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Type: Conference paper
Title: Applying the Research Skill Development (Level IV) framework for marking matrices in multidisciplinary research
Author: Buisman-Pijlman, F.
Venning, J.
Citation: The Education Research Group of Adelaide (ERGA) conference 2010: The Changing Face of Education, 24-25 September, 2010
Publisher: The University of Adelaide
Issue Date: 2010
Conference Name: ERGA Conference (5th : 2010 : Adelaide, Australia)
Abstract: The authors coordinate postgraduate coursework (PGCW) programs with research components that are supervised by academics from different Faculties and even different countries. They have developed two tools based on the Research Skill Development (RSD) Framework to guide postgraduate students and supervisors during their research project. These tools are very useful to improve learning and standardise feedback in a setting where students and supervisors from different disciplines are involved. The idea for this project arose from an interest to develop a rubric which integrated grade descriptors within a conceptual framework to better guide learning for students involved in research projects as part of their postgraduate studies. The Research Skill Development (Level IV) framework (Willison and O’Regan 2007) was selected as the starting point to apply the specific grade descriptors as described in the University Code of Practice (University of Adelaide 2006). Level IV of the RSD was selected as PGCW students are expected to research at the level of an open inquiry but within structured guidelines. In this construct the grade descriptors are better able to guide the learning outcomes and improve evaluation and feedback. Although University research guidelines are available, they are often open to interpretation, which can cause inconsistency especially in a multidisciplinary setting. These combined frameworks generated an elaborate rubric that was better suited to guide the learning process and assist in the development of the research project. From this a condensed version (a one pager) was subsequently synthesised as a basis for feedback and assessment. The application of these rubrics in concert in the PGCW research component has created a 360° learning environment by providing course delivery through a series of feedback loops as described by Hounsell et al. (2008). It is through the development of such loops for assessing each component of the research project—creating double and triple loops—that learning outcomes can be effectively reinforced. This learning model is particularly effective in situations that are student-centred and require students to take more responsibility for the learning process. These rubrics are being trialled in the multidisciplinary Master of Sustainability and in the courses taught in the International Master of Science in Addiction Studies. The presentation will focus on the translation of the framework into two tools and their usefulness and limitations in a PGCW setting.
Rights: Copyright © 2010 The University of Adelaide
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