David boud uu pedagogic research and writingPresentation Transcript
Getting started in pedagogical research and writing: beyond the first steps David Boud
Outlets for publication
Positioning one’s work
Is teaching and learning writing different?
Building capacity to write effectively
Commenting on drafts
Scholarship of teaching and learning
To be called scholarship
“ an activity has to manifest three essential features, it should: be public, subject to peer review and evaluation, and accessible for exchange and use by members of one’s disciplinary community”. Lee Shulman
1. First steps
Understanding and being thoughtful about student learning
It isn’t about teaching but the consequences for learning
Don’t expect anyone to be interested in what you are doing, if you are not interested in what they do
Know what is going on elsewhere, keep in touch
Become a connoisseur
Appreciating pedagogy requires knowing the concepts and the language and using it well
What am I doing?
Am I doing something interesting that is different from what others are doing elsewhere?
What is different about it?
How do I know that it is different?
How will I know if it is worthwhile?
What will others be interested in knowing about?
What might convince them of the worth of this practice?
What is the problematic?
What is the focus of your study?
What is your research question?
How can it be approached (methodology/methods, research design)?
What evidence can I assemble to illuminate it?
What kinds of analysis will I need to do?
What is enough?
2. Outlets for different purposes
Teaching and learning meetings and conferences
Internal and external: quick dissemination
Discipline education and general teaching and learning in higher education
Work won’t really be valued, except locally, until it appears in a journal or equivalent
3. Positioning one’s work
We can’t communicate with others without knowing what other work is going on
Researching the topic
Ephemeral and substantial sources
4. Is teaching and learning writing different?
It needs to exhibit all the qualities you would expect to see in any academic writing
Shows knowledge of literature and current ideas
Has interesting ideas/practices to communicate
Uses evidence well to make a compelling argument
Specifically, which outlet am I ultimately writing for (not just intermediate ones)?
Do I have an idea/form of practice that will interest others?
What will others need to know about it?
Do I know enough about what others are doing/thinking?
What evidence will they find compelling?
6. Building capacity to write effectively?
Read, read, read
Don’t expect others to read you if you don’t read them!
Write, write, write
Find out whether you need to change your normal disciplinary style
Use intermediate steps
Write with others
Show drafts to others
7. What do I need to know to be productive?
Identify early the outlet that I will ultimately end up writing for
Understand how it is positioned, what it publishes, what approaches it accepts
Identify literature in relation to which I am going to position my work
Conceptually and practically
Identify if I have enough evidence or if additional investigation/reading is needed
Find some good peers to comment on the writing
Commenting on drafts
Your expertise is as a reader—does the writing communicate to you and to those it is planned to influence?
You are not the writer, don’t tell them what to write
Share your personal responses in the role of the kind of reader it is aimed at
Listen carefully to the kind of comments they want at this particular stage
Commenting on drafts—checklist
What is the outlet for this? (specific journal—now and later?)
What stage of writing is this? (comment accordingly)
Is it positioned vis a vis other ideas/literature? Is this work adequately referenced?
What specifically is being argued? Is it completely clear to me?
What evidence is there to support the argument? Is it compelling?
Am I being persuaded by what I am reading?
What is missing that I might reasonably expect to see?
What would I expect to see in the next draft that is different from this?
Receiving comments on drafts
Listen carefully, don’t respond or defend
Make detailed notes or even record comments
If readers have picked up the wrong idea, don’t justify what you wrote, but work out why this interpretation could have been made—was there something in the paper that prompted it?
End by thanking the givers and briefly say how you are thinking of proceeding from here (saying you will scrap it is not an option!)
GENRES IN THE ASSESSMENT LITERATURE (from Hounsell)
Checklist on publishing a pedagogical research paper (1)
1. Should I try this out first in a conference, seminar or workshop? If so, where?
2. Have I read the literature relevant to this? Do I know where my contribution will fit? What other work am I building on?
3. Have I researched possible publication outlets (considered at least 3)? Does it best fit in the education literature of my discipline or related disciplines, or in the more general teaching and learning literature in higher education?
4. If I, or one of my colleagues in another university, encountered this paper what questions would I expect to have been answered? What does the reader need to know to make sense of what I have done?
5. Does the title make really clear what this is about? (quirky or obscure titles are to be avoided until you are famous!)
Checklist on publishing a pedagogical research paper (2)
6. Have I framed the problem being addressed (a) conceptually, (b) in terms of the literature and (c) the context in which I am operating?
7. Is it clear what the paper is trying to do and how it does it? Does it deliver what is promised in the introduction?
8. Who should I consult about (a) this kind of research, (b) the outlet in which I am seeking to publish, (c) getting feedback on a draft before submission?
9. Have I got enough evidence to support the argument I am making? If it is an innovation, have I tried it and have data about it from at least two cycles of students?
10.What should I be writing next? How will writing this best prepare me for the next step?
Producing the paper for a journal
Think about this before you write the very first version!
Stages of producing a paper
Don’t start writing yet!
Finding an audience
Joining the conversation
What is a paper?
Coping with editor’s responses
What comes first?
“ Joining the conversation”
Who do I want to speak to?
Who is available to be spoken to?
Finding an opening
If I don’t know the journal, why would it want to know me?
Where is my work positioned?
Where do I want it to be positioned?
What business (field) am I actually in?
What is a paper?
Not a conference presentation
Not a chapter in a book
Certainly not a book or a thesis!
A discrete communication located in a specific area which argues a case based on evidence
Playing with the genre is for experts
If it is written for this particular journal exactly what does it need to satisfy?
What would any reasonable reader of my paper in this journal expect of it?
Don’t forget the abstract (and make it an abstract!)