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Research approaches

TLRP supported a wide range of different types of social scientific research on teaching and learning as the key topic, but throughout with a commitment to high quality educational research. This covers all the disciplines funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and may be cross-disciplinary, interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research using the theories and methodologies drawn from a range of social scientific disciplines on/in education. Recently, the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) projects have been funded by a cross-disciplinary partnership within Research Councils UK (RCUK) but through ESRC.

The question of what constitute high quality has been debated frequently within the HE research community, through the development of revised specifications for the Research Assessment Exercises (RAE) over the last 20 years, from outputs such as research publications, to impact through citations, and grants. These questions of quality research within and across disciplines within the social sciences have further been debated with respect to how to measure quality research and its impact, through schemes such as metrication and citation indices.

These and other measures of quality through schemes of quality assurance, including the approaches to teaching quality, developed and enhanced through the Higher Education Academy (HEA) have therefore been included in TLRP’s range of studies. TLRP’s research approaches were thus diverse and cross-disciplinary, whilst committed to high quality. More on our diverse research approaches can be found on the capacity building section of the website. Illustrations of thematic approaches to research quality can be found through several seminar series on, inter alia:

  • Quality in Educational Research which explored principles of research quality and on the ways in which these may be appropriately applied in particular research traditions.
  • Reviewing Reviews to affirm different purposes and ways of taking stock of knowledge and/or evidence.
  • Project Design for Researching Learning Context, Processes and Outcomes to consider evidence-based approaches to research designs to underpin policies.
  • Epistemological Basis of Educational Findings covering the theoretical, methodological and philosophical underpinnings of social and educational research.

Many of TLRP 's projects were significantly larger than has previously been common in educational research and have been able to develop sophisticated research designs building upon inter-disciplinary approaches.  TLRP supported multi-disciplinary social scientific research and, through our developing international links, add to our wider understanding.

Publications related to this general theme are listed below:

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