8 Jun 2021

Launch of new staff development toolkit on student engagement

We are delighted to announce the publication of sparqs’ new toolkit for staff development. Titled “Exploring student engagement with academic staff”, the toolkit builds on, and updates, our past staff development materials to reflect the changing learning experience of this past year.

Student engagement and partnership is, of course, at the heart of our sector’s approach to quality, and therefore it is vitally important that staff understand, support and benefit from it at a time of continuing change and uncertainty in learning and teaching.

The toolkit consists of six topics, each with a flexible set of materials that can be customised to specific contexts and embedded within wider institutional academic development and CPD activities. The suggested activities in the toolkit may work with staff groups or as mutual learning for staff and students together, and can be adapted to a range of formal or informal, synchronous or asynchronous contexts.

Topics of the toolkit, which are supported by an overall user guidance document, are:

  1. Understanding the Student Learning Experience.
  2. Co-creation of assessment methods.
  3. Discussing survey findings.
  4. Review of course innovations and adjustments.
  5. The course rep role.
  6. The students’ association.

Staff in educational development, CPD, quality, and learning and teaching management roles, as well as students’ associations, will be well placed to work together to explore the toolkit’s materials on our website and develop a plan for using them that suits institutional contexts and priorities. sparqs is very happy to meet with such colleagues to support that process, to learn from how you use the toolkit, and gain feedback for further development of the content.

The toolkit draws on our recent engagements with staff developers, and we are grateful to staff at Advance HE, College Development Network, Dumfries and Galloway College, Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Dundee for their support in developing these materials.

We are delighted to launch the toolkit at CDN’s College Expo on Thursday 10th June, and look forward to working with quality and educational development practitioners and networks in the coming months to promote the toolkit and discuss its potential uses.

If you have any queries regarding the resources, please contact Simon Varwell, Senior Development Consultant, simon.varwell@sparqs.ac.uk or 07815 938966.

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