Conducting educational research

12 April 2023

Have you introduced a new, innovative teaching practice, or made some changes in how you deliver and/or assess your course? Are you looking to make some improvements soon in your teaching practice?

Evaluating the effectiveness of changes made in your teaching is a step towards becoming a reflective educator – also see our previous tip on Reflecting on your Teaching. Sharing evidence-based knowledge with the broader educational community through published research outputs leads to further improvements in educational practices and student learning outcomes.

Engaging in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and conducting your own educational research could lead to you investigating topics such as a specific teaching strategy, curriculum design, assessment practices, course delivery, teaching and learning processes, and educational technology. Educational research projects can be tailored to specific disciplines and address a range of research questions related to teaching and learning.

If you are new to educational research, start by keeping a record of anything different in your teaching including assessment, technology, team teaching, or delivery mode. Note the change you made, why you made the change, the process you took, your reflections, and any feedback from students or peers. This record could be the start of a research project and will also be useful for your Teaching Portfolio, PD&A, and Promotion (book for our upcoming workshop). Take some time to explore the higher education and pedagogical literature (using LibrarySearch) and try to identify links to your teaching approaches.

Book your place at our upcoming workshop to find out more about conducting educational research, including examples and ideas of research projects and the ethical considerations needed.