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Professional development at Solent

As academics and education professionals, we all share a desire to continuously improve our teaching practice, and all of SLTI’s activities are designed to support colleagues in achieving this.

Share and build on your best practice.

Solent Excellence in Teaching Award (SETA)

Solent's Excellence in Teaching Award recognises, rewards and celebrates individuals who have made an outstanding impact on students’ learning, outcomes and/or the teaching profession.

One individual award will be made every academic year starting from 2018/19 in recognition of outstanding impact. The award holder will be celebrated at the relevant graduation ceremony with a short citation alongside at the Staff Awards ceremony administered by People and Development.

The award is directly aligned with Advance HE’s National Teaching Fellow (NTF) scheme and is designed to support winners towards making a claim for a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship (individual) and/or Principal Fellow of the HEA (PFHEA) category.

Applications will be considered by an award panel chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and will have representation from Solent's Professional Recognition Group (PRG), People and Development, and student representatives.

Download the award information document

Download the award application form

HEA fellowship

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) manages the process of accreditation of courses and continuing professional development (CPD) schemes for individual recognition in the UK, following the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF).

At Solent University we have two accredited routes you can follow to achieve the different categories of Fellowship: the taught route and the CPD route. 

Associate Fellow taught route

Enhancing Learning in Higher Education (PDU022) is a 15-credit professional development unit delivered twice a year, aimed at those responsible for teaching and supporting learning but who do not undertake the full range of teaching duties. The unit covers areas of student learning and support particularly relevant to those new to teaching in HE. The unit is part-time and delivered online, as well as a Saturday session taught face-to-face.

Contact for information about how to apply.

Fellow taught route

The Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PCTLHE) is aimed at all those undertaking the full range of activities in a teaching role. Its work-based, reflective approach within a collegial environment allows you to focus on your own interests and subject area, with the ongoing, friendly support of peers and tutors.

The course consists of three units requiring attendance on Wednesday afternoons from October through to May, with a final submission of coursework at the end of May.

Contact for information about how to apply.

CPD route

The supported CPD scheme leads to Associate Fellowship, Fellowship, or Senior Fellowship of the HEA. You can find more information in  Solent Online Learning, or contact for more details. 


Key dates

Round 1

 ActivityDate and timeLocation
CPD workshop Monday 17 September 2018, 10am-12 noon RM151
CPD workshop Tuesday 18 September 2018, 10am-12 noon RM151
CPD writing workshop Monday 24 September 2018, 10am-12 noon TS008
Writing retreat Thursday 4 October 2018, 8.30am-5pm TBC
Submission date 1 Monday 15 October 2018  
Professional recognition group panel w/c 19 November 2018  

Round 2

 ActivityDate and timeLocation
CPD workshop Tuesday 6 November 2018, 2-4pm TS402
CPD workshop Friday 9 November 2018, 10am-12 noon TS211
CPD writing workshop Tuesday 13 November 2018, 10am-12 noon TS209
Writing retreat Tuesday 20 November 2018, 8.30am-5pm TBC
Submission date 2 Monday 3 December 2018  
Professional recognition group panel w/c 21 January 2019  

Round 3

 ActivityDate and timeLocation
CPD workshop Thursday 17 January 2019, 2-4pm TS312
CPD workshop Friday 18 January 2019, 10am-12 noon TS412
CPD writing workshop Thursday 24 January 2019, 10am-12 noon TS515
Writing retreat Tuesday 29 January 2019, 8.30am-5pm TBC
Submission date 3 Monday 11 February 2019  
Professional recognition group panel w/c 25 March 2019  

Round 4

 ActivityDate and timeLocation
CPD workshop Monday 8 April 2019, 1-3pm TS515
CPD workshop Tuesday 9 April 2019, 10am-12 noon TS515
CPD writing workshop Tuesday 16 April 2019, 11am-1pm TS515
Writing retreat Friday 26 April 2019, 8.30am-5pm TBC
Submission date 4 Monday 6 May 2019  
Professional recognition group panel w/c 17 June 2019  

Round 5

 ActivityDate and timeLocation
CPD workshop Thursday 13 June 2019, 1-3pm TS515
CPD workshop Friday 14 June 2019, 10am-12 noon TS515
CPD writing workshop Monday 17 June 2019, 11am-1pm TS515
Writing retreat Monday 24 June 2019, 8.30am-5pm TBC
Submission date 5 Monday 15 July 2019  
Professional recognition group panel w/c 16 September 2019  
HEA Fellowship retreat writing day

Following our supported workshops, SLTI deliver writing retreats throughout the academic year.

Our supported writing retreats are available for colleagues who are applying for fellowship of the Higher Education Academy at Associate, Fellow and Senior Fellow levels. Held over one day at the Hilton Ageas Bowl, the writing retreat is designed as a quiet, supporting space which offers you the chance to transform your notes and work on your application. You will have the opportunity to ask questions or receive feedback on your application.

The writing retreats are led by Dave Barber (CPD lead) and also Senior Fellows of the HEA.


The next retreat is on Thursday 14 June, 9am-5pm.

Register now

Continuing Professional Development programme

SLTI's CPD delivery is in a process of change. More information on what we can offer will be available shortly. In the meantime, if you would like bespoke support for your course team, please email


Peer practice exchange

The peer practice exchange promotes reflection on and the sharing of practice and aims to refine Solent’s learning and teaching.

Peer practice booklet 2018 

PPE log template 

What is the exchange for?

  • To provide individual feedback
  • To facilitate and encourage practice sharing across the University
  • To establish stronger networks and professional working relationships
  • To develop and enrich teaching practice and learning experiences at Solent.

How can I set up an exchange?

You can choose your own partner, your course and school colleagues may have suggestions, or SLTI can match you with a PPE scheme partner, either from your own school or from another discipline altogether.

How do I log my exchange?

Email your School Executive Officer (SEO) with ‘PPE’ as the subject, and including the name of you and your peer, the date of exchange and the unit involved.

Transforming the Experience of Students through Assessment (TESTA)

The  TESTA project works with academics, students and managers to identify study behaviour, generate assessment patterns to foster deeper learning across whole programmes, and debunk regulatory myths that prevent assessment for learning.

The RIT team are also working with Brunel University, the University of Nottingham and Trinity and City Colleges in Dublin to introduce or further the role of TESTA in their courses.


Support and resources for new lecturers

Good teaching practice – from day-to-day habits that make teaching great, to fantastic ideas that can change the way you work – can enhance the learning experience for you and your students.

New to teaching?

Based on text by Phil Race, In at the deep end provides help and advice on planning lessons, large and small group teaching, assessment, feedback and marking. The lesson plan template can also help you make sure your classes are well planned and don’t run over the 50 minutes allotted.

Lesson plan template

Get to know the library: it can provide more help and support than you might realise! Don’t forget to check out the copyright restrictions when preparing resources.

SLTI can offer you 1-2-1 support to support you in your teaching - why not take a look at our Teaching at Solent page.

Engaging your students

  • Get to know them. Ask them to upload a photo to their SOL profile – you can print these out.
  • Be creative in your teaching and try new approaches. Get some inspiration from the blog!
  • Bring your own research into your teaching, or make sure your subject has a real world context.
  • Encourage your students to contribute as much as possible, whether through whole-group discussions or pair work.
  • Ask open questions to check understanding and learning
  • Make your curriculum inclusive, in terms of access to the physical and online environments, but also with case studies, examples and texts that reflect the diversity of society.

Teaching with SOL

Solent Online Learning (SOL) is the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE).

Every unit has its own area on SOL, and our goal is that the online teaching and learning environment is every bit as rich, stimulating and dynamic as the classroom environment.

The SOL Baseline and Activity Chart show that SOL can be used for so much more than simply storing lecture notes. Find out more within SOL itself, talk to the instructional design team, or find plenty of inspiration on the blog

Academic development sessions

As learning and teaching specialists, we know that everyone learns in different ways. That's why we offer a range of workshops, groups and sessions, ensuring all academics get the knowledge they need in a way that's accessible to them.

For more information please contact

Assessment and feedback workshops

This workshop promotes reflection on feedback practices and the adoption of consistent practices across a course team.

These practices are characterised by the systematic use of assessment criteria, a focus on student friendly language and an overt emphasis upon identifying how students can improve.

Active learning workshop

This workshop aims to develop an appreciation of the wide range of approaches that fall into the category of active learning.

The application of a formal evaluation tool allows staff to assess the potential benefits of different practices within specific discipline and learning contexts.

Hot feedback sessions

HFS can be incorporated into any session and run with or without the support of SLTI.

They give course teams an insight into student progress towards assessment deadlines and, by engaging students in short intensive conversations, create a focus on time management issues/working practices, external factors/obstacles, and issues relating to understanding of the assessment brief and criteria.

NSS awareness focus groups

These sessions provide an opportunity to identify issues relevant to NSS, understand how these bear on satisfaction, and raise student awareness of the purpose of NSS and how responses are interpreted.

Customisable to the requirements of a given course, each session can have a tailored focus and emphasise different outcomes.

Consultations and reviews

Feedback from students suggests that they are highly sensitive to variations and inconsistencies, particularly in relation to communication.

SLTI reviews of course documentation and SOL pages can identify these variations for course teams.

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