In today's higher education climate academic staff are encouraged to focus not only on the up-to-date content of their teaching, but also to identify the most effective ways to engage students in learning, often alongside other key transferrable skills. This had led to a growing requirement for staff to adopt a scholarly approach to learning and teaching practice, and to undertake scholarship of learning and teaching as part of ongoing professional development.
This text explores broad best practice approaches to undertaking enquiry into learning and teaching in higher education. It provides an introduction for staff who have been educated within a range of academic disciplines, often with high-level but very focused knowledge about, and understandings of, research processes to the potentially new world of educational enquiry. This is complemented by chapters exploring what educational enquiry means in the context of different academic disciplines, including physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, the life sciences, the arts, the humanities, the health professions, and law.
It also includes:
An overview of research methodology including data collection, literature reviews, good ethical practice, and research dissemination
Case studies of actual research projects to support understanding of how to carry out educational enquiry in practice.
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Dr Elizabeth Cleaver is Director of Learning Enhancement and Academic Practice at the University of Hull, UK where she leads work in the areas of teaching development, technology enhanced learning and quality enhancement. She returned to the HE sector in 2008 after six years as a senior researcher undertaking policy research and evaluation at the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). Her early academic career was in the discipline of sociology where she gained her PhD and taught and researched youth transitions to adulthood (early works are published under the name Kenyon). It was during this period that her interest in disciplinary approaches to teaching began. While studying for her Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning at the University of Portsmouth, UK, she became aware of the importance of teaching sociologically alongside thinking and researching sociologically. This has profoundly influenced her current work at the University of Hull where she is supporting academic teams to explore and develop their own disciplinary pedagogies. Professor Maxine Lintern is Associate Dean for Learning Teaching, Research and Scholarship for the Faculty of Health at Birmingham City University. She is the Director of Research and founder of the Centre for Health and Social Care Research. Her background is in biochemistry and neurophysiology and she has always been profoundly interested in the links and interfaces between research and teaching - hence her unusual portfolio of responsibility! The research strategy she has developed for the Faculty overtly links all research activity back into the development of innovative teaching environments and the curriculum leading to the generation of better health care professionals. Prior to her post at Birmingham City she was Director of Learning and Teaching at the University of Birmingham where she worked closely with staff from a wide range of subject areas as they undertook formal training in teaching as part of their PGCert. The challenge of helping them to see links back to their own research environment and how that could inspire educational development is one of drivers for producing this book. She was awarded a personal chair in Biomedical Science in 2011. Professor Mike McLinden is a programme tutor and Director of Education in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. He is Senior Academic Advisor to the University's Centre for Learning and Academic Development (CLAD) and has recently completed a secondment as 'Director of Educational Development' within the Centre. Prior to commencing his role at the University Mike was a teacher of children with special educational needs. Since 2001 he has been co-director of the Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) and until May 2012 was co-editor of the British Journal of Visual Impairment. Mike has wide experience of curriculum design, delivery and evaluation across different academic disciplines, and has a broad research interest in educational enhancement within Higher Education. His current research activities include developing and promoting 'research-informed' pedagogical practice within Higher Education with a particular focus on cultivating staff and student expectations. Mike was conferred the status of 'Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) in June 2013.
PART ONE: UNDERSTANDING EDUCATIONAL ENQUIRY What is educational enquiry and why is it important? - Elizabeth Cleaver, Maxine Lintern and Mike McLinden What do I need to know before I read educational literature? - Mike McLinden, Elizabeth Cleaver and Maxine Lintern How is educational literature evidenced and reviewed? - Mike McLinden, Elizabeth Cleaver and Maxine Lintern What about ethics and safety? - Elizabeth Cleaver, Maxine Lintern and Mike McLinden What kind of data should I collect and use? - Maxine Lintern, Mike McLinden and Elizabeth Cleaver What about dissemination? - Maxine Lintern, Mike McLinden and Elizabeth Cleaver PART TWO: ENQUIRY IN THE DISCIPLINES Enquiry into learning and teaching in the physical sciences - Helen King and Tina Overton Enquiry into learning and teaching in mathematics and engineering - Michael Grove and Joe Kyle Enquiry into learning and teaching in the life sciences - Helen Barefoot and Mark Russell Enquiry into learning and teaching in arts and creative practice - Susan Orr and Julian McDougall Enquiry into learning and teaching in the humanities - Rebecca O'Loughlin and Elaine Fulton Enquiry into learning and teaching in the health professions - Sharon Buckley and Patricia Fell Enquiry into learning and teaching in the professions: the case of law - Rob Clucas and Gerry Johnstone