New format, new experiences – The 2nd European Conference on Teaching & Learning Politics, International Relations & European Studies
9-10 June 2016, Brussels
Over thirty teaching and learning enthusiasts from more than 10 different (mostly European) countries met in Brussels during the 2nd European Teaching and Learning Conference to share, exchange and get inspired.
The aim of this conference was to provide a different platform after the first successful edition in Maastricht two years ago: instead of listening to long presentations about active learning for hours, we wanted to experiment with what we preach: active learning by exchanging, experiencing, provoking, stimulating, discussing, challenging;
It was a risk, but it worked fabulously: presenters shared their ideas and innovative instruments, while there was enough time to bring in own experience, ask critical questions or propose creative alterations. We learnt about simple technological tools to integrate in the classroom (LINO post-it notes, webcasts, polls everywhere), and about other creative tools that challenge students own development (portfolio writing, field trips, non-traditional assessment methods, student peer review, joint thesis supervision, use of social media, how to make students read, theoretical theater). Additionally, we engaged also in more profound discussions about the relevance of teaching political and social sciences, and the current skills focus in European Higher Education.
There were ample opportunities for active debate, and best practices were exchanged not only on novel teaching practices, but also on methods of evaluation, the use of technology and the synergies between teaching and research. After an intense two days of discussion and debate, attendants could return home with no shortage of new ideas for their teaching practice. The conference showed how much creative potential there is in European academia, but also how diverse the challenges and problems that instructors are facing day in, day out. But having such opportunities for exchanging, sharing, creating networks helps to not feel so alone in tackling those challenges, facilitates to critically reflect on one’s own practice, and motivates – to stay creative in teaching, care about students, and to keep learning.
To browse the contributions and materials for the 2nd European Teaching and Learning Conference or find the contact details of the participants please check http://www.eurotlc.eu/. Or follow our discussion on Twitter: #eurotlc16.
The report from the 1st European Conference on Teaching and Leanring Politics can be found here.