• A critical evaluation of recent progress in understanding the role of the research-teaching link in higher education

      Malcolm, Mary; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2014-03-01)
      Research into the relationship between research and teaching in higher education has flourished over several decades, and the most recent research phase has focused particularly on how the research-teaching nexus can enhance the quality and outcomes of the learning experience for both students and academics. On the basis of bibliographic review, this article concludes that progress in answering the fundamental questions posed by researchers in the early 1990s and earlier has been limited. Diverse practice has been categorised, shared and evaluated against broad criteria, while questions about the inherent nature and value of the nexus in higher education remain as yet unanswered within the research theme and within the broader consideration of higher education policy and practice. Recent research provides an enriched evidence base on which earlier questions of principle and policy might usefully be reconsidered.
    • The influence of sociocultural and structural contexts in academic change and development in higher education

      Englund, Claire; Olofsson, Anders D.; Price, Linda (Springer, 2018-03-10)
      Teaching quality improvements frequently focus upon the ‘development’ of individual academics in higher education. However, research also shows that the academics’ context has considerable influence upon their practices. This study examines the working environments of teachers on an online pharmacy programme, investigating contextual conditions that facilitate or impede academic change and development. Interview data and institutional policy documents are examined within a Cultural-Historical Activity Theory framework. Distinct differences in the teachers’ sociocultural context were identified as influencing change and development. Departmental teaching cultures and patterns of communication influenced practice both positively, by offering collegial support, and negatively by impeding change. The findings have significance for academic development strategies. They suggest that departmental-level support should include communicative pathways that promote reflection upon and development of conceptions of teaching and learning.
    • Networks of knowledge, students as producers, and politicised inquiry

      Carmichael, Patrick; Tracy, Frances; Dohn, Nina Bonderup; Jandrić, Petar; Ryberg,Thomas; de Laat, Maarten; University of Bedfordshire; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Southern Denmark; Zagreb University of Applied Sciences; et al. (Springer, 2020-03-22)
      This chapter explores the potential for the development of new learning opportunities in higher education, through students being conceptualised not as consumers, recipients or commodities, but rather as co-researchers and co-producers of knowledge. It discusses the implications of new forms of networked knowledge enabled by the emergence of semantic web and linked data technologies, and the reconceptualisation of the Internet as a ‘global data space’. These approaches have the potential to allow students to engage critically with existing data and data practices, generate new data and, perhaps more significantly, to participate in local or global knowledge networks. These activities involve not only the development of specific techno-literacies, but also broader critical digital literacies of which we offer examples and propose a number of dimensions. A critical digital literacies perspective, particularly when combined with the idea of students as co-researchers and co-producers, provides a basis for student to undertake critical and politicised inquiry as part of a broader reframing of the purposes of higher education.
    • On tacit knowledge for philosophy of education

      Belas, Oliver (Springer, 2017-11-17)
      This article offers a detailed reading Gascoigne and Thornton’s book Tacit Knowledge (2013), which aims to account for the tacitness of tacit knowledge (TK) while preserving its status as knowledge proper. I take issue with their characterization and rejection of the existential-phenomenological Background—which they presuppose even as they dismiss—and their claim that TK can be articulated “from within”—which betrays a residual Cartesianism, the result of their elision of conceptuality and propositionality. Knowledgeable acts instantiate capacities which we might know we have and of which we can be aware, but which are not propositionally structured at their “core”. Nevertheless, propositionality is necessary to what Robert Brandom calls, in Making It Explicit (1994) and Articulating Reasons (2000), “explicitation”, which notion also presupposes a tacit dimension, which is, simply, the embodied person (the knower), without which no conception of knowledge can get any purchase. On my view, there is no knowledgeable act that can be understood as such separately from the notion of skilled corporeal performance. The account I offer cannot make sense of so-called “knowledge-based” education, as opposed to systems and styles which supposedly privilege “contentless” skills over and above “knowledge”, because on the phenomenological and inferentialist lines I endorse, neither the concepts “knowledge” nor “skill” has any purchase or meaning without the other.
    • Refusal of work, liberation of time and the convivial university

      Carmichael, Patrick; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2019-04-29)
    • Sketch: teaching and learning inside the culture shoe box

      Wassif, Hoda; Zakher, Maged Sobhy Mokhtar; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2019-02-01)
      A culture shoe box filled with cultural objects is an inexpensive, hands-on educational resource introduced to facilitate workshops and enhance students’ learning experience especially in teaching culture, ethics and communication. The box can enhance students’ engagement through their sense of ownership especially if students themselves donate inexpensive items to the box, and it can also enhance group cohesion through the rich discussions and fun that such objects are likely to generate. For educators, this teaching tool adds an element of versatility and excitement through engagement and play, especially when teaching the same topics to different groups of learners. The reusability and renewability nature of the culture shoe box allows for an always-interesting feel of higher education classrooms.
    • Supporting sustainable policy and practices for online learning education

      Casanova, Diogo; Price, Linda; Avery, Barry (Springer, 2018-12-31)
      This chapter describes an approach to the adoption of online learning in Higher Education. It is particularly relevant for readers interested in Online and Distance Learning initiatives that enact an agenda of climate change education through being sustainable and future proof. We present a pathway for ensuring sustainable educational initiatives, drawing from research that identifies crucial factors in this endeavour. In particular, it addresses how the adoption of Online and Distance Learning can be used as a catalyst for changing the pedagogical paradigm of universities and how this change may impact on the development of new policies and guidelines. In this chapter we report on how policy, guidelines and professional development can be designed for sustainable and consistent learning design and teaching practices.
    • Transforming collaborative practices for curriculum and teaching innovations with the Sustainability Forum (University of Bedfordshire)

      Pritchard, Diana J.; Ashley, Tamara; Connolly, Helen; Worsfold, Nicholas T.; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2018-02-01)
      Evolving higher education policy, and the production of guidelines and frameworks by higher education authorities, aim to support universities embed education for sustainability and reflect recognition of the need to prepare graduates for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. Yet, advances have been limited. This chapter examines developments underway at the University of Bedfordshire, offering insights for ways forward which are distinct from prevailing institutional management processes. It presents the work of a community of practice, created by a group of academics from a spectrum of disciplines. Here, core players from this ‘Sustainability Forum’ describe their community, activities and synergies with the wider University. The authors highlight the learning opportunities they generated by their collective actions resulting in curriculum developments and enhancements. These served their own undergraduate and postgraduate students, other groups within the university community and beyond. As such the chapter serves as a case study of what can be achieved by an informal group of highly motivated academics in a new university. The authors conclude by considering the value of this model to other institutional contexts, especially in the context of the constraints imposed by expanding external performative initiatives and quality processes.
    • Using interactive virtual field guides and linked data in geoscience teaching and learning

      Stott, Tim; Litherland, Kate; Carmichael, Patrick; Nuttall, Anne-Marie; Liverpool John Moores University (Springer, 2017-09-19)
      This chapter draws on experiences of designing, developing, using and evaluating web-based Virtual Field Guides (VFGs) for teaching geosciences at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).  The chapter briefly reviews the previous use of VFGs to support students’ learning by fieldwork, highlighting some perceived benefits.  VFGs are considered to supplement real fieldwork, but not to become a substitute for it.  We then outline the design considerations, development and evaluation by LJMU students of two VFGs: (1) the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail in Yorkshire developed for Foundation degree students; (2) a Virtual Alps VFG developed for level 2 undergraduates. The design and development of these VFGs was undertaken using different approaches and the advantages and disadvantages of these different approaches are discussed.  The Ingleton Waterfalls VFG was developed by a team comprising two academics, one technician and two IT specialists.  Based on the experiences of developing the Ingleton Waterfalls VFG, the Virtual Alps VFG, on the other hand, was developed by two academics, with limited support/input from IT specialists. The technological background against which VFGs are used has changed rapidly and continues to do so, with 'Web 2.0' innovations, 'open data' initiatives, and interest in how 'user generated content' can be used to complement and extend existing databases and online collections.  These developments have changed not only the practice of geoscientists in general: they also offer new possibilities for VFGs and the role they play in teaching and learning. The chapter reviews some of these developments, in particular, the emergence of a 'linked web of data' for the geosciences, and concludes with a description and discussion of a pilot VFG which employs 'linked data' and 'semantic web' approaches to allow students to access diverse web based resources, to explore the relations between them, and to then draw on these in the course of more authentic assessment activities than has hitherto been the case.  The chapter concludes with a discussion of how the development of VFGs and their associated technologies might produce a shift in their use from being visual representation tools towards the use of them to develop skills necessary in practice, thus assimilating online tools into an expanding and evolving set of discourses and practices, rather than replacing or causing the loss of traditional disciplinary skills.