Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

SIGs and Convenors


1. Partnership →
– Abbi Flint: partnership@raise-network.com

2. Engaging Assessment →
– Deena Ingham: D.Ingham@lboro.ac.uk; Julian Porch: j.porch@yusu.org; Kiu Sum: kiu.sum7@gmail.com

3. Inclusive Practice →
– Mark O’Hara: Mark.O’Hara@bcu.ac.uk

4. Digital →
– Steve Rowett: s.rowett@ucl.ac.uk; Alex Bignill: alexander.bignell@nottingham.ac.uk


5. Postgraduate & Professional Practice →
– Catherine Hayes: Catherine.hayes@sunderland.ac.uk

6. Research and Evaluation →
– Stuart Sims: stuart.sims@winchester.ac.uk; Wilko Luebsen: w.luebsen2@londonmet.ac.uk


If you would like to join a SIG, please email the relevant convenor to register your interest


The purpose of the Partnership SIG is to provide a space to discuss candidly all issues pertaining to students working as partners with staff, and with active student participation in general.

Aim: To promote the principles and practices that enable working in partnership and particularly, creating an ethos of partnership within university communities.

History: This SIG was created at the AGM in 2013 and currently houses 106 members.

Current Areas of Interest:
• Practices and initiatives that members are undertaking
• Defining and conceptualising partnership; models, typologies, the literature, aims, principles
• Problematizing and critiquing partnership
• Input to updating the HEA Framework on Partnership
• Evaluation approaches and strategies

Plans for 2017 include:
1. Publishing more case studies of good practice
2. Organising an international colloquium on partnership
3. Creating collaborative projects and regional groups

Last meeting: January 2017 Notes

Next Meeting: April 2017 (email convenor for further details)


Engaging Assessment

Assessment is something we all have to do, students and staff so let’s make it engaging for us all. The Engaging Assessment SIG is keen to explore assessments that engage and generate engagement for both students and staff.

Aim: To explore practice by identifying what works, sharing good innovation, and crucially sharing what didn’t work (what didn’t work for one may work for another, and we recognise the value in collectively learning from those things that didn’t go right first time)

History: Meetings at the last two Annual Conferences; Workshop held in April 2015 in Loughborough focused on looking at the different elements of assessment and a writing retreat at Sheffield Hallam in 2016. We have also contributed a selection of published case studies and research papers to the first edition of SEHEJ.

Current Areas of Interest:
• All forms and types of assessment in sharing practice, expertise and experience
• Portfolios, coursework, presentations/viva, partnership working
• Exams and different types of assessment
• Peer, self-assessment, and student-led assessment.

Plans for 2016/17:
• Appoint a student coordinator as a key part of the SIG
• Student-led assessment – Tweet Chat November 2016
• Learning from experience – a Pecha Kucha style collation of experiences from student and staff
• Exams – an examination of engagement and sound practice building shared resources

Next Meeting: March 2017 (email convenor for further details)


Inclusive Practice

The Inclusive Practice Group offers a means of learning about and sharing excellent practice from across our institutions, as well as between individual members of staff and students.

Aim: To advance a widening participation agenda in Higher Education by contributing to improvements in the experiences and outcomes for our increasingly diverse student populations.

History: This SIG was created at the AGM in 2013 and now has around 40 members. It hosts annual workshops in addition to the regular forums at the conference and in the past year has focused on the extent to which documents and activities were already inclusive and how these could be improved.

Current Areas of Interest:
• Gender
• Social class
• Sexual orientation
• Disability
• International students

Areas of Interest for 2017:
• The issue of predicting ‘at riskness’ (we all acknowledge this is a problematic term so please forgive the ‘shorthand’ here) was raised as a future theme for discussion as was the concept of ‘learning gain’, so will hopefully be acknowledged during this year.

Next Meeting:
• Friday 10th February 2017, 10.00am -2.00pm at Birmingham City University (South Campus)



This special interest group will explore ‘the digital’ as part of the student experience, and the opportunities for students to engage with ‘the digital’. This SIG isn’t only about the tools used to engage students, it is about students taking leadership and ownership of digital education.

• Support staff and students to work on change projects to innovate and enhance the use of ‘the digital’
• Encourage and support the development of digital capabilities
• Increase students’ engagement in the use of digital technologies
• To support the use of immersive digital technologies

History: This is a new SIG and will be launched at the Annual RAISE Conference in September 2016.

Areas of Interest:
• Sharing of ideas and practices
• Tackling of problems and unpicking issues through action learning sets
• Students as partners in the development, procurement and use of digital technologies

Planned Activity of 2017:
• Meetings will aim take place three times a year, using a mix of face-to-face and virtual meetings
•  Tweet chats
•  Videoconferencing sessions.

Next Meeting: Monday 13th February, at Sheffield Hallam University


Postgraduate & Professional Practice

The purpose of the Professional Practice Special Interest Group (SIG) will be to provide a basis for collaborative working, knowledge and best practice sharing for academics (new and established) working to engage students at Masters and Doctoral Level.

Aim: to provide a focal point within the higher education community, both nationally and internationally, for advancing our collaborative understanding of how students engage with postgraduate professional practice.

Future Planning: The first SIG will use a workshop format to establish the potential direction of the newly established group. Exploration of our initial ideas will be framed around the potential for us to work collaboratively in transcending disciplinary between signature pedagogies / academic disciplines in our engagement of students in the context of postgraduate professional practice.

Potential Areas of Interest:
• New and innovative mechanisms of engaging students undertaking Masters and Doctoral level study.
• Considering the relevance of the concept of professional practice in relation to the potential engagement and employability of our postgraduate students.
• Embracing and celebrating the ambiguity of student engagement at Doctoral and Masters levels in relation to learning need.
• Development and evaluation of a national framework for postgraduate and professional practice.

Plans for 2016:
• Exploring the options available for a joint collaborative funded research project focusing on generating creative practice environments (climates) in HEI’s
• Continuing to collect and publish case studies of good practice.

Next Meeting: Friday 3rd February, 10am – 3pm at University of Sunderland


Enhancement of Graduate Attributes & Outcomes

Understanding how students navigate their way through their degree and onto graduate pathways is ever more topical and important. Together we can consider how best to support our students in the development of their skills, qualities, values and attributes, within a complex and evolving educational and political landscape. Thus this new SIG will get right into the heart of the debate over the purpose of HE.

Aim: to create a forum for debate and collaboration for those interested in examining and developing the evidence base, in research, policy and practice, of the links between student engagement and graduate development.

History: This is a new SIG and will be launched at the RAISE Annual Conference 2016.

Potential Areas of Interest:
• Definitions of employability
• The relationship between employability and student satisfaction
• Enhancing graduate attributes and graduate attribute frameworks
• Promoting graduate identity
• Measuring success
• Innovations in student engagement with curricula and extra-curricular activities in this area
• Issues of diversity in graduate pathways

Future Planning for 2016/17:
The first SIG meeting will use a workshop format to establish the potential interests and direction of this newly established group. This will focus on the potential for collaborative research and the sharing of good practice.

Next Meeting: March 2017 (email convenor for further details)

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