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Social media is an increasing part of public scholarship and for some academics, it’s a way to bring their work to a wider audience and develop new skills. We speak to two scholars who have embraced sci-comms on platforms from YouTube to podcasts to find out how they got started and what works.

 

YouTube scientist Simon Clark shares how he got started doing science and PhD vlogs and Christina Zdenek, a post-doc and lab manager of the Venom Evolution Lab at The University of Queensland, gives her top three tips for communicating your research. 

 

Read more form Christina:

Get your research out there: 7 strategies for high-impact science communication

 

As we reach the two-year anniversary of the global pandemic, two university leaders and innovators tell Miranda Prynne and Sara Custer what they've learned about institutional resiliency, teaching practices and what the future holds for higher education, online and in-person.

Peter Mathieson, the principal and vice-chancellor at The University of Edinburgh, and Anant Agarawal, CEO and co-founder of edX, the COEO at 2U and a professor at MIT, both offer their own unique perspectives on a tumultuous period for global higher education.

Academics, colleagues and friends Sebastian Kaempf and Alastair Stark from the University of Queensland share the evolution of their podcast, Higher Ed Heroes, which they created in 2020 to mimic the incidental corridor conversations that have been missing during the pandemic. In this episode, they explain how the podcast replicates peer-to-peer sharing of best teaching practice. Their down-to-earth, buzzword-free approach has seen their audience grow from just UQ colleagues to listeners in 70 countries.

Listen to Higher Ed Heroes here.

Find resources and advice on how to create a happy campus in our latest THE Campus spotlight. 

A new book of essays from librarians, students and academics around the world offers insights into the work of decolonising a library. 

 

For this episode we spoke with the book’s editors, Jess Crilly, an independent author who was formerly the associate director for content and discovery, library services at the University of the Arts London and Regina Everitt, the assistant chief operating officer and director of library, archives and learning services at the University of East London. 

 

We cover what it means to decolonise a library, how a project like this stretches far beyond the archives and learning services of a campus and what practical advice they’d give to someone interested in doing this work. Not surprisingly, it starts with a conversation. 

 

Learn more about their book Narrative Expansions: Interpreting Decolonisation in Academic Libraries

 

And find more advice pieces about decolonisation on THE Campus including How to support academic staff starting the journey of decolonising the curriculum  and Decolonising the curriculum – how do I get started? 

Authors of two of the most-read resources on THE Campus in 2021 give us a behind-the-scenes look at the thinking and research that went into their pieces. 

 

Joining us is Pardis Mahdavi, dean of social sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University and Scott N. Brooks, an associate professor with the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at ASU. 

They co-authored one of THE Campus' most popular resources, "Diversity statements: what to avoid and what to include". 

And Elena Riva, an associate professor and director of studies at the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning at the University of Warwick, is here to speak about the research that informed her piece "Well-being pedagogies: activities and practices to improve the student experience online".

See more of this year's top resources, collections and spotlights that have helped academics and university staff around the world do the best teaching and research imaginable. 

To commemorate the annual THE Awards, Sara Custer and Miranda Prynne interview previous winners to find out how their work has developed since taking home a trophy and any advice they might give to their colleagues working towards similar goals. 

 

Interviewees:

  • Tara Moore, professor of personalised medicine at Ulster University and winner of the 2020 Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year  
  • Judith Francois, senior lecturer at Kingston University and winner of the 2020 Most Innovative Teacher of the Year Award  
  • David Green, vice-chancellor at the University of Worcester, the 2020 winner for Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion  
  • Sara Baldwin, head of student support services at Nottingham Trent University, the winner for Outstanding Support for Students in 2020.   
  • Julian Skyrme, director of social responsibility at the Manchester University, the 2020 winner for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community  
  • David Worsley, a professor at Swansea University, the winner of the 2020 International Collaboration of the Year

See the shortlisted nominees for the 2021 THE Awards and read their advice on supervising researchers, innovative teaching methods and student support. 

Ahead of the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference, we spoke to two university leaders about the sustainability initiatives at their institutions and how universities can be leaders in tackling the climate crisis. 

Joining us is Katy Fleming, the provost at
NYU, and Tercio Ambrizzi, a professor of climatology and superintendent of environmental management at the University of São Paulo.

We also asked Katy and Tercio what they expect from the discussions in Glasgow over the next couple of weeks.

Read more insight and practical advice on how higher education institutions support a fair transition to a low carbon future in our latest Spotlight. 

 

Music:

Beauty Flow by Kevin MacLeod
https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5025-beauty-flow
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

From badges to bundles, stacks of credits to microcredentials, the list of alternative credentials for higher education is growing. Partly in response to learner and employer demand but also partly in response to universities' economic situation post-pandemic. 

But for those who haven’t dared to even dip their toe into the alternative credential pond, where should they begin? How do you train your staff and ensure credit-bearing courses fit into your institution’s curriculum? Most importantly, how do you ensure these courses meet quality standards?

Tim Blackman, vice-chancellor at the UK's Open University, and Kemi Jona, assistant vice-chancellor for digital innovation and enterprise learning at Northeastern University, speak to us about what universities should take into consideration when they're exploring alternative credentials and how the field is evolving. 

Find out examples of other alternative credential and delivery models in our THE Campus spotlight Eyes on the horizon: innovations in providing higher education

Universities are going into the 2021-22 academic year with a greater capacity to deliver online and hybrid teaching. But just as existing digital divides presented complex teaching challenges during the pandemic, faculty’s lack of digital literacy and of pedagogical training could render universities’ digital transformations ineffective. 

 

Lauren Herckis, an anthropologist at Carnegie Mellon, discusses her research into the new digital divide in higher education and how universities can work to fill it. 

 

Explore our Spotlight collection of resources on the new academic skill set.

And you can read Lauren's chapter in the Global Learning Council's latest report Digital Transformation of Higher Education

In this episode of the THE podcast, we speak with Ian Jacobs, the outgoing vice-chancellor of UNSW Sydney about what motivates universities to scale their operations and how it can be done. 

We also speak with Jude Sheeran, principal, international education and research technology at Amazon Web Services about types of technology that can support the expansion of higher education's capacity. 

Spacial thanks to Amazon Web Services for sponsoring this episode. 

Find advice from academics around the world on how teaching can reach more students without losing quality in our spotlight Think Big: Successfully scaling higher education. 

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