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NTF: ‘tips for a successful application webinar’

Our final event in the series supporting aspiring National Teaching Fellows had a festive feel as the panel got in the December mood. Focusing on polishing final applications, and thinking about those all important institutional statements, the role of the Institutional contact; and of course more about how our panel NTFs ‘got theirs’ which have formed a part of this years’ online roadshows.

Andrew Middleton, Deputy Head of Anglia Learning and Teaching has developed an NTF ‘pipeline’ at Anglia Ruskin University, and as well as sharing his personal journey, he reflected on how some potential NTFs had to be ‘tapped on the shoulder’ as they really had no idea how fabulous their teaching was! In terms of   writing up of the three criteria, he recommends identifying your narrative; the use of plain English, and considering the evidence to be included in terms or reach, value and impact.

Caroline Coles is the Chair of the Association of National Teaching Fellows, and spoke about her journey from international retail, into law and then academic, and how to frame transferable skill sets in terms of a compelling NTF narrative. Caroline led the panel discussions about how to create opportunities to share and develop impact.

Karen Hustler and Dan Amin led the section on the actual judging process, and ran through how scoring works, the role of reviewers, and how important it was to submit all of the documentation required. Karen outlined ways in which AdvanceHe can support all of us on our journeys, and highlighted the current call for case studies, papers and presentations for different events:

Current calls:

Our recording of the webinar: Passcode: ut8&rN9W

@advanceHE @NTF_tweet @colesntf @andrewmid @debbieholley1

Category: ALTC


Aspiring NTFs: report on webinar one and links

all dressed up to go…online

The NTF award scheme went live on the 5th October, and AdvanceHE, working with the ANTF, are arranging for monthly webinars to support those interested in the applying for this prestigious award. Please do share the links widely – we warmly welcome applications from colleagues in FE and under-represented groups. 

Webinar One: Getting Started 

This webinar covered the new guidance, highlighted useful AdvanceHE resources, and our invited guest was Dr Kirsten Hardie, a previous ANTF Committee Chair who shared her wonderful ‘object based learning’ materials, in her session, ‘the joy of the NTF’. Kirsten showed how she had used this body of work to develop herself, develop others and build international links. We stopped for regular Q&A, and Dr Nicola Watchman Smith and Dan Amin summarised the chat and answered questions as we went.   And below you can see Kirsten with her wonderful image of Portuguese church flowers!

Main Q&A themes: 

Links between UKPSF and NTF? 

Draw upon the underpinning evidence, but schemes designed for different purposes 

Who do I talk to in my institution? 

Each UK HEI working with AdvanceHE has a ‘institutional contact’ who has the final responsibility of uploading the final claim, securing the VC (or equivalent supporting statement) 

How can I get an idea of what to write about? 

Contact NTFs in your institution, discipline or who just look friendly! There is a ‘rogues guide’ on the AdvanceHE pages! 

Professor Sally Brown, one of the original scheme developers has written extensively with NTFs in co-published books and chapter; she also has a comprehensive set of powerpoint slides on her webpage: (search NTF) 

Other example publications from NTFs 

Bilham, T. ed., 2013. For the Love of Learning: Innovations from outstanding university teachers. Macmillan International Higher Education. 

Bilham, T., Hamshire, C., Hartog, M. and Doolan, M.A., 2019. Reframing Space for Learning: Excellence and Innovation in University Teaching. UCL IOE Press. UCL Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL. 

Broughan, C., Steventon, G. and Clouder, L. eds., 2018. Global perspectives on teaching excellence: A new era for higher education. Routledge. 

Sheridan, M.J., 2017. Learning with the Labyrinth: Creating Reflective Space in Higher Education, by J. Sellers and B. Moss. 

Useful links: 

AdvanceHE NTF 2021 Guidance pack, videos and benefits 

Full post on the NTF blog.

Wishing all applicants every success on their journey…

The amazing ALT summer summit

the session recordings

As ever, the ALT work commits to openness, and all resources are now publicly available. The Biggins/Holley session 12.00 on the Wednesday.

NTF scheme webinar one

National Teaching Fellowship Roadshow 1: “Getting Started”:

Thursday 15th October 12.00-1.00

Join me, previous Association of National Teaching Fellows (ANTF) Chair Dr Kirsten Hardie, a representative from AdvanceHE and guest ‘new’ NTFs to find out about this years scheme, getting started and hints and tips about how to frame those applications!

image credit: free from

Anthony Buono, (2019) as part of the ‘Preparing for High Impact Organizational Change’ book looks at the use of icebreaker exercises as a way of initially engaging participants, opening them up and setting the stage for learning, reflection, and sharing. An underlying problem, however, is that many, if not most, exercises of this nature typically make people feel ill at ease; instead of engaging them, they make participants feel awkward and uncomfortable. It is not that such exercises do not work or should not be used – as he suggests, “they can and they should” – but they need to be clearly related to and focused on the topic under study. 

Two recommendations – COMPULSORY reading for us online educators! 

  1. really really really recommend this blog called simpliteach.comrun by award winning online educator Dr Liz Hardy. Sign up for the blog updates and you can download a free copy ‘The smartest way to get brilliant student feedback’  
    I follow her on twitter @SimplTeach  

And have used these techniques in the past to great effect: 

  1. The other is the latest research about the pivot to online: 

Nordmann, E., Horlin, C., Hutchison, J., Murray, J.-A., Robson, L., Seery, M., and MacKay, J. R. D. D., (2020). 10 simple rules for supporting a temporary online pivot in higher education [online]. Available from: is a powerpoint ‘step through’ 10 simple steps: the evidence 

summary guide by Anne Quinney from FLIE – 10 simple rules 


Here are some single powerpoint icebreakers that staff learning about teaching online shared:

Griffith in Australia have a large online cohort – lots of links and ideas for here: 

University of Wisconsin have a suggested icebeakers for the first week of their online programmes:

And  Futurelearn have free courses on how to teach online, ranging from a few hours a week to a full MOOC:

send any examples and i am happy to add and credit you/ your institution