University of Huddersfield - Teaching and Learning Code of Practice
This document outlines the expectations of our academic and professional support staff in delivering excellence in teaching and learning. There are resources available for our staff which underpin this work, including but not limited to iPark, MYMO on Brightspace, and the Teaching and Learning web pages.
University is a transformative experience for our students, it supports and enables access to a better future. They are making a huge financial and personal commitment in embarking on their studies with us, and for some they may struggle with a lack of support or even understanding about what being a student means. We need to encourage our students to see themselves as part of our academic community; we as academic staff can have a big impact on their future and should take pride in the part we play.
We must ensure that we take account of the diversity of our student body in all aspects of our delivery and support for teaching, learning and assessment in line with the expectations of our
Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity agenda,
and actively manage our environments so that they provide positive learning spaces where all students feel empowered to contribute.
Our assessments must be managed in such a way that it is clear what is expected of our students, that they are learning while they are preparing for assessment, that the assessment strategy does not discriminate against any of our students, that our deadlines are clear and the work required is proportionate to the credits assigned. Grading schemes should be available on Brightspace as soon as the assessment is posted, if not before. We should find ways to actively involve our students in the design of our assessments and in engaging with and applying assessment criteria.
Students must be given feedback on their assessed work within three working weeks, or sooner where this is appropriate. It should be honest, helpful and useful in informing future performance, grading should be fairly applied, and students should be signposted towards additional help if appropriate. Academic staff should make themselves available to discuss feedback given, if a student requests this.
PATs must offer a minimum of 5 meetings a year with their tutees, with a focus on identifying ways of supporting students to improve their academic performance. The PAT resource on Brightspace should be used to support the process and record the PAT meetings. It is important that PATs are proactive in making contact with students who they haven’t heard from as they may be struggling, and where appropriate refer them to any additional support through our Disability and Wellbeing services.
The needs of student communities should be foregrounded in timetabling activity to ensure that timetables work in the best interests of our students.
Communication methods and expectations, for both staff and students, should be clearly explained and signposted. All student messages (emails or Teams chat) must receive a response within two working days. No student should have to wait longer for an initial response to an email, even if that response is to indicate when to expect a fuller reply. When staff are away from university, they should ensure that messages from students can be dealt with by their colleagues to maintain the 48-hour timeline.
We can learn much from our students which helps us develop ourselves as teachers. They should be encouraged and supported to engage with us in developing a professional learning environment. Issues raised by students should be acted upon promptly and appropriately, and staff should communicate clearly actions taken. Where it is not possible to resolve an issue raised, or the resolution requested is not appropriate, staff should also explain why.
All staff have a responsibility to engage annually in Continuing Professional Development which takes as its focus good practice in teaching and learning, and also the use of teaching technologies. This should be recorded as part of the PDPR process. Internally, we have a wide range of accessible resources including MYMO on Brightspace, and resources from the Digital Skills Team on iPark.
Our students learn in many different ways and they are the best guides to help us understand what works for them. As teachers we want to reach each one of them in as many ways as we can and encourage them to enjoy the challenge of learning new things and new ways of doing something.