The third and final day of Advance HE’s Teaching and Learning Conference 2021: Teaching in the Spotlight: What is the Future for HE Curricula? was introduced by Professor Helen O’Sullivan, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Chester and an Advance HE board member. The theme of day was, 'The future for inclusive assessment and feedback approaches'.
In her opening remarks, Professor O’Sullivan set the scene, reflecting on the challenges of the past year, “the impact on physical elements such as coursework, lab sessions; the rapidly changing assessment methods and strategies and what we can learn from that; and, importantly, the curriculum and how we design learning support equality, inclusion and diversity in the virtual world. So what is the future for higher education in the curricula? Has the urgency for digital learning caused a seismic shift in HE learning? Have inequalities in higher education narrowed or have new ones emerged?”
Professor Charles Egbu, Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University, delivered the keynote address: 'Accelerating potential, hybrid curricula, inclusive assessment and employability'. He linked these connections to show what needed to be done “to transform their [students'] lives and provide opportunities to go and get jobs in public service, in the private or the third sector, or where they choose to find themselves to improve their careers.”
He shared this definition of inclusive assessment – which also served to illustrate his point of the centrality of values in determining the way we work and move forward.
His compelling address drew together a number of considerations and factors: ‘the thoughtful integration of in-person and digital’; thinking about the rules of learning spaces to develop students' confidence; constraints in terms of access to digitalisation, even when provided with technology; ensuring that assessment is inclusive, and to consider the roles of student choice and voice; and of embedding employability within the curriculum and through the region.
His concluding slide, “Connections for confidence” illustrated this approach:
Advance HE’s Teaching Learning Conference 2021 has attracted 450 delegates over the three days. Dr Celia Brigg, Advance HE Associate Director Conferences and Events, said, “We were delighted to bring together delegates from around the world to this fantastic online space to explore a wide range of areas in teaching and learning, including teaching excellence, fees, value, the student experience, inclusion, equality and impact – all of which are under huge scrutiny.
“We had lots of very rich debate which I hope will play its part in supporting the development of good practice and enhanced approaches to teaching and learning, particularly at a time when we look to the implications and practice of delivering a first class ‘hybrid higher’ student experience.”
“We already looking forward to welcoming delegates to our ‘Teaching and Learning Conference 2022’, 5-7 July.”
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