A presentation by Professor Simon Haslett, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales. The presentation is part of the HEA Research Seminar/Webinar Series, 11th June 2013, at The Higher Education Academy, York. This seminar examines the ways in which research and teaching may be linked in academic practice in Higher Education. It seeks to unravel the various linkages through scholarship, research (both subject-based and pedagogic) and curriculum. The presentation draws upon the presenters’ recent experience as a leader in learning and teaching in Wales, including the activity and contribution of the Research-Teaching Nexus Action Set, and the current challenges to forging and maintaining research-teaching links in Higher Education. He also provides examples of research-teaching links from his own professional practice.
The R-T Nexus Action Set
• Higher Education Academy Welsh
Institutional Group set up the
Research-Teaching (R-T) Nexus Action
Set in February 2009 at Newport.
• Representatives from Welsh HEIs at
• Gregynog Conference (Sept 2009)
• Swansea Meeting (March 2010)
• Publication of book (June 2010)
• Undergraduate Research Workshop,
Carmarthen (Sept 2010)
• R-T Practice workshop, Aberystwyth
• 2nd Gregynog Conference (Sept 2011)
Action Set Blog
Future shape of the HE sector in Wales?
Each "region [in Wales] should have research
intensive (in which we will increasingly focus our
QR funding in support of sustainable excellence
and relevance to Welsh Assembly Government
objectives) and strong community/widening
access focused provision“ (HEFCW, Dec 2010).
Does this vision imply that each region would
comprise one research intensive and one access
(teaching?) focused institution?
Exploring R-T Links
• Professional practice
– Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
– Pedagogic Research (PedR)
– Research-informed Teaching (RiT)
• Curriculum and student learning
– Research-Teaching Nexus (R-T Nexus)
– Research-Teaching Complex (R-T Complex)
– Undergraduate Research
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Scholarship is keeping up-to-date through, including, academic
reading, attending workshops and conferences, training, and
perhaps dissemination (writing, speaking, training, mentoring).
• individually-focused scholarship for personal use;
• internally-focused scholarship for local (e.g. departmental,
• externally-focused scholarship, such as defined by the
Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, 2005, p. 34) as “the
creation, development and maintenance of the intellectual
infrastructure of subjects and disciplines”; and
• research for external dissemination at conferences and in
publications (i.e. pedagogic research).
Where does your SoTL sit?
(from Haslett, 2009, based on Ashwin and Trigwell, 2004; RAE, 2005)
SoTL and PedR
• Why do/would you do it?
– Strategic e.g. research-informed teaching
– Contractual e.g. teaching-led research
– Personal professional updating/reflection and career
– Disseminate examples of practice
• What do/would you research?
– Generic issues e.g. student engagement
– Case studies e.g. examples of teaching
• How do/would you do it?
– Individually or collaboratively?
– Funding for research and publication e.g. grants?
– Output types e.g. books, articles, conferences?
– Time and space to undertake research and writing?
Promoting SoTL and PedR
• Encourage staff to become active members of
communities of practice.
• Participate in internal schemes e.g. L&T grants.
• Seek Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy
(HEA) (map against Professional Standards)
• Membership of the Society for Research into Higher
Education (SRHE): Annual Conference at Newport
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and again in 2013?
• Membership of the International Society for the
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSoTL).
“Systematic inquiry into the L & T process” (Jenkins et al., 2007)
Which approaches are you most involved in?
My view is
Source: modified from M. Healey & A. Jenkins
(2009) Developing students as researchers. In:
S. K. Haslett & H. Rowlands (eds) Linking
research and teaching in Higher Education.
University of Wales, Newport, pp. 7-11.
How does your teaching map
within the R-T Nexus?
From Haslett (2009) Newport CELT Journal, Vol. 2.
The Research-Teaching Complex
Stuart Hampton-Reeves and I hatched the
idea over breakfast in January 2010.
Coordinated by a Steering Group.
• 2011 University of Central Lancashire
(170 student delegates)
• 2012 Warwick University (250 students)
• 2013 University of Plymouth (15-16 April)
• 2014 University of Nottingham (14-15
• 2015 University of Winchester
Institutional Case Study
University of Wales, Newport, CELT
• Learning and Teaching Strategy 2007-2010
• “To establish a University-wide research cluster to
lead development in pedagogy”.
• Main function to assist staff in:
– Devising pedagogic research projects;
– Presenting papers at conferences; and
– Writing and disseminating published outcomes.
Newport NEXUS Conferences
Annual Learning and Teaching Conference
June 2009 and 2010
Varied Conference Symposia
• Undergraduate Research
• Research-informed Teaching
• Community Education
• International Scholarship
• Linking Teaching and KT
• Professional Development
• Student Engagement
• Technology Enhanced Learning
• Hazard and Geoscience Research
Delegates used #nexus2010 when tweeting
Published its own journal:
• Teaching Practice
• Learning Insights
• Development and
• Pedagogic Research
• Framework Issues
CELT Writing Retreat
The Academic Writing Process
– Inventing and research
– Peer review process
– Proof stage and publication
CELT Research Programmes
• Technology Enhanced
• Education for Sustainable
Development and Global
• Flexible Learning in
Employer and Community
Coordinators PhD Students
Pedagogic Research ‘Expeditions’
(ExPedR) Legs 1 and 2
• Leg 1 Australia 2009
• Leg 2 Canada 2010
• 10 ‘expedition’ members
• Attend HERDSA 2009
• Attend STLHE 2010
• Visit other HEIs
• Disseminate best practice
• Develop research links.
Blog - http://expedr2010.blogspot.com
YouTube – NewportCELT Channel
Developing International Networks
PGCert Developing Professional Practice in HE
• 60 M-Level credits
• HEA accredited
• One year, part-time
• Distance learning online
(from Feb 2010)
• Covers not only teaching
• Assessment: teaching
portfolio and action
• Developed into an MA in
An Individual Approach
an example from my own curriculum practice
• Bath Spa University Geography
Department, set up in 1968-69.
• 1994 started as Lecturer in Physical
• Inherited courses, but adapted them and
developed new courses.
• Major contribution to biannual field course
to Brittany, France.
Year 1 Field Skills
• Geographical Skills
• Training, equipment,
• Campus-based, in lab class
• 90+ students
• Collect survey data
• Calculate and plot
• Submit answers via
• Automated marking.
Year 1 Techniques
• Landform Analysis
• Blended learning using
topographic maps and
• Area is a staff research
field site with some
• Students learn about staff
Year 1 Techniques
• Landform Analysis
• Sedimentology exercise
• Samples collected for
staff research project.
• Students can refer to
• Learn about staff
research on ‘live’
Year 2 Field Research
• The Brittany field course began in late 1970’s or early
1980’s, with good links with University of Brest,
including some collaborative research.
• 1998-2001: Funded staff to undertake and publish
research to underpin teaching in Brittany.
• The field course evolved over time:
– Until 2001 was not an assessed course.
– 2001-2004: part of a Yr 2 Geographical Research Methods
module – emphasis on field skills.
– After 2004: emphasis on preparation for Honours
• Survey of gravel shoreline
transect at Ru Vein, Baie
• Set up in 1997 with
research in mind, but
• used for assessed student
field techniques, but
• Later as an assessed
student research exercise.
Developing Field Research Skills
An analysis of wave-coast
interaction in the Baie d’
Becky, Corinne, Holly, Lizzie and Tom
Photographs by H. Winlow
Average volume (cm3) of particles along
transect of storm beach profile, Ru Vein.
Large rocks at
start of “step”.
Larger rocks at
back of profile.
Position changes 1997-2007
c. 25 m retreat of the toe of the
c. 15 m retreat of the crest;
Sediment volume loss, due to
washover and littoral drift.
(Haslett, 2008, Coastal Systems
(2nd Ed). Routledge)
Year 3 Dissertations
Honours-level is learning at the cutting edge of the discipline
• Individual projects
• Linked to staff research
• Skills, methods, analysis,
• Present results at
Conference (also BCUR?).
• Sometimes publish,
usually with staff.
Research Content Continuum
• Year 1: students frequently are an audience of
research, but are trained in research skills.
• Year 2: emphasis on research processes and
problems with students as participants and
audience (more skills training and methods).
• Year 3: students are participants, undertaking
their own research projects.
• Audit modules annually to ensure they are
supported and informed by recent (within last
three years) research and scholarship, both in
terms of curriculum and teaching.
• As a course team, to obtain an overview, map
all module provision using the R-T Nexus grid
and place in the context of the research
For further information, please consult the references cited in the presentation,
Join the HEA R-T Nexus Blog: http://nexus-wales.blogspot.ac.uk
Look at and comment on (in the blog) the case studies in:
Linking research and teaching in Wales (2010) edited by Simon K Haslett
Register for the British Conference for Undergraduate Research:
Strengthen Research-Teaching Links in your institutional strategies.