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The University of Hull : From a research informed to a research active curriculum? Alan Jenkins,Professor Emeritus Oxford Brookes University : (UK) HE.

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Presentation on theme: "The University of Hull : From a research informed to a research active curriculum? Alan Jenkins,Professor Emeritus Oxford Brookes University : (UK) HE."— Presentation transcript:

1 The University of Hull : From a research informed to a research active curriculum? Alan Jenkins,Professor Emeritus Oxford Brookes University : (UK) HE Academy Consultant : advisor to QAA Scotland on the Teaching Research Nexus Enhancement Theme

2 Confirming the Focus Our focus today is on (staff) research in the disciplines (e.g. Philosophy or interdisciplinary areas such as womens studies ) and student Learning, not on (pedagogic) research on higher education. (except of course if your discipline is education!) Our focus will also be on the undergraduate curriculum on the assumption of its strategic importance; the view that its easier to ensure effective teaching /research links at postgraduate level; and that the principles from the undergraduate curriculum also broadly apply to the (taught) postgraduate curriculum.

3 A starter Please get into groups of 3-4 and appoint one of you as spokesperson for the group Then 3 minutes private discussion of these quotations. … universities should treat learning as not yet wholly solved problems and hence always in research mode (Humboldt, 1810, quoted by Elton, 2005, 110) The United States undergraduate research movement…started by providing research opportunities for selected students in selected institutions. This book argues that such curricular experience should and can be mainstreamed for all or many students through a research active curriculum. The authors argue that this can be achieved through structured interventions at course team, departmental, institutional and national levels. Healey M and Jenkins A: Developing Undergraduate Research and Inquiry. (UK) HE Academy, 2009)

4 About myself Career focus on teaching … Long taught/researched geography /contemporary China studies at Oxford Polytechnic/Oxford Brookes. Founding editor Journal of Geography in Higher Education Then moved into educational development/research at Brookes.. Now educational consultant and SKI enthusiast –Spending Kids Inheritance

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7 Available from the HE Academy http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/rtnexus.htm

8 www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/resources/publicati ons/DevelopingUndergraduate_Final.pdf

9 Recalling the University Strategic Plan and teaching Strategic aim 3.1: To provide an outstanding experience for our students Identified by the Times Higher Education Supplement as one of the Access Elite, the University has maintained research informed curricula (emphasis added) while excelling at widening participation and delivering a high quality student experience. Our task during the next planning period will be to build on this reputation.. We will achieve our aim by giving renewed priority to the student experience ensuring that learning and teaching activities are conducted in a research-rich environment (emphasis added) delivering programmes which stimulate innovation and imagination equip students for a knowledge economy are relevant to the needs of employers and society

10 Recalling the Strategic Plan and Research Strategic Aim 3.3 :To expand and promote research excellence Commitment to research and scholarship remain fundamental to our institution. We will continue to develop and support an active and vigorous research community in a range of academic disciplines and foster interdisciplinary collaborations. We will achieve our aim by selective submission in RAE 2008 to maximise grade profile ( emphasis added) targeted investment in areas of research excellence to ensure that we have the quality of both staff and infrastructure to be successful continued promotion of interdisciplinary research through selective investment in staff and facilities promoting translational research … to meet the needs of business and society rigour in academic appointments, ensuring that new staff build on or complement existing research strengths, or otherwise meet the strategic needs of the University encouraging and enabling current staff to realise their full research potential, with the expectation that all academic staff will be engaged in scholarship to inform and enhance learning and teaching (emphasis added) ensuring that planned growth in postgraduate research students aligns with undergraduate and continuing professional development strategies translating excellence in research and scholarship into learning opportunities for students

11 LEARNING & TEACHING STRATEGY 2008-2012 6.2. To educate students within a research rich learning environment We will achieve our aim by: 6.2.1. providing increased opportunity for learners to develop their understanding of the processes of knowledge creation and of the fluidity, uncertainty and contested nature of knowledge in their discipline(s) 6.2.2. promoting critical engagement with the intellectual and creative works that constitute the focus or evidence base of the chosen discipline(s), including the problems it poses and the questions it raises 6.2.3. enhancing opportunities for staff and students to work collaboratively and participate actively with peers, researchers, and employers; 6.2.4. promoting student confidence and abilities in the application of research methodologies and techniques, and in interacting with diverse sources and formats of information. With these principles in mind, the integrated implementation plan will: promote the development of departmental action planning as the primary, and most appropriate, tool for enhancing the quality of the student learning experience; (emphasis added

12 Aims Discussed what you already do as individuals, course teams …. to link teaching and discipline based research Noted the key research evidence Clarified your view on the current relationship between (staff/faculty) research and student learning in your role, courses, discipline and in your department /institution Considered a range of discipline based and department wide case studies Explored how those relationships could be more effectively constructed and/ or managed. Discussed whether the University focus needs to move from a research informed to a research active curriculum?

13 Line-up To be an effective teacher in HE one needs to be centrally involved in discipline based research Strongly ------------------------------- Strongly Agree Disagree ONE thing that came out of our discussion was …

14 Line Up Undergraduate Research is for ALL undergraduates Strongly ------------------------------- Strongly Agree Disagree ONE thing that came out of our discussion was …

15 Something to think about.. Our discussion on these issues clearly reflected we are university academics and thus our discussions were solidly based on the research evidence… Strongly ------------------------------- Strongly Agree Disagree

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17 Research Evidence Loosely Coupled Based on this review we concluded that the common belief that teaching and research were inextricably intertwined is an enduring myth. At best teaching and research are very loosely coupled" (Hattie and Marsh, 1996) At Arms length Students at arms length from the worlds of university research (Brew, 2006) Unintended Consequences We found little evidence to suggest that synergies between teaching and research were managed or promoted at departmental or institutional level…There were some attempts to manage teaching and research workloads in departments, partly to allow more time for research. Some strategies may be having the unintended consequence of driving research and teaching apart for some staff. (J.M Consulting, 2000 :36)

18 The Elephant in the Room ;RAE /REF Despite the evidence of a synergistic relationship between teaching and research, we make no recommendation about this: it would be wrong to allow teaching issues to influence the allocation of funds for research. HEFCE, (2000) 00/37Review of Research, para 175, 26.

19 Acting on the Research Evidence The aim is to increase the circumstances in which teaching and research have occasion to meet…. Increase the skills of staff to teach emphasizing the construction of knowledge by students rather than the imparting of knowledge by instructors...... Ensure that students experience the process of artistic and scientific productivity." (Hattie and Marsh, 1996,emphasis added) Teaching and research are correlated when they are co –related. One way to achieve this is to exploit further the link between teaching and research in the design of courses. (Brew and Boud,1995,261,272, emphasis added)

20 Ron Barnett and Knowledge complexity Barnett (2000, p.163) has argued that universities need to be reformulated to help society deal with supercomplexity. In this context, he argues that teaching and research are activities (that) are separate and distinct and are not to confused. However, research is a strong condition for teaching: being engaged in research of a frame-developing kind and projecting that research to wide publics is a strong - although not exactly necessary and certainly not sufficient - condition of teaching that is aimed at bringing about supercomplexity in the minds of students… Institutions, but also their students, have a right to expect that their lecturers are engaged in research …but the issue is whether lecturers adopt teaching approaches that are likely to foster student experiences that mirror the lecturers experiences as researchers. (emphasis added)

21 My Perspectives Student understanding of the complexity of knowledge lies at the centre of higher education. (Ron Barnett) From the level of the academic, the student … and the institution there are tensions between teaching and research The phrase the teaching research nexus is perhaps best avoided? We need to maximise the (potential) synergies and minimise the conflicts This requires actions at a variety of levels The link at undergraduate level is both most problematic and most important ? There are important disciplinary / professional and institutional variations in teaching /research / professional knowledge relations Practices and policies can be adapted to different disciplinary institutional and national contexts

22 A Language to Help Us Examine What We Do- see handout p 8 Learning about others research Learning to do research – research methods Learning in research mode – enquiry based Pedagogic research – enquiring and reflecting on learning

23 Research-tutored Engaging in research discussions Research-based Undertaking research and inquiry Research-led Learning about current research in the discipline Research-oriented Developing research skills and techniques STUDENT-FOCUSED STUDENTS AS PARTICIPANTS EMPHASIS ON RESEARCH CONTENT EMPHASIS ON RESEARCH PROCESSES AND PROBLEMS TEACHER-FOCUSED STUDENTS AS AUDIENCE

24 Tasks :Using that typology/language Consider the case study of geography at University College London, page 15 ; and /or mechanical engineering Imperial pp 25-6 Dont get lost in is this good or bad practice ? Lets see it as interesting practice A :Using the language of the handout page 8 ; what forms of teaching /research links do you see there ? Relatedly are students here experienced research informed or research active curricula B :What strategies /tactics /procedures has the department done to seek to bring teaching and research together through this initiative?

25 Task : Course Design-see Annex 1 p 43 Group Reflection Use the typology to examine your current practice – as an individual or member of a course team What do you consider you are already doing effectively? What might you strengthen or develop? Reporter to state – ONE thing worth saying to everybody here that comes out of this task is...

26 Moving to a research active curriculum … universities should treat learning as not yet wholly solved problems and hence always in research mode(Humboldt, 1810, quoted by Elton, 2005, 110) The United States undergraduate research movement…started by providing research opportunities for selected students in selected institutions. This book argues that such curricular experience should and can be mainstreamed for all or many students through a research active curriculum. The authors argue that this can be achieved through structured interventions at course team, departmental, institutional and national levels. Healey M and Jenkins A: Developing Undergraduate Research and Inquiry. (UK) HE Academy, 2009)

27 Task :Case Study : Handout pp 10-22 Task : In your groups consider ONE of these case studies Discuss what conclusions draw from this case study as to whether and how all students should experience a research active curriculum p10 University College science undergraduates build on research of previous students p10 Inquiry Based Learning – or Scale Up – in Introductory Science Classes intro classes P12 Reinvented Enquiry Labs in Year One Chemistry at Warwick University P12 Chemistry Concentrated Study Project at the University of St Andrews P13 Undergraduate Research Elective in Medicine: Queens University P13 Inquiry-based learning introductory course for social sciences McMaster University, P13 Psychology Students Research Students Quality of Life at York St John University P14 Tourism students virtual conference at University of Lincoln P15 Community sports development consultancy project at University of Central Lancashire P19 First year English students in the international research community at University of Gloucestershire, P20 History students contribute research findings to a Web site at Victoria University P22 At Cornell University, USA, all first year biologists have research experiences

28 A Conclusion from you A Round One thing I am going to do in my own practice is … One thing I am going to propose to my subject group is … One thing we should do at Department /Institutional level is …

29 A conclusion from me Students understanding the complexity of knowledge lies at the centre of what makes HIGHER education distinctive (Ron Barnett) That requires purposeful action at a variety of levels Both ones own teaching and to an extent at course team and departmental level one does have some levers for action Institutional and departmental structures, policies and cultures are very important Focussing on a research active curriculum moves the focus to the student and then potentially values all staff … Sane institutional and departmental promotion policies would help Sane national research policies would help –including learning from the US National Science Foundations requirements re research dissemination and undergraduate student involvement in research projects

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31 Some Web Resources Jenkins A (2003 ) Designing a Curriculum that values a research-based approach to student learning http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources.asp?id=163&process=full_record§ion=generic Jenkins A,Healey M and Zetter R (2007) Linking Research and Teaching in Disciplines and Departments http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/research/LinkingTeachingAndResearch_April07.pdf Jenkins A (2004) A Guide to the Research Evidence on Teaching Research Relations, York, Higher Education Academy http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources.asp?process=full_record§ion=generic&id=383 Jenkins A and Healey M (2005 ) Institutional Strategies to Link Teaching and Research. York.Higher Education Academy http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources.asp?process=full_record§ion=generic&id=585 http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources.asp?process=full_record§ion=generic&id=585 Healey M and Jenkins A Developing Undergraduate Research and Inquiry York.Higher Education Academy http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/resources/publications/DevelopingUndergraduate_Final.pdf Healey M and Jenkins A Web Sources on Linking Teaching and Research http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/research/teaching http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/research/teaching Adapting US Undergraduate Research to..other national contexts http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/sociology/research/cetl/ugresearch/ http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/sociology/research/cetl/ugresearch/ QAA Scotland http://www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/themes/ResearchTeaching/


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