Working in academia we often feel the pressure to publish. If you speak to most academics about presenting and publishing research they will start talking to you about their subject research. How many of us are publishing or presenting our pedagogic research and how many institutions are encouraging us to do this?
Although a number of institutions have made moves to create greater parity between teaching-focused and research-focused staff, both the support and the need to publish differs considerably between these two groups of staff. Part of the issue comes from many institutions choosing not to submit research in HE pedagogy into the REF. This is a topic that has come under the spotlight recently with a paper published earlier this year by Anne Tierney, which follows up an early publication by Cotton et al. (2017) both of which look at the barriers to inclusion of learning and teaching research in the REF.
One of the areas highlighted in these papers is that for some disciplines, lecturers have no experience of qualitative research or the type of research design needed for education research and therefore do not feel comfortable publishing. This was my own experience, coming from a molecular biology background when I ran very controlled experiments that produced numeric data. My initial pedagogic research was very much about providing evidence to support my own practice and I have found the challenge to be confident enough to publish as a personal barrier to sharing this research with a wider audience.
On the other side of this I have often been a consumer of pedagogic research. Either through reflecting on my own practice or helping encouraging others to reflect, finding evidence from the literature to support and help understand what I am doing has been invaluable. Equally at times I have found it frustrating that I have not been able research on some of the topics I have searched for, sometimes knowing that others have done work in the area.
In this tweetchat we will explore ideas around benefits of presenting and publishing pedagogic research, barriers to achieving and hopefully the more prolific publishers amongst us can provide some insights into overcoming these.
Cotton, D. R. E., Miller, W. & Kneale, P. (2018) The Cinderella of academia: Is higher education pedagogic research undervalued in UK research assessment?, Studies in Higher Education, 43:9,1625-1636, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2016.1276549
Tierney, A. (2019) The scholarship of teaching and learning and pedagogic research within the disciplines: should it be included in the research excellence framework?, Studies in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2019.1574732
Isobel is currently Academic Lead: Active and Inclusive Learning at Anglia Ruskin University. During several years spent as a lecturer and course leader she developed a strong interest in using technology to support students creating their own learning. Having worked in both medical and veterinary education she is an advocate of evidence-based practice and brings this ethos to her own teaching practice.