About the Conference

A message from Pro-Vice-Chancellor Paul White
"Universities have long been regarded as centres of innovation, from leading cutting-edge research to exploring new approaches in learning and teaching. However, recent advancements in technology mean that many of our students are already accustomed to using the internet, videos and social media to interact with their world at a time, place and pace that suits them before they arrive at university. At Sheffield, we want to ensure that the teaching methods we use, whether face-to-face or digital, are designed to meet the learning needs of our diverse group of students. The use of technology does not have to be complex or onerous. From clickers, podcasts and online peer feedback to MOOCs and iTunesU, staff across the University are already deploying digital tools in their teaching. The theme for this year’s Learning and Teaching Conference – ‘Digital Possibilities’ – provides an opportunity for us to reflect on how we can use technology to support student learning. Today’s sessions will look at how digital approaches can enhance teaching activities, support effective assessment and feedback, further peer collaboration among students and facilitate learning outside the classroom. However, a key element of our discussions today will be to consider how technology can be used alongside face-to-face methods to add value to our existing approaches, rather than replacing them. Exploring how to integrate digital technologies into the design of our teaching encourages us to reflect on what we do, why we do it, and how we could have a greater impact on our students’ learning. Asking these challenging questions will help us to provide the best learning experience we can for our students."

This conference provides a dynamic opportunity for you to share your experiences and practices with staff from across the University. Speakers will either deliver a 20 minute presentation (plus time for questions) or run a one hour interactive workshop.
The sessions will be linked to one of the following topics under the theme of Digital Possibilities:

  • Increasing flexible access to learning by providing alternative online modes of study
  • Supporting face-to-face teaching activities by combining them with digital activities and resources (ie, adopting a ‘blended’ approach to learning)
  • Enhancing the quality and efficiency of assessment and feedback given to students through the use of digital tools
  • Facilitating collaboration, group work and exchange of ideas outside the classroom through online communities of learning
  • Creating a more authentic learning experience by simulating real-life situations in a virtual world
  • Monitoring and evaluating how your students are learning through the use of technological tools
  • Promoting self-evaluation and self-led learning among students through the use of online tools
  • Enabling students to develop their own digital literacy skills in preparation for future employment 

Digital tools and approaches can include (but are not limited to):


Video/Audio Recordings


Open Educational Resources

Computer-aided design programmes

Voting response systems (clickers)

Google Apps for Education (eg Sites)


Social Media

Online modules (eg MOOCs)

E-portfolios (eg Pebblepad)

Mobile learning (eg phone/tablet apps)

MOLE tools (eg Turnitin, forums, wikis)

Augmented reality or virtual worlds

Online information sources (eg iTunesU)

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