The following programme for 2014-15, supported by the Scottish Funding Council, encompasses a broad range of activities that will support enhancement and excellence in learning and teaching in Scotland. This reflects the diverse needs and ambitions of our communities, institutions and partner agencies. This programme of ring-fenced Scottish support is in addition to the UK wide calls, events, services and support available to all our subscribers.
Staff perspectives of successful transitions
The HEA will conduct an extensive research survey of college and university learning and teaching-focused staff members. This survey will explore their perceptions and experiences so that those students who chose to begin studies within a college, but complete them within a university (‘college-to-university students’) can be best supported from a learning perspective. We hope that a greater understanding of some of the issues across the sector will help staff to best prepare, support and guide students as they transition from one institution to another.
A report of the findings will act as a companion piece to the HEA/NUS Scotland ‘Learning Journeys’ report. (2013)
Full details on this project are available here.
Pedagogy of transitions
Strand 1 - Project funding:
This call aims to develop pedagogical support for the Scottish Enhancement Theme within the context of disciplines, programmes or modules. Details of the call are available here.
Strand 2 - Research funding:
We are offering research funding for a review of established research and best practice in supporting successful student transitions. The outputs from this research will assist institutions and sector support bodies in considering strategic development of the Enhancement Theme, as well as signposting valuable resources for practitioners across Scottish higher education. Details of the call are available here.
Future leaders in learning and teaching
The exploration and development of a new programme, focused on the development of future leadership in Scottish HE learning and teaching. The programme will focus on developing such skills in early-mid career learning and teaching-focused staff.
Institutional case studies
Scottish HEIs will be supported to compile case studies, highlighting strategic impact in learning and teaching enhancement success across a range of pedagogy and practice.
This paper provides an account of the development and implementation of Abertay University’s new teaching and learning enhancement (TLE) strategy, which was approved in December 2013. Details on the context and drivers for change, processes that were adopted, implementation to date, and evaluative evidence are presented. Following approval, significant progress has been made with implementation over the last 18 months and a number of policy changes have already been successfully introduced.
In order to maintain the pace of learning and teaching development in line with recent changes in the student population (such as demographics, numbers, technological skill level and expectations) it is important for institutions such as Glasgow to support excellent and innovative learning and teaching at strategic levels. Strategic initiatives must be meaningful to encourage the appropriate changes in learning and teaching practices. The University of Glasgow has, since 2000-01, implemented several initiatives to specifically enhance learning and teaching.
One of the longest-standing of these is the Learning and Teaching Development Fund (the LTDF). Annual bids are invited from members of staff for projects that aim to enhance learning and teaching and that align with key strategic aims.
Heriot-Watt University was invited to produce, based on the proposal submitted, a case study demonstrating the institution’s approach to, and process for, developing and implementing its learning and teaching strategy 2013-18. It was agreed that the learning and teaching strategy would be a suitable HEA case study, particularly given the comprehensive strategic process of consulting, reflecting on, and refining the emerging strategy and how effectively it demonstrates Heriot-Watt’s strategic approach to learning and teaching enhancement.
The case study itself is a comprehensive 22,000-word analysis of the learning and teaching strategy 2013-18. This executive summary is designed to provide a more accessible, succinct overview of the key aspects of the University’s learning and teaching strategy.
The case study will explore the strategic approach taken to enabling the fast-track development of a completely new academic programme in response to the demands of an external market. The case study explores the operational aspects of a Strategic Learning Development Initiative (SLDI), involving individuals across the five learning innovation areas and an academic school. It also investigates and presents: the challenges faced, the lessons learnt for future SLDIs, the views of the school concerned, the staff involved, and the impact on the quality of the programme developed for validation. The case study will enable the evaluation of the early impact of UWS’s new overarching approach to learning innovation, developing recommendations for the further enhancement of this approach at UWS and its potential for application to other higher education institutions (HEIs).
‘A lifecycle approach to students in transition in Scottish higher education: A review of research, policy and practice’ explores definitions and interpretations of transition in literature and policy and the impact on sector and institutional practice. This review provides an overview and establishes a baseline understanding of the critical factors, academic practice development and theoretical considerations inherent within the emerging pedagogy of transitions. A student lifecycle approach; in, through and out of university underpins the review, and guides the structure of the narrative.
- how transition has been defined and conceptualised within the literature to date;
- which theoretical frameworks have been most effectively applied to allow explanations of transition to emerge, and;
- how effective practices in the support of transition have been presented in the literature to date.
Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum
The Embedding Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum (EEDC) project is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to offer support to Scottish HEIs in the context of the increasing diversity of the student body and strengthening of legislative duties to proactively promote equality, eliminate discrimination and foster good relations. All of this calls for a re-examination of the management, design and delivery of learning, teaching and assessment so as to incorporate (rather than add on) equality and diversity.
We support EEDC through engagement with HEIs, the commissioning of research, the production of frameworks and toolkits and the curating of resources.
Building successful transitions
The HEA, building on the successful 2013-14 Tackling Transitions Events Series, will work in partnership with Student Participation in Quality Scotland (sparqs) to develop a range of toolkits for workshops.
These toolkits will support workshops for university, college and school staff and students to explore transitions.
Furthermore, with the inclusion of pupils and students, and the opportunity to lead on some aspects, there will be a firm emphasis on putting students at the centre.
This pupil competition will ask school and college students aged 11-18 to describe their plans, how they will be contributing to a successful Scotland, and how their present and future education journey will support this ambition. Details of the competition are available here.