Scholarship, research and evaluation


Researching and evaluating learning and teaching and promoting a scholarly approach within our learning and teaching practice.

What are we doing?

Promoting research through practice

We ensure that scholarship and research are embedded within our continuing professional development provision for staff at the University.

3 particularly important initiatives to promote dialogue and share good practice are:

  • Our annual Learning and Teaching Conference - This is a themed event held each May where University local associate college staff hear guest speakers and colleagues present their work in learning, teaching and assessment.
  • The Learning and Teaching Scholarship Network - An informal group of individuals active in L&T scholarship who get together to share thoughts and ideas. The network provides an opportunity to discuss pedagogic developments and to support each other in our own education research/scholarship.
  • Our e-journal, Blended Learning in Practice - This e-journal encourages and enables dissemination of scholarly practice throughout the sector. It features articles that reflect the viewpoints of students and academic staff.

Funded projects

We have also promoted research through a number of internally and externally funded projects. External funding is through bodies such as JISC and HEA. Results, findings, consequences and legacy activities from our projects are disseminated at regional, national and international forums. Further details about projects can be found below.

BME success: The University has identified an Equality Objective to "work towards reducing the differential in degree attainment between White and Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) students by 10% points by 2014/15". The BME success project identifies actions and resources to help the University achieve its goal.

Flexible learning; The University has a target to deliver 15% of its provision through flexible learning by 2015. The flexible provision will allow tutors and students to work in ways that enhance delivery for appropriate modules. It will prepare students for modes of continuing professional development that they will encounter in their professional life. The project will contribute to meeting carbon emission targets through a reduction in the number of journeys made to the University.

ITeam Project and Assessment Team: The Assessment Team worked with Schools and Departments across the University to support all aspects of assessment and feedback practice. The Team is involved in a developmental project called the ITEAM. This was  a joint JISC / University of Hertfordshire funded project, which aims to integrate technology enhanced methods of assessment for student support and self-regulation.

Inclusive teaching: University is one of 16 institutions across the UK taking part in the Higher Education Academy's (HEA) programme: Developing an Inclusive Culture in Higher Education. The programme's vision is to support institutions in the creation of an inclusive learning and teaching culture that enables all students to develop academically, professionally and personally to fulfil their potential.

ESCAPE: The Effecting Sustainable Change in Assessment Practice and Experience (ESCAPE) project ran from 2008 - 2010 and responded to national and institutional concerns regarding assessment and feedback. Working with 2 Schools the project developed assessment for learning activities to enhance the assessment experience for learners and staff.

It drew together curriculum development activities and change management techniques to investigate and embed the use of ICT to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of assessment practices. Many of the tools, techniques and the insights it developed continue to be used to improve practice across the institution.

Legacy of the Blended Learning Unit (BLU): The work of the Learning and Teaching Institute has been heavily influenced by the legacy of the BLU. The BLU was a HEFCE Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) that ran from 2005 to 2010. It promoted, enabled and evaluated combining established ways of learning and teaching and the opportunities offered by technology in order to improve students' learning and increase flexibility in how, when and where they study. The BLU project formally closed in 2010 but its work and ethos continue in the LTI and in the annual International Blended Learning Conferences which it founded in 2006.