Meet the BILT Community

Meet the Associates… Sian Harris

The following post is from Sian Harris, who has been a BILT Associate since September 2018. 

I am the Director of Teaching and Digital Learning in the department of English, where I am responsible for our undergraduate degree programme, as well as teaching first year academic skills and co-ordinating the final year dissertation. I am a Fellow of the HEA, and have previously held posts at the University of Exeter and Newcastle University.

As a relatively recent arrival to Bristol (I took up my post in September 2017), my first encounter with BILT came when researching ahead of my job interview and trying to make sure I’d gathered as much information as possible about the university I hoped to join! I was intrigued by the premise of this newly dedicated learning and teaching institute, and the forum it could provide for interdisciplinary discussion, and so I’m particularly pleased to have the chance to take part in those conversations as a BILT Associate.

My first project will focus on assessment and digital learning, as I pilot a different type of assessment – a collaborative online project – on my new second-year special subject ‘Concise Crime’ (a study of detective fiction and the short story). Here, the associateship has been a welcome prompt to think critically about introducing and developing the assessment element, and the ways in which the design might be shared with and improved by discussion with colleagues across the university.

Alongside this case-study, I intend to build on a longstanding interest in peer feedback and undergraduate research communities. I am keen to investigate the possibility of a student peer network dedicated to academic writing, and to explore how this specific focus might map onto existing peer and academic skills support.

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