Professor Mick Short
Department of Linguistics & English Language
Learning should be fun
Mick Short's submission stressed: (a) innovative teaching including a ‘learning-should-be-fun'approach, (b) mentoring and co-teaching support (shared lectures, seminar tutor support system etc) for young colleagues and research students and (c) a strong track record in writing books for students and spreading good practice in his subject area via articles about pedagogy in articles in international journals and book collections.
He used his award to create an innovative web-based interactive version of a first year introductory course which he had taught traditionally in various forms for many years. He then used this web-based course to investigate student reactions to, and performance on, (a) traditional, (b) web-based and (c) mixed-mode versions of the course. He encouraged others in the UK and elsewhere to conduct parallel investigations with their own students, using the web-course and the questionnaires and other investigative tools he had developed. The final results of these parallel international investigations were reported in a special issue of Language and Literature in 2006 (15, 3), which he co-edited with two German collaborators.
While establishing the web-course, he published short articles about my research on the Linguistics LTSN site and in the Council of University English Newsletter and ran a series of workshops for both the English and Linguistics LTSNs and various meetings of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA).
Publications: Web-based course
He made the web-based course available free to all in 2005. It is available via the PALA and English Study Centre websites and the Beijing Foreign Studies distance learning platform. It is used world-wide at all academic levels from first year BA through to PhD.
Publications: Special issue of international journal
2006 (with Patricia Plummer and Beatrix Busse) Special issue, on E-learning and Language and Style, of Language and Literature 15 (3).
Publications: Journal articles
2007 ‘Interview with Mick Short' (by Patricia Plummer and Beatrix Busse, Anglia: International Journal of English Studies 18, 1, 135-51.
2006 ‘Preface: The web-based Language and Style Course, E-learning and Stylistics' (with Beatrix Busse and Patricia Plummer) Language and Literature 15 (3), 219-33.
2006 ‘E-learning and Language and Style in Lancaster', Language and Literature 15(3)., 234-56.
2006 ‘Afterword' (with Beatrix Busse and Patricia Plummer), Language and Literature 15(3)., 321-2.
2003 ‘Designing a world-wide web-based stylistics course and investigating its effectiveness' (with D. Archer), Style 37, 1, 27-46.
Publications: Book chapters
2007 ‘Investigating student reactions to a web-based stylistics course in different national and educational settings (with P. Plummer and B. Busse), in Greg Watson and Sonia Zyngier (eds) Literature and Stylistics for Language Learners Palgrave MacMillan.
2007 ‘Designing and piloting a world-wide-web-based stylistics course', in Andrea Gerbig and Anja Müller-Wood (eds.) Rethinking English: Reconciling Literature, Linguistics and Cultural Studies (Lampeter: Edwin Mellen), 131-66.
As a consequence of this research he teaches his course in mixed mode (a lecture, a web-based workshop and a seminar each week). He continues to support young teachers and he continues to experiment with his teaching (in the last four years he has been developing a system of small groups within seminars who work together on tasks outside class, report their findings in written form on a LUVLE discussion site and present their works orally in class. This approach has the advantages of (a) getting more work from the students, (b) helping them to enjoy more what he teaches them and (c) developing transferable skills (e.g. oral and written presentation, writing summaries, timetabling and negotiation skills) as well as the text-analytical skills that the course is designed to give them. He has also been experimenting with digital recording of lectures for use online'.