Pedagogic research

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ARU is developing its engagement with pedagogic research in higher education. Anglia Learning & Teaching is the central point of contact for this growing area of study.

We are passionate about ensuring that knowledge, experience and strategies are shared across our university.  Recent work has included establishing the Pedagogic Research Directory and a cross faculty research group to support the development of educational expertise.

Read our news.

What is pedagogic research?

Pedagogic research can be defined as research that enhances the theoretical and/or conceptual understanding of teaching and learning processes, experiences, outcomes and contexts in higher education.

Pedagogic research:

  • enhances understanding of learning and teaching practices and processes
  • influences discourse about teaching excellence and is of growing importance
  • supports the Teaching Excellence Framework
  • allows staff to reflect, develop, and improve their practice
  • encourages better understanding of the learning and teaching environment
  • can make a different to the student experience
  • influences University policy as well as the wider learning and teaching community
  • encourages collaboration between colleagues across disciplines
  • promotes professional dialogue and debate
  • contributes to the knowledge base through journals and networks.


During the 2015/16 academic year, a number of activities were initiated to develop pedagogic research across the University. A key driver has been our link with the Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (PedRIO) at Plymouth University with Professor Pauline Kneale's keynote 'Reflections on building a pedagogic research community' at our Engage conference in 2016. Professor Debby Cotton also gave the seminar Supporting and developing pedagogic research in HE in November 2015.

The focus on pedagogic research has emerged at a time when there is greater emphasis on multidisciplinary research about teaching and learning across the higher education sector with the advent of the Teaching Excellence Framework and the Stern Review of the Research Excellence Framework.

Pedagogic research community

Since the 2016/17 academic year, Dr Simon Pratt-Adams and Mark Warnes have been building a pedagogic research community at ARU. The community aims to:

  • support university learning, teaching and research strategies and plans
  • establish interest groups as cultivation of universities' pedagogic research community
  • support early career researchers with their writing
  • run seminars, including visiting speakers
  • contribute to learning and teaching conference
  • encourage external networking
  • support faculty learning and teaching research groups
  • participate in pedagogic research writing retreats to support the development of publications.

In 2016 Dr Simon Pratt-Adams and Mark Warnes began running informal monthly seminars on both Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses for those interested in the field to talk about their work. View the Upcoming events section below for more information.

Pedagogic Research Directory

The Pedagogic Research Directory was launched at our annual Learning and Teaching conference, Engage, in June 2016. It's a searchable database containing all publications resulting from University Teaching Fellowship Awards and Learning and Teaching Project Awards. It also aims to develop new knowledge of relevance to learning and teaching in higher education.


Toward a Learning Culture conference

The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learnign is hosting the conference Toward a Learning Culture on 24–27 October 2018 in Bergen Norway. The conference will explore how teaching staff, students, educational leaders, administrators and community members can collaborate to foster a learning culture. Book your place.

The International Consortium for Educational Development Conference

The International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED) promotes educational and academic development in higher education worldwide. The conference is taking place on 5–8 June 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Book your place.

Call for papers: Power and Education

Power and Education is an international peer-reviewed journal promoting critical studies of contemporary educational practice and challenging practices and assumptions of mainstream educational research. Innovative and provocative work stimulating debate around the analysis, construction, deployment and discourses of power in educational practice, research and theory is particularly encouraged, as is work exploring forms of presentation and representation. Submit your paper.

Call for papers: Creativity, Excellence and Innovation in Education

Creativity and innovation are at the heart of a powerful shift occurring in our lives as society moves from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy. Creative thinking is often equated with originality, the generation of ideas, and with a range of problem-solving strategies. Creativity and innovation in education let students to become aware of their innate creativity and helps them become creative professionals through the implementation of creative thinking in workplace.

Front-line researchers and authors are invited to submit original research and review articles on creativity, excellence and innovation in education. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Excellence in education
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Innovative learning environment
  • Vision and leadership
  • Future trends
The submission deadline is 19 February 2018. Submit your paper.

Call for papers: Higher Education Academy Conference 2018

Next year's Higher Education Academy Conference is taking place 3–5 July 2018 in Birmingham and the focus is Learning from global community. The call for papers is now open with the conference splitting into five strands over three days. Day 1: Arts and Humanities, Health and Social Care. Day 2: Sector priorities. Day 3: STEM, Social Sciences. The closing date is 18 December. Submit your paper.

Call for papers: SEDA Spring Teaching and Learning Conference

SEDA's conference will focus on Understanding and improving the student experience: making a real difference in the new age of metrics and takes place 10–11 May 2017 in Leeds. It will look at how we can both understand and improve that experience in ways which may offer more fundamental educational advantages than the simple metrics of systems like the NSS and the TEF.
The call for papers is now open with a closing date of 30 October. Submit your paper.

Gaming and Simulation-Enhanced Learning Conference

The newly formed PedRIO Games and Simulation-enhanced Learning (GSeL) interdisciplinary research theme group is hosting the Gaming and Simulation-Enhanced Learning Conference on 3 November in Plymouth. The conference will consider GSeL as a pedagogical approach to education and include themes such as gamification and social game mechanics, mobile, virtual and mixed reality applications, and evaluation challenges for GSeL. Book your place.

3rd International Conference on Institutional Leadership, Learning and Teaching

The conference recognises that institutional leadership and learning and teaching should not be viewed as incompatible. Current trends as well as examples of innovation and enlightened thought leadership will be highlighted. The 3rd International Conference on Institutional Leadership, Learning and Teaching takes place 6–7 November in London. Book your place.

10th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI), 16–18 November, Spain

ICERI is one of the largest international education conferences for lecturers, researchers, technologists and professionals from the educational sector. A publication will be produced with all the accepted abstracts and papers.

Special TEF edition

Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching has published a TEF special edition of their open access journal. The opinion pieces review the value of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and examine common concerns such as the chosen metrics and viability of the framework.

International Journal for Students as Partners

The International Journal for Students as Partners (IJSaP) has just published its first issue, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2017). IJSap is a new journal about learning and teaching together in higher education. IJSaP explores new perspectives, practices, and policies regarding how students and staff are working in partnership to enhance learning and teaching in higher education. Mick Healey, who will be leading the Reflections on developing the scholarship of teaching and learning workshop, is senior editor and can be contacted by emailing

New journal article added to Pedagogic Research Directory

Mike Mimirinis (FHSCE) has published the journal article Variability in University Students' Use of Technology: An 'Approaches to Learning' Perspective, which we have added to the Pedagogic Research Directory.

AERA Open 

AERA Open is a peer-reviewed, open access journal published by the American Education al Research Association. The journal emphasises rapid review and dissemination of high quality education research, and articles are published on a continuous basis as they are accepted. Read the editors' Inaugural Editorial and consult with the editors. You can also submit your manuscript.

Routledge Publishing: Legal Pedagogy Series

Routledge Publishing has commissioned the Legal Pedagogy Series, consisting of multi-author texts that explore best practice in the law school curriculum and teaching methodologies. The aim of the Series is to promote discussion as to how best to teach components of the law degree and ensure the ongoing validity of the law degree. Please contact Series Editor, Kris Gledhill, AUT Law School, Auckland, New Zealand, if you have a suggestion or proposal for books that might fit within this Series.

The LearningWheel – A model of digital pedagogy by Deborah Kellsey and Amanda Taylor

Educators are being forced to consider their educational practices due to the influence of digital technologies on the world and not all have been socialised professionally to use these technologies. This book adds to the emerging conversations about the use of technologies to support and – indeed – replace traditional teaching methodologies in a range of educational settings. The LearningWheel is an innovative approach focused on bridging the knowledge gap and provides an opportunity for readers to engage with technologies for teaching and learning purposes.
Buy the book and use the voucher code LW1216 to receive a 20% discount.

Coming soon: Academic writing residency by Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation invites applications for its academic writing residency. This provides university or think-tank-based academics and scientists in all disciplines with scholarly residencies at the Bellagio Center. The residents’ research must focus on work that expands opportunities that enable more broadly prosperity and build resilience in people, particularly on the following themes: advance health, revalue ecosystems, secure livelihoods, and transform cities. Applicants have to be academics at mid to senior-level positions with a record of significant achievement in their field. Collaborative residencies for up to four people working on the same project may also be supported. Candidates from developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply. The residency lasts two to four weeks and provides the resident and their spouse or life partner with room and board. Travel assistance may also be available.
The next call is expected to close on 1 March 2018. View more information.

Prize for newer researchers, Society for Research into Higher Education

The Society for Research into Higher Education, in collaboration with the Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, invites applications for its prize for newer researchers. This supports early stage researchers in the field of higher education research by enabling them to undertake a research project in their own right, or develop research skills which will help advance their research career.
Applicants must be researchers with a minimum of a first undergraduate degree and currently registered as a student with, or undertaking research associated with, a university or college department, who also have an interest in pursuing a career in higher education research. The awards do not support study towards a postgraduate qualification or research work intended as the basis for a PhD submission. Applicants must be within six years of completing a PhD or equivalent professional qualification.
Grants are worth £3,000 each. The prizes include the support of a society senior researcher as mentor, publication of a paper related to the research project, presentation of the final paper at a society conference, one year’s free membership, and one year’s free subscription to the society’s main journals.
Closing date: 31 March 2018. View more information.

Creative Education journal

Creative Education is a monthly journal dedicated to the latest advancements in creative education. One of the topics it focuses on is innovative pedagogical methods.


The Open University publishes a series of reports entitled Innovating Pedagogy. The series explore new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation.

Scholars' Press  provides high-quality academic publishing and supports research. They offer authors services such as marketing, production and distribution. Visit the website. 

Previous events

In July, Professor Mick Healey, Higher Education Consultant gave the workshop Reflections on the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching. View the slides and handouts in the dropdown menu Workshops.

Upcoming events

Monthly meetings

Monday 2 October, 16.30–18.00, Cambridge
Tuesday 3 October, 16.30–18.00, Chelmsford
Monday 6 November, 16.30–18.00, Cambridge (speed networking)
Tuesday 7 November, 16.30–18.00, Chelmsford (speed networking)
Monday 4 December, 16.30–18.00, Cambridge
Tuesday 5 December, 16.30–18.00, Chelmsford
Monday 8 January, 16.30–18.00, Cambridge
Tuesday 9 January, 16.30–18.00, Chelmsford

Writing drop-in sessions

Monday 20 November, 16.00–19.00, Cambridge, HEL109
Tuesday 21 November, 16.00–19.00, Chelmsford, MAB015


Writing for publication with Professor Mick Healey
Tuesday 24 October, 13.30–16.00, Cambridge, LAB112

Transitioning into pedagogic research with Dr Mark Kerrigan and Dr Simon Pratt-Adams
Monday 11 December, 13.00–16.00, Chelmsford, MAB008

Transitioning into pedagogic research with Dr Mark Kerrigan and Dr Simon Pratt-Adams
Tuesday 12 December, 9.00–12.00, Cambridge, LAB111

Email us for more information