on his evolving nature as a disabled spiritual practitioner who has never fitted neatly into tick box exercises and as a result faced prejudice and discrimination at the cross section of most junctions of his life. He will also briefly touch on 24 years and counting in a mixed race marriage and what it was like, as a couple, flying back into England having been at a conference in Rome, the day after the Brexit vote.

Further information:

Stonewall has produced some very useful information on their web pages around LGBT in the workplace.  If you are interested in finding out more about other issues in the workplace i.e. Bi-Sexuality and Trans equality these links might be helpful.



April 26, 2017

Interest Free Loans for Visas and Health Immigration Surcharges (HIS)

Filed under: Developing Excellence — Mohammed Alam @ 1:29 pm

The University has a long tradition of employing a rich mix of staff from around the world.  As we have grown in recent years, recruiting academic and professional staff from outside of the UK has allowed us to keep growth in our staff base in line with increases in the student body.

As part of our commitment as an employer, the University is offering an Interest-Free Visa Loan to staff.

The loan initiative underlines our commitment to being a cosmopolitan University that is internationally-oriented and welcoming of students and staff from all countries.

What can the loan be used for?

The loan is designed to cover costs relating to Home Office Application Fees, such as visa application fees, Health Immigration Surcharge (HIS) costs and related legal fees, up to a maximum of £10,000. You can use it to cover your own fees and those of your accompanying dependents, including your spouse/partner and children.

Take a look at the full policy to see if you’re eligible.

To apply, complete our Interest Free Visa Loan form, making sure you provide a full breakdown of your anticipated/actual costs and submit the form to your Head of School/Department/Section for approval.

For further information, please contact your link HR contact.



April 19, 2017

Aurora: A Leadership Development Programme For Women

Filed under: Athena SWAN,Developing Excellence — Tags: , , — Mohammed Alam @ 11:03 am

Aurora is a women-only leadership development programme created by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education in the UK. The aim of the programme is to help address the under-representation of women in senior posts in higher education.

The Aurora programme is targeted to all women up to senior lecturer level or professional services equivalent in a university or higher education college. The programme is aimed towards women who are ambitious for a career in the sector and interested in exploring leadership and management as an option for progression. It is designed to introduce fundamental leadership skills in 4 workshops (1 workshop = 1 day) with networking opportunities and guest speakers at each event. Furthermore, on-going support is ensured through action learning (1 day scheduled for this as part of the programme), online resources and institutional level support including mentoring and institutional Aurora Champions.

 

aurora

This year we have had five successful delegates’ cohorts, from left to right: Emma Appleton (Senior Financial Analyst), Dr Amanda K Chaplin (Post-Doctoral Researcher), Dr Victoria Nolan (Longitudinal Studies Project Manager), Dr Nadine Rossol (Senior Lecturer in Modern European History) and Dr Louise Marsland (Health Services Research Adviser and Lecturer).

 

In 2016-17, the University produced 5 funded places on the Aurora Programme which commenced in London on 8 March 2017, with attendance on 4 further dates: 29 March 2017, 26 April 2017, 24 May 2017 and 28 June 2017.

We were able to catch up with Dr Victoria Nolan on her success in the programme. She has kindly provided us with her experiences with Aurora.

Who are you?

I am the Project Manager for Understanding Society (the UK Household Longitudinal Study), based at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex. My role involves project planning, coordinating, tracking and reporting across the eight directorates and a range of other subprojects that make up the Study, and liaising with project stakeholders, funders and data users. I also have line management responsibility for two members of the Understanding Society team.

What’s your view of Aurora?

Aurora is an excellent programme for developing leadership and management skills, and for learning about your personal strengths and weaknesses as a leader and skills that can be developed further. Aurora is helping me to identify ways of improving my workplace behaviour to develop into a better leader, which is helpful both now, and as my role may develop in the future.

Aurora is also helpful for networking and meeting colleagues from around the University, and also from other universities across the country. We are learning a lot from each other and are making connections which will endure after the course itself has finished.

How is Aurora helping you?

The Aurora programme is really helping me to develop leadership skills that I can put into practice in my day-to-day work. I am learning about my identity in the workplace, techniques for “being heard”, different styles of leadership, and developing a presence within the team. We have gone on to learn about managing credibility, profile and influence, and building effective networks. We are developing “Action Learning” techniques to identify and find ways of resolving challenges that we face at work.

What does Aurora bring to the table? Why should people do it?

Aurora is useful as it is provided externally to the University hence, enables networking with a broader range of people, but is bounded by being focussed on higher education professionals, so all the delegates share fairly common experiences. The training days are well-structured with a combination of presentations from successful female role models within the industry, and group discussions where delegates can share their experiences and discuss challenges and possible solutions.

I would recommend that people apply for the Aurora scheme as it is a well-structured, interesting and useful course which covers a broad range of skills, and provides advice and guidance for better understanding your workplace self and gives you the tools to develop your leadership skills further in the future.

What does it mean to be a Successful Aurora Delegate?

I was very pleased to be chosen to take part in the Aurora programme. It is encouraging to be recognised as someone with future potential and I am pleased to be given the opportunity to develop my skills further within the context of this programme. Once the programme is finished I am certain I will have developed personally and been able to take some essential leadership skills back to the workplace.

 

You can find more information for the Aurora Programme here.

 



August 15, 2016

Sign up for a mindfulness course

Filed under: Advice & Support,Developing Excellence — Tags: , , , , , , — Seryan Mustafa @ 5:23 pm

Workplace Health and Wellbeing are offering our staff the chance to attend an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction course at our Colchester Campus. With increasing pressure both in our professional and personal lives, this course will equip you with improved skills to manage modern day lifestyles and encourage mindfulness practice.

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July 22, 2016

University Expenses

Filed under: Advice & Support,Developing Excellence — Tags: , , , — Tanya Clements @ 2:19 pm

Currently, the University handles approximately 7,300 paper claims per year, which amounts to £1.3 million of reimbursements being made to staff members. The current process is manual; from the completion of the claim form, to the input into the payment system.

What is changing?

The University is moving to an online system utilising our current HR and Payroll system, iTrent, to make our processes more efficient and reduce paperwork. It will also allow us to collect information in one place, enabling us to identify issues and take remedial action. Claims will be able to be made directly on HR Organiser, and workflow utilised to move information from claim to approval to payment.

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July 20, 2016

Organisation Structure

Filed under: Developing Excellence,People Management — Tags: , , , , , — Seryan Mustafa @ 10:13 am

What is ‘organisation structure’?

The organisation structure is the backbone of our University. It gives details of the departments and jobs in which people work, and their relationship to each other.

A clearly mapped structure allows the University to highlight vacant positions and those to which we are recruiting; this helps us to understand how changing certain jobs can impact other people and their jobs. It also enables the University to estimate financial staffing costs both now and in the future.

A clear and well planned organisation structure helps us create a robust plan for a successful future.

 

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June 2, 2016

TEL-Con 2016 a big success!

Filed under: Developing Excellence,Developing Knowledge,Networking & Collaboration — Tags: , — Marty Jacobs @ 12:40 pm
Martin Sands chating at TEL-Con 2016

Martin Sands talking to delegates about his use of ThingLink.

Last week, we ran the first Technology-Enhanced Learning conference at the University of Essex. I’m pleased to report that the event was a resounding success. In total, 79 people turned up to take part in TEL-Con 2016, far more than we had expected. We were especially pleased by this level of attendance because the day we picked for the conference ended up accidentally clashing with the first day of a two-day strike organised by the University and College Union (UCU)!

There was a palpable buzz in the atrium of Essex Business School as people start to turn up and register for the event. The conference was opened by Aletta Norval, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Education, who gave delegates a brief overview of TEL activity at Essex. She also highlighted the distance that we’ve travelled over the past year and a half, and encouraged staff to explore and develop their own digital capability. Next, attendees were treated to four “TEL talks”, each focusing on a different technology or pedagogical approach.

The first talk was given by Susan Stallabrass, who is a lecturer from the School of Health and Human Sciences. Susan spoke to the expectant crowd about how she has redesigned a research methods module to make better use of Moodle, and encourage her students to improve their own digital skills; her presentation included a specially prepared animated video that outlined the process she used (see video below).

Susan’s video documenting the process of transforming HS858: Research in Healthcare.

This was followed by a talk on ThingLink by Martin Sands, a physiotherapy lecturer also from the School of Health and Human Sciences (pictured above). ThingLink is a web-based tool that allows you to create interactive images. Martin’s talk answered the following intriguing question: Can using ThingLink keep learners in Moodle for longer and, as a consequence, improve student engagement? Both of these talks proved to be very inspiring and garnered a lot of interest from the attentive audience.

The next topic of conversation was video production using a tablet or smartphone. Samer Gharib from the EBS Learning Team gave attendees an overview of the SWIVL—a robotic camera mount (and app) that can automatically track your movements during a lecture or seminar. Samer showed several uses for this exciting new technology. This included filming lectures without the need for a camera operator, and recording student presentations for performance analysis purposes.

The final TEL talk was given by Louise Beard from the School of Biological Sciences. Louise talked about the benefits of live audience participation technology. She got the attendees to answer questions in real time using credit-card sized voting handsets, which she uses on a regular basis with her students for both formative and summative assessment (TurningPoint handsets are available on short-term loan from AVS). Louise even gave prizes out to the people who got the highest score on her quiz! This interactive talk proved to be the perfect end to the first session of the conference.

A video about Turning Technologies, the company that make the audience response clickers that Louise uses with her students.

After the TEL talks, everyone went back into the atrium to get a well deserved cup of coffee and Danish pastry. We then spent the next hour chatting about technology and its place in the teaching and learning process. Several technology experts, both from within and outside of the University community, attended this event. Delegates were able to talk to staff from IT Services, the Albert Sloman Library as well as fellow TEL-Con attendees. Katherine Bone, our representative from Jisc, also made the journey to Essex to talk about the support and services she can offer to University members. In addition to this, Matt Softly kindly brought his Virtual Reality kit all the way from Southend for people to play with, and Satnam Darar came to answer any technical questions about the SWIVL (Satnam runs company called TechInvasion, who are the sole UK distributors of the SWIVL).

The conference ended with three optional, hands-on workshops on ThingLink, the Moodle Quiz tool and Live Audience Participation technology. All three workshops were well attended.

The Technology-Enhanced Learning Team would like to thank everyone who attended TEL-Con. We’d also like to thank Susan, Martin, Samer and Louise for preparing and delivering four excellent presentations, as well as all of the technology experts who gave up their time to attend the networking session. Without your input the event wouldn’t have been possible. I’d also like to thank Aletta for opening the conference for us, and Jo Hopkins for helping us organise and run the event.

We managed to recorded the four TEL talks, they’ll be available via Moodle next week for those people who were unable to attend the event in person (an delagates who want to refresh their memories!). For more photos taken at the event can be found in the TEL-Con album on Flickr.

If you’d like to be involved in next year’s TEL-Con, or you’re interested in any of the technological approaches mentioned in this post, please contact the Technology-Enhanced Learning Team (email: tel).



May 19, 2016

Booking Annual Leave in HR Organiser

What is HR Organiser?

HR Organiser is an online self-service system that gives employees easy access to view and amend their employment information via a dedicated and secure web portal.

You can already access your payslips and book training and development. Over the coming months, annual leave, sickness absence recording, expenses and HR records will continue to move onto the new system.

The University is moving to an online system to make our processes more efficient, reducing paperwork and saving you time and effort. It will also allow us to collect information in one place, enabling us to spot problems and take action.

Most areas of Professional Services have already gone live with booking annual leave – for all staff within Faculties, annual leave went live on 18th April.

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April 19, 2016

TEL-Con 2016

TEL-Con Circuit Board.On 25th May 2016, the Technology-Enhanced Learning Team (TELT) will be running a one-day conference called TEL-Con. This exciting new event is aimed at all teaching staff at the University of Essex who want to explore the possibilities of Technology-Enhanced Learning. You’ll be able to listen to inspirational talks, chat with technology experts, and learn about brand new technological tools at one of our hands-on workshops. TEL-Con 2016 is part of the University’s three-year TEL Programme. You can learn more about this initiative by visiting the TEL pages in Moodle (login with your Essex ID).

TEL Talks

The conference will begin with an introduction by Professor Aletta Norval (Pro-Vice-Chancellor Education), which will be followed by four fifteen-minute “TEL talks” on the innovative use of technology. The invited speakers are all University members who are currently working on projects with the Technology-Enhanced Learning Team. Each speaker will discuss a different form of technology, and will share their hard-earned experience and insight with you. You will be treated to talks on Moodle, ThingLink, video production using a robotic video camera mount, and interactive Live Audience Participation software!

Technology networking session

The TEL Talks will be immediately followed by an informal networking session, which will include coffee and refreshments. You’ll be able to meet with various technology experts from around the University (including the invited speakers from the previous session), and ask them any questions you may have. This is a perfect opportunity to find out about the technology-based teams and tools that are available to all teaching staff at Essex.

TEL-Con will take place in the Winter Gardens within the Essex Business School on the north side of campus. The TEL Talks will be held in room EBS.2.34, just around the corner from the Winter Gardens (opposite Bonds).

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. You can book a place at the conference via HR Organiser, using the link below:

Book your place at TEL-Con

Hands-on technology workshops

In the afternoon, after the TEL Talks and networking session have finished, the TELT will also be running three optional workshops on ThingLink, Moodle Quizzes and Audience Response Technologies. Each session will be repeated twice, the first starting at 2:00pm and the second at 3:00pm, so you can attend a maximum of two sessions. You can book onto the workshops using the links below:

Fun with ThingLink - ThingLink is an interactive media platform that empowers you to create more engaging content by adding rich media links to photos and videos. In this hour-long session, you’ll learn how to use the platform to create interactive images, which can be embedded into Moodle. Location: PC Lab K (4S.2.8).

Making Moodle Quizzes – The Moodle Quiz activity allows you to design and build quizzes using a variety of flexible question types, including multiple choice, true-false, and short answer questions. In this hour-long session, you learn how to use this versatile tool to create self-marking quizzes and tests that automatically provide rich feedback to your students. Location: PC Lab M (4S.2.4).

LAP it up! – In this hour-long session, you’ll get to play with two audience response technologies that will enable you to experiment with Live Audience Participation (LAP). You’ll learn how to create and run fast-paced, competitive quizzes. You’ll also be shown how these technologies can be used to test the collective comprehension of a student cohort in real-time! Location: EBS.2.65.

Book now!

Attending TEL-Con is an excellent way to improve your understanding of the IT resources and services that are available at the University. Book now to avoid disappointment!


 

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