Let's talk about [X]: a reflection on a model for engaging undergraduate students in research communication

Bownes, J. , Ramsay, S. and Struan, A. (2020) Let's talk about [X]: a reflection on a model for engaging undergraduate students in research communication. In: Mawani, S. and Mukadam, A. A. (eds.) Student Empowerment in Higher Education: Reflecting on Teaching Practice and Learner Engagement. Logos Verlag Berlin: Berlin, pp. 351-365. ISBN 9783832550899

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Publisher's URL: https://www.logos-verlag.com/cgi-bin/engbuchmid?isbn=5089&lng=eng&id=


As academic development advisers in HE, one of our goals is to equip students with the tools they require to become successful and independent scholars. For students who wish to continue with research, engagement with it at undergraduate level is a key determiner of success and empowerment (Laursen et al., 2012). Recognising an opportunity at our Scottish research-intensive HEI to push late-stage students, empowering them to take ownership of their work, we have complemented our traditional teaching methods with a multidisciplinary undergraduate research conference, Let’s Talk About [X], and journal, [X]position. This multifaceted approach to education means that we are able to engage with students at all levels and, therefore, increase the success of our student body. Student empowerment is at the heart of the [X] initiative, affording the opportunity to ‘learn about research processes’, and creating an environment where ‘the curriculum emphasises as much the processes by which knowledge is produced as learning knowledge that has been achieved’ (Healey, 2010). Presenters and authors receive extensive 1:1 mentoring and classes from a multidisciplinary range of postgraduates from outside their subject area. They then present their research to an audience of <400 staff and fellow students at a two-day event, or publish their research in an open-access journal. This showcases the exceptional undergraduate research that is regularly carried out, yet rarely communicated beyond the supervisor. Here, we reflect on the development of the [X] initiative and its students. We see multiple benefits for students who take part; we believe they develop a range of skills and gain valuable experience not available elsewhere. By collaborating with both the participants and the postgraduate mentors, this paper reflects on previous years’ evaluations, and make a case for how and why the model we have developed could easily be adapted for use in other institutions.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bownes, Dr Jessica and Struan, Dr Andrew and Ramsay, Dr Scott
Authors: Bownes, J., Ramsay, S., and Struan, A.
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)
College/School:University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division
Publisher:Logos Verlag Berlin

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