Learning and Teaching – Annual Review 2016/17
Our Learning and Teaching Strategy (2016-2020) is underpinned by the three pillars of employability, academic quality and research in the curriculum. Derby is ranked in the top 20 universities in the country for teaching quality (Times and Sunday Times 2017) and 96.3% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of finishing their course (HESA 2017). We are also pioneering the use of technology-enhanced learning – such as lecture recording systems, live survey tools and digital assessment technologies – across our courses to improve the quality and availability of teaching resources and help students develop their digital skills.
Derby recognised for teaching excellence
The University of Derby was awarded a Gold rating by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in the country’s first ever Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), putting us in the top 20% of all providers in the UK.
The TEF was introduced by the Government to encourage and raise the profile of teaching excellence
in universities and colleges, and is intended to help people choose where to study, by providing clear information about teaching provision and student outcomes.
In its decision letter, HEFCE highlighted the University’s engagement with employers, personalised learning, engagement of students, outstanding resources, and its culture of excellent teaching, as particular areas of strength.
The University has also been shortlisted by an international panel of judges for the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Global Teaching Excellence Awards (GTEA).The award, in partnership with Times Higher Education, is open to all providers of higher education and will recognise institution-wide approaches to teaching excellence.
National award for Criminology teaching
In July, two Criminology academics won the National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology 2017 from the British Society of Criminology (BSC) Learning and Teaching Network.
Charlotte Hargreaves, Head of Criminology, and Dr Michael Teague, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, were presented with the award at the annual BSC conference in Sheffield. The award celebrates outstanding teaching in Criminology across UK Higher Education institutions.
Charlotte said: “I’m delighted that we have won this national teaching award. It stands testament to the hard work and commitment of our team to offering our students a world class educational experience through internationalising our curriculum and providing opportunity for all of our students to participate in ‘real world criminology’.
“I have witnessed first-hand the impact our visits have had on our students, from serving in soup kitchens in inner city San Francisco, to going on patrol with the Miami Police Department, and how these have broken down perceptions, fed into dissertations and shaped future careers.”
Higher Education Bioscience Teacher of the Year
Dr Ian Turner was awarded the HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award in May in recognition of his outstanding and innovative teaching style. The award, sponsored by Oxford University Press, was formally presented at the Heads of University Biosciences (HUBS) Spring Meeting.
The chair of the judging panel, Professor Peter Heathcote FRSB, said: “In his unique approach, Ian uses the lecture theatre as a stage and a variety of learning styles and approaches, including role play, props and analogies, to make demanding subjects such as genetics and immunology both enjoyable and accessible to students.
“Testimonials from students, and recognition by academic colleagues and his employer, the University of Derby, provided strong evidence to the panel of judges that Ian’s interactive and engaging approach has indeed inspired students to work harder and aspire to be scientists.”
Students at the heart of learning and teaching
A new Student Experience Learning and Teaching Committee (SELTC) has been established and is co-chaired by the Union of Students.
Professor Malcolm Todd, Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience, said the aim of the SELTC was for the University to work in closer partnerships with students and added: “I do not see students as the consumers of an educational product, but rather as collaborators in an exciting and challenging academic endeavour. The creation of this new jointly chaired high level university committee reflects that commitment to place students at the heart of our deliberative and decision making structures.”
Our Learning and Teaching strategy places a strong emphasis on providing our students with opportunities to gain experience in real world settings. We recognise that employers are looking for workers with not only the right qualifications, but also the right experience that will help them to succeed in the modern, competitive world.
We work hard to provide our students with opportunities in their chosen field. Students are actively encouraged to take part in work placement schemes and some of our courses offer guaranteed placements.
Derby also offers opportunities for students to network with business leaders and industry experts, so they can gain advice first-hand and begin to build up their own network of contacts. Every year we organise a Graduate Recruitment, Internship and Placement (GRIP) fair, which gives students and graduates the chance to meet over 60 local employers including Boots, Rolls-Royce and Next.
University of Derby Online Learning
Our innovative approach to learning and teaching can be demonstrated through University of Derby Online Learning (UDOL), which is an industry leader in the online learning sector. Through UDOL, we offer distance learning courses and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
Four new MOOCs have been launched by UDOL in the last year, covering topics such as autism, innovation in operations management, dementia and managing your online presence.