tudents’ Expectations of a Research-Based Curriculum: results from an Online Questionnaire Survey of First Year Undergraduates at Oxford Brookes University

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Pete Smith and Chris Rust, respectively, Academic Co-ordinator and Deputy Director in the Reinvention Centre for Undergraduate Research

The topic of the paper

This paper is the result of work carried out by the Reinvention Centre, a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Brookes .

Why it is of concern

The Reinvention CETL is attempting to re-create the notion of an inclusive academic community where learners, teachers and researchers are all seen as scholars in the common pursuit of knowledge. More specifically, the Centre is helping to promote Brookes’ commitment to the development of research-based teaching and learning.

What was done (methods)

In November 2007 an online survey of first-year undergraduate students was conducted with the primary objective of establishing the expectations of students with respect to a research-based curriculum. A total of 548 students replied to the questionnaire and display broadly the same personal and study characteristics as all first year undergraduates at Brookes.

What are the main outcomes

The respondents overwhelmingly agree with six statements about different ways in which research should feature in their learning at university. Agreement scores are formed for each of the statements and it is shown that different types of student display some small differences in their views about research and learning. The paper concludes that the survey has gone some way towards allaying the fear that students may react negatively to research-based learning.