The new academic year is about to start and we have finalised our TILE Speaker Seminar line-up. We have a variety of exciting talks this year from researchers and educators from around the globe. As always: All our talks take place online on Zoom. We record all our talks and make them available here on our website. We invite everyone interested to join. All talks are free, but we ask you to register for the talks via our Eventbrite page. Links to registration can be found below next to each talk.

We hope to see you at our seminar!

26 Sep 2022 at 4PM (UK time)

Access is not Inclusion: Strategies for Supporting Inclusion and Diversity in Higher Education

Dr Gail Crimmins, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, @CrimminsGail


Abstract: This presentation is based on the premise that access is not inclusion, and that whilst higher education institutions may have ‘widened access’, they have not yet created fully inclusive spaces for learning and research. In response, I explore strategies for creating a more equitable and inclusive university community, with the potential to reach and influence our broader communities. In particular, I will discuss four empirically founded principles of inclusivity (learner centredness, cohesive commitment to inclusivity, epistemological equity, and adopting a radical approach to inclusivity in universities) that underpin successful equity interventions and practice. Finally, we will consider how you might adopt/adapt strategy and intervention to your specific university cohort and context to enhance equality, inclusion and diversity.

Bio: Dr Gail Crimmins is Deputy Head (Learning and Teaching), School of Business and Creative Industries, University of the Sunshine Coast. She is a feminist academic who employs arts-informed and narrative methodologies to uncover and re-present the voices and experience of often ‘yet to be voiced’ (Arnot & Reay, 2007) women. Gail’s research involves gender, inclusion, and diversity in higher education, and working with women in rural, regional, and remote locations in Australia to support and understand women’s leadership in these communities. She has published three books and over 30 academic papers.

18 Oct 2022 at 4PM (UK time)

Navigating Work-Family-Study: How can we Support the Mental Wellbeing of Students with Work and Family Commitments

Dr Philippa Waterhouse, The School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, The Open University, Staff profile


Abstract: In 2019/20, 31.4% of those studying in the United Kingdom were aged 25 years and older (HESA, 2021). Older students, often referred to as ‘adult learners’ in the literature, are more likely to have a range of employment and family responsibilities that are on-going during their studies. Given the increased focus on lifelong learning by governments and employers, it is important that higher education providers consider how they can support mature students with managing their multiple responsibilities.

This presentation will report on the findings from an online survey completed by 318 final/third year undergraduate distance education students. The survey used both closed and open-ended questions to capture quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data was used to examine the association between students’ levels of mental distress with their (a) their reported work and family roles; (b) perceived work/family-study conflict; and (c) work/family-study facilitation. Open-ended questions were also used to ask students about the strategies they use to manage their work, family and study commitments and their perceptions of support. The findings aim to inform online or distance education providers about the requirements and preferences of students who typically have competing family and/or work commitments. The movement towards lifelong learning will render some of the findings also relevant to traditional higher education institutions.

Bio: Dr Philippa Waterhouse is a Senior Lecturer in Health in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at The Open University, UK. She holds qualifications in Populations Studies (BSc, University of Southampton), Demography (MSc with distinction, University of Southampton) and Social Statistics (PhD, University of Southampton). Her research interests include exploring how adult learners manage their studies along with work and/or family responsibilities and consequences for health.

29 Nov 2022 at 4PM (UK time)

Engaging Students by Creating a Positive Motivational Climate

Dr Brett Jones, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), @brettdjones


Abstract: The motivational climate of a course refers to “the aspects of the psychological environment that affect students’ motivation and engagement within a course” (Jones et al., 2022, AERA Open, 8, p. 1). Psychologists have identified five aspects of the motivational climate—eMpowerment/autonomy, Usefulness, Success, Interest, and Caring (referred to by the acronym MUSIC)—that are particularly important to students’ motivation and engagement in course activities. One purpose of this TILE (Teaching Innovation and Learning Enhancement) talk is to describe the five MUSIC aspects of the motivational climate and how they are related to engagement and learning outcomes. By understanding these MUSIC aspects of the motivational climate, instructors can intentionally design their courses to create a positive motivational climate that will motivate and engage students in the course activities and assignments. Another purpose of this TILE talk is to explain how instruments can be used to assess the motivational climate in a course or activity. The results of the assessments can be used to identify motivational strengths and weaknesses in courses and activities. This information can then be used by instructors to modify their teaching strategies in ways that will lead to a more positive motivational climate. This talk will be of interest to instructors who want to improve student engagement and to researchers who want to investigate student motivation and engagement.

Bio: Brett D. Jones, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Educational Psychology Program in the School of Education at Virginia Tech. He has held faculty positions as an educational psychologist at Duke University, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, and Virginia Tech. He has taught 24 different types of university courses related to motivation, cognition, and teaching strategies. Dr. Jones has also conducted workshops and invited presentations at many universities and has presented over 160 research papers at conferences. His research, which includes examining instructional methods that support students’ motivation and learning, has led to more than 100 refereed journal articles, several book chapters, and three books. He has received three grants from the National Science Foundation for a total of over $2 million to conduct his research. More information can be found at

13 Dec 2022 at 4PM (UK time)

The Use of Vevox in Higher Education as a Method of Formative Feedback

Dr Laura Jenkins, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, @LauraJks2015


Abstract: Engaging students with module content is often a difficult task for any academic. When students are not receiving feedback about their participation efforts in lectures and seminars, this can lead to increased disengagement. Polling software, such as Vevox, can be used to resolve this issue and increase engagement with the use of formative feedback. Vevox is an interactive polling tool that can be embedded in PowerPoints presented during lectures, or used without a PowerPoint, to provide students with the opportunity to respond to multiple choice questions; develop word clouds to disseminate ideas; and to receive real time formative feedback. This presentation will describe a case study of how Vevox activities were implemented within a Foundations module (Introduction to Psychology) at Loughborough University. The aim of using Vevox was to engage students with the module content while providing polling activities that allowed instant formative feedback opportunities during teaching hours. Overall feedback about the use of Vevox within the module was very positive, including comments within the Staff Student Liaison Committee. Students appreciated the opportunity to receive feedback to monitor their own understanding of content and more activities were requested. The case study provides evidence of the successful use of Vevox with a module where students undertake lectures and seminar classes and where a lack of engagement had been highlighted. Future work will consider the appropriate opportunities to implement different types of software (H5P, Socrative) and these opportunities will be discussed.

Bio: Dr Laura Jenkins is a University Teacher in Psychology within the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University. Her teaching is focussed around several areas of psychology at both undergraduate and foundation level. Laura is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has nearly 10 years of teaching experience. After completing her PhD in Psychology (working memory), Laura held academic teaching positions at Northumbria University, Oxford Brookes University and the University of Strathclyde before moving to Loughborough University in 2018. Throughout her teaching career, Laura has taught on numerous psychology modules including cognition, statistics, personality and individual differences, biological psychology, questionnaire design, qualitative methods, development and social psychology. At present, Laura is the module leader for a 2nd year Applied Cognitive Research module, a Foundations Introduction to Psychology module and she is also the module co-lead for the final year projects module within Psychology (alongside supervising her own undergraduate project students). Leading and teaching on a variety of modules has provided Laura with experience of implementing different pedagogical methods over her career, adapting these methods to suit the needs of each cohort. Alongside her role at Loughborough University, Laura writes regular blog posts and articles for Psychreg and actively contributes to supporting the activities organised by the Psychreg team.