Report from the RAISE Conference 2018

Maddy Redmond

Category: Centre for Innovation in Higher Education

30 October 2018

On Friday 7 September 2018 I was fortunate to attend the third and final day of RAISE 18: a conference focusing on aspects of student engagement within Higher Education.

RAISE (Researching, Advancing & Inspiring Student Engagement) aims to bring together practitioners for scholarly discussion and disseminating best practice, through annual conferences and events, running special interest groups, supporting their own journal and lobbying policy makers. This year it was hosted by Sheffield Hallam University.

Keynote speakers were Dr Jessica Riddell, the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence at Bishop’s University, Canada and Dr Amani Bell, Senior Lecturer, Educational Innovation, and Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. Workshops on offer at this year’s conference centred on topics including co-creation, student-staff partnerships, peer-supported learning, using digital strategies to enhance engagement, and student transitions.

A notable workshop for me centred on how to get published. The workshop was run by Rachel Forsythe, Editor-in-Chief of the Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal (SEHEJ), and although some of the focus was on how to get published in that particular journal, the session also helped in a more general sense with getting started on publishing your work. SEHEJ is a peer-reviewed journal publishing papers dealing with aspects of student engagement in Higher Education. I found the session very valuable to me as a doctoral student and I came away with more than I expected. 

The workshop discussed ideas on how to take the first step in getting published, covering matters such as identifying appropriate journals to publish your research in and how to write an effective abstract. I was surprised to learn of the range of pieces published in SEHEJ, including opinion pieces, reflective pieces and student voice pieces. This discovery in itself motivated me to think about possible topics I could begin to write about even at this early stage of my PhD.

The surprising point for me was learning that I could begin reviewing papers, even as a research student, by applying to become as a novice reviewer. I was encouraged by the support on offer from the journal editorial team. I thought beginning to review the submissions of others would benefit my own journey into the world of publishing. I therefore applied to become a reviewer and have now been added to the list.

Let’s see which comes first - my first review or my first submission!

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