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Valuing research in higher education practice

December 1, 2021 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am


Apologies – this event has been postponed.  A new date will be arranged in Semester 2.

Educational research into higher education practice is important to both research and teaching practice. There is huge potential benefit to this research, both in terms of involving colleagues in creating knowledge and, through the enhanced practice that emerges from educational research outcomes, to more effectively shape the futures of our students.

This online workshop will showcase some of the higher education practice research at Sheffield Hallam University that has had impact with students. We’ll hear from the following colleagues across the university and aim to demonstrate that this research has a clear place in our educational practice.


The impact of pedagogical research on the student experience in Biosciences and Chemistry.

David Smith, Associate Professor and National Teaching Fellow
Mel Lacey, Senior Lecturer
Department of Biosciences and Chemistry, HWLS

The Accessibility of Science research group explores how students and the general public and other stakeholders engage with Biosciences and Chemistry-related subjects. The group has two main interlinking aims: (1) To enhance higher education teaching within the Bioscience and Chemistry disciplines by developing and evaluating innovative practices. (2) To develop then evaluate inclusive and accessible science outreach activities and events. In this presentation, we will give an overview of research around student interaction within both the physical and inter-personal spaces. The outputs of this work have been embedded in the design and delivery of both practical and hybrid learning.

Co-creating Learning Experiences with Students as Partners: Reflecting on Achievements Using the 4M Framework

Sue Beckingham, Principal Lecturer and National Teaching Fellow
Department of Computing, BTE

This presentation will share the outcomes (what the students gained) and the outputs (co-created resources) of a Students as Partners initiative which began by looking at how social media could be used in learning and teaching within their own course. Initially set up as an extracurricular short term project in 2017, it continued and has evolved over four years. Adopting the 4M framework (Poole and Simmons, 2013) reflections on achievements will be considered using the following set of lenses: micro (individual); meso (departmental); macro (institutional); and mega (broader [higher] education community).

An evaluation of student use of an informal learning space: internal and external impacts

Peter Rowlett, Reader
Department of Engineering and Mathematics, BTE

By helping create a shared, supportive, learning community, the creative use of custom-designed spaces outside the classroom has a major impact on student engagement. The intention is to create spaces that promote peer interaction within and across year groups, encourage closer working relationships between staff and students and support specific coursework activities – particularly group work. Such an informal learning space is used by mathematics staff and students at Sheffield Hallam University. This presentation will share our approach to evaluating this space when it was newly used by students of mathematics, and discuss the impact of our findings with our students and others inside and outside of the university.

Funding higher education practice research

Lada Price, Senior Lecturer
Department of Media Arts and Communication, SSA

It is not a secret that research into HE practice is not often funded by the main UK research councils. Most calls are extremely competitive – for example the BA Leverhulme small grant have only 20% sucess rate. This talk with demonstrate that it is possible to secure funding for educational research when there is a clear rational and potential impact. I will show how we identified a gap, developed a successful bid, received funding in April 2021 and how our project is moving forward. I will also outline what impact we hope to achieve at the end of the project.  

This event will be of interest to leaders, academics and support staff who are interested in how they and colleagues can conduct higher education practice research with impact.


Read our statement on ‘Valuing research in higher education practice’ with a foreword by our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Chris Husbands, and find out more about this Hallam Guild Group on our website.



December 1, 2021
9:30 am - 11:00 am



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