“Education and research should do more than co-exist; the two should enrich each other.” These are the words of Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs) Professor Anthony Smith at University College
London, part of a senior team who gave Dr Dilly Fung, Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching, a mandate to enhance the educational experience for all UCL students. Dilly joined our Learning Enhancement and Development Advisory Board to share her inspiring, clear vision for research enriched education at UCL, namely, the Connected Curriculum.
The Connected Curriculum is represented by these seven dimensions, described by our board as a highly digestible seven peas on a plate. Every student in every year will be engaged in research practice. The connectivity refers to connection between, of course, education and research, as well as across disciplines, between students, alumni, employers and beyond. Critically, elements of assessment are encouraged to be publicly available rather than private products – for example journal articles, blogs, presentations or videos.
This is ultimately a change programme and is enabled through a series of steering groups and working groups which also look at overcoming barriers to achieving these dimensions. Avoiding too many documents is also key. The Connected Curriculum is relevant to UCL‘s strategy and ethos. Dilly stressed the importance of naming and branding in order to engage and promote educational strategy and development. Other aspects include UCL Arena encompassing staff
professional development and UCL Change Maker involving students as researchers.
The board discussed how City‘s education strategy and LEaD‘s work could be expressed and shared and what makes our approach unique. We enjoyed Dilly Fung’s clarity of purpose, approach and energy. We look forward to hearing more about UCL‘s progress towards a Connected Curriculum.