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Students and research

Healey and Jenkins (2009b) have suggested that linking teaching and research can be considered in four ways around two axes, each of which is a continuum:

  • Students as audience to students as participants – how actively they are engaged in the production of knowledge and its debate.
  • Emphasis on research content to emphasis on research processes and problems (Fig 1). 

Figure 1: Engaging students in research

Research-led teaching: the curriculum is structured around teaching subject content.  This forms the basis for all teaching in higher education (students learning about others’ research).

Research-oriented teaching: the curriculum emphasises how knowledge is constructed in the subject or discipline.  Students encounter this through skills and methods modules in particular (students learning to do research).

Research-based teaching: students undertake research and inquiry.  Students will encounter this through Group Projects and individual Dissertations or Projects (students learning in research mode).

Research-tutored teaching: the curriculum emphasises learning focussed on students reading, writing and discussing papers or essays.  Some students will encounter this through seminar-based courses, particularly in their final year as an undergraduate or as a postgraduate student (students engaging in research discussion). 

Students should experience all four quadrants throughout their programme.  In some instances this experience may occur in one module.