University Learning & Teaching Enhancement Plan

Senate has approved The University Learning & Teaching Enhancement Plan (2013 – 2016)

The Plan details the actions required to redress the variation in the quality of teaching and student support across the University and promote excellence in all aspects of learning and teaching,  In seeking excellence, the Plan focuses on creating a culture of enhancement but importantly takes cognisance of the fact that there are currently a number of priority areas that require a pragmatic approach in order to achieve short-term and sustainable improvements in student success.

Guiding principles:

Excellence – It is vital that we expect and demand the highest possible standards in inclusive curriculum design, teaching and student support, recognise, reward and share best practice and support staff to be creative and innovative. Every member of staff must embrace and commit to delivery an outstanding student experience that will maximise every student’s academic and subsequent employment success.

Internationalisation – We must prepare our students to learn and work in a labour market that requires graduates to be effective in global settings. We will promote a curriculum which is informed by a broader global view, that is taught in a range of ways and that enables students to study and engage in volunteering abroad to learn more about themselves, their disciplines and their future professions.

Diversity – Recruiting high quality students and staff from diverse backgrounds and supporting them to become outstanding must be a key feature of our approach to developing excellence.

Sustainability – Education for sustainable development has been a key feature of the University’s approach to curriculum design. We should further develop our approach to this with our strategic and operational partnerships across the professional, business and community sectors via the activities of the Sustainable Enterprise Centre.

Key themes:

Curriculum Innovation – The introduction of the undergraduate Curriculum Framework (2012) marked a significant paradigm shift in the expectation of the quality of educational programmes at the University of Bradford. It affords staff opportunities to develop innovative programmes within a strong evidence base and to be less bounded by what is increasingly a silo based approach to programme design comprising collections of learning outcomes and associated assessments set within discrete modules.  Whilst modules are important, they must form part of a coherent programme based approach to learning that encourages students to synthesise and re-organise knowledge.

Staff development and recruitment – Through effective and integrated staff development we will improve the quality of teaching and learning, the level of student satisfaction and increase the amount of scholarly activity related to learning and teaching. The primary focus on recruitment and staff development should centre on recruiting and retaining high calibre staff and recognising, rewarding and sharing outstanding practice.

Developing students’ academic, personal and professional skills – In order to maximise student retention and success we need to place more emphasis on the development of academic, personal and professional skills, focusing on key transition points including entry into University, the first year experience and transitions from each stage of a student’s programme.

Enhancing the learning environment – The Curriculum Framework has been designed with an emphasis on interactive, collaborative, enquiry based approaches to learning which require learning spaces that are flexible and extend beyond the boundaries of the classroom into virtual spaces. The on-going development of effective spaces for learning will require a full assessment of the current learning spaces against projected requirements.

Enhancing the quality of learning opportunities through partnership with students – Our new processes must centre upon strong student engagement; the new approach to student representation places significant emphasis on student involvement in all aspects of quality assurance and enhancement. Academic and support staff need to be fully engaged in quality assurance and enhancement processes and be supported to understand and work within a strong framework that maintains standards and improves the quality of student learning opportunities.

Technology Enhanced Learning – Technology will feature significantly in the professional and managerial posts that our graduates will occupy. In recognition of the importance of technology enhanced learning (TEL) we have commenced the development of our long-term TEL strategy via a Leadership Foundation “Changing the Learning Landscape” project.

Employability and enterprise – The embedding of employability into the curriculum will guide students in the acquisition of subject specific knowledge and skills alongside a range of broad based capabilities required for future professional and managerial employment. The development of the University Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) will provide an opportunity to oversee the development of a number of employability related activities.

The Learning & Teaching Enhancement Board will oversee the implementation of the Plan.