Quality Enhancement and Prospective Quality Assurance through Teaching Exchange Workshops in Media and Communications
Project Holders: Anna Feigenbaum & Mehita Iqani
Institution Names: Richmond University and King’s College, London
Theme: Quality enhancement and assessment
The project aims to generate a workshop model that contributes to teaching quality enhancement and quality assurance through ‘Teaching Exchange’ (TE) workshops focused on enhancing the student experience. These workshops respond to the need for a proactive, collaborative and reflexive ‘ground-up’ approach to quality enhancement and quality assurance. In addition to providing a forum for exchange and discussion amongst teaching staff at various career and experience levels, the workshops themselves will generate two tangible outputs: (1) a school/department specific best-practices summary sheet for each participating institution and (2) a Teaching Exchange handbook for broader institutional use with information on the process of implementing the workshop and its contributions to quality assurance and quality enhancement. Successfully piloted in the LSE’s Media and Communications department in May 2009, with further enrichment the ‘Teaching Exchange Workshop’ has the potential to become a key tool for departmental management, curriculum development, the cultivation of a ‘quality culture’ and the enhancement of student experience. Toward this aim we will host a series of ‘Teaching Exchange Workshops’ at six diverse institutions in the UK. The transcripts and outcomes of these workshops will then be critically evaluated toward the production of a TE handbook and dissemination of findings.
Many academic practitioners suffer from what has been described as ‘pedagogical solitude’ (Shulman, 1993). We design and teach courses alone, and due to the pressure of teaching loads, administrative duties, student pastoral care and generating research output, higher education professionals rarely have the opportunity to think about or discuss what teaching quality means, and how to contribute to that ideal.
Our project, Quality Enhancement and Prospective Quality Assurance through Teaching Exchange Workshops in Media and Communications, funded by the ADM-HEA (March 2010-March 2011) was rooted in a desire to find an alternative approach to improving the quality of teaching in media, communications, cultural studies and related disciplines. It was based on a commitment to the idea that teaching practice can be nurtured and improved, making it more rewarding for both teachers and students. By creating a space for collegiate interaction and sharing experiences of the challenges and opportunities involved in teaching within these (inter)disciplinary areas, our project directly addresses what Gray et al (2007, p.23) correctly identify as a lack of ‘opportunity for University teachers to share knowledge and experience gained through their educational practice.’
Dr Anna Feigenbaum is Assistant Professor of Communications in the Department of Social Science, Humanities and Communication Studies at Richmond University. Dr Mehita Iqani was a Teaching Fellow in Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King’s College, London for the duration of the project. She is now Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Listing image: Section of the cover from A Handbook for Teaching Exchange Workshops
Main image: Image taken from page 9 of A Handbook for Teaching Exchange Workshops