Sheffield Hallam’s new strategy, Transforming Lives, is built on four strategic pillars. Shaping Futures is the pillar which focusses on curriculum, teaching and learning and the student experience. Within this is a commitment to achieve ‘consistently outstanding teaching’ and a high quality learning experience for all its students.
This requires a concomitant expectation that all staff who teach them or support their learning can evidence a high level of teaching competence. One of the ways that this competence can be expressed is by formal recognition through AdvanceHE (HEA) fellowship; the TALENT scheme therefore aims to provide a variety of pathways through which all staff associated with student learning can gain fellowship.
The TALENT Framework
The Teaching and Learning ENhancemenT (TALENT) framework brings together the various provision for the recognition of higher education teaching practice within the institution by providing a coherent articulation of its governing principles. It facilitates consistent reference points across diverse taught and CPD routes using the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) descriptors to align provision and ensure parity. The framework supports strategic development of practice in the institution by using the UKPSF to cross-reference institutional infrastructure in a congruous and productive alignment. It is inclusive, catering not only for academic teaching staff but also all those whose role encompasses learning development or learning support; this includes Professional Services staff and research staff. To complete this inclusivity, provision is now provided for postgraduate research students who have teaching contracts as Associate Lecturers or similar.
The aims of the framework are:
- To provide a range of opportunities for University staff to obtain fellowship of the HEA.
- To recognise and value the expertise and commitment to learners of our teaching staff through the TALENT awards.
- To encourage and promote the development of academic practice within a consistent, supported and sector aligned framework.
- To enhance and add value to appropriate courses by conferring HEA fellowship status to qualifying candidates.
- To ensure that consistency, fairness and peer review underpin fellowship decisions regardless of the route undertaken.
Principles of the Framework
A consistent rationale connects all routes to AdvanceHE (HEA) Fellowship and TALENT awards. This is expressed through seven principles which underpin the framework, as follows.
All provision within the framework
1. Aligns to the UK Professional Standards Framework
All provision within the framework is formally aligned to the appropriate descriptor criteria. Additionally each route makes explicit reference to the dimensions of practice (DoP) in terms of learning outcomes, content, delivery strategies and/or evidentiary requirements of the award. Furthermore there is internal alignment with University policies and strategies which also explicitly reference the UKPSF.
2. Is practice based
All provision requires engagement with teaching and learning practice at Level 4 or higher. It is also required that participants reference that practice in both developmental and summative activities.
3. Develops reflective practice
All provision requires participants both to engage in reflective practice and to demonstrate that reflective process through both formative and summative evidence.
4. Engages with a teaching and learning community of practice (CoP)
Taught provision within the framework includes development of a peer community and exposure to a professional community of practice in teaching and learning. Direct submission routes have eligibility criteria which require minimum thresholds of experience as active practitioners in such a community.
5. Requires Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in teaching and learning
Whilst the provision within the framework itself constitutes CPD all routes have specific requirements to plan, participate in and record CPD activity and to inculcate it as a characteristic of academic practice. All awards to internal staff are subject to continued evidence of good standing through the maintenance of a CPD portfolio, supported by the Peer Review and Enhancement scheme and appraisal mechanisms.
6. Demonstrates scholarship
All provision actively promotes and supports the scholarship of teaching and learning. Relevant literature and scholarly resources are provided or signposted for participants. The expectations for evidentiary and scholarly underpinning are made clear in assessment briefs and guidance material and are appropriate to the descriptor level. Additionally, all staff formally teaching or providing associated development activity are appropriately qualified/conversant with relevant literature.
7. Includes peer endorsement of practice
All provision within the framework includes elements of feedback on, review and development of practice by experienced academic practitioners. It also offers opportunities to observe and learn from the practice of others.
Click here for details on how the fellowship routes meet the TALENT Principles.