Consultant Fellows actively engage with the scholarship of learning and teaching. In 2018–19, CFs between them attended more than forty national or regional L & T and writing development events, including conferences and symposia. They contribute to communities of practice, such as AdvanceHE, ALDinHE, EATAW, SEDA and WDHE, and keep up to date with the latest developments at Open Forum and Vitae events.
Consultant Fellows collaborate with colleagues in HEIs, co-publish research about the effectiveness of writing development interventions, and share creative methods for engaging with the learning and teaching of students and staff.
Examples of this diverse engagement:
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered: how to have better feedback conversations
Anne Wilson and Katie Grant’s workshop at Advance HE Teaching & Learning Conference at Northumbria University, 3 July 2019, focused on feedback conversations with students. In focus groups at Brunel University, both students and staff admitted feeling awkward about such conversations and avoided them where possible. So Anne and Katie asked, ‘How do you manage a conversation where there are strong feelings on both sides?’ In this workshop, they explored what makes for a constructive feedback conversation and shared good practice guidance that benefits both student and tutor.
Helping science undergraduates to read research papers more effectively
Do science undergraduates receive sufficient and appropriate guidance on how to read research papers? How can we better support them in doing so? At the STEM Advance HE Conference in Birmingham, 31 January 2019, Trevor Day’s workshop explored these questions. The workshop drew upon the expertise in the group and considered recent research informed by Trevor’s own experiences co-designing interactive online reading modules with staff and students at the University of Bath. The conclusion on the day? Some universities are doing a lot, some only a little, and that we can all do more to develop an array of research-informed approaches to empower students in devising personalised, productive reading strategies.
Re-examining our assumptions about ‘good’ academic writing
At the Advance HE Teaching & Learning Conference at Aston University, 5 July 2018, Anne Wilson and Katie Grant led a workshop that challenged participants to revisit the commonly-used terms and commonly-held assumptions of their discipline. The aim of ‘Academic Writing in a Global Age: re-examining our assumptions about “good” academic writing’ was to help HEI staff better engage with L2 learners by examining the academic writing practices of Western academic traditions.
Releasing your Inner Writer: who learned what?
Trevor Day and Katie Grant co-presented a keynote with Ursula Canton of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) at the Scottish Effective Learning Advisers’ Network summer meeting, 22 June 2018. The presentation ‘Releasing your Inner Writer: who learned what?’ shared the preliminary findings of their qualitative and quantitative research assessing the impact of a writing development intervention at GCU.
What’s in a text?
At the same event Katie and Trevor led a workshop exploring ‘What’s in a Text?’ This encouraged learning and writing developers to explore the rhetorical strategies used by authors of research papers from different disciplines – a modelling technique that can be used with students and staff alike.
Success in academic writing
Trevor Day’s critically acclaimed guide Success in Academic Writing (Palgrave Macmillan), now in its second edition (April 2018), is aimed at undergraduates; reviewers have also recommended it for postgraduates and HEI staff.
Evaluating scientific research literature
Trevor was also the lead author of an online resource Evaluating Scientific Research Literature for the University of Bath designed to help science undergraduates to critically evaluate research papers. He collaborated with colleagues at Bath, as well as postgraduates and undergraduates, in the design and testing of the resource. Two academic papers came out of this, the first about the rationale behind the design and testing, the second about lessons learnt after the resource went live.
Letchford, J., Corradi H. and Day, T., 2017. A flexible e-learning resource promoting the critical reading of scientific papers for science undergraduates. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 45(6), 483–490.
Day, T., Letchford, J., Corradi, H. and Rogers, T., 2015. Devising an Online Resource to Help Undergraduate Science Students Critically Evaluate Research Articles. Journal of Academic Writing, 5(2), 1–19.