On Wednesday July 7th, Dr Jane Secker and myself will be hosting our final LEaD Writing Group of the academic year. This group has been running since 2016, and provides City colleagues with space + time to write, technical support for blogging, and general explorations of writing practice.
As they have all been since spring 2020, this will be hosted on Zoom, and will run between 12:00 – 13:00.We’ve had some great guests from City’s schools join us over the years to talk about their blogging/writing practices, but for the first time, we are pleased to announce our first external speaker. Dr Alexandra Mihai joins us from Maastricht University and will lead the session.
Dr Mihai has given us an introduction to her session below. Sign up for the session at the event registration link (opens in new tab).
I am Alexandra Mihai, an education professional with 14 years of experience in European Higher Education. I am currently Assistant Professor of Innovation in Higher Education at Maastricht University. I have been working at several European universities and I have a strong background in e-learning, curriculum design and innovative teaching strategies.
I started my blog on teaching and learning back in 2014. It has been a very useful space to reflect on my research as well as my educational development and teaching practice. In spring 2020, when teaching and learning suddenly moved online for what turned out to be an indefinite period, I felt it was time to share my knowledge and expertise more widely. “The Educationalist” newsletter started as a spin-off of my blog and quickly turned into something more. It became a tool for curating and compiling resources on the topic of online learning. Not only did this help me keep track and make sense of the huge amount of information available, but it also planted the seeds of a learning community.
In this session I would like to reflect on the benefits and challenges of blogging in an academic context. As a platform to communicate our research to a non-academic or non-specialised audience, blogs can play an important role in our work from various perspectives:
- Learning to express the essence of our research in different ways and for different audiences;
- Connecting with a broader network and plugging in to conversations that go beyond our immediate academic circle;
- Collecting and processing information, playing around with ideas in a safe space at the exploratory stage of research;
- Getting “unstuck” and receiving feedback in a more timely manner and from a more diverse audience (including non-academic peers).
But academic blogging also comes with its challenges. I am looking forward to having a lively discussion!