Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)

Module EDUC59730: Reflective Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Department: Education

EDUC59730: Reflective Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Type Tied Level 5 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap None.
Tied to X9K814


  • Successful completion of the module Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and/or holding Associate Fellowship of Advance HE (AFHEA) Status


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To support higher education professionals in developing a wide range of knowledge, skills, values and behaviours which underpin high quality teaching and the support of student learning.
  • To enable participants to develop an enquiry based project which arises from their own practice in teaching and supporting learning.
  • To develop the ability to reflect critically on teaching.
  • To develop higher education professionals who are committed to continuous development and lifelong learning relevant to learning and teaching in higher education.
  • To provide opportunities for professional recognition against institutional, national and international benchmarks.
  • To addresses the requirement of the UK Professional Standards Framework Descriptor 2, in particular that graduates of the module will be able to demonstrate a knowledge ‘of how students learn, both generally and within their subject/disciplinary area(s)’ (K3), that they 'engage in continuing professional development in subjects/disciplines and their pedagogy, incorporating research, scholarship and the evaluation of professional practices' (A5), and 'use evidence-informed approaches and the outcomes from research, scholarship and continuing professional development' (V3).


  • Areas of activity, core knowledge and professional values as outlined in the UK Professional Standards Framework of teaching and supporting learning in higher education (UKPSF), in particular A5, K3 and V3;
  • Key theories, principles and concepts in learning and teaching in higher education relevant to the focus of participants' enquiry based project;
  • A body of empirical research that seeks to explain how learning outcomes are influenced by variation in students’ approaches to learning and their conceptions of what ‘learning’ means in a given context;
  • Reflective practice and the role of reflection for developing as a higher education professional;
  • The process of practitioner enquiry and pedagogic research as a means to evaluate and enhance practice.
  • Self-directed reading from seminal and current research texts

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding and critical awareness of selected concepts, principles, current practices and new insights relevant to learning and teaching in their own disciplines and contexts, informed by research at the current limits of understanding.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Critically examine learning and teaching from a range of perspectives, with a particular emphasis on students’ perspectives,
  • Conceptualise, analyse and critique learning and teaching informed by relevant scholarship,
Key Skills:
  • Effectively carry out practitioner enquiry / pedagogic research in their own disciplines and contexts.
  • Approach teaching in a research-informed, student-centred way
  • Utilise student feedback to reflect upon and improve student learning
  • Appreciate the value of professional conversations with colleagues to reflect on and enhance student learning

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Interactive workshops, delivered as longer 1-2 day blocks as well as shorter sessions of 1-2 hours or half days;
  • Professional conversations about academic practice, both 1-1 and in small supportive groups:
  • A discipline specific pedagogic research/practitioner enquiry based project involving interviews with students: design, data collection and analysis;
  • Independent study;
  • Work-based activities as required by their specific roles and responsibilities;
  • Structured meetings with a tutor/mentor and relevant colleagues, 1-1 or in small groups.
  • The following work will be submitted for summative assessment: A report of their pedagogic research/practitioner enquiry based project.
  • All components of the assessment are aligned with Descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) for teaching and supporting learning in higher education.
  • Work will not be graded; judgements are pass-fail.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops 3 2 hrs - 1 day 13
Tutorial/drop-in 3 15-60 mins 1
Observation and Reflection on Practice/Professional Conversation 5 1 hr 5
Work Based Learning 128
Private Study 153
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Practitioner Enquiry/Pedagogic Research Project 3000 words 100% Yes
Component: Professional Conversation Component Weighting: 0%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Professional Conversation 30 Minutes 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Formal formative assessment will be provided in writing based on an outline of the focus and question addressed by the project, how it has been conceptualised in theoretical terms and how it will be carried out in terms of a proposed interview schedule. There will be additional opportunities to get peer and tutor feedback for the developing project during sessions and in 1-1 tutorials/drop-in sessions. In addition, the professional conversation sessions will allow practice of the assessed written conversation element.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University