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  1. Learning at City Conference 2017
Learning Enhancement and Development

Session 1C

Blogging together: Using social writing to create a community of practice around teaching excellence

Anise Bullimore

Thomas Hanley

Dominic Pates

Daniel Sansome

Midge Seymour-Roots

Neal Sumner

– City, University of London, Learning Enhancement and Development (LEaD)


BYOD

Participants are asked to bring their own devices on which to access and contribute to the blog.

If you do not have access to a device, please contact the conference events team (LEaDevents@city.ac.uk) to request one*

*Laptops or tablets may be provided for requestors, depending on availability.


This workshop focuses on social writing and blogging as a means to promoting and sharing practices and approaches.

“Social writing spaces generate good will, generosity and sharing. They initiate research dialogues and collaboration”

(Murray, 2015, p. 8).

Examples of teaching excellence feature in programmes across City but raising awareness of this work and connecting educators who wish to share excellent practices is a continual challenge.  There is an increasing demand to share and promote our educational work within and beyond City.  But how can we find the time and means to achieve this?

The LEaD blog (http://bit.ly/LearningAtCityblog) is a public forum with a global readership that brings people together. It enables academics and professional services staff to raise the profile of and discuss their educational research, teaching practices, educational ideas or reflection on professional development – all aspects that contribute to the development of teaching excellence.

By using social writing practices we aim to create a community of practice around teaching excellence for the LEaD blog.  “Social writing means establishing a sense of community, being part of a community of scholars, and it lets us rehearse our writing in safe but rigorous conversations” (Murray, 2015, p. 3).  Social writing groups enable participants to meet “to talk about [their] research and… to write and grow [their] relationship to knowledge… [and] build relationships between researchers” (Murray, 2015, p. 20). Murray argues that such exchanges are unlikely to happen during normal working time (Murray, 2015, p. 19) – and therefore there is a need to establish a special time/space.

This workshop will be that space in the form of a practical workshop suitable for all staff interested in writing for the LEaD blog from experienced bloggers to those brand new to engaging with a blog.  The workshop will use social writing as a technique to motivate writing and connect the blog authors as a community of practice physically in the room and online via the blog.  The facilitators will offer guidance on how to use the blog, create content, write for a blog and use the blog to promote and share educational practices.   The aim is for all participants to leave having drafted a blog post and/or commented on other blog posts.

Outcomes:

  • Connect with colleagues through beginning to create a community of practice sharing educational practices and approaches
  • Learn more about how to write and create blog posts
  • Draft a blog post and/or engage with other blog posts on the LEaD blog via comments

References

Murray, R. (2015) Writing in Social Spaces: A social processes approach to academic writing. Abingdon: Routledge.

Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.