I welcome the challenge offered to me in taking up the Editorship of BeJLT. Reading the previous issues I am impressed by the diversity of the articles and the spectrum of staff from across the university that have contributed. I hope that these will continue to be strong features of the journal.
Coming from Australia I am impressed by the focus on learning and teaching in British universities and the funding available for initiatives, as well as the proud history of Brookes in learning and teaching. This issue of BeJLT reflects the Brookes traditions of student-centred learning and innovation in teaching.
Many of the articles in this issue have resulted from the lively Brookes Student Learning Experience (BSLE) conference held in May with the theme ‘Responding to what students tell us’. The National Student Surveys now seem to have become part of our lives but are only one way in which we receive feedback from students. In this issue Martin Haigh and Pete Smith have sought student views for their work on sustainable development and research in undergraduate courses (respectively), both showing hearteningly positive responses. The research note from Jane Spiro on the Student Voices project, funded by the BSLES, illustrates another way of gathering student views on an important topic. Other articles highlight imaginative responses to the challenges facing us: Mary Davis’s use of Turnitin as a learning tool for students; the actions taken to ensure continuing quality student support in the context of the reduction of NHS funding (Peter Bradley); and the success of the Personal and Academic Support System (Sue Robbins) in Life Sciences.
In another article Byron Mikellides reviews 38 years of teaching in architectural psychology and makes a strong case for its importance within architectural design to ensure ‘liveable’ buildings. We also welcome our first international contribution, from the United States (Sarah Ransdell), a narrative piece written as a lecturer takes her first steps with blended learning and experiences the highs and the lows. We also have two perspectives from Schools with Brian Marshall elucidating the restructuring of Westminster Institute of Education and Ray Lee examining the tensions between the ‘open’ aspects of research and the ‘closed’ aspects of teaching.
I would like to thank the Editorial Committee for their support as I have eased into my first issue of BeJLT and the Editorial Advisory Board who have had a lot of articles to review. I would encourage first-time writers to approach any member of the team with your ideas or drafts for assistance, and for experienced writers to use BeJLT to disseminate your ideas and your practice. An issue that will be taxing us all in the coming year is the internationalisation of our curriculum, so we would be especially pleased to receive articles illustrating how different disciplines are approaching this challenge. I look forward to reading your future articles.
Published: October 2007