Credit-free certificates for new academics - Seda by hcj



    Credit-free certificates for
    new academics
    Why we tread this path
    Jo Peat, University of Roehampton
    How did we work with UKPSF and HEA

       Very early on Roehampton had a framework of provision
        linked to old UKPSF:
           SD1 ‘evidenced’ by successful completion of SEDA Introduction to
            Supporting Learning and Teaching and accredited by HEA at
           SD2 ‘evidenced’ by successful completion of University of
            Roehampton Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE (UR Cert)
            and accredited by HEA at FHEA;
           A series of workshops linked to the individual route for
            experienced academics at SD2;
           SD3 – provision agreed at this level linked to provision of
            evidence for a promotion route (L&T), but no-one tried to get
            recognition at this level under the former system.
    Background to UR Cert

       Stand-alone, one year course for academic staff new to
        teaching in higher education

       Until four years ago the course was a PG Cert and sat in the
        School of Education.

       Tied to the MA Education and carried 60 M-level credits.

       Scrutinised by Education Exam Boards and Education
        Programme Boards.

    So nothing new there …
    Four years ago …

       UR Cert moved to Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit
        (LTEU) away from academic School;

       Became non-credit-bearing, but accredited at Fellowship
        level by HEA;

       As yet, no-one has wanted credits, but course can be APEL-
        ed, if necessary ;

       Participants are happy to have the RU Cert as a stand-alone
        course, recognised and accredited by HEA and tied to FHEA;

       For them, FHEA is more important than M Level credits.

     Whatdo you think of untying the
     programme from M Level credits?
    Benefits of ‘owning’ the UR Cert

       We can alter aspects of the UR Cert to fit with developments
        in the field without going through all the University quality
        control structures;

       We establish our own deadlines, rather than these being
        determined by University structures;

       We have greater flexibility with the design of the course;

       No longer a tension between jumping through MA academic
        expectation hoops and deep reflection/commitment to
        professional development we require.
    Benefits 2

       Participants don’t have to have their work scrutinised by
        other, more experienced colleagues, which can be

       We hold our own exam boards, with an external advisor, to
        suit our time frames not those established by taught degree

       We operate on a pass/fail basis, so marking the work is more
    What about GTAs and other colleagues
    who may teach?

       Wouldn’t colleagues in academic-related posts/graduate
        teaching assistants like/benefit from M Level credits?
           The UR Cert is designed specifically for those who have a
            substantial teaching load.
           Other colleagues are offered a short course, which is accredited
            by both SEDA and at AHEA level.
               Very different focus from UR Cert, which is much more around
                the scholarship of learning and teaching in HE; Intro to
                Supporting Learning and Teaching in HE is much more
                practically focussed.
    How is the programme structured?
    As you would probably expect …

       The programme is structured around two modules, each
        aligned to a number of learning outcomes.
           The first module is the taught component of the UR Cert, which
            runs from September to April and the teaching observations and
            is assessed by portfolio;
           the second is a small-scale action research investigation, which
            will run concurrently, but will be largely based on independent

       All finished work is due for submission in early September of
        the following year, although there are interim pieces of work
        and deadlines built into the course.
    Student observations

       We have also built in observations by student consultants.

       The student is paired with a member of staff, has a pre-
        observation meeting to discuss what the person being
        observed would like feedback on and to establish how the
        observation will take place, the observation itself and then a
        post-observation meeting.

       The student consultant is always on a different programme of
        study, so will never be taught by the academic whom they are

       This has worked very well so far and both students and
        academics say how much they have got out of the process.

       Assessment changed two years ago.

       Still portfolio and small, action-research project but:

       Portfolio broken down into self-contained pieces of work:
           Virtual reading group; group annotated bibliography and
            individual E-poster; evaluation of module; review of own
            professional practice; critique of observation of peer.

       Since this new structure, deferrals down from 47% to 0!
    What are the essential requirements
    to make this programme work?

        Tie in with HR processes – induction, probation and appraisal
        Make it compulsory for all new staff
        Get buy-in from managers and keep them involved in the process
        Role of external
        Keep raising profile of programme in Departments with
         champions, especially former participants
        Need culture of expectation, high standards, commitment and
         relevance for the programme to be successful and all HR boxes
         need to be ticked!
        New imperative at Roehampton for colleagues to have at least
    Comments from External

       “The standards attained by the students whose work I read
        were high – at least as high as those on the two other courses
        I work with at the moment (one a specialist college, the other
        a Russell Group institution) and in some cases higher. They
        have taken a scholarly approach to their work and some of it
        was excellent. Even the work which the team signalled might
        be at or near the borderline was, in my view, well over it in
        the right direction.”
    Would this work for you?

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