Promoting excellence - our initiatives About the university

The EDU has worked in partnerships across the university and its partner colleges and institutions on initiatives in practice and in policy within the area of teaching and learning via such initiatives as overseeing the Network of Teaching Fellows, assisting applicants in applying for National Teaching Fellowships, the development of Learning Enhancement Coordinators and Induction Coordinators, research projects, the use of technology in learning and teaching and holding conferences and staff development workshops.

The unit's work in promoting and encouraging innovation and excellence has been a catalyst in the growth of networks and collaborations across the institution and has had key outcomes in the annual Learning and Teaching and e-Learning conferences and the Compass journal.

The unit's key roles are: 

  • To lead and coordinate policy and strategy development and implementation in partnership with Schools and departments to achieve the university's strategic objectives in learning and teaching
  • To support programme renewal and curriculum development
  • To support and deliver staff development/CPD relating to learning and teaching, stimulate and nurture innovation and disseminate good practice
  • To be a vibrant hub for learning and teaching developments across the university and its partners and to build a reputation as a centre for excellence

Key aspects of enhancement and development that will be supported by EDU include:

  • Curriculum development and programme review/approval support
  • Technology-enhanced learning
  • Teaching methodology and learning
  • Integration of graduate attributes within the curriculum

Critical friend model

To enhance areas such as student transition, learning, the use of technology, assessment and employability, the EDU proposes to use a 'critical friend' model to work with programme leaders and their teams to support programme regeneration and look at ways to explicitly embed the graduate attributes.

The critical friend, in the first instance, will meet with programme leaders to consider the issues and challenges confronting the teaching of their discipline or profession. Where it seems of benefit, the EDU will be able to offer training opportunities, CPD and workshops for teams across the university.

Transforming the Experience of Students Through Assessment 


TESTA is a comprehensive process which investigates the student experience of feedback and assessment at programme level. It uses qualitative and quantitative data gathered from a wide range of written and verbal sources including staff and students, to provide programme teams with a 'birds-eye view' of assessment, particularly in the lead up to the review process. It provides data, analysis and non-binding recommendations on areas of praise and for improvement.

TESTA was developed through a National Teaching Fellowship project, led by Professor Graham Gibbs. The Educational Development Unit has adapted and modified the methodology to add more in-depth processes and analysis, and provide richer data.  Its impact has been positive and has led to changes in assessment design and implementation. TESTA is used in conjunction with Map My Assessment and the Assessment 'hub'[1]. It is mandatory for all programmes undertaking Review, and must be undertaken in the academic year before the Review.

For all enquiries regarding TESTA, email




PACE (Programme and Courses Enhancement) is designed as an intervention following Academic Planning Committee (APC) or as part of the Review cycle to support Heads of Department, Programme Leaders, and Programme and Course Teams to design high quality programmes and courses. Taken together, PACE comprises up to three workshops – one that is focused on programme development and two aimed at course development.

  1. 1.     PACE Programme Level: half a day

This workshop focuses on the overall vision of the programme, programme learning outcomes and overall structure, curriculum mapping and overall assessment approaches.

  1. 2.     PACE Course Level: half a day

This workshop focuses on individual courses and helps teams formulate individual course learning outcomes and assessment approaches. It also includes discussion of learning activities to encourage innovative and inclusive teaching approaches, and assists completion of D6

  1. 3.     PACE Learning Design: half a day

This workshop helps course teams develop individual courses, including learning activities and assessment structure, through story-boarding activities, leading to a weekly scheme of work / outline for each course. Time permitting, it also helps colleagues design sample learning activities.

Who should attend?

Programme Leaders / Programme Leader designates must attend the Programme and Course Level workshop. Course Leaders must attend the course workshop and invite course team members, including where appropriate subject librarians, learning technologists, alumni. We encourage students and employers to be involved as a co-design process at various 'reality-checking' stages as required.

What to bring?

For new programmes, APC documentation is required. For all programmes, subject benchmarks or other PSRB requirements, course outlines activities and drafts of D6 documentation are required. Programme Leaders should provide course outlines and programme and course level outcomes beforehand.

How long will it take?

Each workshop is scheduled for 3 hours. Depending on Programme Teams' preferences and availability, it is possible to combine workshops, spreading them across 2 (non-consecutive) days (half a day concentrating on Programme Design, and a whole day concentrating on Course Design). The format is designed for early expert input and consensus to be established with as many stakeholders as possible.

What happens after the workshops?

The design will require further refinement as detailed by the action plan that is completed at the end of each workshop and prior to submission of the final documentation to Faculty Learning and Quality officers.

To discuss your requirements and book your PACE session(s), contact