The show goes on for Academic Professional Apprenticeships: A celebration of the first Research Pathway Endpoint Assessment

Amidst the flurry of emails about moving to remote/online/blended teaching, and worries about the sectors finances, the Academic Professional Apprenticeship (APA) programme at Exeter quietly received notification that the external Endpoint Assessor – Advance HE – had passed the nation-wide first end-point assessment for the APA research pathway. Continue reading

Digital accessibility and the curriculum

Digital accessibility has been at the forefront of many institutional discussions following the introduction of the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 which came in to effect on the 23rd of September 2018 setting out accessibility standards that must be met by all Public Sector Bodies including universities Continue reading

New Academics’ Experiences of Induction to Teaching: An Activity Theory Approach

SEDA Research and Evaluation Small Grants Project Abstract

This project explores how staff are supported with their induction to teaching, particularly in disciplines and departments. It involved educational developers working in 6 departments of a post-92 university, which has historically valued professional practice and teaching, however, more recently the emphasis has been on research excellence. Continue reading

Tensions around decolonising teaching and learning

The topics of decolonising curricula, decolonising universities, and decolonising teaching and learning generally have sparked much debate in recent times. This blog post looks at some of the tensions around the subject of decolonising to broadly consider why it is a topic that has divided opinion among those in Higher Education. Continue reading

First SEDA Conference: Reflections of an early career educational developer

This blog is probably more useful for newcomers to SEDA, because those who know SEDA have long understood that the event is relaxed, welcoming, and very useful. Like the areas of activity in an HEA fellowship application, I’ll deal with each of these in turn. Continue reading

Taking back space: Episode 1

At a risk of stating the blindingly obvious: teaching in higher education is changing: ‘The idea of the (largely) autonomous expert concerned in some measure with learning for knowledge, self-formation, citizenship or, even, democracy has been challenged […] to provide a new orientation to teaching and learning in universities’ (Jones, 2014:4). The introduction of workloads, to bring about equity and transparency, has contributed to the reduction of the role of the academic to tasks that can be quantified. This has been compounded by the marketisation of HE where every hour has a price tag. The unquantifiable value of space makes it, therefore, anathema to a marketised system. Preparation time is factored in to the workload calculation, but space to think, reflect and be creative cannot be quantified in this way. Workloads have no space for space.  This has resulted in a squeeze on all academic resources and an erosion of ‘space’ which traditionally afforded staff the opportunity for collegiality, a space in which to provide one another with ideas and share good practice in an informal but productive manner. The notion of space here goes beyond the notion of physical space to include temporal space; contractual space; third space; space to reflect; space for collegiality; space for innovation and creativity and space for individual and collective wellbeing. As one interviewee in a recent study suggested: Continue reading

Evaluation of the Scottish Higher Educational Developers (SHED) inter-institutional peer observation of teaching scheme

SEDA Research Grant Project 2018-2019

The SHED inter-institutional peer observation of teaching (POT) scheme was introduced in September 2017 to encourage sharing of teaching practice and discussion of educational development practice between individuals across the 19 higher education institutions in Scotland. We used the term peer observation of teaching, but we interpreted ‘teaching’ broadly to encourage colleagues to offer feedback and mentorship to colleagues on a whole range of online and face to face teaching, explore educational development resources, plans and workshops and to have discussions about challenges in practice. Continue reading

Teaching observations, teaching quality and grading: ‘A huge can of worms’

“Lee” had completed the PGCert HE (Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education) with Fellowship of the HEA. And had been awarded an “A” grade (Summative submissions on the Ravensbourne PGCert Units are graded A-E. The PGCert at Greenwich is pass/ fail only). As the PGCert Course Leader, I, Virna, should have rejoiced. Yet I felt disappointed. I felt I had actually failed her. Because I knew that she had strategically fulfilled all the assessment elements and fully met the criteria, but I could not avoid concluding that her teaching practice was weak. She had an A PGCert but her teaching was far from being A standard. The discomfort I felt prompted me to turn to my SEDA colleagues. In February 2019, I posted this question on the SEDA Jiscmail group: Continue reading