Building a LITE community at Leeds

LITE’S new Research Officer Katie Livesey shines a light on her role for the Institute for SEB and talks about what she hopes to achieve.

I am delighted to have joined the LITE team as the Research Officer. I have been in the post since early January with my first day coinciding with day one of Student Education conference where I helped out with #SEC2019 registration.

I have worked at the University for many years and handing out name badges to colleagues was a great way to update people on the new role and to start networking.

Rewarding

NEW LITE role: Research Officer and author, Katie Livesey.

I am really excited to be part of the LITE community and to be working with such enthusiastic colleagues from across the University who are really engaged in pedagogic research and innovations in learning and teaching.

My role is about supporting staff who are carrying out Teaching Enhancement Projects and Fellowships funded by LITE and also supporting activity associated with the scholarship of teaching and learning throughout the wider university community.

Community building is vital in such a large and diverse organisation and to be able to bring people together to share ideas and good practice and facilitate support and encouragement through networking is really rewarding.

LITE community

Since joining LITE I have launched the Research-Based Learning Network aimed at staff involved in the delivery of final year projects and dissertation modules at undergraduate and taught postgraduate level.

The response to the creation of the network has been really positive and we already have more than 60 members signed up.

The first meeting of the group kicked off by hearing from two students talking about their experiences of completing dissertations.

This gave the group food for thought before discussing the differences in the delivery of research project modules within their own subject disciplines.

The LITE Journal Club has also seen its first meeting.

This is a monthly meeting, held the third week of the month for anyone interested in pedagogic research.

Two weeks prior to the meeting the journal article is announced that will form the basis of the discussion, over the obligatory tea and cake of course.

It is an informal meeting where all are welcome, with no expectations to contribute.

The aim is to build the Leeds community of practitioners interested in this area of research which definitely includes those who may be new to it and want to build their understanding and expertise.

Getting started

LITE’s new series of workshops to support pedagogic research activity will further encourage growth in this area.

The ‘Getting Started in Pedagogic Research’ workshop taking place in April filled up almost within 48 hours which demonstrates the interest in this field from colleagues across campus.

We will definitely be planning another one sooner rather than later – so look out for additional dates.

Sharing ideas

So far I would say one of the most rewarding parts of the role is working to support staff who are working on LITE teaching enhancement projects and fellowships.

We have a small community of Fellows who have based themselves full time in the LITE building and others pop in to either spend a morning working in a quiet space away from the distractions of their day to day work place or to get some advice on various aspects of their projects.

Hearing about their projects and learning about the nuances of applying pedagogic research within the various disciplines is really interesting.

It is great to hear people sharing ideas, asking for ideas and offering suggestions and really working collaboratively to support each other.

I am looking forward to following the progress of these projects and seeing how the outputs can have a really positive impact on the students at Leeds and beyond.

For more information about the growing LITE Community, including the LITE Journal Club, RBL Network and other opportunities for getting involved in your own project visit here.