Following a well-attended CRADLE symposium keynote from Prof. Penny Jane Burke, I reflected on the key points arising from the event. Read the summary on CRADLE News:
Taylor and Francis, one of the world’s leading research publishers state this about the importance of cover letters to accompany your manuscript submission:
When submitting a manuscript, a well-written cover letter can help your paper reach the next stage of the process – being sent out for peer review. So it’s worth spending time thinking about how to write a cover letter to the journal editor, to make sure it’s going to be effective.
Following the advice of the Twitter threads (above and below), I wanted to share my approach for creating cover letters, using Excel and a Word mail merge process. This process may be useful to more efficiently generate cover letters, particularly if working across multiple manuscripts. Further, adding to an excel can help with tracking the submission journey and queuing up potential journals (and editor details) in the event your first journal preference is rejected.
The Excel is where you input various aspects of your manuscript submission such as the editors names (which can be found on the journal website) and how your manuscript aligns to the aims and scope. It’s possible the Excel and mail merge process is not useful for you; if not, you may like to download the Word template only!
Then, the Word document is where your previous inputs are merged into a letter ready to be saved and uploaded or copy and pasted for the editors!
I have included a sample cover letter as a PDF below; this cover letter was submitted alongside a now in-press manuscript.
I hope the above templates/ mail merge process are valuable for you!
Here are a few books that I recommend for educators; they are books that have positively shaped my own practice and encouraged me to reflect, innovate and stick my head above the parapet.
Advances in Cognitive Load Theory: Rethinking Teaching – Edited by Sharon Tindall-Ford, Shirley Agostinho, and John Sweller
Cognitive load theory uses our knowledge of how people learn, think and solve problems to design instruction. In turn, instructional design is the central activity of classroom teachers, of curriculum designers, and of publishers of textbooks and educational materials, including digital information. Characteristically, the theory is used to generate hypotheses that are tested using randomised controlled trials. Cognitive load theory rests on a base of hundreds of randomised controlled trials testing many thousands of primary and secondary school children as well as adults.
The Good University: What universities actually do and why it’s time for radical change by Raewyn Connell
The higher education industry might seem like it’s booming, with over 200 million students in universities and colleges worldwide and funds flowing in like never before. But the truth is that these institutions have never been unhappier places to work. Corporate-style management, cost-cutting governments, mobilisations by angry students and strikes by disgruntled staff have all taken their toll — in almost every country around the world. It’s no wonder that there is talk of ‘universities in crisis.’
But what should a good university look like? In this inspiring new work, Raewyn Connell asks us to consider just that, challenging us to rethink the fundamentals of what universities do. Drawing on the examples offered by pioneering universities and educational reformers around the world, Connell outlines a practical vision for how our universities can become both more engaging and more productive places, driven by social good rather than profit, and helping to build fairer societies.
The Manifesto for Teaching Online by Siân Bayne, Peter Evans, Rory Ewins, Jeremy Knox, James Lamb, Hamish Macleod, Clara O’Shea, Jen Ross, Philippa Sheail and Christine Sinclair
The Manifesto for Teaching Online is a series of provocative statements intended to articulate the authors’ pedagogical philosophy. The authors counter both the “impoverished” vision of education being advanced by corporate and governmental edtech and higher education’s traditional view of online students and teachers as second-class citizens.
Re-imagining University Assessment in a Digital World – Edited by Margaret Bearman, Phillip Dawson, Rola Ajjawi, Joanna Tai, and David Boud
This book is the first to explore the big question of how assessment can be refreshed and redesigned in an evolving digital landscape. There are many exciting possibilities for assessments that contribute dynamically to learning. However, the interface between assessment and technology is limited. Often, assessment designers do not take advantage of digital opportunities. Equally, digital innovators sometimes draw from models of higher education assessment that are no longer best practice. This gap in thinking presents an opportunity to consider how technology might best contribute to mainstream assessment practice.
Teaching to Transgress
Education as the Practice of Freedom by bell hooks
hooks – writer, teacher, and insurgent black intellectual – writes about a new kind of education, education as the practice of freedom. Teaching students to “transgress” against racial, sexual, and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom is, for hooks, the teacher’s most important goal.
hooks speaks to the heart of education today: how can we rethink teaching practices in the age of multiculturalism? What do we do about teachers who do not want to teach, and students who do not want to learn? How should we deal with racism and sexism in the classroom?
Full of passion and politics, Teaching to Transgress combines a practical knowledge of the classroom with a deeply felt connection to the world of emotions and feelings. This is the rare book about teachers and students that dares to raise questions about eros and rage, grief and reconciliation, and the future of teaching itself.