In Summer of 2022, the Centre for Academic Development offered staff our new micro-credential short course, the four, 1 hour session topics included active learning, authentic & alternative assessments, inclusive learning environments, and meaningful feedback: all aligned with the University’s new Principles for the Delivery of Education for 2022/23. These Principles build upon our successes and achievements during the global health pandemic, and will underpin our approaches to the delivery of education in the coming academic year. Sessions were delivered by teaching staff from across the University, to enable practice to be exchanged across disciplines and Schools. Staff who successful participated in all four topics were awarded a digital certificate of completion. All sessions were delivered online in August and then repeated in September.
- Course Topics
Topic 1: Community Building for an Inclusive Learning Environment
Inclusive learning environments encourage and develop all students to engage in learning irrespective of their background, remove barriers to learning, and considers the learning needs and preferences of individuals. In this micro-credential session, we explored the ways in which an inclusive learning environment can be treated by an educator. Topics included: interaction in a diverse group of learners, multi-disciplinary/interdisciplinary learning, inclusive curriculum and assessments, and the role of content advice.
This session explored Principles 2 and 5, design in opportunities for community building and ensure accessibility and inclusivity in the University’s ‘Principles for the Delivery of Education 2022-23’.
Facilitators: Dr Aaron Thom & Dr Mary Pryor
Topic 2: Is this for Real? Authentic & Alternative Assessments
The COVID-19 health pandemic has been a key and positive driver for assessment change across the higher education sector. It has raised the profile of alternative and authentic assessment approaches and triggered the move away from the traditional high-stakes unseen exam. The benefits of these alternative and authentic assessment approaches are now well documented. They include motivating students, providing opportunities for inclusive practice, as well as enabling real-world tasks to enhance students’ workplace skills and employability. This session will exemplify a range of alternative assessment types from across the University, to help elicit staff conversations regarding assessment possibilities and more importantly to help staff build upon our achievements and assessment successes during the pandemic period.
This session explored Principle 3, assessment should be authentic, building in integrity, and be efficient in the University’s ‘Principles for the Delivery of Education 2022-23’.
Facilitators: Dr Joy Perkins with colleagues from across the University
Topic 3: Active Learning
Active learning is a teaching approach that involves engaging students in activities such as discussions, case studies, problem-based learning, and role play, in order to promote their critical thinking and analysis skills. This student-centred approach helps to engage individuals in deep learning, to develop their skills and apply knowledge, compared to more passive teaching approaches such as didactic lectures. Active learning activities vary in length from a few minutes e.g., pausing to pose a question in a class, to entire class debates. In this session, we will cover approaches, benefits, and challenges of active-based learning from educator and student perspectives.
This session explored Principle 1, active learning should involve both guided and independent learning in the University’s ‘Principles for the Delivery of Education 2022-23’.
Facilitators: Dr Aaron Thom & Dr Mary Pryor
Topic 4: Engaging Students in Feedback
Providing written feedback to students can sometimes be an ineffective process with students commonly focusing only on the grade whilst their feedback is not acted upon. In this interactive session, we will explore the challenges staff face in giving feedback and how we can help students to make sense of their feedback to improve their confidence and academic capabilities. Drawing upon examples of effective feedback practice from across the University, this session will cover a variety of feedback techniques and practical ways to engage students more actively with their feedback.
This session explored Principle 4, provide timely and meaningful feedback in the University’s ‘Principles for the Delivery of Education 2022-23’.
Facilitators: Dr Joy Perkins and colleagues from across the University