School of Health Sciences – Teaching and Learning Innovators Event – March 2017

For the School of Health Sciences  Teaching and Learning Innovators Event this term we had Amanda Hutcherson present about Learning Gain. This is a topic that has had funding from HEFCE for research.

What is Learning Gain?

Amanda asked us this question at the start of the session and asked us to write this on a post-it to put up on the wall (see below).

This is the definition HEFCE quote on their website:

Learning gain can be defined and understood in a number of ways.

But broadly it is an attempt to measure the improvement in knowledge, skills, work-readiness and personal development made by students during their time spent in higher education. (HEFCE, n.d.)

We discussed the similarities and differences to the concept of value added, which is used in primary and secondary schools in the UK and elsewhere.

Amanda highlighted some of the projects that have been funded so far in Learning Gain by HEFCE that were discussed at a recent conference she attended in December last year. They are linked to one of the Teaching Excellence Framework metrics, that of employability. They highlight that students co-designing their curricula do better in their modules, there is a challenge in moving to a contextualised employability within the curriculum and agreeing what to measure and how.

Amanda also shared a report from an organisation called the RAND corporation on learning gain in higher education and a copy of her slides from the session (.pptx, 2.8MB)

The session highlighted that there’s still a long way to go in understanding learning gain in higher education and that the path of innovation is not a smooth one. Thanks to Amanda for presenting, lots more questions than answers, but this is not necessarily a bad thing!

The next Teaching and Learning Innovator for the School of Health Sciences session will be on Wednesday 14th June 3-4pm with a small showcase of completed projects from the 2016-2017 call for projects. 

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