Funded by an Advance HE Good Practice Grant the National Teaching Repository: An Open Education Resource with Proven Reach and Impact across the Global Higher Education Community was established in September 2020.
The National Teaching Repository is an open access online searchable database where tried and tested strategies ‘that work’ are collected. It is a space where colleagues across the sector upload and share teaching resources, pedagogical research, approaches and ideas with the express interest in advancing pedagogy in practice.
The National Teaching Repository (NTR) was born out of the desire to facilitate a space for proven and successful teaching materials to be disseminated whilst ensuring that the original authors can evidence the reach and impact of their work in the process – something which researchers have been able to benefit from for decades.
For each item uploaded the NTR generates a citation and includes a unique, DOI to enable interested parties to return to the original source material of the work being used. It is important to recognise that work is unlikely to be cited with the same frequency as traditional research. This is because the work contained in the NTR is there to help influence thinking and shape practice, in many cases end users will not be authors or academics who are publishing their own material. This is one of the fundamental features which underpins the need for the NTR.
The NTR started out as a UK based resource, but very quickly it has proven that its reach and impact is truly global.
It has established supporters, contributors and users from around the world (currently 102 colleagues affiliated with 78 organisations and institutions across the globe) and continues to expand on a weekly basis. The NTR embraces inclusivity by providing no barriers to access content. Sharing and accessing practice is easy, there is no need to register and uploading/downloading literally takes just a few minutes. The NTR is free to use for anyone with access to the internet, and its use drives better teaching which in turn supports staff development to ultimately provide better opportunities and support for higher student attainment, achievement and outcomes.
Celebrating the diversity of teaching and learning practice, the repository facilitates colleagues to showcase their practice in a range of non-traditional research formats including Power Point and Poster Presentations, Teaching Resources, Data, Video/Audio Recordings.
Acknowledging academic and intellectual property
The NTR provides colleagues with a global platform to shout about their brilliance. Authors retain all rights to their work and it can be linked to an ORCID ID. Colleagues can measure the impact of their practice via Altmetric Data which enables them to secure recognition for their practice. During the process of submitting colleagues can select the level of Creative Commons (CC) licencing they deem most appropriate to support availability for others to build upon and legally share their work.
Specifically, the NTR:
generates a citation so that others can acknowledge use of work
enables a link to the authors ORCID ID
supports the generation of a unique DOI for each item uploaded
facilitates instant sharing via social media
uses Altmetric data to evidence the impact of the work
allows users to set their own Creative Commons (CC) licence level
allows the creation of a Profile to help direct traffic back to institutional and/or personal websites and blog spaces.
The benefits of sharing work
In addition to supporting others to develop their practice and positively impacting on the student experience across the sector, uploading scholarly teaching and learning work into the NTR has tangible personal and professional benefits. Colleague’s report using the NTR to access innovative ideas that inform and improve their teaching practice and raise the profile of excellence by sharing their practice with others. Many have also used it to support their professional development; using the data as evidence of the impact of their work to help secure a new job or promotion, for performance review, internal progression or to support a Fellowship or National Teaching Fellowship application.
Global reach and impact
There are currently in excess of 250 items available through the repository, and work contained within the National Teaching Repository has amassed 122,000+ views, with 25,000 downloads of work for use by colleagues working in higher education around the world.
Whilst initially established to facilitate the sharing of best practice across the UK, the NTR’s reach has expanded and now attracts a range of users from institutions stretching across the globe.
Data shows that UK access only accounts for 18% of visitors and users, it is impressive to see visitors, and users, accessing the NTR and its resources, come from 130 countries and territories around the globe. These include 29% of the Countries listed as the “Least Developed Countries” by the United Nations (November 2021), and 62% of the 193 Countries listed as Member States of the United Nations.
In addition to sharing high-quality scholarly outputs, the aim of the repository is to create a community where colleagues become more comfortable in talking about and sharing their teaching and learning practice. So, if you would like to get involved, to curate an area, or become a critical friend please get in touch!
Some useful links
Need more information?
Dawne Irving-Bell is a Reader in Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University, UK. Committed to raising the profile of the learning and teaching, as an Open Educational Resources (OER) advocate Dawne established ‘The National Teaching Repository’ to encourage colleagues to share their learning and teaching research, resources, and practice.
David Wooff is a Principal Lecturer in Learning and Teaching at BPP University, UK. He is the institutional scholarship lead and has expertise in many areas including apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships. His work is globally read and used by colleagues around the world to influence their thinking and practice.
Nathalie Tasler is a lecturer in academic and digital development at the University of Glasgow. She is the lead curator for the SoTL section and keen to encourage SoTL collaboration, sharing of materials and experiences. Nathalie is also the coordinator of the UofGSoTL Network and interested in creative pedagogies.
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