Helping HE teachers use SoTL to reflect on their own practice

August 3, 2022

Sally Patfield, Jennifer Gore, Elena Prieto, Leanne Fray & Kristina Sincock (2022) Towards quality teaching in higher education: pedagogy-focused academic development for enhancing practice, International Journal for Academic Development, DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2022.2103561

This article gives an account of an academic development innovation in an Australian university.

Participants took part in a two hour workshop based on a ‘Quality Teaching Model’ (QTM). This draws on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning to give a theory and evidence-based account of the principles of effective teaching.

Participants then used the QTM over a term to reflect on their teaching and learning practices.

They found that it helped them:

  • to analyse their practice;
  • in course planning;
  • to engage in collegial collaboration; and
  • improve the student experience.

‘Quality’ is now associated with improving teaching and learning and not merely with accountability. The innovation was a practical way of engaging teachers with SoTL.

This model is similar to the Legal Education Practicum which will introduce RPG students (emerging academics and future teachers) to SoTL in the form of the Principles of Reflective Teaching and then invite them to use that framework to appraise aspects of pedagogy, plan a teaching session and comment on the teaching approach of the teacher they shadow.

The article strengthens my feeling that the Practicum would benefit all colleagues.

The knowledge base and professionalism of legal educators

August 1, 2022

I have just contributed this post to CUHK Law’s Learning Matters blog. It is based on one of the presentations given at the Directions in Legal Education conference on 10 – 11 June. Here is a link to the recording.

This post examines the nature of the teacher’s knowledge and professionalism. I argue that the two ideas are linked (our professionalism is partly derived from the knowledge base that we have as teachers). Part of this knowledge base comes from engagement with educational theory and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

In a later post (or posts) I will consider how we can engage with educational literature even though not all of us have been introduced to this literature as part of our formal education.

Michael Lower

Covid and Technology Enhanced Learning – a pivotal moment?

July 18, 2022

I contributed a commentary to a collective article in Studies in Technology Enhanced Learning. The article is called ‘Technology and educational “pivoting” in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic: A collected commentary’ (available here). My contribution, section 7 (‘Going digital: Developing a strategy for pivoting to greater use of technology in higher education’) is an account of some of the key lessons learned so far from the interviews in our Going Digital project.

Michael Lower

Consequential transitions – educational practice implications

July 4, 2022

Just posted this second consequential transitions piece on the Learning Matters blog. Link here.

The focus is on the implications for higher education practice.

Michael Lower

Consequential Transitions in undergraduate legal education – blog post

June 23, 2022

I have just published the first (of a planned sequence of three) blog posts about applying King Beach’s Consequential transitions theory to undergraduate legal education.

The link is here.

This post looks at the theory; I look at its essential features and explain why I think it helps educators (and administrators) to ask the right questions about the meaning of education and what educators can do to support students.

The next post will focus on practice implications and I plan a third post on how I imagine using the theory in education research projects.

Michael Lower

My article on the Communities of Inquiry pedagogy

June 15, 2022

My article, ‘The communities of inquiry pedagogy in undergraduate courses’ has just been published online by The Law Teacher. Details here.

Student as producer

October 5, 2018

We were very fortunate that Professor Mike Neary agreed to deliver a seminar in the Faculty of Law at CUHK (via Skype)  about the Student as Producer. Here is my blog post based on what he said to us.

Michael Lower

Communities of inquiry in undergraduate education: Part 2

July 20, 2018

Part 1 was a little about the theory. Part 2 (here) is about how I tried to put the theory into practice and how that attempt is playing out.

Michael Lower

Communities of inquiry in undergraduate education: Part 1

July 19, 2018

My blog post on this topic has just appeared on CUHK Law’s Learning Matters blog. The link to the blog post is here.


Still time to register for the Directions in Legal Education conference at CUHK

May 28, 2018

This year’s Directions in Legal Education 2018, a legal education conference hosted by the Faculty of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong will take place on 1 – 2 June 2018.

We are privileged to have Professor Paul Maharg (Distinguished Professor of Practice – Legal Education at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto) and Professor Julian Webb (Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Professions Research Network at Melbourne Law School, the University of Melbourne) as our keynote speakers. We also have a great line-up of knowledgeable educators from law schools across the globe alongside practitioners, students, and other interested stakeholders. Please find more about the conference through the attached provisional programme.

Register now for free!
Registration is now open on the CUHK Faculty of Law’s Conference Registration Page. Registration will close on 31 May 2018 Hong Kong time 6: 00 pm. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at We look forward to welcoming you to CUHK Faculty of Law in June 2018!

Conference website: