A busy canteen with large windows looking out onto another building in the distance


This is a past event which is no longer running. On the 14th of November, the University hosted the annual…

This is a past event which is no longer running.

On the 14th of November, the University hosted the annual LALT (Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching) Conference – with this years event being all about independent learning. I attended as part of the Student Life team and got some first-hand experience at an academic conference aimed at both staff and students.

First of all, apologies because you’ll read the words ‘independent learning’ so many times throughout this post but it’s super interesting so please read on!

What was it all about?

So, for me the day started in the foyer of the Isaac Newton Building, where there were multiple help desks aimed at giving information about both what it means to be an independent learner and also how this is applied at our Uni. My personal highlights were:

  • -VR Mindfulness on the ‘Learning at Lincoln’ stand (which was really calming, and that can only be good going into a learning situation).
  • -Having representatives from Microsoft on another stall – a very informative company with useful insights into how technology can break down barriers in learning environments and the workplace.
  • -The Library also had their own stand and gave loads of information on how to independently research.
  • -Lynda.com, a really great online learning tool with loads of different courses. (Plus it’s free for all UoL staff and students! You can login via lncn.eu/lyndalogin)

On top of that, there were multiple talks and workshops throughout the day, covering everything from digital marking, connecting the workplace and the curriculum and a Keynote speech from Professor Liz Thomas on ‘Understanding and Improving Students’ Perceptions and Experiences of Independent Learning in Higher Education’… bit of a mouthful but I’ve been told it was definitely more interesting than it is easy to say!

Social Media Coverage

Another part of my day was live tweeting a Q&A with a staff and student led panel on what it means to be an independent learner. This was probably the most interesting part for me and you can check out what the panellists had to say here:

It was fascinating to see the different ways in which staff and students view what it means to learn independently. It seemed like the staff struggled more with how to give students the confidence to learn on their own – this being the main difference between sixth form or college and university – and students equally struggled with the concept of ‘free-range learning.’

All in all, it was a super informative day that I’m sure will be repeated next year. I would recommend it to both students and staff because, even though I attended the event with the intention of helping promotion, I definitely came out of it feeling like I could crack on with my dissertation confident in my ability to be an independent learner.

(That’s the last time I’ll say ‘independent learner’ I promise!)

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