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The University of Southampton
Centre for Higher Education Practice

PGCAP Module 1 Introduction to learning design: The practice of teaching

This module aims to provide an overview of learning and teaching within HE and to develop strong design skills built around Biggs’ model of aligned learning and teaching (constructive alignment) utilising both the Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO) and Bloom’s taxonomies.

Workshops provide exposure to the underlying theory and provide opportunities to develop skills such as writing learning outcomes, session planning and evaluation, and introducing current and emerging learning technologies. An introduction to assessment and feedback is also included to complete the constructive alignment cycle and to help meet the early demands for contributions to assessment which new lecturers are likely to experience.

Full details of module 1 are provided in the PGCAP Module 1 Handbook.

For workshop dates, please visit the PGCAP Dates page.


The overall aim of this module is to explore and evaluate issues related to the design and delivery of learning within a higher education context.

Learning outcomes

Having successfully completed the module, participants should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  1. Apply knowledge of how students learn in reflecting upon various teaching and learning situations within your subject area.

Subject specific intellectual and research skills

  1. Reflect on their personal and professional practice and development, assess their future development needs and make a plan for their continuing professional development.

Subject specific practical skills

  1. Write and use learning outcomes that are appropriate for a given learning and teaching session.
  2. Critically analyse and reflect upon the appropriateness and effectiveness of learning and teaching activities and resources to facilitate quality learning.
  3. Critically analyse and reflect upon the appropriateness of learning outcomes for a session and the alignment of learning and teaching activities with these learning outcomes.
  4. Develop, informed by the analysis of evaluation data, strategies for enhancing the student experience.

Transferable and Generic Skills

  1. Compose and communicate ideas effectively, both orally and in writing.
  2. Organise and integrate their learning with existing commitments, and produce work to deadlines.
  3. Apply self-directed learning skills which are essential for learning with limited contact time.
  4. Apply education design and delivery skills in different contexts.
  5. Apply reflective skills outside of their discipline context.
  6. Enhance their teaching activities through the integration of their research findings and process.
  7. Display initiative and personal responsibility.

The above Learning Outcomes are underpinned by five Professional Values that are concerned with 'how' teaching and learning support are undertaken and the values that inform decisions and actions. On completion of the module, you should be able to demonstrate the following professional values underpinning the learning outcomes:

  1. A commitment to scholarship in teaching, both generally and within the discipline.
  2. A respect for individual learners and for their development and empowerment.
  3. A commitment to work with and learn from colleagues.
  4. The practising of equal opportunities.
  5. A commitment to continued reflection and evaluation, and consequent improvement of your own practice.

Peer Observation

All PGCAP module 1 participants will need to be observed by an experienced educator and a peer during a teaching and learning session/activity. The experienced educator could be the PGCAP mentor, a former PGCAP participant, an experienced colleague in your School, or a PGCAP tutor. We are working with Associate Deans Education and other Associates across the University to establish a network of mentors/peer observers working within faculties. A peer will be one of your fellow PGCAP participants.  You will be allocated a peer observer during a PGCAP Module 1 workshop.

If you do not have an opportunity to be observed during the semester in which you are attending the Module 1 workshops, you should discuss your situation with a PGCAP tutor.

The session that is observed will normally form the basis of the module 1 peer observation assignment and therefore the session observed should ideally be one that you would like to analyse and write your assignment about.

Assignment Surgeries

As part of Module 1, participants will be offered two opportunities to attend an assignment surgery for each module. These provide an opportunity to ask specific questions about aspects of an assignment which you would like clarifying.  Dates for assignment surgeries are in the Key Date document that is given at the first workshop.  Attendees must have identified any queries they may have and bring along a synopsis of their assignment to the assignment surgery.  Participants from all cohorts who have completed module 1 workshops are welcome to attend.


The UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF)

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