Learning and Teaching in Action: Linking Teaching and Research

Student in language lab

 

Enhancing teaching-research links through active field-based learning and peer review

Dawn Nicholson

Abstract

A range of activities are reported for a final year, field-based undergraduate physical geography module in which the research-teaching nexus is actively encouraged. Research-based components include the design and implementation of field-based research projects, a portfolio of data analysis and presentation, and a simulated peer review process for an academic paper. Students value the opportunity to engage in peer review, to simulate a real-world process and receive feedback on a draft assignment paper. They also place great value on inquiry-based learning in the context of overseas fieldwork. It is concluded that both peer review and inquiry-based activities facilitate assessment for learning, progressive development of skills and learner autonomy.

1. Introduction

Students place great value on learning that is achieved in a research-based environment. This is one of the key conclusions of a wide-ranging review into the research-teaching nexus conducted by Jenkins (2004) and updated by Jenkins et al (2007). Why do students place such a high value on research-based learning? There is no doubt that there are tangible benefits such as enhanced knowledge and the development of transferable skills, particularly where students are actively involved in research processes (Healey 2005a, p183):

undergraduate students are likely to gain most benefit from research in terms of depth of learning and understanding when they are involved actively, particularly through various forms of inquiry-based learning.

and (Gibbs 1988):

There is an increasing amount of evidence that one of the most effective ways in which students may benefit from research……… is through active engagement in the research process. This learning by doing approach is consistent with Kolb’s experiential learning theory.

However, it is probably the intangible benefits of research-based learning that students appreciate most. These include exposure to the ‘real world’ of the academic and answers being provided to curiosity-driven questions about what we do and why we do it (Neumann 1994).

This article reports on a range of activities in a final year, field-based undergraduate physical geography module in which the research-teaching nexus is actively encouraged. The module is both research-based and research-tutored following Healey’s conceptual representation of the links between research and curriculum design (Figure 1). Throughout the module, there is an emphasis on active student participation, on inquiry-based learning, and on encouraging student autonomy through various methods including open-ended assignments.

Figure 1: Curriculum design and the research-teaching nexus (Healey 2005b, modified from an original concept by Griffiths 2004).

 

2. Background to the Field Research and Analysis module

 A one-week summer field course to the Jostedals region of Norway is a central component of the module Field Research and Analysis. Prior to the field course, two half-day workshops are provided to introduce the module, the field area and planned activities, to address logistical arrangements and guide students in the preparation of proposals for field project work. The two module assignments are also set. The field course takes place over seven consecutive days and includes four days of field research training and development (primarily in support of assignment one) and two to three days of small group project work (primarily in support of assignment two). Post-fieldwork seminars occur throughout term one and are primarily focussed on supporting students as they complete the two module assignments. On successful completion of the module, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate evidence of
    • field observation and recording,
    • field data collection and analysis, and
    • integration of field observations and data with theoretical concepts –
    for a variety of mountain geomorphology landforms, processes and materials.
  2. Design and implement a detailed geomorphic investigation in a field situation.
  3. Analyse and interpret the data from a detailed field investigation and synthesise and integrate the findings into an objective scientific report.

 

2.1 Module assessment

The assessment strategy for the module is designed to enhance learning opportunities as well as providing a mechanism for grading. Students are assessed via two equally-weighted pieces of coursework and formative assessment is an intrinsic component throughout the module.

Assignment one requires students to construct a three-part, evidence-based portfolio that demonstrates their achievement of the three components of learning outcome 1. Each of the three sections (recording and observation, data collection and analysis, and linking field observation with theory) sets out the evidence supporting the students’ claim for that learning outcome, and is accompanied by a 500-word explanatory commentary. Students are provided with examples of evidence claims (Box 1) but the open-ended nature of the assignment provides considerable scope for student autonomy and innovation.

Box 1 : Examples of evidence for the assignment 1 portfolio

Section 1: Field observation and recording

This section should provide evidence of field observation and recording for a variety of mountain geomorphology landforms, processes and materials. Evidence could include:

  • Unmodified field notes, explanations and interpretations*
  • Field sketches and sketch maps*
  • Correct site descriptions (e.g. grid reference, location, north point, general site description)
  • Raw field data collected (e.g. stream conductivity, TDS and/or pH measurements, block fabric, ploughing boulder dimensions)*
  • Other information collected in the field (e.g. relevant leaflets)
  • Post-field course reflections on your field observations and records*

Section 2: Data collection and analysis

This section should provide evidence of field data collection and analysis for a variety of mountain geomorphology landforms, processes and materials. Evidence could include:

  • Examples of different approaches to presenting data (e.g. histograms, tables of data, maps)*
  • Analysis of data (e.g. statistical tests)*
  • Preliminary interpretations of data collected
  • Post-field course reflections on your experiences of data collection and analysis*

Section 3: Integrating field and theoretical concepts

This section should provide evidence of integrating field observations / data with theory for a variety of mountain geomorphology landforms, processes and materials. Evidence could include:

  • A two page handout on a selected topic (and be prepared to talk to the group about this informally during the field trip)*
  • Evidence of general post-fieldwork reading (e.g. with reflective paper summaries or annotations added)*
  • Evidence of further reading about specific geomorphic features or processes
  • A further reading list for specified features

 

* These are required elements

 

Assignment two requires students to design and implement a detailed geomorphic investigation in a field situation, to analyse and interpret the data collected and synthesise and integrate the findings into an objective scientific report. A major part of this assignment is student participation in an anonymised peer review process simulating that conducted for academic journals in the real world.

2.2 Research-based elements

There are several research-based components to the module:

  1. An opportunity to ‘publish’ a chapter in the Field Guide
  2. Design and implementation of field research projects (a dry run for final year dissertation work) conducted in small groups
  3. Application of field research techniques
  4. Analysis and presentation of field data (as part of assignment one and linked with field research training activities)
  5. Writing-up of mini research project in the style of a journal article
  6. Participation in a peer-review process paralleling that followed by professional researchers

 

3. Pre-fieldwork activities

3.1 Field Guide

During the pre-field course workshops, students are invited to select a topic from a prepared list on which to write a two-page contribution to the module Field Guide; Introduction to the Geomorphology of Norway. This contribution comprises one of the required elements for the third section of assignment one (linking field observations with theory). Students are encouraged to submit this work prior to the field course in order that the best quality submissions can be included in the final guide distributed to he whole cohort before departure. A set of rules for authorship of the Field Guide has been adopted (Table 1). These introduce students to the idea of ‘publishing’ work and the element of informal peer review encourages them to take the task seriously. The Field Guide has expanded each year that the module has run and now includes a number of appendices focussing on field techniques.


Quality of submitted work

Authorship in Field Guide

The student’s submission can be included as it stands, with only minor formatting and typographical corrections

The student is sole author

Minor intellectual intervention is required from the editor (tutor) to correct errors, add omitted material or remove superfluous material

The tutor is second author

Moderate to major intellectual intervention is required from the editor (tutor)

The tutor is first author

The material requires re-writing

The tutor is sole author

Table 1: ‘ Rules’ for authorship in the Field Guide

 

It is a central underlying principle of the module that clear links are made between field observations and underpinning theory. Therefore, students are asked to come prepared on the field course to explain their Field Guide topic to the cohort when the opportunity presents itself (Figure 2). Thus, a student who, for example, has written a contribution on the use of lichenometry as a dating tool in glacial environments, can be expected to give an informal presentation and explanation when we first practise the technique in the foreland of Nigardsbreen glacier (Figure 3).

Figure 2: A student about to provide an informal presentation and explanation of a ‘glacier table’.

Figure 3: The immediate foreland of Nigardsbreen glacier (meaning ‘new farm glacier’), Jostedals , Norway .

 

3.2 Research proposal

Between the two pre- field course workshops students submit a group-based research proposal for their mini field project. Proposals must set out the research aim and objectives, one or more testable hypotheses, an appropriate research design and background literature review. Tutor-research group tutorials are held to discuss and refine the proposals as appropriate and address any logistical concerns (e.g. field equipment requirements and risk assessment).

 

4. Field research training

In the field, a variety of contrasting and often unique environments are visited (Figure 4). At each location, students are introduced to advanced field techniques and work in groups to design sampling strategies and collect data that can be used to investigate geomorphic problems. The features observed and the data collected are closely allied to the author’s own research interests and those of departmental physical geography colleagues. Every opportunity is taken to draw students’ attention to related Department research activities, published articles, current issues and research questions.

Figure 4: Taking the opportunity to observe unusual features and deepen academic understanding of process and material interactions.

 

One example of a field activity takes place in the foreland of Nigardsbreen glacier (Figure 3). In front of the glacier there is exposed bedrock that bears evidence of ice erosion but also provides a record of changes that have occurred since the glacier retreated over the last century. Two different techniques (lichenometry and rock surface hardness) are used to reconstruct the spatial and temporal pattern of glacier retreat. Students get an opportunity to practise both techniques and also to engage in ancillary duties such as note-taking and recording location details (e.g. GPS location and site description). Once back at the field centre, students collaborate to compile and enter the data onto a laptop in order that it can subsequently be made available to the whole cohort online.

Towards the end of the field course, mini research projects are conducted in groups of two or three students, simulating common practice in professional academic research teams (Figure 5). These projects also simulate the academic and logistical processes necessary for final year dissertation work and there is anecdotal evidence that students have enjoyed the opportunity to practise this process before the ‘real thing’. The mini-projects are conducted independently and are entirely driven by the plans set out in research proposals. Tutors make sporadic field supervision visits during the two or three days available for the mini projects.

Figure 5: Close collaboration between students learning new, advanced field techniques and potentially transferable practical skills.

 

5. Post fieldwork

5.1 Weekly seminars

During term one of their final year (the field course takes place in the summer between their second and third years), students attend weekly seminars. The seminars are entirely student-centred and aimed at supporting them to maximise their potential learning and achievement. For the first few weeks, activities are centred on active learning and engagement with the transferable skills of data analysis and presentation in support of the assignment one portfolio (refer back to Box 1). Data collected in the first few days of the field course are examined and students encouraged to develop and share ideas about how best to analyse and present these data and relate findings to accepted theory.

5.2 The peer review process

In the final few weeks of the module, weekly seminars primarily support assignment two and focus on interpreting research findings, scientific writing and peer review. The report required for assignment two has to be written in the style of a paper published in an appropriate scientific journal. The process of submitting the assignment is intended to simulate the anonymous peer-review process that professional academics undergo. There are four stages to the process (Table 2):

Stage

Action

1

Students submit a draft paper to the journal editor (the tutor).

2

Anonymised copies of the draft papers are re-distributed among the cohort and each student is asked to provide peer review comments on the paper allocated to them. The tutor, in the editor’s role, also provides detailed feedback on each of the papers.

3

Marked-up manuscripts and peer-review comments are copied and returned to the originating author.

4

Final, corrected papers are submitted to the editor for ‘publication’.

Table 2: Stages in the simulated peer-review process for assignment two

 

The peer review process is facilitated with the use of a reviewer comment form which is a slightly modified version of a real form used by the journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms – a journal very pertinent to physical geography students. One of the modifications has been to provide a space for students to enter an indicative grade for the work – this encourages engagement with the assessment criteria and grade descriptors provided along with the assignment briefing. The form includes a section asking the reviewer to indicate whether or not the paper should be published. This section is retained to encourage students to be bold in their judgements! Students are asked to preserve the realism of the professional peer review process by not communicating with each other about the assignment during the review phase.

To fully prepare students for the anonymised peer review process, one of the seminars is entirely given over to a detailed examination of that process as it occurs in the real world. The seminar begins with a mechanistic overview of the process using a simple flow diagram as a framework. A set of real review documents associated with a recent attempt by the author to publish a research paper is then considered. I begin this by presenting a brief background to my own research discipline to set the submitted paper in context. I explain the research development process, from the initial research aim and objectives, into the overall research design as implemented. I give a brief account of field data collection, subsequent data analysis and then the writing of the paper itself. This outline is useful because it parallels the activities being undertaken by the students at that time in preparing their own paper for assignment two and underlines the authentic nature of the assignment task.

In the next part of the seminar, I display on the screen actual editor and reviewer manuscript and formal comments on my submitted paper and these are explored in detail with the students. Some of the subtleties of the review process are discussed, including situations when the author might dispute a criticism, idiosyncrasies and contradictions from different reviewers, editors mark-up and ‘house styles’, and fundamental factual or numerical errors. Students often express surprise at what they regard as the ‘pedantic’ nature of some feedback (particularly ‘errors’ relating to house style).

 

6. Evaluation of the peer review process

6.1 Student views on the process

Anecdotally, students appear to find the peer review process one of the more challenging, yet rewarding elements of the module. In the module evaluation, students commented on three aspects in particular; reviewing other’s work, receiving interim feedback on a draft assignment submission, and the opportunity to engage in a real-world process.

6.1.1 Reviewing other’s work

Students rarely have the opportunity to read other students’ work and this was considered valuable for learning:

The peer-review process was very helpful and informative, specifically reading other work.

I found it useful reviewing another student’s paper as this focussed my attention on some parts of my own work”.

Peer review was very useful. I found the comments I received from a peer of little use but as I was reviewing someone else’s I picked up tips and styles I hadn’t thought of.

6.1.2 Receiving interim feedback on a draft

Students highly valued the opportunity to receive feedback on a draft piece of work prior to the final submission:

Very valuable experience – very rarely do you get feedback on work before it’s marked.

Having my work marked by my peers identified some of the weaknesses which I often tended to overlook. This stemmed from actually seeing other people’s work in addition to having my own marked.

I really like the fact that we had a chance to do a draft version of our work and peer review someone else’s! Overall, one of my favourite lectures this year!

Although this wasn’t always the case:

I found some points raised by the reviewer of my own paper confusing and very unconstructive.

 

From the tutor’s perspective, peer feedback comments on student work were quite variable in content and quality. In some cases, students picked up on mainly functional issues such as:

  • the number of references included
  • overall organisation and/or structure (the order of different sections)
  • typographical errors and grammar
  • omissions, such as aims and objectives, figure captions, photograph annotations
  • incorrect placing of material (e.g. a discussion in the results section)
  • good quality work marred by poor presentation and writing style

Students appear to be positively influenced by work that is well written and presented, a common tendency that has been noted elsewhere (Gibbs and Simpson 2004). Despite presentation being just one of a number of assessment criteria under consideration, almost all students remarked on this quality in their feedback comments.

In some cases, students were somewhat unrealistic in their expectations of undergraduate assignment work and made comments such as:

  • the work is unoriginal (lots of other papers written on the same topic)
  • you should have created your own lichen curve (a dating reference curve)
  • the work could advance current theory.....

In many cases, however, student comments adhered closely to the assessment criteria, were perceptive and indicated high level, deep learning processes at work. Criticisms raised included:

  • no clear statement of why the research was conducted
  • a lack of conclusion (was the hypothesis proved or disproved?)
  • insufficient support from quality peer-reviewed publications
  • irrelevant or unsupported arguments (need for wider reading to support interpretation of data, discussion and conclusions)
  • lacking comparison with other work (or no comment on the broader significance of findings)
  • unnecessary over-complication of a simple study

In addition, some students identified important errors and omissions in data analysis and interpretation (e.g. suggestions of alternative, preferable statistical or analytical methods) and research design (particularly sampling strategies). It was notable that most students offered positive and encouraging comments alongside criticism and constructive feedback.

6.1.3 Engaging in a real-world process

Students valued the opportunity to simulate a real-world process and be exposed to real reviewer and editor documentation:

It was useful to go through a journal [paper] that had been sent to an editor regarding the second assignment.

Peer review is a good idea and I suggest that is continues – the fact that it parallels the real process made it fun.

 

6.2 Effect on marks

The module has so far run on two occasions. For the first year only, a record was kept of marks achieved for the draft paper (i.e. pre-peer review) submitted for assignment two. For a cohort of twelve students, the average improvement in mark from the draft to the final piece, was 10%, with a range from 3 to 31%. In an exceptional case, one student who was awarded just 37% admitted that his work was a very early draft. His final piece of work achieved 68%. However, for other students the maximum increase in mark was 15%. These statistics are based only on the tutor’s marks, not those awarded by the peer reviewers.

 

6.3 The tutor’s experience

Informal queries from colleagues surrounding the peer review process indicate concern around two aspects; (a) a doubling of marking load for the tutor and (b) the opportunity for students to submit a draft prior to the final piece of work - and implications for maintaining standards in summative assessment.

6.3.1 Marking load

A considerable, but commensurate effort is given to assessing and providing feedback comments on the draft paper. The drafts, together with manuscript comments and additional feedback, are photocopied and retained for reference. Marking of the final papers is completed much more quickly because (i) assessment of the final paper is treated as entirely summative and no feedback is provided, and (ii) assessing and grading is a simple matter of checking that feedback on the draft has been addressed. The use of a grade descriptors and standards grid also facilitates the grading process.

6.3.2 Submitting a draft

Student work is assessed for many reasons and one of these is to “promot[e] student learning by providing the student with feedback” (QAA 2006, p4). The role of feedback in assessment is also highlighted in MMU assessment policy (University Assessment Framework, p1):

The University recognises the importance of both formative and summative assessment in the student experience and expects it to be integrated into all curriculum planning…….

Learning clearly takes place between the submission of the draft paper and the final piece of work. This is partly in response to application of the detailed feedback provided but it is also learning that takes place through the process of reviewing the work of peers. Further justification of the value of draft submission, in this case, is simply that it mirrors professional practice. Rehearsing real-world practices in this way is fully compatible with our desire to develop employable graduates.

 

7. Student feedback on the module

The peer review process is but one element of a module containing a number of different structural and academic components. Links between learning and research are developed throughout and this, together with the field component, has a positive influence on overall student evaluation of the module. Students particularly valued opportunities for active participation, informal networking (Figure 6) and autonomy:

Well they say you learn geography through the soles of your feet and I agree! I feel I have learned more in one week than the entirety of my first and second years.

Figure 6: Enjoying a shared group moment in a spectacular landscape.

Nothing was given to us on a plate…. we were challenged to explain features and give our own interpretations. Initially this was daunting but ultimately pleasurable to do. Again, I actually surprised myself in being able to achieve this.

I really liked the fact that because we were a small group the seminars were less formal.

The freedom to include almost whatever was really good as it allowed flexibility on things we understood better, found more interesting etc. It was nice to do a reflective piece of work on our experience.

The overall fieldtrip was fantastic! A really good, educational experience and I feel because I was out in the field looking at glaciers, striations, sandurs etc I know a lot more about them than if I was to just read a textbook.

The field course was amazing. The things we saw and did in such a short space of time. It was exhausting but most certainly worth it.

In general, a fantastic trip, learned a lot, made new friends and did not stop laughing!

When asked to identify the best three features of the module, students cited a range. What was perhaps surprising, were the number of responses that alluded to academic and intellectual development:

We were challenged.

The peer assessment – it was very stimulating and useful.

Assignments – they were interesting and enjoyable to complete.

Conducting the project gave me a chance to conduct my own project from which I have learned a lot.

The Field Guide and associated presentations – stimulated research before the trip.

We learned new skills and developed existing ones.

The assignments helped me to demonstrate my understanding of geomorphological processes.

Seeing things that are not as understandable through a textbook.

 

8. Discussion and conclusions

Self and student evaluation of the module raises a number of generic issues around effective learning in a research-based environment.

8.1 Assessment for learning

Learning is facilitated when assessment is treated as part of the learning process rather than merely as a means to grade achievement (Bostock 2001). Such an environment is ‘glass half full’ in that mistakes can be regarded as opportunities to improve rather than as failures (‘glass half empty’). Assessment tasks ideally placed to promote advanced learning and skills acquisition include peer review and field-based inquiry activities. Indeed (Healey 2005a, p197):

If there is to be a closer alignment between the needs of staff and the

benefits for students, a new pedagogy for the twenty-first century may be required. The rediscovery of a curriculum devised around inquiry-based learning would be a strong contender

 

8.2 Progressive skills development

In this module, students first have an opportunity to implement specialist research techniques in the relatively ‘safe’ environment of whole-cohort activities at the start of the field course. At this time, only minor decisions need to be made about sampling strategies and recording methods. Later in the field course students have to make more significant decisions about research design and hypothesis testing, data analysis and interpretation. This provides an excellent foundation for decision-making within the 40-credit final year project that may eventually account for one third of the value of a student’s degree. A similar progressive approach is taken in this module with peer review: Initially, students encounter a light touch approach to peer review with tutor-made decisions about authorship of Field Guide contributions. Later, they experience informal peer review when presenting explanations to fellow students in the field. Finally, they participate in a full peer review process designed to simulate reality.

During the course of a three year MMU degree programme in Physical Geography, students are progressively prepared to undertake a major final year project or dissertation. However, anecdotal feedback from students undertaking Field Research and Analysis suggests that progressive development of field and research skills in a concentrated period of time – as experienced in this module - can be significantly more effective. The short time period involved and informal nature of the group enables adjustments to be made at subsequent levels of progression based on performance at earlier levels. This is compatible with the pedagogical strategy of just in time teaching (JiTT) that suggests more effective learning is achieved where there is a feedback loop between student activity and subsequent class time (Novak et al 1999).

 

8.3 Student autonomy

Learner autonomy can be regarded as a gradual process by which students increase awareness of their own strategies, needs and goals as a learner. They progress on to maximise learning by internally re-structuring and reconsidering approaches and processes ( Thanasoulas 2000). At the start of this module there was a sense of nervousness among students borne of the open-ended nature of assignment one and the lack of restriction over the focus for assignment two. It was notable, however, that these qualms were rapidly extinguished as students gained confidence in their own ability through peer review and in the freedom to take ownership of their own learning (Bostock 2001). The candour expressed by the author during the peer review seminar (presenting a personal paper with real reviewer feedback) further enhanced the open style of teaching adopted throughout. This produced a sense of equality between tutor and students in which all were perceived to be located at different points along the continuum of learning and motivation for the discipline. Thus learner autonomy can be significantly enhanced through curriculum design.

 

8.4 Employability

It is a commonly held belief among academics that students dislike ‘skills’ modules. In fact all of the seminars for this module centre upon the development of transferable skills (e.g. data analysis and presentation, scientific writing) but this fact appears to have escaped the attention of the students! This is probably a reflection of the immediacy and tangibility of links between seminars and assignment work. However, the JiTT approach enhances student ownership of class time in a way that makes it more profitable and rewarding. What remains to be seen is whether students have a sufficiently clear recognition of the skills they have acquired in a way that will directly and positively impact on their employability. Less tangible benefits arising from the module include an increased sense of pride derived from the experience of engaging in an activity that parallels ‘real’ practice. There is also an increased sense of ‘belonging’ to the Department, derived from a breakdown of barriers, perceived or real, between staff and students (Figure 6).

 

8.5 A final word

Designing and developing a curriculum in which there are strong links between research and teaching promises considerable benefits for staff (Jenkins et al 2007). Not least of these are the potential time savings in preparing class materials, teaching field or laboratory techniques, identifying field locations and identifying appropriate reading materials. However, less tangible benefits may be more attractive. These include the immense satisfaction gained from educating and motivating young academics (for that is what our students are, potentially) in the fascinating world of disciplines that have so engaged us. While fieldwork is not appropriate for all disciplines, it offers a superb mechanism for developing links between teaching and research (Edwards 2003, James et al 2003).

 

9. References

Bostock, S. (2001). Student Peer Assessment. Higher Education Academy . Online. (Accessed 13th October 2009 ).

Edwards, S. (2003). Examples of integrating field-based research and teaching in geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Planet5, 19-20.

Gibbs, G. (1988) Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Methods Further Education Unit, London . Online. (Accessed 7th October 2009 )

Gibbs, G. and Simpson, C. (2004). Conditions under which assessment supports students’ learning. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, 1, 3-31. Online (Accessed 14th October 2009 ).

Griffiths, R. (2004). Knowledge production and the research-teaching nexus: the case of the built environment disciplines. Studies in Higher Education 29(6),709-726.

Healey, M. (2005a). Linking research and teaching to benefit student learning. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 29(2),183-201.

Healey, M. (2005b). Linking research and teaching: exploring disciplinary spaces and the role of inquiry-based learning. In: R. Barnett (ed). Reshaping the University: New Relationships Between Research, Scholarship and Teaching. McGraw-Hill / Open University Press, Maidenhead, 67-78.

James, P., Heinson, G. and Schmidt, A. (2003). Linking teaching and research in the undergraduate fieldwork training programme at the University of Adelaide . Planet5, 16-18.

Jenkins, A. (2004). A Guide to the Evidence on Teaching-Research Relations. Higher Education Academy , York .

Jenkins, A., Healey, M. and Zetter, R. (2007). Linking Teaching and Research in Disciplines and Departments. Higher Education Academy , York .

MMU (2008). University Assessment Framework. Online. (Accessed 8 th October 2009 ).

Neumann, R. (1994). The teaching-research nexus: applying a framework to university students’ learning experiences. European Journal of Education29(3), 323-339.

Novak, G. M., Patterson, E. T., Gavrin, A. D. and Wolfgang, C. (1999) Just in time teaching. American Journal of Physics67(10), 937-938.

QAA (2006). Code of Practice for the Assurance of Academic Quality and Standards in Higher Education. Section 6: Assessment of Students. Quality Assurance Agency, Mansfield . Online (Accessed 14 th October 2009 ).

Thanasoulas, D. (2000). What is learner autonomy and how can it be fostered? The Internet TESL Journal 6(11). Online Accessed 14 th October 2009 .

about the author

photo of Dawn Nicholson

Dawn Nicholson
Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow, Science and Engineering

e-mail: d.nicholson@mmu.ac.uk
telephone: 0161 247 6232

Summer 2009
ISSN 1477-1241