HEA clarify their expectations regarding “Good standing”


You may not have noticed that the HEA have relaunched their website. This may not seem too significant in itself but within the new site there are a number of additional resources and clarifications that are important. This blog post look at one of these.

The webpage on Good standing – https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/recognition-accreditation/ukpsf/good-standing – clarifies what has up until now been very general, unspecific advice. The advice makes clear that there is an implicit assumption that all HEA Fellows, irrespective of the descriptor they have been recognised for, MUST be able to demonstrate that they continue to “work in line with their relevant fellow descriptor standard and the Fellowship of the HEA Code of Practice.”

More specifically the HEA clearly state that they “expect HEA Fellows to be working towards their next award and be performing, or out-performing, their current Fellow descriptor standard.”

Finally, the HEA now expects all Fellows to record their professional development activity as part of the evidence they provide to the HEA of Good Standing. The HEA can ask for this evidence “at any given time” and have stated that they will now select a sample of fellows each year and request that they provide this evidence to confirm their Fellowship status.

These are new developments and have significant implications. There will need to be a change in behaviour on the part of both individuals and institutions running CPD schemes such as LUPE. Individuals will need to keep their record of professional development up-to-date and not wait until good standing is required (after 5 years in the LUPE scheme) before compiling it. Institutions will need to reassess their expectations and actively encourage colleagues to apply for the next descriptor. Gaining HEA fellowship can no longer seen as a one-off activity, like dogs at Christmas, it’s for life!

The Centre for Academic Practice will incorporate this new approach into its LUPE workshops and Writing Retreats, so sign up for one of these if you want to find out more.

Equality and diversity for academics – updated resources

The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), a body that centres on advancing equality and diversity across universities and colleges, has updated its online resources for academics. As the ECU says, these tools are aimed at “ensuring that higher education institutions are inclusive and accessible, and encourage good relations between the diverse groups that study, work, or otherwise engage with them”. Now located at http://ecu.wpengine.com/publications/e-and-d-for-academics-factsheets/, and further to a previous Equality and diversity for academics posting on this Teaching and Learning Blog, these resources “are designed to help raise awareness among academic staff of their responsibilities in this area and promote the development of equality and diversity expertise as a key competence for teaching and learning”. The four short ECU factsheets that colleagues might find to be particularly useful are as follows:

  • The legal framework: England, Wales – as this document says, “domestic and European legislation relating to equality and human rights provides the context within which teaching and learning are delivered”;
  • Inclusive practice – this resource states that inclusive practice “recognises the diversity of students, enabling all students to access course content, fully participate in learning activities and demonstrate their knowledge and strengths at assessment. Inclusive practice values the diversity of the student body as a resource that enhances the learning experience”;
  • Pastoral care – in terms of pastoral care, it is clear that academic staff “have a critical role to play, being best placed to observe behaviour in the learning environment that might indicate that a student is in need of support. The relationship between academic achievement and resilience in dealing with personal issues is well documented, and a student who receives relevant and timely support in dealing with the problems of everyday life is more likely to have the energy and motivation to do well in their studies”; and
  • Promoting good relations – finally, it is also readily apparent that academic staff also “have a critical role to play in promoting good relations in the design and delivery of courses, and in the relationships they build with students”.

More information on these resources is available from Abida Akram (Staff Development Adviser (Equality & Diversity), Staff Development) via email at A.P.Akram@lboro.ac.uk or by telephone on 01509 222389. Co-presented with Nick Allsopp (Head of Academic Practice, Teaching Centre), contactable via email at N.J.Allsopp@lboro.ac.uk or by telephone on 01509 564662, the ‘Designing for Inclusivity’ workshop which will make use of these materials is part of the Teaching Centre’s CPD provision for Loughborough University staff.

Truly taking the MOOC (Part 3)

uofs-logoDelivered by the University of Saskatchewan (UofS), the Introduction to Learning Technologies course referred to in previous related posts this spring – i.e. Truly taking the MOOC and Truly taking the MOOC (Part 2) – has now concluded.

Indeed, those of us participating in this, as well as a number of comparable courses over the past year, tabled a paper at Quality Enhancement and Assurance Sub-Committee (QEASC) earlier this week – see QEASC14-P17 Taking a MOOC: reflections upon the University of Saskatchewan’s ‘Introduction to Learning Technologies’, Oxford Brookes University’s ‘Teaching Online Open Course’, and the Open University’s ‘Open Learning Design Studio’ for more details. Our hope in doing so is that the learning is not lost, particularly as Loughborough University builds upon its FutureLearn offering, i.e. Innovation and enterprise and Getting a grip on mathematical symbolism.

Truly taking the MOOC (Part 2)

uofs-logoIt’s Week 6 and we’re just under half-way through our Introduction to Learning Technologies course with the University of Saskatchewan (UofS). Further to the call in the previous Truly taking the MOOC post asking for other colleagues to get involved, there are three of us based here at Loughborough University who now meet regularly in order to support each other’s learning and to work collaboratively.

As part of our MOOC undertaking, we have to complete four assignments. The first of these – which is called a ‘Blog Assignment’ – has seen us posting weekly to our individual blogs from Week 3 onwards, while the second – which is called a ‘Collaborative Paper’ – has seen us working together on a joint paper which is due to be submitted later this week. Specifically created for the purposes of this MOOC, our blogs are available as follows:

Our imaginatively named Collaborative Paper (UofS MOOC) is also available online, that is even if it might benefit from a little more tweaking before this Friday’s deadline!

Building upon the Blog Assignment and Collaborative Paper, the third and fourth assignments for this UofS MOOC are a Media Project and Final Project respectively, so there should be at least two other outputs from this endeavour. In the weeks ahead, we’ll keep colleagues posted with our undoubted progress into this world of learning technologies, whilst also taking the opportunity to reflect upon our experiences!

Truly taking the MOOC

uofs-logoMoments after registering for the University of Saskatchewan’s new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) – or, as they term it, a TOOC (Truly Open Online Course) – I have that sense of forboding that only a New Year’s resolution can bring. But, by now blogging about it, I may not be able to get out of it that easily, hence this post!

Entitled Introduction to Learning Technologies, and with a start date in the week beginning 20 January 2014, as well as a completion date of 15 April 2014, I already have serious trepidations about signing up to do this. Thus, is there anyone out there, particularly in the Loughborough Unviersity Learning and Teaching Community, who might want to join me on this journey? If so, drop me an email at m.fitzgerald@lboro.ac.uk and I won’t feel that I’m very much on my own! Further information on this MOOC – sorry, TOOC – is available at http://words.usask.ca/learning-tech/

The Practice to Academy Transition – Presentation

Ian Solomonides

Venue: Rutland Building room 0:02

Date / time: 1 Nov 2013 14:00 – 15:00

Presenter: Ian Solomonides, Macquarie University, Sydney






‘She had tricked him. She had made him leave his old self behind and come into her world, and then before he was really at home in it but too late to go back, she had left him stranded there – like an astronaut wandering about the moon. Alone.’

(Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia )

In a joint pilot study between three Australian universities, Macquarie University, University of Queensland and the University of Tasmania, we are seeking to investigate the experiences and needs of industry professionals that make a career transition to academia.

This form of occupational movement challenges traditional and now outdated conceptions of the linear academic tenure track.  Using interview data with expert and novice colleagues from accounting, engineering, law and teaching, we explore and identify the ways in which professional development, mentoring, and other leadership models can assist in the transition to academia.

This informal seminar will discuss the project and some of the findings to date, inviting colleagues to compare this with their own understanding or experience of the ‘Bridge to Terademia’.

About the presenter

Ian is a project member with some experience of engineering, product design, and professional teaching.  He is now the Director of the Learning and Teaching Centre at Macquarie University in Sydney – a large multi disciplinary office with over 65 staff that services the academic and educational development needs of the University, as well as managing the learning technologies platform and other activities.  He has a research interest in professional and student identities that mainly focuses on student engagement; having recently coedited Engaging with Learning in Higher Education, Faringdon: Libri Publishing.

Learn Drop-in Sessions (Lboro staff only)

Learn screenshotIf you have responsibility for modules on Learn, look out for the Staff Drop-In Support sessions taking place around campus from September 11th through to mid-October. If you have a query, particularly relating to compliance with the Minimum Presence requirements, come along to talk to us in person.

Look out for the Learn banner – coming to a foyer near you soon! The next sessions are:

Thursday 19th September 11.00 – 13.00 MEC (Sir David Davies)

Thursday 19th September 13.00 – 14.00 Online via web conferencing*

Monday 23rd September 14.00 – 15.00 Brockington foyer

Tuesday 24th September 10.00 – 11.00 Sir Frank Gibb foyer

Wednesday 25th September 10.00 – 11.00 Chem Eng / Materials foyer

Wednesday 25 September 12.00 – 13.00 Martin Hall foyer

Thursday 26 September 12:00 – 14.00 MEC (Sir David Davies)


*You’ll find the link to join this Adobe Connect webinar near the top of the Learn Staffroom module page – http://learn.lboro.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=3507 . You can access this via web browser on Mac or PC, or using the Adobe Connect app for iPad / Android tablet. You don’t need to have a microphone, just headphones or speakers; you can ask questions via text chat.

Senior Fellowship of the HEA – forthcoming workshop

HigherEducationAcademyA representative from the Higher Education Academy (HEA), Raj Dhimar, will be visiting the University on Monday, 15 July 2013. He will be running a workshop from 9:30am to 1pm that day which will focus on supporting colleagues who are thinking about applying for Senior Fellowship of the HEA. 

It should be noted that Senior Fellowship is aimed at experienced academics involved in the organisation, leadership and/or management of specific aspects of teaching and learning provision. Senior Fellowship maps on to Descriptor 3 of the UK Professional Standards Framework  (UKPSF); to find out more about Senior Fellowship and the UKPSF, please see the HEA website. The workshop will be covering the following:

  • overview of UKPSF;
  • professional recognition process and benefits;
  • requirements of Senior Fellowship (and distinctions between other descriptors); and
  • peer review of example application.

Suitably experienced colleagues – typically Deans, Associate Deans (Teaching), University Assessors, etc. – who are interested in participating are encouraged to contact Carol Newbold (Teaching & Learning Development Adviser, Teaching Centre) to register their interest in attending.

Posted in CPD

Equality and diversity for academics

ecuEquality and diversity are increasingly central considerations in all of the decisions we make and the actions we take as Loughborough University staff. The Equality Challenge Unit (which promotes equality and diversity across Higher Education) has created a specific set of resources for use by academic staff; this includes a briefing document regarding the legal context and a set of accessible checklists espousing effective practice in research, learning and teaching undertakings with our undergraduate and postgraduate students, their representatives and our colleagues:

  • The legal framework: England, Wales – “domestic and European legislation relating to equality and human rights provides the context within which teaching and learning are delivered”
  • Inclusive practice – “recognises the diversity of students, enabling all students to access course content, fully participate in learning activities and demonstrate their knowledge and strengths at assessment”
  • Pastoral care – “Academic staff have a crucial role to play in providing pastoral support, being best placed to observe behaviour in the learning environment that might indicate a student is in need of support”
  • Promoting good relations – “Academic staff have a role to play in promoting good relations in the design and delivery of courses, and in the relationships they build with students”

It is worth noting that these materials are eminently transferable to other roles within this institution and across our sector, and that equality and diversity undertakings and obligations are not just limited to academic staff.

In addition to the Designing for Inclusivity Staff Development session delivered in conjunction with the Teaching Centre, colleagues will also be interested in other Staff Development courses in this area which include the online Diversity in the Workplace activity, which is a very useful refresher course, as well as the mandatory Respecting Diversity workshop for all staff.

Employability in Action: Friday 15th March 10.00am – 4.30pm

This event, which is aimed primarily at supporting undergraduate teaching initially, has the following aims:

  • To highlight the existing work that is going on across campus to develop tailored employability materials and work related modules
  • To share best practice among academic colleagues and staff of the Careers and Employability Centre
  • To facilitate discussion about the delivery of employability content within or alongside the curriculum

Intended outcomes from the day include:

  • The development of an employability framework for the University
  • A forum to share discussion and examples of best practice
  • Guidance information from the Careers and Employability Centre to support academic activity around employability

The event will take place from 10.00 – 16.30 and is free to attendees. It will give you the opportunity to find out what support is available to you, to learn about what is already happening on campus and to provide you with the opportunity to discuss the employability agenda. You are welcome to attend for all or part of the day.

Please register online at: http://lboroemployabilityinaction.eventbrite.co.uk 

If you are unable to do so, please direct your enquiries to:

Yvonne Hamblin, Employability Development Manager, Careers and Employability Centre,

E: y.c.hamblin@lboro.ac.uk

T: (01509) 222078