Responding to negative student feedback: retain your confidence, improve your teaching

Image by skeeze from Pixabay. The Guardian recently published an article by an anonymous academic entitled ‘Student surveys are destroying my confidence’. The writer reports that ‘our mandatory student feedback surveys are crushing [my] confidence. They report that I seem “inexperienced” and the block that I teach is “uninteresting”.’ This criticism means that ‘rather than being guided through the … Continue reading Responding to negative student feedback: retain your confidence, improve your teaching

What Learning Outcomes Aren’t

It’s pretty easy to discern what Jeff Noonan thinks about learning outcomes from the title of his blog post, ‘Ten theses in support of teaching and against learning outcomes’. For Noonan, where learning outcomes are present, teaching can’t happen. He claims that learning outcomes ‘state the obvious, i.e., that a class on Greek philosophy will … Continue reading What Learning Outcomes Aren’t

Guest post: Educational Development Centres – Issues, Challenges and the Future

(This is a guest post by Santanu Vasant, Head of UEL's Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching as part of #HEBlogswap) As you may know, I am coming up to a year in the post of Head of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at the University of East London. I have … Continue reading Guest post: Educational Development Centres – Issues, Challenges and the Future

HEA Senior Fellowship: getting started

‘Senior Fellow’ has always struck me as a singularly inappropriate term. Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy) insist that its different categories of Fellowship award (Associate, Senior and Principal, as well as Fellowship) are not ‘levels’ but merely descriptors: that is, there is no hierarchy. I’m inclined to agree: it describes a different role, … Continue reading HEA Senior Fellowship: getting started

What Students Need: on wellbeing and contact hours

This post was inspired by Alice Thomson’s piece in The Times, entitled “Students need better teaching, not lower fees”. In response to Philip Augar’s recommendation that university fees be lowered to £7,500 a year, Thomson sensibly points out that, as government is unlikely to fund the shortfall caused by any reduction in fees, universities will … Continue reading What Students Need: on wellbeing and contact hours

Social Media Training for Academics: What not to do

This is a re-post of a piece originally posted on City University's LEAD Blog on September 15, 2016.  I’m sure many readers have seen the Guardian’s recent Academics Anonymous piece, entitled, “I’m a serious academic, not a professional Instagrammer”.  I was struck especially by the piece’s defensive tone. I suspect that behind much ridicule of social media … Continue reading Social Media Training for Academics: What not to do

Who gets to be in the ‘collective’ of the university?

With many thanks to Jules Gleeson for the excellent editing and feedback - this post is infinitely better for it. If you enjoyed this post and want to support a queer gender historian, consider subscribing to Jules' Patreon here. NB: I write this as a disagreement, not as an attempt at silencing or a professional … Continue reading Who gets to be in the ‘collective’ of the university?