Innovative Learning Week: in full swing…

wordleThere are a number of events taking place during Innovative Learning Week 2013 (18-22 Feb). To find out what students and staff have been getting up to visit the Innovative Learning Week blog and follow the flickr photostream

Find us on Twitter: @InnovLearning #ILW2013

Staff events are listed here:


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