‘What should the process of applying for Fellowship feel like?’
As part of the redevelopment process, we’ve been gathering views from across the University regarding what the experience of applying for HEA Fellowship should feel like. On the one hand, we know that you want the process to be clear, transparent and easy to follow, with appropriate choice and flexibility to suit individual preferences and disciplinary approaches. At the same time, you want it to be meaningful and rigorous, proving a worthwhile investment of time and offering an experience that is, ultimately, affirming.
Achieving this balance of simplicity and challenge is guiding our redevelopment work and we’ll be checking every step of the way whether we are designing a process that is both easy to engage with and thought-provoking to work through. There’s no doubt that applying for professional recognition can never be ‘a breeze’. It requires confronting yourself and your practice with some fundamental questions. Why do you teach and support students in the way that you do? How do you know when you are being successful? What have you learnt so far? And how do you keep continually engaged with reflecting on and improving your practice? Making your claim for recognition is not so much about showing that you have all the answers as about demonstrating that you are committed to asking the right questions. Taking the opportunity to do so may well offer you a fresh perspective on where you are coming from and where you would like to be heading in your teaching.
Another major part of our redevelopment work will be designing a collegiate support network for ENroute so that we can guide, encourage and challenge each other in making sense of our practice and articulating our contribution to student learning. Celebrating the achievement of Fellowships will be a further part of the process! Watch this space for further details of the redeveloped framework, and use the comments space to share your views on what you want your experience to feel like when you apply.
Contributed by Elaine Mowat, Academic Professional Development
This post aims to explain some of the whos and hows of what is involved in the ENroute redevelopment.
The first how was a big one:
How could the University learn from the experiences of the first year of ENroute operation and from good practice in the sector to develop a framework to meet the professional recognition ambition of the University? That ambition includes the Academic Strategy KPI that that all salaried academic staff will achieve Higher Education Academy fellowship by 2020 and the desire that all other staff in relevant roles teaching and supporting learning also gain this fellowship. And just who could enable that?
The who are the ENroute Project Team and Project Board. The Project Team was formed in September and comprises members of the Academic Professional Development, ASPEN and HR teams. The Project Team’s work is overseen by the ENroute Project Board convened by Sally Smith (Head, School of Computing). The Project Team meets on a 3 week basis and we have been very busy! We have held focus groups with applicants and potential applicants, engaged in meetings with all the Heads of School and Faculty Assistant Deans (Learning and Teaching), negotiated framework amendments with the Higher Education Academy, surveyed frameworks in the sector and taken part in a number of institutional visits to find more out about individual frameworks. We’ve also spent much worthwhile time verifying the fellowship data to uncover unrecorded fellowships – and record them, cleanse records and institute processes for future fellowships to be recorded. More information on all of these activities will be provided in future blogs. But for us, there was another important how to answer.
How could we engage colleagues in shaping and supporting the redeveloped framework?
This has been achieved through the ENroute School Representatives who have kindly taken on this role as a link between their school and the ENroute team to advise on the redevelopment and to engage their colleagues in the opportunities ahead to gain HEA fellowship. And who are the representatives? The representatives have already contributed through their participation in the ENroute away day with the project team (not very away – held at Merchiston on a very snowy December day). Our focus on that day was primarily on two more hows:
- How can we offer review choices that meet the preferences identified by applicants and have proved to be welcomed and valued within the frameworks of our sister institutions?
- How could we develop a system with streamlined processes within a quality framework to enable ease, clarity and transparency while coping with the anticipated number of applicants given the University’s ambition?
To find out the answer to all these and some more hows and even some whens and wheres, please look at future fortnightly blogs posted up to the launch of the redeveloped ENroute in May.
Contributed by Fiona Campbell, Academic Professional Development