The context for the programme
There are a number of longer standing initiatives in place at Oxford Brookes that are linked to the UK Professional Standards Framework and support recognition of teaching enhancement and teaching excellence. For this reason, Brooks felt that they could usefully contribute to the sector in adding particular dimensions to a “flexible framework of criteria” as called for in the research by Cashmore, Cane and Cane (2013) which could “help institutions with identifying achievement and excellence in teaching and learning”.
They had participated in the 2012 HEA RARE Change Academy with educational developers and Human Resources, working together with a specific focus on collective recognition and rewards for teaching. This work brought about several new developments and revisions to existing practice, for example their team-based excellence awards and greater awareness of collective teaching enhancement that were captured in the new peer enhancement scheme PETAL. This call comes at a time when we are reviewing our HEA accredited provision and preparing for re-accreditation in light of the new guidelines. Closer working with the HEA during this period was timely for that reason.
The areas intended for development
At the start of the UHR SEP Oxford Brookes University was embarking on work to provide routes to Fellowship for their more experienced academic staff who did not have a teaching qualification, such as their Pg Cert in Teaching in Higher Education. They were also continuing to promote continuing professional development in teaching and learning, and wanted to introduce records of good standing for those who do hold any of the HEA Fellowship awards.
In addition to this they were planning to review the titles, criteria and uptake of career routes that recognise excellent teaching, especially progression to Principal Lecturer and Professor. They had in place a relatively new and distinctive leadership role in enhancing the student experience (Principal Lecturer, Student Experience) and it was considered that it would be valuable to review this role during the academic year 14/15. The review included the perspectives of HR professionals, potential applicants and their managers and referees, and the outputs were to include guidance for these groups and others who may aspire to the role within five years. The UKPSF and Senior Fellowship of the HEA in particular, were to play a role in this work, and would form a core part of the intended area for development. The reinvigoration of local teaching leadership inspired through their collective teaching enhancement scheme are likely to feed into their recognition criteria.
The University considerd that this programme would offer a national forum for sharing best practice in this arena and welcome the opportunity to participate.