Practitioner Research in
Further Education
Creating a culture and building networks
Nigel Ecclesfield, Emma Procter-Legg a...
Research by FE practitioners in the UK
• Publication of research on FE in academic
journals is common in the period consid...
Publishing Statistics - 1
• Journal of Further and Higher Education
– Volumes 4-9 (1980 – 1985)
• 169 papers of which 89 F...
Publishing Statistics - 2
• Research in Post-Compulsory Education
– Volumes 1- 6 (1996 – 2001)
• 182 Papers of which 92 FE...
What are the issues facing
practitioner researchers in FE?
Quick case study:
How we got involved in research
Research in FE
National
funding
opportunities
FE college
/institution
In...
Here’s how research works in FE
Own
research
Outside
research
Time and
flexibility at
work
The
Individual
(s)
FE college
/institution
Institutional
culture
Flexibility and
spare staff to
cover research
time
Senior
management
support...
National
funding
opportunities
(FE)
Becta
LSIS
Jisc
FERL
EU
IfL
(Institute
for
Learning)
Niace?
ETF?
UFI
Key points
• FE colleges are not uniform
– HE in FE? A levels? Vocational?
• Research has to be useful to the institution
...
Jisc FE and Skills project: Webinar
employability skills for students
National
funding
opportunities
FE college
/instituti...
Case study part 2
• Learning from Research
• Prior experience – PGCE, EU Project
• Awareness of the bid/project/institutio...
Learning from Research
What did we learn? How would we do it again?
• Timing
• Structure
• Marketing
• Support
• Dissemina...
Conclusions
• Better funding
• Ring fenced time
• Flexibility
• Support from HE
Activity
Participants divide themselves into HE
and FE/ACL.
1. Do you work in FE and teach across
the curriculum? (Go to t...
In your groups;
• Consider the hurdles of doing research
relating to FE in FE ?
• What is interesting about FE that needs
...
Open Scholarship
• Work by Nigel and Fred Garnett on Open Scholarship
(2011)
– Builds on Boyer’s model of scholarship to;
...
Questions?
• Q&A chaired by Malcolm Ryan
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Research in Further Education - Presentation for ALT C 2013

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This session was run by Nigel Ecclesfield (Jisc FE and Skills Programme Manager), Emma Procter-Legg and Ellen Lessner (Abingdon and Witney College Jisc project: Students4WebES) (Students for Webinar Employment Skills). It was an overview and activity to focus on the need for more research to be done within the FE sector.

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  • 4 days week at collegeOwn research – MA/ PGCE JISC projects – Scoping Learner experience – found mostly individual class based research in 2005Outside research – Involved with JISC projects – learner experienceE-Learning Coordinator with a flexible timetable
  • College helpful and supportive of studying by staffSenior managers happy to be interviewed by staff/studentsE-Learning position always flexible because little student teaching.Institutional culture has always been receptive to staff networking in the region and nationally. Occasional research from outside has been welcome as well.
  • Becta – research of use of technology in FE/ Technology Exemplar NetworkFERL – Champs list (information sharing): Which networks give you the best information about research?LSIS – small amounts of money for research and action researchJisc – funding for FE if over 400 fte HE students until 2012EU – ask Emma!Institute for LearningConsistency for FE project funding?
  • We had some success with small projectsI had experience working for Jisc projects so understood the paperwork, belong to a raft of networksSupport from SMT with interest in project ideas, publicity, outcomes and fundingSupport from Jisc Regional Support Centre on bid writing
  • Prior Experience: DTTLS at AWC, PGCE – Action Research project, EU ProjectAwareness of the bid, end of the EU project fitted with the start of this project. Had worked for AWC before, flexibility on the project as my time commitment was just to the project – no other work at the college.Relevant skills, recently carried out research, enthusiasm, social media, report writing, presenting experience.
  • Timing Would have set it up as a longer project – 6 months was a very short amount of time to get everything up and running and completed.Timetabled slot for the project meetings suitable for all students.Possibly change the project start date (Oct) but there isn’t a good time to launch a project in FE – possibly summer but then you have no guarantee the students that sign up will return in September.Structure The project team worked well, but would try to get additional involvement from other staff members who were involved on a hoc basis. It was difficult to get both staff and students to see the personal benefits of being involved in a research project.MarketingTo recruit students to the project was very difficult, we spoke to approximately 400 students to recruit an initial group of 14. We would try and recruit earlier in the term, before the students have heard too many presentations – on the day we spoke to students they had already heard from a Charity group about volunteering holidays abroad.SupportSupport from Senior Management, JISC (funding and training) and HE (Oxford Brookes – Rhona) – really importantDisseminationTaken part in a number of dissemination events making the most of the opportunities to speak, the Project Blog created a lot of interest and a consistent approach to using social media to promote the activities of project worked well.
  • Research in Further Education - Presentation for ALT C 2013

    1. 1. Practitioner Research in Further Education Creating a culture and building networks Nigel Ecclesfield, Emma Procter-Legg and Ellen Lessner
    2. 2. Research by FE practitioners in the UK • Publication of research on FE in academic journals is common in the period considered (1985 – 2013) in 2 journals –The Journal of Further and Higher Education –Research in Post-Compulsory Education – Publication by FE practitioners is another matter!
    3. 3. Publishing Statistics - 1 • Journal of Further and Higher Education – Volumes 4-9 (1980 – 1985) • 169 papers of which 89 FE focused (53%) • 208 Authors of whom 48 had FE affiliations (23%) – Volumes 32-37 (2008 – 2013) • 203 papers of which 61 FE focused (30%) • 402 authors of whom 20 had FE affiliations (5%)
    4. 4. Publishing Statistics - 2 • Research in Post-Compulsory Education – Volumes 1- 6 (1996 – 2001) • 182 Papers of which 92 FE focused (51%) • 173 Authors of whom 16 had FE affiliations (9%) – Volumes 14-18 (2009-2013) • 136 papers of which 91 were FE focused (67%) • 250 Authors of whom 12 had FE affiliations (5%)
    5. 5. What are the issues facing practitioner researchers in FE?
    6. 6. Quick case study: How we got involved in research Research in FE National funding opportunities FE college /institution Individual (s)
    7. 7. Here’s how research works in FE Own research Outside research Time and flexibility at work The Individual (s)
    8. 8. FE college /institution Institutional culture Flexibility and spare staff to cover research time Senior management support Research in relation to: No research department or research positions
    9. 9. National funding opportunities (FE) Becta LSIS Jisc FERL EU IfL (Institute for Learning) Niace? ETF? UFI
    10. 10. Key points • FE colleges are not uniform – HE in FE? A levels? Vocational? • Research has to be useful to the institution • Help with writing bid, methodology and evaluation • Enough time and people to run project – not tack it onto existing timetables • Realistic outputs to encourage more research
    11. 11. Jisc FE and Skills project: Webinar employability skills for students National funding opportunities FE college /institution Individual (s) AbingdonandWitney College
    12. 12. Case study part 2 • Learning from Research • Prior experience – PGCE, EU Project • Awareness of the bid/project/institution • Relevant skills
    13. 13. Learning from Research What did we learn? How would we do it again? • Timing • Structure • Marketing • Support • Dissemination
    14. 14. Conclusions • Better funding • Ring fenced time • Flexibility • Support from HE
    15. 15. Activity Participants divide themselves into HE and FE/ACL. 1. Do you work in FE and teach across the curriculum? (Go to the left side of the room) 2. Do you teach in HE in FE and 50% of your teaching in HE? (Right side of the room)
    16. 16. In your groups; • Consider the hurdles of doing research relating to FE in FE ? • What is interesting about FE that needs researching whether you are in FE or HE? • If you are in HE how can you encourage and support your colleagues in FE? • Feedback from each group – use Textwall Is there one thing that you would like to be discussed at the ALT research committee and to be taken back to JISC?
    17. 17. Open Scholarship • Work by Nigel and Fred Garnett on Open Scholarship (2011) – Builds on Boyer’s model of scholarship to; – Promote collaborative and supportive networks of scholarship, research and mutual support that use the affordances of new technologies – Terry Anderson’s keynote to ALT-C in 2010 was the starting point – Identify “do-it-yourself” research opportunities – Re-consider learning and research across disciplinary and organisational boundaries e.g. Haythornthwaite’s network research and models (2010)
    18. 18. Questions? • Q&A chaired by Malcolm Ryan

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