The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and the Higher Education Academy (HEA) jointly run a programme called Leading Transformation in Learning and Teaching. The programme was designed to facilitate participation rather than mere attendance. The course I participated in ran over several months, using a modular approach which allowed reflection and opportunities to use skills and techniques.
From the outset, we were encouraged to share experiences of academic leadership in the context of our own working environment; this approach had the effect of making the course meaningful. Whilst the principles and evidence that theoretically underpin successful pedagogical transformation were explored, there was ample opportunity to challenge and problem-solve individual scenarios.
The primary facilitators, Doug Parkin and Steve Outram, expertly steered us through the subject matter, introducing a strategic toolkit which provided a comprehensive range of options to facilitate planning, initiating and leading change. The course exposed the group to a live case study, and external speakers relevant to the course. The course was well paced and actively sought the views of participants.
For me, the most powerful aspect was the encouragement to undertake a ‘transformation pilot’ based on a real-life situation. This could relate to anything deemed useful and appropriate and ranged from small to extensive projects; by sharing these pilots, all members of the group were able to assist and learn. The course facilitated my appreciation of the task in hand, the extent of consultation required, and the key aspects that may influence successful change management. Support from facilitators and peers was well timed and included the use of action learning sets through collaborative sessions – an effective approach which followed the last module.
The course was engaging and I used the opportunity to analyse myself and others. Throughout my work, I continue to draw on the insights I gained from LTLT.
One measurable outcome for me personally was to apply for HEA Senior Fellowship status; LTLT provided me with the drive to apply and I was accepted as a Senior Fellow of the HEA within five months of completing the course. I am now an advocate for others applying for HEA recognition and advise colleagues in my institution on this matter.
The opportunity to widen my network was also a highlight and resulted in continued liaison and correspondence after the course had ended.
Jenny Dye, Director of Quality, Learning & Teaching, Faculty of Health & Applied Sciences, University of the West of England
The Leading Transformation in Teaching and Learning programme is a partnership between the Leadership Foundation and the Higher Education Academy. To book a place on the next cohort in March, go to www.lfhe.ac.uk/LTLT