University students value inspiration, encouragement, support and humour over subject or method-related concepts when nominating excellent teachers, reveals a study by staff at Queen Mary, University of London. 2051 comments contained in the nomination statements made by Queen Mary students for its Excellence in Teaching Awards were analysed at both Institutional and Faculty level, focusing on the traits, skills and approaches that students identify as being ‘excellent’. The study: “What makes an outstanding university teacher”, recommends that those skills, traits and approaches which students value should be looked at in appraisal and promotion schemes for university teaching staff, and is among just some of the content of a dynamic new online journal being launched for the academic community by Queen Mary: Learning Matters.
Learning Matters: http://www.learninginstitute.qmul.ac.uk/learning-matters/ has been launched to widely celebrate and disseminate the work being undertaken in teaching, learning and assessment by staff and students from across Queen Mary, and provides a hub for sharing research-based articles, good practice, innovation, reflections, and developments on teaching and learning throughout the wider academic community.
The site, which will be updated monthly, focuses on 3 key areas:
Articles: this section resembles a conventional journal and includes articles which are more scholarly or research-based than other areas of the site.
Case-studies and Developments: includes updates and commentaries on Queen Mary projects and innovations.
Reviews and Reflections: features reviews of events, technologies and publications linked to learning, as well as reflections on current policies, strategies, developments and events in Higher Education and learning more generally, as it is impacts on Higher Education.
Dr Mathew Williamson, Senior Education Adviser at Queen Mary’s Learning Institute said: “This is an exciting new development which will allow colleagues to contribute to debates and issues in learning and teaching. Learning Matters is open to contributions of all types and in a variety of formats including video and audio, so is far more than a traditional online journal.”
Full results, including a seminar podcast, of the study: “What makes an outstanding university teacher,” are accessible via the current issue of Learning Matters http://www.learninginstitute.qmul.ac.uk/learning-matters/ now live.
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