The refrain ‘That’s a really good idea, but I really don’t have enough time’ sometimes seems to be the near universal response of academics in any discussion focusing on the review, innovation or enhancement of methods employed in teaching and the support of learning. The result of the day-to-day experiences of onerous teaching loads in a time of expanding student numbers and widening participation is increasing workload. This is only increased further by tasks such as running tutorials; setting and marking a range of assessments and examinations; supporting ever more complex quality regimes; supervising project and postgraduate students; attending a plethora of departmental, school, faculty or institutional meetings; researching, writing and reviewing academic papers; and undertaking whatever additional effort is necessary to establish a personal academic career – be it in teaching, administration, research or any combination of the three. Those of us with a claim to a previous life, perhaps in an industrial or commercial context, may reminisce wistfully to a time when courses to update our professional skills were scheduled into our working plan, and where the tempo of our daily lives
seemed to be manageable rather than frantic, although perhaps the reality has been softened by the passage of time.