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Research and Researching - Learning and Teaching

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Rita Hordósy

on 22 June 2017

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Transcript of Research and Researching - Learning and Teaching

Research &
Researcher others
Mysterious & Unknown practice
finding research are novel (library systems)
research procedures are not known
format & language of university
assessment format & feedback formula

Research located far and externally
research is...
the items on reading lists
performed by mystified others
independence is...
(total) lack of support
having to work out what works
Sheffield Student 2013 - Longitudinal Tracking Project
Longitudinal research:
entrants of 2013 at TUoS
'non-traditional' students (tuition fee-waiver)

interviews 3x throughout; student record data
maximum variation at case & unit levels
2-3 departments in each faculty (=12)
40 students; half of cohort from the poorest 10%
Transitions are...
than a process of change over time
not singular, with
multiple dimensions
not just the first year
experience (vertical)
Academic transitions in the context of a research intensive institution
Dealing with complexity
priorities & selection
beyond the academic
justification of such weighting
personalisation of learning (preferences)
choice within course / pathway
boundaries extended and negotiated
Enablers / Barriers of transitions
Familiarity &
Sense of control
Research located close & internally
Researching &
Researcher self
Dr Rita Hordósy
Dr Tom Clark
Dr Dan Vickers

I have changed, it's been..., I don't know how to describe it.
I'm not the same person I was
when I first initially started, I think, personality wise; but I've got so much
more self-confidence
in me as well which I've never had and
I've learned so much
over the past three years, it's, I've changed massively, I myself can notice that I'm not the same person that I was when I first started this degree. (...) I'm so much more
it's, I've
changed in every possible way
someone could change basically, and it's been wonderful, it's been absolutely great and
I'm actually proud of
this degree. I was quite doubting myself when I first started, but now that I've got this far... (Amina, 3rd year)

...the nature of university knowledge:
exists in pure form (not pre-digested textbooks)
module reading lists seemingly endless
not being told the answers (school vs university)
no end to the purpose (i.e. passing the exam)
boundaries of necessary knowledge aren't clear →
disjointed in nature / no clear application
...knowledge as declarative
...knowledge as procedural
familiarity & repetition
understanding process
observing language and format requirements
adapting ways of learning / writing / speaking
adapting to diversity of (perceived) staff preferences
smaller scale, specialist teaching: being taken seriously by academics
independence as university: taking ownership and recognising agency
research is something students do
have to change your writing style
completely and it’s just kind of a
and then you write an essay and you sit down and you think I can’t do what I normally do. (...) I mean I’ve always, throughout school and college, I was always told I had a really nice writing style and
now I can’t use it
so it’s a pain, but it’s also, I guess, a healthy challenge. (Claudia, 1st year)
(...) one of our Lecturers does [talk] a lot [about their research]. He'll say, 'Oh,
I'm working on this
at the moment.' But usually they don't really mention it. I think probably
because it's too detailed
for what you need to know but they'll introduce themselves and say what they do. (Taylor, 1st year)
So I’m going home with
all these words
I’ve got to look in the dictionary at and it’s like, ‘Oh that’s what [the lecturer] meant.’ (...) I’ve got, like, a
mini dictionary
in the back of my workbook and I’m like, ‘Okay. (...) and when someone says it I’m, like, ‘What was that again? Let me just have a quick look.’ So I just feel like a
bit of a pleb
. (Amy, 3rd year)
I mean [fellow students] had
and they went to
pretty good schools
, and, I mean,
their accents
sound like they
can just talk quite well
without even actually just thinking about it. (...) I have to
try a bit harder
and I, kind of, got annoyed. Do you know what I mean? (...) It’s so weird, like,
even my accent’s become more southern
. (Khaled, 3rd year)
, hence the multiplicity of experiences
not universal
; hence they should not be normalised
to be understood within the

(See for example: Leathwood & O’Connell, 2003, Harvey et al., 2006, Quinn, 2010, Plugor, 2014, Gale & Parker, 2014)
If they’re teaching in third year, if they’re teaching a topic that (...) is less general rather than..., so okay PS101
is just a basic overview
of psychology whereas you get to third year you’re doing..., you’ve taken
one huge area
of psychology and
gone into a domain
of that which is that professor’s area of research. They
know more
about it, they have
more passion
about it. They
teach it better because it’s something they’re really interested in
and I think basically in that sense
you get to know them a bit more
because you get to see like their particular area of interest and what they can do and what they know. (Mary, 3rd year)
If I do bad on my coursework I usually do not that great in the exam..., so
it really depends upon the subject
and also I think with the balance of it all, (...) calculating how much... sounds terrible,
how much effort to put into
each one. (Adam, 3rd year)
I think it’s because now like I’ve learnt a lot about [my initial research interest], and now
I’m interested in
[other research area]. So
I want to learn a lot about that, and [for the] dissertation you have to write 10,000 words (...). So hopefully
I’ll learn a lot more
about that. So hopefully, well if I get
from my [dissertation supervisor] to say that’s a good one then I’ll be doing that. (Lizzie, 3rd year)
Thank you! Questions?
I don't know
if they put
in the little history segments because they want me to know the history of something like a microscope?
Or do

just do it for interest or so it flows better? Then
"independent learning"
, we kind of had that at our sixth form but it was still more guided than it is now. [Mo, 1st year]
Gale, T. & Parker, S. 2014. Navigating change: a typology of student transition in higher education, Studies in Higher Education, 39:5, 734-753, DOI:10.1080/03075079.2012.721351
Harvey, L. & Drew, S. with Smith, M., 2006. The First-Year Experience: A review of literature for the Higher Education Academy (London, The Higher Education Academy). Available: http://bit.ly/2eklLe2
Leathwood, C. & O’Connell, P. 2003. ‘“It’s a struggle”: the construction of the “new student” in higher education’, Journal of Education Policy, 18(6), pp. 597–615.
Margolis, E. (ed) 2001. The Hidden Curriculum in Higher Education. London: Routledge
Plugor, R. 2015. Planned and happenstance transitions of students from education to work in England and Romania. Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Leicester: University of Leicester, Centre for Labour Market Studies. Available: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/31839
Quinn, J. 2010. Rethinking ‘failed transitions’ to higher education. In Transitions and learning through the lifecourse, ed. K. Ecclestone, G. Biesta and M. Hughes, 118–29. London: Routledge
Negotiating the transition into a research world
change in knowledge
change in practice
who is doing the research?

Becoming competent in the research world
dealing with complexity
agency in choice
internalised practice
Transitioning to & through the institutions
How is research experienced by students?
N (1st yr) = 40; N (2nd yr) = 40; N (3rd yr) = 38
I just basically
looked up my grades
from last year and I thought well I do the best in [area of science]. So
I’m going to go for
the [area of science] and it’s the one that I had
the least amount of
kind of [other area of science] to a degree. (...) I know I sound really mixed but
it just doesn’t irritate
me like the second year did, where it was just
writing down information
. (Mo, 3rd year)
[Talking about an industry visit] You cannot comprehend the
of it. But then when you're up close it’s different and it’s,...
I loved it
‘cause it was pretty much
everything we've done in 1st and 2nd year
there. You can
actually see in front of you
, just it’s there rather than (...) only have the paper view. You have a real
view of it; I loved it. (Dylan, 3rd year)
I don’t do all the reading. I read
the stuff that’s relevant
but I don’t, if there’s like a few articles about like the history of something then
I know that’s not going to be in the exam
so I’m not going to read it. (Sadie, 2nd year)
I feel like
the reason why we’re a Red Brick
is because
that support is not there
, we are
old fashioned
and I think
old fashioned is research
as in you know, your lecturer is a researcher doing, you know, the top end of the [research area] or whatever and
that is great
and everything,
but it doesn’t help me
. (Natasha, 3rd year)
difficult journey into research - no roadmap...
university might be the only time for academic research
is there a hidden curricula?

How can we ensure that "research" at university is inclusive?
Some [tutors] are a bit harsher than others. I think… I can’t say that. I was going to say
some people I think like to fail people
, so you kind of have to
pick and choose
which tutor you think is going to be the best for you to do [the practical with], because one tutor will just fail you for a
silly thing
that isn't important, yeah. (Lucy, 3rd year)
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