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Innovative Teaching Practice programme

The Innovative Teaching Practice Programme is designed and developed to enhance trainees’ advanced understanding of higher education teaching practices in the UK.

We have developed and honed this programme over the last two years, welcoming several delegations of academics from Chinese universities.


In September 2018, Cardiff University welcomed 10 academics from Guizhou University to take part in a 3-month bespoke teaching and pedagogical practice training programme. Following the successful completion of the programme and excellent feedback from participants, Guizhou University sent a second delegation of academics to Cardiff, this time comprising 16 academics from fields across Cardiff University's three Colleges.

In January 2020 a delegation of 16 academics from Xuzhou Medical University arrived in Cardiff to take part in the programme.

We are currently in discussions to run the programme in late 2020 for a larger group of delegates from a Chinese University.


The Innovative Teaching Practice programme is bespoke and can be adapted to meet specific requirements or specialisms of participating institutions and delegates. We worked closely with Guizhou University and Xuzhou Medical University to ensure that each trainee had the opportunity to observe teaching practices within their own discipline, and we also arranged field trips and tours that complement delegates' disciplines.

September 2018

Delegates in the field of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Guizhou University, China.

September 2019

Delegates who work in a range of disciplines that are taught across all three Cardiff University Colleges, including microbiology, philosophy, civil engineering and languages. This group also included leaders of the university who completed an additional Leadership of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education module. Guizhou University, China.

January 2020

Xuzhou Medical University, China. Medical academics with specialisms across a range of areas including:

  • Nursing
  • Radiology
  • Physiology
  • Anatomy
  • Paediatrics
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis
  • Physiology for Anaesthesia
  • Gynaecology
  • Rehabilitation medicine
  • Urological Surgery
  • Internal medicine: Nephrology
  • Infectious disease/ Liver disease

Learning programme overview

The taught elements of the programme are led by the School of Social Sciences.

The programme begins with two weeks of specially designed English language sessions to develop speaking, reading, listening and writing skills relevant for the rest of the teaching programme.

Trainees are also given various observation opportunities relevant to their own specialist disciplines. These include lectures, small group seminars and sessions in which students are assessed.

The programme is designed to provide:

  • a sound understanding of aspects of Cardiff University’s approach to learning, teaching and pedagogical practice across a range of disciplines (depending on client requirements)
  • an understanding of a range of teaching strategies and how innovative technologies can be used to support learning and teaching
  • an increased awareness of how inclusive practices are used to support diverse students’ needs at Cardiff University
  • an understanding of curriculum design and its relationship to assessment to support progress and engagement of students
  • skills to reflect on professional practice in teaching.

There are two core modules within the Innovative Teaching Practice Programme. Alongside these modules, trainees have opportunities to observe Cardiff University lectures in their own disciplines throughout the programme. These experiences are combined with theoretical underpinnings and reflected on through dialogic learning experiences.

Module 1: Learning, teaching and pedagogical practice in Higher Education

In this module, trainees explore a range of learning and teaching strategies: specifically, the use of innovative technologies to support learning and teaching; inclusive practices to support diverse students’ needs; consideration of curriculum design, including the nature and forms of assessment to support progress and engagement; and student voice, including engaging students as partners in curriculum design and delivery.

Module 2: Case making and reflections from practice

This module, which provides the opportunity to observe small-group, large-group, and assessment teaching within relevant disciplines, allows trainees to develop cases using theoretical underpinnings and reflections on practice through dialogic learning experiences.

Alongside these modules, trainees have opportunities to observe Cardiff University lectures in their own disciplines throughout the programme. These experiences are combined with theoretical underpinnings and reflected on through dialogic learning experiences.

Additional modules

We work closely with the client to identify and implement new modules or areas of study. For example, one of the programmes included a third module for those delegates in a leadership role at their own university.

Module 3 - Leadership of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

This module was designed for members of the programme who have/aspire to have leadership roles in learning and teaching. It explored the challenges associated with undertaking a teaching leadership role in an academic context. The module also explored perspectives on leadership, and considered the challenges associated with leading with influence in an academic context.

English language sessions

The two weeks of intensive English language sessions play a crucial role in enabling trainees to adapt to a new linguistic and cultural environment, whilst developing confidence in communicating effectively in English. Following this, twice-weekly English language support sessions and one-to-one tutorials take place to provide additional support.

The content of the sessions have been carefully designed to allow trainees to practice speaking, listening, reading and writing skills relevant to the demands of the Innovative Teaching Practice Programme. The sessions are designed to prepare trainees for the teaching modules by including relevant topics.

These include using reflective language, discussing teaching-related issues, presentation skills, and using language to put forward an argument or defending ideas.

Insight sessions

Our insight sessions provide trainees with access to, and opportunities for, networking with management and student learning support services who are responsible for creating an environment for learning and teaching excellence at Cardiff University.

Cultural and educational activities

Trainees also have the opportunity to take part in a number of cultural activities and excursions throughout their time in Wales. Highlights during recent programmes include:

  • walking/sightseeing bus tour of Cardiff University and the city centre
  • tour of Cardiff Castle
  • visit to Tredegar to explore Wales’ special history with the National Health Service and its links with Aneurin Bevan, Labour MP and architect of the NHS
  • curatorial talk and visit to St Fagans National Museum of History
  • theatre productions at the Sherman Theatre
  • tour of Big Pit National Coal Museum
  • tour of Cardiff University’s Brain Research Imaging Centre
  • tour of the Senedd, the main public building of the National Assembly for Wales
  • autumn International rugby match
  • Cardiff tasting food tour
  • Cardiff Devils ice hockey match
  • Christmas tour of Tredegar House
  • tour of Cardiff University’s Morgan Botti Lightning Laboratory
  • visit to the National Botanic Garden of Wales
  • tour of Cardiff University’s National Software Academy
  • visit to Albany Road Primary School
  • visit to Additive Manufacturing Laboratories.

Programme highlights

These include:

  • a pre-course training requirements analysis is emailed to all delegates, its responses helping to shape the programme
  • an online welcome pack is issued to all delegates a week prior to their arrival in Cardiff. The pack includes their full educational schedule, information about their accommodation and the facilities available to them at the University and a detailed city guide
  • regular monitoring meetings are held between the University project team and leaders of the delegation
  • a six-week review is sent to delegates at the midpoint of the programme, and a final questionnaire just before the programme end
  • a welcome dinner
  • a formal certificate ceremony; the delegates are also presented with gifts from the University, commemorating their training programme and three-month stay in Wales.

Outcomes and impact

There are assessments throughout this programme, which have been designed in ways that promote student learning and engagement. Formative assessments support learning and reflection, and formative feedback is provided to support delegates in identifying both their strengths and areas for development. Preparation sessions, support tutorials and dedicated self-study sessions are also embedded in the programme to support these assessments.

Module 1: Participants work on the development sections of a Higher Education Academy (HEA) fellowship application which requires ongoing reflection and journaling throughout the programme

Module 2: Participants develop an academic poster and deliver an associated presentation on a topic of their choice, focused on teaching and learning practice. This is explored and presented on a poster along with a 10-minute presentation in English.

On completion of the programme, delegates are awarded a certificate of attendance.

Links developed

We have kept in touch with delegates and have surveyed them to find out more about the ways in which they have embedded their learning into their practice.

Contact us

If you would like to speak to us about how we could design and deliver a similar programme in collaboration with your organisation, please contact our friendly team for an initial informal discussion:

Continuing Professional Development Unit