At the moment it’s difficult to think about anything other than being in a consultation period for redundancy. This is underpinned by knowing that across the sector Teaching and Learning Development Units/Offices are being devolved into faculties and libraries or dissolved as the reality of the end of the TQEF means there is no longer a ring fenced budget to support the enhancement of Teaching and Learning. Does teaching and learning suddenly not matter anymore? Why isn’t the Teaching Enhancement and Student Success (TESS) fund not ring fenced in a similar way? Teaching and learning is integral to the future of higher education, to student success, to widening participation and to retention.
At a time where there is recognition across the sector of the changing nature of higher education and student demographics, the need to ensure that virtual learning is not seen as a quick fix, cheap solution has never been more crucial. In my department we support the use of educational technology to enable and enhance the delivery of high quality, interactive online content and have extensive experience of supporting successful distance learning provision. There are substantial costs involved with the development of effective virtual learning and we believe we are well placed to offer appropriate and meaningful advice. Redundancy may represent a threat to the teaching and learning development work we carry out across the university and in particular the pedagogical support of Blackboard, our virtual learning environment. Feeling at risk is a scary and lonely place to be.