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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 cjrw2@le.ac.uk TurningTeaching Innovation Into Pedagogic Publications
  2. 2. Why publish education papers? http://tinyurl.com/squarepeg1 • 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 www.tandfonline.com/loi/rhep20
  5. 5. Bioscience-specific journals BAMBED www.bambed.org CBE Life Science Education www.lifescied.org Advances in Physiology Education advan.physiology.org JBE www.tandfonline.com/loi/rjbe20
  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 www2.le.ac.uk/institution/ethics/approval
  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?* http://www.rumrill.net/brian/pics/pics5/pics5/DarthVader/darth_vader_closeup.jpg * 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 http://tinyurl.com/ev1dence17
  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” www.generalmonck.com/biography.htm
  14. 14. Current issues/ Horizon scanning • Students as Partners? • Flipped classroom? • Emerging technologies? • Research-led teaching? • Gamification? Plus old chestnuts • Feedback • Assessment http://tinyurl.com/hor1zon17 http://tinyurl.com/ch3stnut17
  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 ap507@le.ac.uk to broker contact
  16. 16. Other publication: Blogs www.lefthandedbiochemist.wordpress.com www.bioethicsbytes.wordpress.com www.biosciencecareers.wordpress.com www.biologyonthebox.wordpress.com
  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: cjrw2@le.ac.uk Twitter: cjrw Slideshare: cjrw2 Delicious: chriswillmott Blogs: www.bioethicsbytes.wordpress.com www.biologyonthebox.wordpress.com www.biosciencecareers.wordpress.com www.lefthandedbiochemist.wordpress.com

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