Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
- Mode of study
- Part time
- Duration of Study
- Humanities and Social Sciences
- Sam Mottram
- Subject Area
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.
About the course
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 teaching. It is designed and delivered to meet the needs of students as learners and as employees of the HE sector.
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 module.
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, including: the nature of learning and teaching, the use of information and communication technology in teaching, and conducting research into one’s own and institutional practice.
Aims of the course
The Higher Education Funding Council for England requires that all HEIs provide appropriately accredited training provision for classroom teachers; the PGCert LTHE 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.
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 APL and APCL, and in this case the kind of prior learning that can normally be accredited is prior certified learning (APCL).
Year 1 – PGCert (indicative modules)
Teaching Reflectively in Higher Education and Design and Development in Higher Education.
Participants usually commence the MA studying the above two modules in one year. 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.
Year 2 – TaLwT (indicative modules)
Technology Enhanced Learning and a Technology Project
The Diploma stage of the MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education programme comprises two core modules, Technology Enhanced Learning and the 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. The 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 of a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
Year 3 – Action Research
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. Learning methods such as seminars and workshops; observations and supervised practice; web-based learning using KLE/Blackboard; group work and peer support; project supervision and directed independent study 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.
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.
There are two main methods of assessment within modules and across the programmes and awards: portfolios of reflective writing and essays. Both are produced to demonstrate professional practice and incorporate critical and reﬂective practice in and on action and structured evaluation.
The assessment methods encourage 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, 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).
Additional costs for textbooks, inter-library loans, photocopying, printing, and potential overdue library fines.
No other additional costs for this postgraduate programme are anticipated.
How to apply
Please click to download our Application Form.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
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 here. 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.
The Mentor’s Role
Teaching mentors are a crucial part of the PGCert LTHE programme. Mentors would normally be senior members of staff engaged in the science of learning and teaching in higher education, and institutional CPD. They should be able to discuss with new teaching staff how to translate general principles about teaching into the particular demands of the discipline and the context. Mentors need to be familiar with the PGCert programme and its requirements.
Newly appointed Lecturers are allocated Mentors by Heads of School. PGCert participants from other institutions need to have a mentor in their institution, and inform the course administrator. Please download our mentor agreement form, available here, and this should be submitted along with your application. In order to avoid conflicts of interest, Mentors cannot be the line manager of the person they are mentoring, their PhD supervisor or their Head of School.
Precise mentoring roles can and should vary according to the experience and needs of the people involved, and it is important that they discuss and agree on the nature of their relationship at an early stage. Mentoring should make candidates feel supported rather than ‘monitored’.
The following are aspects of the Mentor’s role:
- introducing the new person to University and School processes and procedures;
- providing guidance and support in relation to teaching and undertaking the PGCert;
- engaging in regular discussion about teaching, possibly using the PGCert participant’s portfolio as a basis for these;
- 2nd marking the summative work (portfolio, Semester 1; critical evaluation, Semester 2) of one candidate other than the person they are actually mentoring;
- providing hands-on support through potentially problematic experiences such as marking, or handling ‘difficult’ classes helping to arrange peer observations;
- giving formal and informal feedback on teaching;
- discussing course planning and assessment;
- advising participants of Module 2 about Discipline-specific teaching discourses and resources.
Part of the evidence provided by candidates of how they have addressed PGCert Module 1 intended learning outcomes (ILOs) is a report from the mentor, which is seen by the candidate. This report is based on the ILOs, with space for further comments.
The Mentor’s role in observing teaching:
Participants in Module 1 of the PGCert, Teaching Reflectively in Higher Education, are required to observe three colleagues teaching and to be observed teaching at least three times by a peer, in addition to once by a member of the PGCert teaching team (a total of at least four observations). One of these observations must be by the mentor. The participant should have the opportunity to learn from a more experienced colleague and observation can also help mentors become constructively involved in their mentee’s progress.