The Brilliant Club for Researchers
On this page you can find information about the electives for the February 2018 training weekend. Below are the elective titles and blurbs. Please note that some electives are only being run in one or two locations. Select your training weekend location at the bottom of the page to view the electives available and sign up.
Underneath each blurb you are suggestions for which electives are suitable for which tutors. Please note that these are recommendations and all tutors are welcome to attend any elective they wish. Returning tutors may want to attend an elective aimed at new tutors in order to revisit material in the light of having delivered placements.
1 in 4, 1 in 50
This elective introduces researchers to the broader context of widening participation, looking at current statistics around progression to university as well as the impact on social mobility more broadly. Participants will explore some of the key terminology used in the fair access sector, as well as government, HE and third-sector organisations’ efforts to increase fair access among under-represented groups. Through this session, PhD tutors will be more informed about their own work as widening participation professionals in schools and at university.
AfL: theory and practice of checking understanding
Do you need to know what learners are learning? How do you do this effectively when you have six individual learners in front of you? What do you do with the information you gather? This advanced pedagogy session will look in to the research and theory underpinning effective strategies for checking understanding (assessment for learning). This session will allow experienced tutors to reflect on their practice and share effective strategies in the light of educational theory.
Developing the formality of your pupils’ writing
The elective will discuss the possible boundaries students might face when being confronted with having to write a coherent and sophisticated formal essay. We will then discuss and develop practical ways in which we can encourage students to write and create sentences that will aid their descriptions, explanations and analysis. This session will analyse how specific features of grammar and sentence structure can help elicit students written responses. This elective is open to new and returning tutors from all subject streams.
Bristol and London
Dynamic Discussions into First-Rate Writing
It can be a challenge for tutors to get a small group of pupils talking in the first place, but even more challenging to then translate that talk into effective writing. This elective is designed to help you get your pupils talking effectively in your tutorials, and to share techniques you can use to capture their ideas so that they can be turned into excellent assignments.
We will start by considering the different ways you can facilitate engaging discussion, looking at the different types of talk you might expect to see in a tutorial and how you can use it to enable learning. We’ll then look at practical strategies you could use in your sessions to make sure your pupils are making efficient notes to help them write well.
Giving Effective Feedback
According to Dylan Wiliam, “Feedback functions formatively only if the information fed back to the learner is used by the learner in improving performance.” In other words, without action in response to feedback students are not benefitting and learning. But how do you give effective feedback? How do you make the most of the short time available to you? This elective will look at strategies for giving effective – and most importantly useful – feedback for your students on The Scholars Programme.
New – This session will revisit some content that returning tutors may have covered before, however returners are very welcome to attend if they wish to reflect on their performance and revisit feedback strategies in the light of having now delivered placements.
London and Manchester
Getting pupils talking
The Scholars Programme offers an amazing opportunity for pupils involved to work in a completely different environment from school where, research shows, teachers tend to talk – even at the best of times – for over 55% of classes. The remaining time, split between 25-35 pupils, doesn’t leave much for meaningful development of oracy skills. On The Scholars Programme pupils move into a class of 6 pupils with all the time in the world to have interesting discussions. However, sometimes it can be difficult to acclimatize to this new university-style learning opportunity and take full advantage.
If you have previously attended the Talking Heads elective, we recommend you opt for an alternative elective, as there is some overlap in content.
New, Returning, AST
Growing from the roots: Effective STEM teaching
One of the most important aspects of successful teaching is an appreciation of a pupils’ baseline. This is particularly acute in STEM subjects where new, often complex, concepts can be inaccessible to pupils who lack the necessary foundational knowledge. In this session we will look at ways to assess your pupil’s prior knowledge, and methods that can be used to build upon that, giving your pupils the best chance to make progress.
New, Returning, AST
HEA case studies: using your Scholars Programme experience
This elective will help you consider how you can use your experience as a PhD tutor on The Scholars Programme to form part of an application to the HEA.
Nuffield Research Placements: Could you change someone’s life this summer?
Could you change someone’s life this summer? Nuffield Research Placements support highly motivated, ambitious and talented 17 year old students to complete a four to six week summer research placement in STEM and social science subjects. The scheme is a fantastic way to give a young person (or even a small group of young people) the opportunity of experiencing the world of research. For early career researchers, it is an opportunity to engage in widening participation, develop line management skills and get a head start on projects that could go on to form new areas of research.
This elective will give you all the information you need to know about Nuffield Research Placements, share example projects and answer any questions you have.
STEM and Social Science researchers
Sharing your academic journey to inspire pupils
As a Brilliant Club PhD Tutor, you act as a role model for young people. But how can you ensure you share your academic journey to best inspire pupils? And how can you encourage productive conversations to take place with your tutorial group about university access?
In this session we will consider and practice approaches for sharing your academic journey with pupils from how you introduce yourself on the Virtual Learning Environment, on the Launch Trip, to the ongoing interactions and conversations you may have as part of tutorials. We will consider ice breaker conversations which will encourage your pupils to share their academic hopes and ambitions with you and how you can use these conversation pro-actively to encourage engagement and learning in tutorials.
Telling stories that matter: blogging
How do you share the valuable insights into university access, pedagogy and lessons for PhD researchers that you will gain as a Brilliant Club tutor? Can you do this whilst also increasing your public engagement profile? Of course you can – by blogging! In ‘Telling Stories that Matter’, we will discuss different forms of blog posts and how you can use them to effectively communicate your stories and insights. You will learn how you can blog with The Brilliant Club and engage our broad audience and will leave the session with a drafted blog post.
London and Manchester
The British Education system and School context
The session gives a beginner’s guide to the British education system and an overview of the school journey working with The Brilliant Club. Get top tips on working with your lead teacher and pupils and gain a better understanding of pupil’s educational context. This session is not recommended for those who went to school in Britain.
Working in KS2
What does excellence look like for a ten year old? How do primary schools differ from the secondary school environment? And what does this mean for your course and programme deliver? This elective will introduce tutors to the landscape of Key Stage 2 in the UK and support them to consider how they can adapt their tutorial and programme deliver to work effectively with both primary school students and teachers.
Please note that sessions will only run in one slot.