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University of Bradford and partners lead the way in demonstrating innovative teaching methods


The University of Bradford is taking part in a major project to demonstrate how innovative teaching methods can be used by universities on a large scale to benefit students.

The SCALE-UP teaching model uses problem-solving group activities combined with a ‘flipped-learning’ approach. Flipped-learning reverses the usual study format so that video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, allowing discussions and activities to take place in group sessions.

Now, Nottingham Trent University is to lead a project with partners Anglia Ruskin University and Bradford, who have also demonstrated the value of team-based learning, to show how these active learning approaches can be used on a large scale across universities.

All three institutions have reported benefits for students, including improved enhanced ‘wider’ engagement with module material outside the classroom, improved student attendance, early student socialisation, acclimatisation, progression and achievement.

Although the value of these approaches is widely recognised in the university sector, it has proved challenging for institutions to spread their adoption beyond staff who are ‘innovators’, limiting how widely they are practised.

The £1m project, called SCALING UP Active Collaborative Learning for Student Success, will aim to address that limitation. It has been awarded nearly £441,000 of Higher Education Council for England (HEFCE) money to support the work in all three institutions.

Professor Marcus Rattray, Head of the School of Pharmacy, University of Bradford, said: “We are delighted that we will be able to work with two other institutions to help embed Team Based Learning in UK university teaching. Having used Team Based Learning for our Pharmacy course since 2012 we are confident about its ability to transform the learning experience for students. Our pharmacy students are more independent as learners, more enquiring and more empowered than ever before.”

Simon Tweddell, co-applicant and University of Bradford National Teaching Fellow, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to build on the successes of Bradford School of Pharmacy. We look forward to working with colleagues across all three institutions to expand and advance the use of Team-Based Learning. We’re convinced that active pedagogies promote student learning, can develop graduate capabilities, whilst enhancing the learning experience”

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