Research-led learning

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As part of our multi-year lecture recording programme we are funding a special call within the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme for small research projects. It is important that we properly evaluate such a major change to what happens in our learning and teaching environments (physical and digital). Our support for PTAS projects is one strand within a larger programme of evaluation activities that will carry on beyond the end of the technology rollout.

Every year at the University staff with learning, teaching or student support roles are welcome to apply for funding for a pedagogical research project via the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme (PTAS).

We are delighted to announce additional funding for projects related to the University’s introduction of lecture recording.

Relevant topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • How exactly do students make use of recorded lectures? for example catching up, reviewing, accessing lectures from outside their immediate subject area
  • What is the impact on their learning? including academic skills such as notetaking and discussion
  • What is the impact on teaching? for example new pedagogies supported by lecture recording
  • Student satisfaction with lecture recording
  • Recruitment of under-represented groups
  • Supporting particular student groups, for example different disciplines, geographical locations, personal circumstances
  • Use of analytics to support learning
  • Impact on the use of other technologies, for example Top Hat
  • What’s happening in other institutions?
  • Impact on student mental health, for example relieving anxiety
  • Using recorded lectures in teacher development and accreditation

As a result of this I am lucky enough to be on the adjudication panel for the PTAS grant awards and we met again today to look at the submissions from the most recent funding call. It’s a process that I’m finding hugely rewarding. It’s been a number of years since I did my own research methods training and the opportunity to think about research and methodology is a rare treat. As well as evaluating the projects related to the lecture recording special call, we evaluated projects related to an employability special call, and the regular large and small scale grants. I’m fascinated and inspired by the range of projects proposed by my academic colleagues – it’s an insight into the breadth of activity and creative thinking about learning and teaching that takes place across the institution.

I also looked over the programme for our Learning and Teaching conference today and could see presentations from some of the projects that we have already funded on the programme. I’m looking forward to hearing more about what they have discovered and thinking about how we disseminate that learning and act upon it.

We think a lot about how we can deliver excellent research-led learning for our students. I’m finding the process of being involved in PTAS and the evaluation programme more generally my own form of research-led learning.

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