Writing about Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Creating and Contributing to Scholarly Conversations across a Range of Genres

Cover art for Writing about Learning and Teachingby Mick Healey, Kelly E. Matthews, and Alison Cook-Sather

Writing about Learning and Teaching in Higher Education offers detailed guidance to scholars at all stages—experienced and new academics, graduate students, and undergraduates—regarding how to write about learning and teaching in higher education. It evokes established practices, recommends new ones, and challenges readers to expand notions of scholarship by describing reasons for publishing across a range of genres, from the traditional empirical research article to modes such as stories and social media that are newly recognized in scholarly arenas. The book provides practical guidance for scholars in writing each genre—and in getting them published.

To illustrate how choices about writing play out in practice, we share throughout the book our own experiences as well as reflections from a range of scholars, including both highly experienced, widely published experts and newcomers to writing about learning and teaching in higher education. The diversity of voices we include is intended to complement the variety of genres we discuss, enacting as well as arguing for an embrace of multiplicity in writing about learning and teaching in higher education.

“This book is a real gift. Books about writing can be pretty pedestrian, but the authors have truly invited readers into a conversation. . . . Most important, it’s beautifully written — with a great voice — scholarly but personal.”

—Pat Hutchings, Senior Associate, Carnegie Foundation and Senior Scholar with the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment


Open access PDF
ISBN: 978-1-951414-04-7
September 2020
4.2 MB

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ISBN: 978-1-951414-05-4
September 2020

Table of Contents

Part 1: Understanding the Book and Meeting the Authors

Chapter 1: Articulating Our Goals

Chapter 2: Situating Our Work

Part 2: Embracing the Potential of Writing about Learning and Teaching

Introduction to Part 2

Chapter 3: Creating and Contributing to Scholarly Conversations through Writing

Chapter 4: Fostering Identity through a Values-based Approach to Writing

Chapter 5: Conceptualizing Writing as a Learning Process

Part 3: Clarifying Your Purpose and Preparing to Draft

Introduction to Part 3

Chapter 6: Reflecting on Motivations

Chapter 7: Writing Alone or with Others

Chapter 8: Choosing an Outlet

Chapter 9: Selecting a Title

Chapter 10: Preparing the Abstract

Part 4: Writing in Different Genres

Introduction to Part 4

Chapter 11: Extending the Conventional Writing Genres: Naming and Clarifying

Chapter 12: Analyzing and Reporting Data: Empirical Research Articles

Chapter 13: Advancing New Perspectives: Theoretical and Conceptual Articles

Chapter 14: Synthesizing What We Already Know: Literature Reviews

Chapter 15: Focusing on Practical Experiences: Case Studies

Chapter 16: Telling a Bigger Story: Books and Edited Collections

Chapter 17: Talking about Learning and Teaching: Conference and Workshop Presentations

Chapter 18: Revealing the Process: Reflective Essays

Chapter 19: Provoking Thought: Opinion Pieces

Chapter 20: Sharing Everyday Lived Experiences: Stories

Chapter 21: Engaging in Scholarly Conversations Online: Social Media

Chapter 22: Applying, Reflecting, and Evidencing: Teaching Awards, Fellowships, and Promotions

Part 5: Writing Efficiently, Effectively, and Energizingly

Introduction to Part 5

Chapter 23: Allotting Time and Choosing Space to Write

Chapter 24: Writing and Rewriting Your Draft

Chapter 25: Becoming an Engaging Writer

Chapter 26: Seeking Networks, Critical Friends, and Feedback

Part 6: Submitting, Responding to Reviewers, and Promoting Your Work

Introduction to Part 6

Chapter 27: Preparing for Submission

Chapter 28: Responding to Reviewers and Dealing with Rejection

Chapter 29: Promoting Your Published Work and Developing a Publication Plan


Chapter 30: Reflecting on the Potential of Writing about Learning and Teaching