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Strategies for Developing & Supporting Pedagogic Research & Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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Professors Alan Jenkins (Oxford Brookes University) and Mick Healey (University of Gloucestershire) present to the Higher Education Academy All Wales Research-Teaching Nexus Action Set Conference at Gregynog Hall, 1-2 September 2009. Conference convened by Professor Simon Haslett of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at the University of Wales, Newport.

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Strategies for Developing & Supporting Pedagogic Research & Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

  1. 1. ‘ The improvement of learning and teaching is dependent upon the development of scholarship and research in teaching’ (Prosser and Trigwell, 1999: 8) ‘ Higher education will benefit if those who teach enquire into the effects of their activities on their students’ learning’ (Ramsden, 1992: 5) Strategies for Developing & Supporting Pedagogic Research & Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  2. 2. Structure <ul><li>1 Identifying the issues </li></ul><ul><li>2 Case studies of some possible strategies </li></ul><ul><li>3 The nature of PedR & SoTL </li></ul><ul><li>4 Evaluating PedR & SoTL </li></ul><ul><li>5 Generic and discipline-based approaches </li></ul><ul><li>6 Raising the status of PedR & SoTL </li></ul><ul><li>7 A swapshop </li></ul><ul><li>8 Strategies to support PedR & SoTL </li></ul><ul><li>9 Conclusion </li></ul>
  4. 4. PedR & SoTL: Identifying the issues – collectively I want you to position yourself on a line according to the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements Talk to the person next to you about why you have positioned yourself where you have and as a consequence you may need to move
  5. 5. PedR & SoTL: Identifying the issues – collectively I believe that pedagogic research and SoTL should be a key component of the strategy of any HEI aspiring for an outstanding reputation for its teaching Strongly ------------------------------ Strongly agree disagree
  6. 6. PedR & SoTL: Identifying the issues – collectively My University strongly encourages, supports and rewards engagement in pedagogic research and scholarship of teaching and learning Strongly ------------------------------ Strongly agree disagree
  8. 8. PedR & SoTL: motivating staff ‘ One of the key ways in which to engage colleagues in their development as critical and reflective teachers, in a way that goes beyond the hints and tips they may need at the beginning of their teaching careers, is … to stimulate their intellectual curiosity. … The asking of questions is at the heart of intellectual curiosity and engaging staff in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).’ Breslow et al. (2004)
  9. 9. Exercise <ul><li>In pairs, each please scan a DIFFERENT case study 1-8 pp8-17 </li></ul><ul><li>Identify ONE idea from EACH case study you examine which you think may be applicable in your institution </li></ul>
  10. 10. PedR & SoTL: Providing a strategic framework Intrinsically motivating staff to engage in pedagogic research and scholarship is important, but is more likely to achieve results if the institutional strategy is aligned to encourage, support and reward this activity
  12. 12. What is research? <ul><li>Range of meanings (e.g. Brew, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>RAE 2008 UK definition - original investigation undertaken in order to gain knowledge and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>RAE 2006 Hong Kong definition – Boyer’s four scholarships </li></ul><ul><li>PBRF NZ definition </li></ul>
  13. 13. The scholarship of teaching and learning ‘ The time has come to move beyond the tired old teaching versus research debate and give the familiar and honorable term scholarship a broader and more capacious meaning, one that brings legitimacy to the full scope of academic work’ (Boyer, 1990, xii)
  14. 14. The four types of scholarship Scholarship of Discovery Scholarship of Integration Scholarship of Teaching Scholarship of Application
  15. 15. What is pedagogic research? <ul><li>UK RAE 2008 – research which enhances theoretical and/or conceptual understanding of … (processes, outcomes and contexts concerned with T&L in HE) </li></ul><ul><li>Definitions in UoA Education in UK RAE and in NZ PBRF Education Panel adopt a broader definition </li></ul>
  16. 16. What is pedagogic research & SoTL? <ul><li>The Higher Education Academy view of evidence-informed scholarship: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investigations and evaluations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Literature reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scholarship of teaching and learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys of academic staff and student experiences of teaching and learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prosser (2005, 8) </li></ul><ul><li>Alan usefully distinguishes between the scholarship OF and FOR teaching (p19) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Levels of pedagogic investigation
  18. 18. What is the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)? <ul><li>The scholarship of teaching involves three essential and integrated elements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>engagement with the scholarly contributions of others on teaching and learning; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reflection on one’s own teaching practice and the learning of students within the context of a particular discipline; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>communication and dissemination of aspects of practice and theoretical ideas about teaching and learning in general and teaching and learning within the discipline. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Martin et al., 1998 </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. What is the difference between PedR and PedD? <ul><li>“ There is considerable overlap between the activities and outputs” associated with PedR and PedD, but they have different emphases in ‘dimensions of enquiry’ (see Table 7.2) </li></ul><ul><li>D’Andrea and Gosling (2005, 157) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Evaluating PedR & SoTL <ul><li>Glassick et al. (1997) propose six criteria for assessing the four scholarships: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goals of the project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparation for scholar’s work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methods used to conduct work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence gathered to demonstrate impact of work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflection on work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication of results to others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can distinguish performance at threshold, advanced and exemplary levels </li></ul>
  24. 24. Generic and disciplinary approaches <ul><li>For many staff PedR & SoTL needs to be embedded in disciplines and departments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning goals vary between disciplines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The primary allegiance for most academic staff is to their subject or profession </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Others argue disciplinary allegiance is only one factor. With an increase in specialisation within disciplines and the growth of inter-disciplinarity, discipline boundaries are dissolving </li></ul>
  25. 25. Generic and disciplinary approaches <ul><li>But within an institution there is a danger of isolation of individual pedagogic researchers in different departments </li></ul><ul><li>Hence there is a need for strong central support to develop a pedagogic research and scholarship community of practice. Some universities have established Centres or Institutes </li></ul>
  27. 27. Raising the status of PedR & SoTL <ul><li>To be scholarly teachers, academics need to use the same kind of thought processes in their teaching that they apply to their research </li></ul><ul><li>(Elton, 1992) </li></ul>
  28. 28. Raising the status of PedR & SoTL <ul><li>If teaching is to be valued equally with research then, like research, teaching must open itself to the scrutiny of theoretical perspectives, methods, evidence and results (Martin, et al . 1999) </li></ul>
  29. 29. Raising the status of PedR & SoTL <ul><li>The most significant of the processes for enhancing quality is the reward for teaching excellence, for both individuals and departments (Gibbs, 1995) </li></ul><ul><li>There is “no substitute for action to promote good teachers if universities want their staff to accept that good teaching is properly recognised” (Ramsden & Martin, 1996) </li></ul>
  31. 31. PedR & SoTL swapshop <ul><li>Please sit at tables of three, preferably with people NOT in your institution </li></ul><ul><li>Aims </li></ul><ul><li>To share interesting practices and policies for supporting and developing PedR and SoTL in your institution </li></ul><ul><li>To discuss how the practices might be even better </li></ul><ul><li>To assess how the ideas can be celebrated, disseminated and developed </li></ul>
  32. 32. PedR & SoTL swapshop <ul><li>Organisation </li></ul><ul><li>09.55-10.25 Swapshop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You will each have 5 mins to summarise your interesting practice or policy in your institution to your two colleagues and 5 mins to answer their questions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>10.25-10.40 Plenary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Key lessons, publicising the practices, action planning, evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Please appoint a time keeper </li></ul>
  34. 34. Some strategies to support PedR & SoTL (p6) <ul><li>Integrate into institutional strategies and structures </li></ul><ul><li>Provide opportunities and expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Develop learning communities </li></ul><ul><li>Build capacity of staff </li></ul><ul><li>Promote PedR degrees </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate quality </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrate and reward achievements </li></ul><ul><li>Establish support structures </li></ul>
  35. 35. A strategy for your institution / role <ul><li>Either as individuals or as an institutional group </li></ul><ul><li>Outline on a poster(s), one or more strategies for progressing this agenda in your institution / role </li></ul><ul><li>Your poster should include among other things – institution, title, aims, target audience, implementation strategy, timescale, performance indicators, your concerns </li></ul><ul><li>You have … minutes </li></ul>
  36. 36. A strategy for your institution / role <ul><li>Please tour the room and look at the other posters </li></ul><ul><li>Identify at least ONE idea which you think with adjustment could be developed in your institution. Go and discuss the idea with the author. </li></ul><ul><li>We reconvene at: </li></ul>
  38. 38. Conclusion: the vision <ul><li>Pedagogic research & SoTL should: </li></ul><ul><li>Be a key component of the strategy of any HEI aspiring for an outstanding reputation for their teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Underpin curriculum decisions and developments in teaching, learning and assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Be encouraged and supported by the HEI, who should expect their academic staff to engage in ‘critical reflective inquiry’ into their teaching and learning, although only relatively few may engage in ‘high-level’ (REF-able) pedagogic research </li></ul><ul><li>Be rewarded on an equal basis with other forms of research and scholarship and academic activities </li></ul>
  39. 39. Strategies for Developing and Supporting Pedagogic Research & SoTL THE END Thank You