I have to disagree with Bland, sorry. We've had a teaching development fund
for years here at Bath and there are several examples of where such projects
have been 'scaled up' to institutional level and/or led to publication.
One of them is the use of online unit evaluations which has resulted in a
better monitoring process, the use of unit evaluations by SSLCs (we believe
in a shared responsibility for L&T by students and staff in a BIG way) and
linkage of teaching evaluations directly to reward structures such as
probation and promotion.
There are other, similar examples of this type of 'up scaling' to
institutional level, and often that has meant longevity for projects and
developments where it was not expected.
Those are the 'regular' development projects. But we also have some research
type projects, which I've funded on a one-off basis. At the moment our
education department is undertaking a solid study into student perceptions
and expectations of feedback on their learning (including and beyond
feedback on assessment) across three very different disciplines. This is now
leading to a very nice piece of work, which will no doubt be published, and
internal reports which will feed straight into work we are doing on the
subject across the institution. It's very SoTL, I would have thought, with
the added bonus of resulting in research involved policy.
However, it is all in the design, selection and support that goes into
projects of this nature, and comes with a confident acceptance that even if
it has not led to a journal publication, it can still be a staff learning
development worth writing home about.
That said, several of my colleagues here have worked on from their initial
teaching development projects and do get engaged with the SoTL side of
things, but that is not a requirement in any way. There is a remarkable
overlap between those who bid for teaching development funding and those who
publish in the HE literature though.
Would anyone consider bidding for a SEDA grant to look into this further?
I'll read the resultant paper, no doubt!
On a different note, one of my colleagues, Dr Jane Pritchard runs a very
successful 'paper lunch' which gives reading and debating space for SoTL
interested experienced staff -some of whom will have taken PgCert, and some
of them who have not. There may be no accreditation of the learning, but
there is a lot of learning going on regardless!
I hope this is of use.
Gwen van der Velden
University of Bath
From: Online forum for SEDA, the Staff & Educational Development Association
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Charles Bland Tomkinson
Sent: 19 May 2009 07:57
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: developing SoTL post-PGCertHE
I am pleased to see some references to SoTL as CPD; I was beginning to fear
that we were equating doling money out for projects with undertaking
properly evaluated study. My experience of such an approach is that it
seldom produces the expected results and it is very difficult to get staff
to submit any form of report. let alone one that embeds some degree of
scholarship. Yes, you can demand the money back, but that is not very
effective, or you can 'blackball'
individuals from receiving further grants, but what sort of message does
that give? Perhaps the money should be given as a reward not as a bribe?
University Adviser on Pedagogic Development PO Box 88 Manchester M60 1 QD
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