Immersive Learning Project

Higher Education Academy Vice Chancellors Strategic Excellence Initiative

The aim of the project was to develop and mainstream immersive learning for all new undergraduate students at the University. The University has a highly applied curriculum, and the development of an active approach to immersive learning does two key things; it gives the learner the opportunity to interact with fellow learners in teams – building identity and belonging – and it allows the ability to develop active learning strategies in a low risk environment.

The project focused on the start of the learning journey – the first six weeks of term – which is known to be a risk period for retention. The project aimed to build engagement and belonging through the development of effective relationships with other students and staff – both academic and support teams. This six week period also includes an element of summative assessment so that all students receive early feedback on their learning.

The project is a pan university initiative which enables the University to enhance its strategic leadership in learning and teaching. This focus on belonging and engagement and enhancement of learning are key elements of good practice which have emerged from the ‘What Works’ Project (Thomas, 2013). The development of active immersive learning as a means of providing effective early engagement is evidenced by Renard (2013) De Freitas & Neumann (2009) who found that “teaching in these contexts provides less emphasis upon curriculum and more emphasis upon sequencing learning experiences, meta-reflection, peer assessment and group work”.

The outcomes from the project will be used to plan further immersive learning provision for learners who join the University in year 3 having studied Foundation Degrees in College-based HE.
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Final project documentation

Final project report

HEA Dissemination Event power point

Supporting academic poster

Final VCSEI report

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Associated Project documentation can be found here

For further information, please contact:

Rozalind Green-Innes
Immersive Learning Project Officer

01443 654230