This book started life as an idea for publishing conference proceedings of the Active Learning Conference, held at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), in 2017. The conference itself was part of a collaborative project between ARU, Nottingham Trent University, and the University of Bradford, who had been jointly awarded HEFCE Catalyst funding to evaluate their existing provision of Active Collaborative Learning, and expand it at their respective institutions. More details of the conference and the Catalyst Project are to be found in the contributions from the project collaborators.
Although the original idea for a collection of conference proceedings did not materialise, it provided the motivation for this collection of texts on Innovations in Active Learning in Higher Education. Indeed, some of the contributions are derived from the original conference.
The editors all work in Anglia Learning & Teaching (AL&T), the learning, teaching, and assessment development unit at Anglia Ruskin University. Simon is the Acting Director of the Centre for Innovation in Higher Education, whose mission includes promotion of active learning. Uwe is the ARU Lead Academic on the Catalyst Project, and ran the Active Learning Conference. Mark is AL&T’s Research Fellow and co-organised the conference, and managed the review process for both the conference and this book.
Each chapter in this book is designed to be stand-alone and consequently we make no apologies for the repetition of terms, definitions, and explanations of acronyms, as this is inevitable if chapters are read out of sequence.
One thing we have found curious/interesting/challenging, is the use of the terms ‘Course’ and ‘Programme’. At ARU, a course is a collection of modules that an undergraduate student follows from Level 4 to Level 6, to achieve a degree in a particular topic within their field of study. Other universities, however, refer to this as a Programme. These terms appear, therefore, to be more or less interchangeable. In at least one chapter, however, both are used, although it is not clear what the distinction is between the two. We have, therefore, tried to remain consistent within each chapter, and remained faithful to the author(s)’ original use, rather than imposing our institution’s terminology.
We would like to thank the following people for their help in bringing this book together: The University of Sussex, all the authors, the reviewers, the Catalyst Project partners, the conference presenters and attendees.