UHI Millennium Institute, HoTLS - The Role of the HE Academy
1The Role of the HE AcademyEnhancing Learning and Teaching
2Background• In February 2002, the Teaching Quality EnhancementCommittee (TQEC) was established to review thearrangements for supporting the enhancement of qualityin learning and teaching in higher education.• In January 2003, the TQEC published its final reportproposing the creation of a single, central body tosupport the enhancement of learning and teaching inhigher education - the Higher Education Academy.• The Academy was formed in May 2004 from a merger ofthe Institute for Learning and Teaching in HigherEducation (ILTHE), the Learning and Teaching SupportNetwork (LTSN), and the TQEF National Co-ordinationTeam (NCT).
3MissionThe Academys mission is to help institutions, disciplinegroups and all staff to provide the best possible learningexperience for their students.Strategic aims and objectives• to be an authoritative and independent voice on policies thatinfluence student learning experiences• to support institutions in their strategies for improving the studentlearning experience• to lead, support and inform the professional development andrecognition of staff in higher education• to promote good practice in all aspects of support for the studentlearning experience• to lead the development of research and evaluation to improve thequality of the student learning experience• to be a responsive, efficient and accountable organisation
4External Drivers of Changein Higher Education• reduction in numbers of low skill/high salary jobs• constant need for up-skilling of workforce• increased rate of change of commercial processes• pervasive and continuing impact of ICT• more knowledge & skills from more people - the“knowledge economy”
5Internal Drivers of ChangeNeed to Rethink Learning/Teaching• recognition of different modes of thinking(e.g. analytic, holistic)• different theories of learning/teaching(e.g. social, structural)• different types of learning(e.g. surface, deep, strategic)• shift from broadcast teaching to supported independentlearning – “Life-long learning”
7Characteristics ofHigher Education Professionals• possessor and user of specialist knowledge and skills• achieves and self-controls standards of performance• committed to students’ achievement• committed to continuing development - long training• adherence to set of values - code of ethics; disciplinaryprocedures• user of discretion, not only rules• interacts with others in the academic community -socialisation
8Enhancing Professionalism• Membership of the HE Academy: is a mark ofrecognition of professionalism as a teacher/facilitatorof learning• Membership requires initial entry criteria plus on-going continuous professional development (CPD)• Routes to membership:• Individual Entry Route for Experienced Staff• completing an Academy-accredited programme(e.g. UHI’s PGCert in Professional Development)• through a collaborative agreement between the Academyand another professional body
9Why should I join?The HE Academy offers:• a kitemark of experience and expertise inteaching/learning support• membership of a community of learningthrough which to share best practice and ideas• influence and the chance to shape thedirection and services of the Academy• a performance indicator for external scrutiny
10Six Areas: Basis of Evaluation• teaching and/or the support of learning in highereducation• contribution to the design and planning of learningactivities and/or programmes of study• assessment and/or giving feedback to learners• developing effective learning environments andlearner support systems• evaluating your practice and personal development• using your research, scholarly activity or relevantprofessional work to inform and impact on yourteaching/student support
11Conclusion - The Four RsThe HE Academy provides:• Recognition of professional skills• Responsibility for public accountability• Resources for the development of teaching andlearning support• Relationships: it forms a community of teaching andlearning practiceThe HE Academy also strives to keeps standards in thehands of the academic/learning support community
12How do I join?• UHI supports all academic staff who wish to join the HEAcademy and, currently (2005) meets all joining andmembership fees.• Teaching and Learning Workshops on how to join theHE Academy (and its predecessor organisation ILTHE)have been held in the following colleges – NAFC,Shetland, Orkney, NHC, Inverness, Moray, Perth, LewsCastle, Argyll and Lochaber. If you would like aworkshop in the future, please contact your StaffDevelopment Officer.• Otherwise, this Powerpoint will take you through thebasics of how to complete the membership application.
13Membership Forms• The Individual Entry Route is primarily intended forexperienced staff. You submit evidence directly to theAcademy, demonstrating that you satisfy the registrationcriteria through your professional experience.• For a successful Registered Practitioner application, youare likely to have experience of teaching or learningsupport in HE gained over a period of three years ormore.• Membership forms are downloadable from:http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/IndividualEntryRoute.htm
14Application – Page 1• complete all details in full• you wish to apply to berecognised as a Practitionerso ensure that you tick thatbox• for Institution, enter in theform:“UHI Millennium Institute(XXXX College)”
15Application – Page 2• tick the first four boxes, ifyou are applying throughthe Individual Entry Route• if you are applying becauseyou have completed yourPGCert ProfessionalDevelopment (or equiv-alent), check with yourcourse tutor that this hasnot been done already(N.B. page 3 is for accreditedprogramme applicants only)
16Application – Page 4• the first answer should totalall your teaching exper-ience – school, FE & HE• the second answer shouldbe the total for HE only(minimum of three is suggested)• complete your subject area– note that this is meant tobe a broad catagorisation(tick at least one box; and nomore than three)
17Application – Page 5• read this page – aboutsupporting information -very carefully
18Application – Page 6• note that your career historyshould be brief- it is suggested that you completethe information with your mostrecent post firste.g.2001-present HE Lecturer, Inverness College UHI1995-2001 FE Lecturer, Inverness College1991-1995 FE Lecturer, Lauder College• if you have undertaken amodule or other award in thelearning and teaching field,complete in a similar fashion
19Application – Page 7• you have now reached themain part of the form• read each section carefullyand complete the answer asrequired• NB – this is not meant to bean exhaustive answer – theHE Academy are looking forevidence that you knowabout the area, not adissertation on its worth• keep to the 500 word limit± 10%
20Application – Page 7• The information you provide in your answers is theprimary evidence that the accreditors will use to reacha decision on membership.• This is intended to be a route that recognises the valueof accumulated experience and the Academy is lookingfor a concise statement about your teaching andlearning support experience.• Please do not provide additional material (such asstudent feedback forms, teaching observation notes orpublished papers), as the accreditors will not be able toconsider it.
21Application – Page 7Balance of description and reflection• The accreditors look for evidence that your approach toteaching and learning support is informed by anunderstanding of how learners develop knowledge andlearning skills. They look partly for a description of arange of activities with which you are involved, butmore importantly for an indication that you use yourunderstanding of the learning process, and knowledgeof relevant scholarship, to select appropriate methodsof teaching, learning support and assessment.
22Application – Page 7Balance of description and reflection (cont.)• The accreditors will particularly look for indications of how youevaluate the effectiveness of your teaching and learning supportactivities and how you develop your approach in the light ofexperience. Evidence of a critical approach to your experienceshould appear in all the relevant sections you have completed ofthe form (not simply in section 5).Evidence of coherence of approach• Your application should demonstrate a scholarly and coherentapproach to teaching and the support of learning. If yourexperience covers a broad spread of activities you may wish tooutline the range of your work in the first section and then draw onparticular examples in more detail in the other sections of theform.
23Application – Page 7• Ideally your answer should take the following form:– what you do– why you do it in that fashion– what benefits your students receive by you doing it this way• Ideally your answer should contain three separateexamples for each section (which you should try not torepeat elsewhere in the form – so think carefully!)• Crudely, if each example is 150 words long, then eachexplanation of what you are doing, why and for whatpay-off only requires to be 50 words in length (Yes, itreally is that easy!)
24Application – Page 7Keep in the back of your mind the following guidance:“Other people’s knowledge is just information”• Effective teaching is helping people to turn informationinto knowledge• by getting them to do things with the information• and giving them constructive feedback about theirattempts• and, if necessary, by repeating the learning processuntil knowledge is gained
25Teaching and support of learning1. Please indicate the range of teaching and learning supportactivities in which you are involved. Choose up to three activitiesor techniques you use and comment on how you came to usethem and why you think they are successful. The activities mightinclude teaching and supervision of postgraduates, studio,clinical, laboratory or workplace-based teaching, as well aslecturing, tutorial and seminar work. It may also include open anddistance learning and/or the management of virtual learningenvironments. In some cases it might be relevant to includeformal or informal development of colleagues as well asstudents, such as acting as a mentor to new lecturers orcontributing to in-house learning and teaching programmes.
26Evidence Assessors Expect• The accreditors expect to see evidence of a rationalefor choosing activities and techniques used and howthey relate to developing the learners understanding ofthe subject.• The accreditors will judge whether the range ofteaching and learning support activities given isappropriate for the educational context (appropriate-ness to subject, level, intended learning outcomes andthe student profile).• The accreditors will seek evidence of a rationale forchoosing activities and techniques used and how theyrelate to developing the learners’ understanding of thesubject.
271. Indicate the range of teaching and learningsupport activities in which you are involved.PICK THREE EXAMPLES FROM:• lecturing• tutorial work• seminar-based teaching• fieldwork/summer schools• research project supervision• studio/laboratory-based teaching• workplace-based teaching• open learning support• distance learning support• management of virtual learning environments• mentoring new lecturers• contributing to in-house learning and teaching programmes…or think of a different activity that you personally are involved in.
281. Specimen Answer (not perfect, but you get the idea)“A significant proportion of my time is involved in lecturing [example 1; what I do]. I do this to allow me to give a large volume ofcore information to a number of people at the same time, in a way that is both effective for the learning process and comfortablefor the students (as indicated by regular course feedback). My lectures form a backbone to the course – giving structure to thelearning process – and give me a first-hand opportunity to engage with the whole class on a face-to-face basis: passing oninformation; answering questions; indicating sources for further individual study; and posing questions which I return to in tutorialsand later in the course – ensuring that the learning from the lectures links with the rest of the course. [example 1; why I do it inthis fashion]. The students benefit from my lectures as they all have a common benchmark of information which through furtherstudy, discussion and supported reflection they can use to form the solid basis of their knowledge of the subject.” [example 1;what benefit is gained from this approach; example total: 162 words]. “In addition to classroom-based teaching, I also support mystudents when they engage in workplace-based learning. [example 2; what I do]. I choose to deliver part of my teaching in thismanner as my subject – brain surgery – is highly practical and vocational and requires a marriage of practical “hands-on”experience with classroom-based theory. Originally, all the course was delivered in the classroom but, after discussion withacademic colleagues, industry professionals and past students, I reflected that workplace-based learning would better allow thestudents to witness the day-to-day challenges of brain surgery in a practical environment. [example 2; why I do it in this fashion]. Ifeel that students benefit as a result of this approach by being able to debate the challenges of the subject based on “real-life”scenarios and also to link previously-learned theory with current professional practice. Students also benefit by being able tofreely talk to industry professionals and experience cutting edge information and practice (I also benefit and my continuingprofessional development is enhanced by similar discussions). [example 2; what benefit is gained from this approach; exampletotal: 156 words]. “As many of my students are non-traditional learners, I also am involved (with colleagues) in the activemanagement of virtual learning environments [example 3; what I do]. My lectures and work-based placed teaching provide astaring point for discussion. Originally, all this discussion took place solely in tutorials but – as technology advanced and as myown staff development allowed me greater skills – it became clear that the part-time, mature and distance-learning students reallyappreciated more virtual engagement. Now, I support all my students in learning through the VLE with self-selected quizzes,email, bulletin boards and discussion fora. Twice a week, I have formal ‘engagement’ sessions through the VLE; more normally,learning is informal on my part: it is planned, directed and progressed by the student themselves (although I moderate some ofthe engagement for quality assurance purposes) [example 2; why I do it in this fashion]. The students benefit from myencouragement of this self-directed learning because they acquire subject-based knowledge and enhance their employability bygrowing their confidence, communication skills, IT skills and other skills transferable to the world of work. I also find that such anapproach to learning allows me greater scope to pursue individual learning with specific students and to support studentsstruggling with concepts/theories in privacy, and on their terms, without the need to involve the rest of the class.” [example 3;what benefit is gained from this approach; example total: 212 words; answer total 530 words].
29Application – Page 8• complete as before• remember:- what you do- why you do it that way- what the benefits are• unless absolutely necessary,do not duplicate examplesyou have already given inprevious sections
30Design and planning2. Please identify the ways in which you contribute to the designand planning of learning activities. These might includeinvolvement in the design or re-design of curricula, courses andprogrammes of study and/or identifying and planning differentkinds of interaction with learners in various contexts for singlesessions or larger programmes. Equally it might include indirectinvolvement through participation in validation panels, orcontribution to the creation of learning resource packs andcomputer-based or open learning materials. It might also includethe development of virtual learning environments.
31Evidence Assessors Expect• The accreditors expect to see evidence of a rationalefor choosing learning content, activities and techniquesand how they relate to developing the learnersunderstanding of the subject.• The accreditors will consider the evidence of coursedesign and planning activities undertaken and itsappropriateness for the activities to the educationalcontext.• The accreditors will comment on the applicant’sawareness of the relevance of the activities to theeffective delivery of teaching and the support ofstudent learning.
322. Indicate your contribution to the design andplanning of learning activities.PICK THREE EXAMPLES FROM:• course preparation (annually, weekly, daily)• identifying and planning learner interaction• writing/re-designing new course material• varying teaching/assessment modes• developing online materials• contributing to student handbook/support materials• creation of learning resource packs• participating in course/module committee meetings• participating in UHI/college Academic Development processes• contributing to UHI/college Quality Committees• participation in validation panels• participation in QAA/HMI audit activities• responding to External Examiners• creation of open learning materials• development of virtual learning environments
33Application – Page 9• complete as before• remember:- what you do- why you do it that way- what the benefits are• unless absolutely necessary,do not duplicate examplesyou have already given inprevious sections
34Giving feedback to learners3. (i) Please indicate how you give feedback to learners (eg inwriting, orally, as part of the supervision of research students).Describe how you try to ensure that the feedback you give tolearners helps them to improve their performance and developas learners.(ii) Please also describe the types of assessment you use withlearners, both formal and informal (formative and summative).Indicate how and why you choose the approaches and methodsyou use, in so far as this is your own decision, and to whatextent, if any, you are involved in designing assessments.
35Evidence Assessors Expect• The accreditors will expect to see evidence of arationale for choosing activities and techniques usedand how they relate to developing the learnersunderstanding of the subject.• The accreditors will consider the suitability of the rangeof assessment and feedback activities given.• The accreditors will consider evidence of a rationale forchoosing activities and techniques used and anawareness of their impact on learning development inrelation to the educational context.
363. Assessment and giving feedback to learnersPICK THREE EXAMPLES FROM:• Informal feedback - verbal or written; planned or unplanned• Formal feedback - guidelines; comments; pro-forma• Individual feedback to student• Group feedback to students• Individual feedback from you• Group feedback from you as part of a marking team• Peer review• As part of normal supervision• In separate feedback sessions• Through varying assessment modes• Student self assessment
37Application – Page 10• complete as before• remember:- what you do- why you do it that way- what the benefits are• unless absolutely necessary,do not duplicate examplesyou have already given inprevious sections
38Developing effective learningenvironments & learner support4. Please comment on the range of ways in which you contribute tomaking the learning environment effective for learners. Learnersupport might include such activities as personal and academictutoring, one-to-one advice, counselling, developing practice tomeet the learning implications of widening access, or supportinglearners with disabilities. Developing effective learningenvironments might include managing the physical environmentor virtual environments so that they are appropriate to thelearners’ needs. It might also include working with learners andservice providers to ensure that learners have access to, andare able to make effective use of, a broad range of learningopportunities. It might also include liaison and planning activitiesin support of fieldwork or work placements.
39Evidence Assessors Expect• The accreditors will expect to see evidence of arationale for activities and how they relate todeveloping learning.• The accreditors will consider the applicant’s approachto developing learning environments and studentsupport activities.• The accreditors will indicate whether they foundevidence that the applicant has made reasoned andinformed choices about the relevance of activities tothe educational context.
404. Developing effective learning environments &learner supportPICK THREE EXAMPLES FROM:• College design, lighting and layout• Room design, lighting and layout• Seating and site-lines• Access to appropriate computers, etc• Access to suitable labs, rooms, fieldwork• Teaching and Learning strategies• Placements/Years abroad/Work-place learning• Guest lecturers/tutors• Style of teaching - one-to-one advice/group teaching• Counselling and learner support• Guidelines, workshops and development tutorials• Supporting learners with special needs
41Application – Page 11• complete as before• remember:- what you do- why you do it that way- what the benefits are• unless absolutely necessary,do not duplicate examplesyou have already given inprevious sections
42Evaluating your practice andpersonal development5. Please include here a brief description of the means by whichyou evaluate your teaching/learning support activities, bothformally and informally, and how you build on what you learnabout your working practices. Please refer to how you seekfeedback on your practice from colleagues and learners, howyou evaluate this feedback and provide examples to show howyou have used feedback in developing subsequent activities.You should also refer here to any activities you have undertakento update yourself on aspects of teaching and learning, includingstaff development activities or conferences on learning andteaching. Also include participation in projects to developlearning methods.
43Evidence Assessors Expect• The accreditors will expect to see evidence of acommitment to professional development and of theinfluence of development activities on your teachingand learner support activity.• The accreditors will consider evidence provided ofreflection and evaluation on teaching practice.• The accreditors will indicate whether they foundevidence of commitment to professional development.• The accreditors will look for evidence that the applicantuses their own learning to inform development ofteaching and student support activities.
445. Evaluating your practice and personaldevelopmentPICK THREE EXAMPLES FROM:• Informal discussion with colleagues• Formal discussion with colleagues eg committees• Repeat known best practice over time• Develop new skills and apply to new teaching• At course, college, UHI or sectoral level• External Examiners/Course Leaders forums• Student feedback - formal or informal• Informal discussion with students• Student evaluations• Engagement in Staff Development• Scholarship on pedagogy• Conferences of Learning and Teaching
45Application – Page 12• complete as before• remember:- what you do- why you do it that way- what the benefits are• unless absolutely necessary,do not duplicate examplesyou have already given inprevious sections
46Integration of scholarship withteaching and supporting learning6. Please use this section to give examples of ways in which youdraw on your subject research, scholarly activity or otherprofessional activities in the support of teaching and learning.Activities undertaken as part of a group or team are valued asmuch as individual activities. The Academy does not requireall Practitioners to be significantly involved in discipline-based research. If your main responsibilities lie outside thisarea, please indicate how you support your teaching andsupport of learning through other types of scholarly activityrelated to your discipline. Relevant professional activities mayinclude those you engage in outside the higher educationcontext.
47Evidence Assessors Expect• The accreditors will expect to see evidence that youhave actively sought opportunities to create linksbetween your teaching or support for learners and yourresearch and scholarly activity or relevant professionalengagement with your discipline.• The accreditors will consider the evidence providedwhich demonstrates how the applicant has integratedrelevant research and/or scholarly activity and/orprofessional work into their teaching and learningsupport activities.• The accreditors will comment on the interrelationshipsbetween design, teaching, learning, assessment andstudent support activities and their coherence.
486. Integration of scholarship, research andprofessional activities with teaching & learningPICK THREE EXAMPLES FROM:• Engaging in Research - study• Engaging in Research - write and deliver papers• Supervising Research• Scholarship - books and/or websites• Scholarship - newspapers (eg THES, Guardian)• Scholarship - circulars• Discussions with peers - inter-UHI and extra-UHI• Attending conferences• Attending workshops/forums• UHI Subject Network/Faculty Development days• Discussion forums e.g. HE Academy Subject Networks• HE Academy membership
49Application – Page 13• complete if required• you do not have to completethis section, if you feel youhave nothing further to add
50Application – Pages 14 & 15• think carefully who yourreferees will be• ideally, one referee shouldbe a close colleague or linemanager• ideally, one/both refereesshould be members of theHE Academy (if not – getthem to join!)• you must approach yourreferees before sendingaway the application
51Referees• The function of the referees is to provide an informed peer reviewof your eligibility to join the Academy, using their knowledge ofyour work and the context in which you teach and/or supportlearning.• The referees you choose should be people who know yourprofessional work and understand the context in which yourteaching and learning support activities take place.• They need not necessarily be very senior members of yourdepartment, but they should be experienced staff active inteaching and learning support and be able to commentknowledgeably and from first-hand experience of your work.• The accreditors find it helpful when referees are able tocomment on your current role and responsibilities and any otherrelevant activities undertaken within the last three years.
52Referees• When you ask someone to act as a referee, youshould provide them with the Guidance Notes forReferees, so that it is very clear from the outset whatkind of reference is required in support of yourAcademy application.• The reference should focus on your experience andachievements in teaching and supporting learning inHE and on your research record insofar as it directlyinforms your teaching.• You should provide referees with a copy of yourcompleted application form before they start to write,so that they can refer to and comment on thecontents.
53Referees• Please ask your referees to return the reference toyou, to submit to the Academy with your applicationform. The references must be signed and authenticatedand we cannot accept references sent by email.• Please send both references to the Academy togetherwith your application. It is your responsibility to collectthe references and the Academy cannot chase yourreferees on your behalf.• The Academy will only be able to start processing yourapplication once they have received all the completedapplication documents and both references.
54Application – Page 16• complete, sign and date• collate with your tworeferences and anyadditional documentation (ifrequired)• get your Staff DevelopmentOfficer, or someone elsefamiliar with HE Academy, toread through your applicationand comment on it• send it away – you shouldhear back in 6-8 weeks!• Good luck!