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Leading Transformation in Learning and Teaching 13

County / Region
Position on the Pathway
Excellence in practice
Fellowship Category
All Fellowship Categories
Event Type
Development Programmes
Start Date
End Date
2 days (module one of three)
Institution Type
Higher Education
Price From


Leading Transformation in Learning and Teaching (designed jointly by the Leadership Foundation and the Higher Education Academy) is the leadership programme to develop, enhance or transform learning and teaching programmes and courses in higher education. The process by which university programmes are transformed, or freshly developed, to meet new needs, expectations and demands will be the main theme.

The key to successful transformation is:

++ Engaging leadership
++ Teamwork
++ Effective collaboration

These will be some of the major areas covered on the programme alongside transformational change processes and an exploration of the main drivers for change in Higher Education. The kinds of change challenges participants may be tackling could include: employability; internationalisation; digital literacy; moving from modularisation to different approaches. This programme will help to provide solutions via new approaches.  

Aims and objectives

Leading Transformation in Learning and Teaching aims to support participants to develop the skills, approaches and insights needed to lead course and programme teams through processes of transformation and innovation.

By the end of the full programme, participants will have had the opportunity to:

Share experiences of academic leadership in the specific context of learning and teaching (via Module One)
Consider the nature and forms of pedagogical transformation and innovation, and what makes it work (via Module One)
Understand what makes for success in collaborative change processes (via Module One)
Explore ways of motivating and inspiring academic colleagues (via Module Two)
Learn from current good practice in engaging students in curriculum development (via Module Two)  
Carry out a Transformation Pilot initiative in their own institutional setting, with support from other participants on the programme (via Module Three and action-learning sets)

Why do the programme?

This programme will provide the opportunity for a more extended learning experience interspersed with time for both reflection and the application of ideas. The full programme builds towards a Transformation Pilot, a project of your own undertaken back in your own institution with the support of a third one-day workshop (Module Three) and two facilitated on-line action-learning sets. This highly applied approach is also supported by a Reflection and Action Planning Booklet that follows the course structure, provides a framework for recording actions, reflections and intentions, and suggests further reading and resources. With the support of your insitution this can provide a very strong piece of evidence to build towards an application for professional recognition against Descriptor 3 of the UK Professional Standards Framework.

Who should apply

This programme has been developed for Course Directors, Programme Leaders, Assistant Heads of Department, Taught Course Directors, Departmental Directors of Teaching, and Associate Deans Learning and Teaching. Leaders of large teaching modules going through significant transformation and those responsible for leading learning and teaching development at the level of academic departments, schools or faculties will also find that the Leading Transformation in Learning and Teaching will be of support throughout their thinking and planning.

The focus of the programme is about taking a holistic approach to curriculum design at degree programme level.


Three modules held over three months, plus an action learning set where you will be given the opportunity to start considering a work-based transformation pilot in your own institution with support from other participants on the programme.

The modules are:
++ Module one: Getting started;
++ Module two: Getting going; and
++ Module three: Going forward.

Module 1 - Getting started

Leading Quality Enhancement
Leading through Collaboration and Inquiry (live case study)
This module will begin with an initial exploration of academic leadership as regards learning and teaching, types of innovation and transformational change. It will continue with deep engagement with a live case study on the second day using a toolkit of methods and groupwork. The live case study will be with a team of colleagues from an institution currently (or recently) going through a major collaborative change process on a teaching programme. This module will conclude with an examination of key relationships and processes in institutions and how these can be influenced and leveraged to achieve programme development goals.

The toolkit used in this module brings to life in vivid terms the critical stages of a transformation initiative and the key leadership questions at each point. Beginning with capturing the strategic landscape and reviewing from all angles the drivers for change, the toolkit moves on to a series of powerful steps:

Analysing stakeholders
Identifying key points of influence
Planning the development milestones

Module Two – Getting Going

Leading Engagement and Challenge
The focus of this module will be:

Picking up the discussions, methods and techniques from the first module the group will develop the theme of ‘full-engagement’ – how to engage colleagues, students and other stakeholders, internal and external, peers and seniors, in both course development and ongoing review. This will include both stories of student engagement and new perspectives on curriculum design.
For those undertaking the full programme (all three modules plus action-learning), participants will be given the opportunity to start considering a work-based transformational initiative of their own to be carried out over subsequent months. This can be a new or ongoing challenge and participants will start developing a proposal for this piece of work during Module Two.

Module Three – Going Forward 

This module will focus primarily on supporting the progress and impact of the Transformation Pilots. Working in action-learning sets will be a key part of this module and the participants will have the opportunity to meet again on-line with the support of their facilitator on two further occasions over the following three months.

“Action learning is a practical and dynamic way to learn, reflect and bring about change 
with support from colleagues”
Butler and Leach, 2011

The core principle of action-learning is that participants describe, reflect upon and resolve their own work challenges with support from colleagues in a fluid ‘question and answer’ learning environment. On Leading Transformation in Learning and Teaching, action-learning sets are used alongside other types of development in a ‘blended way’ to help enhance quality and impact.

Across Leading Transformation in Learning and Teaching there will be an over-arching emphasis on networking, sharing ideas and experiences and building professional relationships.

Throughout the programme the attention of participants will be drawn to the rich range of resources available from both the Leadership Foundation and the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and their networks. This includes the thematic and discipline-specific resources available through the Resources Centre on the Higher Education Academy website.


The outcomes and benefits of participating on Leading Transformation in Learning and Teaching will be at three levels: 

Personal benefits:

Increased practical and critical understanding of academic leadership and collaborative change in the context of learning and teaching
Greater confidence in engaging with, influencing and motivating colleagues to contribute productively towards new course development and delivery
An enhanced awareness of strengths - individual participants can develop further both in themselves and others as they grow as leaders in higher education

Professional benefits:

A practical toolkit of methods, techniques, facilitation aids and resources for leading the process of transformation or programme development from understanding the strategic landscape through to influencing others and creative problem solving:

++ A fresh perspective on curriculum design, the impact of taking an inclusive and collaborative approach, and the changing role of the academic leader
++ A network of contacts with others in the sector facing similar opportunities and challenges
Experience of undertaking a transformation initiative within the supportive framework of the programme and with an ongoing professional dialogue
++ A structured basis for seeking recognition against Descriptor 3 of the UK Professional Standards Framework through the Academy’s accreditation scheme (particularly if you already have recognition against Descriptor 2 – Fellow HEA). To enable this participant’s will be provided with a Reflection and Action Planning Booklet that follows the course structure, provides a framework for recording actions, reflections and intentions, suggests further reading and resources, and if well-kept and compiled creates the basis for applying for professional recognition

Institutional benefits:

Growing as a leader for the institution in the key area of learning and teaching transformation and development, and also potentially the development of colleagues
Progression of a transformation initiative that will produce a clear outcome for the institution and its learning and teaching portfolio/resources
Methods and approaches for future projects and ideas to share with colleagues


Duration: One two-day residential module, two one-day modules and an action learning set, over four months.

Designed for: Programme Leaders, Course Directors, Senior Lecturers and Principal Lecturers.