Last week a group of staff from Edinburgh Napier and a guest from Aberdeen University attended a three day residential writing retreat organised through HEREN and funded by the Edinburgh Napier teaching Fellows scheme. The retreat was facilitated by David Baume PhD SFSEDA FHEA who is an independent international higher education researcher, evaluator, consultant, staff and educational developer and writer.
The retreat allowed participants time to focus on preparing articles for publication or papers for conference presentation without the usual interruptions of daily working life. The format was a structured, facilitated retreat with opportunities for peer and facilitator support throughout giving a very supportive and collegiate feel to the event.
The facilitator used his experience to guide participants in the peer reviewing and publishing process, from choosing the publication outlet to dealing with reviewer’s comments.
Participants also enjoyed an after dinner presentation by Dr David Walker, Senior Learning Technologist in the University of Dundee and Visiting Lecturer in Technology-Enhanced Learning at Edinburgh Napier University, on Personal Learning Networks (PLN). PLNs exploit social media tools to create communities of practice which provide networking opportunities. The relevance for researchers and writers is that using social media such as Twitter, can help disseminate research and other published work and is therefore pertinent to writers. Still not convinced? See the London School of Economics blog on whether blogging or tweeting about research is worth it http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2012/04/19/blog-tweeting-papers-worth-it/.
The participants all completed advanced drafts of their work, and have agreed to meet again for a half day over the summer to keep the momentutm of preparing papers up and offer peer review on each others work.
Overall this was a very enjoyable and productive experience. We hope to run this again next year so please do look out for the message.