Innovative Learning Week: Looking Back and Forward

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Last week was Innovative Learning Week (ILW).  For the second year running, the University ran no formal classes and instead, Schools, Departments and Subject Areas put together a programme of events for their students.

We listened to last year’s feedback from students and staff and actively engaged with our student societies to see what they wanted from their Innovative Learning Week.  What was very clear was that students appreciated this breathing space in the year.  They appreciated having the chance to attend events aimed at expanding their career horizons and informing future choices.  Informative sessions on different careers as well as training in skills for the job market – all served with a big pinch of fun – was therefore the order of the week. As a School, we worked very hard to deliver what our students told us they wanted and with a host of outside and internal speakers and innovations, we did not disappoint.

Edinburgh Law School ran a packed programme of 35 events across four days.  Over 650 places were booked across the events and although this didn’t always translate to actual attendance, the students who did show up to their events got a lot out of them and really felt part of the Law School community.

We always want to ensure we are hitting the right note for our students and so with the week now behind us, it is the time to make room for reflection.

We ran a smaller number of events (35 in 2013 compared with over 60 in 2012) but perhaps there are just too many to choose from?  Some students who did attend their sessions sometimes expressed disappointment in their colleagues for not showing up as they thought it made Edinburgh Law Students look less committed than they actually are.  Over 90% of the students who did not show up had not cancelled their places on the sessions, meaning waiting lists could not be used.

Nevertheless, the students who did attend got some really great insights into the topics they chose to engage with.   The feedback they gave was excellent and we have had lots of comments from speakers about the enthusiasm of our students, too.

Looking to 2014, we might run far fewer events but we will speak to the students – and staff – to see what they want from their week.

ILW2013 was a great chance for students and staff to interact more and worked wonders for our community here.

Image above was created using tagxedo.com  I am naming the collage ‘Things What We Did in That Week What Just Went By…’ 🙂

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