How can I contribute?

Who can contribute to Teaching@Sydney?

Teaching@Sydney is a collaborative and interactive site that allows anyone with a unikey (staff and students) to write and share anything related to learning and teaching. The site allows you to share and view teaching tips, examples of educational excellence, news and updates, and teaching research. You can contribute your writing to your Faculty or School’s dedicated page and to other broader sections (e.g. Teaching Tips) that target a wider University readership.

How does my article get published?

From login to publication. By J. Frawley, August 2016From login to publication. By J. Frawley, August 2016

There are several steps to publishing an article on Teaching@Sydney. These are listed below.

Step 1: Login

To begin, login via the homepage using your unikey credentials. Once logged in you will see the Teaching@Sydney dashboard. If you have any previous experience with using WordPress for blogging, this may be familiar to you. If not, the main navigation will display on the left hand side. There are a lot of support and resources available online.

Step 2: Create your author profile (you only need to do this once)

After you have logged in for the first time you will need to setup your author profile. You can access this via the menu on the left hand side of the screen. Go to ‘Users > Your profile’. Add you contact information and upload a profile image using the Gravatar feature/service. Unless you wish to change your contact details or profile image, you will only need to do this once.

Step 3: Create a post

Posts can be full-length articles, opinion pieces, interviews or short updates or quotes. Before adding your own content, use the left hand navigation to go to ‘Posts > All posts’. This will display all contributed posts. Though you cannot access or edit other people’s posts, take some time to explore how people have named, categorised and tagged their work. Reading existing posts, even from the front-end of the Teaching@Sydney site, may be useful for gaining a sense of the content and style of writing , as well as how the author has categorised and tagged this content.

Once familiar with existing posts, create your first post via ‘Posts > Add new’. Generic support and guidance is available online. You can write your article directly into the content editor or copy and paste pre-prepared content over from a word document. There is little difference between each approach, as long as you save your draft.

When writing, be sure to be professional and respectful, and avoid writing anything that will reflect negatively on you, others, or the University. Don’t post any potentially sensitive or confidential information. Always keep in mind the University of Sydney staff and student codes of conduct, the public comment policy, as well as the ICT resources policy.

Step 4: Add images

Add images of an appropriate quality, size, and resolution. Images should not be larger than 2mb but should have clear colours and be easily identifiable. If you are taking photos yourself, make sure that the picture isn’t too bright or too dark. If you are using images that have creative commons attribution – that is they can be used for free without a licence – then choose images that are well lit, non-grainy, and suit the content. There are two different types of images for your article.

Feature image
This image is the main headline image associated with the article. When you are writing your article, you can add a feature image using the section ‘Feature Image’ which can be found on the left hand side of your ‘Edit Post’ screen.

Add media
Add media allows you to embed images into the body of your article. These are supporting images. When you are writing your article you can add media using the ‘Add media’ button that sits just underneath the post title.

When you upload an image (in either form) remember to change the caption. If the image/s belong to you then add the image title, author (you), and the date the image was created. If the image/s do not belong to you, but have creative commons licences then add the image title, author, date, and the location that this image was taken from (e.g. Flickr, Wikimedia, etc.). For other image use ensure that you have permission to re-use and publish this imagery.

Step 5: Categorise the post

Categorise your post. To ensure that your post is featured in the right area use the ‘Categories’ tool available on the right hand menu to indicate where your article should be featured. You can attribute your article to your faculty and to different sections. To gauge where your article is best positioned, see how other authors have categorised existing content.You may also wish to ‘tag’ to your post. Tags are keywords associated with an article and assist with search engine retrieval. A tool for adding tags to your post is available in the navigation on the right hand side of the screen.

Step 6: Wait for editorial approval

Once you have saved your work, you can submit this for publication. To do this use the ‘Publish’ button visible in the right hand menu next to your post. Your work will be submitted to Teaching@Sydney’s editorial team. The managing editors are responsible for checking work meets the criteria for inclusion and performing minor editorial tasks. As there is no capacity for full proofreading or editing services, you should aim to submit your article in a publishable and complete state.

Step 7: Your post is published

Congratulations – your post has been accepted. An editor will email you to let you with a link to your article.

Step 8: Share

Once you receive notice of your article’s publication, share your article with others. You can send a link to your article to individuals through email, or post your article on Yammer, Twitter or Facebook.

Step 9: Write more…

Having created your first post you are free to continue reading, logging-in and creating posts that you think are relevant to learning and teaching at Sydney. Every post that you author will be attributed to you and will be visible next to your profile on the T@S Authors page.

What to write about?

As the name suggests, Teaching@Sydney, is a space for sharing anything that relates to teaching and learning at the University of Sydney. Potential stories might include examples of innovative teaching, an encouraging story of student engagement, an exciting learning and teaching project, an impactful tool or approach, or news about a recent grant, publication, or award. In addition to School and Faculty categories, there are five key sections that order content on the site. These include the following:

  1. Sydney updates – University wide updates relating to tools, learning spaces or policy 
  2. News and events – Workshops, conferences, talks, announcements, updates on grants and awards
  3. Teaching tips – Innovative tools, examples or guidelines for teaching, learning and assessment. 
  4. Educational excellence – Interviews, showcases of grant winners, stories about educational success or work in progress
  5. Teaching research – Reviews, conference updates, research findings, theory

Style guide

Written style

Teaching@Sydney is read by a diverse audience. The written style should reflect this. Articles should avoid jargon and terminology that would exclude non-expert readers from different faculties or disciplines. Authors should aim for the tone and style of a good quality news article. Broadly speaking, this allows for prose to be more conversational than that typically found in academic publications. Authors are free to use the first person. Sentences can more be succinct and direct. Though authors can refer to information from other sources, referencing should be limited to the occasional hyperlink or a direct reference to a particular name or institution within the body of the sentence (e.g. “The Office of Learning and Teaching announced…”). No formal referencing system should be used.

Word limit

Articles will be no longer than 700words. Short articles, such as news updates and announcements can be much shorter than this.

Titles, taglines and enticing the reader

Titles should be short, simple and, where possible, catchy. The title of a post can be supported by taglines and blockquotes that standout from the body of the article. Where appropriate, sub-headings can be used. These features allow readers to skim the article and decide whether they wish to read it.

Images

Always attribute images to their rightful owner and only use images that you have permission to use. If you have images that you own or created use these. Otherwise find images available on creative commons and always, always, always provide attribution to the creator in the image caption field.