The Enquiring University: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as a Foundation for Strategic Educational Transformation

The Enquiring University: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as a Foundation for Strategic Educational Transformation

Elizabeth Cleaver (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK), Mike Mclinden (University of Birmingham, UK), Maxine Lintern (Birmingham City University, UK) and Andy Birch (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2212-7.ch002

Abstract

This chapter charts how in England, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) activities that may until recently have been seen as ‘marginal' or ‘added' value are increasingly viewed as strategic enablers. This is of potential interest to international audiences due to the growing and, arguably, unprecedented expectations placed on English universities to evidence the impact of their education through the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework. However, if SoTL is to become a fully functioning enabler of strategic transformation—rather than simply a cited exemplar or initiative—it needs to be systematically coordinated and evidenced. Drawing on a recently developed conceptual model—‘the enquiring university'—the chapter charts how the role and impact of SoTL can be coordinated, recorded, and evaluated through an emergent SoTL Strategic Implementation and Impact Framework. Finally, the authors illustrate its application through reference to an example of a SoTL activity aligned to two key elements of the framework.
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Positioning Sotl Within The Changing English He Landscape

Compulsory for all registered English higher education providers (HEPs), and available as an opt-in for HEPs in Scotland and Wales, the TEF is presented by the new regulator for higher education in England, the Office for Students (OfS) as “a national exercise… [which ] assesses excellence in teaching at universities and colleges and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study” (OfS, 2019c).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Office for Students: The national regulator for English higher education, formed following the dissolution of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as a result of the Higher Education and Research Act (HM Government, 2017 ).

Higher Education Provider (HEP): The current collective terminology for universities and other institutions that provide forms of higher education in England, used by the Office for Students.

Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework or TEF: A national exercise run by England’s Office for Students, created to assess excellence in teaching at universities and colleges and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

Research Excellence Framework or REF: An exercise assessing the quality of research in the UK which aims to provide accountability for public investment in research and produce evidence of the benefits of this investment, to provide benchmarking information, and to establish reputational yardsticks for use within the HE sector and for public information and to inform the selective allocation of funding for research ( REF, 2019 ).

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