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Wednesday, June 22 • 13:30 - 14:20
CON02.09 - Learning to ‘fail’ for success: developing student Mindsets to promote resilience, tenacity and effective learning.

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Thomas Edison famously failed to make a lightbulb 1000 times before he was successful. James Dyson made 5,126 prototypes of his bagless vacuum cleaner before the one that worked. Harry Potter author Joanne Rowling was rejected by twelve publishers before her manuscript was accepted. The lessons from this for students in higher education are clear; to engage effectively with the learning processes in higher education, take responsibility for their academic attainment, and become the innovators of the future, students need the underpinning ‘grit’ and resilience to actively engage with the ‘failures’ they will inevitably experience during their studies.

This workshop provides a theoretical framework (Carol Dweck’s Mindset theory [Dweck, 2006]) and practical activities to enable you to encourage and develop your students’ effort, tenacity, and ‘confidence in failure’; and to develop a culture of learning resilience in an environment where the stakes are high and costly, and the student goal is the academic outcome, not the learning process itself.

In this workshop you will explore ways to support your students to develop more 'Growth-Mindset' approaches such as determination and robustness, through the use of 'planned points of failure' which are supported by the use of formative assessment and effective feedback practices.

Please bring with you, or be able to access, assessment materials for ONE module or course you teach on, as you will be working with these in the session (e.g. learning outcomes, summative tasks, grading matrices or criteria, formative assessment opportunities).

By the end of this workshop you should be able to:

  • Examine the principles of Dweck’s Mindset theory

  • Explore some of your students’ Mindsets within your discipline

  • Identify uses of formative assessment and tutor support to actively encourage your learners to develop more of a Growth Mindset


Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. How we can learn to fulfil our potential. New York: Ballantine Books.

Boud, D. & Molloy, E. (2013). Rethinking models of feedback for learning: the challenge of design. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 38 (6), 698-712.

James Dyson interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5eIyRVpwmc

avatar for Lindsay Davies

Lindsay Davies

Academic Practice Consultant, Nottingham Trent University (NTU)
Dr Lindsay Davies is a Fellow of the HEA with over 20 years’ experience of working in higher education, and leads on key professional development activities for enhancing the capabilities of research-active staff and doctoral students. Her own practice centres on pedagogic theory... Read More →
avatar for Udaramati Melanie Pope

Udaramati Melanie Pope

Academic Practice Consultant, Nottingham Trent University
Dr Udaramati Melanie Pope’s career spans twenty years in education, from secondary school English teaching to PhD supervision. She has led UK teacher education courses and is an Academic Practice Consultant at Nottingham Trent University, where she is currently course leader for... Read More →

Wednesday June 22, 2016 13:30 - 14:20 EDT
UCC 63