Here at Teaching Matters HQ, we are very excited to launch our new Teaching Matters Newsletter:
Recent research into Teaching Matters reading habits showed that many readers would appreciate a newsletter-type output, summarising and highlighting recent Teaching Matters’ blog posts and podcast episodes. Under the skillful direction of Eric Berger, our Employ.ed summer intern, we have compiled a series of short features into an online newsletter, which we hope will be of interest to our regular, and new, readers.
Here is a brief insight into the design of the features:
Each month, we will summarise a recent ‘Hot Topic’ or ‘Learning and Teaching Enhancement’ theme using the ‘Five things…’ format’. This could take the form of ‘Five things that Teaching Matters learned…. ‘Five things that motivated….’ or ‘Five things that inspired…’. These short, ‘five things…’ will condense two months worth of Teaching Matters outputs into a meta-narrative around the theme, with hyperlinks directing the reader to explore the blog posts and episodes in full length.
While Teaching Matters aims to showcase internal learning and teaching practice, we know the blog is read widely by external audiences. A few weeks ago, I saw a tweet commenting on how rare it is to share practice collegially amongst universities (I do disagree with this a little because I think Scotland is very collegial, in sharing Learning and Teaching practice at least). So, to recognise our external readers, we will invite one colleague from another institution to provide a short commentary on our ‘Five things…’ feature and ask them to share a resource or output in a similar area that their university has produced. Our thanks go to Dr Marita Grimwood from Edinburgh Napier University, who kindly agreed to pilot the collegial commentary feature with us. She mentioned that she enjoyed discovering how colleagues at Edinburgh University were thinking about these issues, and making some more local contacts.
In case you missed it (ICYMI)
A short section to highlight ad-hoc posts published during the month, such as Spotlight on… posts, as well as signposting readers to appropriate Learning and Teaching events and resources happening across the University.
What’s making Teaching Matters smile?
Academic writing, and the authors behind it, can be made to seem distant and unapproachable through the medium of many academic outputs. One main advantage of blogging that was highly evident in our recent Teaching Matters research project was that readers found blogging about learning and teaching ‘more personable’, ‘more informal’ and ‘more accessible’ than many other forms of academic communication. To continue in this vein of humanising academia, each month we ask contributors to tell us what is making them smile, both professionally and personally. We start by asking each member of Teaching Matters, and then will invite other contributors who have published that month to answer this question.
Coming soon at Teaching Matters
An opportunity to promote future podcast and blog themes to the reader, and a call for content.
We hope you enjoy reading the Teaching Matters Newsletter! Do get in touch if you have any feedback, or suggestions for features: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Jenny Scoles is the editor of Teaching Matters. She is an Academic Developer (Learning and Teaching Enhancement), and a Senior Fellow HEA, in the Institute for Academic Development, and provides pedagogical support for University course and programme design. Her interests include student engagement, professional learning and sociomaterial methodologies.
Dr. Joe Arton is an Academic Developer at the Institute for Academic Development at the University of Edinburgh, he is co-producer of Teaching Matters podcast, and curates the The Edinburgh Hybrid Teaching Exchange, the University of Edinburgh’s internal site for Hybrid Teaching and Learning resources and best practice.
Joséphine is doing a PhD in Sociology at The University of Edinburgh. Her research looks at the intersection between art and politics. She works as the Teaching Matters Co-Editor and Student Engagement Officer.
Eric is a Mathematics and Statistics student at the University of Edinburgh and a podcasting intern for Teaching Matters. Eric is passionate about university student mental health, interviewing researchers for the Student Mental Health Research Network at King’s College London, leading the University of Edinburgh’s WellComm Kings Peer Support Scheme, and conducting research on stigma for People With Mental Illnesses (PWMI). In his free time he enjoys watching and playing sports, over-analysing hip-hop songs, podcasts, and any sort of wholesome shenanigans.