Undergraduate students: Partners in Research

I attended the Higher Education Academy (HEA) event: Students as Partners in Undergraduate Research which took place at University of Sheffield on Tuesday 22nd October 2013. For more see HEA web pages on the ‘Students as Partners’ strand. It was a programme packed with short presentations on a variety of initiatives under the themes:

  • Students as partners in extra/co-curricular research
  • Students as partners in interdisciplinary research
  • Students as co-researchers in learning and teaching practice & policy

The keynote by Dr Stuart Hampton-Reeves covered his experience of seeing the large-scale undergraduate conferences in the US and how this spurred him on to developing the British conference of Undergraduate Research. The 2014 conference will be at University of Nottingham in April and the call for papers is out now! Prof Hampton-Reeves also talked about how transformative research partnerships are for students and staff.

Ask the students about their experience of learning!

We then heard about the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme where students work on a research project with staff for six weeks over the summers.

And about students involved in pedagogic research at Northampton University

It was particularly great to see so many student presenters and hear from them the benefits of undertaking research in partnership with staff and be able to ask them questions as they were very much part of the group work that took place throughout the event. The Student Ambassadors for Learning and Teaching (SALT) from the University of Sheffield presented on a number of initiatives and I was especially impressed with the Arts & Humanities students who designed an interdisciplinary module that would explore issues of ‘value’ in learning and teaching.

At the end of the event I was in no doubt that undergraduate student were able to carry out, contribute to, develop and inform ongoing academic research. It also came through in all the presentations that these initiatives can be transformational in the sense that staff and students come to view each other differently and have different relationships. This different kind of student/staff relationship echoed findings from the Student as Teaching and Learning Consultants scheme, an ongoing scheme at the University of Huddersfield, where students work in partnership with staff to enhance teaching and learning. I have written about this in a previous blogpost about the scheme.

It was also highlighted that both students and staff authors are welcome to publish in the HEA journals

The twitter tag for the event was #UGRes and I storified the tweets later that day, see Students as Partners in Undergraduate Research

Posted by Kathrine Jensen, research assistant at the Teaching and Learning Institute (@kshjensen)

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About talintuoh

Supporting and connecting colleagues to develop inspiring and innovative teaching and learning
This entry was posted in Conference, Partnership, pedagogy, Research, Teaching, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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