Why does teaching matter?
Teaching Matters is the University of Edinburgh’s website, blog and podcast for debate about learning and teaching, for sharing ideas and approaches to teaching, and for showcasing our successes, including academic colleagues who are leading the way in delivering brilliant teaching.
The Teaching Matters blog was borne from a strong feeling that, as a University, we have historically not being doing enough to show publicly and overtly how important teaching is to us. Established in January 2016, the blog has steadily built up a community of interest, support and practice around teaching and learning at the University.
By their very nature, the blog posts are short (500-850 words) and informal in tone, with the aim of being accessible to a large audience. Whilst the posts look inwards to specifically showcase University of Edinburgh teaching practice, our readership is increasingly vibrant and international, inspiring innovative practice not only within the University, but also at a global level.
Teaching Matters’ core blog posts are published every Tuesday and Thursday. These posts are part of two parallel themes we run concurrently: a ‘Hot Topic’ theme and a ‘Teaching and Learning Enhancement’ theme. Both themes run an issue for two months with one blog post per week. Some of the issues are co-edited by University colleagues or students while others are curated by the Teaching Matters team.
- Hot Topic Theme (every Tuesday): These themes relate to time-sensitive events, conference, anniversaries, all taking place at the University. These are an opportunity to shed light on specific events, initiatives, and important stepping-stones. This theme replaces the former mini-series theme.
- Learning and Teaching Enhancement Theme (every Thursday): This theme addresses a topic relating to pedagogical approaches, programmes, and concepts.
Other Teaching Matters features
Spotlight on… series
This series focuses on documenting outcomes from long-term projects or initiatives, which are unfolding across the University. Posts related to these series are published ad hoc throughout the year. Current Spotlight on series include:
- Spotlight on ELIR – Inviting staff and students to contribute to the ELIR process.
- Spotlight on Learn Foundations – Showcasing the developments of the Learn Foundations project.
- Spotlight on Voices of Movers and Shakers – Writings by Mastercard Foundation Scholars on disruptive learning practices, transformational leadership, and activism in and outside the classroom.
- Spotlight on Remote Teaching – Supporting move to online teaching during and post-Covid-19
- Spotlight on Alternative Assessment – Supporting the transition to online assessments during and post-Covid-19.
- Spotlight on Practice Worth Sharing – Supporting Moray House School of Education and Sport ‘Sharing good practice’ seminars.
Student Illustrator Project
An innovative project showcasing the excellent art work done by students at Edinburgh College of Art, which enables students to gain experience in editorial illustration and learn about teaching and learning issues, whilst also creating original images for Teaching Matters blog posts.
The Teaching Matters podcast accompanies and complements the blog, adding another space for student and staff conversations and debates around learning and teaching at The University of Edinburgh. Episodes, released every few weeks, have an average listening time of 10-15 mins. Teaching Matters Out Loud are occasional episodes, which involve IAD staff reading some of their favourite Teaching Matters Blog posts with an introduction to provide context.
Teaching Matters is focusing on growing a student author base, and are keen to feature posts co/authored by students. There is blog writing and video support/training available for students interested in blogging for Teaching Matters.
If you are interested in contributing, or have suggestions for possible hot topic series or future learning and teaching themed topics, please do get in touch at email@example.com.
Many thanks and happy reading!
Dr Jenny Scoles (Teaching Matters Editor), Josephine Foucher (Teaching Matters Deputy Editor and Student Engagement Officer), and Dr Joe Arton (Teaching Matters Podcast producer).
With thanks to Melanie Grandidge for her icon artwork design.