skip to content

Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning

 

English literature timeline project

Project outline

The Faculty of English’s successful project in 2011-12, led by Professor Helen Cooper, Chair of the Faculty Board, and Mrs Elizabeth Tilley, Faculty Librarian, was to develop a programme of English literature classes for new students. The programme was to include essential research skills, skills for employment, and to address the transition from A-levels to higher education.

Based on feedback from examiner reports, the central piece of work in this programme was the creation of an online literature timeline, containing relevant information about the authors that many students study during their degree. Primary and secondary bibliographic material was to be researched and uploaded by students themselves, as well as additional interactive material such as video, images, audio, and tutorials. The value of this for students was to be realised by linking Faculty reading lists to the timeline, saving students time in searching for the books they need.

Outcome

English literature timelineThe timeline was successfully developed, implemented for Lent Term teaching, and was well received by both Directors of Studies and students. It resulted in increased access to and engagement with electronic materials, and active contribution from the library in supporting the Faculty’s teaching and learning.

The timeline software was embedded in the Library’s subject ‘libguide’ (http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/75515/Cambridge-Literature-Timeline/) with public access, and contains entries on both Cambridge’s alumni authors and other major authors, linked to relevant bibliographies created by students. There were also entries of historical interest added, to put the authors’ works in context. A free plug-in to Firefox, Zotero, was used as the basis for gathering bibliographic material. This helped with the project’s success, as it is easy to use, and already in operation within the Faculty.

One aspect that was not successfully implemented in the initial timeframe was the interactive reading lists, due to their length, and due to the volume of chapters that needed to be scanned. It was intended for this work to follow the implementation of the timeline and to sit alongside it.

Recent events

The project has continued to develop, and is now including students in 'crowdsourcing content' to help create new timelines.  The project was highlighted at the recent Sheffield Hallam University Teaching and Learning Conference in June 2015; view the presentation here.

Latest news

Pilkington Prize awards 2017

23 June 2017

Last night saw the 24th Pilkington Prize ceremony at Gonville and Caius College. 13 Prize winners were invited to enjoy drinks on the lawn before attending the ceremony itself in the Bateman Auditorium. Celebrations were concluded with a delicious three course dinner in the Hall. Thankfully, the weather held out and...

Inspiring students and colleagues to excel: Dr Dee Scadden wins Biochemical Society’s Teaching Excellence Award

26 May 2017

Dr Dee Scadden in the Department of Biochemistry has been named winner of The Biochemical Society’s inaugural Teaching Excellence Award . The award, created by the Biochemical Society to promote and celebrate excellent teaching in the discipline, is new for 2018 and will be awarded annually. Dr Scadden was the judges’...

Student-Led Teaching Awards ceremony

12 May 2017

The Student-Led Teaching Awards ceremony was held on 9 May in the University Combination Room. As Professor Graham Virgo, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education, observed in his opening address, the Student-Led Teaching Awards are special because they are ‘student-led, student-organised, student-voted, and student-decided’. The...

Twitter