Teaching Exchange Workshops in Media and Communications
Many academic practitioners suffer from what has been described as ‘pedagogical solitude’ (Shulman, 1993). We design and teach courses alone, and due to the pressure of teaching loads, administrative duties, student pastoral care and generating research output, higher education professionals rarely have the opportunity to think about or discuss what teaching quality means, and how to contribute to that ideal.
Our project, Quality Enhancement and Prospective Quality Assurance through Teaching Exchange Workshops in Media and Communications, funded by the ADM-HEA (March 2010-March 2011) was rooted in a desire to find an alternative approach to improving the quality of teaching in media, communications, cultural studies and related disciplines. It was based on a commitment to the idea that teaching practice can be nurtured and improved, making it more rewarding for both teachers and students. By creating a space for collegiate interaction and sharing experiences of the challenges and opportunities involved in teaching within these (inter)disciplinary areas, our project directly addressed what Gray et al (2007, p.23) correctly identify as a lack of ‘opportunity for University teachers to share knowledge and experience gained through their educational practice.’
Through the Teaching Exchange project we designed a workshop model that could make these contributions to teaching quality enhancement and quality assurance. Successfully tested at 5 distinct institutions across England in 2010-2011, the ‘Teaching Exchange Workshop’ has the potential to become a key tool for departmental management, curriculum development, the cultivation of a ‘quality culture’ and the enhancement of student experience. In addition to providing a forum for exchange and discussion amongst teaching staff at various career and experience levels, the workshops themselves generate the tangible output of a school/department specific best-practices summary sheet.
Read the Teaching Exchange Handbook
Read the HEA-ADM Final Project Report