Improving Teaching and Learning: A Whole Institution Approach

Improving Teaching and Learning: A Whole Institution Approach

Improving Teaching and Learning: A Whole Institution Approach

Improving Teaching and Learning: A Whole Institution Approach

Synopsis

  • What are the aims of higher education?
  • What are the strategies necessary for institutional improvement?
  • How might the student experience be improved?
The emergence of the discourse around learning and teaching is one of the more remarkable phenomena of the last decade in higher education. Increasingly, universities are being required to pay greater attention to improving teaching and enhancing student learning. This book will help universities and colleges achieve these goals through an approach to institutional change that is well founded on both research and practical experience.

By placing learning at the centre of organizational change, this book challenges many of the current assumptions about management of teaching, supporting students, the separation of research and teaching, the use of information technology and quality systems. It demonstrates how trust can be restored within higher education while advancing the need for change based on principles of equity and academic values for students and teachers alike.

Improving Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is key reading for anyone interested in the development of teaching and learning in higher education, as well as policy makers.

Excerpt

In many countries there is renewed debate about the purposes of higher education, the respective contributions of various academic roles, the need for reflection on effective practices, the assurance of quality and realizable commitments to enhancement. Employability of graduates and the contributions which higher education can make to national (and international) economies are often powerful drivers behind governmental perspectives and those of the funders of institutions and the higher education sector.

From a different standpoint, academics and others fear a dangerous narrowing of purposes and a trend towards greater convergence of mission, notwithstanding the public rhetoric of a commitment to, even a desire to promote, institutional diversity. Massification, widening access and increased demands for accountability, along with globalization and the accelerating impact of communication technologies are all further complicating factors. In this context, traditional notions of what it means be a teacher in higher education are becoming increasingly disputed.

In this timely volume the authors enter this contested territory. By observing the classic academic tenets of thoughtful analysis and reflection, thorough research and referencing, and transparent and weighted evaluation, they have contributed to the dialogue about institutional change and the place of teaching in higher education. The volume deals with important topics. It seeks to inform discussions and practice. The authors aspire to inform and influence policies to create a development culture within higher education. So when you read the volume you should ask yourself, what aspects of my current policy and practice does this confirm and what, if anything, will I change? What will improve and enrich the learning experiences of students and how would I know?

George Gordon University of Strathclyde . . .

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