Utilising action research and enquiry processes to achieve sustainable academic development

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 33 : Reshaping Higher Education

July, 2010, 654 pages
Published by
M. Devlin, J. Nagy and A. Lichtenberg
0 908557 80 9

Action research and enquiry processes have been identified as successful ways to help change not only how people operate, but also to enhance their understanding of both the practices they use and the context they operate within. Members of the Academic Literacies Team at Unitec New Zealand (Institute of Technology) formed an action research enquiry group in 2009 to explore how to achieve effective sustainable change in embedding literacy, language and numeracy (LLN) into vocational courses and to investigate how this could be translated into their capability building and academic development work with vocational teachers. This research paper describes the first phase of a multi-project research study and sets the scene for further work in the second phase. It considers vocational tutors’ identities and investigates core aspects of academic development for vocational tutors. An overview of action research and enquiry processes in tertiary education is provided before the setting-up, processes and methodology of the current projects at Unitec are outlined. Conference participants will be asked to critique and share their own experiences, using action research and enquiry to inform processes for academic development and change processes. The author will share some of the issues encountered, as well as research results from the first half of 2010.

Keywords: academic development for vocational tutors; action research and enquiry; embedding literacy, numeracy and language skills