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How we teach - the Solent curriculum

Our learning and teaching is a thoughtful integration of in-person and digitally enhanced provision, within an inclusive environment. Read the OfS blended learning panel report.

We believe an inclusive environment is a working, social and learning environment that intentionally promotes a culture of equality of opportunity and fair treatment; acknowledges, values, respects and celebrates difference; upholds and respects the dignity and rights of all staff, students and those connected with the University; one that actively strives to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other uncivil conduct in order to enable everyone to reach their true potential.

At Solent, we endeavour to create and sustain an equitable and inclusive educational environment that adopts a Learning Design Framework (LDF) which is underpinned strategically by these commitments:

  • promoting creativity in the design, content and delivery of inclusive learning, teaching and assessment;
  • embedding academic, digital and employability skills in the curriculum; and
  • delivering relevant and engaging learning environments through high quality physical and virtual spaces, technologies and resources.
Diagram showing the learning design framework

It achieves this through three mutually supportive strands, founded on a supportive bedrock of digital literacies.

Collaborative learning is the capstone of the LDF. It is active and participative learning involving teaching staff, industry experts and peers. Including and not limited to flipped-learning, co-creation, interactivity, and problem-based and active learning, Collaborative Learning can take place in any appropriate space and provides rich and varied opportunities for learning with and from others.

Directed learning ensures that students build and share foundational knowledge - the key concepts and theories structured and consolidated within subject-based and professional contexts and communities. Through Directed Learning, all students engage with the threshold knowledge necessary to participate in their active campus-based Collaborative Learning events.

Guided learning ensures students join up academic knowledge and real-world applications, enriching the student experience and adding value to their time at Solent. Guided Learning enables students to engage in supplementary activities designed to improve their employability skills. These include stimulating and topical engagements with internal and external speakers, experts, practitioners, alumni and employers, with opportunities to consider innovations, challenges and good practice.

Underpinning and enabling Solent’s LDF is our foundational work on digital literacies. Our teaching practice and digital environments and tools together ensure all students build the essential digital fluency they need to thrive in their careers. They also help staff build a consistent experience for students from which more focused subject-specific digital literacies can grow and develop.

Solent’s curriculum framework and LDF reflect our shared educational vision by reinforcing our unique, creative, dynamic, and applied approach to teaching. We aim to positively transform students’ lives by developing learners who can make meaningful contributions for the betterment of society. This is at the heart of our mission as a university. We are motivated to continue improving and innovating through our Inclusive Real-World Curriculum, which is driven by our on-going commitment to promote equity and inclusion.

Putting it into practice

We use the 1 2 3+ model for planning delivery of the LDF:

1 hour directed learning per module, per week
2 hours collaborative learning per module, per week
3+ hours guided learning per course, per week

Solent's inclusive real-world curriculum

Inclusion is an ethical obligation anchored in social justice and the building of socially just communities that promote equity for all groups irrespective of their intersecting identities and/or characteristics. This is reflected in educational policy, global agendas and contemporary discourse as essential in providing high quality educational experiences for all learners.

The concept of inclusion is at the heart of Solent’s IRWC. The framework is underpinned by pedagogic theories and consists of six dimensions.

Diagram showing the 6 paths of the real world curriculum

Real-world curriculum: Six dimensions

Critical, creative and applied
Our curriculum challenges students to be critical and creative, and to apply theory to practice. Through interaction with the global tapestry of knowledge systems, students will learn to identify the types of knowledge that exist, what informs their creation, and the extent to which various types of knowledge are related to each other.

We believe this will enable students to become perceptive consumers and trustworthy producers of both applied and theoretical knowledge that can be beneficial in transforming societies and producing real word solutions.

Inspiring research and inquiry
Our curriculum is research led and will inspire students to ask questions, investigate problems, propose solutions and create new knowledge. We will empower students with the tools, methods and thinking processes to read and evaluate current research and stimulate curiosity about research topics of their choice. By working within a research community with academics who are engaged in research and inquiry and/or creative and applied projects themselves, our students will develop the requisite knowledge and skills to conduct their own research.

Outward facing
As part of our social responsibility and contribution to social justice, our curriculum challenges students to contribute their knowledge, time and talents to the community in ways appropriate to their subjects. Students will engage with global theories, develop a global outlook, and interact with local and international experts as part of their overall student experience. Students will learn to work with industry professionals, and to link theory to practice in familiar and unfamiliar settings. We will encourage employers to shape the curriculum and help students create networks beyond the university.

Social and personal growth
Our curriculum is designed to promote student’s development by enabling them to achieve social and personal growth. At Solent, students will engage with theory and a diverse range of knowledge to deepen their understanding of historic, contemporary, and future local, national, and international challenges and solutions. Through engagement in curricula and co-curricular activities, students will be supported to develop as emotionally and culturally intelligent socially responsible citizens who challenge taken-for-granted assumptions, speak out against injustices and actively contribute towards social transformation. This may enable students to become socially, culturally and emotionally intelligent graduates.

Authentic and engaging inclusive assessment
Our assessments are inclusive and mirror disciplinary practices and real-world contexts in preparing students for the challenges of independent and team working, while enabling them to develop skills that will help them to succeed in the workplace. Students will experience a diverse range of creative, engaging and meaningful assessment tasks which will contribute to their development as critically conscious thinkers and life-long learners. Assessments will be scaffolded and grow in complexity, while enabling students to see the relationship between modules, years and stages if study.

Intellectually stimulating for life
Our curriculum will trigger interest and inspire lifelong learning beyond university. They aim to develop curious habits of mind, transcend cross-disciplinary boundaries, and engage students in debates and conversations which extends beyond the university setting. We will inspire students to value learning for both their usefulness and their application, so that they will be able to see the relationship between knowledge (including theoretical and experiential knowledge) and their own development.

Solent's curriculum framework