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Linking teaching and discipline based research in National, Institutional and Department strategies: International perspectives on Vietnam. Alan Jenkins Professor Emeritus , Oxford Brookes University (UK) HE Academy and QAA Scotland Consultant. Discuss one or more of these questions.

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Linking teaching and discipline based research in National, Institutional and Department strategies: International perspectives on Vietnam

Alan Jenkins

Professor Emeritus , Oxford Brookes University

(UK) HE Academy and QAA Scotland Consultant

discuss one or more of these questions
Discuss one or more of these questions
  • What makes higher education higher ?
  • In what ways is a university different from a high school ?
  • In what ways is a university different from a high school –from the perspective of undergraduates?
  • What makes your university/college different from other universities in Vietnam – from the perspective of undergraduates?
exploring your views
Exploring your views

This session is about linking teaching and research

What do you mean by ‘linking teaching and research’

and is it an important issue in Vietnam and or your institution – why or why not!?

Aims : …

Help clarify your views on teaching /discipline based research relations

Set out the international debate on teaching /discipline based research relations

Set out the research evidence

Give an over view of how various national systems handle this issue –and how some of them have sought to bring teaching and research together

Set out a range of strategies that institutions and departments can do to bring together teaching and research

Explore the relevance of this to Vietnam / your institution

about alan jenkins
About Alan Jenkins

UK born : 1959-62 Geography undergraduate at University College London, UK

1963-66 School teacher British Columbia Canada

Graduate School : 1966-69 University of Madison Wisconsin USA

Long taught human geography and contemporary China studies in higher education mainly in UK at Oxford Brookes .

Then moved into educational/faculty development

Now Professor ( Emeritus ) Oxford Brookes University (UK) and educational consultant

available from the he academy http www heacademy ac uk rtnexus htm
Available from the HE Academy
some international perspectives
Some international perspectives

The New Zealand Education Amendment Act (1990) defines a university as where “teaching and research are closely interdependent and most of their teaching is done by people who are active in advancing knowledge.”

“Why does every University…. have to be doing research, teaching and scholarship and struggling to do it in so many areas? Why can't we have Universities that make a conscious decision to specialise in outstanding teaching and scholarship but do very little research? Why can't we have formal affiliations, one specialising in teaching and another research, between our domestic Universities?” (Brendan Nelson, Minister for Education, Science and Training, Australia, April 2005)

“Our view is that university research often detracts from the quality of teaching. We regret the continuing elevation of research and the systematic neglect of the quality of instruction.” (Pocklington and Tupper 2002, 7 – about Canada)

what about research intensive universities one perspective
What about ‘Research Intensive’ Universities? One perspective

"..The research universities have often failed, and continue to fail their undergraduate populations, thousands of students graduate without seeing the world - famous professors or tasting genuine research." (U. S.) Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University (2003,3)

some difficult research evidence
Some ‘difficult’ 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)

Student indifference : Some research in professional disciplines including business and health ….have revealed that some /many students and staff /faculty don’t necessarily value a research focus

Research Active

(One UK study …) Increasing the number or proportions of research-active teaching staff in lower RAE-rated contexts

is unlikely to affect the quality of student learning. However, the results do suggest that more could be

done to help more students to experience the benefits of research-stimulated teaching environments,

not between different types of research context, but within each context” (Trigwell 2007) (emphasis added).

a vietnamese perspective
A Vietnamese perspective

“The picture of the nexus of teaching/learning and research at higher education systems in the developing countries in Asia and Pacific Region, due to their poor research capacity, is totally different than that of developed countries. So the focus in the developing world must be first to strengthen and revive university system’s research capacities…..

The Vietnamese Government in its “Five Year Socio-Economic Development Plan 2006-20010” specifies priority to higher education system. With the World Bank Loan higher education project, it is designed to strengthen teaching and research in Vietnamese universities by building research capacity, supporting integration between university teaching and research and facilitating and establish closer linkage between universities and the industries, national,regional and international cooperation in university teaching and research.” Phuong Nga Nguyen, 2007 (emphasis added)

acting on the research evidence
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 )

one uk government perspective
One UK Government perspective

“… we want all students to access the benefits exposure to teaching informed by research can bring…. …….We’re doing this because we believe an understanding of the research process – asking the right questions in the right way; conducting experiments; and collating and evaluating information – must be a key part of any undergraduate curriculum; whether or not those involved in delivering it are actively engaged in research activity themselves.” (Bill Rammell, Minister for Higher Education 2006, 3) ( emphasis added).

Linking research and teaching: why is it important?
  • For many it is what distinguishes higher education and or what distinguishes strong ‘research universities
  • In an age of ‘supercomplexity’ (Barnett 2000), and given the increased significance of the knowledge economy) ….all students – certainly all graduates – have to be researchers (Scott 2002, 13)
  • Can help academic staff manage what is often experienced as two different jobs –teaching and research
  • May help build the research capacities of academic staff
my perspectives
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

We need to maximise the (potential) synergies and minimise the conflicts

This requires actions at a variety of levels :In many institutions the department is the key level of analysis and action?

There will be significant variations by disciplines/departments in how they conceive and deliver the potential links between teaching and research

The link at undergraduate level is both most problematic and most important ?

Different ways of linking teaching and research
  • Learning about others’ research
  • Learning to do research – research methods
  • Learning in research mode – enquiry based
  • Pedagogic research – enquiring and reflecting on learning








The nature of undergraduate research and inquiry

Introducing students to staff research: department of mechanical engineering, Imperial College, London, UK

This activity was a feature of the first year course in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London in the l990s

In January of their first year mechanical engineering students were divided into 10-15 groups of 4-5 students

Each student group was given an engineering ‘artefact’ e.g. a safety razor; the bottom frame of a bicycle. In the next few weeks these student groups could knock on the doors of any of the department’s research groups and ask questions around the issue of ‘what research are you doing that might effect how this artefact will look like and function in c5 years time?’

Later all groups presented a poster which provided a summary of their findings

The poster session was held in large public space in the department with some 700 attending; academic staff, support staff, postgraduates and first year and other students

analysing a case study department of mechanical engineering imperial college
Analysing a case study: department of mechanical engineering, Imperial College

In groups

Consider the case study and discuss

A Using the concepts in the diagram what forms of teaching /research relations do you see there?

B From a head of department’s perspective what has had to be done to set up this project eg what have staff been told /encouraged to do ?

Some national strategies to bring teaching and research together – and perhaps relevant to institutions and departments

Research Councils – National Science Foundation (USA) grants requiring selective undergraduate ….student involvement

Auditing – New Zealand – all institutions were required to demonstrate …

Enhancing – Scottish Quality Assurance Agency – national funded project to support institutions and disciplines

Funding – England – Research Informed teaching fund and some ‘centres of excellence’ in selected institutions

Promoting and Publicising – UK Higher Education Academy –a range of publications , conferences and consultancies to institutions

Some institutional strategies to bring teaching and research together-note these could be done at departmental …level?

Developing institutional awareness and institutional mission ( eg Hampshire College, USA: Linking research and teaching is key element of the college’s mission(

Developing pedagogy and curricula to support the nexus

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program( –for selected students

Oxford Brookes University (UK): Building undergraduate research into the curriculum From 2007 all Schools / Departments required to develop a structured approach to developing all students as researchers in all course programmes

institutional strategies to link teaching and research
Institutional Strategies to Link Teaching and Research

Developing research policies and strategies to support the nexus

Developing staff and university structures to support the nexus –key issues are probably relationships between research and teaching policies and issues of promotion and reward

strategies for linking teaching and research within courses and programmes
Strategies for Linking Teaching and Research within Courses and Programmes

Strategy 1: Develop students’ understanding of the role of research in their discipline(s)

Strategy 2: Develop students’ abilities to carry out research

Strategy 3: Progressively develop students’ understanding

Strategy 4: Manage students’ experience of research including

Support students in making clear to them the employability elements of research

your conclusions are
Your conclusions are

What of this seems very relevant to your institution/your role at your institution?

What of this seems irrelevant / inappropriate ?

What –if anything –should now be done to progress this agenda at your institution?