Survey Results 2008

ATP Conference: Lincoln 2008

Feedback from delegates

Phil Banyard, September 2008

“The best CPD course I have ever attended!”


The responses from the feedback survey show that the conference was largely very well received. The keynote speakers, the workshops, the exhibition and the all round feel of the conferences were valued by the large majority of the delegates. There were problems with the accommodation that was not of a standard that the conference has experienced at other universities. The University of Lincoln conference office provided very good support for the conference and the Department of Psychology made a major contribution to the success of the event.

Overall comments included,

“The best CPD course I have ever attended!”

“Really feel this conference was better value for money and more effective than a 1 day inset on just one of the areas covered in a workshop.”

“First conference I have been to, and I did feel inspired by the speakers (Possibly more to go into research though and leave A Level teaching behind!”

“Excellent, well organised event. Excellent value for money. I was impressed by the involvement of the Lincoln staff.”

“Value for money, in terms of training, is second to none!”

The survey

Feedback was obtained by an internet survey. All delegates were emailed with the link and 95 responses were collected. The survey had a mixture of button-clicking and free-text responses. A summary is shown below.

Pre-conference organisation


The conference programme

The conference facilities

Overall evaluation of the conference

Previous attendance at ATP conferences

Age of delegate

Selected responses to the free-text questions

The feature of the programme I MOST liked was

By far the most common response by far was the keynote speaker Tom Stafford though the other speakers also got a very positive response.

“Tom Stafford’s talk – it was excellent!”

“without exception, all the keynote speakers. A brilliant choice!”

“lectures from guest speakers – especially the gambling one – very interesting.”

“Can’t do just one. I liked Mind Hacks (obviously) but also very much valued being introduced to blogs by Mark and Jamie”

The were many comments on individual workshops and all the variety of events available. There is not enough room to give everyone a name check but it was good to see how positively they were received,

“Variety of workshops”

“Lots of choice for workshops, with many repeating so you could plan to catch them.”

“workshops which gave practical teaching ideas”

Some of the other things that delegate liked the most included.

“meeting other psychology teachers and being able to chat to them”

“my belly dancing experience, I even remember the routine! sad isn’t it!”

“Atmosphere of welcome, friendliness, and willingness to share experience and ideas. Always easy to join in with people, whether walking about, at lectures or at meal times.”

“I enjoyed it all.”

The feature of the programme I LEAST liked was

By far the biggest issue delegates had with the conference was the accommodation which is dealt with elsewhere in this report. Other responses to this question were very variable. Some delegates could find no fault and responded

“the end”

“none- enjoyed them all“

“I couldn’t go to it all”

“not being able to attend more workshops!”

“There was nothing in the programme that I disliked”

Some workshops and some keynote talks got the odd mention as delegates found the content dull or unhelpful

“workshops…some. Such is life..some good, some bad.”

“Thought the programme was a bit unbalanced: although I enjoyed the workshops that I went to, most of them were of general interest rather than relating directly to the teaching of A level psychology.”

“One of the workshops (Anonymity preserved!)”

“The blocking of GCSE against A Level exam board sessions.”

There were also some comments about the organisation of the programme, for example,

“Book exhibition finished early – the one year when everyone needed to look for new texts for the new specs.”

“that too few workshops were repeated, though I appreciate that this would be difficult to do.”

“Having to make decisions about workshops without the evening to study the programme that we normally have.”

Other things that people liked least were,

“the weather!”

“not much – the hole in my bedroom curtains…”

“Very loud music while trying to converse at evening ‘do’sc”

Any other comments about the conference?

Most of the comments were very positive about the event. Some made constructive suggestions for next year’s events and many emphasised the answers given to the previous two questions.

One suggestion made by several delegates is to increase opportunities for networking.

“As a teacher new to Psychology I was hoping for a lot more emphasis on teaching Psychology. I also thought the programme could have had slots in it for teachers to network. It was hit and miss who you met . . .which was nice over lunch, but it would have been good for us to have a time and venue to meet with eg people in our area, or people who want to consider specific issues in an ad hoc way.”

“would have liked the opportunity to have a regional meeting. found this good last year for networking”

Other suggestions included

“I would love to see workshops on IWB activities”

“It would be nice to have ‘focus groups’ to discuss how all the ideas could be incorporated into the next’s years scheme etc. I feel full of ideas but do not know where to start now!”

The comments about the entertainments were mainly, but not exclusively favourable

“Entertainment was fantastic as always”

“The quizzes were great but the evening was a bit flat afterwards could have done with some music afterwards. Engine shed bar prices were too high £25 for two bottles of wine.”

“Thanks for making the evening entertainment on Friday inclusive – e.g. songs from different genres”

“Fabulous Friday night.”

“Fitting eulogy for Washoe”

“Quiz could do with a re-vamp please!!”

The best thing about going to school is meeting your mates and the best things about going to conferences is meeting up with people. Conferences, however, can be very intimidating and a number of delegates were daunted by the size of the event and the tendency of people to talk to old friends to the exclusion of new delegates.

“As always, it’s great meeting up with other psych teachers.”

“There were lots of individuals on their own and I tried to speak to as many as possible as I, too was alone. However, I felt that established members/organisers might have made a bit more effort.”

“Why no meeting for new members? That was always a very positive feature in the past.”

“I networked with other likeminded teachers and have come back to work with lots of ideas buzzing in my head for September”

A number of delegates took a lot from the conferences, for example commenting

“I had a great time, and am suitably inspired to improve my teaching.”

“Brilliant – buzzing with ideas and really friendly. Thank you!”

“Thoroughly enjoyable and useful, both from the fun of being a student, and also making friends and finding useful contacts.”

“Superb – something for all tastes and needs”

“Inspiring time, can’t wait to start teaching again in September”

“I am looking forward to the next one.”

“Fantastic – my first year, hopefully not my last!”

Any among the more esoteric comments was this one

“Tom Stafford was excellent, but could he please have his head shaved next time, or at least wear unattractive glasses and odd coloured contact lenses.”

One speaker I would most like to hear is …

Among the many helpful suggestion for speakers the most popular choice by far was Philip Zimbardo. He is probably the last of the ‘A-Level Greats’ still available for talks. Other suggestions included,

Alan Baddeley
Robin Dunbar
Derren Brown
Charles Tart
Jim Horne
Colin Blakemore
Savage Rumbaugh
Tom Stafford
Richard Wiseman
Mark Griffiths
Sarah Grogan
Matt Ridley
Simon Baron-Cohen
Graham Hitch
Stephen Pinker
Elizabeth Loftus
Robert Winston
Richard Dawkins
Celia Kitzinger
Alex Linley
Stephen Rose
Susan Greenfield
Oliver Sacks
David Cantor

One workshop event I would most like to attend is …

The suggestions for workshops included,

“making assessment and revision enjoyable”

“Ideas for teaching research methods”

“the chocolate one”

“what tips for getting best value added results from learners.”

“Active engagement in the classroom”

“Anything on teaching the brain in an interactive way”

“Behaviour management for post 16”

“how to be an examiner”

“sharing teaching ideas”

“Classroom activities using IT and elearning”

“IWB activities/ideas”

“My / Your dream psychology specification”

“Belly dancing!”

“Refresher course on basic statistics”

“Teaching inferential stats, probability and significance!”

Any other suggestions for next year?

“Pairing people up – help new delegates.”

“I liked the visit to the cathedral etc – a similar trip round Exeter would be good”

“All the specs will be dropping coursework so activities around new approach to integrating practical work would probably be useful.”

“Exam board buddy meetings”

“It would be so nice to be given a CD of workshop resources “

“Sandcastle competition – obviously”

“More seminars involving delegates rather than sit and listen… more hands on activities”


Any comments about the conference facilities?

As noted above the biggest problem delegates had was with the accommodation. The large number of late bookings and the unexpected unavailability of some of the student blocks meant that some delegates were housed in The Pavilions which was a little distant from the lecture rooms. On the other hand, however, this facility was much better appointed than the student village where several delegates reported on the poor state of their room. A small selection of comments can be seen below. A more complete account of this feedback has been sent to the University of Lincoln.

“The rooms were either near or nice but not both!”

“No hot water in hall – had to change rooms – staff very helpful.”

“Uncomfy beds but hey!”

“Rooms were a bit tatty compared to previous years ie upholstery was dirty mattresses were worn out and there was no way to take a shower without flooding everywhere.”

“The showers were cold – that was the only problem with the whole conference.”

“Very poor parking facilities. Not happy having to pay for parking and leave car in NCP overnight.”

“The room was not of a very high standard. It was grubby, especially the shower area. It let the university down.”

“The residential rooms were of a very poor standard. They were not cleaned properly and had poor or broken facilities i.e. showers”

“The block of halls (court 9) i was in was disgustingly dirty – it had food left in the bedroom cupboard\(salami and cheese), no mugs on arrival until i requested some, the kitchen was greasy covered in layer of dust and i had to kill silver fish insects in the room and also in the bed sheets before sleeping. Security wise my bedroom window did not lock or close and the scaffolding gave easy access for anyone which led to me feeling rather vulnerable.”

“Rooms were just about OK but a bit smelly & basic”

“Pleasantly surprised. Clean, tidy, comfortable”

“The accommodation (Pavilions) was excellent and I am told that the long trek there was worth it as the rooms were superior to the student village.”