Academics writing and learning together: Using writing groups to promote scholarship of teaching

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Abstract

This paper reports on the use of a practitioner-research approach to evaluate writing groups as a way of helping academics become scholarly writers about their teaching experiences. Practitioner research uses cycles of planning (to write), acting (writing), observing (reading) the texts produced and critically reflecting on the texts produced (self and feedback to others) and the process of writing itself. The practice of writing groups can be theorized as peer learning and engaging in a 'community of practice'. Creating this community is helping one group of university academics learn how to write about their teaching practice, meet the pressure of external deadlines and, very importantly in the current political climate, meet the employment demands to research and publish. This paper describes the work over a nine month period of this writing group organized to help the academics in an Australian university increase their scholarly activity. The research documents efforts to organize the writing group, reviews research on writing groups, and identifies the benefits and the pitfalls of participation in a writing group and concludes with the success of creating a community of practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-298
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Learning
Volume16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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