Welcome to the September issue of Teaching Matters: Student Engagement

art teaching
Credit: Mihaela Bodlovic

September rolls in on the back of a wonderful month of festival and fringe delights. Congratulations to all those who performed at the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas – it was a huge success!

This month’s theme focuses on student engagement. How students are inspired and motivated to invest in their learning, what sort of initiatives and spaces institutions create to support engaged learners, and how students can shape the direction of their learning, are all questions that are posed under the term ‘student engagement’.

Supporting student engagement at the University is a clear priority for the Institute for Academic Development, and staff and students who are interested in enhancing student engagement in learning, teaching and assessment can join the growing Student Engagement Network: Edinburgh Network: Growing Approaches to Genuine Engagement (ENGAGE).

Look out for Cathy Bovill’s blog post tomorrow, which offers a brief overview of student engagement literature, and an example of an innovative student engagement inititative. Other blog posts this month will include:

  • Student Jordana Black, an Employ.ed intern, talking about her experience as the Digital Skills for Students Advisor for the Digital Skills and Training team within Information Services.
  • Richard Gratwick, University Teacher in School of Mathematics, writing about engaging students in a large lecture using peer assessment and formative feedback to practice presentation skills.
  • Kasia Banas, Senior Teaching Coordinator in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, presenting her research findings exploring students’ identification with the university and psychology as a discipline, and how these identification variables correlate with indicators of academic success.

Furthermore, contributors to this issue, including Cathy Bovill, Lucy Mercer-Mapstone and myself, will be presenting recent academic work on student engagement at the annual Researching, Advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement (RAISE) conference this month at Sheffield Hallam University.

Spotlight on Joint Degrees

This month’s post on Spotlight on Joint degrees, written by Chris Perkins, focuses on an analysis of the NSS free text comments on joint degrees. Chris explains how organisational issues emerged as having the biggest impact on the degree experience, and offers some practical suggestions on improving coherence and clarity for students. Spotlight… posts are published the first Monday of every month.

Mini-Series: Lecture Recording

September also sees the first month of the Lecture Recording mini-series. Each Wednesday, for the next three months, Teaching Matters will publish blog posts presenting a range of views and perspectives on lecture recording, featuring both staff and student voices. These will include showcasing findings from specially-funded Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme projects, exploring issues such as copyright, accessibility and digital literacy, and student and staff discussions on lecture recording in practice. This month sees an introductory post to the mini-series, case studies of lecture recording use at the University, and a summary of evaluative evidence on impact and expansion.

Happy Reading!

Jenny Scoles

Dr Jenny Scoles is the editor of Teaching Matters. She is an Academic Developer (Learning and Teaching Enhancement) in the Institute for Academic Development, and provides support for University course and programme design. Her interests include student engagement, professional learning and sociomaterial methodologies.

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