Annual review of CED’s achievements 2016/17

It has been a busy year; however, our streamlined team has worked its magic with much success. We started the year with a smaller team having said “Goodbye” over the summer to Sarah Copeland and Mark Goodliff when their contracts with us came to end. We also said “Goodbye” to Gill Jones and Sarah Bostock from IT Services as their posts, which were created to support CED’s Technology Enhanced Learning function were removed during that restructure. A further farewell followed when John Dermo moved to Salford University in January. In recent days we’ve said more goodbyes as Debbie Alstead and Jak Radice have moved to new positions as a consequence of StAAR.

Academic Provision

The PGCert in Higher Education Practice programme team, led by Peter Hughes, continues to support newly appointed early career staff to achieve HE Academy Fellowship. A newly designed programme that reflects the changing landscape of higher education received approval through Academic Portfolio Review. We hope to launch this at some point in the coming year, subject to accreditation of the Higher Education Academy and the approval of the new standard for the Academic Professional Apprenticeship.

The work-based stand-alone module “Learning & Teaching in Higher Education (Graduate Teaching Assistants and Part-time Tutors)” recruited its largest ever cohort of 52 students; a significant boost to our number of Associate Fellows. Ruth Whitfield resumed module leadership on a temporary basis following John’s departure.

In his role as PhD Supervisor, Peter has seen the success of Dr Carole Binns, in the Faculty of Social Sciences, and is set for similar success to be confirmed in the near future for one of his other candidates.

Peter also continues to offer his expertise to the sector through his role as external examiner.

HE Academy (HEA) Fellowships

HEA data consistently places us above the sector average and other pre-1992 institutions, and the proportion of staff with HEA fellowships has grown year on year.  At our June 2017 annual conference we celebrated the successes of:

48  Associate Fellows.
40  Fellows.
10  Senior Fellows.
1  Principal Fellow.

We continue to support staff to gain HEA recognition through the PGCHEP and our accredited Learning, Teaching & Professional Development & Recognition Scheme championed by Ruth, which has currently 64 colleagues working towards fellowship.

Peer Supported Review of Teaching Practice (PSRTP)

Learning from each other is a key element of our professional development. Our PSRTP scheme forms an integral requirement for developing a successful HEA fellowship application and for fellows to demonstrate that they remain in good standing. We continue to review and enhance the scheme and in response to feedback, we are offering two new development sessions to support effective teaching observations and giving feedback to colleagues.

Active and Collaborative Teaching

Our work is enhanced by being able to draw upon expertise across the University, and we were delighted that colleagues from Pharmacy and Midwifery have led sessions in our Professional Practice Programme to share their expertise in Team Based Learning (TBL) and Problem Based Learning (respectively). We are currently finalising dates for these to be repeated in 2017/18. We are very excited by Simon Tweddell’s successful bid to partner in an externally funded £1m collaborative project “SCALING UP Active Collaborative Learning for Student Success” and look forward to welcoming Beck McCarter to the team as Educational Developer for that project to expand and advance the use of TBL.

Role Development

Programme Leaders

Ruth continues to facilitate the Programme Leaders’ Forum. Attendance has grown steadily during the year and some discussions can only be described as lively. They have, however, provided better understanding of the challenges presented by the changing landscape of higher education and the practical barriers that can impede the success of programme leaders. Importantly, sharing practice has helped others to enhance the learning experience of our students and has gone some way towards having a positive influence on responses in student surveys. We hope to pilot a Programme Leaders’ Handbook in 2017/18.

Personal Academic Tutoring

Ruth has also led a Task & Finish Group on Personal Academic Tutoring (PAT) as part of the Bradford Excellence Programme’s student retention and progression workstream. PAT plays a pivotal role in nurturing a sense of belonging in students and aiding transitions into, through and out of University. Guidance will be enhanced for September.

Teaching Awards

Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Awards

We continue to identify and nurture talent, and are pleased to recognise this through our Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Awards. The nomination format was changed this year, in order to give appropriate recognition to individuals and teams, and to provide award winners with a more solid foundation for progressing to nomination for a national award.

National Teaching Fellows

Our approach to teaching awards has led to a successful track record of developing National Teaching Fellows which has seen at least one national award in each year since 2012. We congratulate Sara George and Lou Comerford-Boyes who are this year’s institutional nominees, and hope our successful record will continue when the winners are announced in at the end of August. Nominations are open until 25 September 2017 for the 2018 internal selection process.

Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE)

In 2018 the HEA piloted CATE and we were delighted that the Midwifery team were successful in the first round. The scheme has been streamlined this year, and we congratulate the Pharmacy team on being this year’s nominees. Again, results will be announced in August and the internal nomination process is open until 25 September 2017.

Teaching Award Winners Network

In May 2017 we launched a new network to bring all our award winners together so that we can continue to grow and learn from their expertise. The network meets annually with the PVC Learning & Teaching; plans are in place for May 2018.

Celebrating Learning, Teaching and Research

Widening the focus of our annual learning & teaching conference to include research saw the number of delegates increase from 135 to over 200. It was fantastic to see this level of attendance sustained at our June 2017 conference “Transforming the Teaching Landscape” where we were treated to two inspirational keynote addresses, and the sharing of high quality, innovative practice. Next year’s conference is on Thursday 14 June 2018; get it into your diary to avoid missing it.

Programme and Curriculum Development

The expiration of Curriculum Development Fellow secondments has presented significant challenges and this coincided with the intense University-wide programme development work that came from Academic Portfolio Review. Carol Higgison has been the key liaison with programme development teams and she, Peter and Ruth have supported several teams through the programme design and development workshops that are a stipulated requirement of programme approval processes.

Technology Enhanced Learning

Neil McKeown and Joy Robbins continue to exert influence and support the development of new approaches to distance learning drawing on the expertise they gained from supporting the development of the Faculty of Management’s distance learning MBA, and the move of Optometry’s distance learning provision from paper-based to online. We look forward to forging strong relationships with the new Distance Learning Team that has emerged from StAAR.

Joy has made successful headway in extending the use of e-portfolios to support students’ personal development planning, and is making a significant contribution to HEAR.

Neil’s knowledge and expertise with Blackboard is informing and shaping the standards for effective use of the University’s virtual learning environment (VLE) in collaboration with IT Services. He is also actively involved in progressing University-wide lecture capture which should benefit all students, particularly some of those affected by the withdrawal of the Disabled Student Allowance.

Carol is working with our Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof Gwendolen Bradshaw, to develop a technology enhanced learning strategy. She is also taking an active lead in the Bradford Excellence Programme’s electronic management of assessment (EMA) project and VLE Review.

Team Development & Publications

Amidst all this, Joy has achieved HEA Senior Fellowship and has had a number of peer reviewed articles published. Ruth continues to explore and extend her interest in programme focused assessment from the Programme Assessment Strategies (PASS) project, has also had peer reviewed articles published and is working towards Senior Fellowship of SEDA (Staff & Educational Development Association).

Towards Teaching Excellence

A small team we may be; however, we are making large strides in supporting the University’s corporate objective of excellence. We were delighted when the University achieved a TEF Silver Award, and more so, that the TEF panel’s statement of findings made specific reference to areas of CED’s work.

We are now working with Gwendolen to ensure that we maintain Silver and move towards Gold. There are more changes ahead, so we must plan accordingly to make best use of our resource. This may necessitate some changes to our approach and what we do; however, we look forward to working in partnership with you to achieve further success.