Dean of new LALT is Psychology lecturer Garry Wilson

The Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching (LALT) is a newly founded collective which aims to share and develop the best practice in learning and teaching. The LALT will encourage innovation, collaboration and participation in projects throughout the university. This will be achieved through:

  • Providing administrative support for staff and student groups
  • A good practice seminar programme
  • Teaching and learning resources
  • Supporting staff who wish to become accredited by the Higher Education Academy

The LALT will develop projects and themes that “actively support teaching practice.”

Garry Wilson, lecturer in the School of Psychology, has been appointed the Dean of the Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching. We spoke to Garry about his new role:

“I will be the first Dean of the Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching. The job is a university-level temporary appointment (18 months) which is to provide leadership for sharing good practice and encouraging specific aspects of learning and development across the entire institution. Candidates had to apply outlining their experience and their goals if they were elected. Applicants were shortlisted down to 4 candidates (two of us from psychology) who were then elected into the post by an electorate of some 740 or so members of staff (all academic staff and support staff who teach/support learning). So, it was an unusual process and one that I think we all found quite stressful.

I will set up a Teaching Repository of good practice which will allow colleagues to share their good practice with others and hopefully help them with their career progression. My other main focus will be to prioritise independent learning amongst undergraduate students. Each 15 credit point module represents 150 hours of endeavour. Typically, modules only have two hours per week of contact time which leaves some 126 hours of work on each module that is largely unstructured, unmonitored and underused apart from general reading and, rarely, guided reading (Like in Evolutionary Psychology).  Academics, I think, expect A-levels to have equipped students with the study skills that allow them to be independent learners, but increasingly it is becoming apparent that this is not the case.  In my opinion, there has been undue focus on teaching rather than learning, and on what happens in the classroom. I think that it makes more sense and students can benefit more (both within their degrees and across their whole lives) if we shift the focus onto independent learning. This will mean providing more guidance for students in terms of how much they should be doing, but also what activities they should be carrying out, study skills, etc. There will be increased support for first years especially, with digital resources and guided reading, exercises, etc. to help structure independent learning.”

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