Recommendations to the Policy Makers

Table of Contents:

Findings

• Changes to the demography of student population and high participation of non-traditional students in mass higher education, growing global interconnectedness, development of educational technology and proliferation of digital media, and increasing competition in higher education, all have profound implications on teaching and learning. The changes in the higher education environment are outpacing advances in scholarship, policy reforms and institutional practice. Much of teaching and learning in European classrooms happens without taking into the account the latest scholarship in this area or the changes in the student body and the higher education environment.

• Teaching and learning is a broad field and comprises a number of areas with fast

evolving research agendas. Some basic questions as to who are today's students, how do they learn, what motivates them, how do we know what they learn, etc. have still not been satisfactorily resolved.

• There is unevenness in policy initiatives and structural support for advancement

of teaching and learning in higher education in Europe. Some countries have no policies and instruments to support teaching and learning.

• The differences between individual institutions are significant in terms of their

structures and processes for excellence in teaching and learning. It is not uncommon that higher education teachers are left fully to their own devices to improve their teaching (or not).

• The European cooperation to modernise teaching and learning in higher edu-

cation has so far been fragmented and in absence of an overarching strategy.

Recommendations

• Concerted effort is needed among European governments and higher education stakeholders, including higher education researchers, to advance excellence in teaching and learning in European higher education.

• Cross-country exchange of knowledge and collaborative projects for advance-

ment of scholarship in teaching and learning is called for, especially in the following areas:

– Instructional methods, tools and technologies and learning environments (active and effective learning; reflective learning and teaching; educational technology; digital learning environments and online education)

– Authentic assessment of student learning and student experience (consequences of different grading and assessment practices on student learning; standardised versus individualised practices of assessment; student surveys and qualitative methods to investigate student learning and experience)

– Student motivation, self-regulation and student engagement (self-regulated learning; sense of belonging and ownership; student learning outside academic tasks; student engagement in extracurricular activities; student social networks; challenges for non-traditional students)

• Joint initiatives within the EHEA are needed to help translate scholarship into policy and practice through joint policy development, policy learning, and support for capacity-building for research, education and training in the area of teaching and learning at European, national and institutional levels (teaching and learning institutes/agencies/research groups, and institutional units for excellence in teaching and learning).

 
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