How to make your Guidelines work for the benefit of your students. Embedding the Guidelines in the institutional policies.

Many institutions have sets of principles on teaching etc, but they sit there not being used or adhered to by staff, only to be trotted out at audit time! For Guidelines to work they should be used in a way that allows staff to reflect on their teaching and having done so, supply ideas and examples that they can use or adapt for their own teaching. This is the role of the Toolkit, which I consider to be an absolutely essential part of this strategy. However this is not enough, there have to be approaches and incentives that make staff aware of the Guidelines and ensure they are likely to use them. Examples of such embedding strategies are listed below:

  • Inclusion of a comment in the template for course/unit outlines  e.g. "A brief statement of the learning and teaching philosophy underpinning the course, drawing on the Guidelines on Learning that Inform Teaching at …(Name of Institution)….. where appropriate"
  • Reference to the Guidelines in the academic promotion instructions e.g. " Evidence of the application of appropriate ……(Name of Institution)…….. Guidelines on Learning that inform teaching to the development of courses at both lower and upper level"
  • Reference to the Guidelines in instructions for preparing a teaching portfolio i.e. " The …(Name of Institution)….. Guidelines on Learning that Inform Teaching are drawn on current educational research and identify ways to best create an environment that interests, challenges and enthuses students whilst also ensuring, where possible, that what is learned is engaging and relevant. These Guidelines can assist you to identify your particular strengths as a teacher as well as your underlying conception of how students learn most effectively in your discipline."
  • Use of the Guidelines as part of the formal foundations course on learning & teaching for new staff

The need to embed change relating to quality in teaching and learning is discussed in a paper written by Patrick Boyle and myself. Adrian Lee & Patrick Boyle 2008 Quality assurance for learning and teaching:a systemic perspective. Proceedings of the 2006 International Conference on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. National University of Singapore reproduced in Ideas on Teaching 6. Link

I would be happy to discuss strategies for embedding Guidelines throughout an institution if you are interested, adrianlee2@mac.com.