Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Research informed teaching

I've been asked to think about how my teaching is research informed. Here are some of my thoughts:

Graham Basten

Research area informs the academic curriculum:

1. Statement(s) on how your research influences the academic curriculum.

· All my teaching (see 2 and 3) is research informed and the subject content and outcomes at module and programme level are based on this.

2. List relevant programmes:

  • BSc Biomedical Science
  • BSc Medical Science
  • FD Healthcare Science
  • MPharm

3. List (main) relevant module titles and levels

  • BIOM 1006 Cell Biology
  • BIOM 2002 Disease Processes
  • BIOM 3001 Clinical Chemistry
  • BIOM3006 Honours Project (Module Leader)
  • Module 4584 on clinical nutrition (4rth yr pharmacy)

Research informs teaching:

1. Brief statement(s)/examples on how your research influences the teaching process (the way you teach).

  • Linking level 4,5,6 modules with a growing understanding of research, for example in level 4 we would learn how to do a literature search, level 5 critique, and level 6 design and plan work.

2. Brief statement(s) on how your research determines the fine details (as opposed to academic curriculum) of what is taught, and extent of this; it would be useful to have some examples.

  • BIOM2005: Cell Culture. At the start of the lecture series the students are given the learning outcomes, and in addition to “information” transferred by didactic lectures, these lectures also contain video clips and we review of my peer reviewed published manuscripts on cell culture, nutrition and cancer models. Over the series of lectures we refer back to the paper and debunk the complex words and phrases until the students can understand the paper. We then go on to discuss the limitations of the paper, for example the cells are already cancer cells, and invite students to then search for more papers. I believe that this gives considerable value to simple didactic lectures; it gives insight to an actual applied use of the knowledge and allows motivated students to go on and learn in more depth. This model is also used in BIOM3001and BIOM2002 where I use my folate, cancer and CVD work and papers to explain complex clinical chemistry learning outcomes.
  • Interactive lectures, i.e. in which the students use Wikipedia to determine sound data
  • Lectures where students bring the latest research to discuss
  • As stated using research to add colour and depth to lectures
  • Using the latest research to explain key learning outcomes, works well in a seminar or tutorial setting as it brings a boring outcome to life as someone has done it.
  • In BIOM3006 projects allowing students at level 5 to develop research ideas and suggest there own projects. Assessing the students via a mock research conference.
  • Maintaining an academic and research Blog

I’d be happy to discuss any of these in further detail.