Thursday, March 25, 2010

The symposium was a success

On Thursday 18 March Zayed University Convention Centre in Dubai hosted Higher Education in the Gulf: Research Insights in Learning and Teaching, an academic research symposium looking at how university and college students learn, and how they can be taught effectively.  This was the first event of its kind at ZU; it was supported by ZU Office of Research, with assistance from UAE University, and linked to ZU’s refereed online learning and teaching journal, LTHE (

The event was full to capacity, with participants coming from the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and the UK.   The morning session included plenary talks by Dr. Michelle McLean (UAEU), Dr. Tofi Rahal (ZU) and Dr. Patrick Carmichael (Liverpool John Moores University, UK).  Poster presentations provided a chance for participants to interact with researchers from various institutions; and the afternoon was devoted to workshops with the plenary speakers.

Feedback on the event from participants was very positive.  Final versions of the plenary papers will be published in a special issue of LTHE, and we hope to organize a similar event next year.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Registration closing soon

We are looking forward with excitement to the symposium on Thursday 18 March, with plenary talks, interactive poster presentations and workshops all focusing on learning and teaching at university/college level in the Gulf region.

If you have registered for the symposium but not yet paid, please note that you should pay by this Thursday (4 March) in order to secure your place.  After that date (or if we reach full capacity before that), we will not be able to assure your place at the symposium.

You can pay online with a credit/debit card by logging in at (with the email address and password which you used to register).  If necessary, you can instead pay by bank transfer (email David Palfreyman for details - see address below), but please note that you will need to add bank charges if you use this option.

For information about the schedule, accommodation and transport and other matters, please see the earlier posts on this blog.  If you would like to use the free shuttle from Arabian Park Hotel to Zayed University, or if you have other enquiries, please email David "dot" Palfreyman "at"

Looking forward to meeting you on 18 March.

The symposium committee.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Please pay registration soon; symposium details

We have received a strong response to this event, and we are going to need to restrict numbers of participants so that the afternoon workshops will be of manageable size with everyone having a chance to participate and benefit.  As a result, the total number of participants will be limited to 60 at this event.  At present we have more registrations than this but quite a number have yet to pay their registration fee (100 UAE dirhams for the whole event including lunch and refreshments).  If you have not yet paid, please pay your registration as soon as possible by logging in at .  Once the number of paid registrees reaches the limit, we will unfortunately not be able to accept any further participants, even if they have already registered.

The location of the symposium is Zayed University Convention Center at Dubai International Academic City (on the road out of Dubai towards Al Ain - main entrance of Zayed University).

The schedule for the event is as follows:
8.00-9.00: Welcome and registration
9.00-11.50: Plenary talks:
* Transferable Skills for university students - Dr. Michelle McLean, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University.
* Learning Styles of students - Dr. Tofi Rahal, Zayed University.
* Threshold Concepts, Troublesome Knowledge and Disciplinary Expertise - Prof. Patrick Carmichael, Professor of Educational Research, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.
11.50-1.00: Lunch
1.00-2.00: Poster presentations
2.00-3.30: Workshops

If you are coming from out of town, we have negotiated a discount hotel rate for symposium participants: AED 320.00 for single and AED 365.00 for double per room per night, inclusive of taxes and buffet breakfast.  Please contact me for the hotel details.

A free minibus will run from the hotel to and from the symposium - please advise me by the end of February if you will be using this.

For further details in the coming weeks please watch this site or email me.

We look forward to completing your registration as soon as possible and meeting at the symposium.
David Palfreyman
Symposium Organizing Committee

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Note: poster presentations and registration

Please note:

Registration fee for non-presenting participants is AED 100, to be paid online by 4 March.  To register, please use the link below.

In order to make this symposium as focused and interactive as possible, we are taking submissions for poster presentations only.  Poster presentations should present your findings from research or exploratory practice in learning/ teaching/ assessment/ learning support in a Gulf context; in writing your abstract you could consider the list of criteria here.  For links on preparing an effective poster presentation, please click here.  The registration fee will be waived for presenters of poster presentations selected for inclusion in the symposium.

To submit an abstract for a poster presentation, first register here (selecting the "Pay later" option), then use the link in your registration confirmation email to access your personal web page, where you can submit an abstract.  The deadline for submissions is 31 January.

Looking forward to your contributions, 
Symposium Committee

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Call for registration and poster presentations

Every day those teaching in Higher Education make decisions about how best to help students learn; but on what data are these decisions based?  The goal of the symposium Higher Education in the Gulf: Research insights in learning and teaching is to provide a forum for research on learning and teaching in Gulf universities and colleges, and to stimulate research in this area.

The symposium on Thursday 18 March at Zayed University, Dubai will include plenary talks and workshops by leading local and international researchers; and we also welcome submissions for poster presentations from faculty and staff in the Gulf region.

To register for the symposium, please click here. 

Plenary talks:

Threshold Concepts, Troublesome Knowledge and Disciplinary Expertise  – Prof. Patrick Carmichael, Professor of Educational Research, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

Learning Styles of students - Dr. Tofi Rahal, Zayed University.

Transferable Skills for university students – Dr. Michelle McLean, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University.

Poster presentations: 

If you would like to present your research on learning/teaching in a Gulf university/college, please first register for the symposium, then log in to your personal web page on the symposium site, and click Proposal on the left-hand side.  The deadline for poster presentation proposals is 31 January, and selected presenters will be informed by 12 February.  Selected poster presentations will be eligible to be written up for a special issue of the refereed online journal Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf perspectives


In the afternoon session, participants will opt for a workshop with one of the plenary speakers, in which they will be able to discuss how to apply insights from the morning session to their own work in a Gulf context, and how to gather their own data for possible future publication.

To keep informed of further information, please check this site regularly, and/or click "Follow" on the right-hand side of this page.

Questions and comments: David "dot" Palfreyman "at"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Initial announcement

On 18 March 2010 Zayed University, UAE is organizing "Higher Education in the Gulf: Research insights in learning and teaching" - a research symposium linked to the journal Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives.

For further information about this event please contact david "dot" palfreyman "at", and/or use the "Follow" button on the right.