We are planning an exciting line-up for 2023 and wanted to share the next two TILE seminars with you. A variety of exciting talks from researchers and educators from around the globe are waiting for you – and we’ll be revealing all talks soon. 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!

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.

24 Jan 2023 at 9:30 AM (UK time)

Quality Provision and Support for Distance Doctoral Students

Dr Katrina McChesney, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Dr James Burford, Assistant Professor of Global Education and International Development, Warwick University, UK

Professor Liezel Frick, Department of Curriculum Studies and the Director of the Centre for Higher and Adult Education, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Note: This talk will take place in the morning in order to accommodate our speakers joining us from New Zealand, UK, and South Aftrica! Join us for this multinational talk!

Abstract: Today’s distance doctoral students are an extremely broad cohort. Some might be officially enrolled as “distance”, “online”, or “remote” learners, but there are also increasing numbers of students who work off-campus due to their geographic location, family/care responsibilities, paid employment, the nature of their fieldwork context, or visa/border issues. Some doctoral students may simply prefer to be in their own space; others may wish to avoid the time loss involved in commuting to campus. Still other students may experience mobility issues, forms of neurodiversity, discrimination, or financial pressures that make going into campus difficult, unsafe, or prohibitive.

We argue that all of these diverse students deserve quality provision and support as they undertake doctoral study. Our supervisory and institutional practices should no longer be guided by traditional stereotypes of the “ideal” or “normal” doctoral student, or by inertia around the ways we have “always” worked with doctoral students. Instead, we must reconsider what it might look like to support all our doctoral students well.

In this session, we will draw on our 2022 #DistanceDoctorates research project, which gathered accounts from a diverse group of doctoral students worldwide. Based on the students’ experiences, we will offer prompts for reflection/evaluation as well as some practical strategies to help both supervisors and institutions move towards equitable and high quality provision for distance doctoral researchers.


Dr Katrina McChesney is a Senior Lecturer in education at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Her doctorate (from Curtin University, Australia) was completed entirely by distance, first while living and working full-time in Abu Dhabi, and then while working part-time in New Zealand. Katrina’s overarching research interest is people’s experiences in education – what it’s like for them – and this orientation centres her interest in the lived experiences of distance doctoral students. Katrina founded and co-edits Ipu Kererū, the blog of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education and serves on the editorial board of Learning Environments Research, a Q1 Springer journal. On Twitter: @krmcchesney

Dr James Burford is an Assistant Professor of Global Education and International Development at Warwick University in the UK. Prior to taking up his position at Warwick, James worked at universities in Australia and Thailand. Jamie undertook his PhD through the University of Auckland via distance from various locations – working in a student support centre in Dunedin, caring full time for an unwell relative in Christchurch, and lecturing full-time in Bangkok. Jamie’s research is broadly in the area of critical university studies, with a particular interest in doctoral education, academic im/mobilities, and gender and care in higher education. He co-edits the Conference Inference blog. On Twitter: @jiaburford

Professor Liezel Frick is based in the Department of Curriculum Studies and the Director of the Centre for Higher and Adult Education at the Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Her research interests are within the broader field of doctoral education, with a particular focus on aspects of doctoral creativity and originality, learning during the doctorate, and doctoral supervision. In 2015, she received the Best African Accomplished Educational Researcher Award for 2013-2014 by the African Development Institute (ADI) and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA). On Twitter: @FrickLiezel

Katrina, Jamie, and Liezel, along with their colleague Tseen Khoo (La Trobe University, Australia), collaborate in the area of doctoral research by distance. Their work can be explored at https://doctoralresearchbydistance.wordpress.com/ or on Twitter using the hashtag #DistanceDoctorates. The team also host a Facebook group for those undertaking, supporting, supervising, researching, or otherwise interested in doctoral research by distance: https://www.facebook.com/groups/doctoralresearchbydistance