The purpose of LALT is to share and develop the practice of the membership (all academic staff and support staff involved in Learning and Teaching) by collating and sharing best practice in learning and teaching. We will do this by providing administrative support for staff and student groups exploring areas of learning and teaching, providing a seminar programme whereby you can share your good practice and ideas, and creating a repository whereby resources for teaching and examples of good practice will be stored. We can provide support for colleagues wishing to become accredited by the Higher Education Academy and in preparing colleagues and students for the NSS.
Because LALT both consists of and relies upon those who teach, there will be multiple ways in which you the members can direct the activities of LALT. We will do our best to create opportunities and run events that you want and would find useful. One of the most powerful opportunities is for staff who teach to identify and find solutions to major challenges in learning and teaching. My intention is that there will be an initial opportunity for staff to identify processes policies/operational issues that could be improved and thereby enhance our Learning and Teaching Practice at the LALT launch event in September and also electronically via the website and possibly via discussion groups. I also intend that all LALT members will have agenda items sent to them well in advance of the Academy Board meetings (the board is the panel that provides oversight for LALT) so that you can raise issues with your college representatives. I intend also to have office hours during which you can come and chat with me directly. I was elected by you the community and as such I represent your views – a role that I take very seriously.
One of the projects I proposed during Hustings and which will be a major focus of my time is in shifting the emphasis from teaching to learning across the institution. Learning is a collaborative process and students are co-producers of knowledge. This is an active role that sadly A-levels do not emphasise. My plan is for us to explore efficient ways in which we can organise students’ time outside of their interactions with staff so that they see scheduled teaching as just one form of learning. I believe this will improve students’ grades, improve their employability and graduate destinations and help research output as more of their work (e.g. dissertations) will be of publishable quality. LALT will also be guided by you the members in that you will decide what other projects LALT works on over the course of my Deanship.
I will take up my post as Dean of LALT from the 1st of August. I very much look forward to working with you to make LALT work for you.
Dr Garry Wilson
Dean of the Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching