A pilot program to build research competence in teaching and learning in academics

Vaille Dawson, Marianne McLaughlin, Katherine Carson, Marjan Zadnik


As universities moves towards becoming more research intensive while maintaining high standards in teaching and learning it is expected that all academic staff will engage in scholarship of teaching and learning. One aspect of scholarship is research in teaching and learning. Although academics may want to conduct educational research they do not necessarily have the research background to do so. Educational research has its own particular research paradigms, methodologies, data sources and methods of analysis, some of which may be unfamiliar to those from STEM disciplines. In 2011, a curriculum resource and professional learning program was developed to enable academics to engage in educational research in tertiary settings. The curriculum resource includes modules on educational research paradigms, research methodologies, data sources, ethics, data analysis, writing and publishing. In 2012, the program is being piloted with 26 academics. The program has been challenging as academics struggle to understand research methods they are not familiar with and find time within their busy academic lives. Nonetheless, the participants are enthusiastic and most are making steady progress in their research. This presentation will focus on preliminary findings of the experiences of the participants.

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