We value learning and teaching that is informed and led by research

Learners should learn in an environment that is informed and led by research, where they learn how to inquire, to investigate problems, make judgments and informed decisions in collaboration with others, being exposed to and led through current controversies and debates. Teaching should aim to arouse curiosity and stimulate students to utilise their knowledge in the pursuit of solving problems and addressing gaps in knowledge and understanding. 

Research and Scholarship (R&S) Strategy 2018-2020

Students work alongside academics as research partners (outside the formal curriculum)

The gains of such collaborations can vary, depending on the individual and collective drivers and motivations behind the creation of the partnerships. A study conducted by Huet et al (2017) reveals that pedagogic research partnerships resulted in positive experiences for both staff and students.

Suggestions

  • Engage students to undertake small scale research projects which may be related to the subject they are studying or more interdisciplinary in nature. For example, think about a project you could do with the students related to teaching and learning or curriculum design in HE;
  • Encourage your students to take part in the AIM (Achieve, Inspire, Motivate) Project by becoming AIM Tutors.

Useful resources

Students learn by engaging with research or inquiry-based activities as part of the curriculum

Students learn through authentic enquiry and research by undertaking learning activities that reflect the processes of research. Participating in ‘real research’ stimulates students’ understanding of research approaches, methodologies and methods. Students develop competencies such as information handling, presenting information in different formats appropriate to the audience, as well as cognitive abilities such as evaluation and analysis.

Suggestions

  • Expose students to research methods and techniques so they understand how knowledge is produced in a research environment;
  • Promote the engagement of students in small-scale research project allowing them to conduct, for example, a small literature review about a topic or by collecting and analysing empirical data;
  • Design learning materials that are related to your own research field, provided they are aligned with the learning outcomes;
  • Train your students to look for and select credible sources of information for the topics they are studying and avoid giving them an exhaustive reading list. Explain this strategy to the students beforehand;
  • Frequently update the learning materials with new research and new sources. There are areas where knowledge is frequently disputed and is very dynamic;
  • Organise a seminar or a course conference where students can present their own research/project outputs. You can invite alumni to help review proposals/ presentations or other members of school/college staff

 

Useful resources

Students understand the contested nature of knowledge

Students learn by contrasting different ideas, theories in an environment that is supportive for challenging thinking.

Suggestions

  • Plan activities where students should look at different perspectives of a given problem and where they are able to contrast with the perspective you provided;
  • Promote more debate activities in classroom where students are asked to research and defend a given perspective.

Academics discuss their own research or the research of others within the classroom environment

It is important for your students to understand that they are being taught by researchers or practitioners in their subject field. They feel more motivated when they are exposed to your experience and your knowledge, provided that you are able to communicate at a level they understand.

Suggestions

  • Signpost the topics you are teaching with the research you are currently doing or with your own professional experience;
  • Invite keynote speakers (academic colleagues, PhD students, professionals) from industry or academia to participate in some of the sessions you deliver. Make the connection of the keynote with the learning outcomes for the module or course. Students need to understand the relevance of the keynote for their learning.

Students are assessed through activities that mirror research and inquiry processes

Suggestions

  • Design formative (informal and formal) and summative assessment activities that move away from the traditional exams or essays, for example:
    • Students can share drafts or parts of a research proposal or research paper with the teachers for feedback prior to submitting a final paper. Another possibility is to allow students to exchange drafts with one another (peer feedback);
    • Students can maintain a journal or a blog where they reflect on their learning experience, highlighting the points for improvement. These journal entries will help students track their own growth in understanding the project they are developing and the research process;
    • Student can write a research proposal in order to demonstrate understanding of the goals, significance, and proposed methodology of a project before implementing that methodology;
    • Student can defend their work in a seminar or conference and respond to questions from their peers, academics or industry experts.

 

Professional development opportunities available under this topic