A Successful Student Experience: Implications for Academic Performance.

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This event was organised by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education

Tuesday 8th May

Queen Mary’s University of London

Judging Teaching Excellence – A Student Achievements Awards perspective.

The day started with a presentation from Craig Best, Vice-President Academic Representation from Brunel University. Craig outlined the student led teaching awards which have been introduced at Brunel University following on from the ‘Taught, Not Lectured’ campaign which the student’s union introduced. One result of the campaign was to introduce a range of awards chosen and awarded by the student body which include: Inspirational teacher, Supervisor of the year, Personal tutor of the year, Administrator of the year, feedback of the year and so on. The student representatives, in association with the student union, drew up the criteria against which the awards were agreed and this had the additional benefit of encouraging the student body to identify those characteristics of good teaching practice. Although there are issues around getting Union agreement this was an approach which other institutions might wish to emulate.


Professionalising Teaching and Supporting Learning.

Helen Thomas. Head of Teacher Excellence, Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Helen began her presentation by considering what constitutes excellence in teaching, how it might be measured and whether recent developments such as the CETLs (Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) and the NTFS (National Teaching Fellows Scheme) have had a significant impact on raising the standards in teaching and Learning in UK Higher Education. She outlined the HEA’s professional standards framework (PSF) and noted that a recent Select Committee report had argued that all staff teaching in UK Higher Education should have a teaching qualification. This should be institutionally supported and/or individuals may choose to map themselves against the PSF. She also suggested that teaching excellence might be linked to promotion (in addition to research excellence) and that some universities have already implemented the PSF as a tool for appraisal and promotion.  

Measuring and Comparing Teaching Quality –

Graham Gibbs. University of Winchester and HEA Consultant.

Graham gave a challenging presentation drawn from his Dimensions of Quality report published in 2010 which highlights a number of issues about the measurement, impact and myths surrounding efforts to raise the standards of learning and teaching. More detail on this report can be found on this link where I have given a PowerPoint summary of aspects of the report. Just one of many fascinating points to highlight here is that the evidence suggests that efforts to raise standards of teaching excellence which focus on programme and module teams, rather than on individuals, are more likely to succeed.

We are very much looking forward to Graham’s keynote presentation at out Learning at City Conference on 13th June this year. For further details on this and to book a place at the event please contact www.city.ac.uk/ldc2012


For follow up on any of the points raised here please contact Neal Sumner at the Learning Development Centre.




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One Response

  1. angela dove

    June 8, 2012 6:50 pm

    Hi Neal,
    Many thanks for the link to your very useful ppt. summary, this is a great way of sharing knowledge.
    As you say it’s fascinating that evidence shows the success of focusing on programme and module teams, towards teaching excellence. Together with colleagues we have focused on exactly this when re designing the Bsc. Management and Practice Skills double module.
    And will be presenting via a workshop, at Learning at City Conference on the important related issue of Stimulating Student Engagement.


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