Teaching & Learning


How Connected Curriculum Fellows are supporting UCL in embedding research-based education

24 October 2017

Six new Connected Curriculum Fellows have been appointed for 2017-18, building on the advocacy and research of the seven Fellows seconded last year.

Dr Brent Carnell from the Arena Centre, running a workshop

The Connected Curriculum, UCL’s framework for research-based education, is advanced by the advocacy, outputs and research of Connected Curriculum Fellows. Fellows are seconded from across the university with secondments ranging from 0.1 (one half day per week) to 0.4 (two full days per week) full time equivalent over a nine month period.  The Fellows are lead by Dr Brent Carnell (pictured) in the UCL Arena Centre for Research-based Education.  

When the Connected Curriculum Fellows scheme was first launched, Fellows were seen primarily as faculty-based advocates for the Connected Curriculum, but they are increasingly conducting research projects focusing on the six dimensions of the framework, creating support documents and leading staff development, as well as disseminating Connected Curriculum to the UK and global higher education community.

Six new Fellows appointed for 17-18

Following an application process over summer 2017, six new Connected Curriculum Fellows were appointed. The new Fellows join a group of specialist staff in the UCL Arena Centre for Research Based Education to promote and help develop the Connected Curriculum within their own faculty and across UCL.

Read about the Fellows and what they will be working on during their secondment.

What the Connected Curriculum Fellows contributed in 16-17

 Seven Fellows were appointed in 16-17. Research and investigative projects in the last year included:

Dr Nephtali Marina-Gonzalez, UCL Division of Medicine

A cardiovascular neuroscientist and Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Nephtali is a Senior Teaching Fellow and module lead of cardio-respiratory physiology and functional anatomy modules in the Applied Medical Science (AMS) course. His passion for Physiology has inspired him to implement novel active learning strategies such as Problem-Based Learning and Peer Instruction. He is the lead of the Connected Curriculum Committee in charge of implementing the initiative within AMS and the Division of Medicine. 

Aims as a Connected Curriculum Fellow: to spread the introduction of active learning strategies across UCL.

Main Connected Curriculum dimension: 2. A throughline of research activity is built into each programme.

Dr Michael Short, Bartlett School of Planning 

An urbanist and conservationist interested in issues of design quality in the historic environment, Michael is a Senior Teaching Fellow and programme director for an innovative new two-year Masters programme in the Bartlett - MPlan City Planning. He is interested in teaching methods and approaches which augment the student experience. 

Aims as a Connected Curriculum Fellow: to contribute to the development of group work as a method at UCL by examining student and staff perceptions of group work across built environment education in UCL and produce a toolkit for staff to develop group work strategies in their modules/programmes.

Main Connected Curriculum dimension: 6. Students connect with each other, across phases and with alumni.

Dr Henry Lancashire, UCL Division of Surgery

A Research Associate in the Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology, Henry’s research focuses on implantable medical electronics. He teaches on courses in the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science and the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering.

Aims as a Connected Curriculum Fellow: to build connections to the integrated BSc programme and with UCL's remote campuses at Stanmore and the Royal Free Hospital. He is also interested in building links between UCL alumni and current students.

Main Connected Curriculum dimension: 6. Students connect with each other, across phases and with alumni.

Dr Folashade Akinmolayan, Department of Chemical Engineering

Folashade is a Teaching Fellow who was heavily involved in the implementation of the Integrated Engineering Programme, which launched in September 2014 in the Faculty of Engineering. In her role, she is the departmental module co-ordinator for Engineering Challenges, professional skills and Mathematics. She runs three week-long projects for first and second year undergraduate students, which requires development of industrial style scenarios drawing together theoretical work and practical application.

Aims as a Connected Curriculum Fellow: to connect students, PGTAs, academics and industry to work as partners in developing a common/shared understanding of feedback and assessment in key assignments, such as scenarios in the engineering curriculum.

Main Connected Curriculum dimension: 4. Students connect academic learning with workplace learning.

Dr Julie Evans, UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences  

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Dr Tabitha Tuckett, UCL Library Services

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  • Evaluating research throughline approaches on five programmes (Gwyneth Hughes, IoE)
  • Understanding authentic multimodal assessments -- assessments that engage an audience using technology -- through interviews with staff and students from different programmes (Mira Vogel, Digital Education)
  • Learning from student perceptions of Connected Curriculum and Researching tutorial group communities and learning outcomes (Frank Witte UCL Social and Historical Sciences)
  • Investigating CC practice in PGT education (Jennifer Griffiths, UCL Engineering)
  • Assessing group work and peer marking of individual student contribution (Thomas Kador, UCL Culture)
  • Investigating and designing student repositories of assessments in The Bartlett (Luke Olsen, The Bartlett)
  • Researching and designing digital support tools to help staff and students enable the Connected Curriculum on their programmes (Eileen Kennedy) 

Fellows presented on a range of aspects of Connecting Curriculum at Cologne and Aarhus Universities, at conferences in London, Manchester, and elsewhere, as well as publishing in journals and books, including the open-access Connected Curriculum edited book Developing the Higher Education Curriculum (November 2017). 

Within UCL, they led staff development events, including Arena Exchanges, met with colleagues to discuss Annual Student Experience Review plans and delivered departmental workshops.

They also developed resources to support staff in their teaching, including a Quick Guide on Dialogue on Feedback, support documents for designing PGT programmes and