Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Edinburgh Network: Growing Approaches to Genuine Engagement (ENGAGE)

A network for students and staff interested in student engagement.

engage logo

Who is the network for?

The Edinburgh Network: Growing Approaches to Genuine Engagement (ENGAGE) aims to bring together students and staff interested in creating genuine and meaningful interactions between students and staff focused on learning, teaching and assessment. Meetings focus on sharing ideas, research and practice, and offer space for discussion and collegial support. Whether you are interested in enhancing student engagement in learning and teaching from the student or staff perspective, you are welcome to come along.

How often does it meet?

Approximately monthly.


The following sessions are currently available for booking:

Research Focus:  Conversations, community and collegiality

Date:                    Wednesday 29th April 2020

Time:                   12:00-13:00

Venue:                Online (via Collaborate Ultra) (Off Campus)

Booking Link:

This meeting will focus on the role of the Teaching Matters blog ( in creating ongoing discussion and engagement with learning, teaching and assessment and student engagement both internally and externally.  You are being invited to share your thoughts and contribute directly to a recently-funded PTAS project designed to explore engagement with, and assess the impact of, the Teaching Matters blog.

The project is a collaboration between Jennifer Scoles (IAD, Principal Investigator), Hazel Christie (IAD), Nina Morris (GeoSciences) and Karen Howie (Information Services).

Whether you have engaged with Teaching Matters or not, please come along and share your thoughts on the (potential) value, utility, and impact of this type of teaching and learning resource!  

We are particularly interested in hearing from students.  Please note only 10 places. 

A Field course in the time of Covid

Date:                 Tuesday 05th May 2020

Time:                 13:30 - 15:00

Venue:              Online (via Collaborate)

Booking Link:   Book online now

Presenter: Nick Colegrave - Institute of Evolutionary Biology

Field Zoology is a core third year course for our 35 or so organismal biology students. It is built around a 1 week residential field course on the Island of Cumbrae in the west of Scotland, and is where we provide training in field study design, analysis and presentation (important foundations for their honours year research projects). Equally importantly is the role it plays in cohort/community building, fostering confident interactions between both staff and students, and among students.

This year, we had to cancel the residential component and move all teaching online at short notice. I will tell you about what we did to try to recreate the experience of carrying out a self-designed field study in a virtual environment, and the attempts we made to foster community through activities such as virtual pub quizzes.

Supporting autistic students and colleagues

Date:                 Thursday 04th June 2020

Time:                 12:30-14:00

Venue:              Online, via Collaborate

Booking Link:  

A joint presentation, from an autistic member of staff and an autism researcher, will combine relevant evidence from research with personal experience and insights to make effective recommendations for best practice in working with autistic students and colleagues.  Unsurprisingly, many of these can have widespread benefits for the entire student body.

How do I join?

If you would like to be added to the mailing list to receive more information about events please contact Rosie Bree:

Rosie Bree

Head of Event Management

Contact details

Privacy statement for IAD mailing lists: you can read our IAD privacy statement for mailing lists here

Previous engage events and resources

Academic year 19/20

Tuesday 21st April 2020, Engaging students online and building community

Presenters: Gill Aitken, Tim Fawns, Derek Jones, Debbie Spence

The team that runs the successful MSc Clinical Education have been nominated for a Collaborative Award in Teaching Excellence. In this session some of the team will discuss their approach to engaging students and building online community. A holistic overview will be offered with academic, pastoral and administrative issues considered.

Information from the session - to follow

Tuesday 28th January 2020, Using cognitive load theory to help students learn more effectively

Professor Michael Seery, School of Chemistry

Slides from the session - Professor Michael Seery

Video of event on Media Hopper

Academic year 18/19

Thurs 6th June 2019, Student-staff co-creation of assessment

Dr Catherine Bovill, IAD   

Slides from the session - Dr Cathy Bovill (PDF)

Handout - A Practitioner's Guide to Choice of Assessment Within a Module: Case Studies from University College Dublin (PDF)

Thurs 16th May 2019, Student engagement article, group discussion

Tanya Lubicz-Nawrocka, PhD student Moray House School of Education and Sam Dvorakova, PhD student, School of Physics

'Enhancing outcomes and reducing inhibitors to engagement of students and staff in learning and teaching partnerships: implications for academic development'.

The paper is available here:

Slides from the session - Tanya Lubicz-Nawrock & Sam Dvorakova (PDF)

Mon 25th March 2019, Embedding democratic learning principles in neoliberal times: the story of the MSc Transformative Learning and Teaching

Dr Aileen Kennedy, Kat Brack, Kirstie Fairnie

Slides to follow

Wed 13th Feb 2019, Student engagement in lecture capture

Anne-Marie Scott, Information Services

Slides from session - Anne-Marie Scott (PPT)

Mon 14th January 2019, Building community and relationships between staff and students in Schools

Dr Esther Mijers and students from History Classics and Archaeology and Dr Chris Mowat and students from Chemistry

Slides from session - Chris Mowat (PPT)

Slides from session - Ester Mijers (PPT)

Wed 12th December 2018, Complicating inclusivity and diversity in student engagement and partnership: Whose voice gets heard?

Dr Lucy Mercer-Mapstone, IAD

Slides from session - Lucy Mercer-Mapstone (PPT)

Tues 4th December 2018, Analysing NSS results and implications for student engagement

Dr Alex Buckley Strathclyde University; & Dr Jill MacKay Vet School, Dr Kirsty Hughes Vet School, Dr Neil Lent IAD

Slides from session - Alex Buckley (PPT)

Slides from session - Jill MacKay and colleagues (PPT)

Wed 14th November 2018 - Online Learning Network and engage: Engaging Online Students 

A joint Online Learning Network and Engage Network event.

Slides from session - Intro (PPT)

Slides from session - Eli Appleby-Donald, student perspectives (PPT)

Slides from session - Elizabeth Mortimer, Edinburgh Award (PPT)

Slides from session - Tim Fawns et al, community building online MSc (PDF)

Collated post it notes (MS Word)

Academic year 17/18

Tues 29th May 2018 - In conversation about internationalising and diversifying the curriculum in partnership with students  Dr Wendy Green, University of Tasmania; Ms Sarah Moffat, Edinburgh University Students' Association; Dr Catriona Cunningham, University of Stirling

Slides from session - Wendy Green (PDF)

Slides from session - Sarah Moffat (PDF)

Slides from session - Catriona Cunningham (PDF)

16th May 2018 - Discussion of two student engagement articles    

Slides from session (PDF)

Articles under discussion:

Anonymous academic (2015) My students have paid £9000 and now they think they own me. The Guardian Friday 18 December.  Chickering, A.W. and Gamson, Z.F. (1987) Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin March, pp3-7.

9th April 2018 - Student-staff co-creation of a course: Understanding Gender in the Contemporary World

Slides from session (MS PowerPoint)

15th February 2018  - Making curricula inclusive and engaging  

Slides from session (MS PowerPoint)

19th January 2018  - Learner engagement: In Conversation with Peter Felten and Meredith Piatt

Tanya Lubicz-Nawrocka's blog - event overview (external website)

Notes - Peter Felten & Meredith Piatt, in conversation (MS Word)

Cathy Bovill - Language & Behaviour of Engagement (MS PPT)

Kate Wall - Catalytic Tools for Encouraging Metacognitive Engagement With Pedagogy (MS PPT)

Mark Huxham - Engagement at Scale (PDF)

Susan Deeley - Co-design of Assessment (PDF)

12th Dec 2017 - Introducing Piazza - a tool for students to ask, answer and discuss questions with staff input where needed

Slides from Alan Murray (MS PPT)

Slides from School of Mathematics (MS PPT)

Piazza - find out more (external website)

17 Oct 2017 - The Launch: 10 Ways to enhance student engagement in learning and teaching

Video of the Engage launch

Launch event slides - 10 ways to enhance student engagement (MS PPT)

More student engagement suggestions, adaptations and ideas co-created by the event participants (MS Word)