Learning and Teaching Innovation
A Lot to Know
Given the current half life of knowledge it seems valid to ask about the wisdom of engaging in a three year educational research project that might take up to eighteen months to find its way to publication. To what extent might the findings still be of relevance?
Action and Outcomes
My research generally focuses on whether or not any particular educational intervention has been effective. This approach - which follows from a very pragmatic orientation towards the reality of the educational space - has played out in a number of ways. First, I've published around curriculum and course developments aimed at enhancing teaching and learning.I've also published in the area of delivering professional development for teaching staff. Finally, I've been involved in large scale research projects resulting in multiple publications.
My research life is interesting now that I'm in a business environment. Research is conducted in alignment with the needs of the business / the remit of the Learning, Teaching and Technology Services strategic and operational priorities.This means a high degree of accountability with respect to time spent researching. The bottom line is that research must enhance teaching and learning,increase efficiencies or grow the business.
The core skill of innovators is error recovery not failure avoidance - Pixar
For me this means continuing with the approaches that I have always taken with research - action research and design research. The emphasis in each case is on immersion in teaching and learning contexts in order to find solutions to real problems. There is a definite link here - to be explored further - between design research and design thinking. Both have at their heart the notion that a deep understanding of context is of paramount importance in finding solutions to challenges / problems. Finally, whilst publishing in peer reviewed journals may be the ultimate goal for university researchers there is a case to be made for dissemination of research through alternative outlets - blogs, wikis, websites - in order to share research findings in a timely manner across a wider audience. Rather than peer critique perhaps we can think in terms of public critique.