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Action research in the context of uk psf


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Presentation given to HEA Network Group 25/1/18

Published in: Education
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Action research in the context of uk psf

  1. 1. Action research in Higher Education Dr. Lydia Arnold Harper Adams University @HarperEdDev
  2. 2. • Why action research • Where it fits in a ‘system’ of development • Examples • Benefits and prospects • Problems ... and solutions
  3. 3. Projects include: Understanding learning spaces (where do students learn) Understanding prior study experiences Virtual field trips Flipped classroom Developing interactive teaching methods Librarians working with staff to promote reading 3D health and safety Improving consistency of marking judgments within a team Clickers for student engagement
  4. 4. Benefits • Self development • Transforming practice (note taking example) • Impacting policy and culture (e.g. belonging, mobiles) • Networks and relationships (acculturation) • Empathy for supervising students • “it gives us a language for talking about pedagogy” • Personal transformation • Feeds the system of enhancement
  5. 5. For my interviews I deliberately chose two academics who I had hardly spoken to previously and, as with all my interactions on the project, this proved fruitful in developing my relationship with them and raising my professional identity. I hope to build on this both informally by visiting the staff common room more frequently and formally by requesting occasional slots at departmental meetings.
  6. 6. The whole action research process has provided me with the opportunity to work and think like a student, exploring the three-way transaction between the student, teacher and the material being studied (Entwistle, 2015); something I have not done for many years. This is hugely beneficial as it gives me another perspective as a teaching practitioner; an insight into how it feels to undertake research, and to cope with the uncertainties and ‘mess’ that results.
  7. 7. Whilst conducting my action research project, I have realised how important it is that I consider the evidence and literature behind my teaching practices, and that I do not just follow certain teaching practices because it is what other colleagues in my department do. It has enabled me to develop more of a questioning mind-set.
  8. 8. • Opportunity to develop all of the dimensions of practice (K, A, V) • Learning to be scholarly (V3) • A chance to support and mentor or others D3vii • Opportunities to gain student feedback and respond (K5) • Disrupting and working for those not heard (V1, V2)
  9. 9. Problems • Reflection not action research • Methodology is so unfamiliar …. The move from ‘prove’ to ‘understand’ ‘appreciate’ and ‘explore’ • Time frame and ethics • Repetition and over surveying • Moving beyond reflection • Building confidence to publish
  10. 10. Solutions • Negotiation of topics • Incentives • Unobtrusive methods (walks, bars and coffee) • Self help • Just in time methods support (customized) • Forums to share (long game of disruption) • Create publication and sharing opportunities • Paradigm shift - simplifying the unnecessarily abstract reading around action research ....