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A good starting point is to clarify why you want to conduct this research. It might be to:
Do you have a burning question, or perhaps a general sense of unease about some aspect of the staff or student experience? Are there some issues which have been identified in student feedback which need further exploration? Do you want to
investigate how your discipline can best respond to its particular challenges or evaluate the effect of some recent teaching innovation?
You can download a
Word template for scoping a pedagogic research project
(Word doc 38KB), created for the eL@b e-learning special interest group.
Here are four ways to access your discipline specific pedagogic research literature:
As well as accessing primary research, you might want to find review of literature and practice. These are often produced by professional organisations, such as
Syntheses of evidence based practice
published by the Higher Education Academy.
If you conduct a literature review as a starting point, consider publishing it.
Another possible starting point is identifying stakeholders and the questions of interest to them. The following grid might be helpful.
The University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) has provided some guidance on pedagogic research and ethics, downloadable from the
UREC ethical information and procedures webpages.
See also, DeVita, G. & Smallbone, T. (2005) Pedagogic research and ethics: some pointers for pedagogic researchers. Brookes eJournal of Learning and Teaching, 1 (2) at
Ramsden, P. (2003)
Learning to Teach in Higher Education. Ch. 11. Evaluating the quality of higher education.
Harvey, J. (1998) (ed.)
Evaluation cookbook: a practical guide to evaluation methods for lecturers
Angelo, T.A. and Cross, K.P. (1993)
Classroom Assessment Techniques A Handbook for College Teachers. San Francisco, Ca.: Jossey-Bass Inc.
Getting started in pedagogical research: a guide for the physical sciences.
A practice guide produced by the HEA Subject Centre for Physical Sciences