Learning and Teaching Strategy
This strategy sets out the University's commitment to providing all students with an outstanding higher education experience which equips them for success in personal aspirations and wider contribution to society beyond graduation.
It was developed through a cycle of consultations with staff and students across the institution and reflects our values and the opportunities and challenges of a changing world.
- the development of the whole person, respecting and nurturing the inherent dignity and potential of each individual
- the integration of excellent teaching, research and knowledge exchange
- the power of higher education to enrich individuals, communities and nations
- our friendly, inclusive and professional community of students and staff, preparing individuals to contribute to a just and sustainable future.
The Learning and Teaching Strategy underpins the University Strategic Framework 2015-2020 which supports the mission inspired by our Church of England foundation, 'to pursue excellence in higher education; transforming individuals, creating knowledge, enriching communities and building a sustainable future.'
It aims to meet the following purposes:
- Recognises that the CCCU learning community is interconnected with local, national and international workplaces and global challenges and aims to produce graduates able and equipped to contribute to these wider social purposes.
- Aspires to provide an inclusive learning community which recognises the diversity of our staff, students, disciplines and campuses and aims to provide an equitable learning experience across these differences.
- Continues to enhance academic excellence in learning, teaching and assessment as a partnership between staff and students and recognises the scholarship of learning and teaching as a core foundation for excellence.
- Provide flexible and responsive learning environments to enable effective learning to take place in a wide variety of physical and virtual spaces supported by up-to-date learning technologies where appropriate.
The strategy is informed by the cross-cutting themes of Employability, Internationalisation, Widening Access, Inclusion and Particpation, Sustainability, Partnerships and Community, and Technology. It sits beside and informs the key underpinning strategies: Research and Knowledge Exchange, People, Finance and Estate.
The development of a vibrant learning community of staff and students in which outstanding learning, teaching and assessment practice plays a key role in providing a first class higher education experience and excellent outcomes, underpinned by and contributing to research and knowledge exchange and shaping the physical, social and spiritual environment of the University.
Principles underlying the University Learning and Teaching Strategy
There are nine Principles underlying the Strategy which provide a foundation for strategic actions to be decided at all levels of the University. They are intended to provide a starting point for discussions regarding priorities and commitment to resources and activities designed to deliver the outcomes inherent in the vision. They have been designed to be flexible enough to promote the diversity of expression, and strong enough to guide interpretation back to the intention of the strategy.
The Principles can be re-ordered or re-arranged to encourage discussion and creative responses.
- The University recognises that learning is at the core of all of our activity and that learning takes place within and outside of the taught curriculum, contributing to a first class higher education experience and excellent outcomes.
- Recognises that the CCCU learning community is interconnected with local, national and international workplaces and global challenges.
- We will work towards co-creating a place with a clear centre and purpose but with permeable boundaries open for creative exchange between any combination of staff and students and the wider community.
- The University’s learning community should be a place in which students and staff become co-creators of understanding, co-producers of learning; partners in a shared praxis of reason and reflection.
- The University is a place where everybody’s potential is recognised and nurtured through a combination of support and challenge.
- Our learning communities should provide spaces of belonging and return, where life-long friendships are nourished.
- For all members of our learning community, learning extends beyond subject disciplines, developing individuals able and equipped for living and contributing to wider social purposes.
- The learning community should provide a safe space for challenge and transformation, places to learn how to think and to be able to distinguish a good from a poor argument.
- There should be opportunities within curricular and extra-curricular and work-based activities for expected and unexpected learning to take place.
- We work together to promote wellbeing and resilience for all our members and partners, exploring and engendering understanding of equality, diversity and inclusivity.
- We encourage the development of a sense of wonder, the quest for knowledge, love of neighbour and a commitment to a sustainable future.
- We recognise that student representation, engagement and partnership have important roles in improving the student experience and delivering an excellent education and outcomes.
- We will continue to value student/staff partnerships building a vibrant learning community where we are co-creators of understanding, co-constructers of curricula and co-producers of knowledge.
- Partnership with students underpins the entire student learning journey from pre-arrival to graduation and beyond.
- Graduate employability and global citizenship for a sustainable future should be key characteristics of a CCCU graduate at every level.
- Our learning, teaching, assessment and student support and engagement practices should provide opportunities for all students to reach their potential in life, work or other aspiration, regardless of individual characteristics, background or location.
- Our specialist support services will inform, educate and complement inclusive practice within the delivery of learning, teaching and assessment.
- All parts of the University system should contribute to easing the transition between levels of study from Foundation to postgraduate.
- Access to learning opportunities and support for learning should increasingly be delivered 24/7 in our physical and virtual environments to meet the needs of local, national and international students at all levels.
- We will support students to become responsible for their own part in learning through developing confidence and capability in questioning, developing and challenging arguments and constructing their view of the world.
- Students and staff are encouraged to use technology and a wide range of digital media to maximise and support learning.
- The University will utilise analysis of student data to inform strategies for success for individuals and groups at institution and programme levels.
- Maximising potential for learning, living and contributing must be at the heart of all our teaching and assessment practices.
- Students’ experience of learning, teaching and assessment should be stimulating and delivered by staff committed to their subject area and underpinned, as far as possible by research involved and research informed teaching as well as future social and employment needs.
- We remain committed to supporting the development of all staff involved in supporting learning ensuring that their practice is evidence-based, informed by scholarship in HE learning and teaching and employs up-to-date learning tools and technologies.
- We expect all staff involved in supporting and enhancing learning to engage in professional learning as an individual and collective enterprise within a robust development framework.
- The development of innovative learning and teaching pedagogies, particularly those mediated by technology, will be encouraged.
- The University rewards excellence in learning and teaching and assessment and this will be reflected through a clear progression route for all staff involved in supporting and enhancing learning, teaching and assessment.
- Building expertise in curriculum design is essential to deliver the University’s ambitions for a first class higher education experience and excellent outcomes for all students.
- All new curricula should demonstrate clearly how the learning, teaching and assessment strategy supports the inclusion and success of diverse student groups, accessibility, graduate employability, internationalisation and social and environmental responsibility.
- Curricula should encourage asking deep questions, accepting uncertainty and challenging accepted thinking through excellent learning, teaching and assessment strategies.
- Curricula should develop a quest for knowledge and understanding through creating, testing and communication of ideas using inter-relationships within and beyond the programme.
- Curricula design should take into account the need for increasingly flexible modes of delivery.
- Curricula should be informed by research and involve the students in the creation of research.
- Curricula should enable students to gain the experience, skills and attributes necessary to shape their own future and success and which fully prepares them for a future we cannot clearly describe.
- Initiatives to support graduate employability should be embedded in curricula, relevant to programme and delivered by programme staff, supported by employability experts.
- Where appropriate, employers should contribute to curriculum development, teaching, learning and assessment.
- Staff involved in all parts of the student learning journey should collaborate with each other, students and employers to develop a range of national and international opportunities to maximise graduate employability.
- International perspectives should inform and be made explicit in every curriculum area in order to foster global citizenship and commitment to a sustainable future.
- International perspectives are equally relevant for home and overseas students to support their development as global citizens and understanding of diversity and inclusion.
- Curriculum content should challenge cultural bias and stereotyping.
- Choice and use of learning, teaching and assessment strategies should be mindful of culture and seek to include all students.
- Curriculum design should include the opportunity for an international experience.
- All learning environments (i.e. physical, virtual etc) are designed to support and sustain individual and/or collective learning pathways.
- New physical environments should be designed for deep and active learning with maximum flexibility and where possible, reflect future workplaces.
- Infrastructure and systems are required to be robust to support different approaches to learning.
- There should be consistency across the student experience while celebrating cultural diversity within our different learning communities and contexts.