30 Recent Research Outputs - - Developing a Research Community in Higher Education as ‘Co-Configuration’ (EARLI 2007: TfLN as a Co-Configuration Network)
AbstractAbstract and Outline of Paper Presented at European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, August 2007. This paper describes a series of research and development projects into teaching and learning practices in Higher Education which have been undertaken at the University of Cambridge under the auspices of the Pedagogy Programme of the Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI). These have involved a collaboration between groups of staff and students in participating departments and a team of education researchers based at the Centre for Applied Research in Education Technologies (CARET). We describe the evolution, over a period of about two years, of an organisation (CARET), of research processes, of educational practices and resources, and of roles and relationships of researchers and participants. Most critically there has been a negotiation of norms and expectations on the part of participants and the legitmization of discourses in a shared 'problem space'. The research and development process can be conceptualised as one of 'co-configuration' with continual renegotiation of requirements and solutions. Roles and approaches have developed as researchers have gained better understanding of the priorities and 'ways of thinking and practicing' of other participants and those participants have in turn become familiar with the techniques and theoretical perspectives of education researchers. The importance of 'boundary-crossing' objects which provide points of focus for discourse and development is discussed, and what these might be in the context of education research and development projects. The paper concludes with a description of a new initiative informed by this view of research and development as co-configuration: the Teaching for Learning Network (TfLN), designed to support further pedagogical interventions across a variety of disciplines and institutions.