Welcome to the 6th edition of Practice and Evidence of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PESTLHE).  The overlapping themes in this edition of the journal are student perceptions of learning and feedback; enhancing learning through feedback, and the  the scholarship of educational and academic development.


Ferrante et al. offer a fascinating insight into the kinds of metaphors that students use in order to capture their experiences of effective and ineffective learning. Their finding that connection, engagement and empowerment are associated by students with effective learning echoes Boyask’s findings from a study on student perceptions of what students expect in terms of feedback and what they judge to constitute quality feedback.  Her results suggest that students value highly trustworthy relationships in the feedback process.


King, McGugan and Bunyan explore the value and perceived benefits of a fairly novel form of giving feedback - recorded audio messages; they also give us an honest account of the possible downside of introducing this as a common feedback practice. 


Swingler and Bishop report on an intervention to help students learn the skills necessary for experimental design in a psychology degree.  Their web-based resource also supports the learning of statistics, frequently a challenge for non-statisticians.  Feedback is at the heart of their approach to promote student self-efficacy in these areas..


In our final two papers we see a slight shift in the focus for this edition.  Although the scope of the journal remains the same, to offer an opportunity for practitioners in Higher Education to make their scholarly work in the field of teaching and student learning public, this issue has two contributions from the field of educational or academic development where the focus is the learning and development of teachers in HE. 


Fran Beaton describes the changes made to a professional development PG certificate in order to increase participants’ engagement in and ownership of their experience as university teachers.  Lewis Elton’s contribution ends this edition and challenges us to consider the nature of SoTL and the professional development necessary for its promotion in university teaching practice. He describes a possible future for educational development by grounding it in SoTL and draws comparisons between current professional development activities in HE and the 19th Century Humboldtian model of a university as a community of scholars made of both teachers and students.


There are opportunities to share discussions and comments regarding works in progress or full articles with other readers and the authors through the journal site (www.pestlhe.org.uk).


The next edition of Pestlhe will appear in April 2009 and the deadline for articles to be considered for this issue is January 15th 2009.  



Jane Pritchard, Jane MacKenzie, Sarah Mann and Bob Matthew