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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2018

Hazel Hall, Peter Cruickshank and Bruce Ryan

The purpose of this paper is to report the results from a study that investigated the extent to which an intervention to develop a community of library and information science…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the results from a study that investigated the extent to which an intervention to develop a community of library and information science (LIS) researchers – the Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project – was successful in meeting its main objective three years after its implementation. Of particular interest are factors that support or hinder network longevity.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by online survey/telephone and focus group. From quantitative data, a social network analysis (SNA) and network diagrams were generated. Focus group discussions were recorded and transcribed, and data from these were analysed manually.

Findings

Three years after the end of its formal funding period, DREaM endured as a loose but persistent network. Social ties were more important than work ties, and network members with the highest network centrality held roles in academic institutions. Physical proximity between members was important to the maintenance of network ties. Actor status did not appear to have a bearing on network centrality.

Research limitations/implications

Discussion is limited to consideration of community development amongst core members of the network only. The “manufactured” nature of the DREaM network and unique context in which it was formed have implications for the generalisibility of the findings reported.

Practical implications

Social infrastructure is key to the long-term health of a network initiative. Continued ad hoc support would strengthen it further.

Originality/value

The findings add to understanding of factors important to the development of scholarly and learning communities. They extend contributions of earlier work that has deployed SNA techniques in LIS research and research in other fields.

Article
Publication date: 27 June 2019

Hazel Hall, Peter Cruickshank and Bruce Ryan

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which learning gained through participation in three research methods workshops funded by an Arts and Humanities Research…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which learning gained through participation in three research methods workshops funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council networking grant was applied in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by online survey and focus group from individuals who participated in the Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project workshops in 2011/2012. The survey data were coded and analysed manually, as were the transcribed focus group discussions.

Findings

Following the conclusion of the DREaM project the participants at the core of the network applied their learning from the workshops to innovate in the workplace and to develop information services, with evident impact on end-users of library and information services. The strongest impact of the DREaM project, however, was found in reports of widened opportunities for the researcher and practitioner cadre members, many of which arose from collaborations. This provides evidence of a second proven strategy (in addition to the provision of research reports in practitioner publications) for narrowing the library and information science (LIS) research-practice gap: the creation of researcher-practitioner networks.

Research limitations/implications

Collaborative interactions between academic researchers and practitioners bring benefits to both network participants themselves and to the wider communities with which they interact. These are likely to be applicable across a range of subject domains and geographies.

Practical implications

Network grants are valuable for furnishing learning that may be applied in practice, and for bridging the research-practice gap.

Social implications

In LIS and other domains that suffer from a research-practice gap (e.g. teaching, social work, nursing, policing, management) the bringing together of researchers and practitioners in networks may address problems associated with misunderstandings between the two communities, and lead to improved services provision.

Originality/value

This study provides an evaluation of network development that goes beyond simply reporting changes in network topology. It does so by assessing the value that network relationships provide to individuals and groups, extending knowledge on mechanisms of collaborative interaction within research networks. It is also the first detailed study of the impact of a UK research council networking grant.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Peter Cruickshank and Colin Smith

The purpose of this paper is to consider the ways in which large‐scale e‐participation projects can be evaluated. It argues that existing evaluation approaches can be improved…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the ways in which large‐scale e‐participation projects can be evaluated. It argues that existing evaluation approaches can be improved upon by taking a closer look at the characteristics of the users of such systems, by estimating their self‐efficacy.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review is followed by the development of relevant research questions, and an assessment of points at which relevant and useful data can be collected in a petitioning process.

Findings

It is found that data relating to self‐efficacy, while not simple to collect, can add much to the evaluation process, and have the potential to result in more effective projects and systems.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are specific to one project, EuroPetition, which will allow the co‐ordination and submission of cross‐border pan‐European petitions.

Originality/value

The paper represents the first attempt to integrate perspectives derived from social cognitive theory to the evaluation of a large e‐participation project. Self‐efficacy is discussed in terms of both computer self‐efficacy and political self‐efficacy.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 July 2012

Heather Cruickshank and Richard Fenner

The purpose of the paper is to examine how a number of key themes are introduced in the Master's programme in Engineering for Sustainable Development, at Cambridge University…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to examine how a number of key themes are introduced in the Master's programme in Engineering for Sustainable Development, at Cambridge University, through student‐centred activities. These themes include dealing with complexity, uncertainty, change, other disciplines, people, environmental limits, whole life costs, and trade‐offs.

Design/methodology/approach

The range of exercises and assignments designed to encourage students to test their own assumptions and abilities to develop competencies in these areas are analysed by mapping the key themes onto the formal activities which all students undertake throughout the core MPhil programme. The paper reviews the range of these activities that are designed to help support the formal delivery of the taught programme. These include residential field courses, role plays, change challenges, games, systems thinking, multi criteria decision making, awareness of literature from other disciplines and consultancy projects. An axial coding approach to the analysis of routine feedback questionnaires drawn from recent years has been used to identify how a student's own awareness develops. Also results of two surveys are presented which test the students' perceptions about whether or not the course is providing learning environments to develop awareness and skills in these areas.

Findings

Students generally perform well against these tasks with a significant feature being the mutual support they give to each other in their learning. The paper concludes that for students from an engineering background it is an holistic approach to delivering a new way of thinking through a combination of lectures, class activities, assignments, interactions between class members, and access to material elsewhere in the University that enables participants to develop their skills in each of the key themes.

Originality/value

The paper provides a reflection on different pedagogical approaches to exploring key sustainable themes and reports students' own perceptions of the value of these kinds of activities. Experiences are shared of running a range of diverse learning activities within a professional practice Master's programme.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Zahir Irani and Yogesh Dwivedi

450

Abstract

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

Article
Publication date: 9 July 2021

Lyndsey Middleton and Hazel Hall

Organisational culture and leadership, employee skills and aptitudes, access to resources, and training are regularly cited as important determinants of the development of…

Abstract

Purpose

Organisational culture and leadership, employee skills and aptitudes, access to resources, and training are regularly cited as important determinants of the development of innovative work behaviour (IWB). The purpose of the work reported in this paper was to investigate a further set of possible determinants of the development of IWB: those that are information-related.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed methods approach was adopted. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected by questionnaire, interview and focus groups in three large public sector case study organisations in Scotland, Finland and England.

Findings

A set of information-related determinants of the development of IWB is evidenced, adding to the list of determinants that are already well documented. Notably workplace information literacy (IL) appears to furnish a bridge between determinants of the development of IWB and workplace learning.

Originality/value

That information-related determinants may be valuable to the development of IWB has not previously merited specific consideration, nor been recognised, in the wider IWB literature. The identification of these determinants in this research should encourage researchers and professionals beyond the domain of information science to pay serious attention to IL. This is particularly important in respect of the role of workplace IL in processes that lead to new knowledge creation and innovation.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 77 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 19 July 2022

Liyun Wendy Choo

This chapter addresses current trends regarding how the meta-theory of critical realism (CR) frames comparative and international education research and practice. It introduces

Abstract

This chapter addresses current trends regarding how the meta-theory of critical realism (CR) frames comparative and international education research and practice. It introduces the key tenets of CR and explores how these ideas have been and can be applied in educational research. It demonstrates how CR provides a valuable alternative to the positivist, interpretivist and constructivist paradigms, and leverages elements of all three to provide new approaches to develop knowledge that is free from the dualisms embedded in their ontological assumptions. I argue that by offering a dialectical understanding of structure and agency, as well as the material and ideational dimension of social reality, CR provides an ontological framework that does not do conceptual violence to the reality we seek to research. This ontological basis is particularly valuable to the social justice agenda of educational research in general because it allows researchers to work beneath the surface of empirical research to disclose the field of possibilities for social action.

Details

Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2021
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-618-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 May 2019

Bjørn Stensaker, Elisabeth Hovdhaugen and Peter Maassen

In recent decades, higher education institutions have been encouraged to develop their own internal management systems as a response to perceived quality challenges in the sector…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent decades, higher education institutions have been encouraged to develop their own internal management systems as a response to perceived quality challenges in the sector. These quality management (QM) systems have often been found to mainly reflect external accountability requirements, with less focus on coherent study programme development. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between QM practices and study programme delivery in Norwegian higher education institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The study examined how coordination and control of quality work with respect to educational activities take place, using data from a survey to study programme leaders in a large sample of Norwegian higher education institutions.

Findings

The main findings show that a majority of institutions have established formal advisory bodies with a QM mandate, contributing to more coherent thinking, even though the division of labour between these bodies and formal decision-making structures often is unclear. The study also shows a high level of diversity in the collaboration practices among different actors involved in QM work, indicating that QM practices are adapted to local needs.

Originality/value

The paper provides new knowledge as to how QM is conducted in practice at the local level. It nuances earlier studies by showing the involvement of collegial bodies in QM although such bodies may have unclear mandates and, thus, an unclear role in the QM process.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Richard A. Fenner, Charles M. Ainger, Heather J. Cruickshank and Peter M. Guthrie

The paper seeks to examine the latest stage in a process of change aimed at introducing concepts of sustainable development into the activities of the Department of Engineering at…

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Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to examine the latest stage in a process of change aimed at introducing concepts of sustainable development into the activities of the Department of Engineering at Cambridge University, UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The rationale behind defining the skills which future engineers require is discussed and vehicles for change at both undergraduate and postgraduate level are described. Reflections on the paradigms and pedagogy of teaching sustainable development issues to engineers are offered, as well as notes on barriers to progress which have been encountered.

Findings

The paper observes that the ability to effectively initiate a change process is a vital skill which must be formally developed in those engineers wishing to seek sustainable solutions from within the organisations for which they will work. Lessons are drawn about managing a change process within a large academic department, so that concepts of sustainable development can be effectively introduced across all areas of the engineering curriculum.

Practical implications

A new pedagogy for dealing with changes from the quantitative to the qualitative is required, as the paper questions where the education balance should lie between providing access to technological knowledge which can be applied to designing hard solutions, and training engineers to rethink their fundamental attitudes towards a broader, multiple perspective approach in which problem formulation and context setting play a vital role in reaching consensual solutions.

Originality/value

The paper reviews previously recognised key themes for engineering education for sustainable development, and proposes three further essential ingredients relating to an engineer's ability to engage in problem definition, manage change in organisations, and understand the nature of technical and business innovations.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

Bonnie Gratch

The decade of the 1980s was unique for the sheer quantity of education reform reports and legislation. Virtually every state enacted education reform legislation, including…

Abstract

The decade of the 1980s was unique for the sheer quantity of education reform reports and legislation. Virtually every state enacted education reform legislation, including reforms of teacher education, licensing, and comprehension. According to Darling‐Hammond and Berry, over 1,000 pieces of legislation related to teachers have been drafted since 1980, and “a substantial fraction have been implemented.” As I discussed in my 1989 RSR article, “Five Years after A Nation at Risk: An Annotated Bibliography,” two waves of 1980s reform reports were identified in the enormous body of primary and secondary literature dealing with education reform. The reform publications of the early 1980s stressed improvements in curricular standards, student performance outcomes, and changes to the education programs, such as salary increases, teacher testing, and stricter certification requirements. The second‐wave reform publications emphasized more complex issues centered around the concepts of restructuring the schools and teacher education programs, as well as empowering teachers to become more involved in curriculum and governance issues.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

1 – 10 of 101