book cover for Writing about Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
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doi.org/10.36284/celelon.oa3

ISBN: 978-1-951414-04-7

September 2020

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ISBN: 978-1-951414-05-4

September 2020

Its contribution … significantly humanizes the act of writing about teaching and learning in higher education. Healey, Matthews, and Cook-Sather invite readers into their personal stories, their developments as writers, their different preferences, and their successes—as well as their struggles and failures. We hear these last experiences too rarely, especially from experts in the field. Additionally, many of the pages read like a conversation with the authors, or an extended workshop where the facilitators share their material and their stories, and then invite participants to reflect and share their own. These facilitators—the authors of this book—ultimately ask us to explore how our individual identities affect our SoTL work, how our SoTL work affects who we are, and how our writing can capture these experiences.

Nancy Chick and Katarina Mårtensson

Chick, Nancy, and Katarina Mårtensson. 2021. “Review of Writing about Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 9 (1):414-418. https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.9.1.27.


Here you will find discussion on why we are increasingly feeling the need to write about learning and teaching, but also why many scholars are trying to push the envelope on what actually constitutes “academic” writing about learning and teaching. This makes the book both an excellent summary on why a burgeoning scholarship relating to teaching and learning (SoTL) has emerged over the last thirty years, but it also contains many practical ideas for aspiring academics on how they might open up the possibilities for “going public” with their thoughts and findings…

For anyone struggling with the where, why and how of publication, this part of the book will be invaluable.

John Lea
Lea, John. 2020. “Writing about Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Creating and Contributing to Scholarly Conversations across a Range of Genres” (book review). Innovations in Education and Teaching International. https://doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2020.1865657

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) occupies an uneasy space in the academic research landscape. Both defining its nature and purpose and arguing for its inclusion in the wider research agenda of a university have long been challenging tasks for those who want to contribute to discourse about teaching and learning in their own disciplines. In this context, a book about writing that embarks on a mission to encourage “scholarly conversations” in a range of writing genres is welcome. This is what Mick Healey, Kelly E. Matthews and Alison Cook-Sather offer us in their new publication, Writing and Learning about Teaching in Higher Education. Making the book open access not only embodies the authors’ own values, but broadens its scope beyond its virtual pages to a wealth of other material via a click of the many links embedded in the text.

Claire Saunders
Saunders, Claire. 2020. “Conversations in Writing: A Book Review of M. Healey,  K.E. Matthews, and A. Cook-Sather (2020) Writing about Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Creating and Contributing to Scholarly Conversations.” Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education 19. https://doi.org/10.47408/jldhe.vi19.623.

The book offers merit in two powerful ways. One, it inspires readers and offers them the courage to expand their scholarly horizons by adopting new and unconventional ways of writing and communicating about teaching and learning in higher education. . . . Two, the reflective and introspective approach offered in this book suggests that writing for teaching and learning that integrates personal values and practical approaches can be a potential tool for practitioners to forge identities for themselves by engaging in dialogue with self and others.

Kaur Amrita
Amrita, Kaur. 2021. “Book Review: Writing about Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Creating and Contributing to Scholarly Conversations Across a Range of Genres.” Frontiers in Education 6:649647. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2021.649647.

This book is a welcome addition to the literature and great support for academic developers who, like this reviewer, are responsible for collaborating with instructors and academic units on learning and teaching. These interactions often include  discussion about the challenges associated with writing effectively about learning and teaching. This book convincingly conveys that systematic inquiry into teaching, as well as into our values and practices, is a worthwhile pursuit; when these become embedded in academic work, teaching and the student experience will improve.

Tony Harland

Harland, Tony. 2021. “Book Review: Writing about Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.” SPUR (Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research) 4 (4):61.


Whilst a student might have been taught ‘how to write’ as part of their studies, they are often not taught ‘how to publish’. So, this detailed, and … evidenced, discussion is very helpful for student and less experienced staff authors.

Healey, Matthews and Cook-Sather chart the ‘writing process’ from start to finish, offering some practical advice for writing across a large range of different genres. Throughout various examples and personal accounts are explored which makes the book feel personalised and supportive, and certainly suitable for both students and staff to learn from.

Harry West

West, Harry. 2021. “Review of Healey, Matthews and Cook-Sather (2020) ‘Writing about Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.’” Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal 4 (1): 3-5. https://sehej.raise-network.com/raise/article/view/1056.