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First Editorial


Welcome to this first edition of Practice and Evidence of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PESTLHE). This journal offers an opportunity for those involved in University learning and teaching to disseminate their practice. It will publish accounts of scholarly practice that report on small-scale practitioner research and case studies of practice that involve reflection, critique, implications for future practice and are informed by relevant literature, with a focus on enhancement of student learning.


It might be helpful for us to explain a little of the background as to how this journal has come into being. It was back in 2001 that the then Vice-Principal (Staffing), Professor Chris Morris, first started to have discussions about possible career paths for non-research active staff at the University of Glasgow. From the outset, he acknowledged that such people were very important for both the University of Glasgow and the sector more widely. He also recognised that they did not, in reality, have a career path open to them at the time. He was drawn to the scheme in operation at the University of Bradford where a new category of staff - University Teacher (UT) and Senior University Teacher (SUT) - had been put in place. This grading recognised the importance that teaching-only posts played, but that this teaching needed to be informed by engagement with the literature (both discipline-based and pedagogic). The Glasgow model took this one stage further and stated from the outset that UTs and promoted posts on this career path had to engage in scholarship as part of their duties. The meaning of scholarship at this stage was clearly informed by the work of Boyer. Since then, the career path of the UT/SUT has been extended and now offers promoted posts at both Reader and Professorial levels.


However, there have been some difficulties in establishing a clear definition of what constitutes scholarship. At the first University of Glasgow Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Symposium (September 2005) considerable debate took place around this issue and how scholarship might be evidenced.


Subsequent work by the University of Glasgow’s Human Resources committee has led to the adoption of the following definition of scholarship:- 


A scholarship of teaching will entail a public account of some or all of the full act of teaching - vision, design, enactment, outcomes, and analysis - in a manner susceptible to critical review by the teacher's professional peers and amenable to productive employment in future work by members of that same community.(Hutchings and Shulman, 1999 )



This journal therefore offers a vehicle whereby all staff can present a public account of their teaching which is open to review by their peers.


Whilst initially PESTLHE serves an internal need at the University of Glasgow, all papers are subjected to a peer review process and we positively welcome contributions from colleagues both within Glasgow, other Scottish Higher Education Institutions (particularly with the current Scottish Funding Council emphasis on ‘enhancing the student experience’) and the international community of those engaged in scholarship of teaching, learning and assessment.


We hope that you might consider submitting an article to the journal in due course and that you will find this first issue informative and useful.


In this first edition are four papers from colleagues at the University of Glasgow. Three of these papers were presented at the 2nd Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Practice and Evidence Symposium (April 2006). McKerlie et al. and Jamieson and Gray are examples of full articles reporting on completed evaluations of teaching practice. McKerlie et al. describe the use of computer-assisted learning courseware to enhance the learning of dental students. Jamieson and Gray is more of a research-focused paper exploring the contrasting perceptions of supervisors and honours students of undergraduate research supervision. Tierney and Bell et al. are examples of accounts of works in progress, the second type of article accepted by the journal. Tierney offers an approach to minimising plagiarism in first year Biology students. The paper by Bell et al. illustrates the development of a Faculty Learning Community at the University of Glasgow devoted to supporting scholarship amongst UTs and SUTs. The paper has been written as a collaborative venture by the community and details the processes in forming the community and its future direction.


We hope you will enjoy this new journal which offers a forum to develop and share scholarly informed practice throughout the Higher Education community. There will be opportunities to share discussions and comments regarding works in progress or full articles with other readers and the authors themselves on the journal site (www.pestlhe.org.uk).


The journal will be a biennial publication (April and October) and we look forward to receiving papers from the wider community of practitioners.





Jane Pritchard, Sarah Mann and Bob Matthew


Learning & Teaching Centre

Southpark House

University of Glagsow


G12 8QQ







Pat Hutchings, Lee S. Shulman. THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING. Change Sept 1999 v31 i5 p11


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