The Role of Learning and Teaching Advocates: Julian Burton in Medicine - Disseminating Opportunities
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Julian Burton is the Learning and Teaching Advocate for the School of Medicine. One aspect of this role that has been particularly successful is the newsletter he sends out (on a roughly monthly basis). This summarises learning and teaching opportunities that are relevant and of interest to people in his School. It takes less than an hour of his time to collate (he posts it in a number of different places on the Web and sends it out to a distribution list).
Julian Burton was chosen to be the Learning and Teaching Advocate for the School of Medicine in 2005 following his Senate Fellow Award and because he holds a Master's in Education. He disseminates information via a regular newsletter and organises a series of lunchtime workshops. He also oversees the peer observation of teaching in the School of Medicine. He does not sit on any committees specifically due to his LTA role (although he was already a member of the Curriculum Committee of the MBChB Programme). He does not sit on any committees specifically due to his LTA role (although he was already a member of the Curriculum Committee of the MBChB Programme). As a result of his LTA activities at the University of Sheffield, he sits on the Assessment Committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaelogists (London).
As the LTA for the School of Medicine I disseminate information about learning and teaching development opportunites to all of the academic staff in the School of Medicine. Advocates act as two-way conduits, and allow a traffic of information about learning and teaching into their department and disseminate examples of good practice to the wider university community, with the help of the Faculty Directors of Learning and Teaching (DLTDs).
There was a need to develop an efficient effective method of disseminating information to colleagues. The newsletter fulfil this role as numerous pieces of information can be sent in one email to many staff via a distribution list.
The newsletter takes approximately 1 hour per calendar month to compile and distribute.
No costs are incurred.
The newsletters are stored in the School of Medicine's Networked Learning Environment and acts as an archived resource for all staff in the School. Similar storage on the Learning and Teaching Exchange makes the information accessible to all University staff.
It has been important to find a means of communication which does not swamp those in the School whose principle interest is research rather than teaching.
As the School of Medicine LTA, I receive a large quantity of information about learning and teaching events, staff development opportunities and funding opportunities to support innovative teaching practices. I collate these on a monthly basis (or more frequently if needed) and disseminate these to all academics within the School of Medicine by email in newsletter format. The newsletters are also distributed to all NHS staff who deliver teaching for the School of Medicine. Copies sent to the other Faculty of Medicine LTAs and placed on the LTE allow the information to be distributed more widely.
The newsletters help to raise awareness of my presence in the School as LTA and raise awareness of teaching and learning opportunities. For example, in response to newsletter articles, staff have approached me for advice regarding Senate Award applications and Learning and Teaching Development Grant Applications and have attended staff development workshops within and outside the Faculty of Medicine.
The newsletters receive repeated positive feedback from the School's Director of Teaching, and from various academic staff members in the School of Medicine. They have been praised by DLTDs outside the Faculty of Medicine and by the Pro Vice Chancellor for Learning and Teaching. No complaints have been received to suggest that the frequency of the newsletters is burdensome, or that the information is unwanted.
Read a selection of Julian's latest newsletters here:
The entire selection are available of the LTE: http://www.shef.ac.uk/lte/learningatsheffield/medadvocates.html
To discuss this Case Study/Contact Details:
Dr Julian L Burton Academic Unit of Pathology E-Floor, School of Medicine Beech Hill Road Sheffield S10 2RX
Tel: 0114 271 2582 Email: email@example.com