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  • Proposal for a Scottish Universities and Colleges Consortium for the eEnhancement of Students’ Skills (SUCCESS)

    Lead site

    1. Contact details for project leader.

    Dr Gordon Walkden Director of Teaching & Learning College of Physical Sciences University of Aberdeen 2. Details of other members of the project team. Dr Sara Preston, Academic Learning & Study Unit Patricia Spence, Manager, Learning Technology Unit Julie McAndrews, Manager, Centre for Lifelong Learning Marlis Barraclough / Kirsty McKnight, Assistant College Registrars (Teaching & Learning), College of Physical Sciences 3. Summary of the relevant skills and experience these staff will bring to the project. (CVs may be appended to the proposal.)

    Dr Gordon Walkden Gordon Walkden is a senior manager in charge of Teaching and Learning in one of the three constituent Colleges of Aberdeen University. He is an active teacher and researcher; chairs the College Communication and Information Technology Committee; has much experience of quality review in HE and is demonstrably committed to the Skills agenda. He is an experienced chairperson and has a good track record of high value financial control and delivery of innovative projects. An abbreviated CV is appended. Dr Sara Preston Sara Preston is an Academic Skills Adviser in the Academic Learning & Study Unit. The Unit provides advice to the University regarding issues of retention and progression, and supports students’ learning through the provision of: workshops, advice sessions and online resources on study skills. The Unit also works with staff on in-course skills development. She previously worked as a Teaching/Research Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences where she was involved in the coordination and management of various research projects and was the Course Coordinator and main Lecturer in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in experimental design, analysis and presentation of scientific information. Patricia Spence Patricia Spence has been the Manager of the Learning Technology Unit at the University of Aberdeen for 4 years, and has been involved in the development and implementation of learning technology for over 7 years. The Unit supports academic staff through collaborative project work and the delivery of staff development. Before joining the academic community, Patricia worked for a commercial multimedia company, designing, developing and marketing eLearning materials for the Oil and Gas Industry, and in project management and marketing roles within the Financial Services sector. Julie McAndrews (To be completed) Marlis Barraclough / Kirsty McKnight Kirsty McKnight and Marlis Barraclough are experienced administrators in higher education. Kirsty studied law at the University of Aberdeen, and has previously worked as Assistant Faculty Officer in the then Faculty of Science and Engineering and as Faculty Officer in the Faculty of Education. Marlis read Russian at the University of Edinburgh, and joined the University after working as a policy officer at the then Scottish Office. She initially worked as a senior policy officer directly with the Principal, then within the Court Office. Together, they are responsible for supporting teaching and learning within the College of Physical Sciences.


    4. Contact details for each partner higher/further education institution.

    Institution Contact Details (Main contact is in bold)

    University of Dundee Dr Ken Peebles,


  • Division of Civil Engineering

    Faculty of Science & Engineering The University of Edinburgh Jeff Haywood,

    Director, Media & Learning Technology Service University of Glasgow Allan Martin,

    Director, I.T. Education Unit Heriot-Watt University Professor Bob Reuben,

    Director of Teaching and Learning, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences

    Dr Keith Brown,

    School of Engineering & Physical Sciences University of Paisley Dr Des Nicholl,

    Assistant Dean, Teaching & Learning

    School of Engineering & Science The Robert Gordon University

    Dr Norrie Edward,

    School of Engineering

    Judith Smith,

    Director, Department of eLearning University of St. Andrews Dr Colin Mason,

    Director of Teaching & Learning Development

    SALTIRE (St Andrews Learning Teaching Innovation Review Enhancement) University of Stirling Peter Kemp,

    Director, Information Services Simon Booth, Manager, Centre for eLearning Development Ruth Watkins, Director, Student Learning Services

    University of Strathclyde Professor Neal Juster,

    Dean of Engineering Clackmannan College Gavin Drain,

    Team Leader, Engineering Studies Moray College John Ellwood,

    Assistant Principal, Curriculum Stevenson College Edinburgh

    Veronica Ferguson,

    Partnership Development Manager

    Kirstine Drysdale Head of Educational Development

    Contact details for institutions that have noted interest in this proposal: David Morley Head of Online Learning & Information Services Aberdeen College

    5. Details of their role in the partnership.


  • 5.1. SUCCESS 5.1.1. The Scottish Universities & Colleges Consortium for the eEnhancement of Students’ Skills (SUCCESS) has arisen out of the common need to enhance students’ core skills, particularly at entry level. All partner institutions have indicated:

    • Difficulties in teaching at entry levels across all disciplines because of widely differing core skills and prior knowledge levels

    • Disproportionate efforts by teaching staff to meet the educational needs at entry level of a diverse cohort of students

    • Disparate approaches to enhance students’ core skills at entry level within and between institutions • Adverse effects on retention and progression, employability

    5.1.2. The aims and objectives of the consortium are to:

    • Collaborate in the definition/benchmarking of core skills in the FE/HE sector • Share teaching materials and methods, good practice • Explore potential for and enable collaboration in teaching along discipline lines, across FE/HE • Establish a network for exchanging, sharing and disseminating material and expertise on core skills

    5.2 Organisational Structure of Project/Role of Lead and Partner Institutions 5.2.1. Within the context of the SHEFC/FEFC e-learning initiative, the consortium proposes to deliver an e- learning framework to enhance students’ core skills and create the Tertiary Education Core Skills Network (for details on aims and objectives of the project, see question 8 below).

    5.2.2. Overall strategic responsibility and financial management will rest with the Stakeholder Management Group, chaired by Dr Gordon Walkden, Director of Teaching & Learning, College of Physical Sciences of the University of Aberdeen. This group will be appointed by the partner institutions and will act both as a management board to the project and be delegated with responsibility for the interests of the management of their respective institutions. Institutions will not receive funds to participate in this group. 5.2.3. Operational responsibility will rest with the Project Manager. He/she will lead a small team of learning technologists and a repository manager to assess learning materials, put together e-learning materials and assist in adapting materials for the repository. This small team will work closely with the discipline teams. It will implement the strategy set out by the Management Stakeholder Group. This team will be funded through the e-learning initiative. 5.2.4. Pedagogical input and advice will be provided by the Design, Content and Pedagogy Advisory Group. It will work closely with the project team, have editorial control over the material placed in the repository and advise on any questions of pedagogy that may arise. This group will lead the process of defining agreed benchmarks for core skills for HE at entry level. Members will be drawn from partner institutions. Institutions will receive funds to participate in this group. 5.2.5. Detailed assessment of materials available across the FE/HE sector, their contextualisation and adaptation for use within the e-learning framework will be undertaken by discipline groups, headed by partner institutions. We envisage six discipline groups (although in practice these may be sub-divided): Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering, Business, Arts, Social Sciences. 5.2.6. Each discipline group will have at their disposal funds to enable contextualisation and adaptation of material for placing in the common repository. Groups will have to bid for appropriate funds to facilitate this work. The amount of funding available to each discipline group will be agreed by the Stake

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