With a vision of becoming the centre of excellence for post-compulsory educational research in Wales, Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion are developing an inspiring and innovative teaching and learning culture, underpinned by staff research.
To celebrate another year of its work, the college is preparing for its annual teaching and learning conference - Festival of Practice, which includes keynote speakers Lou Mycroft, a nomadic thinker, writer, educator and researcher and Eddie Playfair, senior policy manager at Association of Colleges.
The majority of the 60 speakers and workshop facilitators are college staff who have undertaken their own research to develop and enhance student and staff performance.
Research areas are vast and include concentration versus lesson design, mindfulness, radical pedagogies and creative practice, neurodiversity and enhancing employability.
Collaborative opportunities in the classroom is another area of research, looking at the strength of growing tighter-knit groups and encouraging positive interaction versus the challenges of balancing dominating and silent learners.
Some of the projects currently underway include improving student motivation through investigating theories of cognitive dissonance and self-perception as well as looking into primary and secondary education strategies to overcome common problems found in further education.
Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion, which are two brands within one college, is the only college in Wales to join the Learning and Skills Research Network which helps people engage with research and development. As a result, staff members Jodie Pinnell was invited to speak about her work at the AoC Research Conference in London on the impact of cloud networks in further education and Amelia Kilvington spoke about reciprocity and mindfulness.
The initiative is being led by teaching and learning manager Bryony Evett-Hackfort, whose modern approach to learning with an open-minded philosophy, supports individuals’ curiosity and research. She said: “I would like our research, which entwines further and higher education - to be shared with other organisations, it’s not just an internal process.
“We as a college believe in the importance of close to practice research and the incredible and exciting impact that a culture of curiosity can have on our staff and learners.”