Engaging students in bioscience research to improve their learning experience
Combining teaching and research is the definitive principle of ‘research-informed teaching’ (RIT) (Healey, 2005). RIT is pivotal for improving the quality of the student learning experience. All undergraduate students within the School of Science and Engineering, Teesside University (TU), are given the opportunity to become RIT co-creators via curricula mechanisms, primarily via a second year project proposal module combined with their final year project.
This case study aims to illustrate how, over three academic years, the authors used co-curricula methods to enhance student engagement within the bioscience research environment utilising co-designed research projects and publication preparation. The success of student involvement in these initiatives was measured against six key personal attributes (Adaptable, Articulate and Aspiring, Creative, Critical, Confident) and questionnaire responses from a total of ten respondents, in addition to a summary of tangible research outputs. An evaluation of staff involvement was also considered through the use of semi-structured interviews. Also outlined are the ways in which RIT can be integrated by early career researchers without significant financial input.
Overall, the research-led, partnership approach resulted in increased student motivation, aspiration and confidence in their further learning and employment.
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