Activities from the Fellows Event 4th March

Julie Hall who is the Director of Learning and Teaching Enhancement and Interim Director of Research at the University of Roehampton and Co-Chair of SEDA facilitated a simulating event for around 23 Fellows on the topic of Teaching Excellence.

The event started with Pam outlining the change academy project aim and objectives and then Julie provided an overview of the topic. Then it was over to the fellows to explore some aspects in more detail.

Firstly we looked at what teaching excellence is generically in groups and provided a range of key aspects on flip charts some of  which can be seen here and included:

  • Clarity re expectations structure and methods
  • Alignment / flow to create engagement
  • Passion / enthusiasm/inspirational culture
  • Adaptability – diverse approaches
  • Small safe steps and the big picture
  • Encouraging critical thinking and independence

 Generic teaching excellence Gerneric teaching excellence 2

Julie then asked us to individually to either draw or write something to complete the sentence “when teaching is excellent in ….it looks like….” There were a mix of drawings and words provided for this which included covering the below thoughts:

  • Creating the specific professional skills and knowledge
  • A conveyor belt of tools
  • A gardener sowing seeds and nurturing growth
  • A beautiful woven tapestry including knowledge, skills, behaviours, ideas
  • An episode of ‘Have I got news for you?’
  • Dead Poets Society – inspirational
  • Looks different at different times
  • All aspects of the profession – in the office, on site and with the raw materials

Lastly we looked at how we could assess and reward teaching excellence. key points on assessing teaching excellence included:

  • Use REF headings and create TEF
  • Peer review and external view
  • Scholarship in L+T
  • Make more effective use of peer review and change ethos – less judgemental
  • Find better way for students to assess teaching
  • How far does your module/ course attract students? But be careful
  • Quite a difficult thing to do…
  • Need evidence of long term impact down the line
  • Standard criteria can be blind to context
  • Need to use what we already have
  • Students may judge different things as excellent depending on their preferences or resources available / hygiene factors
There will be an article in the next Learning at City Journal with a fuller discussion of the project to date and the plans so watch out for this.
In the meantime do add your contributions to the blog or send them to me via e-mail so I can add these to the article pictures welcome.

Change Academy Initial Project Meeting

On 13th December James and I travelled to York for the first meeting. This provided an opportunity to meet the others undertaking similar projects around recognising teaching excellence.

 The meeting discussed the project aims we all had as well as activities we might undertake within our projects and what we all hoped to gain from these.

Here’s a photo from the start up meeting.

Recognising Teaching Excellence

City University London is one of the institutions taking part in the latest change academy programme focused on Recognising Teaching Excellence. The programme provides the opportunity for a team to examine a range of issues around this topic with other institutions and the support of critical friends and experts.

 The team from City University London is led by Dr Pam Parker from the Learning Development Centre and includes Julie Attenborough from the School of Health Sciences, Maggie Cunningham from Academic Services, Dr Wayne Holland from Cass Business School and James Perkins Vice President Education Student Union.

 The team plan over the period of one year to explore and review the current recognition and award processes and analyse the criteria used within this scheme for teaching excellence to ensure it provides a transparent and robust system but also promotes progression for teaching excellence. They will also examine individual discipline criteria for teaching excellence and draw out core teaching excellence principles that apply across the University and enhance the current process for disseminating good practice.

 The team will be collecting data through a range of approaches which will include interviews with staff and students, collecting case studies of teaching excellence, data from the current award scheme, documentary analysis from learning and teaching committees, a review of recognition schemes within other institutions both in the UK and internationally and a literature review focused on key areas such as teaching excellence, awards and recognition.

 The first meeting with the other projects and staff from the Higher Education Academy will take place on Thursday 13th December 2012.  

Keep an eye on this blog for further information and to find opportunities to be involved.