Resource Library

The Resource Library contains a collection of higher education learning and teaching materials flowing from projects funded by the Commonwealth of Australia including those from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.

Results may be sorted filtered by keywords.

5 resources found for ‘arts’.

Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate studies

Cynthia Mitchell
University of Technology, Sydney
2009
University of Technology, Sydney
Fellowship Final Report Download Document (451.58 KB)

This is the Summary Report for a project focused on developing an evaluative frame for the formative and summative outputs of transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research for use by students and supervisors. While the project title focuses on postgraduate studies, the project focus is applicable to any such research activity, including undergraduate papers. It provides helpful information in a learning and teaching area that is a current and growing practice, but with little practical guidance for either supervisors or students. Transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research is growing in Australia as researchers appreciate the value of working across disciplines to be relevant to the complexity of real life applications of research knowledge. The core question of this project is the development of ways to evaluate the outcomes of such research, whether a thesis or research paper, along with formative processes to guide supervisors and students to quality outcomes. Reading the Summary Report can be of value for two purposes. Firstly, it gives information on the conduct of a major learning and teaching development activity that others planning such an activity could find useful, including the process of a large action research project. The second purpose is that it explains the theoretical underpinnings of the project, including a review of research literature informing the overall project. The practical outcomes from the project are provided in separate resource documents: Quality Criteria; Ideas for Good Practice; Workshop Resources; Workshop Facilitator Slides. These resources can be used separately to guide supervision practice, or together to run an actual workshop on the topic.The Summary Report has a clear writing style. As the report is necessarily brief and addresses the whole conduct and outcomes of the project, some readers may find the theoretical explanations underpinning the project, provided in one and a half pages, dense. However, this brief explanation provides a number of research references that could guide further reading by a person interested in this area of teaching and learning.

Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate studies: Quality Criteria

Cynthia Mitchell
University of Technology, Sydney
2009
University of Technology, Sydney
Quality Criteria Download Document (525.49 KB)

 

This document is one of a suite of resources from a project focused on developing appropriate evaluation quality criteria for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary doctoral research for use by students, supervisors and others. The goal was to provide a frame that is consistent across different discipline areas, as different disciplines judge quality in different ways, but specifically addressing implications for transdisciplinary/ interdisciplinary research. 

This resource provides the identified quality criteria for evaluating transdisciplinary/ interdisciplinary research theses. It provides analyses of: the nature of transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research; difficulties associated with judging its quality; pedagogy in the area; and a literature review on the topic. It culminates in a set of criteria developed through the project and literature-based analyses. The criteria also emerge from practice and workshop discussions involving experienced transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary supervisors. 

This resource is therefore an informative document on these areas for the practice of transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research study and supervision as well as for those conducting research in the area. Readers may want to read the whole document for the coverage of issues in the field. Alternatively, for practical purposes, they can turn to the seven identified generic criteria of research quality on pages 17 and 18 and summary of interpretations for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research. However, the discussion of the generic quality criteria and application for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research provided on pages 7-16 is very readable and well-worth reading to gain understanding of the final summary. 

The resource is valuable for supervisors and students engaging in transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research. It could also be used by Thesis Examination Offices in higher education institutions in Australia and internationally in order to reflect on the appropriateness of current thesis examination procedures and criteria for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research examinations and identification of suitable examiners. 

The title of this work shows a focus on doctoral research students and supervision. However, the materials could be modified to suit transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research outcomes for any level of higher education, undergraduate or postgraduate.

Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate studies: Workshop Resources

Cynthia Mitchell
University of Technology, Sydney
2009
University of Technology, Sydney
Workshop Resources Download Document (434.24 KB)

 

This document is one of the outcomes resulting from a project focused on developing high quality outcomes and quality evaluation processes in transdisciplinary/ interdisciplinary research for use by students and supervisors. 

The project resulted in several outcomes that can be used together or independently including: a summary report; identification of quality criteria; a toolbox of ideas for practice. This resource provides workshop materials that can be used by supervisors or supervisor trainers (at any level) to develop improved understanding and practices in transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research supervision. A companion resource provides a PowerPoint presentation that can be used with the workshop material. 

This resource includes a number of Word files containing worksheets that can be printed for use. The files include: a Presenter’s outline, including timing and a running sheet, and expected learning outcomes; Discussion Guides/Worksheets for participants; and a Feedback and Evaluation Form. 

The workshop requires participants to have undertaken an hour of preparation with the two key outcome documents from the project, the quality criteria document and the ideas for good practice document. These documents therefore also need to be provided to participants prior to a workshop. The workshop template provides guidance on the questions and discussion points that engage participants with the outcomes documents as student supervision. It provides guidance for reflection, group discussions, and effective sharing of ideas. 

These materials are very usable and draw on the substantial outcomes of the project. The workshop facilitator needs to be effective at managing the workshop but does not need greater expertise than the other participants. It could be run as a joint professional development session. 

The workshop takes 3 hours. This is not an overlong time for supervision training. However, a considerable period at the start revisits the issues of transdisciplinary/ interdisciplinary research and participants spend 20 minutes working individually reflecting on the quality criteria developed in the project. If participants do make themselves familiar with the materials, they could complete the initial individual reflection (20 minutes) prior to the workshop, allowing more focus on shared discussion.

Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate studies: Workshop facilitator slides

Cynthia Mitchell
University of Technology, Sydney
2009
University of Technology, Sydney
Workshop Facilitator Slides Download Document (3.21 MB)

 

This document is one of the outcomes resulting from a project focused on developing high quality outcomes and quality evaluation processes in transdisciplinary/ interdisciplinary research for use by students and supervisors. The project resulted in several outcomes that can be used together or independently including: a summary report; identification of quality criteria; and a toolbox of ideas for good practice. 

This resource provides PowerPoint presentation materials to be used with the workshop resource in transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research supervision training. The PowerPoint materials provide the background and sequence materials for the Workshop activities in the accompanying resource. They provide a structured pathway through the project outcomes, workshop activities and times for reflection and evaluation of outcomes. They can be followed exactly as provided to run professional development within a university department or across university departments. Facilitation skills are then more necessary for the workshop leader than previous expertise in effective pedagogy for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research supervision. 

The evaluation of the Workshop activities noted that considerable time is allocated to revisiting the overall issue of transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research with 20 minutes for initial individual reflection on the quality criteria. If participants gain familiarity with the main project outcome documents and complete their initial individual reflections prior to the workshop, less time would be needed and more joint discussion could be the focus. 

Some university staff may not feel comfortable using a PowerPoint presentation prepared by another person. An option would be to work more directly from the substantial resource documents of the project (quality criteria; ideas for practice) to prepare a tailored workshop activity. The provided workshop and PowerPoint materials could provide thought-starters. The origins of the materials would still need appropriate academic acknowledgement.

Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate studies: Ideas for good practice

Cynthia Mitchell
University of Technology, Sydney
2009
University of Technology, Sydney
Ideas for Good Practice Download Document (643.88 KB)

 

This document is one of the outcomes resulting from a project focused on developing high quality outcomes and quality evaluation processes in transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research for use by students and supervisors. Experienced supervisors and students participated in workshop discussions on transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research. Research literature on effective supervision was also examined. 

The project identified seven criteria to evaluate quality transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research outcomes. This resource presents practical ideas to support quality research supervision. The intended reader is the research supervisor aiming to guide student research development. Students could also work from the ideas directly. 

Ideas for Practice presents 48 ideas or tools aligned into seven sections: Building Supervision Relationships; Positioning Yourself; Deepening Reflection; Engaging with Literature; Increasing External/Critical Engagement; Clarifying Research Question/ Research Focus; Distilling & Communicating Your Claims; and Structuring a Coherent Argument. The discussion relates each of the ideas to the quality criteria for transciplinary/interdisciplinary research study. 

Every idea is presented on a single page with very simple statements addressing the same key points: What's the big idea; Why is this such a good idea; Which criteria does this address; When might this be useful; What would it take to make this work; What resources might help. The ideas range from very specific, eg, Elevator Pitches (p. 49) to more general, eg, Write as a Student-Supervisor Team (p. 5). However, general ideas provide specific guidance on implementation. As Cynthia Mitchell notes, the document can be read from cover to cover or dipped into for ideas on specific issues. 

This resource can constitute a standalone professional development resource for supervisors to work through with their students. While suitable for experienced supervisors, it is likely to be of particular value to new supervisors looking for advice to assist their students.  

A very useful summary of activities to enhance student completion of quality research work in a timely manner is provided. While some aspects are specifically tied to transciplinary/interdisciplinary research studies, the ideas have generic applicability. The author also asks for feedback on the usefulness of the ideas and additional suggestions for resources or modifications.