ANTF Ceremony

My NTF Journey by Dr Dawne Irving-Bell

As a teacher, I am dedicated to raising the profile of the SoTL and passionate about creating opportunities for others which is why I founded The National Teaching Repository. My work to establish the repository was at the core of my National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) claim. In this post I will explain a little about the repository, how I wove it into my submission, before sharing insights I hope will be of value to those crafting their own application.

The National Teaching Repository is an open educational resource where colleagues can store, share, and discover interventions that lead to real improvements in teaching and learning in a way that secures recognition for their practice, making their work citable, sharable, and discoverable.

The origins of the repository stemmed from work I led at my institution where I was tasked with identifying practice suitable for universal pan-university adoption and establishing a mechanism to ensure effective dissemination. Transforming my institutions ‘Good-Practice-Directory’ I created an online space that transcended faculty boundaries, where colleagues could browse successful strategies and share their own practice. The space was central in facilitating the wide-scale adoption of numerous proven pedagogical interventions. Utilizing analytics, I identified when staff were most-likely to seek support (e.g., before validation), and scheduled appropriate staff-development to coincide. Another outcome was recognition for colleagues who shared strategies, which they used to secure promotions and (UK)PSF accreditation.

Dr Dawne Irving-Bell, NTF

I disseminated outcomes of my work at the 2019 AdvanceHE Conference and was inundated with requests from delegates wanting to share their practice. So, securing an AdvanceHE Good Practice Grant I founded the National Teaching Repository. Since its launch support has grown and underpinned by collaboration, stretching across geographical boundaries, unencumbered by cost, the repository is making a real difference. Visits exceed 150,000, equating to 6,000+ visits monthly, from colleagues located in 122 countries, across 6 continents, with 20% of those listed as the ‘least-developed’ by the United Nations.

In crafting my submission, I shared a different aspect of my work in each section of my claim. In this respect the repository was my ‘golden thread’, a gilded strand woven throughout, integral to crafting a coherent application.

To make the reach, value, and impact of my work explicit, I was diligent in ‘layering’ different types of evidence to substantiate each outcome.  

For example, having included local data to evidence institutional impact, I added analytics to illustrate my repository’s global reach (e.g., visits and downloads). Adding another layer, I evidenced the value, for example data illustrating how colleagues used the repository to improve their student’s outcomes (e.g., Graduate Outcomes, National Student Survey). Then for good measure I added yet another layer (e.g., supportive quotations) to evidence of the impact on colleagues (e.g., achievements and awards). 

The NTFS is a competition, and submitting a claim takes a considerable amount of time but it is worth it! So, if you are interested contact your institutions Teaching Excellence Award Lead (TEAL), find someone willing to act as a critical friend, and good luck!  

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