The Institute of Teaching and Learning coordinates and supports a wide range of projects designed to enhance our teaching excellence across the University. On this page you will find details of and updates on ongoing projects, summaries and results from completed projects and information about how you can get involved in future teaching and learning projects.
Institute Fellows are colleagues from across the University who are working with the Institute on short term projects that will support the University in achieving its goals in teaching and learning.
We are delighted to share details of the projects our 2021/2022 Fellows are working on below. You can also now read the project reports of our inaugural cohort of ITL Fellows (2020/2021).
This project involves the creation of a course unit where students independently research a topic of their choosing and build high quality, inclusive learning material for it. More broadly, my vision is for students to use the independent study unit to forge a path for those that follow. We can use this to guide both the specific topics we teach within disciplines and our more general approach to blended learning. Through this course the student gets the option to explore a topic of their choice, to take ownership of their learning, and to see their learning very directly through the eyes of a teacher. Lecturers get rich feedback from the students and a direct and clear path to integrate the student voice into the curriculum.
Developing a peer support scheme to support the transition of an articulated programme, Dr Li-Chia Chen
Li-Chia’s project aims to develop and pilot a staff-facilitated, peer-support scheme for international students on a newly launched articulated programme, the dual-degree BSc Clinical Pharmacy (2+2+1) programme between the China Pharmaceutical University and the University of Manchester, from September 2021. The project will pilot a co-designed peer mentoring scheme to enhance international students' learning experiences and help them reach their potentials without being disadvantaged by estrangement, cultural backgrounds and learning styles.
Providing effective support to WP students from application through to end of year 1, Dr Emily Cooksey
This project aims to look at the support needs of students joining from Widening Participation backgrounds. By focusing on the bridging support between admissions and joining departments, the aim is to provide transitional support to enable our WP students to hit the ground running with their studies and provide them with an effective welcome to the university.
This project will look at how we can change our approach to teaching to remove barriers to access for disabled students, with a particular focus on harnessing the innovations that have taken place during the pandemic to create more inclusive learning environments.
Building on a successful trial of “watch-parties” in online teaching, this project aims to establish the critical – and causal – factors which best promote effective learning, student engagement and community in different flexible and blended learning environments. This project will evaluate the effectiveness of flexible and blended learning in different contexts, and create a broader framework to optimise our flexible and digital learning practices which brings together the very best of online and in-person teaching.
This project investigates staff and student perceptions and practice of webcam use and its impact on engagement and learning. It is not about coming to a decision on whether students should or should not use webcams, but on identifying strategies to support students to engage and allow staff to gauge engagement whether webcams are used or not. The project looks to use these findings to produce community-sourced / co-created profiles of recommended best practice on 1) strategies to show / gauge engagement without webcam use; 2) methods to encourage webcam use when and where appropriate.
A recurring theme during the recent transition to flexible learning has been students experiencing increased workload and stress (e.g. Greene 2020). This project will investigate ways to monitor the student workload ("study expenditure") and its relationship with proposed study budgets, aiming to identify and understand good practice.
In this project, student volunteers join small-scale pilot courses to explore the boundaries of flexibility: for the best learning experience, how should we balance flexibility vs timetabling, structure vs openness and guidance vs independence? What kinds of materials, assessments, feedback and support keep students engaged and motivated in an unconventionally flexible course?
This project aims to provide a flexible framework to support staff in embedding simulation as an effective teaching method, integrating an approach that deepens student learning and confidence building while supporting staff in delivering this as a new teaching method or enhancing their existing approach to simulation.
This project will explore aspects of assessments such as design, delivery and supporting effective student engagement, with a focus on creating resources and guidance to support staff in developing inclusive, authentic assessments which are less vulnerable to forms of academic malpractice such as collusion and contract cheating.
It is my belief that when students enter into dialogue about what they are trying to understand, they develop a critical, deeper understanding than they would otherwise achieve. This project aims to develop a framework for course design focused on this dialogic approach to teaching and learning. On this project I will work collaboratively on a PGT level unit on an online and blended programme presented by the Alliance Manchester Business School and University of Manchester Worldwide.
Task and finish groups
As well as supporting our Institute Fellows, the Institute is also leading on a number of other teaching and learning projects with colleagues from across the University in task and finish groups. The task and finish groups will support the delivery of teaching and learning enhancements across four themes:
- Student outcomes - academic advising, work-integrated employment, co-curricular opportunities, peer support, student engagement and student voice
- Assessment and feedback - contract cheating, assessment literacy and inclusive assessment
- Curriculum development - curriculum design models, equality, diversity and inclusion, interdisciplinary learning, internationalisation and research-integrated learning
- Working environment - progression and promotion, reward and recognition, peer observation and review, effective working cultures, staff development and creating headroom
The Academic Advising Task and Finish Group (AATFG) will oversee an evaluation of the effectiveness of our Academic Advising practices. To help us do this, we are participating in an international project (with OneHE and Peer Review Portal) that aims to help institutions survey their practice and to benchmark their performance against participating HEIs from around the globe.
- Chair: Professor Peter Green, Vice-Dean (Teaching, Learning & Students) in the Faculty of Science and Engineering
- Secretary: Emma Sanders, Teaching and Learning Adviser (Academic Development)
- Group membership and Terms of Reference
- Report of the Academic Advising Task & Finish Group (February 2021) (pdf)
The AATFG reported to the Teaching and Learning Engagement Forum (TLEF) in 2021.
The Contract Cheating Task and Finish Group (CCTFG) is looking into support required for staff and students about the extent and consequences of ‘Contract Cheating’, in the context of awareness and training on Academic Integrity.
- Chair: Prof Judy Williams PFHEA NTF, Director of the Institute for Teaching and Learning
- Secretary: Emma Sanders, Teaching and Learning Adviser
- Group membership and terms of reference
The CCTFG reports to the Teaching and Learning Engagement Forum (TLEF).
- Contract Cheating Toolkit
- We need to talk about contract cheating, TEA blog post (21 September 2021)
Details of completed projects including findings and outputs will be updated here as they become available.
Differential Attainment Project
The Differential Attainment Project ran from March 2017 to March 2019.
- Differential attainment project report (2017/18 - 2018/19)
- Differential attainment pilot project reports (2017/18 - 2018/19)
CHERIL Grant Award Projects
The University's former Centre for Higher Education Research, Innovation and Learning (CHERIL) supported developments in teaching and learning by conducting original, rigorous educational research into pedagogy, policy and practice in higher education. The CHERIL Grant Award was a competitive research grant open to University of Manchester staff and enabled colleagues to undertake a research project into aspects of teaching, learning and the student experience. CHERIL awarded up to fourteen grants per academic year of up to £20,000 each from 2014/15 to 2016/17.
The grant facilitated research into aspects of teaching, learning and the student experience in higher education. CHERIL grant award projects contributed to the delivery of the University’s strategic objectives to promote teaching and learning excellence through research and the sharing of best practice, to enhance the student experience by ensuring distinctive graduate attributes and global awareness and to understand and inform sector developments and higher education policy.
- Public engagement and cultural professionals' mentoring in course assessment and feedback by Kostas Avarantis (School of Arts, Languages and Cultures).
- Transition to University as a nursing student by Steven Pryjmachuk, Bernie Hannity, Janet Ellis, Jane Griffiths and Caitlin McWilliams (School of Health Sciences).
- The Bridge to Higher Education: A case study using the Fashion SOC as the scaffold (2016) and Transition into University: Fashion and Materials SOC – Case study (2015) by Rachel Studd and Gianpaolo Vignali (Department of Materials, School of Natural Sciences).
- Nurture through transition by Sam Aston (The University of Manchester Library).
- Mindfulness: The Phase One Medics Perspective (2015) by Sarah Shepherd and Claire Mimnagh (Division of Medical Education, School of Medicial Sciences) and Interventions to promote mental health in professional students (2016) by Sarah Shepherd, Claire Mimnagh, Jo Hart and Mary Walsh (Division of Medical Education, School of Medicial Sciences/Counselling Service).
- Student Open Access Research (Appendices) by Simon Bains & Frances Pinter and Publishing and research learning for students by Simon Bains (The University of Manchester Library).
- "It is not the easy option people think it is”: A focus group/action research study of the experience of live at home students in the Manchester Medical School and the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work by Shaun Speed, Pip Fisher, Dianne Burns and Sarah Calvert.
- Projects with the ‘E’ factor: a model for innovative interdisciplinary final year projects to enhance the student experience and employability by Maggy Fostier and Carol Wakeford (Faculty of Life Sciences).
- Outputs resulting from the project - ‘Summer internships – what works? Evidencing impact of undergraduate quantitative skills from the University of Manchester Q-Step Centre’s Pilot Year’ by Jackie Carter.
- What makes an Inclusive Learning Environment?, by Cath Prescott.
- Creative methodology to explore the social problems of hearing loss in marginalised communities by Sheila Fidler, Jenna Aston, Diane Harris.
- Creating inclusive learning environments through 'We Get It' student Ambassador programme by Cath prescott (School of Health Sciences/Equality and Diversity team).
- Understanding and supporting International Students PGT outcomes by Juup Stelma and Susan Dawson (School of Environment, Education and Development).
- Predicting Student Success: Assessing the relationship between student engagement and attainment by Hannah Maltby, Dan Swain and Sami Karamalla-Gaiballa.
- Maximising academic potential by optimising support for students returning to university following industrial placement and interruption by Michelle Keown and Tracey Speake.
- Flipped Teaching by Angela Davies, Andy Brass, Mandi Banks-Gatenby and Diane Harris (School of Health Sciences/School of Environment, Education and Development).
- Learning Through Resources by Claire Fox (School of Social Sciences).
- Across the Divide: How can University-school partnerships influence academics' pedagogic practice? (2016) by Lynne Bianchi, Peter Green, Sophina Choudry (School of Engineering/School of Environment, Education and Development) and Mind The Gap -a year 2 project building on the findings of the 'Across the Divide' project (2017) by Lynne Bianchi (School of Engineering).
- Video and Rich-Media Resources in HE Engineering Education by Martin Gillie, Fiona Saunders and Andrew Gibson.
- Talk about Medicines: an evidence-based approach for teaching and learning by Kurt Wilson and Sarah Collins (Division of Medical Education, School of Medical Sciences).
- Developing peer assisted student support for eLearning students by Roger Harrison (School of Health Sciences).
- Defining and measuring the behaviours of transformational educators by Dianne Burns and Judy Williams (School of Health Sciences/School of Medical Sciences).
- Evaluating Field-based Learning: Multidisciplinary Mobile Mapping Methods by Chris Perkins.
- Students in public (SIP): Establishing processes for publishing and disseminating student research in the context of course unit delivery by John Zavos (School of Arts, Languages and Cultures).
- Unpacking links between learning gains, learning styles and achievement amongst 1st year pharmacy students at Manchester Pharmacy School by Sarah Willis, Harsha Parmar, Victoria Silkstone and Zubin Austin (Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, School of Health Sciences).
- Learning Criminology Inside: Prison based Criminology instruction at Manchester - Shadd Maruna (School of Social Sciences).
- EDriNet The Educator Driven Network by Jennifer O'Brien (School of Environment, Education and Development).