Doug Specht speaks at the 48th Improving University Teaching Conference, and forges new links with Ilia State University, Georgia.

3 August 2022

Specht joined Rector of Ilia State University Giga Zedania, and the staff of the Faculty of Education for dinner overlooking Tbilisi.

Doug Specht, senior lecturer and director of teaching and learning for the School of Media and Communication, recently attended the 48th Improving University Teaching Conference, held at Ilia State University in Georgia. This year’s conference theme was “From Research to Practice” and sought to challenge the gap that still exists between the two in many universities. The conference ran in a hybrid fashion, with 22hrs of talks taking place each day across three time zones.

Specht presented two papers at the conference. The first on using SPOCs and fully asynchronous teaching methods to enrich Masters degree learning. The second on Being Creative in the Hybrid Studio, a roundtable presentation co-presented with Denitsa Petrova with whom Specht is co-authoring a book of the same title under contract with University of Westminster Press.

Specht also joined those taking part in the live aspect of the conference which was hosted by Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. Specht took part in campus tours, roundtable conversations and informal conversations about future collaboration with the Faculty of Education at ISU.

Speaking about the conference Specht said “this was a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and thinking about higher education with our colleagues at Ilia State and those who joined the conference from around the world online. Our hosts at ISU were fantastic and I very much hope that we will be able to continue to collaborate in sharing ideas and researching together.”


The 49th Improving University Teaching Conference will take place in Malaysia in 2023.

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Image: Doug Specht