Two highly engaging networking events took place in February which provided opportunities for discussions on the topic of impact in teaching and learning in higher education. Today, 25 February, teams funded through the 2018 Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund, representing 17 higher education institutions, met to reflect on the impact their work had had to date and how the positive changes they have initiated will be sustained and optimised into the future. The discussion was informed by inputs from student representatives (the National Forum’s Student Intern, Chloe Power, and Student Associates Mairead Fallon of MIC and Eoin Crossen of DCU), as well as international experts (Laura Czerniewicz of the University of Capetown, Michael Gaebel from the Higher Education Policy Unit of the European Universities Association and Christian Tauch of the German Rectors’ Conference).
Earlier this month, a networking event organised for teams funded through the 2019 Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning Enhancement (SATLE) Fund also had an impact theme, with participants from across the sector discussing impactful project management, evidencing the value of their work, and policy, strategy and communications for impact.
The National Forum has been exploring the topic of impact, in collaboration with the sector, throughout its current strategic period. A report published in 2019 outlined the impact of the 32 projects funded between 2014 and 2018, representing the collaboration of over 400 staff and the engagement of over 12,500 students and staff across higher education. A National Forum Insight also provided an overview of lessons from the literature on impact in teaching and learning.
Through discussions such as those that took place this month, it is intended to support the sectoral community to learn from their experiences of achieving, capturing and communicating impact, and to inform efforts to sustain the positive changes that result from investment of time and resources in the enhancement of teaching and learning.