£1m project to promote innovative teaching

Published: 14 March 2017 at 12:00

Lord Ashcroft Building in Cambridge

Anglia Ruskin University to roll out new methods to benefit students

Anglia Ruskin University is participating in a £1million project to show how innovative active learning and teaching methods can be used by universities on a large scale to benefit students and break down some of the barriers to their success.

The project, called SCALING UP Active Collaborative Learning for Student Success, involves problem-solving group or team activities and a ‘flipped learning’ approach, which reverses the usual study format so that learning resources are accessed by students prior to attending class sessions, allowing for discussions and activities to take place in a supportive environment.

Anglia Ruskin is one of three UK universities, along with the University of Bradford and lead institution Nottingham Trent University, taking part in the project, which has received £441,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in an attempt to tackle the causes of disparities in outcomes between different student groups.

Active teaching methods, called SCALE-UP at Nottingham Trent and Team-based Learning at Anglia Ruskin and Bradford, have been successfully adopted by a number of teaching staff at each university who have reported benefits including improved student attendance, early student socialisation and better achievement.

The funding will allow this work to be extended across each institution, allowing more teaching staff to adopt the methods and more students to benefit. Outcomes from the project, which is led by Anglia Learning & Teaching, will be shared with other higher education providers, increasing the impact of the work for the benefit of student and staff across the sector.

Sharon Waller, Head of Anglia Learning & Teaching at Anglia Ruskin University, said: 

“As a university known for innovation we are always looking for opportunities to enhance the experience of our students.  

“This project provides a collaborative opportunity to explore the benefits of active learning pedagogies, including team-based learning, on a wider scale, enabling more staff and students to take part and gain.”