PCAPHE Success!

PCAPHEAfter 2.5 years, I have finally completed my Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education!  I am beyond happy: not only did I pass, I received an overall grade of Merit, far exceeding my own expectations.

It all began back in February 2013, when I started Module A, a double module on teaching, learning and assessment, which also led to HEA Fellowship.  I then took 2014 off for maternity leave, and returned in February 2015 to complete Module D, a single module on elearning, which completed the credits required for the postgraduate certificate.

The course was hard work: it was academically challenging, and hard to balance with my normal workload and family life.  At times, I found it difficult to understand and apply the academic theory to my library practice. Over time, I began to redefine myself as a teacher rather than a librarian.  The course was also very enjoyable and inspirational.  It has sparked my interest in teaching and learning, and certainly improved my own practice, and therefore hopefully my students’ experience. It has also opened the door to many new opportunities including collaborative presentations with academics at the HEA teaching workshop and librarians at the BIALL conference.

Would I recommend the course?  Yes, definitely (but maybe not the year off)!

Am I going to do another course? No, it’s time for some ‘me time’, no more study (for a while at least)!


3rd Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2015

The Leicester Learning Institute hosted their 3rd Annual Teaching and Learning Conference on 30 June 2015.  The conference theme was Beyond the Placement: Where Next, and the focus was on careers and employability skills.

We heard from a variety of colleagues about employability schemes in their departments or colleges.  Richard Sandell (Museum Studies) described how practical vocational skills are interwoven into the MA degree curriculum.  Mark Goodwin (Genetics) discussed careers planning and support from year 1 of the BA degree course.  And Korin Grant (Economics) described an alumni mentoring scheme for BSc degree students.

One of the most enlightening talks was by Jennifer Williams from Teach First, who outlined their recruitment process, how Leicester students perform (compared to the national average), and which attributes Leicester students need to develop (humility, respect and empathy, leadership & resilience).

Some key themes to emerge from the conference were:

  • Consultation and partnerships with students and employers;
  • Embedding employability into the curriculum;
  • Accrediting employability programmes (HEAR statement);
  • Teaching students to articulate their employability skills in CVs and interviews.

There is some work we in the library can do on the employability agenda, particularly related to research skills and business intelligence.