Learning Gain is a concept that has engaged political and policy attention in the UK in recent years. At its most simple, it is concerned with measuring ‘distance travelled’ across core domains of learning. Beyond this modest statement there is a myriad of applications to which learning gain is applied and measured. This event allowed exploration of how metrics, methods and approaches could be used to measure learning gain, how they could be practically realised and the value add to the TEF, the wider sector and importantly, to students.
As well as hearing about approaches within LEGACY, there was representation from some of the HEFCE funded Learning Gain Pilot Projects who provided an overview of their approaches and (some) initial findings through a series of Pecha-Kucha sessions, these sessions addressed other areas such as the TEF (and recent changes) the NSS as well as learning gain pilot projects also.
The LEGACY project are very grateful for all LG pilot project representatives from BCU, UEA and Ravensbourne, Iain Mansfield, (Department for Education), Dr Helen King, (HEFCE) and Professor Gwen van der Velden (The University of Warwick). With special thanks to Professor Paul Ashwin, Head of Educational Research, Lancaster University and Professor Chris Husbands, VC Sheffield Hallam University and TEF Panel Chair for delivering keynote speeches which explored the reasons behind the research of learning gain and the lessons learnt from the recent TEF assessment, respectively.
Below you will find links to presentations delivered in the respective sessions, additional information regarding the event, the speakers and other Pilot projects can be found in the event booklet. For further information about the LEGACY project, please contact Professor Christina Hughes, LEGACY Chair and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Student Experience), Sheffield Hallam University.
Keynote: Using Learning Gain to Measure Teaching Quality: Extravagant Expectations and Pragmatic Possibilities
Professor Paul Ashwin delivered an excellent keynote speech entitled 'Using Learning Gain to Measure Teaching Quality: Extravagant Expectations and Pragmatic Possibilities'. Paul brought together the current understandings of learning gain and the characteristics of valid measures of teaching quality, difficulties encountered and 'pragmatic' possibilities.
Pecha-Kucha Session 1
This was the first of two sessions where HEFCE and the pilot projects of the LG programme were given an opportunity to share their experiences.
Dr. Helen King outlined HEFCE's Learning Gain Pilot Programme with Professor Stuart Brand (Birmingham City University) and Helena Gillespie (University of East Anglia) sharing the aims, activities, initial findings and experiences of their own Learning Gain projects, respectively.
Employability Learning: Measures to Measure the Gain
Dr Nalayini Thambar contextualised the session, highlighting what the learning gain opportunity is in relation to employability. This Employability Learning: Measures to Measure the Gain introduced Dr Bob Gilworth who provided an update of the Careers Registration project, with more definitive informaiton on the 3 employability strands of the LEGACY project with Dr Nalayini Thambar presenting on Career Adapt-abilities, Eluned Jones on the International aspect and Anne Wilson on R2 Strengths.
Pecha-Kucha Session 2
This second session broaden its scope with Iain Mansfield, Department for Education highlighting the purpose of the TEF and its most recent changes. Nick Johnstone shared the experiences and findings of the LG pilot project at Ravensbourne and Professor Gwen van der Velden summarised some of the issues of the NSS and the importance of its relationship to learning gain.
Measurement of Learning Gain: Approaches and Implications
During this session the approach to 'measuring learning gain' within LEGACY was summarised by Professor Jan Vermunt, Professor Anna Vignoles and Dr Soni Ilie. They detailed their approach to surveying students and how questions posed are categorised into 4 components with cross cutting themes of openness and attitude to reseach. This session was supported by Dr Camille Kandiko Howson who, as the Pilot Programme Evaluator summarised some of her initial findings of the LG programme and identified differences between the projects' approaches, methodologies and findings.
Keynote: What Lessons are there from TEF2?
Professor Chris Husbands, VC Sheffield Hallam and TEF Panel Chair, provided an overview of the TEF, its development and submissions from HEI's and their assessment by the TEF panel. Professor Husbands also shared lessons learnt from the recent TEF2 exercise and identifies how and where these lessons learnt can be quantified within the context of learning gain, teaching quality and the student experience. A copy of his presentation can be found here