Professional Development in Learning and Teaching

There are two formal ways to engage in professional development at UCA. The first is through the Creative Arts Education courses which provide opportunities for UCA staff to improve their knowledge of teaching and supporting learning. There are three courses, a Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate, and MA in Creative Arts Education, and all are accredited by the Higher Education Academy. More information about the courses can be found here.

healogoThe second (for more experienced staff) is through Professional Recognition, by applying to become an Associate Fellow, Fellow or a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. This route provides a focused opportunity for you to reflect on your role as an educator, and demonstrate that you have a sound ability to align your teaching practice with the principles of the UK Professional Standards Framework. To support your application, UCA provides a series of workshops facilitated by Annamarie Mckie – more information about applying for fellowship can be found in the UCA Professional Recognition Handbook 2016-17

There are also informal ways to develop your teaching practice through workshops, webinars and seminars. See below for the 2016-17 programme of initial and continuing professional development in learning, teaching and assessment.

2016-17 programme

Keep an eye on both the blog and the forthcoming Learning and Teaching Newsletter for announcements about forthcoming events.

The following workshops are available to book across campuses and can be arranged on request.  Please contact Annamarie McKie for further information.

Contextualising Learning Teaching and Assessment

This one-day workshop is aimed at new lecturers teaching in either FE or HE. It is an opportunity for new and experienced staff to consider the factors that influence the manner in which students learn, and how teachers can best facilitate that learning across the whole range of their work. As well as considering relevant teaching and learning methods; course participants will take part in a number of learning activities and will be encouraged to reflect on their own teaching responsibilities.

Key areas

  • Student learning and student ‘journeys’
  • Supporting student learning in higher education
  • Enhancing teaching methods
  • Planning teaching and learning activities
  • Aligning teaching with assessment

Beginning to Teach (for GTAs and Research students) .

This 2 day preliminary course is designed for GTAs and research students interested in taking up teaching opportunities. No prior knowledge of teaching and/ or demonstrating is required or expected.  Those with some teaching experience are also welcome to attend the training, if appropriate.  Topics covered will include small group teaching, giving presentations and lectures and assessing students’ work.

Academic coaching and mentoring skills (for Course Leaders)

This workshop is aimed at academic managers who wish to develop their skills in coaching, mentoring and engaging staff in dialogue around teaching and learning.  This short session is also useful for staff considering applying for Senior Fellowship (Professional Recognition D3 – see below)

Within the workshop, you will learn:

  • The differences and similarities between coaching and mentoring
  • Core skills and competencies of coaching and mentoring
  • Practical models and processes for structuring the coaching/ mentoring conversation and relationship
  • Discuss the value of being a ‘change agent’ in learning and teaching

Being reflective in your teaching/supporting learning

This short workshop introduces the university’s Peer Supported Review scheme, as a means of reflecting on and adjusting practice, in collaboration with others.  You will engage with some key ideas around reflective practice and explore the benefits of doing P-SR.

(This workshop is compulsory for staff who have signed up for the Professional Recognition Unit for D1, D2 of the UKPSF – see below)

Key areas:

  • Peer Supported Review – what it is and is not
  • Being a reviewer and being reviewed – what is the difference?
  • The importance of self reflection – what did you learn from the process and what might you apply to your own practice?

Teaching/supporting learning for equality and diversity

This workshop will discuss the implications of recent legislation on Equality and Diversity for course and programme design with specific reference to course design, campus climate, and individual action.  It will explore how these contextual factors influence student learning at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and suggest ways to make learning environments more inclusive.

Enhancing assessment and feedback

This new bite-sized session explores alternative methods of assessment and feedback practice, with a focus on improving student satisfaction and employability.   The session also includes practical advice on writing assessment feedback and using online tools (e.g Grademark) to create more student ownership of the assessment feedback process. 

Designing for the more inclusive curriculum

This short workshop introduces staff to the core principles of what it means to be inclusive and why this is important in terms of equality and diversity. Practical tips and suggestions on incorporating inclusivity into your teaching/supporting learning role, will be provided, as well as pointers that are designed to encourage a ‘small steps’ approach to inclusive learning and teaching. This workshop also includes an introduction to the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) and provides guidance on how to design modules and courses from concept to completion of documents for course approval. It includes focus on designing learning outcomes appropriate to level of study and aligning these with teaching and learning methods and assessment.

Open Platform in learning and teaching

These 1 hour lunchtime events are open to all UCA staff and provide an opportunity to exchange practice and share current challenges in teaching/supporting learning.  The ‘platform’ also provides a forum for disseminating current work in progress and is ideal for staff looking to evidence dissemination of ideas and innovations for their Senior Fellow applications.  We will on occasion, invite in external speakers to provoke thinking around certain topics.  Lunch is provided.

Innovation in your teaching/supporting learning (forthcoming)

This short workshop explores how digital technologies can be utilised in creative arts education to support learning and teaching in this shifting learning environment. What benefits can they bring? And what challenges do they pose – in terms of maintaining standards, critical thinking and the student-teacher dynamic so characteristic of British higher education. Drawing from current examples, the workshop will explore how technologies such as Instagram and Pinterest , through to smartphones, Twitter and QR codes can be exploited for seminar and lecture teaching.  The workshop will explore how to assess potential utility, and how to design and implement a digital ‘strategy’ in your teaching- without spending hours coding or programming presentations

Professional Recognition Units (Associate Fellow, Fellow and Senior Fellow)

These portfolio units are designed for academic and academic-related staff wanting to obtain professional recognition at D1, D2 or D3. It is useful to have attended the short workshop (above) on ‘Being more reflective in your teaching/supporting learning’ before attending these units, as this will introduce you to the university’s Peer Supported Review scheme , a compulsory aspect of the portfolios.  Some of the other short workshops on learning and teaching practice and/or curriculum design, will also be useful for gaining ideas and inspiration for your reflective narratives in the portfolios. All courses are aligned with the UK Professional Standards Framework (

Routes to Fellowship are as follows:

Reflecting on your teaching/supporting learning using the UKPSF (Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)

This 3 day, practical workshop is  designed for staff who support academic provision (eg library staff; technician roles that incorporate some teaching-related responsibilities; experienced staff in relevant professional areas who have a limited teaching portfolio).  All participants will have the opportunity to acquire Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy through a portfolio based route.

Reflecting on your teaching/supporting learning using the UKPSF (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)

This 4 day, practical workshop is designed for academic staff who need to obtain professional recognition at D2. All participants will have the opportunity to acquire Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy through a portfolio based route.

Critically reflecting on your teaching/supporting learning practice using the UKPSF(Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)

This 4 day, practical workshop is designed for academic staff and academic related staff who can evidence their impact across the institution as ‘change agents’ and through coaching/mentoring and influencing others. All participants will have the opportunity to acquire Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy through a portfolio based route.


1 Response to Professional Development in Learning and Teaching

  1. Pingback: Professional development in learning and teaching | Learning and Teaching at UCA

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