Research teaching linkages sector wide project
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Research-Teaching Linkages: sector-wide project. Ray Land and George Gordon, University of Strathclyde, . Linking research and teaching .

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Research teaching linkages sector wide project

Research-Teaching Linkages:sector-wide project

Ray Land and George Gordon, University of Strathclyde,


Linking research and teaching

Linking research and teaching

“We are all researchers now … Teaching and research are becoming ever more intimately related … In a ‘knowledge society’ all students – certainly all graduates – have to be researchers. Not only are they engaged in the production of knowledge; they must also be educated to cope with the risks and uncertainties generated by the advance of science”

(Scott 2002, 13)

Supercomplexity (Barnett) Risk (Beck) Acceleration (Virilio)


Commission of european communities 2002 p 40

Commission of European Communities, 2002 p.40

When taking a close look at the type of core competencies that appear central to employability (critical thinking, analysing, arguing, independent working, learning to learn, problem-solving, decision-making, planning, co-ordinating and managing, co-operative working, etc.) it appears quite clearly that the old Humboldtian emphasis on the virtues of research-teaching cross-fertilisation remain surprisingly relevant in the current context.

It is very striking that the list of ‘employability’ competencies overlaps quite largely with the competencies involved in the exercise of the modern research activity.


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

Research could be a strong condition that is aimed at bringing about supercomplexity in the minds of students. (Barnett 1992 p.623)

the issue is whether lecturers adopt teaching approaches that are likely to foster student experiences that mirror the lecturer’s experiences of research (Barnett 2000 p.163)


Institutional conversations

Institutional conversations

  • Specialist seminars – Alan Jenkins, Mick Healey, Carolin Kreber, Simon Barrie, Brad Wuetherick, Jan Elen

  • Use of Institutional Framing Tool – in what ways is the HEI enabling the attainment of GAs through R-T Linkages ?

  • Many of the institutions surveyed in a state of transformation – merger, strategic review, restructuring curriculum, tackling retention, re-purposing of estate, space etc.

  • Drivers different in each.

  • But a timely juncture for all, potentially, actively to incorporate R-T Linkages (Berg & Östergren 1979)


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

STUDENT-FOCUSED

STUDENTS AS PARTICIPANTS

Research-tutored

Curriculum emphasises learning focused on students writing and discussing papers or essays

Research-based

Curriculum emphasises students undertaking inquiry-based learning or low key research

EMPHASIS ON RESEARCHPROCESSES AND PROBLEMS

EMPHASIS ON RESEARCH CONTENT

Research-led

Curriculum is structured around teaching subject content

Research-oriented

Curriculum emphasises teaching processes of knowledgeconstruction in the subject

TEACHER-FOCUSED

STUDENTS AS AUDIENCE

Curriculum design and the research-teaching nexus

(Healey 2005)


Napier awareness raising formal debate on r t linkages

Napier – awareness raisingformal debate on R-T Linkages

http://www.napier.ac.uk/ed/journal

This house believes the link between research and teaching should be an integral part of every Napier student’s experience

76 For, 5 Against, 1 Abstention


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

Napier R-T Case Study awards, £100 each

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences: Dr Jeni Harden Using research to teach qualitative research – taught to 2nd year students.

Napier University Business School: Dr Robert Raeside Consultation Skills – taught to honours-level and postgraduate study.

Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries: Dr Hazel Hall Honours students and the research literature: means of motivating engagement through the integration of private study, tutorial and assessment activities taught to 4th year students.


Abertay graduate attributes

Abertay – graduate attributes

  • Confident thinkers - comprehensive understanding of primary field and its boundaries

  • Determined creators - initiating and managing the creative process and new knowledge

  • Flexible collaborators - roles in a team, group dynamics and interdependence of ideas

  • Challenging complexity - working with ambiguity, uncertainty and error


Abertay cont d

Abertay cont’d

  • independent enquiry of contemporary issues through collaborative and multidisciplinary work

  • incorporation of employer perspective and requirements in all programme specifications

  • programme outcomes demonstrate how GAs support careers and professional development

  • 60% of student contact time in enquiry and project-based work

  • 30% shift from lecture-based to enquiry-based

  • New teaching and learning spaces to foster this


Heriot watt

Heriot-Watt

  • benchmark study was carried out into how other 1994 Group institutions articulated R-T Linkages

  • 1994-Group mission statements and L & T strategies scrutinised

  • media unit mobilised to make short video vignettes of good R-T Linkages practice at H-W

  • the RAY effect

  • longer semesters – with more time for material other than content to be covered


Heriot watt cont d

Heriot-Watt cont’d

  • each UG degree programme will culminate in a project. This will have a major impact on students

  • applied nature of H-W: consultancy and real-life projects being carried out by students at all levels, industry-student links, UG student publications.

  • the new lecturers’ course, PGCAP seen as pivotal in setting out the culture in which they work


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

1994 Group

HWU case studies

Senior manager meetings

External benchmarking

Internal benchmarking

REVIEW

‘What’s happening now?’

Individual champions

Course leaders

EVALUATE

‘What’s happened?’

PLAN

‘What could happen?’

University strategy development

IMPLEMENT

‘Let’s make this happen?’

Course development

Dissemination of findings and products of project

University strategic prioritisation

RTE QET


Dundee

Dundee

Four strands of activity identified to date:

• Communication, information and discussion eg Research-Teaching Linkages website

• Embedding within the discipline eg College of Life Sciences 2 schools

• Working with students

• Utilising existing activities to maximise engagement.

‘piggyback’ approach eg, current development of college L &T development plans; a professionalism and employability strategy and associated online toolkit to audit curricula; new network of HEA Subject Centre institutional contacts


Edinburgh

Edinburgh

  • each college L&T strategy incorporating R-T Links

  • review of course information held in university data systems to include review of course rationale, learning objectives and course content

  • electronic questionnaire for circulation to Students,

    Professoriate, Heads of Schools, Heads of Department, Directors of Research Centres, Programme Coordinators, Course Leaders

  • PGCert a potentially powerful tool


Paisley bell

Paisley / Bell

  • a review of the documentation produced in the current revalidation of all the University's programmes following the merger with Bell College.

  • 52 accreditation events lined up.

  • graduate attributes to be written into programme specifications


Open university

Open University

  • Ped-R project approach. Piloting methodology for supporting development of GAs by enhancing course presentation and design in Maths 1 & History 2

  • Running project in conjunction with OU SFC-funded Retention Strategy, since it represents a valid and innovatory approach to retention through appropriate course design and presentation.


Open university1

Open University

  • Tutors and course writers apply principles of troublesome knowledge and threshold concepts to the two courses. Asked to share experiences of course presentation and identify areas where students regularly have difficulty. Then asked to develop activities and interventions (EBL) to help students with the areas of course identified.

  • The pilot methodology and lessons learnt will be presented to Course Team academics in Maths and History at two seminars, one hosted by the Centre for Open Learning of Mathematics, Science, Computing and Technology (CETL), and one by History Faculty.


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

ECA

The new strategic plan has opened up interesting discussions and incorporates R-T Linkages. Within the College of Art the notion of practice has regained its emphasis. So there is now an integrated triangulated relationship as follows:

Practice Research Methods

Teaching


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

ECA

  • Practice is being reconfigured in terms of research methods (which was previously preparation for 4th level).

  • Students are being made aware of their own GA development (via learning outcomes).

  • Some students undertaking small-scale primary research (e.g. investigative work with hand-held cameras). Plans for a subject-specific conference organised on this theme.


Generally positive reception

Generally positive reception

  • “There was universal support for further development of R-T linkages across our portfolio of courses at degree and taught Masters levels, since this was seen as crucial to enabling our students to achieve the attributes SAC and employers think are important.”

  • “Overall RTL has been discussed at all levels within the university and good practice in this area has been identified. Linking teaching and research is seen as a ‘normal’ activity.” (Napier)

  • “At Heriot-Watt University the Research-Teaching Linkages project is progressing well. The project has been envisaged in four stages: review (what’s happening now?), plan (what could happen?), implement (let’s make this happen) and evaluate (what happened?). The QAA Enhancement Theme has facilitated the ‘review’ phase.”


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

1) Problem at sectoral level

  • The twentieth century saw the university change from a site in which teaching and research stood in a reasonably comfortable relationship with each other to one in which they became mutually antagonistic.

    • Ronald Barnett (2003 p.157)


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

2) Issues in disciplinary context :

different conceptions of research

  • Trading view (community of practice)

  • Domino view (techniques)

  • Layer view (discovery)

  • Journey view (ontology)

Source: Brew (2003 p.6)


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

Linking research and teaching: different conceptions of research

  • Trading view (community of practice)

  • Domino view (techniques)

  • Layer view (discovery)

  • Journey view (ontology)

  • Interpretive view (meaning making)

Source: Brew (2003 p.6)


Two clusters simons elen 2007 p 620

Interpretive conception of knowledge

Constructivist conception of education

Learning = knowledge construction

Education and research both involve learning as an essential process

Researcher = expert learner

Research = an exemplary learning process and is therefore useful for teaching.

Classic rationalist conception of knowledge

Research seen as application of technical rationality to lay bare, or solve problems.

Transmissive (didactic) view of education

Two clusters (Simons & Elen 2007 p.620)


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

Science context Science/Hum interface Humanities

Relation of research and teaching

Weak Hybrid Integrated

Cat A Cat B Cat C Cat D Cat E

Weak relation

Transmission

relation

Hybrid

relation

Symbiotic relation

Integrated

relation

(Robertson 2007 p.546)


Category a weak unrelated

Category A (weak / unrelated)

Teachers and researchers should be ‘on separate job tracks’…

‘most teaching at stage 1 and stage 2 done by people without PhDs who’d have a fairly large number of contact hours expected of them’…

discipline has been building on its developments since say, 2000 BC or soemthing like that…there’s a lot of intellectual baggage that you’ve got to acquire first before you can start thinking about making your own contribution to it.

For a teacher at stage 1 or 2 to have an immense grasp of a subject to its cutitng edge .. threatens to get the lecturer bogged down


Category b transmissive

Those people who are keen on their research , conduct good research, also make the best teachers. They’re fresh, enthusiastic …

It is the process of going over the fundamentals of a subject from the perspective of somebody who can see also see the frontiers of a subject

There’s a tremendous amount of factual information which needs to be absorbed before the process of tying it together and seeing the connections can occur

Category B (transmissive)


Category c hybrid

It’s quite possible to give students tastes of that [research/inquiry] …through fieldwork as they do in Geography 103, through role-play exercises involving planning problems..

We have students involved in inquiry mode and research experiences right from stage one .. We also structure those experiences and the contrast between them as they go through from year one, year two, year three and so on quite deliberately..

Category C (hybrid)


Category d symbiotic

Research needs teaching and teaching also needs research..

You’re trying to bring students into the process of how we acquire knowledge and what we do with it when we have it. So I guess for me it’s kind of making them part of that little scholarly community for the time that they’re here and the wider goal is that – so they’ll leave here with an inquiring mind.

That involves a lot of very close reading of text, and understanding the text in its context of the wider theories …

It’s a way of thinking and being and living …

Category D (symbiotic)


Category e inseparable

I don’t see it as two separate processes .. Well for me I can’t separate them out .. Because when I’m teaching ,I’m actively thinking about a certain kind of problem that’s in the text. I can read the same passage out five years running and I’ll guarantee I do not say the same thing about it each year. It’ll be different.

Those kind of – “this is teaching, this research and where those things delineate…” - that’s not kind of how we see it…it’s much more inter-related and interconnected

Category E (inseparable)


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

Students experience of learning in a research environment: Physics

Robertson and Blackler (2006)


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

Students experience of learning in a research environment: Geography

Robertson and Blackler (2006)


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

Students experience of learning in a research environment: English

Robertson and Blackler (2006)


Institutional implications

Institutional implications

  • Could some students graduate without experiencing the contestability of knowledge?

  • Separation of research and teaching could cause ontological issues for most academics, who prefer a mix

  • The disciplines manifest very different temporalities

  • What role should staff development play in this? A more discipline based approach?


Functional and idealist approaches

Functional and idealist approaches

“It is furthermore a peculiarity of the universities that they treat higher learning always in terms of not yet completely solved problems, remaining at all times in a research mode …

Schools, in contrast, treat only closed and settled bodies of knowledge. The relationship between teacher and learner is therefore completely different in higher learning from what it is in schools. ..”

Wilhelm von Humboldt 1810


What is distinctive about higher learning

What is distinctive about ‘higher’ learning?

“…At the higher level, the teacher is not there for the sake of the student, both have their justification in the service of scholarship.”

Wilhelm von Humboldt 1810


Idealistic humboldtian approach simons elen 2007

Idealistic (Humboldtian) approach. (Simons & Elen 2007)

  • Research a kind of general education.

  • Academic enquiry, morality (edification) and citizenship are linked.

  • University different from schools (social needs) as well as from research institutions (govt needs, commercial interests)

  • Education at the university solely guided by academic enquiry (one submits to the tribunal of reason, the spirit of truth, the force of the better argument.)

  • Not influenced by pedagogic expertise or didactics, or managerial or moral or economic imperatives.

  • State and society cannot ask for immediate returns.


Why haven t university communities engaged effectively around the gas agenda

Why haven’t university communities engaged effectively around the GAs agenda?

[Generic attributes initiatives in the UK] have had little impact so far in part because of teachers' scepticism of the message, the messenger and its vocabulary and in part because the skills demanded lack clarity, consistency and a recognisable theoretical base.

(Bennet et al 1999, p 90)


Generic attributes and disciplinary contexts

Generic attributes and disciplinary contexts

  • We have an overall strategic intention

  • But a very diversified outcome

  • In what ways can distinct disciplinary contexts enable the attainment of collective graduate attributes? (ie more than just rhetorically)

  • E pluribus unum?


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

  • What nested structures are available?

  • What ‘meaningful alignments’?

  • Could subject benchmarks

    play a more useful role?

  • Is the Bologna dimension (eg Diploma Supplement) of significance?


Research teaching linkages sector wide project

Linking research and teaching: Conclusions

  • Nature of the linkage between teaching and research is complex and contested

  • Adopting a broader definition of research than is currently common is a way forward which should benefit the learning of students in institutions with a range of different missions

  • Aligning disciplinary cultures with graduate attributes is a current political imperative


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