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Teaching Fellows logoDevelopment of the Scheme

An overview from Mark Huxham, Chair of the Teaching Fellows Steering Group


Edinburgh Napier, the University introduced the Teaching Fellowship Scheme in 1997-98 to emphasise the importance of learning and teaching within the University, to recognise and reward excellence amongst staff who teach or support teaching and to facilitate exchange of ideas and the spread of best practice.


This scheme is unique to Edinburgh Napier, although has been subsequently used as a model by a number of other institutions when creating their own schemes. It was designed to reflect the University's own vision of effective teaching. A key aspect of this is the emphasis on an important developmental role for Fellows.


The work of the Teaching Fellows over the last few years has far exceeded our expectations - especially for the range of developmental activities they have been involved in - at school, faculty and University level. Another bonus has been the vitality of the community that has developed, allowing Fellows to benefit from each other's strengths and interests. Other outcomes of the scheme include the growth of peer observation throughout the University, the fostering of special interest groups in pedagogy, collaboration on pedagogical research and Edinburgh Napier's annual conference on learning, teaching and assessment, now organised by the Fellows.


Support and briefing mechanisms offered by the Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement - in the form of workshops and mentorship - have also evolved during the lifetime of the scheme and we would encourage any prospective Fellows to make full use of them. There is a healthy distribution throughout the University, with each school having several Fellows. We also expect to see the Fellows become the driving force for the implementation and dissemination of good practice of learning, teaching and assessment at Edinburgh Napier, in line with Stategy 2020: Building Success. The scheme is now fully aligned with Higher Education Academy Fellowships; all staff who hold an HEA fellowship are eligible to join. Members benefit from participation in shared events, access to the Teaching Development Grant and the mutual support and collegiality that has been such an important part of the Fellowship since its inception.


The success of the scheme was underlined in our Institutional Audit Report by the QAA which noted that the Teaching Fellowship Scheme has 'an important quality enhancement role' and commended the University 'for establishing the scheme which will facilitate the development and spread of good practice'.


We are happy to share experiences of developing the Fellowship Scheme. Please send an email to TFadmin@napier.ac.uk