About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4922-4927
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

USING A VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT TO SUPPORT UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH IN SCIENCES

K. Carlton, E. Bertolo

Canterbury Christ Church University (UNITED KINGDOM)
A substantial body of evidence now exists on the nature of the research–teaching nexus in HE. The general conclusion emerging from this research is that we must abandon the simplistic view that links between teaching and research are automatic or always beneficial [1]. However, that does not mean that teaching and research cannot or should not benefit from being linked to each other [2]. Successful linkages between teaching and research greatly depend on academics’ ability to encourage and facilitate an inquiry based approach to learning. Their focus must shift from teacher excellence to the enhancement of the student learning experience [3, 4].

The aim of this research was to explore the use of Blackboard, the departmental Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), to support final year undergraduate students conducting their Individual Study (final year research project). A Research Area was created on Blackboard, which contained a range of resources. The Research Area included an online repository with abstracts of previous undergraduate research projects, and a blog, offering a mixture of current research initiatives at departmental level, as well as research news from various science disciplines which could be linked to topics studied in class.

An anonymous questionnaire was deployed to undergraduate students who had just finished their Individual Study, in order to assess their engagement with the online resources developed, and whether access to the research blog and the project repository had informed the approach to their own research. The questionnaire was answered by 17 out of 20 students, 85% response rate. Feedback from students was positive: 82% of students had looked at the online abstract repository, and 70% had followed the blog on a regular basis. Marks for the Individual Study module were compared with the average mark for the other final year modules. A similar analysis had been conducted on the previous cohort, which did not have access to the online tools.

References:
[1] Hattie J., Marsh H. W. (2002). The Journal of Higher Education, 73(5), 603-641.
[2] Griffiths, R. (2004) Studies in Higher Education 29(6), 709–726.
[3] Elton, L. (2001) Teaching in Higher Education, 6, 43–56.
[4] Jenkins A., Breen R. & Lindsay R. (2003) Reshaping teaching in Higher Education, Chapter 1, Kogan Page, London.
@InProceedings{CARLTON2009USI,
author = {Carlton, K. and Bertolo, E.},
title = {USING A VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT TO SUPPORT UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH IN SCIENCES},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4922-4927}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Carlton AU - E. Bertolo
TI - USING A VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT TO SUPPORT UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH IN SCIENCES
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 4922
EP - 4927
ER -
K. Carlton, E. Bertolo (2009) USING A VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT TO SUPPORT UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH IN SCIENCES, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 4922-4927.
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