Research Informed Teaching: Taking Students on a Personal Journey of Learning and Assessment
Authors: Polkinghorne, M. and Lamont, M.
Research Informed Teaching supports the development of students into autonomous independent learners, capable of using and undertaking research, by employing a combination of research-led, research-oriented, research-based and research-tutored teaching techniques (Healey 2005).
As part of the Level 5 Business Simulation Unit in the Faculty of Management, an innovative form of problem based assessment has been created in which learning is structured around an ambiguous and complex problem. Tutors become facilitators, supporting and guiding students in their attempt to solve this real-world problem.
Working in groups within a simulated environment, students develop a funding application to be submitted to a fictitious government. The students take a personal journey of learning in which they have to first understand the company, the sector in which it operates, the drivers and barriers that it faces, and the products/services that it currently delivers.
The students then need to undertake their own research to develop novel project ideas using creative-thinking and innovation techniques. They work together to develop the details of their proposal, thinking about markets, competition, advertising, human resources requirements, funding needs, project planning, risk mitigation and value for money.
Based on the Jenkins et al (2007) model of Research Informed Teaching, tutors on the unit bring professional practice experience developing research funding applications which ensures that the teaching is Research-Led, linking the students to external tools, techniques and data sources from which they can develop their ideas and be Research-Orientated, ensuring the students can see the wider context in which their university education is placed facilitates them being Research-Tutored, and supporting the development of their own research ideas ensures they are Research-Based.
Healey, M., 2005. Linking research and teaching: Disciplinary spaces, in: R. Barnett (Ed.) Reshaping the university: new relationships between research, scholarship and teaching, 30-42. Maidenhead: Milton Keynes, UK: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press.
Jenkins, A., Healey, M. and Zetter, R., 2007. Linking teaching and research in disciplines and departments. York, UK: The Higher Education Academy (HEA).