Scholarship of Learning and Teaching: First Steps

Posted in: Briefings

Collected below are suggested example sources for ideas from the scholarship of learning and teaching. These are not the only sources, but some places to start that might be useful. Included are examples from different types of resources - textbooks, websites, tips/tricks, journals.

General Learning and Teaching Textbooks

booksThese are textbooks for learning and teaching in Higher Education which might be useful if you want a general book covering major aspects of university teaching. They are sometimes used as core texts on HE teaching programmes. All are available in the university library.

A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (3rd Edition)
Fry, Ketteridge and Marshall (2009)
Bath University Library: Level 5 378.125 FRY
This handbook has chapters from a wide range of people covering (part 1) various different parts of teaching in higher education from large group to assessment etc. and also (part 2) chapters on teaching in the disciplines. A familiar textbook on many PGCerts in HE.

Learning to teach in higher education (2nd Edition)
Ramsden (2003)
Bath University Library: Level 5 378.5 RAM
Ramsden’s book presents a scholarly look at learning and teaching in higher education, covering many of the main issues and theories.

Teaching for quality learning at university: what the student does (3rd Edition)
John B. Biggs and Catherine Tang (2007)
Bath University Library: Level 5 378.17 BIG
This book sets about introducing constructive alignment in detail and looking at how to actually go about implementing it in practice.

Learning and Teaching Theory and Issues

James Atherton’s Learning and Teaching Websites
A collection of three related websites with introductions and explanations of a variety of key topics related to learning and teaching (one of the sites focuses on learning, one on teaching). Written by the late James Atherton with his personal points of view included, they provided useful place to start for a number of concepts and ideas. Accessible and pragmatic. (for learning theories) (for teaching methods)

77 things to think about – Teaching and Learning in HE (John Lea, 2012)
A collection of 11 themes (each with 7 things to think about) that summarise well many of the key issues for reflecting on your own teaching practice (available from various sources online/pdf).

53 Ideas Every Teacher Should Know About
A series of blog posts started by Graham Gibbs, aimed at covering key ideas and prompting some debates:

Teaching Tips resources

In the Deep End booklet
This booklet was written by Phil Race and licenced to many universities for adaptation. The author has written a number of books providing practical tips for teaching in Higher Education (e.g. see below) and this booklet contains a number of these, focused on the initial needs of new teachers. A good starting place for some dos and don’ts and in particular, ideas related to small group teaching. There are various versions online (In the Deep End: Starting to Teach in Higher Education).

2000 tips for lecturers
Phil Race (1999)
Bath University Library: Level 5 378.5 RAC

The lecturer's toolkit : a practical guide to learning, teaching & assessment (2nd Edition)
Phil Race (2001)
Bath University Library: Level 5 378.5 RAC

Journals (Higher Education) accessible at Bath

There are a very large number of journals that may potentially have useful papers published in them for different aspects of your learning and teaching practice. Below are a small number of major journals (which are fully or mostly accessible online at Bath) which deal with Higher Education more generally. Some fields have journals for specific disciplinary education research and there are journals for sub-areas within teaching and learning. The following may help provide you with places to start exploring at the generic level:

Resources and case studies

hea-logo-2015HEA Resources Hub
Many resources are generally generic to issues across HE, but there are disciplinary specific resources online as well. The HEA (Higher Education Academy) has large collections of legacy resources from the old subject centres if you filter by discipline. Resources differ by subject but include guides on areas of teaching, ideas, resources you can use in your teaching. Search the “HUB” of browse:

The LearnHigher site has a collection of free (creative commons) resources teaching and learning resources for university staff to use:

Bath case studies
Case studies of teaching practice and project reports are shared on Exchange tagged by theme, faculty and department (see the about pages for how to filter by these tags):

The LITEBox project specifically focuses on exploring the use of technology and reporting back experiences and case studies:

Some departments and faculties also have their own internal sites or platforms sharing examples or practice and other advice (including via moodle sites or a wiki) - ask locally to find out if your department/faculty has such a platform.


Mick Healey's site contained a set of regularly updated bibliographies on a range of learning and teaching related themes:

Selected bibliographies (ongoing updates) include:

  1. Active learning and learning styles
  2. Discipline based approaches to supporting learning and teaching
  3. Linking research and teaching
  4. Pedagogic research and development
  5. The scholarship of teaching and learning
  6. The scholarship of engagement
  7. Dissertations and capstone projects
  8. Students as partners and change agents
  9. Research-based curricula in college-based higher education

Note on Discipline Specific Scholarship

The above selection is meant to be generic across the disciplines, looking at general learning and teaching topics that apply across learning and teaching, as a first step. Some aspects will be more appropriate to some disciplines than others and there is always the need to translate to local context. More context specific, including discipline specific, literature and resources are the next steps to explore. Some links, like the resources, case studies etc. from Bath and the HEA, include more subject specific content and tags. The HEA subject resources, or the archived Subject Centre sites (Mick Healey's site has an updated list on the location of the archived sites) are good places to start and often have introductions and guides written specifically in the language of the discipline. Some disciplines have a range of higher education related journals for their discipline.

Posted in: Briefings