20 credits at level HE7
In this module you will be required to undertake an action research project related to your working environment and initiate a change which seeks to support and enhance the learner experience.
This module will help you to:
Foster an innovative, reflective, evaluative and informed professional approach to academic practice, that is, scholarship of and for practice; increase your understanding of learning, teaching and assessment processes as they apply to your speciality; support you in tackling practical problems and challenges you experience with respect to any aspect of academic practice for the benefit of learners or other stakeholders in your academic practice; and enable you to reflect upon and plan your career and professional development.
This module will require course members to engage with the areas of activity, core knowledge and professional values articulated in the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education, (Standard Descriptor Two).
•The nature of Action Research and its application to professional practice
•Professional ethics; ethical principles in professional practice; ethical principles in research including small-scale practice-based research; research ethics codes, including those of the professional bodies and the University of Bolton; the ethical responsibilities of those involved in supporting teaching and learning.
•The policy context and broader issues that impact upon professional academic practice within the Higher Education Sector
•The integration of theory and practice and using research to support teaching practice
In addition to the seminars provided during the module you will be encouraged to attend appropriate sessions provided through the University of Bolton ‘Professional Development for Staff (PDS)’ Annual programme.
The module will help you to understand and improve your own practice and to gather evidence for the purpose of developing a learning community and improving the learner experience. The module will direct your learning towards your development within the three Dimensions of Professional Academic Practice at the University of Bolton:
• Learning, Teaching and Curriculum Development
• Enterprise, Research and Knowledge Exchange and
• Community Engagement and Partnership Development.
The module serves to promote and demonstrate your ‘formation’ as a professional in academic practice. It assumes that professionals learn by connecting analytic insight with practical judgment and action. Because of the work-based nature of the module most learning and development will occur in practice but in order to support this learning will be facilitated and supported in the following ways:
•A series of seminars on key concepts and processes central to developing research based practice
•Programmed and supervised learning sets (small groups)
The assessment strategy aims to facilitate learning from and for your professional practice – in action for yourself and others. You will be asked to identify a focus for your development arising from your current work negotiated by yourself as Course member, your Module Tutor and Dean of Faculty(or designate). This will be formalised through a formative assessment activity to develop a proposal identifying your aims, objectives and methods for your action research project that includes reference to the organisational objectives and HEA Professional Standards Framework. Any specific resources or permissions should be documented through a tripartite learning agreement as needed. You will be expected to identify a method for dissemination to show commitment to the development of a community of enquiry around teaching and learning.
The assessment is therefore based on an Action Research Project, based upon a specific interest arising from the work place.
You will be supported and supervised by the Module tutor throughout the period of study for the module.
Form of Assessment
The assessment is based upon Action Research; however there is some flexibility in the means of demonstration of the achievement of the Learning Outcomes and form of dissemination. This is in order for the module to be implemented in an individualised manner and to allow course members the opportunity to apply their learning from earlier modules in designing their own assessments. In order for the assessments to be valid, achievable and equitable, course members will be required to submit their Proposal (by an agreed date) to the Module Leader who will approve the proposal and/or provide formative feedback for development. Individual written feedback will be given to all course members and there will be opportunity for discussion in the Learning Set.
•A proposal of approximately 300-500 words
•An Action Research Project prepared in a form proposed by the course member and agreed with the Module Tutor, and mapped against the module learning outcomes
General criteria will include the following:
The proposed assessment must be:
• Valid - relevant
• Achievable within the time and resources available
• Demonstrate achievement of the four Learning Outcomes
• Show potential for level HE7 learning
• Ethically acceptable
when you have successfully completed this module you will:
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
|1.||Analyse your existing practice and the influencing factors on that practice identifying elements for change.||
Clarify the goal or purpose of your action research project and how this may help to align with wider institutional agendas.
|2.||Provide a rationale for action to develop your practice in your professional situation in supporting the learner experience.||
Identify and critically review literature to inform the research proposal. Justify your chosen element for change with reference to the local and national agenda
|3.||Implement an action research approach which is critically analysed and reflected upon through evidence and outcomes.||Utilise an action research process to plan, act, reflect and evaluate your outcomes for your learners and others|
|4.||Use the evidence and professional knowledge gained to demonstrate the effects on Professional Academic Practice||Prepare your new knowledge for dissemination for the benefit of learners and colleagues in your academic practice|
Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:
|Description||An Action Research Report (2,500 words or equivalent) in a form proposed by the course member and agreed with the Module Tutor mapped against the module learning outcomes|
There are no prerequisites for this module.
No restrictions apply.
Baume, C., Martin, P. and Yorke, M. (eds.) (2002) Managing educational development projects effective management for maximum impact. London: Kogan Page.
Becher, T. and Trowler, P. (2001) Academic tribes and territories, 2nd ed. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Brockbank A. and McGill, I. (2007) Facilitating reflective learning in higher education. 2nd ed. Maidenhead: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.
Campbell, A (2004) Practitioner research and professional development in education. London: Paul Chapman.
Cousin (2008) Strategies for researching learning in higher education. London: Routledge.
Delamont, S. and Atkinson, P. (2004) Successful research careers: a practical guide. Maidenhead: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.
Denscombe, M. (2003) The good research guide. 3rd ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
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Evans, L (2002) Reflective practice in educational research: developing advanced skills. New York: Continuum.
Fanghanel, J (2011) Being an Academic. London: Routledge
Henkel, M. (2005) Academic identity and autonomy in a changing policy environment. Higher Education, 49 (1-2) pp,155–76.
Hextall, I., et al (2007) Changing teacher roles, identities and professionalism: an annotated bibliography http://www.kcl.ac.uk/content/1/c6/01/41/56/bibliography.pdf
Jenkins, A., Breen, R., Lindsay, R. with Brew, A. (2003) Designing the curriculum to link teaching and research. In: Reshaping teaching in higher education. London: Kogan Page.
Jenkins, A and Healey, M. (2005) Institutional strategies to link research and teaching. York: The Higher Education Academy.
Kember, D., (2000) Action Learning and Action Research London: Kogan Page
Knight, P.T. Tait, J. Yorke, M. (2006) The professional learning of teachers in higher education. Studies in HE. 31.
Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991) Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Macfarlane, B. (2008) Teaching with Integrity: the ethics of higher education practice. London: Routledge Falmer.
McNiff, J and Whitehead, J (2002) Action research: principles and practice. London: RoutledgeFalmer
Nicholls, G. (2001) Professional Development in Higher Education in Assessment, Reflection and Professional Development. London: Kogan Page.
Nixon, J. (2004) Education for the good society: the integrity of academic practice. London: Review of Education, 2(3) pp.245–52.
Savin-Baden, M. and Wilkie, K. (eds) (2004) Challenging research in problem-based learning. Maidenhead: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.
Schön, Donald A. (1991) The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Aldershot: Avebury.
Tight, M. (2003) Researching higher education. Maidenhead: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.
Walker, M. (2005) Higher education pedagogies. Maidenhead: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.
Walker, M. (ed.) (2001) Reconstructing professionalism in university teaching: teachers and learners in action, Buckingham: The Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.
Wenger, E. (1999) Communities of practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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Whitehead, J and McNiff, J (2006) Action Research: living theory. London: Sage
Journals and Publications
Active Learning in Higher Education
Higher Education in Europe
Higher Education Research and Development
Innovations in Education and Teaching International
International Journal for Academic Development
Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education
Research into Higher Education Abstracts
Studies in Higher Education
Teaching in Higher Education
Websites and Other Resources
Course members will be expected to register for their relevant Higher Education Academy (HEA) Subject networks.
Websites and other resources will be created as an electronic dynamic resource ‘bookmark’ list, to which both course members and tutors can add as appropriate.
Quality Assurance and Enhancement Unit http://www.bolton.ac.uk/Quality/Home.aspx
Centre for Recording Achievement (CRA) http://www.recordingachievement.org/
Higher Education Academy (HEA) http://www.heacademy.ac.uk
HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) http://www.hefce.ac.uk/
International Journal for Academic Development http://informaworld.com/ijad
Open University Press http://www.openup.co.uk
Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) publications http://www.seda.ac.uk
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) http://www.qaa.ac.uk/
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