About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4684-4691
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

HOW DO DOCTORAL RESEARCH ACADEMICS PERCEIVE THEIR RESEARCH ACTIVITIES TO BE OF BENEFIT TO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS?

J. Mc Cauley

Dublin Institute of Technology (IRELAND)
The principal rationale for this research paper is to discuss the link between a lecturers Doctoral research activity and its perceived benefits or drawbacks for undergraduate students in todays’ Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s)..

The perceptions that such research academics have with regard to the impact their work has on these students was specifically investigated for a Masters Dissertation in Third Level Learning and Teaching recently completed by this author

Through in-depth interviews with such academics, the research results demonstrate the degree to which academic Doctoral research-active lecturers apply aspects of their research knowledge and skills to enhancing the learning experiences of their undergraduate students. The extent to which their activities have positive or negative consequences is also addressed.

Positves

Broadly speaking, three main types of activities were identified as having a positive impact:

1.Topic specific ‘cutting-edge’ knowledge was perceived as being beneficial.
2.The broad-based liberal learning ethos that such academics brought to their teaching.
3.Doctoral researchers research methods skills were of benefit, especially to dissertation students.

Drawbacks

1.A caveat for some of the above however, was that they were often ‘pitched’ at inappropriate levels, relative to student abilities.
2.Another problem identified was the non- availability of such staff to undergraduates at various times.
3.The actual relevance of their research work to the future careers of their students was also an open question.

Analysis of all of the above are discussed in greater depth in my proposed research paper

Other discussion points

The roles of college management and academics in working together to ensure there is link between what Doctoral-research academics do when it comes to teaching undergraduates is examined. Pedagogical training that engages these students in challenging research through ‘communities of practice’, and aligning college research policy to student curriculum are all considered. The work and expertise of such academics and the need for their work to be targeted and disseminated properly to this large student cohort is dealt with. That such a significant segment of the student population deserve to gain maximum benefit from all Doctoral research work in HEI’s should not be a matter for debate. Very often however, as identified in my research, they are the student grouping who benefit least due to myriad issues investigated as part of my research.

Overall ,the assumption of a unity between research and teaching is investigated. The debate on this sometimes natural and at other times, vexed link between the two in today’s HEI’s is addressed. In conclusion, the many significant changes in higher education which have challenged the relationship between the two are touched upon. These include:

•The move to a mass higher education system
•The amount of time and funding available for teaching and research
•Changes in the nature of research and the nature of teaching
•Governmental policy (Internationally and in Ireland) towards the two and attitudes towards funding and return on investment.
@InProceedings{MCCAULEY2011HOW,
author = {Mc Cauley, J.},
title = {HOW DO DOCTORAL RESEARCH ACADEMICS PERCEIVE THEIR RESEARCH ACTIVITIES TO BE OF BENEFIT TO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS?},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {4684-4691}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Mc Cauley
TI - HOW DO DOCTORAL RESEARCH ACADEMICS PERCEIVE THEIR RESEARCH ACTIVITIES TO BE OF BENEFIT TO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS?
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 4684
EP - 4691
ER -
J. Mc Cauley (2011) HOW DO DOCTORAL RESEARCH ACADEMICS PERCEIVE THEIR RESEARCH ACTIVITIES TO BE OF BENEFIT TO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS?, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 4684-4691.
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