Projects for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students to research and investigate an aspect of education at Imperial.
StudentShapers Educational research and investigation projects are staff-student partnerships where research into the learning and teaching at Imperial is the key focus. Staff and students act as co-researchers, recognising the value of the differing researcher positions of staff and students. Given the longer term nature of many educational research projects, students may partner on these project for extended periods of time. Students that engage during term time, can do so up to half a day per week, however a ‘mixed’ approach is often valuable with both term time engagement and full-time engagement during vacation time (for example for an intensive data analysis phase).
Projects in this area may systematically and rigorously evaluate the effects of an educational change; they may also investigate an aspect of teaching or learning that would advocate change, or advocate investment in a particular area of activity. They may also better understand student perspectives or explore in more detail an aspect of the student experience.
Students engaged on these projects will use their expertise of being a student to position themselves differently as a researcher compared to how a staff member could. This may illicit different, or richer data. Student partners will however be typically novice in the concept of educational research, and some consideration should be given within the project plan of how students will be trained or prepared for qualitative research.
When planning educational research or investigation you may like to consult the Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship's pages on Education research methods or the teaching toolkit on educational research.
Educational ethics approval will normally be needed for these projects; this should usually be made at a similar time to the StudentShapers proposal (unless the students will be involved in the ethics application as well).
Further details of example projects can be seen below. Proposals for StudentShapers funding and support should be made through the main How to get involved page.