22 SES 02 A, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
Since the end of the 19th century, teaching and research have gone hand in hand at Europe’s traditional universities (Ruegg, 2004). Over the last years, also institutes for higher professional education (HEP) have increasingly begun to conduct research all throughout Europe (Lepori & Kyvik, 2010; Vos, Borghof & Staa, 2007), hence transforming from teaching-only institutions into institutions that generate new knowledge through research (Kyvik & Skodvin, 2003). As an effect research criteria of lecturers play a increasing role in teaching education to students as well as collectively shaping research programmes, similar to the traditional universities (Skoie, 2000).
As an effect, both types of institutes increasingly state to be of a different character than the other; the traditional universities emphasize to educate ‘professional scholars’ with competences on fundamental research, while the higher professional educationstates to educate ‘scholarly professionals’ with practice-based research skills (De Weert and Leijnse, 2010; Griffioen, 2011; Van der Rijst & Visser-Wijnveen, 2011). These stated differences also imply to result in a different opinion on what ‘good research’ consists of. Hence, the central question in this study is: what are lecturers’ conceptions of ‘good research’? And what are the differences between the lecturers of traditional universities and lecturers of higher professional education?
Lecturers’ perceptions on the demarking of ‘good research’ from ‘not good research’ are of influence on how students are trained and judged when it comes to research-related tasks. These perceptions are also expected to influence the content and form of educational programs and therefore influence the relation between lecturers and students (Visser-Wijnveen, Van Driel, Van der Rijst, Verloop, & Visser, 2009). At the same time is the connection between conceptions and behaviour complex and inconclusive (Visser-Wijnveen, 2009).
Most previous studies on how academics consider research had a focus on conceptions of research, disregarding judgments on quality (e.g. Brew, 2001, 2003; Levy & Petrulis, 2012; Visser-Wijnveen, et al., 2009). Futhermore, of the studies on conceptions of research, most considered the creation of a list of objective criteria to rank research, disregarding the different perspectives academics apply. Of the studies that does consider academics’ differences in conceptions of ‘good research’, Hemlin (1991) and Kiley & Mullins (2005) both found four themes that researchers take into account when judging research: 1) the set-up of the research, 2) the research problem or topic, 3) the relevance of the study, and 4) the study’s results. Additionally, Kiley and Mullins (2005) found that 5) the way the results are communicated influences the opinions of researchers. Albert, Laberge & McGuire (2012) confirmed that the medium of communication matters, since their results show that researchers – regardless of their discipline - evaluate scientific articles higher, especially when these are published in peer-reviewed journals.
Hence, based on previous research five themes are relevant for academics in traditional universities to demark ‘good’ from ‘not good’ research. The present study will add to this body of knowledge by investigating the conception of ‘good research’ of lecturers in both types of higher education.
Albert, M., Laberge, S., & McGuire, W. (2012). Criteria for assessing quality in academic research: the views of biomedical scientists, clinical scientists and social scientists. Higher Education, 64(5), 661-676. Brew, A. (2001). Conceptions of Research: A Phenomenographic Study. Studies in Higher Education, 26, 271-285. Brew, A. (2003). Teaching and Research: New Relationships and their Implications for Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Higher education Research & Development, 22(1), 3-18. Kiley, M., & Mullins, G. (2005). Supervisors' Conceptions of Research. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 49(3), 245-262. Kyvik, S., & Skodvin, O.-J. (2003). Research in Non-university Higher Education Sector - Tensions and Dilemmas. Higher Education, 45, 203-222. Lepori, B., & Kyvik, S. (2010). The Research Mission of Universities of Applied Sciences and the Future Configuration of Higher Education Systems in Europe. Higher Education Policy, 23, 295-316. Levy, P., & Petrulis, R. (2012). How do first-year university students experience inquiry and research, and what are the implications for the practice of inquiry-based learning. Studies in Higher Education, 37(1), 85-101. Van der Rijst, R. M., & Visser-Wijnveen, G. J. (2011). Undergraduate Research and Inquiry in the Netherlands. Council for Undergraduate Research Quarterly, 32(2), 32-36. Visser-Wijnveen, G. J., Van Driel, J. H., Van der Rijst, R. M., Visser, A., & Verloop, N. (2012). Relating academics’ ways of integrating research and teaching to their students’ perceptions. Studies in Higher Education, 37(2), 219–234.
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