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Turning teaching initiatives into pedagogic publications


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Slides from keynote presentation at Discovering Teaching Excellence at Leicester event, July 2017.

The talk outlines some lessons I have learnt about getting started in publication of pedagogic research and other education-related publications.

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Turning teaching initiatives into pedagogic publications

  1. 1. DiscoveringTeaching Excellence (July 2017) Dr Chris Willmott Dept of Molecular and Cell Biology University of Leicester TurningTeaching Innovation Into Pedagogic Publications
  2. 2. Why publish education papers? • Education publications unlikely to be REFable - education journals have low (or no) impact factor - fall between “Unit of Assessment” & “Education” • Pedagogy specialist going to be safer than 2* researcher • Career development - evidence for CV - internal promotion - external accreditation (eg HEA Fellowships) - TEF?
  3. 3. Generic v Discipline-Specific? • Generic education research journals - have higher kudos - have higher “impact factor” (but still too low for REF purposes) However… • Subject-specific - more *impact* with colleagues within discipline - willing to accept teaching innovation papers as well as more formal education research - “This worked well for me, it might help you too” - good place to start publication
  4. 4. Demise of Discipline-specific
  5. 5. Bioscience-specific journals BAMBED CBE Life Science Education Advances in Physiology Education JBE
  6. 6. Practitioner-to-practitioner papers
  7. 7. Starting a new project • Existing teaching activity obvious place to start - what evidence do you have/what do you need? • De novo? Choose something that interests you - ideally a “hot topic” • More than one institution? More than one discipline? - increased value, increased complexity • Questionnaire-based evidence - worthwhile research instruments hard to design • Do you need ethical approval? - probably!
  8. 8. Ethical approval • Research involving human subjects - includes any questionnaire work • Generally uncontroversial, “light touch” • Approval process
  9. 9. Publication checklist • Is your activity readily adaptable for use by others? - check it is not entirely context-dependent • Is your activity well described? - good innovations often poorly explained • Is it in right format for the journal? - check house style rules • Is there anything similar/identical in literature? - check for existing work • Is there some evaluation? - needs to be SOME, even if not extensive
  10. 10. “I haven’t got any evidence” • Likely that you are actually already sitting on a gold-mine of potentially interesting data, e.g. - Exam performance? - Module review and feedback forms? - Completion rates? First destination data? • Quantitative data? • Qualitative data? • Triangulation?* * Triangulation = synthesising evidence of different types and from different sources, in order to arrive at conclusions
  11. 11. Collect evidence • Develop own portfolio of evidence - Electronic? Physical? Both? • Valuable for: - Publications - Professional accreditation - Promotions
  12. 12. Evidence, what evidence? • In addition to the items detailed above, keep a conscious look out for • Emails? - From students? - From colleagues? • Corridor conversations? - Capture as soon as you can, verbatim if possible - Ask to repeat in an email • Formal peer evaluations?
  13. 13. “I’m worried about my data” • Started evaluation? Spotted potential flaws? • - May not be fatal • - Can’t ‘do that extra experiment’ - Alter for second go? • - Be honest, be self-critical • - “Warts and all”
  14. 14. Current issues/ Horizon scanning • Students as Partners? • Flipped classroom? • Emerging technologies? • Research-led teaching? • Gamification? Plus old chestnuts • Feedback • Assessment
  15. 15. Other publications: THE, etc • Don’t be afraid to pitch to Times Higher, The Conversation or similar • For The Conversation contact Alex Phillimore to broker contact
  16. 16. Other publication: Blogs
  17. 17. Anyone for listicles?
  18. 18. Sharing on other platforms • Slideshare
  19. 19. Community of Practice? Actual communities: • LLI and other Institution-level events • PedR group in discipline? • PedR Conferences (or section within discipline conference) Virtual communities: • Become active in online conversations - e.g. JISCMAIL PedR lists - LinkedIn discussion groups - Tweetups #LTHEchat #HEAchat
  20. 20. • Twitter Unexpected consequences (1)
  21. 21. Unexpected consequences (2) • Asked to run workshop on plagiarism at Association for Science Education conference • Timetabled against Patrick Moore • Audience n=1 (plus chair) • She was journalist for Times Educational Supplement – wrote it up • 4 months later she self-plagiarised in TES  Leicester Mercury picked it up Times Higher picked it up from Mercury  Invited to write piece for Higher
  22. 22. Summary • Getting started in education publication may not be as much of a stretch as you imagine • Start with ways to turn something you are already doing into a paper by adding some (albeit minimal) evaluation • If unlikely to have enough for a “full paper” try for a Short Communication/Case Study/Illumination • Be active in pedagogy in other ways: conferences, blogs, discussion lists
  23. 23. Any Questions? E-mail: Twitter: cjrw Slideshare: cjrw2 Delicious: chriswillmott Blogs: