Markus has finally posted the set of questions for framing a research proposal idea that he showed me weeks ago. This post is an attempt to use those questions to frame what I’m doing in my current position.
A simple test for BIM purposes, ignore
Write a research question
How can you improve the quality of learning and teaching within a university?
What is the important theoretical or conceptual setting?
Too much work in this area has not focused on the academic staff and factors or approaches that would encourage and enable them to change their teaching behaviour. The behaviour of the teacher is a key component of the quality of learning and teaching. Teaching and learning is getting more difficult.
Write 2-3 key points about why it is important (Significance? Innovation?)
- Governments and other external stakeholders are increasingly demanding proof that university learning and teaching is good and getting better.
- Most university learning and teaching is of less than good quality.
- Most, if not all, interventions to improve L&T are not succeeding in widespread, long-term behaviour change (i.e. improving quality).
Write 1-2 brief objective points (formulate full aims later)
- Evaluation of existing interventions, informed by behaviour change research, will reveal significant short-comings.
- Interventions, informed by behaviour change research, will result in significantly greater levels of improvement of L&T.
Write a couple of points about the approach you might take
This is not necessarily just about a single research project and it is unlikely to have, at least initially, significant institutional support or recognition. A collaborative approach involving many different projects and people will be done. However, it seems likely that an on-going process of:
- Learning more about how behaviour change research may inform this project.
- Combining these insights with other knowledge to design interventions.
- Use the insights to evaluate both existing and new interventions. Also to further understanding of the current context.
Will I have all the expertise/resources? Should I be talking to collaborators? Might the proposal be strengthened by having a team?
A team is absolutely necessary. Knowledge of behaviour change research is essential. As is good knowledge of the local context and educational and technical skills to implement the interventions.
Do I or will I need some ‘proof of concept’, preliminary data or demonstration of competency to undertake the project?
Yes, the on-going process above will have to start small and learn from there.
Will the team/partners be competitive in this field?
At the moment, yes. There doesn’t appear to be too many people taking this approach.
What would the outcome(s) be and who benefits?
Hopefully, there will be improvements in L&T in the local context and research publications and grants around that work.
What is the ‘WOW’, ‘HOOK’, or ‘EXCITEMENT’ factor?
It appears that this is a new way of approaching an intractable problem.