One of the primary objectives of higher education in Scotland is to provide a high quality student experience. The Centre for Academic Development supports the University in its activities in this area through a wide range of teaching enhancement activities aimed at supporting staff, many of which tie in to the wider national Scottish Enhancement Themes. To date staff have engaged with the work of the Themes through:
- ongoing institutional priority work, which frequently aligns closely with the Themes,
- a range of special projects, some of which have been internally-funded including:
The Centre's Educational Development Advisers are involved in a range of activities, including the University's Postgraduate Certificate in H.E. Learning & Teaching, and the Principles of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.
Quality Enhancement has encompassed and overtaken the former Quality Assurance processes in Scotland (Subject Review and, before that, Teaching Quality Assessment), and many staff will have encountered Internal Teaching Review and the wider Enhancement-Led Institutional Review (ELIR). The latter are important elements in the overarching Scottish Quality Enhancement Framework (QEF), with which the University of Aberdeen engages actively.
Many academic staff will be aware of the work of the Enhancement Themes, an important and high-profile aspect of the QEF. Running since 2005, the Themes aim to:
"...enhance the student learning experience in Scottish higher education by identifying specific areas (Themes) for development. The Themes encourage academic and support staff and students to share current good practice and collectively generate ideas and models for innovation in learning and teaching."
The Themes have been supported since 2006 by an annual conference. Staff from across the University have both contributed to and attended the conference.