F1-BR2-3 - Research method as learning method – students’ and teacher’s experiences

3. Research Full Paper
Line Kolås1
1 Nord university

FULL PAPER: 

Keywords: research-based education, active learning,

The Norwegian government encourages higher education institutions to improve education when it comes to active learning, where involving students in research is one of the specified areas of interest. This project is an action research approach to improve research-like learning methods in a  game development study program, in a research method course for 3rd year bachelor students. The paper presents experiences from using a research method as a learning method, more specifically using a systematic literature review to learn about the research method game analysis. The students’ experiences with a research method as a learning method are presented through three concrete focus areas: 1) What did the students learn, 2) Involving students in research/knowledge construction, and 3) Four types of research-based education (research-led, research-oriented, research-based and research-informed teaching). Then the teacher’s experiences concerning the topic are described, using the 10 dimensions for design of ICT-based learning and teaching activities (Furberg & Lund,2016) to systematically guide the teacher’s self-reflection of the pilot.

The experiences with a research method as a learning method show that the students are active and engaged, but that the learning outcome is rather on the learning method than the primary learning objective. Systematic literature review also work as a learning method as it is well-defined with specified steps of action, which works as scaffolding in a learning process. The action research approach also revealed that there is a need for a better definition of game analysis as a research method, with clearly defined “how to”-guidelines for inexperienced researchers and students doing a bachelor project or master project.  

When evaluating the four types of research-based education (Griffiths, 2004) most of the students reported that all types are important. Research-informed teaching was the only type of research-based education that a few students characterized as “not important at all”. It is understandable that education research is not found as important for students as for teachers, as it is a tool for development for the teacher. It is however of great importance for the quality of the education, which influences the students a lot. It must be mentioned that most of the students evaluated research-informed teaching important to a large extent or to some extent. Research-based teaching (letting students learn inquiry-based) was the type of research-based education found most important by most of the students.

Introducing research methods to IT students, requires the use of relevant methods and active learning. Research methods as learning methods are interesting. It is important that students in higher education learn methods of knowledge production, and that students get a sense of contributing, not just consuming knowledge produced by others. Research-like working methods (Lid et al., 2018) are an approach to this. In this article, we have presented experiences from an action research project focusing on using a research method as a learning method, more specifically using a systematic literature review to learn about the research method game analysis.