The Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Institutions, Academics, and the Assessment of Prior Experiential Learning

The Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Institutions, Academics, and the Assessment of Prior Experiential Learning

The Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Institutions, Academics, and the Assessment of Prior Experiential Learning

The Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Institutions, Academics, and the Assessment of Prior Experiential Learning

Synopsis

The Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILT) was launched in 1999 as a result of the recommendations of the Dearing committee. It is the only national body in the world which promotes the quality of teaching and learning in higher education. This book has four purposes: * to provide the background story to the evolution and establishment of the ILT * to document the central role of the assessment of prior learning (APL) * to support the institutions and individuals who are moving to engage with the ILT and in particular take the APL route for the first time * to speculate on the possible consequences of the ILT itself and APL within it. The ILT is a professional membership organisation which is open to all institutions and academics. This book will be of interest to all those who teach and support learning in higher education.

Excerpt

No students, no universities, no colleges.

And yet historically, the road to academic acclaim, financial reward and preferment has not lain through excellence in the practice of teaching or the management of learning, but through achievement in research. As someone put it to the Review Committee I chaired to advise on the future development of higher education in the UK: 'Staff talk of the teaching load and the research opportunity'.

There has been a disjunction between the rewards system for faculty and the needs of the student. Some years ago, as the Chairman of the Funding Council for Higher Education in England, I put it to the vice-chancellors that they led the only profession I could recall that does not cherish and develop its professionalism through a professional institute, an institute owned not by employers but by the members of the profession. That thought remained with me during the work of the Review Committee and was reflected in the recommendation for the creation of an Institute for Learning in Higher Education. Alongside that we also recommended that the profession of teaching should rank equally with research in the rewards system. Without that reality not much would happen.

A Foreword is not the place for a development of the arguments, but since this book is concerned with the assessment of prior learning as well as with the Institute, it is relevant to add that assessment is central to the professionalism of the teacher, and the challenge is most obvious in the assessment of prior learning, both in terms of equity for the student and the safeguarding of the standing of awards. A student can escape a poor teacher, but not a bad marker, who is not only a threat to the student, but to the credibility of the rewards system itself. In a society committed to the practice of Lifelong Learning we must recognise prior learning and develop the techniques for its assessment.

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