One of my favourite New Yorker cartoons shows two disgruntled-looking dogs walking along the road. One says to the other “It’s always, ‘Sit!’ ‘Stay!’ ‘Heel!’ – Never ‘think’, ‘innovate,’ ‘be yourself.’” Unlike the New Yorker dogs, university teachers are constantly being urged to innovate, innovate, innovate, but this often makes us feel equally disgruntled. We […]

As teachers and learners we know that the human brain is a wonderful thing, but many of us are a bit vague about how it actually works. So it was great to have the opportunity to spend a whole day in the company of Patricia Riddell, Professor of Applied Neuroscience at the University of Reading.  […]

Over the past couple of years, we’ve been involved in organising a reading group for colleagues here at the University of Edinburgh who are interested in assessment and feedback.  The reading group was developed to critique literature and to think about new ideas that could be applied in our settings at the University.  And it’s […]

Here at the University of Edinburgh we’re always keen to learn about what works well in teaching and to use this knowledge and understanding to inform our own practice.  Increasingly, the Schools are opening up new spaces to discuss teaching and to provide opportunities to learn from leaders in the field.  One such initiative is […]

This post first appeared as part of the Pubs and Publications blog site in the College for Humanities and Social Sciences and is reprinted with their permission.  You can find the original post here. For the past eighteen months, I’ve been working in the Institute for Academic Development as part of a team supporting tutors […]

This may be an obvious question.   ‘It is inside in a nice warm room, filled with tables and chairs and fancy multi-media equipment’, I hear the majority of you cry. But really is it? Or do you learn more by experiencing and doing? As an academic in the Earth Sciences, our teaching methods are varied […]

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people. Click here to […]

Before I worked at the university I worked in a Further Education college in Manchester in Wythenshawe, one of the largest council house estates in Europe. It was a bit of a shock to find myself at the foot of Arthur’s Seat and my first introduction to post-structuralism made me take up smoking again, temporarily. […]

Scotland prides itself on its long standing tradition of support for higher education.  Much is made of the fact that tuition here is free, unlike in the rest of the UK where fees of up to £9,000 per annum are levied on students.  Indeed, there is much talk about how in Scotland tuition is based […]

Teaching is firmly on the agenda at the moment.  The publication of the Green Paper, paving the way for a Teaching Excellence Framework, has ignited conversations about what we mean by excellence in teaching, and how we might demonstrate this in practice.  Here at the University of Edinburgh – where Senior Vice-Principal Professor Charlie Jeffery […]