Challenges and solutions to embedding skills within the curriculum

Home » Challenges and solutions to embedding skills within the curriculum

 

Challenges

Solutions

Departments not willing to change Academic staff resistant to change/ not seen as their responsibility: "It's not my job!" Timetabling issues – no space in the curriculum
  • More engagement with staff to make it easy for them
  • Highlight benefits and solutions
  • Work with students - using positive student feedback and engaging with student reps and the student union
Seen by academics as remedial/lower order activity; students should already have the skills
  • Highlight benefits and solutions
  • Work with students - using positive student feedback and engaging with student reps and the student union
  • Enabling people to understand the concept of employability
Who is embedding what? Who is responsible for embedding? What research is there into what skills students need?
  • Students integrating and embedding their own learning -reflection
  • Make the pockets of good examples visible.
  • Skills need to be based in context, for example are they part of professional requirements or graduate attributes?
Academic staff lack some key skills i.e. ICT but most learner developers only support students
  • Provide peer support or mentors
  • Staff Development Unit to include ICT training
  • Encourage staff to use on-line resources and provide bespoke ones
 

Challenges

Solutions

Engaging students Teaching that is:
  • Interesting and stimulating
  • At the right level
  • Subject-related
  • Credit bearing
  • Timely
Students want help from outside department (non-assessors) Comments: C1: Does this mean students don't have confidence in their academic subject lecturers? C2: Not necessarily – many academics are great but there is a conflict of roles or hats – mentor/assessor/teacher/adviser
  • Go to the library, students' Union, support services
  • Start a PASS / PALS scheme
  • Get all these people working closely together
  • Academic Skills Tutors
  • Learner Developers
  • 1 to 1s & workshops
Diverse groups of students with different concerns
  • Multiple mediums of support – VLE / discussion forums / curriculum / online / Peer or PASS schemes & student leaders / 1 to 1 and matching in terms of delivery so large groups or 1 to 1 where appropriate.
  • Working in smaller groups where possible
  • Levels, modes of study, appropriateness for learners for support resources
  • Feedback forums for informing regime
Different academic languages
  • Distinguish what is familiar and what is obvious to us and to students
  • Present staff with student examples e.g. definitions of critical thinking and ask them what they agree with
  • Student involvement: Engage students in decoding what things mean to them
  • Challenge staff within a department to come to a shared understanding
 

Challenges

Solutions

Measuring evidence of impact
  • Finding engaged academics to work with (and demonstrate impact by the work you’ve done with them)
Getting teaching valued alongside research
  • Value pedagogic research
  • Put REF in perspective
  • Different paths for promotion
  • Offer recognition within the institution for good teachers
Having strategic input / overcoming institutional barriers
  • Partnership with students e.g. Student Union / students' voice
  • Input into strategic plans (active in meetings / open meetings where possible)
  • Send reports to committees / individuals with influence
  • Persuade others of the value of what you do
  • Evidence base
  • Evaluate and record successes
  • Get academics to champion your cause – staff success stories
  • Persistence and opportunism
  • Think about how you market yourself
  • Apply for funding
  • Get published and raise your status
  • Benchmark your institution's provision against similar institutions
  • If possible, become part of the validation process for new courses / programme reviews