Connecting the Dots in the “Teaching-Research Nexus”

“The goal should not be publish or perish, or teach or impeach, but we beseech you to publish and teach effectively.” Hattie and March (1996)


I initially set out to write an evidence-informed blog on how wonderful the teaching-research nexus was. I wanted to demonstrate that it was the pinnacle of academic activity. In my mind, conducting it would access the higher orders of learning to achieve a zen-like state for students and staff alike. Unfortunately, reality got in the way and there are issues! All is not rosy in the garden of the teaching-research nexus, but there are things the individual can do. Continue reading


Why does nobody read the feedback I write?

What is effective feedback? Do the students read the feedback they get and, if they do, does it have any value to them? This blog explores what the literature has to say on effective assessment feedback and what matters when producing it. I offer some of my own thoughts into the mix and draw together the top five most common ideas on effective feedback. 

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Finding Your Voice in Your Viva: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Once you’ve done the hard work of conducting your research, then writing, binding and submitting your thesis, there’s only the small matter of the viva to deal with. So what is it, what will happen and how do you do it? Here are five tips and tricks to help you prepare for and find your voice in your research project viva.

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Four MORE Tips and Tricks To Help When Writing Research Reports

Organising your thoughts and data in a research report can be tricky. Once you have all your figures sorted out and all your references in a database you need to actually start putting together the document. Here are four MORE tips and tricks to help with organising your information and getting good references.

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Four Tips and Tricks To Help When Writing Research Reports

Writing a final year research report or dissertation is hard enough without the technical challenges of presenting information getting in the way. Presentation of the data is key and a lot of time can be lost sorting out the images. This blog post will share some simple tricks that can make putting together the final report so much easier.

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Presenting Engaging Information in a Virtual Learning Environment

Virtual learning environments (VLE) such as Blackboard or Padlet are a great way of sharing resources with students. Used well they can be a gateway to engagement with the subject; used sparingly and they are nothing more than a dumping ground for slides. So how can we present the information better and enable engagement with it?

The VLE is a staple of the students’ experience. It’s even a requirement (at most institutions) that every module should have one. They act as a repository of knowledge, a holding ground of key information and the main point of official interaction between students and staff. Continue reading

Tuning The Challenge/Support Matrix

Photo 30-10-2017, 18 37 38There is a shift occurring where we as an academic community are moving from simple measures of student satisfaction in a course to measuring engagement in the learning process. Pitching teaching to make it engaging can be tricky and involves a mix of both academic challenge and appropriate support. Set the challenge too high and the students become frustrated, too low and it’s not stimulating. The support surrounding teaching also needs to be just right: not enough and the students may disengage, too much and you run the risk of doing the work for them, inhibiting real learning. Continue reading