Cultivating student expectations of a research-informed curriculum

Corony Edwards, Michael McLinden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


While the integration of research and teaching can provide valuable ways of enhancing a student learning experience, establishing such links can be complex and challenging given different practices and levels of understanding of ‘research-based education’ and ‘researchinformed teaching’ within and between disciplines. Further, it is increasingly recognised that effective integration does not happen automatically and requires proactive steps on the part of tutors (McLinden et al. 2015). In this chapter, we examine the nature of the challenges and deliberate steps that can be taken to cultivate a rich variety of research-teaching links from the earliest stages in the student learning pathway. We see this as being the key means to ensuring there is ‘pedagogic resonance’ (e.g. Polias 2010) between the perspectives that inform the course design (learning design), the learning activities the students will engage in (learning experience) and the practices and traditions of the discipline into which the students are being inducted (learning discipline). Drawing on relevant literature, we provide an overview of the types of research-informed teaching Cultivating s tudent e xpec tations of a research-informed curri culum 15 that undergraduate students may experience at a university. We outline how a framework of research-informed teaching descriptors could be used as tools to inform the curriculum design process and to support student induction and transitions. We then draw on invited case studies to illustrate ways in which research-informed teaching can foster student engagement, so that students learn their discipline through a curriculum that has pedagogic resonance. Each case study illustrates how practitioners have designed their curricula to ensure students become increasingly active and self-directed participants in the process of acting and ‘thinking as’ a researcher in their discipline from an early stage in their learning pathway. We conclude by summarising the key challenges, and offer some approaches to achieving more active student engagement in a ‘Connected Curriculum’ (Fung and Carnell 2017; Fung 2017) that is both research-informed and pedagogically resonant.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeveloping the higher education curriculum
Subtitle of host publicationResearch based education in practice
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherUCL Press
ISBN (Print)9781787350885
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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