The University of South Wales’ Immersive Learning project will develop and mainstream immersive learning for all new undergraduate students at the University. The project focuses on the start of the learning journey, which is a risk period for retention.
The project will work across all Faculties to ensure all undergraduate courses develop course specific immersive learning for the first six weeks of the new academic year. The six week period will include an element of summative assessment so that all students receive early feedback on their learning.
The project builds engagement and belonging through the development of effective relationships between students and with staff, both academic and support. This focus on belonging, engagement and enhancement of learning are key elements of good practice which have emerged from the ‘What Works’ Project of which the University was a part (HEA/Paul Hamlyn Foundation 2012).
The project provides a pan-university initiative which will enable the University to enhance its strategic leadership in learning and teaching and can act as an exemplar of an immersive approach for other HEIs.
What the Project hopes to achieve?
The University has a highly applied curriculum, and the development of an active approach to immersive learning does two key things; it gives the learner the opportunity to interact with fellow learners in teams, building identity and belonging, and enabling them to develop active learning strategies in a low risk environment.
The project will support the University’s commitment to immersive learning which will develop a sense of belonging among course cohorts and ensure the early experience of University is not too daunting. A period of immersive learning has been built into the first six weeks of the first year of undergraduate courses.
The project will have a significant impact on the learner experience, but also on the development of leadership in learning and teaching innovation at the course and subject level, for Course Leaders and Faculty Heads of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience and for the Graduate Intern who will develop experience of project management and evaluation.
The outcomes from the project will be used to plan further immersive learning provision for learners who join the University in year 3 having studied Foundation Degrees in College-based HE.
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