Enhancing the teaching-research nexus Lancaster University home page
Department of Educational Research, County South, Lancaster University, LA1 4YD, UK
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This project ran from September 2006 to September 2007 in collaboration with the CLIP CETL Teaching Landscapes project, based at the University of the Arts London (UAL).  The Nexus project aimed to elaborate the connections between research approaches and teaching practices in different disciplines and domains in different institutional contexts. Its aim in terms of professional practice was to develop guidance for ensuring that the relationship is beneficial for the student experience.

Findings from the project can be accessed from the Project Outputs page (see link to the left).

Three literatures in this area have developed, but largely in isolation from each other:

  1. Linkages between disciplinary differences and research practices (eg Donald, 1995; Becher, 1989; Becher and Trowler, 2001)
  2. Linkages between disciplinary differences and teaching and learning practices (eg Hativa and Marincovich, 1995; Neumann et al, 2002)
  3. The nature of the teaching-research nexus (eg Ramsden, P. and Moses, I. 1992; Neumann, 1994; Hattie and Marsh, 1996; Jenkins et al, 1998; Jenkins, 2000; Jenkins et al, 2003; Robertson and Bond, 2001; Brew, 1999).

The Higher Education Academy has published much important work in this area (Jenkins, 2000; Jenkins, 2004; Jenkins and Healey, 2005) and Academy Exchange, Autumn 2005.

Universities and departments often characterise their learning, teaching, assessment and curriculum (LTAC) practices in relation to research.  Some claim to be research-informed (primary research by teaching staff is not significant and students have no direct interaction with research and researchers but where teaching and learning draw on the research of others). Others claim to be research-led or research-focused (staff are engaged in research as well has teaching and even undergraduate students are inducted into cutting-edge research findings and research practices). Finally some claim to be research-driven (Russell group institutions where research is the primary activity and teaching flows from this).  Yet what this means in practice and whether it might really be beneficial to the student experience is rarely articulated.  Not articulated either are differences between disciplines and domains of study in terms of what these distinctions mean and how they play out in practice. The disparate nature of the literature above means that little help is to be found there for different disciplinary contexts.

CLIP CETL website: http://www.chelsea.arts.ac.uk/cetl.htm



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