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Linking teaching and research – some ideas from my teaching at the Australian National University The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled (Plutarch, c46–127 AD)

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Title: Linking teaching and research – some ideas from my teaching at the Australian National University The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled (Plutarch, c46–127 AD)


1
Linking teaching and research some ideas from
my teaching at the Australian National University
The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a
fire to be kindled (Plutarch, c46127 AD)
  •  
  • Richard.Baker_at_anu.edu.au
  • Deputy Dean
  • College of Science
  • Australian National University

2
Note detailed online course resources including
full video of all lectures are available for my
course at
  • http//fennerschool-people.anu.edu.au/richard_bake
    r/teaching.html
  • Or if you just want the lecture videos go to
    Apples iTunes Store click iTunesU in top menu
    bar search for Australian National University
    click on all and then on ENVS1001 or ENVS3028

3
Introduction
  • Will talk today about linking teaching and
    research to engage students in deep learning with
    some examples from my teaching but first would
    like to show briefly talk about the outcomes from
    a recent workshop that I had the privilege of
    chairing in the UK.
  • Our workshop examined what we can do to maximize
    the benefits of linking teaching and research in
    terms of undergraduate student learning. A key
    point we kept coming back to was kindling the
    fire Plutarch speaks of.
  • I would argue that igniting this fire demands
    that we utlise fire in the belly of every
    successful researcher about discovery and the in
    turn conveying this excitement to students.

4
International Alliance of Research Universities
  • In 2008 Elizabeth Fallaize PVC(E) at Oxford and I
    drafted a paper for the IARU presidents (see
    http//www.iaruni.org/ for list of IARU members)
    on opportunities for our universities to enhance
    student learning by working on research-teaching
    links

5
Quote from our paper to the IARU presidents
  • In the case of the IARU universities, the link
    between teaching and research forms the very
    raison dêtre of our alliance. The worlds best
    research intensive universities have something
    special to offer in terms of the creation and
    sharing of knowledge. The IARU alliance is
    uniquely positioned to offer our students a
    radically enhanced learning experience by
    clarifying and articulating our approach to the
    research-teaching nexus and sharing teaching
    resources on the issue. This paper proposes that
    IARU partners explore together our concepts of
    research-based learning and create a IARU-wide
    community of learning for students and academics,
    based on our shared ideas.
  • IARU and Research-led teaching and learning
    Richard Baker, Deputy Dean, College of Science,
    Australian National University Elizabeth
    Fallaize, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education)
    Oxford. Paper for the meeting of the
    International Alliance of Research University
    Presidents 2008 Apr 22-23, 2008, Yale

6
Outcome of our paper was a workshop in Cambridge
February 2009 that I chaired of heads of
Education and Teaching and Learning Support
Centres of the IARU partners.
  • Two key points arising from these discussions
    that I think are relevant to our discussions
    today were
  • the educational benefits for our students in
    studying in research intense institutions dont
    just happen but are something we have to work at.
    We therefore need to consciously build upon
    existing effective synergies and actively address
    institutional barriers working against these
    potential synergies.
  • a key strategy should be focusing as far as
    possible in our teaching on process of mind
    instead of a focus on content. For example
    researchers need to convey to students what it
    means to think like a biologist/historian etc. In
    turn such a focus has profound effects on how we
    teach and how we assess.

7
Value of Research-Based Education
  • In a knowledge society all students -
    certainly all graduates - have to be researchers.
    Not only are they engaged in the production of
    knowledge they must also be educated to cope
    with the risks and uncertainties generated by the
    advance of science. In other words, education and
    research co-mingle in ways that make their
    artificial separation destructive of the highest
    standards in both. Scott, P. 2002

8
Lets focus on student learning outcomes rather
than academic tendency to fuss over terminology!
  • In terms of linking teaching and research a lot
    of time can be (and often is) wasted debating
    about what terms we should be using and what they
    mean.
  • I am not fussed about what terms people adopt but
    I do know that something very powerful happens
    when we link the following effectively in a
    virtuous cycle of course enhancement
  • Teaching informed by the research we do
  • Developing the research skills of our students to
    assist them to be more effective in class and
    life long learners
  • Researching the effectiveness of our teaching /
    learning outcomes of our students

9
Personal reflections on my education
  • 1st year ANU student Mulvaneys suitcase
  • Geography research project

10
Professor John Mulvaney
  • Pioneer of Australian archaeology taught me first
    year archaeology at ANU at the time he was
    involved in the discipline defining Lake Mungo
    discoveries that redefined our knowledge of
    prehistoric Australia
  • would literally come into lectures with a
    suitcase with artifacts he had excavated the
    previous weekend

11
First year Geography project
  • Major assessment item was working one to one with
    a leading Australian geomorphologist assisting
    him with a real self contained research problem
    that involved working with sediment samples he
    wanted analysed
  • Spent about 30 hours over the year long course in
    his lab

12
These Research-led Education opportunities for me
as a first year provided me with a profound
induction into becoming an academic
  • Saw that knowledge is constructed
  • element of an old fashion apprenticeship in the
    geography one
  • what we were learning in class was unfolding
    literally before our eyes
  • Gained skills and confidence to be a research and
    a teacher by being mentored
  • Being allowed to make mistakes and learn from
    them a key part of inducting students into
    thinking like researchers

13
Personal reflections on teaching-research nexus
from my teaching more details of each at the
open access websites for each
  • 1st year Resources, Environment and Society the
    Geography of Sustainability http//fennerschool-l
    ectures.anu.edu.au/lectures/2009/ENVS1001/
  • 3rd year Environmental Policy and Planning
    http//fennerschool-lectures.anu.edu.au/lectures/2
    009/ENVS3028/
  • Viet Nam field school open to students from
    every faculty in every year of study
    http//fennerschool-people.anu.edu.au/richard_bake
    r/ENVS2017/index.htm
  • Unravelling Complexity by invitation course
    top 10 final year students from each ANU College
    http//studyat.anu.edu.au/courses/UGRD3001details
    .html
  • 3rd year Murray-Darling Basin Field course
    http//fennerschool-people.anu.edu.au/richard_bake
    r/teaching/epp/index.html
  • 3 Masters coursework options based around
    extensions to first 3 listed courses
  • Honours, Masters and PhD supervision detail of
    all my graduate students are at
    http//fennerschool-people.anu.edu.au/richard_bake
    r/mygrad.html

14
Research-led nature of ENVS1001 Resources,
Environment and Society the geography of
sustainability
  • Course established in response to my reading of
    the literature on the first year experience at
    Australian universities
  • Focus my teaching around my research with
    Indigenous people on resource management and
    Indigenous knowledge systems
  • First lecture for example asks them to consider
    Yolgnu metaphors of learning and how they might
    apply to their university careers
  • Focus on building up student research skills
  • Weekly two hour panel where researchers and
    policy makers engage in debates
  • Final assessment student presentations on what
    they
  • have learnt about research

15
Some of the research evidence
  • The Commencing Study at the ANU - The Experience
    of the 1999 Undergraduate Cohort found that 47
    of first year students were unprepared for
    classes. Of these 18 of students reported never
    reading suggested materials with a further 29
    only sometimes preparing for class.
  • Also of significance was the finding that 45 of
    first year students were not comfortable
    participating in group discussions.
  • The course aims and objectives have been
    developed to systematically address the findings
    of First Year on Campus Diversity in the Initial
    Experiences of Australian Undergraduates (McInnis
    et al 1995). the importance of the social context
    in enhancing first year student learning
  • the need to present intellectually challenging
    courses that encourage independent learning and
  • the need to provide a supportive framework to
    address the difficulties many students have
    making the transition to the more independent
    learning style that is required at university.

16
Opening minds
  • they really kind of pushed you into having this
    open mind. And the whole theory that several
    truths can coexist. Which makes it a lot easier
    in your other subjects when they say something
    that you dont completely agree with. You dont
    turn off any more, you start to think about
    things more and thats something this course
    encouraged. (Focus group, 2003)

17
Environmental Policy and Planning (EPP)
  • 3rd (final year) undergraduate course.
  • Research in the policy area about writing
    effective policy and giving succinct briefs to
    ministers so course focuses on this egs on
    YouTube at http//www.youtube.com/user/ANUSustaina
    bility?glGBhlen-GBp/a/CB752FA7D5711285/0/Jjr6P
    Igyt8s and on the course site at
    http//fennerschool-lectures.anu.edu.au/lectures/2
    009/ENVS3028/support_material/briefing.html
  • Like many other courses at ANU has wide range of
    students from different academic and cultural
    backgrounds
  • Utilise this see examples of student
    presentations on policy that works in over 20
    different countries at http//fennerschool-lecture
    s.anu.edu.au/lectures/2009/ENVS3028/6528/index.htm
    l

18
Vietnamese students Learning Portfolios
reflection on the first tutorial
  • My tutorial group consists of people from
    different countries Australia, Fiji, Vietnam,
    China, Cambodia, Japan, and India. This is very
    helpful for us to learn each other about EPP
    experience from different countries.

19
International students
  • Make up 10-20 of class each year
  • In 2005 had student run tutorial on public
    participation in environmental planning run by
    East Timoresese student involved in post
    Indonesian reconstruction, a Bhutanese community
    forester and a Japanese environmentalist.
  • 2007 a Filipino graduate of the class on a return
    visit to Canberra gave a class on her work taking
    the Australian landcare model back to her country

20
Teaching beyond the classroom
  • Encouraging subsequent internships - eg
    Australian National Internship Program with
    politicians, policy makers at Bureau of Rural
    Sciences or scientists at our national science
    organisation
  • Involving former students in person (in panel
    discussions) and via email (ie regularly updated
    webpage on how to get a job in the Environmental
    Policy area)
  • Web listing of former students to assist them
    networking and to allow current students to find
    mentors

21
I use an electronic network of former students to
keep students in touch with the real world of
policy
  • have used email to keep in touch with about 600
    of the graduates
  • 180 of them working in Environment Planning and
    Policy areas and details of their current
    positions see http//fennerschool-people.anu.edu
    .au/richard_baker/resources/formernow.html
  • Engage them in my teaching electronically and
    also class based for those still in (or visiting)
    Canberra

22
Recent Panelists
  • Annie Sanderson 2003 SKM consultancy
  • Karen Lummis, Dep Env 1998 Karen Lummis
    Environmental Stewardship Program Caring for our
    Country Department of Environment, Water,
    Heritage and the Arts and Department of
    Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Libby Pittard 2005 Graduate, Department of the
    Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • Anneke Staring 2005 National Site EMS Coordinator
    for Dept of Defense
  • Jason Forest EPP 1997 Planning Project Manager,
    ACT Planning and Land Authority
  • Joanne Mitchell EPP 1997 Project Manager Regional
    Coordination Program- South East Office NSW
    Department of Premier Cabinet
  • Deb Cleland 2005 DEWHA in Environmental Approvals
    in the biodiversity offsets team of the EIA
    Policy SectionThematic Coordinator National Land
    Water Resources Audit
  • Peter Wilson 2002 Operational Support Unit,
    Australian Partners Branch, AusAID
  • Colin Wiltshire 2002 Asia Pacific Section,
    International Strategies Branch, Portfolio
    Strategies Division Department of Health and
    Ageing
  • Laura Holbeck 2002 - Policy Officer
    International Section Department of the
    Environment and Heritage
  • David Kilham 1998 - Senior Policy Officer,
    Legislation Policy Section, Approvals and
    Wildlife Division, Dept of the Environment and
    Heritage Thematic Coordinator National Land
    Water Resources Audit
  • Anne Leo 1998 - Executive Officer Office of the
    Secretary - Australian Government Department of
    the Environment and Heritage
  • Lisa Blanch 2000 - Project Officer Greenhouse Gas
    Abatement Program Industry and Markets
    Branch Australian Greenhouse Office
  • Ruth Doran 2001 - Scientist Bureau of Rural
    Sciences, AFFA
  • Nathan Wales 1995 - GIS project officer
    Department of the Environment and Heritage.
  • Rebekah Hamed, 1998 Strategic Policy and
    Projects, Dept of Sustainability and Environment,
    Victoria
  • Catherine Mobbs 1994 Research Coordinator Land
    and Water Australia

23
Recent Panelists
  • Annie Sanderson 2003 SKM consultancy
  • Karen Lummis, Dep Env 1998 Karen Lummis
    Environmental Stewardship Program Caring for our
    Country Department of Environment, Water,
    Heritage and the Arts and Department of
    Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Libby Pittard 2005 Graduate, Department of the
    Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • Anneke Staring 2005 National Site EMS Coordinator
    for Dept of Defense
  • Jason Forest EPP 1997 Planning Project Manager,
    ACT Planning and Land Authority
  • Joanne Mitchell EPP 1997 Project Manager Regional
    Coordination Program- South East Office NSW
    Department of Premier Cabinet
  • Deb Cleland 2005 DEWHA in Environmental Approvals
    in the biodiversity offsets team of the EIA
    Policy SectionThematic Coordinator National Land
    Water Resources Audit
  • Peter Wilson 2002 Operational Support Unit,
    Australian Partners Branch, AusAID
  • Colin Wiltshire 2002 Asia Pacific Section,
    International Strategies Branch, Portfolio
    Strategies Division Department of Health and
    Ageing
  • Laura Holbeck 2002 - Policy Officer
    International Section Department of the
    Environment and Heritage
  • David Kilham 1998 - Senior Policy Officer,
    Legislation Policy Section, Approvals and
    Wildlife Division, Dept of the Environment and
    Heritage Thematic Coordinator National Land
    Water Resources Audit
  • Anne Leo 1998 - Executive Officer Office of the
    Secretary - Australian Government Department of
    the Environment and Heritage

24
Briefing paper exercise - Learning Portfolio
  • What a great assignment! I think it was a very
    appropriate way to end the course, allowing us to
    put everything we have learnt into practice and
    learn a practical tool that we are likely to use
    in the future. I think essays are important in
    developing writing and grammatical skills,
    however, rarely are they used in the real world
    The skills and knowledge that I gained from EPP
    are already proving to be useful I the real
    world
  • Egs on YouTube Search for ANUSustainability
    or go straight to http//www.youtube.com/view_play
    _list?pCB752FA7D5711285
  • Or via my webpage google Richard Baker ANU

25
Unravelling Complexity
  • Taught this semester for the first time
  • 10 outstanding final year students from each of
    ANUs 7 colleges
  • Each separate ANU college ran a different panel
    session exploring how that area deals with
    complex issues
  • Next year plan to have 30 from each
  • Using similar briefing exercise for ministers
  • Involving former students who are ministerial
    advisors now
  • Briefing sessions this year in Parliament House
    with the PMs senior advisors
  • Focus on interdisciplinary team based assignments

26
ENVS2017 Viet Nam Field Trip
  • Taught in Viet Nam for 16 days
  • Open to students from all disciplines and all
    years of their degree
  • Prior to going I organise a weekend of workshops
    at the ANU
  • Intensive language component first week
  • Two home stays - one in Da Nang other in small
    village
  • Stay for 4 days in world heritage - Hoi An

27
Assessment
  • 5 Learning goal statement
  • 10-20 Vietnamese language improvement
  • 30-60 Learning portfolio
  • 25-40 Group research project
  • For full details on assessment go to
  • http//fennerschool-people.anu.edu.au/richard_bake
    r/teaching/SRES2017/assessment.htm

28
An interdisciplinary course
  • Taught by a a Vietnamese tutor (who is an ANU
    graduate), a geography, an anthropologist and
    Vietnamese language teacher

Students from every faculty and every year of
their degrees do the course
29
Making interdisciplinary research work
  • Key task for us teaching it is to get students
    from different disciplines working effectively
    together in small research teams and a key
    starting point for us is to model effective
    interdisciplinarity in how we teach the course
  • Heart of the interdisciplinarity of the course is
    a research focus for the students - they pick
    issues they are interested in exploring as group
    research projects and it comes abundantly clear
    to them as they explore these problems that they
    need to bring together a a variety of disciplines
    to explore these issues

30
Standing on the shoulders of giants
  • Using student learning portfolios to enhance a
    field course each time it is taught through
    reflection on student reflection
  • Key part of each years preparation reading
    previous portfolios

31
GOOGLE Richard Baker ANU
32
(No Transcript)
33
Confronting research and personal issues -
jolting students into a new mind space
  • Research - what is development, made real by
    seeing people without safe drinking water or with
    seasonal food shortages
  • Personally - demanding home stays in Da Nang and
    in a remote village. Learning survival
    Vietnamese
  • Key is to extend students outside their comfort
    zone but to have a safety net when they need it

34
Aha moments for me and my students
  • Reading final learning portfolios

Feeding your family when crops fail
I will never read a journal article with the
same naivety I once had, learning first hand and
having the opportunity to conduct such raw
primary research will be a valued experience in
my future academic career. Law Student
35
Keys to creating circumstances for undergraduate
research
  • Created a peer based learning environment -
    shared learning goals, wikis to collaboratively
    develop research project
  • Small diverse class - every faculty and year of
    study
  • Reading about research and small group work
    including pearls of wisdom from past and
    present class on making group work work
  • Modelling team work by team teaching course

36
Researching teaching research
  • 2008 class feedback on what was the best aspect
    of the course
  • 2009 class asked to outline what research is will
    present findings of this in a minute
  • Focus the preparatory workshop next month around
    this issue again to provide an explicit induction
    into doing research
  • Will as in previous years ask them in their final
    talks and Learning Portfolio to reflect on what
    they have learnt about doing research (as well as
    about themselves and about VN)
  • Will use this material to hopefully further
    improve the subsequent course

37
Student responses on notable strengths
Of 26 students without any prompting
  • 8 mention the word research
  • 7 mention field work, being in the dirt,
    talking to locals
  • 6 others mention independent learning,
    in-depth analysis or challenging learning
    environment

38
2009 students definitions of research
  • Research is a suprising (sic) undertaking where
    you will discover questions...and then maybe some
    answers.
  • Research has the objective of gaining deeper
    insight into a given topic through the
    individiual (sic) and/or collective process of
    enquiry
  • Research (sic) is a process through which an
    individual or group carries out to gain a better
    understanding of a subject/area
  • Reserach (sic) is a process through which an
    individual or group carries out to gain a better
    understanding of a subject/area it may be
    qualitative or quantitative.
  • I believe research to be the thorough and
    methodical exploration or inquiry into a subject
    in order to learn or revise facts or theories.

39
Other Learning Portfolio extracts
  • The most interesting thing for me was learning
    that the majority of stuff you learn at
    university goes unused, but its the actual
    procedures and mindset that helps you in the
    field - Batchelor of Resource Management Student
  • Vietnam was much more than just six credit
    points. It was a life changing experience.
    Through exploring the themes as mentioned above
    we were able to learn about ourselves, group
    work, Vietnam and first hand experience the highs
    and lows of cross cultural research - Batchelor
    of Interdisciplinary Studies (Sustainability)

40
Key to engaging research only staff in teaching
clear recognition and explanation of different
forms of contribution to teaching is needed
  • occasional guest lectures, limited to content
    delivery
  • blocks of lectures
  • traditional teaching (whole courses, including
    administrative and assessment aspects)
  • niche third year, research-based courses -
    Honours Pathway Courses
  • Running tutorials
  • theory or method workshops
  • field-based practical sessions
  • honours or research project supervision
  • one-to-one mentoring (eg the PhB program)

41
References
  • Le Heron, R., Baker, R. and McEwen. L.
    Co-learning Re-linking Research and Teaching in
    Geography, Journal of Geography in Higher
    Education. Oxford March Vol.30, Iss. 1 77-88
  • Pearson, M. et al 1999 Commencing Study at the
    ANU - The Experience of the 1999 Undergraduate
    Cohort, Report by the Centre for Educational
    Development and Academic Methods, Australian
    National University.
  • McInnis, C., James, R and McNaught, C. 1995 First
    Year on Campus Diversity in the Initial
    Experiences of Australian Undergraduates, Centre
    for the Study of Higher Education University of
    Melbourne, produced by the Australian Government
    Publishing Service
  • Alan Jenkins and Mick Healey 2005 Institutional
    Strategies to link teaching and research - The
    Higher Educational Academy www.heacademy.ac.uk/as
    sets/York/documents/ourwork/research/Institutional
    _strategies.pdf
  • Alan Jenkins, Mick Healey and Roger Zetter 2007
    Linking teaching and research in disciplines and
    departments, The Higher Educational Academy
    http//www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/research/teachi
    ng
  • Alan Jenkins et al 2003 Reshaping Teaching in
    Higher Education Linking Teaching and Research,
    Kogan Page
  • Scott, P. (2002) A lot to learn we are all
    researchers now, Education Guardian, January 8th,
    p13. Available at education.guardian.co.uk/egweekl
    y/story/0,,628918,00.html

42
Thank you for your attention
  • Any feedback most gratefully received
  • Richard.Baker_at_anu.edu.au
  • If anyone is in central Vietnam in
    January-February 2010 (or hopefully Januarys for
    many years to come) contact me and you can can
    join ANU and Da Nang studetns for a Karaoke night
    ?
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