Recognition and Funding

Quality Teaching | Meaningful Learning

Learning Enhancement and Innovation Projects

The Innovation Fund is an annual opportunity for colleagues at the University of Northampton to bid for monies to undertake research projects in the field of pedagogical development, research and innovation. The fund has run for over 10 years and in that time has awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds to projects which have impacted how we approach and undertake learning and teaching activities here at the University of Northampton. The funding cycle is launched each year at the University Learning and Teaching Conference in June, the funds are awarded in September and the projects are undertaken within the academic year. Each project receives mentoring and support from the Learning and Teaching Enhancement team and the projects are disseminated at the University Learning and Teaching Conference.

Detailed information about the Call and how to submit a proposal is provided in the Call for Innovation Bids

Current Projects

  • ‘Engaging’ students with education: promoting inclusivity through technology: Phase 2 (version 2 plus wider dissemination) – Alison Power / Emma Whewell, FHES and FAST
  • Exploring Academic Misconduct for GEM students: Some Insights into Student Behaviour and their attainment in Higher Education – Associate Prof. Patrice Seuwou; Nathan Dodzo; Prof. Michael Opoku Agyeman, FBL and FAST
  • Bringing learning alive: empowering the use of immersive technologies to blend physical and digital spaces – Dr Helen Caldwell, FHES
  • Study of possible solutions to reduce the GEM Award Gap- A case study of the Accounting and Finance (A&F) subject group – Dr Ouarda Dsouli, FBL
  • Engaging the postgraduate student voice for enhancement of learning and teaching – Dr Tracey Redwood, FHES
  • Fostering empathy, critical thinking and reflection in order to enhance students’ adaptability and problem solving-skills through introducing LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® – REAL TIME CHANGE® methodology into UON curriculum – Gosia Plotka, FBL
  • Understanding the value of sociology in raising engagement, attainment, and retention amongst level 4 sport students – James Mason, FAST
  • Agents of Change: Engaging Students in Social Innovation across an Integrated Foundation Year. (part 2) – Kirsty Wagstaffe, FAST
  • Those who can, write poetry; Developing teaching assistants’ reflective practice and exploring  the personal and professional challenges for those working in schools through the use of poetry – Korrin Smith-Whitehouse, FHES
  • An evaluation of black students’ experiences of Learning Development – Sheryl Mansfield and Beth Garrett, LLS and SU
  • Beyond the ‘usual suspects’: Exploring the adoption of ‘good practice’ recommendations for closing the GEM attainment and continuation gaps at UoN: PHASE 2 – Siobhan Dytham, FHES
  • Ensuring the sustainability of co-created pedagogical approaches – A teacher perspective Dr Seydou Ouattara, FBL

Previous Projects

1. Course Redesign for Blended Learning

2. Digital approaches to teaching, learning and assessment

3. Changemaker

  • Integrating and expanding skills between FBL and FAST (cross faculty) students by embedding changemaker skills and social innovation into student learning. Friedemann Schaber, FAST and Rebecca Fakoussa, FBL (2020-21)
  • Agents of change: Engaging students in social innovation across an Integrated Foundation Year. Kirsty Wagstaffe, FAST (2020-21)
  • Student persona, Susie Palmer-Trew, Student Union (2020-21)
  • STEM4Me: A student-led STEM buddies scheme focused on enhancing primary school pupils’ STEM aspirations, widening participation and improving access to science – Josephine Chen-Wilson, FHES (2021-22)

4. Development learning and teaching resources

5. Change of teaching and assessment practice

  • Evaluating efforts to decolonise the curriculum – exploring the experiences of staff and students at UON. Dr Charlotte Dann, FHES (2020-21)
  • Restorative Practices: Inclusive Pedagogy, Nicola Preston, FEH
  • Implementation of a fair group marking, and student scoring scheme based upon separate product and process assessment responsibilities, Suraj Ajit, FAST
  • Cross-disciplinary collaboration through Peer Observation as a strategy to enhance student engagement and inclusion, Julian Brown, FEH and FBL
  • Evaluating the impact of the University Review of Assessment, Rachel Maxwell, ILT
  • Exploring academic staff understandings and implementation of diversity and inclusion within the curriculum, Charlotte Dann, FHS
  • Learning without teaching and without content: exploring the extremities of active learning (2017-18)
  • Exploring diversity in psychology through Active Blended Learning (2017-18)
  • Empowerment in teaching and learning (2015-16)
  • Peer Assessment (2015-16)
  • Beyond Safety in Teaching and Learning: Supporting the Delivery of Challenging and Contested Topics – Dr Lauren McAllister, FHES (2021-22)
  • Effect of active student engagement in Project-based Learning Environment with Lean Mindset – Dr Rasoul Khandan, FAST (2021-22)

6. Student contribution to teaching and learning

7. Evaluating student experience

  • Listening to liberate: Using critical reflexivity to liberate students of colour. Nick Cartwright, FBL (2020-2021)
  • Transitions and aspirations, Eunice Lumsden, FEH
  • TECH4All: Towards a super supportive digital university, Cristina Devecchi, FEH, FAST and LLS
  • Evaluating a self-efficacy engagement and retention strategy in the Foundation Study Framework 2017 (2017-18)
  • Yes we listen, but do we hear? Unlocking the EWO Student voice (2017-18)
  • Student retention (The lecturer’s perspective) (2017-18)
  • Concentrated delivery (2016-17)
  • Social impact from transformational learning (2016-17)
  • Evaluating Foundation Programmes (2015-16)

    8. Attainment, Retention and Progression

    9. Postgraduate Students

    Link to CATE and NTF

    CATE and NTF

    The Learning and Teaching Enhancement team support colleagues across the institution in relation to the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) and the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS).

    Each academic year, the University of Northampton can nominate a team to the CATE scheme and up to three individuals for the NTF scheme. This cycle of nomination is launched at the annual learning and teaching conference in June with a selection, mentoring and nomination process resulting in applications being submitted to Advance HE.

    Please read How to apply for the Higher Teaching Awards 2022/2023, and if you require more information, please get in touch:

    Shân Wareing

    Shân Wareing

    Deputy Vice Chancellor

    Shân is the University of Northampton’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, and also holds the voluntary role of Chair of the Unite Foundation, a charity that provides homes at university for care experienced and estranged students. Her first degree was in English Language and Literature, and her PhD is in sociolinguistics, focussing on gender and communication styles. She’s a professor of teaching in higher education and has developed and delivered education strategies underpinned by learning technologies in six universities, and at London South Bank University led a student journey redesign programme based on implementing a new technology infrastructure. She is a National Teaching Fellow and is also a Principal Fellow of the HEA.

    Chris Powis

    Chris Powis

    Director of Library and Learning Services

    Chris is Director of Library and Learning Services at the University of Northampton. Alongside responsibility for the library he has academic skills development, learning technology (including the university’s VLE), Educational Linguistics and the central learning and teaching support including academic staff development.

    Chris is a National Teaching Fellow, a Principal Fellow of the HEA and a Fellow of CILIP and has spoken and published widely on teaching and learning. He is currently interested in learning environments and the sense of place on campus.

    Kate Coulson

    Kate Coulson

    Head of Learning and Teaching Enhancement

    Kate Coulson is Head of Learning and Teaching Enhancement at the University of Northampton. Her work is focussed on equality of opportunity within higher education, and she strives to enhance the educational experiences of all students. She is a strong advocate of strong collegiality and the sharing excellent practice.