LIN Position on Hunt reportThe Learning Innovation Network (LIN) is the network of academic professionals from highereduca...
Academic Development Programme (APD) as impressive’. Based on the recommendations of Daviesthe HEA has continued funding L...
 LIN participants are given the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Planning      module.     The material co...
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Lin position paper_on_hunt

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Lin position paper_on_hunt

  1. 1. LIN Position on Hunt reportThe Learning Innovation Network (LIN) is the network of academic professionals from highereducation that support academic professional development (APD) for staff in the Irish highereducation sector, particularly the Institutes of Technology. LIN was established to enhance thedelivery of core educational activities through collaboration and reform, and to support innovationand quality improvement in teaching and learning. Originating from a SIF 1 funded project, LIN hasvalidated and piloted numerous APD special purpose awards and has recently validated aPostgraduate Diploma in Learning, Teaching and Assessment specifically for educationalpractitioners. LIN is therefore ideally positioned to immediately implement a number of therecommendations in the Hunt report, particularly those relating to the training of teaching staff andaccommodating participants with a flexible delivery mode. Figure 1 shows a possible route that canbe taken to complete the postgraduate diploma. There is one mandatory module (red) and nineelective modules (blue).BackgroundLIN commenced as a joint strategic innovation fund (SIF 1) project including all fourteen Institutes ofTechnology. A key objective of the project was ‘to scope the parameters of an agreed academicdevelopment programme.’1 The LIN project received the highest ranking in the 2010 HEAcommissioned SIF review. LIN was acknowledged by Dr Gordon Davies, as ‘a well-regarded projectwhich has been important in stimulating collaboration among IoTs. 2 The report considers the1 LIN [last accessed on http://lin.ie 6th May 2011]2 Report of SIF Evaluation, Dr Gordon K Davies, 2010 1
  2. 2. Academic Development Programme (APD) as impressive’. Based on the recommendations of Daviesthe HEA has continued funding LIN through the Institutes of Technology Ireland (IOTI) and formallyacknowledged the positive impact the network has had across the HE sector. The collaborativecurriculum design process which underpins this programme has been detailed in a recent publication‘Designing together: effective strategies for creating a collaborative curriculum to support academicprofessional development’ 3 LIN is underpinned by a commitment to teaching as a professionalpractice.The National StrategyThe National Strategy for Higher Education 2030 4 states that: • All higher education institutions must ensure that all teaching staff are both qualified and competent in teaching and learning, and should support ongoing development and improvement of their skills. • Flexible learning structures across the HE sector are vital. • Enhancing the quality of teaching and learning is identified as critical for the future of higher education in Ireland.The strategy also highlights the importance of the student experience. The following issues,identified by the Hunt report as priority to enhance the student experience and improve the qualityof teaching and learning in HE can be achieved through continuous professional development ofacademic staff: • student satisfaction with quality of their teaching and learning, • framework for developing quality of teaching and learning (including qualifications to teach), • quality assurance, including the use of learning outcomes and the development of subject guidelines.Continuous professional development of frontline educational staff in HE will ensure that therecommendations of Hunt, that are now policy, will be effectively implemented. Current LINactivities clearly demonstrate that these recommendations are already being achieved through LINand can continue to be achieved in a sustainable manner in the future.The features of the LIN programme that are unique and that allow for the immediateimplementation of the priorities listed above are:  The Postgraduate Diploma is completed on a modular basis  The modules are running nationally through a variety of flexible delivery modes  The credits earned from the completion of each module can be used to progress onto the LIN PG Dip in Teaching Learning and Assessment  Progression routes onto masters of education programmes are already established and have been utilised by some LIN graduates  Educational practitioners at all stages of their careers can avail of training focused on personal areas of interest in their academic practice, including Technology in teaching, assessment practices, classroom management, research for teaching and reflection in teaching.3 ‘Designing together: effective strategies for creating a collaborative curriculum to support academicprofessional development’, Fitzpatrick, N. and Harvey, J. (eds) Dublin Institute of Technology. ISBN 1 90045441 64 National Strategy for Higher Education 2030, pgs 18 and 62 2
  3. 3.  LIN participants are given the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Planning module.  The material covered on the LIN programme is informed by current educational research, which ensures the teaching skills of lecturing staff are developing in accordance with internationally recognised best practice.In addition to the LIN APD Programme, LIN organises an annual conference that disseminatespedagogical research and promotes innovative practice across the higher education sector. Theconference enables the enrichment of the existing community of practice that supports frontlineeducational staff in the development and implementation of curricula for diversity andemployability. It provides a forum where the theories underpinning effective teaching practice canbe discussed and this can enhance the conceptual understanding of teaching so that the provision ofa complete education allows students to reach their full potential. This reflection on practice helpsthe sector ensure relevance and currency of provision. Sharing of knowledge and expertise has alsocontinued through the facilitation of collaborative workshops, often offered on a quid pro quoarrangement between LIN members.LIN is coordinated nationally under the auspices of the IOTI. Through LIN, the IOTI is alreadysupporting the coordination of the national provision of teaching qualifications for lecturing staffacross the IoT sector. It is a logical progression for LIN to assist the implementation group to achievethe goal of qualified lecturing staff nationally. 3

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