A unique educational web resource for gothic scholars is being created by Edge Hill University following a prestigious grant from the Higher Education Academy.

The University has been awarded £30,000 from the HEA’s Teaching Development Grant Scheme, which is given to those projects that demonstrate innovative evidence-informed practice in learning and teaching.

e-Gothicist is the brainchild of leading expert Dr Ben Brabon, Senior Lecturer in English Literature and SOLSTICE Fellow, and will have course-specific information that will enhance the student learning experience.

It is the first time this type of resource has been created for gothic studies and is intended for lecturers and students to use. It will combine a variety of learning zones including an educational ‘app’ with practical teaching materials, academic blogs, reviews and critical analysis of major gothic novels.

“This web-based resource is designed to help students to develop their knowledge and understanding of gothic by making them active collaborators in the learning process,” explained Ben. “It will also support lecturers in the delivery of modules by sharing good teaching practice.”

e-Gothicist is an innovative learning tool that promotes student-centred learning and fosters a research community that focuses on gothic in its various manifestations.”

An initial pilot study took place last year using Ben’s module Vampire Fictions to test how useful the online resource would be to students.

“The feedback was fantastic,” said Ben. “Students were very positive and were actively engaged with the idea. Gothic texts such as Dracula lend themselves perfectly to innovative technologies. e-Gothicist cultivates informal and flexible learning opportunities which enrich the learning experience and promote student participation in the construction of knowledge. Students took ownership of the idea and as a result they produced imaginative projects and a measurable improvement in their marks.”

e-Gothicist will be officially launched on 5th August at the International Gothic Association Conference, which focuses this year on ‘Gothic Technologies’.

Helen Howard, Academic Lead Teaching Development Grants at the HEA, said “Edge Hill’s Department of English and History was one of just seven chosen to receive an award in the latest round of this popular funding programme. Bids for Teaching Development Grants are very competitive as they give departments opportunities to further their passions for improving teaching practice within higher education. The outputs from this project will be widely available, meaning it will not only benefit this department and institution but the sector as a whole.”

For more information about e-Gothicist email Ben at brabonb@edgehill.ac.uk