Key Facts

Course Title: Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Course type: MA
Mode of Study:Part Time
Contact Details:Rachel Rettinger
Contact email:r.l.rettinger@keele.ac.uk
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Subject Area: Education

Overview

Keele's MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is a part-time programme aimed at developing confident HE educators equipped with a contemporary range of skills, attitudes and a theoretical knowledge base to take part in the active development of teaching and learning praxis in Higher Education.

The programme is part of the University's offer to academic staff in relation to their CPD for developing a scholarly approach to learning and their contribution to the scholarship of teaching and learning. It is designed and delivered to meet the needs of students as learners and as employees of the HE sector; this is evidenced by the linkage between the programme and associated awards.

The programme combines core practice in HE teaching with level 7 critical study and is benchmarked to sector-wide practice. It is distinctive owing to the practical and timely relevance of the programme’s content and delivery to each participant's professional development goals and work.

Keele University’s award of MA Learning and Teaching in Higher Education involves the completion of four 30 credit modules and one 60-credit modules as follows:

Year 1) 2 x 30 credits Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PGCert), 
Year 2) 2 x 30 credits Teaching and Learning with Technology (PGDip).

NB TaLwT also exists as a stand-alone PGCert.
Year 3) 1 x 60 credits Action Research (MA)

Together, these provide a part-time programme that meets the continuing professional development needs of teachers in higher education across disciplines.  Drawing on the principles of reflective practice, each module focuses on a different aspect of the business of teaching in higher education:

-    the nature of learning and teaching (PGCert)
-    the use of information and communication technology in teaching (TaLwT)
-    conducting research into one’s own and institutional practice (AR).

Aims of the Course

The Higher Education Funding Council for England requires that all HEIs provide appropriately accredited training provision for classroom teachers; the TLHEP is Keele’s central programme of such provision.

The programme is mainly for people who are new to teaching in Higher Education, although some participants have substantial prior teaching experience, which they are seeking to consolidate through this programme.  Participants include full-time lecturers, teaching and research fellows, research students who teach, and part-time teaching staff from across all disciplines.  With these different backgrounds, participants are encouraged to apply general themes and theory to their specific teaching contexts and to learn from each other. 

The programme also provides a platform on which candidates can build, at their own pace and in a variety of directions, a continuing professional development portfolio.

By the end of the programme, participants should be able to demonstrate through evidenced reflection and critical discussion their ability to:

  1. Design and plan student learning activities and/or programmes of study, including the appropriate use of learning technology, to achieve the intended learning outcomes
  2. Teach (i.e. support student learning) by using methods evaluated to be appropriate to the subject and the level of the academic programme, based on a critical evaluation of current understandings of how students learn, both generally and in the subject
  3. Assess student work, and give feedback on it, to promote learning, consistent with institutional requirements and guidelines
  4. Develop an effective and supportive learning environment, including individual guidance, in a way that respects students equally as individual, autonomous learners while recognizing and promoting the value of their diversity
  5. Integrate with their teaching their scholarship, research and/or professional activities, and the implications of the ethical, quality assurance and quality enhancement contexts
  6. Evaluate reflectively the effectiveness of their own practice, and continue their own professional development while contributing to a learning community of teachers.

Entry Requirements

For each of the component modules/course, you need to be teaching in a higher education institution or equivalent (as a new lecturer, Teaching Fellow, GTA, PhD student, part-time teaching staff, member, or in an academic related role), have at least a first degree, and for the PGCert have a teaching mentor (allocated by your line manager) from your institution who can provide support and discussion as you proceed through the programme. Participants must also have the active support of their Head of School or line manager.

The programme is open to external as well as internal participants, on condition that they have the appropriate line manager agreement and support.  Mentors for external candidates are provided by the host institution and must fulfil the same criteria for selection as Keele mentors (that is, they will normally be TLHEP graduates and/or Fellows of the HEA).  External mentors are provided with training and take part in second marking (of external candidates’ work, as appropriate) in the same way as internal Keele mentors.

Participants must normally complete both modules 1 and 2 in order to graduate with the PG Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PGCert LTHE).

Exceptions to this requirement are made subject to a successful application for accredited prior learning (APL). University policy makes a distinction between APEL and APCL, and in this case the kind of prior learning that can normally be accredited is prior certified learning (APCL).  

Course Content

Year 1 – PGCert (indicative modules)

Module 1: EDU-40086 Teaching Reflectively in Higher Education (Semester 1)
Module 2: EDU-40090 Design and Development in Higher Education (Semester 2)

Participants usually commence the MA studying two modules in one year, Teaching Reflectively in HE and Design and Development in HE. Together these offer a foundation in the practice theory and praxis of classroom teaching in different HE contexts. These two modules have been mapped to the UK Professional Standards Framework and successful completion of both allows participants to be awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

Participants may also elect to leave the programme with the exit award of postgraduate certificate in Teaching and Learning in HE.

Module 1, EDU-40086 ‘Teaching Reflectively in Higher Education’

This module instils principles and techniques of reflective practice in the day-to-day business of teaching in higher education.  On completion of the module, you should be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate your own teaching including use of appropriate approaches, technologies and methods
  2. Explain your teaching-related decisions based on an understanding of how students learn
  3. Critically evaluate your approach to developing an effective learning environment and giving feedback to learners
  4. Demonstrate, through discussion of your teaching, your understanding and commitment to promoting equality and respect for diversity
  5. Constructively use feedback from learners and others to evaluate and develop your teaching

The module begins with an intensive full day block in September at the start of the academic year, before teaching starts. Subsequent weekly sessions include lectures, workshops and discussion, providing ongoing support for teaching and reflection on teaching.

Formative assessment tasks are assigned to accompany these sessions, some of which are private and reflective, while others involve collaboration and practical activity.   Peer observation and regular group discussion of critical incidents is an important part of the module.  Throughout the module, valuable support is provided by the participant’s mentor who will observe and discuss the participant’s teaching.  The participant’s assigned programme tutor will also observe their teaching, and help construct the formatively assessed action plan. 

Module 2, EDU-40090 ‘Design and Development in Higher Education’

This module helps teachers bring their teaching practice (skills, knowledge and values) up to level 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework.  They do this by developing a critical rationale for practice in the context of both general and discipline-specific educational theory, communities of practice, a range of policy contexts. On completion of the module, you should be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate your design of modules and/or programmes based on an understanding of relevant policy and theory
  2. Critically evaluate your assessment-related decisions based on an understanding of relevant policy and theory
  3. Explain how a discipline-specific approach to pedagogy has informed your design and practice of teaching and assessment
  4. Constructively discuss the implications of quality assurance and other policy contexts for learning and teaching
  5. Constructively use a range of methods and rationales to evaluate and develop your teaching

The module is delivered through one full-day block and a number of weekly sessions.  The full day block before the start of Semester 2 teaching covers issues of Design, Assessment and Evaluation, including: Module and Course design, Assessment, Constructive Alignment, Using ICT in module and course design, Evaluation.

Subsequent weekly sessions (lectures and workshops) cover a range of policy-related topics which in past years have included: higher education for sustainable development, understanding student diversity, problem-based-Learning, discipline-specific teaching and design, writing critically and reflectively.

A full day of discipline-specific presentations, addressing the formative assessment criteria for this module, takes place in March.

Year 2 – TaLwT (indicative modules)

Module 1: EDU-40093 Technology Enhanced Learning (Semester 1)
Module 2: EDU-40092 Technology Project (Semester 2)

The Diploma stage of the MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education programme comprises two core modules, Technology Enhanced Learning and EDU- 40093, Learning Technology Project. The module explores contemporary theory, practice and tensions involved in teaching and learner support using social media, virtual and managed learning environments, assistive and mobile technology and classroom ICT.

Module EDU- 40092, Learning Technology Project, is a course which extends and consolidates the learning on Technology Enhanced Learning by exploring the application of technology to teaching practice.

Participants may elect to leave the programme with the exit award a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Year 3 – Action Research

EDU-40017 Action Research Dissertation

The capstone module of the MA in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education is the 60 credit Action Research dissertation. Participants spend a semester exploring educational research practices and methods as training for their own study. They determine a project for investigation, independently or collaboratively with colleagues and/or students using Action Research as the underpinning philosophy or methodology. Projects are all required to follow University of Keele ethical procedures.

Teaching and Assessment

How is the Programme taught?

Students study on the programme part-time. The learning methods below are selected and used to support students to meet the stated learning outcomes by providing a balance of independent, supported study with choice in relation to topics of relevance and importance to individuals’ teaching contexts, and  the provision of dialogic development of skills and knowledge through peer and expert support.

Learning methods include: Seminars and Workshops; Observations and Supervised Practice; Web-based learning using KLE/Blackboard; Group work and peer support; Project supervision and Directed independent study.

Throughout the period of study on the programme or on an associated award, participants are assigned a named tutor who offers a regular infrastructure of meetings through-out each participant’s study period.

Assessment

There are two main methods of assessment within modules and across the programmes and awards. Firstly, the creation of either authentic teaching tools or teaching  portfolios both of which are produced to demonstrate

professional practice and incorporate critical and reflective practice in and on action and structured evaluation. Secondly, the submission of an account of a project designed,  executed and evaluated to demonstrate the theoretical interrogation and practical development of an aspect of the participants’ professional activity with due regard  for appropriate academic, ethical, and professional considerations.

The assessment methods are used to test students’ achievement of the module and programme learning outcomes. They have been selected for authenticity in relation to the approaches that are most commonly used by HE educators to maintain and develop their professional practice for continuing professional development and for recognition and reward. Each encourages an open, discursive and reflective approach to professional development and teaching practice.

Formative assessment opportunities are structured into each component module of the programme and associated awards. Formative assessment may or may not be formally marked (although for those studying on the first module, EDU-40086, Teaching Reflectively in Higher Education, there is a supportive schedule of expected submission dates  for formative work that will later comprise the summative  portfolio submission).

Specific assessment requirements are as follows:

PGCert:

Teaching Reflectively in Higher Education (30 credits) - Portfolio of approx. 5000-6000 words comprising reflective pieces, records of observations, short discursive essays

Design and Development in Higher Education (30 credits)  - Essay of 4500-5000 words comprising critical evaluation of module/programme design or innovation   

TaLwT:

Technology Enhanced Learning  (30 credits)   - Portfolio

Technology Project (30 credits) - 4500-5000 word essay comprising a critical evaluation of innovation in practice

Action Research Dissertation:

15000-20000 word dissertation/action research report.

Additional Costs

Additional costs for textbooks, inter-library loans, photocopying, printing, and potential overdue library fines.
No other additional costs for this postgraduate programme are anticipated.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

a)   
For accrediting prior learning, equivalent to the PGCert LTHE, in order to permit enrolment on other programmes

 

The basis for such accreditation would normally be the equivalent of the PGCert LTHE.  Applications must be made in the first instance to the Director of the programme that the applicant wishes to undertake, and discuss the evidence needed for such a case.  The application form is downloadable from the University website. On submission of this application with evidence, a sub-committee made up usually by the Programme Director and one or two members of the core teaching team will consider the case.  This consideration will involve examining the syllabus of the course undertaken to check equivalence in terms of both content and assessment.

Where the course in question is deemed to fall short of the PGCert LTHE, the sub-committee will require submission of whatever aspect of assessment (from the range of TLHEP assessment tasks) is considered not to have been met by this course/qualification.

In cases where the applicant has not followed an HEA-accredited course comparable to TLHEP, the benchmarks for APL (drawing in this case on non-certified prior learning) might be:

1. HEA fellowship, or

2. Demonstrable achievement and success in all the dimensions of the UKPSF including the areas of activity, core knowledge and professional values

3. Augmented in both cases by a 5000 piece of evaluative writing, taking the form of the summative assessment for Module 2 of the TLHEP. This would match the critically evaluative/reflective function of the TLHEP, which is not required for HEA fellowship (added together with the 5000 word doc required for individual fellowship, it would also bring the word count up to par).
 

b)    For accrediting prior learning to allow enrolment on TLHEP Module 2

The same principles apply in this case.  The basis for such accreditation would normally be the equivalent of Module 1 of the TLHEP. 

Applications must be made in the first instance to the Director of the TLHEP, and discuss the evidence needed for such a case.  On submission of this evidence, a sub-committee made up usually by the Director of the TLHEP and one of the members of the core teaching team will consider the case.  This consideration will involve examining the syllabus of the course undertaken to check equivalence in terms of both content and assessment.

Where the course in question is deemed to fall short of Module 1 of the TLHEP, the sub-committee will require submission of whatever aspect of assessment (from the range of TLHEP Module 1 assessment tasks) is considered not to have been met by this course/qualification.

In cases where the applicant has not followed an HEA-accredited course comparable to the TLHEP, the benchmarks for APL (drawing in this case on non-certified prior learning) might be HEA Associate Fellowship augmented by assignments from the range of TLHEP Module 1 assessment tasks.

Please click to download some MA Online Guidance Information which will assist you in the completion of the application form. 

You do not have to complete your application in one session. You will be able to save your application at any point in the process and return to it when you are ready to continue.
 
You may want to consider the supporting documentation that you will need to upload during the application process prior to commencing the application process. Please note that a decision on your application may be delayed if the relevant supporting documents are not received.
 
It is recommended that you apply at least a week before the start of the programme. Any applications submitted after the deadline may not be considered. 

 

Once you have completed your application via e: Vision, an email alert will be sent to the Programme Director, Programme Administrator and the LPDC main account. From there, your application will be reviewed by the Programme Director, and on the basis that all of the information provided is sufficient, and any supporting documents have been taken into consideration, then your application will be approved. A decision will be entered by the Programme Administrator/LPDC Admin Team through e: Vision, this will update the status of your application and confirm that you have been accepted. If we require further information in support of your application, you will be notified by email. Any correspondence in relation to the start of the module/programme will be emailed by the Programme Administrator, along with any supporting documents, such as, the Module Guide, Handbook, and Schedule.

 

 

If you experience any technical issues with the form, please contact: itservice@keele.ac.uk