SOLSTICE is Edge Hill University’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL).
Whilst the HEFCE funding for the 74 CETLs has ceased and many have effectively closed, in contrast Edge Hill University has retained the SOLSTICE brand as a signifier of its focus and processes for Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). This has been achieved by:
- Embedding TEL and SOLSTICE activities in the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy
- Positioning leadership of TEL with the Associate Deans Learning and Teaching within the Learning and Teaching Strategy Group chaired by the Dean of Teaching and Learning Development in collaboration with the Dean of Learning Services
- Maintaining a Senior SOLSTICE Fellow in an expert advisory capacity in each Faculty with responsibility for supporting strategic development of TEL
- Continuing the SOLSTICE TEL Fellowship Scheme, with Fellows acting as champions, advisors and members of the Validation and Audit Standing Panel
- Sustaining provision of TEL professional development activities through the collaborative activities of the Learning Services Learning Technology Development Team, Fellows, Visiting Professors and other external experts
- Continuing to support and organise the annual conference
- Securing an administration base for conference and professional development activities and income generation related to SOLSTICE activities
- Progressing affiliation with the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT) and its research and development work through practice-based research and development of seminars and conferences
- Having SOLSTICE and hence TEL represented through designated membership of key university committees
- Maintaining the SOLSTICE brand
A key part of the legacy of the CETL at Edge Hill University is the residual knowledge and skills base of staff and a sound reputation for excellent work in the sector.
SOLSTICE continues to develop as a method of curriculum design and delivery, extending to a wide range of programmes. It impacts upon all three Faculties at Edge Hill University, enhancing students’ learning opportunities. SOLSTICE was established with six key aims:
1. The further development of SOLSTICE as a method of pedagogic development as a result of continuing evaluative research, and further technological development as new technologies and multimedia applications become available.
2. The association within Edge Hill University of SOLSTICE-led approaches in a wider range of programmes in all three faculties.
3. The sharing of expertise with a larger group of staff within Edge Hill University in curriculum design, preparation of online material, and online tutoring and support, building on existing expertise.
4. The recognition of excellence by the operation of a human resources strategy combining financial reward, enhanced access to scholarly activities and Fellowship as recognition for development work.
5. The sharing of knowledge, expertise and skills with the higher education sector both in the UK and internationally, building on an existing track record of contacts.
6. The development of physical locations as a focus where new academic teams can work together and where staff development and training can be furthered.
The SOLSTICE model is based around three elements that combine to generate a creative, supportive and enhanced approach to curriculum design whether at programme, module or learning object level.
Curriculum design focuses on the alignment of purpose (learning) with the unique situated characteristics of learners and teachers (audience) and the form of teaching to ensure that learning is informed but not driven by the application of technology. A learner-focused framework thus supports colleagues to apply to concept to their curriculum design.
Teams of academics, learning technologists and information professionals come together to make the SOLSTICE concept a reality. Team capacity building is supported by the SOLSTICE Fellowship Scheme, where in addition to running individual fellowship projects, Fellows act as champions of technology within their faculty of service area and provide a rich source of expertise and leadership.
SOLSTICE is governed from within the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT) as a hub for creative thinking and practices, development and support.