Scholarly activity is a key part of high quality higher education delivery. It can take many forms, for example research, conference/event attendance and /or delivery of presentations/workshops, consultancy to industry, curriculum development that involves literature searching or work with a Higher Education Institution, and industrial secondments.
The Pearson Higher Education Qualifications team have been learning from the work of the Association of Colleges (AoC) who have been conducting a research project looking at how scholarship is undertaken in Higher Education providers in England. The AoC will be launching a scholarship framework in early 2018 to help Higher Education providers recognise the scholarship already taking place in their institutions (for example via employer engagement in teaching and learning, students as scholars, and curriculum development) and how they can further enhance it.
Adoption of the framework will help colleges enhance their provision including: submissions to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and Annual Provider Review (APR). Although the research underpinning this framework has been carried out in England, its findings should have a global application.
Our engagement with the project made us think about where the BTEC Higher National providers and students we work with are carrying out scholarship activities, and what the Pearson Higher Education Qualifications team’s role can be in enhancing scholarly activity to provide a richer scholarly experience for everyone involved in delivering our Higher Education courses.
This includes using HN Global as a space for thinking about teaching and learning, sharing experience, and starting conversations, using technology as a way to shorten the communicative distance between scholars and students within Higher Education providers around the world. Next time you or one of your students want to share or discuss your research, you could consider canvassing the views of the HN Global community.
Our role will also be to support colleges as they begin or continue to embed scholarship into their thinking and processes, by providing training in line with the outcomes of the AoC project.
The examples below should give a flavour of where providers and students are involved in scholarly activity in partnership with the Pearson Higher Education Qualifications team, and should get you reflecting on where you are already doing scholarship at your institution.
Examples of scholarship in action
In our work here at Pearson we work closely with BTEC Higher National providers in defining the curriculum of our new BTEC Higher National programmes. This process, part of the scholarship of integration and of application as defined by Boyer (1990) takes a number of forms.
As we build a picture of the required curriculum for new BTEC Higher Nationals, tutors working at BTEC Higher National providers are always involved in these discussions, whether on initial consultation panels, or in validating the BTEC HIgher Nationals, whether they are the national programmes of study that we put forward to Ofqual for regulation, or commissioned BTEC Higher National programmes that we offer on Pearson’s Self regulated Framework (SRF). They help us shape and refine the content and pedagogy of the qualifications, and are also frequently involved in writing learning and assessment content, bringing their knowledge of the subject and their experience of delivering it to bear in this process.
We also involve students in the development of new BTEC Higher Nationals, recognising the great value their voice brings to the qualifications. A good example of this is their role on the validation panels we hold at the end of each BTEC Higher National development process. These panels are convened to review and approve the final qualifications and consist of experts in the specific sector, representatives from industry, higher education, professional bodies, BTEC Higher National providers and, students, none of whom have been involved in the development to that point. The students on these panels provide comment and insight which is always thought-provoking and causes us to challenge our thinking, and in the end results in a better qualification. For us this demonstrates students as partners in scholarly activity.
Boyer, E.L. (1990) Scholarship Reconsidered: priorities for the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Pearson