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Innovative learning in action (ILIA) issue seven: New academics engaging with action research 2

By V Caruana

Abstract

Welcome to this seventh issue of Innovative\ud Learning and Action (ILIA) which celebrates\ud and disseminates some of the work\ud produced by recent cohorts on the\ud Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education\ud Practice and Research programme. As part of\ud their assessment in the second module,\ud Learning Design and Enquiry participants\ud engage in action research completing a\ud planned, first cycle of what is essentially an\ud iterative process. Participants inevitably\ud confront action research from different\ud perspectives largely based on past research\ud experience. Some perceive themselves as\ud ‘novice’ researchers generally, when they\ud encounter this paradigm, whilst others are\ud seasoned researchers steeped in more\ud traditional approaches. Part of the\ud assessment therefore addresses evaluation\ud and reflection on action research processes\ud as they have been experienced and this is\ud included in the work presented.\ud The insights generated are the product of\ud genuine concern, interest and enthusiasm in\ud responding to the challenges of teaching\ud and learning that pervade Higher Education\ud today. This small sample of papers\ud demonstrates a heightened awareness of\ud issues; the student voice is apparent but it is\ud reinforced in conversation with academics.\ud The papers show how action research builds\ud on the authors’ willingness to collaborate\ud with their students and indeed, other\ud stakeholders in seeking mutual\ud understanding of complexity and in\ud formulating ideas to enhance the quality of\ud the student learning experience. Each of the contributions has direct\ud relevance to both policy and practice\ud encouraging readers to reflect on key issues\ud in the context of Widening Participation.\ud The transition to HE is clearly a fundamental\ud concern. Authors explore support systems\ud for both students and their workplace\ud managers in the challenging context of\ud secondment to study in pursuit of CPD; the\ud potential of FE/HE teaching exchange as a\ud form of professional development to enable\ud lecturers and teachers to facilitate their\ud students’ journey across the sectors and the\ud possibilities for enhancing the academic\ud writing skills of students.\ud One common theme is the complexity\ud encountered in negotiating cultural\ud boundaries in different contexts – the\ud boundaries between workplace and place of\ud study, between one educational sector and\ud another and between one style of\ud communication and another.\ud A final contribution prompts us to consider\ud the complexities of teaching and learning\ud across international boundaries in exploring\ud the potential for enhancing learning through\ud the use of video-clips in a distance\ud learning programme.\ud I hope you will enjoy these papers which I\ud feel provide much food for thought. I am\ud also sure that the authors would welcome\ud approaches from colleagues either within or\ud outside their respective disciplines who are\ud interested in similar areas of practice

Topics: LB, LB2300, other
Publisher: Education Development Unit, University of Salford
OAI identifier: oai:usir.salford.ac.uk:1834

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Citations

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