“a forum for men to debate, plot, boast, or simply to party”

A symposium was originally a kind of drinking party with optional discussion. The 4th Symposium to be run by the Edge Hill Centre for Learning and Teaching Research certainly had a lot of discussion, and there was tea and coffee, but really it was a symposium in the modern sense. (No drinks were served by nude young men or offered as libations to the gods, at least not in the sessions I was able to get to.)

As a tourist (being a ‘marketing’ person), I was impressed by the energy and commitment to improving practice within the learning and teaching community at the university. Topics covered included
pedagogic approaches to the ‘big lecture’, the effect on MA students of a new support model during induction into postgraduate study, learner histories of dyslexic and dyspraxic postgraduates, and methods of supporting undergraduate dissertation study.

My own offering, exploring potential links between marketing, learning and teaching, seemed to go well (I wasn’t driven from the community with pitchforks and burning torches) and I hope to be developing a proper research question soon, probably focussed on the concept of ‘value exchange’ between HE markets and institutions. For me the CLTR symposium was an invaluable opportunity to share and develop ideas with colleagues.