HE Reading Group

  • HE Reading group

  • The Brookes HE Reading Group meets throughout the year to discuss recent articles that could make a difference to the way we think about our teaching, curriculum or students’ experiences. The articles are chosen to provoke reflection, insight and critical engagement. Anyone is welcome (feel free to bring your lunch), or if you can’t make the date and time we’re proposing to meet, do feel free to read the article and meet with your colleagues to discuss it when it’s convenient to you. Please send suggestions for articles to read to Adrian Walbank

    Previous dates:

  • Monday 13 June 2022, 13.00 - 14.00

    In this session we'll consider a recent article by David Roberts (2018), 'Active Learning Precursors in Multidisciplinary Large Lectures: A Longitudinal Trial on the Effect of Imagery in Higher Education Lectures', College Teaching, 66, pp.199-210. Roberts has long been an advocate of multimedia learning (MML) and visual pedagogies and has argued that such approaches are crucial given the 'pictorial turn' in contemporary culture and human evolution. This article builds upon his previous work to consider the impact of MML on active learning in large lectures. Given the ubiquitous nature of this form of delivery, and the multidisciplinary nature of Roberts's study, this month's paper should give us all plenty of food for thought.

    Read the article here

    Monday 16 May 2022, 12.00 - 13.00

    'Imposter syndrome' is something most academics have had to grapple with at some point in their careers. In this session, we examine a recent autoethnographic account of the issue which is accompanied by recommendations and strategies for both individuals and institutions. Hopefully, the session will enable us to reflect critically, and in relation to the literature, on this pervasive topic for our mutual benefit and it's implications for 'autoethnographic pedagogy'. 

    Catherine Wilkinson (2020) 'Imposter syndrome and the accidental academic: an autoethnographic account', International Journal for Academic Development, 25:4, 363-374 

    Read the article here: https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2020.1762087

    Monday 4 April 2022, 12.00 - 13.00

    With the rapid shift to online delivery and ‘hyflex’ delivery following the pandemic, it’s perhaps worth taking stock in the session to examine the issue of student motivation in the online environment. This month’s article examines how student attitude and the design of online learning environments can play a role in enhancing learning experiences. Hopefully, the article will provide much food for thought for our own practice.

    Ferrer, J., Ringer, A., Saville, K. et al. ‘Students’ Motivation and Engagement in Higher Education: The Importance of Attitude to Online Learning’. Higher Education 83, 317–338 (2022). 

    Read the article here: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-020-00657-5

    Monday 21 March 2022, 12.00 - 13.00

    In this session, we will consider the ‘students as partners’ (SaP) arena and analyse Gravett, Kinchin and Winstone’s (2019) contribution to this field. This paper seeks to draw out the pedagogical benefits of student partnerships and the way they challenge perceptions of neoliberalism and students as merely ‘customers’. We hope you can join us for what promises to be another stimulating discussion.

    Karen Gravett, Ian M. Kinchin & Naomi E. Winstone (2020) ‘More than Customers’: Conceptions of Students as Partners Held by Students, Staff, and Institutional Leaders, Studies in Higher Education, 45:12, 2574-2587.

    Read the article here: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2019.1623769

    Monday 21 February 2022, 12.00 - 13.00

    In response to reader requests for neurodiversity and inclusion to feature, this month we’ll read about autism and the ‘3R’ model for facilitating student success. The number of autistic students entering Higher Education is increasing, yet degree completion rates for autistic students is less than 40% (Vanbergeijk et al. 2008; Newman et al. 2011 & Gurbuz, Hanley & Riby, 2019). As such, this will be a valuable opportunity to critically dissect ways in which we might adjust our practice to be more accommodating and supportive. 


    Cox, Bradley E., Edelstein, Jeffrey, Bailey, Brogdon & Roy, Amanda, (2021) ‘Navigating Challenges to Facilitate Success for College Students with Autism’, The Journal of Higher Education, 92:2, pp.252-278.

    Read article here: https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2020.1798203

    Monday 17 January 2022, 12.00 - 13.00

    Analysing Richards and Pilcher’s (2020) recent and highly provocative take on embedding study skills into the curriculum vis-a-vis neoliberalism and educational expansion. This article has caused quite a lot of controversy, so this is sure to be an engaging and thought provoking session.

    Richards, Kendall, & Pilcher, Nick, (2020). ‘Study Skills: Neoliberalism’s Perfect Tinkerbell’, Teaching in Higher Education, pp.1-17.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2020.1839745

    Tuesday 7 December 2021, 13.00 - 14.00

    Carr, J. M., Santos Rogers, K., & Kanyongo, G. (2021). Improving student and faculty communication: the impact of texting and electronic feedback on building relationships and the perception of care. Research in Learning Technology, 29. https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v29.2463

    Tuesday 16 November 2021, 12.00 - 13.00


    Mita Banerjee & Olga Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia (2021) The gap between knowledge and belief: narrative, affect and students’ deeper learning in higher education, Studies in Higher Education, 46:10, 2087-2098.


    Tuesday 13 April, 13.00 - 14.00

    Daniela Mangione & Lin Norton (2020) Problematising the notion of ‘the excellent teacher’: daring to be vulnerable in higher education, Teaching in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2020.1812565

    Thursday 18 March, 13.00 - 14.00

    Kate Elizabeth Williams, Paul B. Hutchings & Ceri Phelps (2021) Beyond learning in higher education: an evaluation of the ‘Life Design’ initiative to improve student employability, Studies in Higher Education, https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2020.1870946

    Monday 15 February 2021, 14.00 - 15.00

    Fawns, T., Aitken, G. & Jones, D. Online Learning as Embodied, Socially Meaningful Experience. Postdigit Sci Educ 1, 293–297 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-019-00048-9

    Thursday, 26 November, 12.00 - 13.00

    Charmaine Davis & Jonathan H. Green (2020) Threshold concepts and ‘troublesome’ students: the uneasy application of threshold concepts to marginalised students, Teaching in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2020.1799972

    Wednesday 28 October 2020, 14.00 - 15.00

    Robert J. Summers, Helen E. Higson & Elisabeth Moores (2020) Measures of engagement in the first three weeks of higher education predict subsequent activity and attainment in first year undergraduate students: a UK case study, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2020.1822282