Notes from Gregynog HEA Research-Teaching Nexus Action Set Workshop (Sept 2009)


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Notes and media guide by Charles Buckely (Bangor University) and Simon Haslett (University of Wales, Newport) of the Higher Education Academy All Wales Research-Teaching Nexus Action Set Workshop held at Gregynog Hall, 1-2 September 2009.

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Notes from Gregynog HEA Research-Teaching Nexus Action Set Workshop (Sept 2009)

  1. 1. Welsh Institutional Group (WIG) Research-Teaching Nexus Action Set All Wales Research-Teaching Nexus Action Set Workshop STRATEGIES FOR STRENGTHENING TEACHING AND RESEARCH LINKS IN WALES Gregynog Hall, near Newton, 1-2 September 2009 Notes and media guide by Charles Buckley (Bangor University) and Simon Haslett (University of Wales, Newport). Resources indicated are available through the Action Set Blog at http://nexus- WORKSHOP PROGRAMME Day 1 – STRATEGIES FOR LINKING DISCIPLINE BASED RESEARCH AND TEACHING, INCLUDING ENGAGING STUDENTS IN RESEARCH PowerPoint: Video: 10-30 Coffee 11-00-11.10 Introduction; Simon Haslett – Purpose and Structure of the event 11-10-12-30 Interactive Presentation: Healey and Jenkins – Issues in linking teaching and research: consideration of discipline and departmental case studies. Alan Jenkins: brief overview of the main issues Mick Healey Ref: Hattie and Marsh Highlights potential ways research and teaching might link Presents two axes diagram which has been updated (4 ways of linking) This model can be used as an audit tool • Exercise in pairs: chose a case study from Jenkins et al (2007) from a discipline unfamiliar to you and share with a colleague. Some key issues emerging: 1. Link should start early with year one 2. Encourage the use of EBL and PBL with students at all levels 3. We recognize that there are disciplinary differences and institutional issues 4. Recognize that is something we need to try and inculcate across the institution and there might be barriers we need to break down 1
  2. 2. 5. Definition of research is important (see Chapter 2 ‘Developing undergraduate research and inquiry’) 6. Who manages this: Departmental strategies: see Jenkins et al. (2007) ‘Department Strategies starting on page 62 • Exercise in pairs: Choose a department strategy and share this Some key issues emerging: 1. Undergraduate journals: good idea but why do many of them die: Issues of selectivity, is it just for some students. How important is diffusion of the research process? 2. We are doing a lot of these things already but do we make them public? 12-30 -1-30 Lunch PowerPoint: Video: • 1-30 - 2-30 ‘Exercise in pairs: Swap shop’ of interesting practices from Wales • Newport: Trip to India for fieldwork available to students • Swansea: Have specific Learning and Teaching Academy where staff present on their teaching held twice a term • University of Glam: Highlight PBL but problems with staff and students in nursing identifying with themselves as researchers. Some key issues emerging: 1. We need to recognize interdisciplinary differences but, at the same time, there are things which are transferable and things we can learn from each other. 2. How are we going to tell people about these ideas. Events very often tend to be dominated by the same group of people. 3. Perhaps we could collate the ideas from this event and put these into a publication. It is important to share these ideas. 2-30 -3-30 Healey and Jenkins; Institutional strategies to embed undergraduate research and inquiry Exercise: Position yourself in the room on an imaginary continuum: where would place yourself when considering the following statement: Undergraduate research should be for ALL students. Discussion from delegates as to why they positioned themselves at certain points on the continuum. Discussion about the nature of research: What is undergraduate research? Provides some definitions on slides, also different dimensions e.g. Beckham and Hesel (2009). Also makes reference to Chap. 2 of Jenkins and Healey book: Developing Undergraduate Research. Exercise: In 3’s look at pages 80-81 Developing undergraduate research: choose an institutional strategy, discuss and decide whether it might work in our institution. 2
  3. 3. Univ of Glam: Strategy 8 Provide opportunities for selected students: For our nurses there are few students who would engage so at least this is a step forward. For some students, this might be what they want. This at least gives them the opportunity. Who does the selecting. Preference is that students should be able to select themselves (with approval and guidance of staff). Some key issues emerging: 1. Issues relating to employability might work as it is relevant to the institution: Mick Healey: Yes the more synergies you can achieve with institutional policies the better. 2. Economic tensions, research often given more credibility than teaching. 3. If we want to influence institutional policy we need to be constructive in view of systemic barriers which exist in many institutions. Mick Healey: Yes we tend to be good as academics at being critical and negative: We need, in this case, to try and flag up the positives that these initiatives might bring. This might be financial benefits for the university. 3-30- 4.15 Tea and Cakes: Walk around the grounds with 2-3 other people discussing what initiatives they might now progress in their institutions Video: 4.15-5-45 Developing a strategy for your institution including Individual and small group work and plenary poster session of outline ideas Video: Repeat this inside with a different colleague, A speaks, B, listens and feeds back on your ideas With colleague (s) from your institution, use flip chart to map out your ideas as to what you want to implement at your institution, present on flipchart. Colleagues move round room to look at these posters and discuss with authors. Swansea: Appreciative inquiry into RLPD Land T: To appraise critically local experiences, policy imperatives and consequences of actions taken at Swansea e.g. RLPD policy. Bangor: L and teaching conference to promote links across depts, Academy of teaching fellows, external speakers, research open days. Cardiff: Research stories and linking with other agendas. Univ of Glam: Research from day 1: Using research inquiry from the start of their course. Swansea Met: Online PDP guidance on incorporating research Newport: Implementation and integration of T and L and R and E strategies. Glyndwr: Implementation of PGCertHE : re-write Trinity: Developing a meaningful research strategy 3
  4. 4. OU Wales: sharing good practice using associate lecturers already involved in research in this area 5-45 -6-15 How might such institutional initiatives be best supported in Wales? A preliminary discussion Video: Alan Jenkins: Look at what QAA Scotland have done: 7-30 Dinner Day 2 – STRATEGIES TO SUPPORT PEDAGOGIC RESEARCH AND THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING AND LEARNING PowerPoint: Video: 9.00 - 9.45 Nature of PedR and SoTL Exercise: Position yourself in the room on an imaginary continuum: where would place yourself when considering the following statement: To raise an institution’s reputation staff should be involved in pedagogic research: Strongly agree/strongly disagree: Most at end strongly agree: Next statement: Does your institution recognize and reward involvement in pedagogic research: Now much more diverse representation along the continuum. Read handout: Strategies for developing and supporting pedagogic research…Choose a case study which you think might work in your institution: Issues arising: Case study 8: PVC’s like this idea as it has performance indicators Case Study 7: Roger Brown Advanced scholarship Alan Jenkins: Definitions: Research and scholarship Research: RAE: new knowledge, Boyer’s four scholarships, PBRF NZ definition Boyer: Scholarship Reconsidered: Classic work, we need to value all 4 forms, there is not a hierarchy. Discussion emerges about how much practical relevance research should have. Alan Jenkins: highlights how increased attention given to knowledge transfer. There are tensions in education about the nature of research some who say it must have a practical use, others who say it must have a high level of conception, Paul Ramsden tends to take a narrow high-level view. HEA view of evidence-informed scholarship. Keith Trigwell: Important thing is how much it is made public. Mick: Evaluating PedR and SoTL Glassick et al. (1997). Need to use same criteria to evaluate and judge various forms of scholarship and research. 4
  5. 5. Problem of isolation of pedagogic research: we need to value disciplines but offer support for pedagogic research. To raise the profile of PedR we need to scrutinize it in the same way that we assess our subject-based research. 9.45 - 10-40 Swap shop of interesting practice in Wales Colleagues discuss examples of practice from their institution. Appreciative inquiry: re-focusing to emphasize the positive Newport: Learning and teaching grants, encouraging cross-disciplinary research 10.40 - 11.00 Coffee 11.00 – 12.15 Developing a PedR/SoTL strategy for your institution and plenary poster session of outline idea Video: Centre for Pedagogic Research: Collaboration between institutions Using the word research as the draw and common theme which might draw in people from different disciplines WERN (Welsh Educ. Research Network) for support. 12.15-12.50 Taking forward this agenda in Wales: Suggestions to and from Simon. Video: With colleagues from your institution devise a poster of action for when you return. Brief overview of ideas from posters. Newport: to build and enhance current PedR practices and SoTL OU Wales provide more opportunities AL’s to showcase their work; strengthen links other regions/nations Trinity: need institution to set up a structure to enable debate and strategic direction to be set. Univ adit Lampeter: inhouse journal.; mentor, buddie system, staff development (post PGCertHE) Glyndwr: FHEA module scholarship; introd to teaching and learning half days damage limitation for new staff Swansea met: to foreground Pedr and SoTL at management level Glamorgan: PedR action research sets Bangor: announce achievements, encourage staff apply nat recognition, enhance intranet. Lobbying or NTF Wales. CPD Framework where PEDR has clear role. Cardiff: support for learning and teaching research network (SLATRN?) 5
  6. 6. Swansea: Use of pedagogic research in-house; request abstracts for excellence in Learning and Teaching conference; online PedR resources; encourage external speakers, publicize PedR funds; change school structure 12.50-13.00 Evaluation of event Blog set up will receive e mail to write on the blog. Please write a reflection on the blog for others to see rather than the traditional evaluation forms. Alternatively, send Simon an email. Structure around a min of 3 questions: 1) what was the best thing about the workshop, 2) one thing that you will take back to your institution, and 3) what could have been done to make this a better workshop (this might help inform future events). Please send Simon an electronic copy of the pre-task i.e. what is going on in your institution. For colleagues here, by the end of the month please, this gives delegates time to liaise with colleagues, end of November for colleagues who are not here today. Please email them to Simon. 13.00 Lunch and then depart except for members of Wales Action Group 6