About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1014-1020
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

BECOMING AN ACADEMIC: NEW EXPERIENCES IN RESEARCH FOR ENHANCING TEACHING AND LEARNING

G. Wilkinson, A. Pitt, F. Dillon-Lee

Middlesex University (UNITED KINGDOM)
In this paper we chart the experiences of a university teaching unit as it transitions towards a research active department. With increasing commodification and competition between an expanding array of higher education providers, HEI rankings are ever more prominent and universities are taking different action to meet these challenges. As such, in 2014 our institution, which had always been a strong teaching and learning university, took the strategic direction of ensuring a research profile that would match this excellence. As a result, the past year has been a period of considerable staff development and practice review as we all worked on becoming more research active.

Our team in particular was primarily a teaching and learning unit and we all entered higher education through this route. The team is comprised of experienced language teachers and specialists in applied linguistics and academic writing. Our primary focus was to support staff and students in their academic endeavour. It was and is our role to ensure that language and literacy skills, communication skills and teaching excellence all receive the attention they deserve and contribute to achievement and development throughout the university.

While all members of staff have always been proactive in self-development and engaged in many research and education projects throughout the university and beyond, with the change of direction towards a research intensive institution, we found ourselves in the position of formalising these projects and redefining ourselves as academics, and not just lecturers.

This change of direction provided both opportunities and challenges. Firstly the motivation, space and opportunities to formalise our research was exciting and fruitful and has been very much embraced by all. While we were initially concerned about how our research responsibilities might influence our teaching and learning remit, it quickly became apparent that both were mutually enhancing. This realisation involved a number of challenges along the way, such as lack of confidence, identity shifts for individuals and the team, and steep learning curves in new skills and fields, but it also involved drawing on existing values and expertise, such as strong collaboration, mutual support and commitment to reflective practice.

We discuss the experience and implications of the transitions we have been through over the last year and how we plan to build on these beginnings to ensure that both research and teaching and learning are actively developed and mutually enhancing, as we ourselves accept our new identity as academics.
@InProceedings{WILKINSON2015BEC,
author = {Wilkinson, G. and Pitt, A. and Dillon-Lee, F.},
title = {BECOMING AN ACADEMIC: NEW EXPERIENCES IN RESEARCH FOR ENHANCING TEACHING AND LEARNING},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {1014-1020}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Wilkinson AU - A. Pitt AU - F. Dillon-Lee
TI - BECOMING AN ACADEMIC: NEW EXPERIENCES IN RESEARCH FOR ENHANCING TEACHING AND LEARNING
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 1014
EP - 1020
ER -
G. Wilkinson, A. Pitt, F. Dillon-Lee (2015) BECOMING AN ACADEMIC: NEW EXPERIENCES IN RESEARCH FOR ENHANCING TEACHING AND LEARNING, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 1014-1020.
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