Universities as utopias

My presentation at the recent HERDSA conference was entitled Peer review of teaching: A showcase of messy practice. My co-author Rod Lane and I are redeveloping it as a book chapter, in which we will share our learning about the risks and complexities of ‘insider research’ (or researching practices within one’s own institution). Presenting about an … Continue reading Universities as utopias

Which university? Which self?

Barbara Grant’s keynote from HERDSA has been haunting me. It was a pleasure to listen to, and has rewarded slow consideration. Entitled A Thousand Tiny Universities, Barbara challenged the audience to think about ourselves, our universities, hope and the future. In writing this post, I am relying on memory, my sketchy notes and some brief … Continue reading Which university? Which self?

Valuing teaching

I spent last week in Adelaide for the Higher Education Research and Development Association of Australasia (HERDSA) conference. As far as Australian higher education conferences go, it is the largest, with a choice of seven parallel sessions. I was deep in decision fatigue, so stuck closely to the 'academic work' stream rather than move between … Continue reading Valuing teaching

When a presentation bombs

I gave a short presentation last week that was not as awesome as I had intended. In fact,  it would be fair to say it bombed. I have (mostly) recovered, but have been reflecting on the experience of not presenting well. More often than not, my presentations go well enough, but sometimes they (I) go … Continue reading When a presentation bombs

Anticipation

I love planning a holiday. There is as much pleasure in the anticipation as there is in the execution. Right now, we are looking forward to our family trip to Japan, prompted by my participation in the 6th International Academic Identities Conference in Hiroshima in September. We have plane tickets, our itinerary is mapped and … Continue reading Anticipation

Enabling dissent

Last week I attended the annual Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) conference. I really appreciated the sustained and vibrant  participation by students across the conference. Over three days I attended sessions on peer review, teaching induction, research-informed teaching and quality curriculum; collected a wealth of resources and ideas; planned research with … Continue reading Enabling dissent