Learning, Teaching, Assessment and Curriculum

Black flat surface with raised question marks mostly also in black but three luminous red.

Photograph: Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

The role and value of universities are changing. Shorter higher education courses verified by digital badges are now available, universities are introducing online degrees or partnering with private companies to deliver a more diverse student experience, and policy implementers and influencers often question the value for money of student and/or public investment.

Our research focuses on the transformative nature of higher education and how this transformative nature is constrained or enhanced by these contemporary changes to the sector.

We are committed to investigating teaching and assessment practices, learning, student engagement, and experiences relating to each of these. We take an innovative and critical approach to our research, protecting the critical spirit of inquiry and aiming for social justice as we do so.

Our research explores critical and inclusive pedagogies, teaching-learning designs, and questions of identity and gender relations. We also have a long record of research and innovation on the meanings and forms of doctoral study. The results of our work have informed our own PhD programmes.

We also provide programme designers, managers, teachers, policy-makers, funders, individuals, organisations and institutions with research-based evidence that informs innovations in learning, teaching and assessment in higher education.

Key research interests within this theme:

  • Paul Ashwin: knowledge and curriculum in higher education; teaching and learning in higher education; students relations to knowledge in higher education; student engagement.
  • Brett Bligh: learning spaces; collaborative learning.
  • Ann-Marie Houghton: inclusive curriculum design; inclusive teaching, learning and assessment; embedding wellbeing in the curriculum.
  • Carolyn Jackson: gendered constructions of student identities in higher education contexts.
  • Natasa Lackovic: teaching and learning designs; multimodal learning designs; multimodal technologies in teaching and learning; multimodality of semiotics of teaching and learning engagement; students as creators; critical media literacies; critical multimodal and visual pedagogies.
  • Lynn McAlpine: doctoral education and experience; supervisory practices; evidence-based doctoral policies.
  • Jan McArthur: critical pedagogy; critical theory; assessment for social justice; dialogic feedback; disciplinary knowledge; socially-just pedagogical relationships.
  • Paul Trowler: academic tribes and teaching approaches; enhancing learning, teaching and assessment; teaching and learning regimes.