The past 24 hours have seen a couple of good pieces of news for learning & teaching in my neck of the woods.
This morning, the Guardian produced its new league tables for UK universities, with our School moving to 7th spot, in part on the back of our excellent student satisfaction. To see how our hard work has paid off with this sort of recognition is most gratifying and a real credit to the work of the team. While we have not specifically targeted league tables in our work, it does help us to see that it has a value beyond the intrinsic benefits to our students. It has also underlined the importance of integrating our individual efforts in order to provide an experience that is internally reinforcing and supportive for students.
Indeed, this last point was a key part of our discussions yesterday at a School ‘awayday’, where we were trying to reflect on how ‘good learning & teaching’ is understood by students, by us (as teachers) and by the university. This really helped to open up debate on the different priorities that each group has and the tensions and possibilities which those open up. I’ll come back to those points here in the next few weeks.
However, instead of that, today I’ll share my other news, which is that I am moving to a new post here at Surrey. From September I will become Associate Dean for Learning & Teaching for the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences (yes, I will need a big business card). This will mean taking responsibility for all of the L&T work in the Faculty, supporting both quality assurance and quality enhancement agendas and working more closely with the University.
For me it’s a real opportunity to take some of the great experiences that have been developed here in Politics out to other groups, and to get to work on the more generic issues of learning & teaching. I’ll still be keeping a research foot in the School and I’ll still be contributing here, so I’m not lost to you (however you might feel about that): indeed, I think that this blog has been a good example of what can be achieved when a group of like-minded and motivated individuals decide to make a push. So thanks go to all of you for participating in this.
And with that, I will away, to consider innovative ways to deal with the piles of marking on my desk.