Sustaining research-informed teaching:
institutional and individual approaches.
Professor Simon Haslett
Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor
Collective Address presented 4th April 2014
Higher Education Academy Awards Day
Open University, Cardiff
The R-T Nexus Action Set
• Higher Education Academy Welsh
Institutional Group set up the Research-
Teaching (R-T) Nexus Action Set.
• Representatives from Welsh HEIs at
• To celebrate/promote all R-T links.
• Action Set Activity:
– Newport Meeting (February 2009)
– Gregynog Conference (Sept 2009)
– Swansea Meeting (March 2010)
– Publication of book (June 2010)
– Undergraduate Research Workshop,
Carmarthen (Sept 2010)
– R-T Practice workshop, Aberystwyth (Feb
– 2nd Gregynog Conference (Sept 2011)
– 3rd Gregynog Conference (Sept 2013)
Action Set Blog
Demystifying R-T Links
• Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (SoLT)
• Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
• Pedagogic Research (PedR)
• Research-informed Teaching (RiT)
• Research-Teaching Nexus (R-T Nexus)
• Undergraduate Research
• Research-Teaching Complex (R-T Complex)
SoLT and PedR
Scholarship is keeping up-to-date through, including,
academic reading, attending workshops and
conferences, training, and perhaps dissemination
(writing, speaking, training, mentoring).
• individually-focused scholarship for personal use;
• internally-focused scholarship for ‘local’ (e.g.
departmental, institutional, community) use;
• research for external dissemination at conferences
and in publications (i.e. pedagogic research).
(from Haslett, 2009, based on Ashwin and Trigwell, 2004; RAE, 2005)
“Systematic inquiry into the L & T process” (Jenkins et al., 2007)
My view is
From Haslett (2009) Newport CELT Journal, Vol. 2.
The Research-Teaching Complex
Engaging in research
Learning about current
research in the discipline
and inquiry skills and
STUDENTS ARE PARTICIPANTS
FREQUENTLY ARE AN
Source: modified from M. Healey & A. Jenkins
(2009) Developing students as researchers. In:
S. K. Haslett & H. Rowlands (eds) Linking
research and teaching in Higher Education.
University of Wales, Newport, pp. 7-11.
Stuart Hampton-Reeves and I hatched the
idea over breakfast in January 2010.
Coordinated by a Steering Group.
• 2011 University of Central Lancashire
(170 student delegates)
• 2012 Warwick University (250 students)
• 2013 University of Plymouth (15-16 April)
• 2014 University of Nottingham (14-15
• 2015 University of Winchester
Why, what and how?
• Why do/would you do it?
– Strategic e.g. research-informed teaching
– Contractual e.g. teaching-led research
– Personal professional updating/reflection and career
– Disseminate examples of practice
• What do/would you research?
– Generic issues e.g. student engagement
– Case studies e.g. examples of teaching
• How do/would you do it?
– Individually or collaboratively?
– Funding for research and publication e.g. grants?
– Output types e.g. books, articles, conferences?
– Time and space to undertake research and writing?
Institutional Case Study
University of Wales, Newport
• Learning and Teaching Strategy 2007-2010
• “To establish a University-wide research cluster to
lead development in pedagogy”.
• Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
• Develop a sustainable culture in SoLT and PedR.
• Main function of CELT to assist staff in:
– Promoting scholarship of learning and teaching;
– Devising pedagogic research projects;
– Presenting papers at conferences; and
– Writing and disseminating published outcomes.
Promoting SoLT and PedR
• Encourage staff to become active members of L&T
communities of practice.
• Participate in internal L&T activities/schemes.
• Apply for Fellowship of the Higher Education
Academy (map against UK Professional Standards)
• Membership of the Society for Research into Higher
Education (SRHE): Annual Conference at Newport
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and again in 2014?
• Membership of the International Society for the
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSoTL).
• Owned by the Welsh HE sector, planned and directed by
the Future Directions Steering Group which is
coordinated by the HEA
• encompasses the quality enhancement work being
carried out in the Welsh HE sector
• aims to enhance specific areas of the student learning
• encourages academic and support staff and students
collectively to share current good practice
• generates ideas and models for innovation in learning
• Inaugural Conference at Glyndwr University, 2012
• Second Conference at Aberystwyth University, 2014
• Current enhancement theme Global Graduates:
Enabling Flexible Learning
• Three new work strands: (1) Distinctive Graduates, (2)
Inspiring Teaching, (3) Learner Journeys
Newport NEXUS Conferences
Annual Learning and Teaching Conference
June 2009 and 2010
Varied Conference Symposia
• Undergraduate Research
• Research-informed Teaching
• Community Education
• International Scholarship
• Linking Teaching and KT
• Professional Development
• Student Engagement
• Technology Enhanced Learning
• Hazard and Geoscience Research
Delegates used #nexus2010 when tweeting
Published its own journal:
• Teaching Practice
• Learning Insights
• Development and
• Pedagogic Research
• Framework Issues
CELT Writing Retreat
The Academic Writing Process
– Inventing and research
– Peer review process
– Proof stage and publication
CELT Research Programmes
• Technology Enhanced
• Education for Sustainable
Development and Global
• Flexible Learning in
Employer and Community
Coordinators PhD Students
Pedagogic Research ‘Expeditions’
(ExPedR) Legs 1 and 2
• Leg 1 Australia 2009
• Leg 2 Canada 2010
• 10 ‘expedition’ members
• Attend HERDSA 2009
• Attend STLHE 2010
• Visit other HEIs
• Disseminate best practice
• Develop research links.
Blog - http://expedr2010.blogspot.com
YouTube – NewportCELT Channel
Developing International Networks
PGCert Developing Professional Practice in HE
• 60 M-Level credits
• HEA accredited
• One year, part-time
• Distance learning online
• Covered not only
teaching but research
• Assessment: teaching
portfolio and action
• Developed into an MA
An Individual Approach
an example from my own curriculum
• Bath Spa University Geography
Department, set up in 1968-69.
• 1994 started as Lecturer in Physical
Geography: teaching and research.
• Inherited courses, but adapted them and
developed new courses.
• Major contribution to biannual field course
to Brittany, France.
• Culture of SoLT and PedR.
• Virtual fieldwork.
Google Earth Research
• Geographers are quick
• GE launched June 2005
• Developed innovative
• Linked to climate
• Undertook research
• Published results
Google Earth Research
• 2012. Google Earth and sustainable
development education in human and
physical geography. Planet (HEA-GEES),
• 2011. Climate change education
through a blended learning Google
Earth exercise. In: Haslett, S. K., France,
D. & Gedye, S. (eds) Pedagogy of
Climate Change. Higher Education
Academy, York 112-127.
• 2010. Climate change and sustainable
development education through the
lens of Google Earth. Teaching Earth
Sciences, 35 (1), 20-23.
• 2009. Prior use of Google Earth by
undergraduate Geography students.
Planet (HEA-GEES), No. 22, 43-47.
Pedagogy of Climate Change
• Topic broadened
• Community developed
• Higher Education Research
Group Pedagogy of Climate
Change Session at the Royal
Annual Conference (2008)
• C-Change in GEES Event in
• Papers published by HEA-
Summary – Sustaining RiT
• Research-informed teaching =
curriculum + pedagogy
– Discipline-based research
– SoLT and PedR
• Promote and embed at
• Develop departmental and
• Be innovative, try new things
• Involve others and join or
• Disseminate and publish
For further information:
• Join the HEA R-T Nexus Blog http://nexus-wales.blogspot.ac.uk
• Linking research and teaching in Wales (2010) S. K. Haslett (ed.)
• Future Directions http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/wales/future-
• British Conference for Undergraduate Research (BCUR)
• The Student Researcher http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/library/the-
• Strengthen Research-Teaching Links in your institutional