For many of us, one of the great opportunities of academic work is the ability to pursue an exciting research agenda, whilst sharing what we learn with our students. The challenging counterpoint to that opportunity is aligning and balancing our research with our teaching responsibilities.
As we pursue ambitious research goals, I know that colleagues can feel overwhelmed with their teaching workload and its associated administrative and compliance requirements. So a cornerstone of the learning and teaching framework must be to address those concerns, and ensure the sustainable delivery of our student learning outcomes and experiences.
My sense is that we can only do this by thinking holistically about our teaching and research, and taking a broader, student and learning-centric view of content, delivery and assessment. Our research can, and should, inspire our students – but it’s easy to forget that whilst many students may share our interest in the subject matter, it may not be their core pursuit. Our job is to inspire a passion for learning, as much as it is to build enthusiasm for our disciplines.
Is it possible for our students to learn more, whilst our staff works less in their teaching? I think so – but only if we focus on what students learn, rather than on what we teach. And we need an institution-wide framework to enable it.
So what about a principle that looks something like this:
More Learning, Less Teaching
* Our teaching will inspire a passion for learning;
* Our learning is student-focussed and informed by research;
* Our curriculum and delivery will make best use of our resources;
* Our staff will be recognised and rewarded for effective learning and teaching
Again, comments and feedback welcome.
Sherman will be presenting a Learning and Teaching Strategy Update on 22 September at Learning and Teaching Week #mqltweek: register here