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Learning enhancement

At The Open University in Scotland we enable people and communities across Scotland to raise their aspirations and realise their full potential.

Through our learning enhancement activity we aim to:

• Widen participation through the enhancement of teaching, learning and the student experience
• Increase the retention and attainment of students from the most deprived communities in Scotland
• Monitor and evaluate projects trialling new and innovative learning and teaching methods
• Ensure that the student voice is heard through all areas of our work through effective student partnership working

Enhancement ThemesEnhancement Themes logo

Like all other Scottish higher education institutions, The Open University in Scotland engages in Enhancement Themes work: three-year, national programmes of work overseen by QAA Scotland (the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) which cover an aspect of teaching and learning.

Enhancement Themes aim to improve the learning experience of students studying within the Scottish higher education sector.

The Themes “…encourage institutions, staff and students to work together to develop new ideas and models for innovation in learning and teaching. Each Theme also allows the sector to share and learn from current and innovative national and international practice.”

Student outdoors with books and headphonesThe current Theme, ‘Evidence for Enhancement: Improving the Student Experience’ focusses on the use of data and evidence to enhance the student experience and covers topics that range from learning analytics to what kinds of evidence can be used or collected to inform assessment.

The Open University in Scotland is using the Theme work to support the emergence of a robust culture of engagement with practice and evidence in all its forms that aims to support the success of our students.

This work will be directed through three main strategic pathways, focussing on the development of:

• Student outcomes: Retention, success and community – how evidence informs us about these and helps us put into place interventions that can help address these and evaluate that these work
• Skills development and support around evidence-based practice – including how and when to use what kinds of evidence to support what we do, improving data literacy and capability
• Sharing what works: Internal knowledge-exchange, encouraging internal dialogue and discussion

Our full institutional plan for Year One and Two is available here.

The previous Enhancement Theme (2014-17) was Student Transitions. An overview of our work on this Theme can be found here.

Developing and Supporting the Curriculum was the Enhancement Theme for 2011-14.

Research in action

Our research doesn't just benefit The OU in Scotland but has impact on learning and teaching across Scotland.

  • Third Sector Internships Scotland: Read the report, and click here to watch a video (at foot of webpage) about this OU in Scotland-led scheme.
  • Opening Educational Practices in Scotland: Click here to find out more about this OU in Scotland-hosted project.
  • Work-based learning at undergraduate level in Scotland: Read the report from this OU in Scotland-led study.

Contact us

Heather Gibson
Learning Enhancement Manager

Amy McDermott
​Widening Participation and Enhancement Officer

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