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Research-Informed Teaching—A Mixed-Methods Approach to Assessing Perception and Practice Within a Higher Education Setting

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By: & Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases in Education
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Abstract

Research-informed teaching is becoming increasingly popular and “fashionable” these days, given the rise of a number of pedagogical methods and techniques within the higher education sector. An exploratory sequential mixed-methods design was used to capture academics’ feedback and assess the effectiveness and value of research-informed teaching for both students and teachers at a new mid-sized English university. The first phase comprised detailed face-to-face interviews of academic staff across all faculties at the university. The qualitative data thus gathered were analyzed and used to draw up a set of questions for designing and imparting a questionnaire-based semi-structured survey. The survey was administered online across the university and responses were analyzed. Finally, inferences were drawn by analyzing and mixing data from both phases. Study findings revealed how lecturers implemented research-informed teaching into their own teaching provision and how it was highly idiosyncratic—determined by their individual teaching subjects, their own teaching styles, and their own independent definitions of research-informed teaching. Moreover, we found a statistically significant positive correlation between tutors’ research outputs and their tendency to use their own work toward research-informed teaching. Another observation was that science tutors’ teaching content contained a significantly greater amount of their own research compared with non-science tutors.

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