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Feldon, David F., Peugh, James, Timmerman, Briana E., Maher, Michelle A., Hurst, Melissa, Strickland, Denise, Gilmore, Joanna A., & Stiegelmeyer, Cindy, (2011) "Graduate Students' Teaching Experiences Improve Their Methodological Research Skills" Science vol.333 (no.6045) pp.1037-1039. DOI: 10.1126/science.1204109
Our main web pages
Our event! (now past) Handouts: 1 2 3 4 draft report
The QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) has a Scottish branch that operates quality enhancement themes (see also here). This page relates to the research-teaching linkages theme running Jan 07 - Feb 08. We have a 10k grant for the Arts and Social Science disciplinary area (1 of 9). (More stuff on the grant in part D.)
This page holds my own notes on this. Our main site is edited by Vicky. (If you want to print all those pages off, here is a one page compilation of the main pages to make that more convenient. Also here is one page compilation on my pages for printing.)
Broadly, we expect to contribute in 3 ways:
Here is a master table of case studies. Red for ours; green for ones from Healey & Jenkins.
|Research as Content
|Research as Process
|Research as Professional practice
|Teaching to transform research
|Practice as research
|English related studies
Students used portfolios to provide space for "authentic enquiry" that focused on student self-determination and the process, rather than the outcomes, of learning. The rationale behind the portfolio involved reflections on practice as the curriculum developed during the research cycle. Initially, portfolios were evaluated formatively during supervisory meetings and each student decided what part of their portfolio should remain private and what the tutor might read and comment on. In the second phase of development, formative judgements about work were no longer made and portfolios became private documents. Challenges for student teachers were associated with the novelty of the experience, the time taken for reflection to develop and the individualistic nature of the task. This presents challenges for the supervisor centred on new methods of supervision and trying to live up to the explicit values that informed the curriculum.
Harland, T (2005) Developing a portfolio to promote authentic enquiry in teacher education Teaching in Higher Education 10 (3) pp.327-337
The aim of this initiative is to indicate the integral nature of the links between research and teaching through this very practical example. The Text and Playhouse MA concentrates on Shakespeare’s dramatic texts, and the manner of their performance in the Globe theatre. This MA is heavily informed by two forms of scholarly research, textual studies and performance practice. The students are encouraged to conduct their own primary research using the resources of the Globe theatre. Similarly the lecturers at Kings, who are involved in this programme, have taken the opportunity to test their own textual theories on the Globe stage. Both Professor Ann Thompson and Dr. Gordon McMullan, who run the course for King's, have used elements of the performance aspects of the course in editing editions of the New Arden Shakespeare. This programme is not unique in its partnership with a theatre company, but is distinctive in that the theatre company has employed a full-time academic (Dr Gabriel Egan) partly to run the course.
The traditional form of Literary Studies teaching in HE is tutor-centred. In this case study a group of second year students studying Eighteenth Century Literature are introduced to enquiry-based learning in the first week of the first semester. The course consists of a weekly lecture and a weekly seminar. The latter consists of 15 students who are divided into three groups of five sitting round a small round table. During the seminars the tutor acts as a task-giver and thereafter as both an information resource, responding to student requests and as a facilitator moving from sub-group to sub-group helping discussion to develop where needed. For example, in week 1 the students were given a poem by Samuel Johnson, ‘On the death of Dr Robert Levet’. The poem was issued to students without annotations or supporting detailed biographical information. Each sub-group were asked to address two questions: "What kind of language does the poem use?" and "What belief system, if any, does the poem imply?". Most groups responded to this task actively by exploring and considering the possibilities from a range of perspectives, establishing and pooling any existing knowledge base and assessing its applicability to the task in hand. By emphasising the need to seek other sources to contextualise their answers the facilitator began to establish the research element crucial to moving from "problem solving" to something more active.
Hutchings, W. and O'Rourke, K. (2003) "Introducing enquiry-based teaching methods in literary studies" in Critical Encounters: Scholarly Approaches to Learning & Teaching Continuing Professional Development Series 6. York: Higher Education Academy. Available at: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/profdev/case_study6.pdf
This curriculum was adapted from one developed for a third year synoptic course on the philosophy of geography at the then Oxford Polytechnic, which at the time received little funding for research:
Cosgrove D (2001) Teaching geographical thought through student interviews, Journal of Geography in Higher Education 5(1) pp.19-22
Dwyer, C (2001) Linking research and teaching: a staff-student interview project, Journal of Geography in Higher Education 25 (3) pp.357-366
UCL Geography Department has long operated a department wide strategy to induct students into studying in a top research department. In brief all first year undergraduate students interview staff about their research. As a department strategy this:
At Sheffield University, Brian Vick takes a final year history seminar entitled: "Revolution, Romanticism and Napoleon: Politics and Culture in Europe, 1790-1820", in which the students practice the skills of undertaking historical research. The seminar generally has between 8-12 students and entails two 2-hour sessions per week for the entire year. Most students do their dissertations on at least vaguely related topics.
The course traces key aspects of European culture and political culture from the French Revolution to the Congress of Vienna and even beyond, into the early years of the post- Napoleonic Restoration and is linked to the tutor’s current research exploring the Vienna Congress of 1814-1815 as an event in intellectual, cultural and political history. The students practice interpreting sources and answering open-ended questions deriving from debates among historians. They learn to look at a range of sources, including archival documents, political tracts and speeches, philosophical texts, a novel, a play, poetry, music, painting, architecture—even an opera. And they do so from a range of historical perspectives relating to the study of political culture. They are then able to put these skills and themes to use in their own research.
Vick, B (2006) Constructing a Research-led Seminar Programme at Level 3 http://www.hca.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/case_Studies/snas/vick.doc
In 2002, John Lutz implemented History 481: Micro History and the Internet, a learner-centred and research-oriented course in which the main activity was primary archival research on various aspects of life in Victoria, British Columbia from 1843 to 1900. Students worked in small groups to conduct the research and eventually to publish their findings on the website called "Victoria's Victoria". John reports that "The feedback I get often says, that if they remember only one course from university, this (course) will be it ... some alumni contact me to say that the web skills have landed them a job." John notes that the grades in Micro History 481 were approximately 8% higher that the grades that these same students received in other senior history courses that they take from him.
Anon (2003) "Micro History 481: Forging the research-teaching connection"
Comments 1(2) pp.6-7
The 30 or so students taking the introductory historical methodology course are engaged in original research. Anne L. Foster, an assistant professor of history, who teaches the course, was eager to find topics in which her students could "become experts" and make a real contribution to local knowledge.
In 2004, the class produced a history of the black community of the Wabash Valley, including Lost Creek, a neighbourhood of Terre Haute, Indiana, the city that is home to the university. Lost Creek was established in the 1820s by freed and runaway slaves with the help of local Quakers. The course stresses oral histories, and that year's project included a video interview with a 104-year-old woman whose grandparents were slaves. Another group of students, in the fall of 2005, interviewed three elderly local men with connections to the Holocaust: a concentration-camp survivor from Latvia, a Jew whose family managed to flee Germany, and a former U.S. soldier who helped liberate a concentration camp in Germany. One student did an independent project that turned the class material into a permanent exhibit at Terre Haute's Holocaust museum.
Students would have interviewed more people, but changes in the university's rules on human research subjects made it difficult. Ms. Foster says she expects the university's research board to relax the new rules to facilitate the taking of oral histories.
Bollag, B (2006) History Undergrads Perform Original Research in Course at Indiana State U. The Chronicle of Higher Education 15 December http://chronicle.com/weekly/v53/i17/17a00802.htm
In this program students combine learning and research with practical projects that enhance community life. Each year Arts of Citizenship directly sponsor eight to twelve projects, and award grants for another eight to twelve projects. Projects in the arts, the humanities, and design are wide-ranging and include:
This course is an introduction to the nature of academic practice/research in the Arts and Social Sciences. In addition to lectures, workshops focus on students developing skills in research, critical thinking, and teamwork. Each year a particular theme is identified - generally one that reflects a Windsor community issue - and student teams investigate and present in public the results of their inquiries. Senior students and community members act as mentors to these investigations. There are discussions on extending this "model" to other disciplinary groups.
http://apps.medialab.uwindsor.ca/cfl/reflexions/volume01/issue01/Ways_of_Knowing.htm see webcast at:
One aim of most degree courses, at least if they are in a single discipline, is to help students think like, for example, historians, chemists, or planners. Traditionally in philosophy this is attempted by 'sitting at the feet' of experienced philosophers and ploughing through long reading lists. Research into philosophy is seen as something largely reserved for postgraduate study. At the University of Leeds, George MacDonald Ross has developed a more active approach in a final year module, which engages his students directly with a philosophical text - Kant's Critique of Pure Reason - and helps them develop key research skills.
He teaches the course by running interactive seminars, rather than lectures, at which students are forbidden to take notes, except for a secretary, who posts minutes on a website within 24 hours. This has the advantage that students focus more on discussion during seminars, and that they treat the minutes as secondary literature, rather than their own intellectual property to be used without acknowledgment. Most of the time is spent discussing the interpretation of key passages projected on a screen. However, most of the students' learning time is taken up by reading the text in conjunction with George's running commentary; preparing short answers to interpretative questions, some of which will form the basis of the following seminar; and writing essays. Researching and writing essays is a small-scale version of what historians of philosophy do as researchers, and it is central to the module. Apart from one final essay, students write three two-page essays during the year. They are given the assessment criteria (presentation, referencing, accuracy, clarity, argumentation, independence, other strengths and weaknesses) before hand and have to self-assess their attempt against them. He does not put the mark on the essay, instead he tells them to guess the mark in the light of his comments, and sign up for a 15-minute individual tutorial at which he reveals the mark, and advises them on how to improve their performance next time.
George has also attempted, though so far with only limited success, to establish "buddy groups" to mimic the informal networking found in research communities. This means trying to shift a culture of competition in assessment to one of co-operation in research. He has also been given a grant by his university to devise multiple-choice questions (MCQs) which will develop the ability of students to consider reasons for and against different possible interpretations of key texts, and for and against the validity of the ideas and arguments as so interpreted. They won’t be told whether they are right or wrong, but they will be forced to think argumentatively about the text they are reading; and the change in activity from mere reading and note-taking to active engagement with an MCQ should improve their motivation. More importantly, the sort of thinking they will be engaged in will be precisely the sort of thinking that is characteristic of the mature historian of philosophy.
Source: Based on a draft case study by George MacDonald Ross 2006. The final
version will be available on The Higher Education Academy's Subject Centre for
Philosophical and Religious Studies
First year, non-specialist, psychology students undertake an eight-week project involving students collecting data from themselves and three other students using four short inventories and a biographical questionnaire in order to research topics related to students' Quality of Life. This project provided students with the opportunity to collect "live" data, contribute to a developing database, select data for analysis, and write up findings. The topics available for selection by students were linked to the research interests of the lecturer, Dr. Jacqui Akhurst, making the project mutually beneficial. A departmental technician provided assistance with questionnaire design, the development and maintenance of a database, data entry, and tutoring on some portions of the project.
Department initiatives to formally support undergraduates doing research – in close involvement with staff research – are a feature of many US departments (Kinkead, 2003). A growing number of UK departments are now developing their own undergraduate research programmes (Jenkins, 2006). That in the psychology department at York University was initiated in 2005 and replaced and developed previous informal arrangements. The scheme enables students who wish to gain research experience to volunteer to assist with current department staff projects. Any 1st or 2nd year student can take part in the scheme though preference is normally given to second year students. Third year students are typically busy with their own projects and tend not to participate. Staff enter details of their projects on PsychWeb together with an outline of the research questions, what research assistance is needed and the rate of pay. Generally the payments to students come from research grants.
Source: Goebel and Gennari (2006);
McMaster University has been running a first year course for social sciences based on inquiry (Inquiry 1SS3) since the late 1990s. This case study discusses this award-winning course as it evolved over the first five years (see Justice et al. 2002; in press a), since then other instructors have taken on the course and is taught to reflect their interests. It was typically taught in sections of no more than twenty-five students assigned to an instructor. All of the sections had the same curriculum, reading material, process of assessment, and goals that were outlined in a detailed compendium. The classes met for twelve three-hour concurrent sessions. Class time consisted of a combination of exercises and tasks for building the students’ critical abilities and time for students to share ideas about their individual inquiries with other students. Much of class time involved groups of four or five students assisting each other in such things as clarifying understandings or planning research strategies.
All students investigated aspects of a broad social science theme, such as "self identity" and addressed a common inquiry question, such as: "Why do images of ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, age, class, or abilities help to create aspects of personal and community identity?". Students had to propose their own inquiry question, such as: "Why do some children apparently become violent after watching violent cartoons while others seem to be unaffected?" They had to justify why the question was important in relation to existing literature. They then investigated the question through a process which involved developing and testing hypotheses using secondary sources. The course emphasized the development of skills, including critical reading and thinking, independent and collaborative learning, information searching and evaluation, analysis and synthesis, oral and written communication, and self and peer evaluation.
Analysis of five years of data (Justice et al. in press b), comparing students who took the Inquiry course with comparable students who did not, shows that it has had a significant impact on how well students perform during their academic careers. The findings allow for initial differences between the two samples. Taking the Inquiry course is associated with statistically significant positive differences in obtaining passing grades, achieving Honours, staying on the Dean’s honour list, and remaining in university.
Current research is investigating in what way(s) Inquiry 1SS3 students changed that might explain their long-term enhanced performance at university. A quasi-experimental study (Justice et al., 2005) compares a randomly selected group of 54 students who took Inquiry 1SS3 in their first semester with 71 comparable students who did not. The research goes beyond self-reports of learning and directly measures abilities and performance. Though not yet published, it seems taking Inquiry 1SS3 is associated with meaningfully higher scores in actual performance tests of many intellectual and academic skills and that often the magnitude and significance of the difference between groups is comparable to that between upper- and lower-level students (~2 years of university).
This web-resource was prepared to provide support and guidance for students writing dissertations in the social sciences, but it offers useful guidance for any students carrying out research. It deals with some of the common questions, concerns and practical issues that undergraduate students face when planning a piece of social research – such as research design, ethics, access, and writing styles. The resource also provides some useful information for academic staff who are supervising undergraduate dissertations. It provides case studies of dissertation supervision issues and examples of the students' experiences of completing a project and it is hoped that this 'student voice' will be especially valuable for the 'new' supervisor.
The content for the site was written by academic and support staff who have a particular interest in this area and have a great deal of experience in supervising undergraduate dissertations in the fields of sociology, anthropology, politics, criminology, social policy and social work. They have not produced this resource with the aim of providing a set of definitive answers; instead they recognise that there are many ways in which the "journey" through the process can be completed. The notes included here draw on the experiences of dissertation supervisors, academic research into the student and staff experiences of study and supervision, and examples of good practice.
In a second stage of the project, a number of staff designed new course modules which sought to create a "pedagogic space" that transferred some of the responsibilities for content and learning outcomes to the students. The student researchers interviewed the staff about their experiences of running the modules. The courses aimed to give students more control over the forms and outcomes of their learning. However, this ideal was sometimes limited by the time and commitment of students willing to contribute to the blogs and web-spaces envisaged as part of this more decentred process of learning.
There is no doubt that the organization of this project brought direct benefits to project team members. Students working on the project as student researchers have greatly enhanced their research, political, inter-personal and communication skills. Staff members have developed greater expertise in working with students as co-producers of knowledge. In this regard, the aim of integrating responsibilities for teaching and research is evidenced in the conduct of the project itself.
Clearly it is more transferable to those departments and disciplines such as sociology, education, psychology, management, where students developing research skills "match" the research focus.
Project led by Dr Christina Hughes. Christina.Hughes@warwick.ac.uk
Hughes C (2005) "Linking Teaching and Research in a Research-Oriented Department of Sociology" http://www.c-sap.bham.ac.uk/resources/project_reports/findings/ShowFinding.asp?id=139
PDP as personal development planning could be seen as essentially about a person's (a student's) overall view of themselves, their life plans, and their development. In that case, employability is only one aspect of that (the work part of life); and graduate attributes only one part of employability (even if the part that a university should have most to contribute to).
PDP as personal development planning portfolios has a number of different ideas are heaped together here:
Nick Bowskill's project
The tacit question behind this is: what use is an HE degree? In fact there is a huge range of possible kinds of thing:
However some basic contextual points to bear in mind on this topic or "employability" are:
As noted, they tend to make all disciplines sound the same, yet the chief defining attribute of a graduate is that they have been educated in one particular discipline, and NOT in all; and their habits of thought are markedly different because of this. Thus the literal and current "educational", i.e. edujargon, meanings of the phrase "graduate attributes" are to some extent in contradiction.
I have a
critique of the notion of graduate attributes
(updated 5 Nov 2009).
One (only one) concrete action related to the idea, and referred to in the critique, is this document The value of a degree from my department.
As mentioned, the QEtheme of research teaching linkages was scoped to relate to this particular list of Graduate attributes (GAS). Whether that makes sense to practitioners and disciplines is not known.
There is now a well regarded test for students of graduate attributes.
A key reference about it is:
Klein,S., Benjamin,R., Shavelson,R. & Bolus,R. (2007) "The Collegiate Learning Assessment: Facts and fantasies" Educational Review vol.31 no.5 pp.415-439
The website is: http://www.collegiatelearningassessment.org/
Another candidate for a super-attribute might be freedom from egocentricity. Piaget described how young children cannot appreciate that their visual viewpoint on the world is not shared by others, but before long they realise that what they can expect another to know depends upon what that person can see. This then develops into a "theory of mind": keeping track of what different people know. That is a first major development beyond egocentrism.
At another level, a second major development is that generally graduates will be fairly good at evaluating actions and things in terms of expecting others to want the same things as they do (treat others as you would like to be treated). This however is elementary: it is much better than not thinking they have any needs or feelings, but it is markedly imperfect as a tool for anticipating others' motives. A third development requires grasping that different people really do want different things, and that oneself is not an adequate yardstick for human value in general. This is important for many professions (especially retail, design, diplomacy, ...). Cardinal Newman regarded peer interaction as the most valuable thing about a university education for this reason: realising that ones' own views often just aren't shared by others. Learning to deal with this is fundamental to HE. It is the foundation for critical thinking. So advanced progress beyond simple egocentricity could be seen as the foundation for critical thinking (and so for all graduate attributes, if we agree with Nicol), and furthermore has other direct benefits in later life, allowing you to deal constructively with people who are just not like you in knowledge, belief, and values.
Deep internationalisation requires the consideration of abandoning the assumption that UK experts tell foreign students without any idea that they might learn from them or that the application of their knowledge will be importantly different in the context of different cultures. Perhaps in any subject, but certainly in subjects like education and healthcare, local circumstances make great differences in the effectiveness of interventions that are established in the UK. For instance where refrigeration is not ubiquitous the efficacy of most vaccines is undermined because they cannot be effectively distributed.
Some of the different possible aspects of deep internationalisation:
The tacit question behind this topic is: why academics should be paid for research, when their obvious social function is teaching. The strategy for answering implied by the topic is to articulate and strengthen the various possible links between research and teaching.
This is not simple because the word "research" means, for good reasons relevant to our purpose here, different things to different people. In ordinary English, "research" most often refers to what a journalist or assistant might do: retrieve information and knowledge that they and their employer did not already know, but which was already known to others; while to a scientist it means discovering something that has never been reported by anyone before. Both these senses are important in HE: e.g. corresponding to Enquiry Based Learning and to training in research. It is conventional for academics to distinguish the parts of their job into teaching, research, and administration. However a large part of "research" work is actually communicating knowledge (publishing papers, giving talks) which is essentially the same task requiring the same skills and practices as teaching does. "Research" means quite different things in Arts disciplines than in Sciences. And when we think of whom we would most trust as a teacher, then in applied subjects such as Medicine, Fine art, or taking a driving test we want someone with current practical experience far more than someone who is publishing in research journals: it is being a current practitioner of the subject rather than being a researcher that is desirable.
To this general diversity of relevant meanings we must add the great contrasts in research modes and methods even within the meaning of research as creating knowledge hitherto unknown to anyone. This leads to not one, but a set, of different types of research-teaching relationship or linkage.
Research-teaching linkages are related to a number of other themes:
The basic idea is to equate "enquiry" with "research" in the everyday non-academic sense of finding out what is known by others and/or published on the topic. It is, most basically, the idea that students should start with a question and find the answers themselves: "Answers first, then questions" is one slogan. EBL contrasts itself with ordinary expository teaching like lectures which tells students what is known without them having any question, any pre-existing use for the knowledge. Set the students a goal or specification for what is to be found out, then require them to go get it.
A guide to the evidence:
A.Jenkins (2004) A guide to the research evidence on teaching-research relations (HEA) http://learn.royalroads.ca/teaching/Resources/Teaching_research%20relations.pdf
Davis, W K; Nairn, R; Paine, M E; Anderson, R M; Oh, M S (1992) "Effects of expert and non-expert facilitators on the small-group process and on student performance" Academic Medicine vol.67 no.7 pp.470-4 These did find a significant effect. The judgement of subject expertise was binary, made by the course director w.r.t. the particular case the group was studying; consisting of either research or training relevant to the topic.
Schmidt, H. G., Van tier Arend, A., Moust, J.H.C. Kokx I. & Boon, L. (1993) "Influence of tutors' subject-matter expertise on student effort and achievement in problem-based learning" Academic Medicine vol.68 no.10 pp.784-791 They argue that there is an important positive effect of subject matter expertise in a PBL facilitator (tutor) on students' learning outcomes; strongest in first year; but that this is not usually being research active, but having some learning and training themselves in the subject of the course.
Hattie, J. & Marsh, H.W. (1996) "The relationship between research and teaching: a meta-analysis" Review of Educational Research vol.66 no.4 pp.507-542 found essentially zero correlation between learners' learning outcomes and teacher's research output.
Marsh, H.W. & Hattie J. (2002) "The relation between research productivity and teaching effectiveness" Journal of Higher Education vol.73 no.5 pp.603-641.
Hattie, J. & Marsh, H.W. (2004) "One journey to unravel the relationship between research and teaching" Research and teaching: Closing the divide? An International Colloquium, Winchester, March 18-19, http://www.solent.ac.uk/ExternalUP/318/hattie_and_marsh_paper.doc (accessed 15 February 2004).
A number of points warrant paying special attention to the nature and quality of the first year experience a student receives.
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