Using evidence to drive, validate and reward innovation in teaching and learning

Tina Overton

Abstract


Innovation is defined as using something original, more effective or new, or to do something differently. Our understanding of innovation in teaching and learning is that ideally the new or different approach or resource leads to better outcomes, that is enhanced student learning? But how often is this assumption rigorously tested beyond the end of semester ‘happy sheet’? How often do such innovations build upon or contribute the research evidence of what makes effective learning and what is required by today’s graduates? What research evidence is collected in order to convince our colleagues of need for innovation in the first place? How often do academics place their teaching innovation in the context of existing research evidence and the literature? Is changing teaching practice impacted upon by research evidence or is it largely based on personal experience, previous experience and anecdote? The role of research evidence in impacting the development of the curriculum and pedagogy will be explored, focussing on some examples that have influenced thinking in science education. The role of research into to teaching and learning as a valid academic endeavour deserving of recognition and reward will also be explored.

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