Getting Stuck: On Threshold Concepts

Why do some students get stuck on particular disciplinary concepts? Why is it that this difficulty is sometimes encountered when the concepts seem perfectly straightforward to us as their teachers, or when other students in the same cohort  grasp them with ease? Investigating this question in the context of an ESRC funded project on Enhancing…

Student Engagement

Our meeting on the 11th March 2016 addresses the topic of student engagement, something of a buzzword in recent years.  The focus will be on whether and to what extent the concepts of ‘student engagement’ and ‘disengagement’ help us to understand the complex factors underpinning current concerns in teaching and learning in higher education. The…

What Is Deep Learning? Part II: Critique

As the reading for this session outlines, critiques of the concept of “deep learning” that have emerged since the 1990s have been few and far between, but no less insightful for it. Central to their arguments  is the claim that the principles of deep and surface learning have been so seductive  –  and politically timely…

What Is Deep Learning? Part I: Seminal Texts

The association of the word deep with the word learning is pervasive in higher education: it is ubiquitous in the research literature, it crops up in the delivery of teaching courses, in conversations  about learning effectiveness and in institutional consultation and policy documents.  It is a pairing of words that is normally used to denote learning that is somehow…