Is There A Connection Between Building Academics'
Research Capacity And Pedagogic Skills And Fostering
Information Literat...
Aim of research: to investigate in collaboration with staff at the University of
Botswana, the University of Zambia and Mz...
• Exploratory research with emphasis on the thoughts and
experiences of senior staff (academics, librarians, ICT and suppo...
Key findings included:
As in other countries, many students lack information literacy, critical
thinking and independent l...
AND YET Students involved with ‘real world’ research, or learning
encompassing competition, demonstrate the motivation, en...
In Malawi it was stated that ‘when people [lecturers] are more given to
research … they also develop skills they can impar...
• Motivated to develop research capabilities (including their information
literacy and critical thinking) => effective res...
ACADEMICS NEED AN INCENTIVE TO CHANGE
THEIR PRACTICE AND TAKE ON NEW SKILLS
TO ACHIEVE THIS THE ACADEMIC NEEDS TO DEVELOP THEIR
CAPABILITIES AND NEEDS COHESIVE, COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT
IN A NUMBER OF ...
Developing information literate, critical thinking, independent learners in
higher education: theory of change
Engage with...
Leading to:
• Academic staff become more effective role
models
• Academic staff better able to foster a
research ‘culture’...
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING.
ANY QUESTIONS?
Hepworth and Duvigneau- Is there a connection between building academics' research capacity and pedagogic skills and foste...
Hepworth and Duvigneau- Is there a connection between building academics' research capacity and pedagogic skills and foste...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Hepworth and Duvigneau- Is there a connection between building academics' research capacity and pedagogic skills and fostering information literate, critical thinking independent learners

299 views

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
299
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
5
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Hepworth and Duvigneau- Is there a connection between building academics' research capacity and pedagogic skills and fostering information literate, critical thinking independent learners

  1. 1. Is There A Connection Between Building Academics' Research Capacity And Pedagogic Skills And Fostering Information Literate, Critical Thinking Independent Learners? Dr Mark Hepworth Centre for Information Management, Loughborough University Siobhan Duvigneau British Library for Development Studies Institute of Development Studies
  2. 2. Aim of research: to investigate in collaboration with staff at the University of Botswana, the University of Zambia and Mzuzu University whether an institutional strategy could be developed that enabled the development of information literate, critical thinking independent learners. Objectives included: • identifying the current vision for developing students’ information and research capabilities; • determining the expected outcomes, indicators and impact; • identifying challenges, barriers and solutions. Key questions included: - Does the university see the need to develop the capacity of students (at all levels) to undertake independent study and if so, what is being done to achieve this? - Is it feasible to take a university wide approach? - How do current resources (technology, information resources and staff) either help or pose a challenge? Aims, objectives and research questions
  3. 3. • Exploratory research with emphasis on the thoughts and experiences of senior staff (academics, librarians, ICT and support staff). • Gathered via 28 interviews with staff in Zambia and Malawi and a two and a half day workshop in Botswana, involving 18 staff. The interviews and workshop were structured using the Outcome Mapping framework • Interviews were transcribed and along with material gathered in the workshop (flip charts and video), analysed thematically and clustered under: • the need for information literate, critical thinking independent learners; • current indicators of a lack of capabilities; • current institutional support and current initiatives; • challenges Methodology
  4. 4. Key findings included: As in other countries, many students lack information literacy, critical thinking and independent learning capabilities and were described as passive, ‘surface’ learners. To date, strategies to strengthen these skills have had limited success, despite examples of good practice. Challenges include: • High student to staff numbers; funding; limited ICT and out-dated and Northern-biased information resources • Pre university schooling of students • A lack of integration of information literacy, critical thinking and independent learning in the curriculum at an undergraduate and postgraduate level • Academic staff needing training in the use of alternative, more engaging, approaches to learning to build capabilities and to monitor and evaluate their impact • Limited research activities and publications, of which one consequence was a lack of local information resources • Academic staff needing training to build their capacity to undertake research and generate local content Key findings
  5. 5. AND YET Students involved with ‘real world’ research, or learning encompassing competition, demonstrate the motivation, enthusiasm and capacity for developing their information capabilities, and rigorously conducted independent research.. ‘mini research projects where they look for information to answer a question’ ‘real world problems’ so that they can ‘discover an idea of how to improve things … I don’t ask them to memorise’… where students took part in public competitions, such as a simulated court proceeding i.e. a ‘Moot Court’, or competed for prizes offered by commercial companies where staff involved students in research projects in the community, for example a village biogas project, where the students showed a high degree of motivation and were able to develop research skills and critical thinking and lecturers did find ways to foster independent learning
  6. 6. In Malawi it was stated that ‘when people [lecturers] are more given to research … they also develop skills they can impart to the student’ and active research provided the opportunity to ‘involve students in real world research problems’ where they actively seek information and: - help students realize the relevance of subject knowledge - fosters student motivation because they could see how they can have ‘an impact on society’. A number of staff were thought to lack information literacy that would enhance their research capacity. A lack of research and publications led to academic insecurity making it difficult to provide effective role models or involve students in research. Limited published work led to few resources that were relevant to the local context and that could be used in teaching. However: large student numbers and an inadequate number of lecturers led to a situation where ‘attending to these students, teaching and marking … you do not have any time for research’. The connection between research capability and teaching capability was made in all three institutions.
  7. 7. • Motivated to develop research capabilities (including their information literacy and critical thinking) => effective research. • Information literate, critical thinking and conscious of these capabilities => effective research/teacher • A fundamental understanding of research and the capabilities (knowledge, skills and attitudes) associated with being a ‘good’ researcher, including the ethics of research; aspects of intellectual property (IP); epistemology; methodology; data gathering and analysis, that could then be conveyed to the student => effective researcher/teacher. • A fundamental understanding of pedagogy and innovative methods to cope with barriers e.g. large student numbers => effective teacher/learner • Can build the capacity of students to be able to conduct research and, possibly, enable the academic to do their research => effective researcher/teacher The ideal academic (teacher/researcher)
  8. 8. ACADEMICS NEED AN INCENTIVE TO CHANGE THEIR PRACTICE AND TAKE ON NEW SKILLS
  9. 9. TO ACHIEVE THIS THE ACADEMIC NEEDS TO DEVELOP THEIR CAPABILITIES AND NEEDS COHESIVE, COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT IN A NUMBER OF AREAS (currently fragmented in the university support space or lacking)
  10. 10. Developing information literate, critical thinking, independent learners in higher education: theory of change Engage with stakeholders [government, employers, schools, community, students, teaching & research staff, staff support, ICT-support, i-support] - Clarify vision - Identify outcomes, indicators, progress markers (long/short) - Evaluate capabilities (info/ research / ICT / pedagogy capabilities) - Develop M&E framework - Develop strategyIdentify potential partners (government, employers, senior faculty and support staff) Project team outlines proposal Source funding Identify stakeholders • Curriculum Development • Develop interventions (to build research and information, pedagogic and ICT capabilities) • Identify links between learning and societal needs • Further develop M&E framework • Develop appropriate i- infrastructure • Develop appropriate ICT infrastructure • Develop capability building ‘tools’ • Capture process Implement interventions - Research capacity building - Teaching capacity building (Collaborative) Evaluation - On-going evaluation - Outcome harvesting - Monitoring indictors / outcomes (e.g. knowledge generation; innovative graduates; critical thinking; civic responsibility; future awareness; research culture; innovative pedagogy; appropriate learning environment) - Monitoring impact (e.g. production of knowledge; demand for research knowledge; reflective practitioner; evidence informed practice) Share / reflect Collaborate with stakeholders Project team agree high level vision and outline proposal Collaborate with stakeholders Collaborate with stakeholders Implement new teaching Collaborate with stakeholders
  11. 11. Leading to: • Academic staff become more effective role models • Academic staff better able to foster a research ‘culture’ and transfer appropriate attitudes and skills • Universities produce more researchers (information literate, critical thinking independent learners) needed in society IMPACT
  12. 12. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING. ANY QUESTIONS?

×