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Experiencing research-informed teaching from the student perspective: Insights from developing an undergraduate e-journal

Authors


Dr Karen A. Gresty, School of Biomedical and Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA, UK. Email: kgresty@plymouth.ac.uk

Abstract

This paper reports the findings of a science e-journal initiative to publish undergraduate research and assesses student evaluations of this experience. Students in this (post-1992, non-research-intensive) institution overwhelmingly reported that research was a key feature of their course at the point of the e-journal introduction and that they were involved in research in a variety of ways (especially honours projects, lab work and fieldwork). Research-informed teaching from the student perspective involved two specific categories of pedagogic activities: things that students did and things that tutors did. Students largely understood research-informed teaching as an activity where tutors impart knowledge about their own and others' research (a research-led approach). Yet, what students wanted was a more active involvement in the research process (research-oriented/research-based). The e-journal initiative enabled some students to acquire this additional experience and without great cost so could be adopted elsewhere. There is some debate about equality of access to research opportunities in higher education, and an e-journal has the potential to be more widely accessible than, for example, research apprenticeships (especially if students can be involved as reviewers and as active contributors via Web 2.0 technologies). However, there is still an element of elitism about selection for the publication process.

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