The Higher Education Academy has commissioned and published a report on UofG’s Learning and Teaching Development Fund. Written by Dr Jane MacKenzie and Dr Scott Ramsay of the University’s Learning & Teaching Centre, the report highlights the fund as an example of a successful strategic intervention that enhances learning and teaching.
Each session, the LTDF invites bids from University staff for projects that aim to enhance learning and teaching and that align with key strategic aims. Since its launch in 2000-01 the LTDF has funded more than 100 projects on a range of themes including assessment and feedback, student mobility, retention, and technology enhanced learning and teaching (TELT).
Through case studies, surveys and interviews with grant holders, the report examines how the Fund has contributed to positive changes in teaching practices, the student experience, and the ethos of teaching.
The report features the stories behind some particularly successful LTDF-funded projects, where the positive impacts that began with the funding still have an impact now. These include:
- Writing Centre – originally a pilot scheme in Arts, now an integrated part of the Student Learning Service providing writing development classes and advice to students across the University.
- Rock Around the University – an artificial fieldwork resource created on the Gilmorehill campus, which has revolutionised fieldwork in Geographical and Earth Sciences.
LTDF grant holders took part in surveys and interviews about their projects and their perceptions of the Fund and University. Their responses showed that the LTDF has brought about:
- Sustainable change: 94% of respondents said the outcomes of their projects continued in some form beyond the project period.
- Positivity and pride: respondents were almost unanimously positive about the existence of the LTDF, with several saying it makes them proud of the University. It’s seen as a catalyst for reflection and problem solving, and makes a positive contribution to grant holders’ motivation and job satisfaction.
The research also identified how LTDF-related work could be better supported through networking opportunities, and structures to help grant holders go public with project outcomes.
The report outlines recommendations for other institutions that support teaching enhancement through competitive funding, or that are considering this. The recommendations cover: sustainability and impact, support for the bidding and project implementation processes, and mainstreaming teaching enhancement. Many of the recommendations have already been implemented in UofG’s LTDF.
The report’s authors thank the LTDF grant holders who contributed via surveys and interviews, and the research assistants who helped analyse and compile the responses: Dr Diane Scott, Dr Graeme Spurr, and Dr Hannah Tweed.
- Read the report: Strategic learning and teaching enhancement through funded teaching interventions (PDF)
- Learning and Teaching Development Fund – the next round of funding will open in the New Year
First published: 18 October 2016