Reporter 437, 24 May 1999
ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
TEACHING AND LEARNING STRATEGY
- The Teaching and Learning into the Millennium Green Paper was published in June 1998. There was substantive feedback which indicated the document was felt to be unfocussed. It was a useful reflection on our teaching and learning achievements since the previous paper in 1993, but did not identify a way forward.
- Rather than redraft or rewrite the Green Paper TLB supports moving directly to a strategic document, which after approval through ADC and Senate will be followed by an action plan and implementation details.
- It is proposed, later in the current academic year, to bring forward some specific proposals to support aim 1 (and possibly aim 2) of the strategy and to promote the improvement of QAA Subject Review outcomes, bearing in mind the recent adverse publicity for the University in the national press and the strong feelings of Council in this regard.
- It is noted that the form of any agreed Teaching and Learning Strategy that is made public must correctly position the University with regard to QAA Subject Review visits. There is the prospect of both a strategic and operational document.
30th April 1999
C M Taylor
TEACHING AND LEARNING STRATEGY
The purpose of the Teaching and Learning Strategy is:
i) to facilitate the related aspects of the mission statement of the University, in particular:
- to sustain international excellence in teaching and learning;
- to provide a fulfilling education for all students.
ii) to provide a sound basis for future developments by positioning the University to meet the changing future requirements;
iii) to furnish Schools and Departments with a framework for the planning and development of teaching and learning into the new millennium.
The strategy has been developed following wide discussion on the Green Paper, "Teaching and Learning into the Millennium" circulated in June 1998 and on national and international developments. It is recognised that the resource implications have to be clearly addressed and balanced against other priorities including research developments.
THE CHANGING TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
There have been a range of developments in recent years which form a backcloth to the proposed strategy:
i) advances in technology leading to:
- harnessing developments in information and communication technology in course delivery.
- students being able to take greater control of when and how they learn.
- access to world-wide expertise.
ii) changes in national requirements leading to:
- development of codes of practice by Quality Assurance Agency.
- development of subject standards and benchmarking.
- introduction of the Institute for Learning and Teaching.
iii) increased emphasis on lifelong learning and widening access leading to:
- use of alternative/mixed modes of study and curriculum delivery.
- increased use of CATS and APEL.
- broader range of entry qualifications in some areas.
- greater location-independent learning.
- CE becoming increasingly a mainstream activity.
iv) changing employment agenda leading to:
- increasing need for students to develop core skills and employability.
- development of work experience as part of HE courses.
- need for close relationships with employers and professional bodies.
v) increased regionalisation leading to:
- significant support for HE work through Regional Development Agencies, European Programmes etc.
- encouragement of collaborative links within and between education sectors.
vi) introduction of student fees leading to:
- more focussed demands from students.
- breaks in learning to accommodate other commitments, e.g. employment.
vii) development of global institutions leading to:
- stronger market focus.
- consideration of student learning in an international arena.
Position of the University of Leeds
i) reputation for teaching in an atmosphere of research:
- high research ratings.
- involvement of research active staff in teaching.
- inclusion of research training in majority of programmes.
ii) wide range of disciplines:
- opportunities for interdisciplinary study.
- large and diverse student body.
- significant number of international students.
iii) existing partnerships/collaborative links.
- development of foundation and other collaborative courses through FE Colleges.
- regional opportunities:
- affiliated institutions
- strategic alliance with Park Lane College
- links with employers.
- international links.
iv) support structure for teaching and learning.
- Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE.
- School and Faculty Teaching and Learning Committee structure.
- role of Deans and PVC for teaching and learning.
- central student support network.
i) difficulty in dissemination of good practice and implementation of new procedures between Schools and Faculties because of their autonomous nature leading to inconsistency in practice between Schools and Faculties
ii) quality of central management information and ageing student system
iii) overall profile in Quality Assurance Agency Subject Review
iv) slowness in responding strategically to national/international developments e.g. delay in articulation of position in relation to lifelong learning activities..
v) under-acknowledgement of University achievements and developments in teaching and learning
STRATEGY FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING
Aim 1: To enhance the importance of teaching and learning
- by promoting staff development through the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and other means, maintaining awareness of developments associated with the Institute for Learning and Teaching.
u by introducing more strategic and targeted involvement in projects to enhance teaching and learning.
u by ensuring that the University is best positioned to meet the requirements of Quality Assurance Agency Codes of Practice.
u by continuing and developing the strategies already adopted for promoting and enhancing teaching as a career route in the University i.e. through the promotion criteria and the appropriate acknowledgement of teaching in workload allocations,
Aim 2: To provide increased support for teaching and learning
u by revising the roles of the central administrative offices involved in teaching and learning to provide:
- strategic/structural support for the core business of teaching and learning;
- enhanced quality management of teaching and learning and other aspects of support for Quality Assurance Agency Subject Reviews;
- a network for the consideration of and participation in new innovations and subsequent dissemination and embedding of the best teaching and learning developments.
u by developing the new student system to provide:
- improved services to students and Schools;
- improved management information;
- integration with learning management and delivery systems.
u by improving teaching space through a rolling programme for refurbishment and a revised structure to manage and support central University teaching space. This will include utilisation of latest technology for delivery of teaching and training in its use.
Aim 3: To maintain the high quality of taught courses
- in recognition of declining units of resource to address the appropriate balance between teaching and independent learning, noting the fundamental importance of the close relationship between teacher and taught.
u by developing and expanding the Nathan Bodington Building and the Virtual Science Park to provide the integrated delivery of teaching material including:
- the development of tools to enable staff to put material into NB without needing to know HTML;
- integration with the new student system to allow direct access to student data;
- integration with developments in Internet and Intranet teaching delivery platforms.
u by utilising Internet and Intranet technology to provide a platform and software solutions to contribute to cost effective teaching and learning, recognising that in the short term there are investment implications.
u by monitoring and taking advantage of ongoing developments in electronic document delivery, on demand publishing and digitalisation (through liaison with the development of the University C & IT strategy) to enhance student learning.
- by supporting the development of open and distance learning modes of delivery in more Schools, through a structured staff development programme, ‘expert’ support and provision of a technical infrastructure.
u by reviewing current assessment practice to reduce the assessment overload and, to ensure maximum flexibility to ensure learning objectives are being met.
u by continuing to develop the procedures for the quality management of teaching and learning including:
- providing better management information for inclusion in the programme review process;
- improving the dissemination of good practice across Schools;
- embedding innovations in practice.
Aim 4: To enhance the student focus of teaching and learning
u by developing a student satisfaction survey which will inform future strategic developments at University, School and Service levels.
u by developing "user-friendly" progress files to allow both students and staff to engage actively in the reviewing of student development.
u by increasing the opportunities for effective work placements, work experience and study abroad in programmes of study.
u by incorporating more explicitly the development and assessment of core and transferable skills in new and revised modules and programmes.
u by adopting and fully incorporating the Leeds Graduate template in the development of new programmes of study.
Aim 5: To promote lifelong learning
u by ensuring the University Strategic Plan for Lifelong Learning is promoted and developed under the Steering Group.
u by fostering research strengths through the Institute for Lifelong Learning
- by growing commercial and industrial linkages through the Institute for Corporate Learning
- by support of the badging of Lifelong Learning in the City of Leeds, working with the City Council and others.
u by increasing flexibility to allow Schools and Departments to take advantage of relevant opportunities through the use of CATS and APEL schemes. This will involve a review of the University's Curricular Ordinances and Regulations.
u by developing the accreditation of short courses.
Aim 6: To provide greater opportunities for under-represented groups to
participate in Higher Education
u by targeting, in the first instance, activities and support in those Schools where it is most encouraged and appropriate.
u by disseminating and promoting good practice as identified in the Widening Provision project.
- by reviewing and enhancing support and guidance for non-standard entrants on and off campus, both at School and University level.
Aim 7: To increase teaching and learning collaborative links
u by promoting the regional strategy for teaching and learning through:
- continued active participation in YHUA as appropriate;
- developing courses and modules in collaboration with local employers.
u by increasing the involvement of employers and professional bodies in the review and development of programmes of study.
u by developing and building on existing collaborative links with Affiliated Institutions and Recognised Educational Providers.
- by promoting and supporting international recruitment through the development of the International Recruitment Strategy.
- By building upon our international network of collaborating peer institutions to deliver worldwide teaching and learning in partnership.
u by developing the strategic role of the Deans for Teaching and Learning.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGY
Following endorsement of the general aims and strategies above an action plan will be developed for the implementation of the strategy. This plan will include proposals for the timescale of the implementation, including consideration of the resource implications which would be involved. Responsibilities for action will also be identified.