Across two gloriously sunny days last week, colleagues from the Educational Development Unit and Learning and Teaching Academy visited the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) UHI to offer a two-day workshop on ‘Enhancing learning and teaching through evidence-based practices’.
Located at Dunstaffnage Bay, just outside of Oban, SAMS UHI is a leading marine science research institute and one of UHI’s thirteen academic partners, delivering courses to a growing number of students in areas including marine science and marine algal biotechnology.
Organised in conjunction with Shona Magill, Education Coordinator at SAMS UHI, the purpose of the workshop was to provide an opportunity to explore tried and tested ways in which to enhance learning, teaching and assessment, with a view to extending and enriching current good practice.
Through a range of short sessions, and practical activities, the workshop explored current thinking in areas including activity design, technology-enhanced learning, and research-based learning and teaching. Sixteen colleagues from SAMS UHI were in attendance on both days.
The workshop got underway on day one with an exploration of emerging concepts, approaches and design frameworks relating to the aforementioned areas, led by Keith Smyth (Professor of Pedagogy and Head of the Learning and Teaching Academy). Ann Tilbury and Anne Chard from the Educational Development Unit then took the group through an exploration of the tools, technologies and resources for enhancing the learning and teaching that are available within the university, including examples of digital learning resources that have been produced as part of EDU projects.
Day two was more practical and hands-on in nature, with colleagues working in small groups to identify specific enhancements that they felt would work well within their own teaching and student support activities. In reporting back their ideas to the wider group, key topics and themes that emerged included student-generated content, technology-enhanced fieldwork, integrated approaches to assessment, and using online spaces to engage students with guest expert speakers.
The workshop concluded with two important activities. The first was an exploration of the further support for enhancing and sharing educational practice, and engaging in educational scholarship and research, that is now available through the Learning and Teaching Academy. The second was focused on immediate next steps for colleagues who attended the workshop, including plans for a future follow-up on the ideas and approaches that were implemented as a result of the event.
In keeping with the ‘evidence-based practice’ theme of the workshop, an evaluation of the event is now underway to help ensure the relevance of future workshops offered by the EDU and LTA.
The workshop felt like a positive and productive two days, and we look forward to following up with colleagues at SAMS to help further support them in the excellent work they do with their students.
Keith Smyth (LTA), Ann Tilbury and Anne Chard (EDU)