Professor Elizabeth Cleaver is University Director of Learning and Teaching at the University of the West of England (UWE, Bristol) and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Keynote

Disciplinary Approaches to Educational Enquiry: from individual academic to institutional strategic endeavour

This keynote reflects on current experiences in England, where universities are – in unprecedented ways – now required to evidence the value for money and outcomes of their learning and teaching activities through the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF). Within this context, the evidence that is generated by, and educational enhancements that are enabled by the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), have arguably never been more important. Yet despite this, in many institutional settings, disciplinary SoTL can remain uncoordinated and unsupported - and perceived as secondary to other disciplinary research activities. Activities that fall under the disciplinary SoTL umbrella are still often viewed as ‘added value’ activities; undertaken by dedicated teachers, supported by passionate academic developers and presented to other like-minded colleagues in communities of practice or at teaching and learning conferences.

Elizabeth Cleaver offers a personal reflection on some of the challenges and opportunities offered by the current English higher education landscape, and provides examples of ways in which a more strategic and embedded approach to disciplinary educational enquiry can be meaningfully developed and supported. In doing so, she invites delegates to reflect on the roles that they currently (or perhaps might) play in supporting SoTL as a disciplinary focused, yet strategically aligned endeavour.


About Elizabeth Cleaver

Professor Elizabeth Cleaver is University Director of Learning and Teaching at the University of the West of England (UWE, Bristol) and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Over a career spanning 24 years she has taught, researched and undertaken leadership roles in a range of higher education settings. Her interest in disciplinary SoTL has been captured in two editions of her successful textbook ‘Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Disciplinary Approaches to Educational Enquiry’. She is currently exploring ways to evidence the value of higher education beyond dominant metric-based proxy indicators of teaching ‘excellence’, and has recently taken a lead role in a QAA Scotland project ‘Beyond the Metrics: Charting the Intangible Aspects of Enhancement in the Age of Accountability’.