Wendy Robinson, Dilly Fung


We are delighted to introduce the first edition of the University of Exeter’s new in-house journal Inspiring Academic Practice. Developed to showcase and share innovative practice in teaching and learning across the University, as well as critical engagement with wider aspects of academic practice, this journal will support and complement Exeter’s sector-leading work in educational excellence. Inspiring Academic Practice will provide an important focus for all those staff who are involved with the variety of education-focussed strands that currently exist through our LTHE and PCAP programmes, the ASPIRE Academic Practice Network and Seminars; the new Centre for Research in Higher Education at the Graduate School of Education; and the Education Strategy review process. It will facilitate the dissemination of good practice across disciplinary boundaries and will contribute to the wider professional development and understanding of all staff working to enhance teaching and learning at Exeter. The six articles published here are written by authors working across a range of disciplines and engaging with a variety of different aspects of their academic practice. Though diverse, they nevertheless share a common commitment from the authors to test out current thinking and research in academic practice in relation to their own particular teaching and learning contexts. Tim Taylor and Catherine Hale tackle the daunting challenge of knowledge exchange and stakeholder engagement in research and innovation and present a useful case-study of how they have managed this in the European Centre for Environment and Human Health in Cornwall. Louise Croft draws upon theories of academic identity and communities of practice to reflect upon her own position as an educator in Sports Science before looking at how the idea of preferred learning styles might fit practically with examples from her teaching. Michael Hammond considers how a problem-based learning approach to curriculum design, normally associated with medical education, might inform and improve undergraduate Engineering education. Gaby Meier evaluates her introduction of supported peer-feedback as a form of assessment in Masters level language education teaching. Faye Small problematizes the role and function of the personal tutor at the University of Exeter and argues for a better understanding of the specific guidance and support needs of students engaged with a professional clinical training programme. Finally, Barrie Cooper reviews the scope and identity of the undergraduate mathematics curricula in the light of recent changes in UK higher education, revealing the challenges and opportunities involved. We would like to thank each of our authors very much for taking the time to write these articles and for their willingness to share their ideas and reflections in this first edition. As editors we are keen to receive feedback from staff on this first edition, which we are treating very much as a pilot exercise. If you have any thoughts on the content, layout and focus represented here or have any suggestions for improvement please contact us. We are already planning our second edition, to be published in 2014, and look forward to receiving submissions. Full guidance on submitting work to Inspiring Academic Practice can be found via the journal webpage: https://education.exeter.ac.uk/ojs/index.php/inspire/about

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