Friday, June 01, 2012

HEA STEM: Qualitative Approaches to Pedagogical Research in the Biosciences

Comference Date: 18 Jun 2012, University of Leicester

Bioscientists are typically very well acquainted with quantitative approaches to research through their subject-based experience. Pedagogical research, however, employs both quantitative and qualitative techniques and the latter often represent unfamiliar territory for researchers in the biosciences, both in terms of utilising the techniques and appreciating the research literature based on these approaches. The aim of this workshop is to provide guidance on using some of the key qualitative techniques. The workshop will take the form of two plenary sessions from researchers with a qualitative background exploring approaches to using these techniques followed by some short case studies from the Biosciences to provide the subject context. There will also be a session to allow colleagues to engage in discussion about developing potential research projects with guided support from the presenters.

Draft programme:

10:00 – 10:20 Registration and Coffee
10:20 – 10:30 Welcome – Jon Scott
10:30 – 11:20 Mark Lemon (DMU) Research in a complex world - towards an integrative approach.
11:20 – 11:50 Neil Morris (Leeds) Bioscientists and educational research - what are we trying to prove?
12:00 – 13:00 Case Studies:
- Anne Tierney (Glasgow) Combining Theory and Practice in Course Design.
- Nick Freestone (Kingston) Semi-structured interviews as a qualitative research method in PedR.
- Helen MacKenzie (Leicester) The use of vignettes in the qualitative interview to visualise the student experience.
- Julian Park (Reading) Interviews as conversations: reflections on fieldwork research
13:00 – 13:40 Lunch and Networking.
13:40 – 14:40 Case Studies:
- Jon Scott (Leicester) Video diaries as an insight into the student experience.
- Hazel Corradi (Bath) Focus groups versus questionnaires for learning resource evaluation.
- Viv Rolfe (DMU) Title to be confirmed.
- Alan Cann (Leicester) An analytical framework for student use of social media.
14:40 – 15:30 Project Discussions.
15:30 – 16:00 Tea and Feedback.
16:00 Close



  1. I find it difficult sometimes to understand what pedagogical people are talking about, let alone how they assess what it is that they and we far over to the Dark Side ARE you, Alan??

  2. Yes, there is a technical lexicon to comprehend (jargon). That's proves PedR is a real science, right?

  3. Well, as long as you can couch hypotheses, and test them - post hoc, of course - I suppose so??