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More than meets the eye? Higher Education Research in Scotland Dr Darren Comber Senior Educational Development Adviser.

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Presentation on theme: "More than meets the eye? Higher Education Research in Scotland Dr Darren Comber Senior Educational Development Adviser."— Presentation transcript:

1 More than meets the eye? Higher Education Research in Scotland Dr Darren Comber Senior Educational Development Adviser

2 Overview 1.Supporting higher education research in Scotland 3.Support at the national level 1: a gut feeling 4.Support at the national level 2: refining the question 5.Discussion

3 1. Supporting HE research... Researching policies and practice Pedagogical research Research into L&T in HE Research into transitions (between school & HE, work and HE [and vice versa], others)

4 in Scotland Close-knit community of educational developers Universities Scotland EDSC Quarterly meetings – info. dissemination and more (US, QAA, HEA, Researcher Development) Community for new ed. dev. staff coming to Scotland: proactivity, overseen by a single body Representation. Non-traditional e.g. Colleges of Art - ed. dev. in those and linking them in Sharing, not competition SHED

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6 Support at the National level 1 Not starting from zero: SRHE / BERA / SERA? Research focus varies between EDUs REF / not REF / not relevant / “support”? Many of us are doing research in our spare time (aye right), or outwith 9-5, or aligning with wider institutional priorities Many of us are running / co-ordinating PG Cert / similar Revealing the tip of an iceberg? Tensions inherent in providing “support” for research

7 Support at the National level 1 Mobilising your SHED... 1.Use talent that’s on our doorstep 2.Do we know what the person in the office next door does? Funding from Academy Scotland: 2007 Research methods (University of Strathclyde) 2008 Research interviews (University of Stirling) 2009 Research in the Social Sciences (University of Aberdeen) 2010 Research methods (University of Dundee) Not the “usual suspects” turning up

8 Support at the National level 2 USEDSC (Universities Scotland Educational Development Sub-committee) commissioned survey Data gathered June-Dec 2010 Distributed via SHED network Higher Education Research in Scotland: Report of a Survey undertaken by Universities Scotland Educational Development Sub-Committee Bovill, C., Sheward, L. & Smyth, K. July ISBN Who are these people? Why did they come / what were they wanting? There are SO MANY OF THEM

9 Findings - demographics CAVEAT: N=120 16/20 Scottish HEIs responded 70% female, 30% male 41% lecturer, 12% senior lecturer 69% discipline based, 22% academic developers …of 69%, medicine/health 19%, education 12%

10 What proportion of your time do you spend on research? What proportion of your research time is focused on research into HE? Findings – HE research time

11 Findings – experience level Which of the following best describes your research experience in research into HE? Newer researcher (<3yrs)44% Some experience (4-6yrs)34% Experienced researcher (>7yrs)22%

12 Findings – methodologies used most frequently Case study methodology 43% Action research 42% Survey 40% Grounded theory 17% Ethnography 14% Phenomenology 14% Phenomenography, narrative analysis, mixed methods, activity theory, econometric analysis, socio-cultural theory, visual analysis, practice as research

13 Findings – funding Have you received funding to support your higher educational research in the last 3-5 years? No 52% Yes 48% Top sources quoted: own institution, HEA, ESRC, SFC, Europe, JISC, QAA, Scottish Government, Carnegie Trust, ‘international’, Industry – Academic partnership, NES, SQA

14 Findings – funding Other funding sources mentioned (once) Arthritis Research UK Canadian Medical Council Council for Industry & HE Convention of Scottish Local Authorities General Medical Council HEFCE Department for BIS Moray Endowment Fund RCUK Fellowship Rheumatology Society Royal Pharmaceutical Society GB ‘Roberts’ funding Sector Skills Development Agency Scottish Institute for Excellence in Social Work Education Universities UK

15 Findings – Research excellence framework Intending to submit to REF? Yes33% No30% Don’t know 34% If yes, will REF return be under ‘education’? Yes18% No20% Don’t know 53%

16 Findings – Dissemination practices National conferences 61% Institutional conferences 49% International conferences 48% Subject/disciplinary events 43% Online networks 8% Online blogs 8% Research incorporated into teaching; academic staff development; involving students in research and discussing research findings with students ; journal paper publication; sharing findings/collaborating with colleagues; future programme/course design; local teaching and research networks; national networks and partners ; used to inform institutional policy and practice.

17 Findings - support Events: 81% Communicate with others interested in similar areas: 81% Being contacted by others interested in similar areas: 83% Being contacted to join online / network: 78%

18 Findings – areas of interest for development Discipline-specific educational research Technology-enhanced learning Assessment & feedback Graduate attributes & employability Student attitudes and experiences Academic development, international students, institutional culture, institutional strategy & management, transitions, action research, creativity in education, distance learning, internationalisation, PDP, qualitative research methods, study skills

19 Points arising Raising the status of HE research (Yorke, 2000) Supporting HE research more broadly: EDUs as ‘buffer’ A role for your own EDU? A role for HEDG?


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