Learning from success

Kaye, Roland and Hawkridge, David (2003). Learning from success. In: Kaye, Roland and Hawkridge, David eds. Learning and teaching for business: case studies of successful innovation. London: Kogan Page, pp. 208–222.

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Worldwide, 40 years ago, universities and colleges in general were not very innovative in how they taught. Innovations, such as they were, tended to ride on the back of technology. For example, from 1969 onwards there were annual conferences, fostered by the US National Science Foundation, of academics interested in using computers in teaching the undergraduate curriculum. Since then the US federal government has promoted innovation through the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education. In the early 1970s, the Nuffield Foundation conducted a survey of innovations in learning and teaching, across the disciplines, in the UK universities and colleges. The Open University was an innovation on a large scale at the time: its methods and materials have been assimilated to some extent by other institutions. In the 1990s the UK government funded the Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (TLTP) and the Computers in Teaching Initiative (CTI). The latter's more broadly based successor is the Learning and Teaching Support Network, with BEST as one of its 25 nodes. All these and other similar initiatives have helped to promote and raise awareness of successful innovations in universities and colleges, but what are the keys to success? On the basis of the BEST stories, we suggest seven.

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