22 SES 11 A, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
In higher education there is a call to strengthen the role of research in the undergraduate experience (Boyer Commission, 1998; Brew, 2006; Trowler & Wareham, 2008). The ideal of von Humboldt of higher education as a place where research and teaching are united, by means of the common pursuit of knowledge by the teacher and the student (Simons & Elen, 2007) echoes in higher education research and policy (Brew, 2006). The Boyer commission (1998) reproached American research universities to inadequately prepare undergraduates for the challenges of professional life or further study and proposed to stimulate student learning through inquiry and research opportunities. European policy makers consider the connection between teaching and research a defining characteristic of European higher education, and state that students need to gain research experience and develop research-related skills (EUA, 2007).
Central to these recommendations is the idea that all students –whatever their career prospects- can benefit from research integration (Levy & Petrulis, 2012). Research integration would not only be beneficial for learning specific research skills but also for acquiring competences that transcend research, such as the development of critical thinking (CT) (Lopatto, 2009). CT is the kind of purposeful, reasoned and goal-directed thinking that one needs in order to solve problems, make decisions, formulate inferences and calculate likelihoods (Halpern 1998, 1999). CT is reasonable and reflective thinking that is focused on the decision what to believe or what to do (Facione, 1990). Several studies found a –be it limited- growth in CT during higher education, mainly during the first year (e.g., Arum and Roksa, 2011; Astin; 1993; Bers, McGowan and Rubin, 1996; Giancarlo and Facione, 2001; Hagedorn et al., 1999; Saucier, 1995).
While studies indicate that students are brought in contact with research during their studies (Levy and Petrulis 2012; Neumann 1992; Sin 2012; van der Rijst and Jacobi 2010; Visser-Wijnveen et al. 2012), the effect of research integration practices, on student learning is under-investigated. Studies on the effect on student learning are mainly confined to active research participation (e.g., Lopatto, 2009; Rauckhorst et al, 2001). These studies indeed show that students who are actively involved in authentic research projects show development in CT. It is unclear if this applies to other approaches of research integration too .
The underlying study investigates research integration practices, it explores how students are brought in contact with research throughout the first year of the undergraduate curriculum and how students develop in CT during that period. The study first compares three programmes on their research integration practices. Then, growth in CT is investigated. Next, differences in the development of CT between the programmes are identified and if any links with research integration practices are explored.
Arum, R. & Roksa, J. (2011). Academically adrift: limited learning on college campuses. Chicago: The Arum, R. & Roksa, J. (2011). Academically adrift: limited learning on college campuses. Chicago: The university of Chicago Press. Boyer Commission (1998). Reinventing undergraduate education: A blueprint for America's research universities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Brew, A. (2006). Research and teaching: Beyond the divide. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Ennis, R. H., Millman, J., & Tomko, T. N. (1985). Cornell critical thinking test (3rd ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Midwest Publications. Facione, P. (1990). Critical thinking: A statement of expert consensus of purposes of educational assessment and instruction. Millbrae: California Academic Press Halpern, D. F. (1998). Teaching critical thinking for transfer across domains. American Psychologist, 53, 449-455. Halpern, D. F. (2007). Halpern critical thinking assessment using everyday situations: Background and scoring standards. Claremont, CA: Claremont McKenna College. 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, 85-101. Lopatto, D. (2009). Science in solution: The impactof undergraduate research on student learning. Tucson Arizona: Research corporation for science advancement. Neumann, R. (1992). Perceptions of the teaching-research nexus: A framework for analysis. Higher Education, 23, 159-171. Simons, M. & Elen, J. (2007). The 'research-teaching nexus' and 'education through research': an exploration of ambivalences. Studies in Higher Education, 32, 617-631. Sin, C. (2012). Researching research in master's degrees in Europe. European Educational Research Journal, 11, 290-301. Trowler, P. & Wareham, T. (2008). Tribes, territories, research and teaching. Enhancing the teaching-research nexus. York: The higher education Academy. Visser-Wijnveen, G. J., van Driel, J. H., van der Rijst, R., Visser, A., & Verloop, N. (2012). Relating academics' ways of integrating research and teaching to their students' perceptions. Studies in Higher Education, 37, 219-234.
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