New to the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching?
The TALE 2018 Organising Committee acknowledges that many people have a different area of focus, but still have a passion to improve teaching and want to share their innovative practices. Therefore, this page is dedicated to participants that want to get started in writing a research paper, but not sure how or where to start.
Sessions for You
At TALE 2018, we will have sessions aimed at:
- Reflecting and improving your teaching practice
- Advancing knowledge on how to publish in this area
Publishing Innovative Practice
So, you have done something innovative in your classroom and you would like to share it?
The first thing that you need to consider is the contribution that you are trying to make on a wider scale. That is, you had a particular problem at your institution, you implemented a change and the experience improved. You now need to consider why this is relevant to anyone else and frame the work in a way that could be implemented, modified or advanced by others.
The first place to start is to review recent and popular journals to discover recent trends and theories. Please note, that for a conference paper you do not need to go as in-depth as a journal paper, but the structure and style remain similar.
Some popular journals related to the scope of TALE 2018 include:
Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (Tertiary education focus)
Australian Educational Computing (K-12 focus)
Below is a screen grab for IEEE Transactions on Education. Start by looking at popular papers, recent paper and recent issues to find how your work advances knowledge in the area
Opportunity for First-Time Authors
If you have never published within the area of teaching and learning before, then we are providing a free feedback phase. If you submit by the deadline, first time authors can receive basic feedback on the structure of the article for TALE 2018. This has no relationship to the review process!
This service is strictly limited to the first 50 papers received.
To access this free support send your draft paper before the 16 April 2018 to:
This opportunity has now expired
The structure of your article should include:
An introduction that provides the reason for your work and positions it briefly within the available literature
A short literature review that connects your ideas and methodology to other studies in the literature
Methodology, outline how you collected your evidence and the strengths and weaknesses of your evidence
Results and Discussion, outline your evidence and discuss the impact of this evidence and how it relates to previous findings and how this information can be used going forward. Warning: Do not over estimate the impact of your evidence. For example, student surveys do not tell us that students learned better, only that they perceived that they did. Grades also don't tell us much about learning apart from the fact that they did better or worse at a test. It all comes down to the way you frame your evidence with the words you use.
Wrap up your publication with a conclusion that summaries the contribution of your work, how it advances knowledge and how it can be built upon in the future.
Data and Evidence
When putting together a research paper for the conference you need to spend some time thinking about the types of data that you can collect that will support your paper. In the case of innovative practice you will be looking at data that shows the practice was beneficial or not. Yes, it is perfectly fine to publish something with negative results as we also want to learn from failures!
Some types of data to collect as evidence:
Student Surveys: This is the easiest form of data collection. Such data can tell you what students thought about a particular experience or their perceptions of learning. It is good practice to use surveys that have been tested as valid and reliable from literature. Also, if applicable consider the impact of the scale you use.
Focus Groups/Interviews: This is a good way to collect qualitative data. Questions can generally be targeted at trying to determine understanding for any quantitative data or used first to help develop the quantitative component of your research. You need to consider the impact of sample size, how students were selected, conflicts of interest and question order bias to name a few.
Pre and Post test: This can be used to measure the difference between two points in time. You need to consider the impact of type of test on the result; if the tests accurately measure learning or something else at all; do you use the same or different questions before or after and the impact that this may have; and what type of learning are you trying to measure e.g. cognitive, psychomotor or affective?
Final Grades: You need to think about what final grades actually tell. That is, is it an improvement in learning or simply an improvement in grades? Are there multiple factors that could contribute to the grade? If there is more than one person involved in teaching what impact would this have?
As you can see data collection and evidence is very complex. There are of course other types of evidence and pros and cons to consider with each type of data collection, but this list should help you start in the right direction. Always consider what other people have done or used in literature similar to what you are doing and compare where appropriate.