'No research is insignificant': implementing a Students-as-Researchers Festival
- Publisher: Open University
LB2300 | L1 | LB
There are increasing demands for Higher Education (HE) students to play a role in research-active communities and, similarly, for College Based Higher Education (CBHE) lecturers to develop their research practices. A cross-consortium Student Research Festival was designed to create a collaborative 'community of discovery' (Coffield and Williamson, 2011) and enable final year students to disseminate their research studies to a wider audience. The Festival drew on current HE pedagogies to build an open communicative space in which the three dimensions of practice architecture (Kemmis et.al., 2014) were embodied. The Festival was evaluated through a Collaborative Action Research project in order to establish how the sharing of research contributed to the participants' identity as researchers. Data were analysed using the a priori categories afforded by the practice architecture framework. Valuable insights emerged into the students' conception of research, as detached from the 'real' world and belonging to the privileged few. These views were challenged by the experience of the Festival, which narrowed the gap between student and researcher and unsettled existing roles. Recommendations include widening the scope of the Festival to include other stakeholders and embedding further research building opportunities in the undergraduate curriculum.
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