Teesside University is among institutions to receive funding to work on innovative projects to enhance learning and teaching.
HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) has awarded £2.8million from its Catalyst Fund to 67 universities and colleges to develop small-scale experimental learning and teaching innovations.
The projects are in a range of higher education institutions and further education colleges across England, with each successfully bidding for up to £50,000 to develop innovations in learning and teaching for either undergraduate or postgraduate taught provision.
Teesside University will receive £49,234 towards a project to enhance employability outcomes through an immersive learning environment.
The projects will run for 18 months with specific cohorts of learners. Each will address learning analytics, interdisciplinary learning, academic and employability skills, peer-assisted learning, assessment and student co-creation of learning resources to engage students in the innovation as leaders and co-creators, as well as demonstrating a clear and robust approach to project management, methodology and evaluation.
Teesside University’s project, Enhancing employability outcomes through an immersive learning environment, aims to assess the impact of an experimental approach to online learning on employability skills, while engaging employers in the enhancement of learning and teaching and engaging students in the process through co-design and research.
Professor Mark Simpson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching) at Teesside University, said: “The project, led by Dr Jonathan Eaton, is innovative and unique in its use of a photorealistic virtual scenario which combines video interaction with real world examples.
“It is specifically designed to pilot an innovative pedagogic approach which supports students in developing employability skills and gaining employment at an appropriate professional level. A key University strategic objective is to collaborate with employers to develop graduate skills, work experience and relevance to ensure real-world impact.”
HEFCE’s Chief Executive, Madeleine Atkins, said: “We were delighted by the level of interest from universities and colleges in developing new ways of working and are pleased to be funding such an exciting range of learning and teaching innovations. We look forward to working with the project organisations to share the lessons across the sector.”