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Engaging learners: Any time? Any place? Anyhow?

This project explores how students’ sense of belonging is developed through socially constructed learning experiences and the challenge remote studying poses to student engagement.

This project explores the theme of student engagement following to move to remote and hybrid ways of working as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Students’ sense of belonging is developed through engaging and socially constructed learning experiences; this is a challenge that is further emphasised on a physically distanced campus. Research shows that students engage better through active learning (Healey, M., and Healey, R. 2019).  At this time of immense change where the sector has had to respond to many challenges, not least the wholesale migration of programmes online or into hybrid approaches, ensuring the active involvement of students in the learning process is critical. However, how can we ensure that engagement with content remains ‘optimal’? How can we support practical approaches? How do we ensure we offer low tech but high impact approaches that promote inclusivity for all? 

This project is an Advance HE member benefit and is open to colleagues at Advance HE member institutions. Information on Advance HE membership can be found via the link below. 

Advance HE membership - find out more

This project explores a variety of pedagogic approaches required for quality inclusive and equitable higher education. Under this theme we will explore practical solutions to promote active learning and engagement for all students - whether online or face-to-face and ways in which teaching teams and their leadership can be supported.

Those participating will have had the opportunity to: 

  1. Understand the need to ensure engagement becomes a focus point for delivery as we move to a new ‘normal’. This is a critical move from the reactive phase to the current pandemic and a need for proactive engagement with T&L. 
  2. Learn and explore how low tech high impact pedagogies can work for them within their disciplines.  
  3. Create personal accountability for action and encourage engagement with the toolkit by promoting a sector curated set of artefacts. 
  4. Consider and create learning activities that are truly inclusive and accessible to diverse learning groups. 
  5. Reflect on how to anticipate, influence and respond to the changing external environment. 
  6. Enhance capacity to positively influence strategy and policy through the adoption of evidence based approaches.  
  7. Recognise Programme Leaders as key stakeholders in student engagement approaches at their institutions and consider options for supporting them during the pandemic.
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Connect Coffee Break screencasts 

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Advance HE Connect Café Forum - Any time, Any place, Anyhow?

The forum will run via the Teaching and Learning network on Advance HE Connect and will provide a place for colleagues from member institutions to converse on the subject of engaging learners . Advance HE’s Stuart Norton, Catriona Bell and Jess Moody will engage within the forum and from 2-14 December, with elements being curated to inform a recorded ‘coffee break’. Stuart, Catriona and Jess will discuss key points emerging from the forum during the coffee break, with the recording being made available to all forum participants.

Join the forum
Advance HE Connect


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Related events, services and resources

Below you will find information on Advance HE services and resources which relate to the member benefits listed above. 

Student retention and success in higher education

Key projects, resources and ways you can connect with student retention

‘Retention’ is about students remaining in one HE institution and completing a programme of study. ‘Success’ recognises that students benefit from HE study in a wide range of ways, including personal development and progression into work and career or further learning.

We work in close partnership with institutions and sector bodies to enhance the student learning experience to improve retention and success.

Find out more
Developing Flexible Ecosytems Project
The reshaping of Higher Education and Research Institute strategy and culture project

Flexible learning in higher education

Key projects, resources and ways you can connect with flexible learning

Advance HE believes that flexible learning is about empowering students by offering them choices in how, what, when and where they learn: the pace, place and mode of delivery.

Flexible learning requires a balance of power between institutions and students, and seeks to find ways in which choice can be provided that is economically viable and appropriately manageable for institutions and students alike.

Find out more

How can we support Programme Leaders during a pandemic?

Dr Catriona Bell shares her reflections on how an Academic Leadership Programme has helped to support Scottish Programme Leaders during Covid-19. The programme team applied their key learning from this to develop a new online leadership programme that can offer support and development to Programme Leaders going forwards.

Read the blog
Online teaching
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Services to support student engagement 

The consultancy and enhancement services are designed to support student engagement. Advance He member institutions receive a 10% discount on these services. 

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Teaching Excellence Programme

Supporting, developing and inspiring excellence in teaching
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Teaching Skills Masterclasses

Developing the essential skills for teaching in HE
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Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE

For academic staff promoting a practice-based understanding of effective teaching
NET2020 Call for Abstracts

Enhancing Programme Leadership

Developing the skills and capabilities of leaders of teaching and learning
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Student surveys

UK Engagement Survey (UKES)

The UK Engagement Survey (UKES) is the only nationwide undergraduate survey to focus on student engagement. This year's survey measures the levels of engagement of UK undergraduates from February to June 2020.

Read the 2020 report

Student Academic Experience Survey (SAES)

The annual Advance HE-HEPI Student Academic Experience Survey shows how full-time undergraduate students rate their time in higher education and their attitudes towards policy issues that impact upon them. SAES has been designed and developed in partnership with the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and with interviews conducted independently by YouthSight.

Read the 2020 report
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Advance HE Connect

Advance HE Connect our online network that is open to all those who work in HE providing a space where the sector can share, connect and collaborate in one place with 20,000 HE peers from 100 countries around the globe. The platform features special interest groups, events and collaborative projects. 

Join or login now
Advance HE Connect
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Stay up-to-date

Our monthly newsletter contains the latest news from Advance HE, updates from around the sector, links to articles sharing knowledge and good practice and information on our services and upcoming events. Don't miss out, sign up to our newsletter now.

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