Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Meeting overviews

Exploratory pedagogic inquiry for difficult circumstance: seeking answers within a learning community (2020–2021, 2021–2022)

In July 2020 the Pedagogic Research in HE learning circle started to focus on Pedagogic Research for difficult circumstances. Over summer and into term one of the academic year 2020-21 we shifted into a focus on professional development through inquiry, i.e. engaging in research as well as with research. Framing this in terms of pedagogic research for difficult circumstances we discussed how concerns about teaching in Covid times can be addressed via sets of questions and corresponding data-generation.

The broad goal of the project is to develop ways for teaching staff with multiple demands on their time to engage in inquiry with students into teaching and learning, ultimately improving student experience. However, a more immediate goal has been to explore and develop our own practice with the help of our peers. Together, we have been viewing the current challenging circumstances as a learning opportunity, with positive effects both for students and ourselves.

Following advertisement to the broad WIHEA fellowship, a small group met once a week from 21st January to 11th February 2021 to develop the process together.

The first session was introductory, then before each subsequent group session participants 'peer-coached' a partner at a mutually convenient time according to a set of questions which were provided.

Following these sessions, there were whole group sessions every two or three weeks to reflect on and consolidate the project, which was then opened up to new participants in summer term 2021. In the autumn and spring terms of 2021–22, we have several strands of work: there are separate working groups looking at ethical aspects (including ethical approval) of practitioner inquiry and dissemination of EPI, and a group putting together an article based on EPI research in 2020. In spring term, we are repeating the EPI process with new participants with a view to further refinement.


Discussion of pedagogic research articles (2019-20 activities)

During the learning circle meetings in 2019-20, we discussed the following articles. If you would like copies of the questions we discussed and meeting summaries please email

28th May 2020 

Abdulla, M.H., 2018. The use of an online student response system to support learning of Physiology during lectures to medical students. Education and Information Technologies, 23(6), pp.2931-2946. 

Deeley, S.J., 2018. Using technology to facilitate effective assessment for learning and feedback in higher education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 43(3), pp.439-448. 

Khan, S. and Khan, R.A., 2019. Online assessments: Exploring perspectives of university students. Education and Information Technologies, 24(1), pp.661-677. 

28th April 2020 

O’Toole, R. (undated) Exploring and Dissolving the Wicked Problem of Flexibility: helping students and teachers feel at home with technologies. Paper for discussion. 

10th February 2020 

Gravett, K. and Kinchin, I.M. (2020) Referencing and empowerment: exploring barriers to agency in the higher education student experience. Teaching in Higher Education, 25 (1), pp.84-97. 

16th January 2020 

Richardson, M. and Healy, M. (2019) Examining the ethical environment in higher education. British Educational Research Journal, 45(6), pp.1089-1104. 

9th December 2019 

Carless, D. and Boud, D., 2018. The development of student feedback literacy: enabling uptake of feedback. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 43(8), pp.1315-1325. 

6th November 2019 

Gibson, S., 2015. When rights are not enough: What is? Moving towards new pedagogy for inclusive education within UK universities. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 19(8), pp.875-886. 

10th October 2019 

Collins, A., Azmat, F. and Rentschler, R., (2019). ‘Bringing everyone on the same journey’: revisiting inclusion in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 44(8), pp.1475-1487. 

During each meeting, amongst other questions, we explore the following:

  • How could the research be translated into improved learning and teaching in our own discipline?
  • Should the research inform our teaching practice or our departmental learning and teaching philosophy?


This list of magazines and periodicalsLink opens in a new window provides interesting reading and are also possible journals to which you may like to submit pedagogical research of your own.

This page includes details of our 2020-22 activities and the papers discussed during 2019-20. Please contact or for further information.