Evidence for Enhancement @ ENU: Focus Areas for Action
The Evidence for Enhancement (E4E) Theme asks us to explore how we engage with evidence and data to highlight good practice and identify areas for enhancement. It also asks us to consider how we know interventions make a positive difference to the student experience.
Our Institutional Plan and latest update to University LTAC are available here (link to follow)
The Theme connects and amplifies a number of areas of work across the University. ENU’s particular priority is support at programme level, to help staff and students to understand and use evidence to enhance practice. We are also grappling with conceptual and practical issues around building learning communities and supporting students and staff to feel they ‘belong’ at Edinburgh Napier. These two areas are a particular focus for our action.
1. Supporting Programme Leaders to Explore Evidence to Support Enhancement of Practice
In relation to programme team support we will:
- Support enhancement at programme level, exploring ways to help staff navigate the data and evidence landscape and support decision-making regarding learning & teaching development. This will link across core University work areas related to PLs, including the refresh of Programme Leader induction materials and online resources.
- Produce Quick Guides and linked workshops on themes such as Navigating the Data Landscape, Engaging with student voices, and Evidencing Impact.
2. The Challenge of Community and Belonging
Building communities of learners and supporting students to feel they belong in their university learning environment underpins many areas of our pedagogic thinking and practice. This is particularly evident in discussions of retention and success where the lens and language of community and belonging frame discussion of students’ resilience in the face of academic and social challenges, and their confidence to seek support.
Institutional interest in belonging has been reinforced by National Student Survey questions on feeling part of a learning community, working with others and, more specifically, being represented and listened to by the student association.
Yet, such terms can be problematic. Used uncritically, they imply a common understanding of what it is to ‘belong’ and who is (or is not) part of a given ‘community’. Too often perceptions of student community are based on an imagined full-time, young, time-rich student. Yet students – and their relationship with the university - are more diverse and complex than this.
Through our Theme work we are exploring how we can move to understand belonging in a way that recognises the diversity and hybridity of individual and group identities. What aspects of belonging and community are salient, at what points, and to whom.
Through our work on the E4E Theme we are:
- Opening space for critical reflection on Community and Belonging.
- Supporting a suite of projects focused on exploring how to use evidence to understand and enhance sense of ‘belonging’ and community in a range of contexts.
- Working to build a change narrative focused on belonging and community.
See snapshots of our work on Community and Belonging here.
Watch a short film produced by ENSA on Belonging to Team Napier here.
3. Linked Work Areas
- We are exploring how best to harness the potential of learning analytics to meet our institutional needs. University staff can find details of this workstrand here.
- We are exploring the impact of our past Enhancement Themes Activity, focusing particularly on the ongoing impact of our efforts linked to the Student Transitions Theme.
- We have developed a suite of resources to enhance engagement with a key source of evidence for enhancement of learning: feedback on assessment. Our full suite of Quick Guides on Assessment can be accessed here.
4. Institutional Team
Members of our Institutional Team are:
(communicating with the wider staff groups they represent)
TLG staff representative
Dr Martha Caddell (Dept of Learning and Teaching Enhancement)
TLG staff representative alternate
Dr Katrina Swanton (Head of Quality & Enhancement)
TLG student representative
Ashley McLean (ENSA)
Jenni Behan (ENSA, staff member)
Dr Colin Smith (School of Computing)
Dr Jackie Brodie (Business School)
Dr Christine Haddow (School of Applied Science)
Dr Avril Gray (School of Creative Industries)
Liz Scott (Head of Widening Participation)
Dr Nicola Kivlichan (Planning)
Prof Kay Sambell (Dept of Learning and Teaching Enhancement)
Dr Sandra Cairncross (Assistant Principal, Widening Participation & Community)
Transitions Theme legacy lead
Julia Fotheringham (Dept of Learning and Teaching Enhancement)