As we prepare for the next intake of PGCTHE participants in January, I am taking a moment to reflect on the Weekly Resource Roundup. It is hard to believe that the first Roundup post was 10th June 2020, two and a half years ago!
I started the Roundup because my students needed it.
I run the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (PGCTHE), a 60-credit Masters-level study scheme. My students are new teaching staff. As the pandemic took hold, our in-person training sessions were cancelled and my students struggled to find enough training opportunities to meet our module CPD requirements. They also struggled to find effective ways of teaching under challenging pandemic conditions. It is my habit to scan the Higher Education sector and I noticed that many organisations were offering free online opportunities that would help meet my students’ learning goals.
I decided to curate a regular list of external events and online resources as they came to my attention. Giving credit where credit is due, I have to say that I wasn’t sure what to call it at first, so when our team manager Kate Wright suggested the word ’roundup’ to describe it, I went with that. Thanks Kate!
Everything in the Roundup has been vetted by me personally. If I come across a new webinar, podcast, blog, or publication, I check it out first to see if it is authoritative and has potential to help staff develop their teaching. Where do I find such material? I subscribe to various mailing lists and follow a wide range of educators and learning and teaching networks on social media. I pro-actively search for material on certain themes. I pay attention to emerging topics in the sector and explore to find out more about them. This is a core part of my professional activity as a lecturer in the teaching and scholarship category. I do this scanning and vetting all throughout the week and then post the best items to the Roundup every 7-10 days.
Based on the initial response, it became clear that the Roundup was not only useful for PGCTHE participants but also general teaching staff and others outside of the university. I take an active role in several communities of practice on Twitter and elsewhere, participating in online discussions and events. It was natural for me to promote the Roundup through those channels using the hashtag #WeeklyResourceRoundup. It gained further momentum and now has global reach as evidenced both in the response on Twitter and statistics on Roundup posts in the LTEU blog.
Curating the Roundup is, of course, a way for me to learn and develop my own practice as well as share good practice with others. I value the communities of practice and the people I have met by doing this. I’m grateful for their generosity and pleased to amplify their voices. Curation and sharing, contribution and development, are all central to who I am as a professional educator. I derive great personal and professional satisfaction, both from the Roundup itself and from communicating with others. I hope the Roundup serves as a bridge connecting people who have shared interests in helping students learn, wherever you may be.
Curating and sharing the Roundup is my contribution to these valued communities.
In short, it is a labour of love, from me to you.