What Does the Future of Research-Led Teaching Look Like?
How do you inspire second year undergraduates to develop an interest in research methods, concepts and ideologies? This presentation shares my journey to take on the challenge of rising to the University’s ambitions to be an innovator in research-led teaching. My aim in this presentation is to share my learning from a Research / Teaching Nexus Symposium in June 2018 here at Swansea University, which led to the development of a research-led teaching approach and framework for the teaching of public relations research and practice to second year undergraduate students. The main objectives of the session are to impart the lessons I learned from over the past year about how to engage undergraduates in research and I also hope to inspire other Swansea University lecturers to take up the research-led teaching challenge.
To ensure that I embedded my approach in existing pedagogical scholarship, I used Healy, Jenkins & Lea’s (2014) framework for research-led pedagogy, which we used as a structure for idea development at the Research/Teaching Symposium. Taking its four segments: Research-tutored, Research-based, Research-led and Research-orientated, I attempted to completely reconstruct my second year PR Theory module in terms of the assessment content and also the teaching approach. Whilst achieving good student feedback, mainly buoyed on by my own enthusiasm for PR, the module was flagging in terms of both lecture and seminar attendance. I wanted to realty inspire the students to engage with research theory and methods, and I also wanted to stretch them intellectually beyond the traditional essay-writing with which they were comfortable.
The presentation will share how I have dealt with the challenges of taking students out of their comfort zone to become active producers of knowledge, as well as learners. An Interactive section in the presentation will kinetically demonstrate to attendees how I used break-out group working and individual exercises to teach specific research methods and research thinking to support the introduction of completely new research-based assessments.
The impact on students has so far been pleasing, resulting in a far better attendance at seminars and lectures for the 2018/19 academic year compared to the previous year. I will demonstrate how I used a presentation from industry to show how research links to everyday public relations practice and how I also linked with the College of Arts & Humanities dissertation symposium to show students how this module would connect to their future academic research career in their third year. Students have anecdotally discussed how they feel better prepared for third year dissertations and specific comparisons will be made between 2017/18 module feedback and module results with 2018/19 data. The outcomes of the presentation session will be the ability of attendees to replicate the approach used for this research-led teaching across a range of traditional and non-traditional academic subjects across the University.
The session will introduce the context behind my focus on research-led teaching and will then explain pedagogical research-led teaching frameworks and how I applied them for the teaching of second year public relations students. An Interactive section in the middle of the presentation will kinetically demonstrate how I used break-out group working and individual exercises to teach specific research methods and research thinking to support the introduction of completely new research-based assessments. At the end of the session I will share examples of student work and assessments, as well as explaining how I linked to industry and university events to enable students to see the real-world context of PR theory and research.
The outcomes of the presentation session will be the ability of attendees to replicate the approach used for this research-led teaching across a range of traditional and non-traditional academic subjects across the University.
Attendees will also be provided with specific examples of research-based assessments and exercises.
research-led, pedagogy, assessments