Researching Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Core Module

This module, one of the three core modules taken in Part 1, deepens and extends your knowledge about research and theory concerning learning, teaching and assessment in higher education. It provides a range of theoretical frameworks and perspectives from which to address these issues and so empowers you to critically engage with institutional developments at the levels of policy, strategy and practice. Finally it enables you to be a critical user of data provided by student evaluation and feedback mechanisms and by other research. Taken together these aspects of this module help you to become an effective change agent orientated to enhancing learning, teaching and assessment at the different levels of practice and policy.

The module is organised into the following themes:

  1. analysing institutional learning, teaching, and assessment policies, strategies and practices;
  2. conceptualising learning, teaching and assessment in higher education;
  3. approaches to learning and phenomenographic approaches to learning, teaching and assessment;
  4. social practice approaches to learning, teaching and assessment;
  5. the place of knowledge and curriculum in research into learning, teaching and assessment in higher education;
  6. designing research into learning, teaching and assessment in higher education;
  7. writing about learning, teaching and assessment in higher education.

As with each of the three core modules on the programme, the assessment of this one is a journal-length assignment on a topic relevant to the module chosen by you. The assessment criteria are those of a PhD generally: the assignment offers an original contribution to knowledge and is of publishable standard. The model on which this assessment strategy is based is that of submitting a journal article: you initially submit a preliminary version which receives extensive formative feedback from the module tutor. Here the tutor is acting in the same way as peer reviewers of a submitted journal article. You are then able to improve your assignment based on that advice and submit it for summative assessment. If the assignment does not reach PhD standard at this stage you have the opportunity for one further resubmission, again based on substantial advice from the module tutor.

Having successfully completed this module you will be a specialist in an area of the topic, able to publish in that area, and able to enhance professional understanding, practices and approaches relevant to the module’s topic.

The module leader for RLTA is Dr Jan MacArthur who has many years’ experience in this field.

Participant comment: “I find that after each LTA session, I leave with a clear understanding of the content explained in addition to being intrigued as well as having a genuine desire to learn more about whatever concept/theory that was introduced.”