The Economics Network

Improving economics teaching and learning for over 20 years

Responding to Student Needs

“Over the last twenty years institutions have faced an increasing challenge to develop and adapt their provision to support mass higher education into the 21st century. Student numbers have increased dramatically and there is a much greater diversity of learners. In response to the changing environment, the HE sector is increasingly aware of the need for a change of approach, not only in terms of teaching itself, but in terms of the variety of support and administrative systems which underpin delivery”. - Enhancement Themes site

The Theme's work was completed at the end of 2004 and revisited in 2010. It focussed on two main areas:

  • Students needs in the first year of study (including induction, personal tutor systems, approaches to integrating student support and the first year learning experience)
  • Student evaluation of and feedback on their learning experience

Enhancement Theme outcomes include:

More information on the Theme and details of the activities and outcomes can be found at the Enhancement Themes site.

Further resources

Studying Economics

A website dedicated to economics undergraduates offering support on everything from module choices and career options to writing skills and maths help.

Publisher: Economics Network

Hearing the student voice, involving students in curriculum design and development

This collaborative project (led by Edinburgh Napier University with partners at the University of Central England, Leeds Metropolitan University and the University of Westminster, and funded by a Higher Education Academy ESCalate development grant in 2006), aims to raise the profile of this professional development strategy and to equip educational and staff developers with the skills and confidence necessary to employ it effectively in academic professional development within higher education.

Publisher: Edinburgh Napier

sparqs (student participation in quality Scotland)

sparqs is a free service which is funded by the Scottish Funding Council to assist and support students, students' associations and institutions to improve the effectiveness and engagement in quality assurance and enhancement in institutions across Scotland.

Publisher: sparqs

Higher Education Academy student engagement

This page provided by the Higher Education Academy pulls together different examples of effective practice in student engagement. Student engagement is defined as students being active partners in shaping their learning experience. 

Publisher: Higher Education Academy

Designing undergraduate degree programmes

This handbook chapter provides advice on designing undergraduate degree programmes. Including sections on inclusive practice and the centralisation of the course design process, this handbook provides readers with practical advice on producing a degree programme students will like.
Publisher: Economics Network (written by Prof Rebecca Taylor, NTU)

First-year teaching-learning environments in Economics

“The literature about teaching and learning economics at university level suggests that teaching–learning environments in economics adhere to a fairly uniform format and, as expected, each of the modules investigated was found to follow a content-driven lecture–tutorial approach, complemented by the use of textbooks and tutorial question sheets. The paper discusses the implications of such an approach for student learning.”
Publisher: Economics Network, International Review of Economics Education, Nicola Reimann, University of Durham

Classroom assessment techniques: a handbook for college teachers

This revised and expanded edition of the 1988 guide offers lecturers at all levels of experience detailed advice on evaluation (classroom assessment), including what it is, how it works, and planning, implementing and analysing evaluation projects. The authors illustrate their approach through twelve case studies that detail the real-life classroom experiences of teachers in higher education.
Publisher: Josey Bass, 2nd edition
Availability: Online bookstores

Collecting and using student feedback: a guide to good practice

This guide aims to help higher education institutions make the best use of their student feedback to enhance learning and teaching. The guidance is based on a previous HEFCE-funded project, published on the internet in May 2003 ‘Collecting and using student feedback on quality and standards in learning and teaching in HE’. It draws on the experiences of the sector to highlight existing good practice, and some of the problems in using student feedback.
Publisher: Learning and Teaching Support Network (LTSN)