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Teaching innovation

Innovating for next generation innovators

Royal Holloway is committed to innovative teaching and each year we encourage our staff to consider new approaches to stretch and inspire our students.

Our Education Team provides support to do this through professional development courses and seminars, access to and support with new learning technology, as well as annual prizes to incentivise new thinking and approaches. 

Department of the year 2018: Classics

Recent Teaching Prizes

Innovative projects

THESIS, or Teaching in Higher Education - Supporting and Inspiring Students, is a pedagogy group in the Department of Psychology spearheaded by the teaching staff. Started in 2017 by Dr Danijela Serbic (THESIS Director and Founder), THESIS designs innovative activities to support the curriculum, helps peers innovate in the classroom, and inspires students and staff to achieve their best.

Support for Psychology students
THESIS supports students with essay writing skills, mental health initiatives, revision skills, career progression activities, as well as equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) support. Students help co-create the initiatives, write blogs on a variety of topics and often progress to larger roles within the group.

Elise Gear started as a student editor on one of the blogs hosted by the THESIS group but has now taken on a larger role. Watch Elise talk about her role on THESIS from master's student to pedagogic practitioner.  

Support for Teachers
Along with the Early Careers Symposium for Psychology teachers, THESIS hosts Pedagogic Research Seminars and provides consultancy and training across the sector. Watch Dr Sam Fairlamb discuss the seminars and how they help teaching staff in the Psychology Department.  


Teaching Awards

THESIS has won numerous teaching awards, and in 2017, Professor Victoria Bourne was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy.   

Learn more about THESIS.

The Case Study Method – An Inclusive Pedagogy is one of six projects funded in each of our Schools for academic year 2022-23 to help tackle the awarding gap. This project is undertaken by the School of Business and Management.

Objectives of the project

The project’s aim is to examine the effectiveness of case method teaching as an inclusive pedagogy for reducing the awarding gap. More specifically, the research objectives are as follows: 

  • To determine whether case-based learning fosters the feeling of inclusion in the classroom 
  • To understand in what way case-based learning fosters a feeling of belongingness
  • To determine whether the feeling of belongingness in the classroom leads to an increase in learning performance 
  • To determine whether case-based teaching leads to less disparity in learning performance than traditional teaching methods.

Project leads:

  • Dr Lucy Gill-Simmen, Director of Education Strategy & Senior Lecturer in Marketing
  • Niki Panteli, Professor of Digital Business
  • Ling Xiao, Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance Management

E4S: Enhancing Early Engagement with Employability Support is another in the series of innovative projects which received funded in academic year 2022-23 to help meet a strategic goal. This project focusses on efforts to improve the employability prospects of our students and is being undertaken by the School of Performing and Digital Arts with Humanities.

Objectives of the project

To increase engagement and participation in the Professional Skills and Insights Programme (PSIP), and central Careers events and 1:1 meetings, by students from the Schools of Performing and Digital Arts and Humanities who belong to the priority groups identified in the Access and Participation Plan, namely those from areas with low higher education participation, students from the most socioeconomically deprived areas and Black students.

Project lead:

Dr Nick Hall, Lecturer in Film and Television Studies & Director of Undergraduate Education School of Performing and Digital Arts

This Peer Mentoring to Succeed project (PEMENTOS) project is undertaken by the School of Life Sciences and the Environment (LSE) and is one of six centrally funded projects to help tackle the awarding gap.

Objectives of the project:

  • Demographic awarding gaps are thought to be caused not only by structural inequalities in HE institutions, but also by a reduced sense of belonging in students.
  • PEMENTOS is a peer mentoring project that aims to ease the transition of undergraduate students into the LSE School and to increase their sense of belonging. This will be done by alleviating the sense of isolation experienced by students “as they interact with students who share their cultural and career values as well as giving them a sense of inclusion, purpose, identity, and meaning.” (Seery et al., 2021). 
  • The scheme is for all students in the LSE School, but is particularly aimed at students who are more likely to be adversely affected by awarding gaps. These students include members of ethnic minorities and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • PEMENTOS will offer experienced students in Year Two and above, an opportunity to support the Year One cohort that follow them, helping them to develop a stronger sense of belonging. We hope to see positive change reflected in a narrowing of the demographic awarding gaps in the longer term. 

Project leads:

  • James McEvoy, Head of Department Biological Science
  • Narender Ramnani, Professor of Neuroscience

The Student co-created pre-arrival/transition module is one of the centrally funded projects being undertaken in academic year 2022-23 to help tackle the awarding gap and other strategic goals. This project is being undertaken by the Central Academic Services team.

Objectives of the project:

  • The project aims to improve the transition to university-level study of undergraduate students, and particularly those from disadvantaged or underrepresented groups through the expansion of the existing Head Start to University Study course into a non-credit bearing, self-access pre-arrival / transition module for new undergraduate students.

  • The objectives of the module are to help students to
    • understand the academic expectations of university study; 
    • understand the nature of university cultures, systems and approaches;
    • feel confident to study at Royal Holloway;
    • feel that they belong to Royal Holloway’s academic community;  
    • identify practical ways in which they can succeed at university.

Project leads:

  • Katie Shaw, Senior Teaching Fellow
  • Vicky Greenaway, Senior Lecturer

Inclusive Assessment is one of our six centrally funded project aimed at improving attainment . This project is being conducted by the School of Business and Management.

Objectives of the project:

  • The project seeks participants from the second and third year of UG study to give their feedback on current assignment brief formats and contents.  
  • The aim of this project is to: 

    • Investigate School of Business & Management (SBM) student barriers to meaningfully engage with and understand assignment briefs 
    • Understand what information students would find most useful in understanding their assignment tasks.

Project leads:

  • Dr Suzanne Albary, Director of Student Experience School of Business and Management
  • Elaine Darby, Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance Management

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