Keynote two: Higher education research for an uncertain future?

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for an Unknown Future Vol. 26

July, 2003, 692 pages
Published by
Helen Mathews and Rod McKay
ISBN
0 90 8557 55 8
Abstract 

The research on teaching and learning in higher education, from the student learning perspective, has had a great deal of success in helping us understand the ways in which students approach their studies, how these are related to their perceptions of the teaching and leaning context and how they relate to their learning outcomes — both qualitative and quantitative. We also have a quite good understanding of the ways in which university teachers approach their teaching, how that relates to their perceptions of the teaching and learning context and to their students’ approaches to study. This paper briefly reviews these outcomes, briefly outlines the methodology used to arrive at these outcomes, and looks at how this field of research may develop in the future.

Higher education research for an uncertain future? Consideration of this raises yet more questions. What is the role of research in and for an uncertain future and what can research contribute to those seeking to map a future? For academics, academic developers, and managers there are a number of spheres of research that can inform our practice and open spaces for investigation. Higher education is currently characterised by increased accountability, the application of techniques of surveillance and pressure for conformity. We need to cast a critical gaze on the directions that are being imposed and the values that are being encouraged. Critical research approaches can contribute to our understanding, practice and in developing productive responses to current conditions and future directions.

Keynote two: Higher education research for an uncertain future?

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Prosser, M. & Kirkpatrick, D.