This is a podcast by the Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation at Lancaster University. Higher Education Researcher features short interviews with current and past doctoral students, staff, and guest scholars to talk about their current interests, research, and thinking.
Making the most of supervised PhD research with Lynn McAlpine
Professor Lynn McAlpine is Visiting Professor in the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University. Lynn has a long and distinguished career as a higher education researcher and academic teacher. Her recent research looks into various aspects of early career researchers, issues of identities and the PhD process generally. In this episode, she addresses this question: What are the key messages from the literature for those embarking on their supervised PhD research? In doing this, she draws on what is known from research about successful PhD completion and how doctoral researchers can have a fruitful, even enjoyable PhD journey. The episode is introduced by Professor Paul Trowler; there is a brief discussion between them of Lynn’s comments towards the end of the episode. Lynn’s advice will be of interest and benefit to anyone on the traditional route PhD or entering or in thesis research of a structured PhD programme.
Professor Paul Trowler is the Director of the PhD in Higher Education: Research, Evaluation and Enhancement, and a member of CHERE@LU.
Assessment for social justice with Jan McArthur
Jan McArthur is a Senior Lecturer at the Educational Research Department at Lancaster University and an Editor of Arts and Humanities in Higher Education. Informed by critical theory, her work “Assessment for Social Justice: achievement, uncertainty and recognition” advocates a philosophical re-interpretation of the role of higher education assessment in furthering social justice. Jan argues that assessment is a powerful force in shaping how and what students learn. Because of this, assessment is therefore also key to the social justice mission of the university.
Talking to Jan is Olga Rotar, a doctoral researcher and a member of CHERE@LU.
Teaching Excellence Policy with Adam Matthews
Adam Matthews is a researcher at the University of Birmingham. In this episode, Adam talks about his paper co-authored with Dr Ben Kotzee: The rhetoric of the UK higher education Teaching Excellence Framework: a corpus-assisted discourse analysis of TEF2 provider statements. A key methodology in this work is discourse analysis using the methods of corpus and computational linguistics. The paper concludes that employment, employability and outcomes are the key themes of successful Teaching Excellence Framework submissions, made by UK universities in 2017. Adam expands on some of the issues and contradictions at play when we conceptualise employment as the primary identifier of teaching excellence.
Talking to Adam is is Olga Rotar, doctoral researcher and a member of CHERE@LU.
Online learning with Olga Rotar
Olga Rotar is a doctoral researcher at the Department of Educational Research. In this episode, Olga talks about the results of her PhD project. She explains alternative ways of experiencing online learning by the adult student population and suggests that online educators should promote high-level learning experiences that lead to high-level learning outcomes. Olga argues that there is a need to expand a definition of “success” in online higher education.
Talking to Olga, is Dr Janja Komljenovic, a Lecturer of Higher Education at Lancaster University and the Director of CHERE@LU.
25 years of DPER #PhDinHE - Kick-off panel on the state of higher education research
In 2020, we are celebrating 25 years of the Doctoral Programme in Educational Research - Higher Education (DPER). Throughout this time, the programme has offered students an opportunity to become higher education researchers. It was one of the first doctoral programmes in the field of higher education research.
We organised the celebrations through a webinar series. The kick-off panel was held on 2 September. It was focused on higher education as a research field more broadly, and how it has developed in time. The speakers also reflected on the role of doctoral programmes and research centres in establishing higher education as a research field. The speakers were:
Dr Jelena Brankovic (Bielefeld University, Germany). She is the coordinator of the Early Career Higher Education Researchers (ECHER) network, and a member of the Board of Governors of CHER (Consortium of Higher Education Researchers).
Prof Paul Ashwin (Lancaster University). Paul is Head of the Educational Research Department. Paul is a co-ordinating editor of Higher Education, and co-editor of the Bloomsbury book series 'Understanding Student Experiences of Higher Education'. He is in the management committee of the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).
Prof Malcolm Tight (Lancaster University). Malcolm is past Director of DPER of many years, and researcher of the higher education field. Malcolm is the editor of the book series International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, the editorial advisory board member of the Journal of Education and Work, and past editor of Studies in Higher Education.
The panel was chaired by Dr Janja Komljenovic (Lancaster University). Janja is Director of DPER, and of the CHERE@LU.
This episode is the recording of the panel.
Online learning, social justice, and critical pedagogy with Murat Öztok
Murat Öztok is a Lecturer at the Social Justice and TEL Doctoral Programmes at Lancaster University. In his episode, Murat talks about his book, The Hidden Curriculum of Online Learning: Understanding Social Justice through Critical Pedagogy, which challenges the current understandings of social justice in the field of online higher education. Murat explains his perspective on equity, provides examples of how cultural hegemony creates unfair learning experiences, and argues that while online learning spaces are frequently promoted as inclusive and democratic, these clams are not necessarily true.
Talking to Paul is is Olga Rotar, doctoral researcher and a member of CHERE@LU.