This blog was originally posted on the former Higher Education Academy website.
Being part of a growing community of teaching practice
I have found the experience of being part of a growing community of teaching practice to be an absolute pleasure over the last 5 years, both in terms of connecting with colleagues in my own institution around teaching and student experience, or with colleagues across the sector at conferences, steering groups and through other outward facing activities. I find that the Professional Standards Framework brings people together in a common interest and focus on teaching.
Since becoming a Senior Fellow, the impact of professional recognition has given me increased confidence in my own teaching and more scope and influence with which to take a lead on growing a fellowship community within my own organisation.
Over the last 18 months I have developed a peer assisted approach to supporting staff to develop successful fellowship applications. I provide regular information, writing events and action learning set activities for staff applying for Associate, Fellow and Senior Fellow applications. To develop training materials I have interviewed staff successful across all fellowship categories. This has made me much more aware of the diverse ways in which academic and professional staff support student learning as well as those that teach. My interactions with colleagues and students indicate that some aspects of teaching are remarkably similar across all disciplines. This convinces me of the value of maintaining a regular dialogue across disciplines and institutions to find ways to improve teaching and student experience.
Leading on staff training helps my institution to meet its targets for the proportion of staff with a recognised teaching qualification; it is also helping me to work towards Principal Fellowship by demonstrating effective strategies for supporting others to improve their teaching. But perhaps for me the greatest gain is seeing the fruits of my efforts through these activities to encourage colleagues – when I see their confidence grow and they achieve success in their applications and promotion to more senior positions within my organisation. Furthermore the process of getting colleagues to interact with the Framework by sharing case studies to demonstrate impact on student learning regularly inspires me and reveals fantastic practice within a valued wider learning community that might easily not otherwise be shared.
Find out more about Fellowship.