Update on Realising Excellence Event September 2016

The Realising Excellence event held on 13 September 2016 was attended by over 300 staff working in 21 groups across the University. Following the event, a series of key areas of interest were identified, including research led/informed teaching and experiential/activity based learning, inclusion/inclusive practice, TEL and the embedding of small group activities for students within courses.

Since the original event, a number of projects and initiatives have been created to further develop and support the aims and priorities identified by staff:

Research Informed Teaching

An initial audit has been completed involving a survey of course leaders, L and T leads and the professors group and supplemented by analysis of Institute Research Reports and discussion with DPVC.

Building upon this, staff with particular interests and experience of research-inspired teaching have been identified and invited to participate in one of 5 meetings in March and April to explore three core areas: activities able to be undertaken by individual staff with colleagues, institutional facilitation of research inspired teaching and how examples of research-inspired teaching can be disseminated and celebrated. This will inform a draft of definitions and strategy for discussion after Easter.

Contact: Maggie Andrews

Inclusion and Inclusive Practice

There have been meetings of staff particularly interested in developing a community of practice around inclusive teaching practice, with a focus on the impact of the changes to disabled students’ funding.  The Busy Lecturer’s Guide to Inclusive Practice has been developed, together with guidance on implementing the University Policy on inclusive assessment and making reasonable adjustments

The community of practice group is also looking at how we can develop a broader understanding of ‘inclusion’ to develop institutional cultures, teaching and learning approaches that recognise diversity and support all students to achieve their potential.

Contact:  Rebecca  Foster/Sean Bracken

Experiential Learning

A Special Interest Group focussing on Work Based Learning across the University has been re-established with the aim of identifying how to:

  • improve/enhance student experience
  • support staff in the implementation of the policy and management of placement experience
  • facilitate a community of practice
  • share experiences and current good practice
  • find solutions to some of the challenges in managing a variety of placement experiences

Contact : Sue Cuthbert

Technology Enhanced Learning

The Technology Enhanced Learning working group has been exploring potential strategies for developing student digital capabilities with a particular interest in the digital skills students need for employability.  Geography is being used as a case study and particular consideration is being given to how we can customise and use the resources and tools developed by JISC in this area.

Contact: Libby Symonds 

Next steps

Many of the priorities from Realising Excellence are being taken forward in the University Quality Enhancement Plan, with their outputs becoming embedded into ongoing practice and support networks throughout the University.  We plan to post regular updates on projects and progress in this blog.

We also want to hear from staff who might be willing to lead a workshop – particularly in relation to the many aspects of experiential learning, including effective strategies and techniques for large and small groups learning activities – or start to develop a community of practice.

Contact: Carolyn Nisbet

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