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Teaching Methods and the Learning Environment

Teaching and learning within the school takes place via a variety of modes and contexts. Students participate in lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical workshops, clinical supervision and independent student group work. Programmes within the UEL School of Psychology are lively, highly participative and interactive, encouraging students to challenge ideas, views and beliefs. This approach provides the most effective form of teaching and learning, because it caters for the many different learning styles students bring with them to university.

Students experience of teaching and learning within the school is supported by an impressive array of library services, including a dedicated librarian for psychology students. Furthermore, a recently completed refurbishment of all the school’s seminar space, tutorial rooms and lecture theatres has provided students with a modern environment specifically designed for learning.

The teaching staff within the School of Psychology are dedicated to providing the highest quality of teaching available and the Higher Education Academy have conferred fellowship status upon many in recognition of this. Several staff are also highly committed to research in learning and teaching, and thus ensuring that the methods employed in the school are at the cutting edge of modern practice. Recent projects for which staff have been granted funding for the enhancement of students’ learning include:

  • multimedia tutorials for Research Methods and Statistics Support; and
  • psychology tutorials in Second Life.

Lecturers and tutors within the school are often practicing psychologists from a variety of applied psychological backgrounds and are also therefore well positioned to offer students contemporary materials and examples from current professional experience. Many students enjoy collaboratively working with these psychologists on applied psychological research and the school regularly publishes the collaborative work of undergraduate students and their supervisors in an online journal: psycholog-e.

Assessment

Assessment and feedback is a central part of the student learning experience, integral to learning, and a key driver for our teaching. The school’s assessment strategy is guided by the UEL assessment policy.

The school has developed a reputation for innovative assessment and its methods have been showcased as examples of good practice in the support students. Assessment methods are tailored to be appropriate for the level of study and needs of the students. Methods employed across the school include: debates on current psychological controversy, second life conferences, podcasts and a host of online assessment tasks.

Clear guidelines and assessment criteria are published on the requirements of an assignment in advance, and students in the School of Psychology enjoy efficient and effective systems of feedback on their assessment. The school prides itself on a reputation for leading the way in this regard*.

*UEL Student Satisfaction Survey 2008

Student Support and Guidance

In the most recent review of the schools learning and teaching provision, the National Quality Assurance Agency concluded that the School of Psychology demonstrated: “a remarkable flexibility of practice and willingness to respond to students’ needs. Student support and guidance are an outstanding strength of the provision”.

Students are supported by personal and academic tutors, and a Helpdesk dedicated to the support of students. The helpdesk not only provides advice and assistance for students, but also houses a considerable collection of resources, including: a video library of lectures and psychology documentaries, copies of lecture notes and a range of equipment available on loan.

Psychology students at UEL are also supported via a Virtual Learning Environment called UELPlus. This system allows students to access lecture handouts, timetables, podcasts, practice assessments; and also hosts chat rooms, webmail and discussion boards to augment students communication with each other and their tutors.

The school also offers an innovative scheme of student mentors, whereby second and third year students support students at earlier stages of study.

Student Skills Development

The University of East London is committed to supporting student success. As an institution we have a number of resources at our disposal to improve each student’s experience and enhance their potential for success. When we talk about the student journey and experience, we are considering every part of it from initial contemplation and selection of a UEL programme, through Clearing and Induction, and then progress through our programmes. The University Skills Curriculum is supported by the Skillzone and English Language Centre.

Students with Disability/Dyslexia

The University of East London welcomes applications from students with disabilities, including people with dyslexia, and we currently have around 800 students who have declared some form of disability to us. We have an Access Centre at our Stratford Campus, set up to assess what you will need to support your studies and grants are available from Local Education Authorities for personal support and equipment. The School of Psychology also has a pro-active staff-student advisory group that deals with equality and diversity issues pertaining to teaching & learning and assessment. This group also focuses on raising awareness of equality and diversity issues amongst staff and students, and furthering staff development in this area.

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