Equality or Quality? Developing an inclusive pedagogy in Higher Education

The expansion of higher education, together with the introduction of key disability legislation, has made it incumbent upon universities to ensure that their curricula, the teaching methods they employ and the expectations they have of student learning, do not unfairly discriminate against any particular student or group of students.  In the UK, a common terminology…

Thinking in Higher Education

“Critical thinking appears in university curricula, course outlines, and statements of graduate attributes, and yet there is both uncertainty about what it entails and passionate debate about its essential nature.” (Jones, p.169) Looking through lists of programme learning outcomes, one word often comes to the fore: ‘critical’. Across the full range of subject areas, from…

High Impact Practice: Improving Student Learning

Higher Education in the UK is catching on to a phenomenon that has preoccupied US Higher Education research for some time – assessment of the impact of tertiary study on progression in student learning.  More specifically, what is the learning gain, or the ‘value added dividend’, for a student if they decided to invest in…

Making Life Difficult: Testing to Improve Learning

It may sometimes feel – and be the case – that the nature and structure of modern higher education leads students to focus upon performance, and that we dedicate ourselves to teaching in ways that are designed, at least in part, to eventuate in short-term student achievement.  We, therefore, spend time finding ways to allow…