“On the edge of glory and hanging on a moment of truth”: PgCAP in a rapidly changing and uncertain world





PgCAP, accreditation, professional development, academic development, blended learning


The last three years have seen rapid changes to learning, teaching and assessment in Higher Education. This paper shares our experiences of leading, teaching and reaccrediting a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PgCAP) during this time. The PgCAP, much like the staff enrolled on the course, has had to adapt, innovate, and experiment to meet the various challenges. This has included an unplanned move online, to a planned online approach, through to our current blended by design delivery method. Throughout we have sought to model best practice with the risks and rewards this brings. Our revised PgCAP was approved internally in 2022 and subsequently successfully reaccredited with Advance HE on the Professional Standards Framework (PSF). Some of this process was exciting: we felt at the forefront of changes to learning and teaching, to be charting new developments in technology and interaction which our learners could then use in their own teaching. But part of this process was also daunting, feeling we were one moment away from crashing and failing. We tried to learn from those failures and become comfortable working on the edge, with an ever-changing set of priorities and expectations (from ourselves, our learners, and our institution). Our case study: (1) reflects on the challenges, pressures and opportunities associated with PgCAP programmes to model best practice (even in times of crisis), (2) shares how our blended by design approach came about, how it works, and the feedback we have received from participants, (3) demonstrates how we refreshed our content, intended learning outcomes and assessments to map to the PSF 2023. 

Author Biographies

Fiona Kennedy, Glasgow Caledonian University

Senior Lecturer in Academic Development.

Department of Academic Development and Student Learning, Glasgow Caledonian University.

Tom Cunningham, Glasgow Caledonian University

Tom Cunningham is a senior lecturer in Academic Development and Student Learning (ADSL) at Glasgow Caledonian University. He is the Programme Leader for the Accelerate Programme, and a module leader and tutor on the PgCAP. He has interests in assessment and feedback, storytelling, and the role of Academic Development. Tom.cunningham@gcu.ac.uk

Tracy Galvin, Glasgow Caledonian University

Tracy Galvin is a senior lecturer in Academic Development and Student Learning (ADSL) at Glasgow Caledonian University. She is a tutor on the PgCAP for the module Curriculum Design Development and a module leader as an honorary lecturer at the University of Liverpool online PgCAP. Tracy leads on several projects across the university that includes Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Curriculum, Education for Sustainable Development, Digital Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning. Tracy.galvin@gcu.ac.uk  


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