ERG SES G 14, Research in Higher Education
The current higher education context could be characterized by academics’ efforts to lessen the tension that is sometimes generated between research and teaching and make use of the most valuable features of each. More than ever, the link between research and teaching is attracting significant international attention from both academics and policy makers. There is a growing body of research on the topic, mainly consisting of qualitative studies, which sets to examine various dilemmas, such as the need for lecturers to cultivate a commitment to both activities (Magi & Berkens, 2015), students’ awareness, experiences and perceptions of research integration in the courses and seminars taught at university (Healey, Jordan, Pell & Short, 2010), the connection between research integration and students’ learning process (Roberts, 2007), the relation between the participation in undergraduate research and grade point average (GPA) (Bennett & Bauer, 2003; Fechheimer et al., 2011; Haave & Audet, 2013), and disciplinary variation (Fuller, Brook, & Holt, 2010; Harding, 2002; Hughes, Brown, & Calvert, 2008).
The present paper focuses on student perceptions of research-teaching integration in the context of pedagogical sciences in the second year of undergraduate education. The study aims to understand the way students perceive research integration in their courses in the context of introducing a new assessment methodology which focuses on the integration of research elements. Also, does such an enquiry have a positive effect on the quality of education and research?
Our study was conducted in the undergraduate programme of the Pedagogy Department of the University of Bucharest, Romania. All second-year students are enrolled in the pedagogical programme in the academic year 2017–2018. The type of research was pre-experimental design with one group pre-test and post-test design that used 1 experimental class. The data analyzed consisted of the way students’ perceptions of research changed after the introduction of a new assessment methodology, which put emphasis on research integration. As a first step, we distributed the hardcopy questionnaires to all attending students in October 2017, during the first lecture on the Classroom Management course. The respondent group consisted of 65 second-year students. A vast majority of the respondents had started studying pedagogy as their first degree (n = 60). To study second-year student perceptions of research in teaching we administered the Student Perception of Research Integration Questionnaire (SPRIQ) (Visser-Wijnveen, van der Rijst, & van Driel, 2016). Its scales include student perceptions of teaching through (1) critical reflection on the way research results are produced; (2) research participation as a student; (3) familiarity with current research done by staff; (4) fostering interest and motivation for research and propositions to measure (5) student beliefs about the value of research for learning and (6) perceived quality of the learning environment. Since the SPRIQ has been validated for the sciences, humanities and medicine, we slightly adjusted items to fit the pedagogical context. All 30 items were answered on a 5-point Likert-scale from 1 to 5. Moreover, we elaborated an assessment methodology which focused mainly on the students’ reflections upon the advantages and disadvantages on research integration after getting familiarized with research findings and processes., and the proposal of a research idea based on some predetermined themes. For the second measurement, we distributed the same questionnaire at the end of the semester, in January 2018, after the evaluation period.
This study aims to understand how and if the students perceptions of research integration is influenced by the introduction of a new assessment methodology which emphasizes the understanding of what research is and how it is done. We expect students to perceive more benefits when research is integrated in teaching, be more motivated to pay attention to the way research is carried out, and to feel more involved in their department’s research culture. We expect that the findings will resonate with those of previous studies and provide information about students’ perceptions to teachers and program managers who aim to strengthen links between research, teaching, and student learning in educational practice. The results from this study will inform academics and educational policymakers who aim to strengthen linkages between research, teaching and student learning.
Fuller, I., Brook, M., & Holt, K. (2010). Linking teaching and research in undergraduate physical geography papers: The role of fieldwork. New Zealand Geographer, 66(3), 196-202. doi:10.1111/j.1745-7939.2010.01187.x Furtak, E. M., Seidel, T., Iverson, H., & Briggs, D. C. (2012). Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Studies of Inquiry-Based Science Teaching: A Meta-Analysis. Review of educational research, 82(3), 300-329. doi:10.3102/0034654312457206 Griffiths, R. (2004). Knowledge production and the research–teaching nexus: The case of the built environment disciplines. Studies in Higher Education, 29(6), 709-726. Harding, J. (2002). Talking about homelessness: a teaching and research initiative in East London. Teaching in Higher Education, 7(1), 81-95.. Hathaway, R. S., Nagda, B. A., & Gregerman, S. R. (2002). The relationship of undergraduate research participation to graduate and professional education pursuit: an empirical study. Journal of College Student Development, 43(5), 614-631. Hattie, J., & Marsh, H. W. (1996). The relationship between research and teaching: A meta-analysis. Review of educational research, 66(4), 507-542. Healey, M., Jordan, F., Pell, B. and Short, C. (2010) The research teaching nexus: A case study of students’ awareness, experiences and perceptions of research. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 47(2), 235-246. doi: 10.1080/14703291003718968 Haave, N., & Audet, D. (2013). 19. Evidence in Support of Removing Boundaries to Undergraduate Research Experiences. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 6. Hughes, M., Brown, K., & Calvert, J. (2008). Reinforcing the Links Between Teaching and Research: Evaluation of a Scheme to Employ Undergraduate Students as Laboratory Assistants. Bioscience Education(12). Magi, E. & Beerkens, M. (2016). Linking research and teaching: Are research-active staff members different teachers?. Higher Education, 72 (2), 241-258. doi: 10.1007/s10734-015-9951-1 Visser-Wijnveen, G., van der Rijst, R. M., & van Driel, J. H. (2016). A questionnaire to capture student perceptions of research integration in their courses. Higher Education, 71, 473–488. doi: 10.1007/s10734-015-9918-2
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