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  4. Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship: The Role of Teaching Focused Academics in driving the evolution of HE

Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship: The Role of Teaching Focused Academics in driving the evolution of HE

Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 10:00 to Friday, July 17, 2015 - 19:00
Durham University

With the increasing focus brought to bear on teaching in higher education in recent years, the scholarship of teaching and learning has risen in prominence, with an increasing number of Universities activelyengaged. A key element in this is the role of academic staff on teaching focused contracts – often known as Teaching Fellows. A recent study by the HEA puts this issue into context:

“HESA data for 2012-13 show that just over 25% of academic staff were on teaching-only contracts. The report shows too that there is a predominance of teaching-only contracts among part-time academics, and that while an increasing proportion of teaching is undertaken in universities and colleges that do not have research degree awarding powers and do not receive significant amounts of research funding, a clear hierarchy exists, with research widely seen as ‘more important’ – for institutional reputation and career advancement than teaching. There remains, the report says, a significant a gap between policy and implementation regarding promotion policies in higher education institutions, and few identifiable promotions to senior positions solely on the basis of teaching excellence.”

To raise the profile of teaching focused academics in the research-intensive climate, it is vital to raise the profile of teaching as a valued activity institutionally across the HE sector. The best way to achieve this is through the promotion of the innovative scholarly activity being undertaken by teaching focused academics. This first meeting of a national teaching fellow network is therefore a forum to share innovative scholarship across disciplinary boundaries and to develop a national voice for teaching focused academics.

Contributions are invited on the role of teaching focused academics in the following topics:

  • Embedding Scholarship at Institutional Level
  • Working with Students as Partners
  • Supporting Transition
  • Casualisation of teaching staff in HE

Contributions may take the form of

  • Talks (20 mins)
  • Short Talks (5 mins)
  • Panel Discussions (1hr)

Further details for the conference, including submission of abstracts and registration is available at Call for papers closes 10th April 2015.

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