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Student and academic staff perception of Teaching-research nexus (TRN): Greater need for utility of research into curriculum

Wednesday 3 July: 5:30pm – 7:00pm, poster session



Associate Professor Eri Rajaraman
The University of Tasmania, Australia

Dr Frances Fan
The University of Tasmania, Australia

Susan Salter
The University of Tasmania, Australia



Research informed teaching (RIT) is a term usually referred to as Teaching-Research Nexus (TRN).  It can be defined as the link between multiple discipline research and how it translates into learning and teaching (Brew, 2010; Visser-Wijnveen, Van Driel, Van der Rijst, Verloop and Visser, 2010, Williams 2013). RIT also draws on research about curriculum design and increasing student participation in research work (Lingard and Renshaw, 2010; Gresty and Edwards-Jones, 2012). In fact, RIT is an important aspect of pedagogical content knowledge as described by Boyd and Smith (2016).  On the other hand, research work done by Pascarella and Terenzini (2005) based on student-surveys, indicated that research productivity and high quality teaching are at the opposing ends of the spectrum. We conducted a student survey at the UTAS Faculty of Education on TRN with questions related to understanding, perception, curriculum, learning experience, and value of research skills. A survey was conducted with 78 students, the majority of whom are from undergraduate degrees and a few are Higher Degree Research students. Additionally, 12 academic staff from Health Sciences were also interviewed about their perception and utilisation of TRN.  Descriptive statistical tests, such as means and medians were calculated. Non-parametric tests, including Kruskal-Wallis tests, were also conducted to examine differences between the different participant groups. Key results include a better perception of lecturers’ research being appreciated by students in addition to a majority of students viewing research as an important aspect of their university learning experience. On the other hand, majority of teaching staff interviewed in our study reject the term “nexus” in TRN and 70% of staff interviewed do not place importance of their own research in teaching. All the statistical and qualitative analyses of the survey will be presented along with the study’s potential impact on future learning and teaching.


Presentation topic

Poster session

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