World of Warcraft exploring online environments – 18 Feb 2014 (Innovative Learning Week)

green-tree-image-smaller-web-versionWorld of Warcraft (WoW) is an online virtual world that can be explored through play. Whether a complete novice or not, this event will provide an opportunity to ‘buddy up’ and experience what it’s like to play WoW. Learn from others and have an exciting online experience!

Skype will also be used. Both on-campus and online distance students can play.

**Please note that it can take a considerable amount of time to download WoW and this will need to be done prior to the event. Details will be provided via email**

Innovative Learning Week event details can be found:



Exploring Second Life from botanic gardens, to Buddhist temples, and university campuses – 17 Feb 2014 (Innovative Learning Week)

green-tree-image-smaller-web-versionSecond Life is an online virtual world which is used by education, companies and individuals. The variety of places to visit can sometimes be overwhelming – so whether you are new to Second Life or an avid user, join us for an hour to explore and consider the possibilities for using online worlds.

Instructions: Attendees will need to prepare in advance by creating a free Second Life account and downloading software – full instructions to be given by email.

Innovative Learning Week event details can be found:


Innovative Learning Week (17 – 21 Feb 2014)

green-tree-image-smaller-web-versionThis year we are looking for even more fun, fresh, creative and exciting events to run
during Innovative Learning Week 2014. With over 180 events running during the week you can explore new subjects of interest, gain employability skills, make valuable connections, have fun, and make the most of being part of one of the top academic communities in the world. For a list of events and further information look at the Innovative Learning Week website and blog.




ILW Student Funding Now Available!

A bouquet of sharpened pencils, and the joy of fresh, blank notebooks can mean only one thing: it’s September already. Another start to the academic year is upon us, and yet again we are all becoming excited by trips to stationery shops.

But a fresh batch of multi-coloured Post-its® is not all students at the University of Edinburgh have to be pleased about. This year, for the first time, Innovative Learning Week is providing funding for student-run events.

For anyone who hasn’t heard, Innovative Learning Week (ILW) is a week where ‘regular’ teaching is suspended, and instead students (and staff) are invited to take part in a variety of creative, fresh, different and challenging events. This year’s Innovative Learning Week is taking place from 17-21 February 2014, and it’s never too early to get thinking about brilliant events!

Innovative learning week photoPhoto Caption: Patrick Fenner’s 3 Words about ILW2013. Photo by Stella Archer.

Students across the University of Edinburgh, including all postgraduates, and online distance learners, are eligible to avail of this great funding opportunity and lead their very own innovative event. Student societies are also welcome and encouraged to take advantage of this funding.

So get your thinking caps on now, check out the bidding guidelines, and fill out an application form, all available on the ILW Webpage. Submission deadline: 5pm November 8, 2013.

Branch out, and get innovating! That beautifully blank piece of paper beckons….

Any questions or queries can be directed to Alison Treacy

Twitter: @InnovLearning


What to expect from Innovative Learning Week: controversy and experimentation


Students and staff across the University of Edinburgh will be given the chance to speak and persuade on controversial and exciting topics. Divinity and Politics students will square off to debate whether or not Scotland should have Blasphemy laws. Take your place and be a part of the audience that decides the winning debate team! The Economic Society is organising the David Hume Cup where eager debaters go head-to-head on the topic of Scottish Independence. Come along and watch some of the best debaters in this University battle it out!


Schools have really pushed the boat out with the range of experimental and novel events and courses available for students from any School, discipline, and level of study across the University.

Fancy your chances against a team of Engineers? Head along to ‘Egg Protection’ where you and your team will create a safety jacket for an egg. You will then test your egg protection by dropping your egg from a height. Have you made your egg safe? Can you beat the Engineers?

Sweet tooth? Hear a world-class physicist speak about the science behind toffee and other delicious sweet and sticky things at the Big ILW Lecture!

Interested in Shakespeare? Prepare a speech from one of the Bard’s plays and head on to a performance workshop!

students at UoEStudent-Led

Societies across the University are taking a much more forward and active role in Innovative Learning Week this year – and long may it continue! Societies are organising pub quizzes, guest lecturers, workshops, and myriad other interesting and student-driven events. (If your society would like to advertise your event using the central calendar – email ilw[at]!)

Less than a week to go! @InnovLearning #ILW2013

Online Activities during Innovative Learning Week

wordleNot all of our students study on-campus, and not all Schools can take part in Innovative Learning Week due to placement schedules, and other reasons. In answer to this, Innovative Learning Week will be streaming some events live! TEDx will be available online, which is also good news for any of you out there who, like me, couldn’t get a ticket!

The Literature and the City of Words conference will have a host of student speakers, and former head of MI5 as a keynote speaker. This event will be filmed and made available online. Likewise, the fantastic debate ‘The House believes that Scotland should have blasphemy laws’ will also be filmed and available online after the event. And that’s just a sampler!

Woman and laptopStaff and students of the University of Edinburgh, no matter where they are, can get involved with Innovative Learning Week by picking their desert island book and emailing it to ilw[at]

So branch out, get involved, and plan your Innovative Learning Week.

Less than two weeks to go! @InnovLearning #ILW2013


Alison Treacy, Employability Project Officer

Desert Island Book Project

Desert IslandYou’re stranded on a tropical desert island. You’ve no Wilson, you’ve no Swiss Family Robinson, Kiera Knightley has long gone. You’re all alone. Now, what one book would alleviate your loneliness and suffering? What one book would you choose to have in your possession? This book is your desert island book.

This year for Innovative Learning Week, the Centre of Research and Collections at the Main Library will be asking you to pick your book. They’ll be displaying some of the selections in the Main Library during ILW, but we want to hear from staff, students, alumni and recent graduates with their own choices. These will be added to the University-wide blog on the subject! This means that you can participate no matter where you’re based.

The more entries the better. We want to end up with a big blog featuring the University of Edinburgh’s desert island books, so spread the word.

If you are interested in being a part of this project, please send 50-100 words about why you’ve made your choice to ilw[at] Please include your job title / (former) course of study, as these will be posted alongside your book.

Neat idea isn’t it? Take a few minutes to think and get involved!

For more information on what’s happening during Innovative Learning Week, please see the website, or Tweet @innovlearning #ILW2013

Innovation Stations: The cure to the January blues?

It’s January. It’s cold, grey, and ‘mizzling’ constantly. The only things still reminding you of Christmas are your too-tight waistband, and your too-low bank balance.wordle

My top tip for fighting the January blues? Thinking forward to February.

It may sound crazy, given that statistically Scotland experiences only very slightly less rain in February than it does in January. Similarly, the sceptics out there will despair at a month dedicated to a holiday that was not only invented by greeting card companies, but that seems to cover the world in tacky heart-shaped confetti. Nonetheless, February is where I’m seeking out my injection of fun, because from 18-22 February, Innovative Learning Week is coming to town.

ILW means many things, to many different people. Like the great David Bowie, it has many faces, facets and fonts. This year, across the University of Edinburgh, staff and students are collaborating to put on a week of inventive, challenging and, well, innovative events.

Worried about where your degree is taking you? Whether your degree is taking you anywhere? Don’t fret – the University of Edinburgh has assembled a crack team of employability experts. From recent graduates, and career gurus, to high-flying alumni, you’ll be hard-pressed not to succeed once we’ve finished with you. Keynote speakers will discuss their routes from the University of Edinburgh to head of MI5, from secondary school to best-selling novelist, from researcher to inventor.

studentThis year we’ll be making some events available online too! This means that you don’t need to be on-campus to hear from some of our amazing guest speakers, and you can listen to and participate in some of the student-led debates. These events are perfect for any ODL students, or students in Schools like Vet Sciences that can’t participate in ILW for scheduling reasons. There’ll also be a lot of activity on Twitter, @InnovLearning, #ILW2013.

I’m looking at ILW as an opportunity to get out of my desk-chair, to speak up and out, to get active and involved. What will you get out of it?

For more details please check our website,
email ilw [at]
Tweet us any questions!

Alison Treacy, Employability Project Officer