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Benefits of Research-Based Learning

Potential Benefits for Students

  • Motivation
    Students report that they are often inspired by lecturers whom they perceive to be experts in their field, and who convey their enthusiasm for the subjectg (i).
  • Active learning
    Students tend to learn most when they are actively involved in developing their knowledge .(ii)
  • Skills development
    Through research-based learning students can develop the intellectual skills of critical analysis and also valuable transferable skills such as group work, time- and resource-management and data handling.

Potential Benefits for Staff

Drawing teaching and research activities closely together supports an economy of effort between the two

  • Less time spent on teaching preparation
    The more research-like learning activitites that can be devised for students, the less the teacher has to concentrate on preparing a content-based curriculum.   A switch of emphasis from teaching content to learning processes (that often include placing more responsibility on the students) can eventually reduce preparation time.
  • Contributions to the research process
    The more involved students are with research-like learning, the more likely there will be dialogue between students and teachers which feeds into research activity.

i Jenkins, A. Blackman, T., Lindsay, R & Paton-Salzberg R. (1998) Teaching and Research: students' perspectives and policy implications, Studies in Higher Education, 23, 2, 127-141

ii Entwistle, N., Thompson, S., & Tait, H., (1992) Guidelines for Promoting Effective Learning in Higher Education, Centre for Research on Learning and Instruction, University of Edinburgh.