Blogging together: social writing to encourage the sharing of good practice

It was great to have so many participants at the Blogging Together workshop at the Learning at City conference last week. For those who were unable to attend, here is a brief outline and an invitation to join the Blog Writing Group.

In the workshop, we looked at the motivations and challenges to sharing our ideas in writing, moving on to present social writing as a strategy to overcome some of these barriers. We also discussed what made a good blog post (Fig. 1). In the session, we used sandwich writing as a technique to ‘get people writing’.



Neil Sumner noting suggestions about what makes a good blog post
Fig. 1 Neal Sumner noting down suggestions about what makes a good blog post.

What is sandwich writing?


The technique combines ‘free-writing’ together with feedback from a colleague:

  • Participants did free-writing for 10 minutes
  • Then shared their ideas with a partner for 5 minutes, who gave feedback and comments (Fig. 2)
  • Finally, they returned to writing about their own idea for a further 10 minutes, developing it based on the discussion with their partner.

The writing is the bread and the feedback is the filling – hence sandwich writing.

Both keynote speakers noted there was a need for the sharing of good educational practice in order to aim for teaching excellence. One potential forum to achieve this is through blogging. It is a place where practitioners can share their experiences and prompt debate about best practice. However, often writing is not prioritised for a variety of reasons. 

Consequently, LEaD is starting a Blog Writing Group to encourage the sharing of good practice with a wider audience.

Sandwich writing - participants discussing their ideas.
Fig. 2 – Sandwich writing, participants discussing their ideas.


The Blog Writing Group – When? Where? Who? How?

When: The group will meet once monthly, in the first week of the month. There are two sessions to enable people to attend on one day or the other. You do not need to attend both. The first sessions are on:

Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th July from 13:00 – 14:00

Where: LEaD training room – B310 (3rd Floor), University Building, above the Student Centre.

Who: Any academic or professional services staff who would like to participate in a community of practice sharing ways to support the student academic endeavour.

How: In the session we will introduce blog writing topics and there will be support to help you with the technical side of blogging. However, the main aim is to provide a space to write. In addition, following the principles of social writing, you will have a chance to share your ideas with colleagues.

Come join us and share your good ideas.

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