Focussed Project Phases
Among the large number of funded projects in the various phases of TLRP, there were a number of relatively focused project phases, calling for targetted research in specified areas such as higher education or more specifically widening participation in HE, and technology-enhanced learning across phases or sectors of education.
The first of these was on issues associated generally with higher education and secondly a group of 7 projects was specifically commissioned on the targeted theme of widening participation in higher education. The overarching aim was to support innovative research with the potential to enhance understanding, and inform and/or underpin future policy, practice and outcomes relating to widening participation in, and fair access to, higher education (HE) in England. Specific themes included the role of family, economic and social background; the development of innovative policies and practices to widen participation; the voices of diverse learners on the development of identities; and the perspectives of teachers, teacher educators and trainers on developing pedagogies and practice for a diverse range of HE learners.
Studies funded under the calls for work on aspects of higher education have investigated a wide range of issues, spanning more than a dozen projects. These were brought together in commentaries on aspects of post-compulsory or post-secondary and higher education or lifelong learning. One was on Widening Participation in HE (2007) and one drew together all the projects on post-compulsory education in Effective Learning and Teaching in UK Higher Education, with a third pulling together findings on Higher skills Development at work.
Specific topics within these focussed project phases included:
In 2008 , the EPSRC and ESRC jointly funded two rounds of funding targetted specifically at the field of Technology Enhanced Learning. This interdisciplinary initiative, focusing on four overarching themes of productivity, personalisation, includion and flexibility, led in the first call (2006/7) to the establishment of seven small-scale development projects (and three full-scale projects. A second round of this call resulted in a further eight projects. The overarching aim was to support innovative interdisciplinary research that focused on the creation, development and exploitation of digital technologies for learning. A specific objective was to attract interdisciplinary projects that were likely to entail greater risk or require more analytic depth than the normal operation of the TEL market would provide. The TLRP-TEL continues until 2011, see www.tlrp.org/tel