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A Working Definition

A Working Definition: Research – Engaged Teaching and Learning

There is no model or template for research – engaged teaching and learning. The concept of research-engaged teaching and learning is offered as an organisational principle around which teaching and learning activities can be organised. Key to the development of this work is that research-engaged teaching and learning is subject specific and based on the custom and traditions of each particular discipline.

While there is no template for research engaged teaching, central to any definition of research-engaged teaching and learning is a shared understanding of the meaning of the term ‘research’. The RAE definition of research is taken as a starting point:

Research is to be understood as original investigation undertaken in order to gain knowledge and understanding […].

However, for undergraduate research to be part of the mainstream curriculum it is important to acknowledge that it is not always possible to result in the production of new knowledge, but that it is new to the student, or new in a specific context. What matters in certain situations is less the originality of the research output than the manner in which it is acquired, i.e. in a way which is as close as possible to a genuine research experience.

Therefore our definition might be:

A fundamental principle of curriculum design, where students learn primarily by engagement in real research projects, or projects which replicate the process of research in their discipline. Engagement is created through active collaboration amongst and between students and academics.

Key features

In order for a module to be classified as research engaged teaching and learning it should be able to demonstrate the following key features:

  • Discovery: Student as Producer
  • Technology: Digital Scholarship
  • Space and Spatiality: Learning Landscapes in Higher Education
  • Assessment: Active Learners in Communities of Practice
  • Research and Evaluation: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • Student Voice: Diversity, Difference and Dissensus
  • Support for research based learning through expert engagement with information resources
  • Creating the Future: Employability,Enterprise, Beyond Employability, Postgraduate

For further background information on Research Engaged Teaching and Learning, Student as Producer and the eight key features, see the User’s Guide

One Comment

  1. […] at the University of Lincoln. In particular the working definition and themes underpinning research-engaged teaching and learning enables a focus on developing staff/student engagement […]

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