INSPIRING EXCELLENCE and ACHIEVEMENT University of East

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					INSPIRING EXCELLENCE and ACHIEVEMENT:
UEL’s Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy, 2009 – 2012



Approved by CMT 19th May 2009, and Academic Board 3rd June 2009


1.     Context


At the University of East London (UEL), we are committed to offering our
students a high quality experience of higher education. We are immensely
proud of our multicultural learning community, and recognise that university
offers a social, academic and cultural experience. We celebrate the diversity
of our students and staff, and recognise and respect the knowledge, skills and
experiences we all contribute.           We value our students’ enthusiasm,
commitment and ambitions, and seek to offer rich learning opportunities to
support the achievement of their personal, social, cultural, creative,
intellectual and economic goals.


In our learning and teaching strategy (2009-12) we wish to consolidate the
‘culture for success’ emphasised in our previous strategy. We strive now to
inspire and celebrate the attainment of excellence in our learning and
teaching practice, and the extent to which these experiences equip our
students to fulfil their aspirations as both learners and citizens.   We seek to
innovate practice, to challenge orthodoxy, and to think differently about our
students, so that we may best acknowledge their ambitions and empower
their achievements.




UEL’s LTA Strategy 2009-12 IE&A (E6) / JBC/ LTC/ June 2009
Our strategy is intended to hold relevance and meaning for all members of our
community -      students and staff within Schools and Services - who are
engaged in the many activities encompassed within teaching and supporting
learning, assessment, scholarship, research and knowledge exchange. We
seek to support the development and enhance the experience for all our
students, including home and international students, those studying full or
part-time, engaged in under- or postgraduate study on taught or research
programmes, on or off –campus. The critical importance of strengthening
relationships with all stakeholders is acknowledged, and of building closer
programme links with employers, and collaborative partners in particular.
That much may be gained through identifying, sharing and disseminating best
practice is fundamental.


The importance of peer support and collaboration, and of building effective
partnerships between staff and students, is recognised.           In seeking to
strengthen a sense of ownership, pride and belonging within our learning
community, the strategy emphasises empowerment, engagement, empathy
and mutual respect. We recognise the benefits of using the social learning
and networking platform as a means of furthering this sense of belonging
within the UEL community. As our community continues to grow, we embrace
a range of learning opportunities, and recognise the importance of upholding
negotiated and agreed behaviours in social and learning spaces, both real
and virtual, during on and off campus experiences.


We respect individual learning preferences and styles, and seek to offer
greater choice and flexibility within our programmes including increased and
appropriate use of synchronous and asynchronous technologies. We seek to
reach beyond minimal requirements of disability and access legislation, and
aspire to develop learning, teaching and assessment practices that are truly
inclusive, designed to enhance learner choice and achievement. Learning
and teaching are enriched and enhanced through the use of new
technologies, and accordingly this is integrated within our strategy.       We
recognise the opportunities, as well as         the challenges,, that the use of
emerging technology affords. The importance of understanding the ways in


UEL’s LTA Strategy 2009-12 IE&A (E6) / JBC/ LTC/ June 2009
which today’s learners differ is becoming more crucial and our learning and
teaching practices must evolve to address today’s new learners and establish
the research required to understand the new pedagogies
Excellent scholarship, research and knowledge exchange underpins excellent
teaching, learning and assessment, and participation in pedagogic and
subject-specific activities are key aspects of professional practice. Projects
which empower the student voice, locate staff and students as co-
researchers, explore the needs and outcomes of our diverse student body,
innovate in practice and explore its pedagogical basis are particularly valuable
in this regard. Similarly, the importance of staff engagement in continuing
professional development and critical reflection on practice is vitally important
in attaining, and upholding, standards of excellence.            (This includes
participation in activities internally and externally, such as work with
professional bodies, the Higher Education Academy and its subject centres,
and engagement with the Professional Standards Framework, Staff
Development and Review, Teaching Fellowship and Peer Review schemes,
to name but a few; integration with relevant polices and strategies regarding
all aspects of our practice is assumed).




2.     Our Strategy: Themes, Aims and Objectives


Our strategy, entitled “Inspiring Excellence and Achievement”, has six key
themes, these are outlined below:


1. Experience and engagement
2. Excellence in academic and professional practice
3. Equality and inclusion
4. Environment and access
5. Employability and employer engagement
6. Exchange of knowledge, research and scholarship




UEL’s LTA Strategy 2009-12 IE&A (E6) / JBC/ LTC/ June 2009
These are now explored in more detail, each theme is presented with a key
aim (or aims), and specific, measurable objectives. All are intended to be
achieved within the life of the strategy.




Theme 1: EXPERIENCE and ENGAGEMENT


AIM
To provide a quality learning experience that will motivate our students to fully
engage in their academic and personal development, promote their academic
and professional success, and empower them as independent learners and
citizens.


Objectives
   1. Offer each student clearly defined support within an identified group,
       and with a named tutor

   2. Provide a range of appropriate and timely learning support options
       (ensuring they are equipped to engage with 21 st century technologies),
       recognising the imperative of employing a variety of delivery modes to
       maximise access and achievement

   3. Present appropriate, timely and integrated information and guidance to
       enable our students to make informed decisions at key transition
       points: pre-entry, entry, progression within programme, and post-
       graduate employment and/or further study

   4. Ensure that all students are supported to achieve effective access to
       the curriculum and progression into employment (where appropriate).
       This requires an articulation between the skills curriculum and skills
       support, including the provision of a consistent approach to diagnostic
       testing for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and the
       enhancement of research and personal skills for post graduate
       research students.




UEL’s LTA Strategy 2009-12 IE&A (E6) / JBC/ LTC/ June 2009
   5. Create a trained peer support network to enhance both academic and
       community engagement

   6. Seek student feedback through the use of timely and appropriate
       mechanisms in all programmes, with transparent and accountable
       responses.




Theme 2: EXCELLENCE in ACADEMIC and PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE


AIM
To promote excellence in our pedagogy and practice that is embedded,
owned and disseminated within our learning community.


Objectives
1. Ensure that examples of innovative, effective and proactive practice in
   teaching, supporting, learning and assessment are collated and shared
   within, and across, Schools and Services
2. Encourage a varied diet of formative and summative assessment
   activities, with stated equivalences within all programmes
3. Promote     continuous     professional    development    for   all   colleagues,
   encouraging engagement with doctoral study, higher degrees, and / or
   advanced professional qualifications where appropriate, and support skill
   development in the use of new technologies to ensure staff are able to
   communicate effectively with students using a variety of methods
4. Consolidate participation in our Professional Standards Framework, with
   engagement of all colleagues with a role in teaching and supporting
   learning
5. Embed the practice of peer enhancement (peer review) as an effective
   means of facilitating learning, critical reflection, scholarship, innovation and
   research.




UEL’s LTA Strategy 2009-12 IE&A (E6) / JBC/ LTC/ June 2009
Theme 3: EQUALITY and INCLUSION


AIM
To be an inclusive university, with learning, teaching and assessment
practices that reflect the diversity of our learning community, and ensure
parity of experience for all members.


Objectives
      1. Incorporate consultation with key stakeholders into programme
         design and /or ongoing development
      2. Ensure our curriculum content models inclusive practice, reflects the
         experience and needs of our diverse learning community and
         incorporates a flexible approach to curriculum design that is
         enhanced through the use of appropriate new technologies

      3. Use a variety of teaching and learning approaches and materials that
         embrace and celebrate diversity

      4. Offer our students opportunities to experience learner choice in a
         range of assessment methods within modules and/or programmes

      5. Ensure continuing professional development for all colleagues to
         enhance inclusive practice.




Theme 4: ENVIRONMENT and ACCESS


AIM
To enhance our collaboration with students so that our learning community
extends into all our learning spaces, both virtual and actual.




UEL’s LTA Strategy 2009-12 IE&A (E6) / JBC/ LTC/ June 2009
Objectives
   1. Promote practice in teaching and supporting learning that ensures a
       range of learning and engagement preferences, both face-to-face and
       online

   2. In partnership with students, negotiate and define codes of behaviour
       and responsibilities that promote learning, engagement, sharing,
       tolerance, ownership and creativity within our physical and virtual
       learning environment

   3. Develop clear policy on appropriate behaviour in, and use of, social
       and collaborative learning spaces, recognising that these may extend
       beyond our university

   4. Develop our students’ ability to appropriately select and use a range of
       written and oral communication methods, suited to off- and on-line
       application in social, academic and professional contexts

   5. Enhance parity of experience for both on and off-campus learners of
       academic and pastoral provision through a range of offline and online
       formats

   6. Enable multimode programme delivery, using technology where
       appropriate, to offer transition between full, part-time and distance
       learning study.




Theme 5: EMPLOYABILITY and EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT


AIM
   a) To ensure our students are sufficiently equipped to maximise their
       ambition and potential for employment and economic engagement,
       through the use of appropriate technology

   b) To ensure support for the development of employability skills is
       fundamental to our core business, evidenced in all programmes, by the


UEL’s LTA Strategy 2009-12 IE&A (E6) / JBC/ LTC/ June 2009
       use of technological skills suitable for today and tomorrow’s
       workplaces.

Objectives
   1. Facilitate the achievement of knowledge, skills and attitudes of
       appropriate professional graduate behaviour in all programmes

   2. To significantly raise our students’ achievement of graduate level
       employment

   3. Create opportunities for students to develop workplace skills through
       participation in, and reflection on, relevant workplace experiences,
       including     community     and    citizenship   interventions,   mentoring,
       volunteering

   4. Offer to our students practical experience of current recruitment and
       entrepreneurial practices to enable them to realise their career
       aspirations

   5. Incorporate effective employer engagement in design and delivery in
       our programmes, enhancing currency and relevance of the curriculum

   6. Extend our portfolio of work-based learning opportunities in conjunction
       with employers.




Theme      6:      EXCHANGE        OF      KNOWLEDGE,         RESEARCH         and
SCHOLARSHIP


AIM
   a) To promote and support scholarship and critical evaluation of the
       pedagogical foundations and theoretical frameworks of our practice,
       including those that are enriched through the use of new and emerging
       technologies.
   b) To ensure that high quality pedagogical and discipline-specific


UEL’s LTA Strategy 2009-12 IE&A (E6) / JBC/ LTC/ June 2009
       research enriches and informs all aspects of our practice and
       curriculum.


Objectives
   1. Ensure our teaching and assessment practice is informed and enriched
       by both discipline-specific and pedagogical research
   2. Achieve cross-university integration and coherence in our pedagogical
       research
   3. Achieve greater recognition for the quality of our research and
       knowledge exchange, sharing and disseminating it with collaborative
       partners and wider stakeholders and through a variety of internal and
       external networks (including blogs, wikis, professional social networks,
       conferences, journal publications)
   4. Develop statistical models and data sets that enable us to adequately
       evaluate and report on student progression and achievement, and to
       facilitate informed and reliable decisions regarding practice.

   5. Ensure our students’ voices are adequately heard within pedagogic
       research and evaluation activities, and promote collaborative research
       opportunities that involve partnership between staff and students.




UEL’s LTA Strategy 2009-12 IE&A (E6) / JBC/ LTC/ June 2009

				
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