The OU centre for STEM pedagogy
In addition to any direct benefits to student learning arising from scholarship projects, there are other equally important benefits.
Within the STEM Faculty each school has a Scholarship Lead who plays a pivotal role in helping to raise the profile of scholarly research and advising eSTEeM on ways to integrate and mainstream its activities with wider faculty plans.
There are numerous benefits for the scholarship practitioners themselves. Faculty-led scholarship allows practitioners who are new to educational research to test the water, relying on the support and community eSTEeM provides.
Many academics involved in practitioner-led scholarship cite professional development as a massive benefit of starting a project. Small scale projects provide an opportunity for staff who are new to pedagogic research to develop their skills and make a demonstrable impact on student learning. For some project participants a scholarship project is the first step to new opportunities to develop their career, allowing them to attend and disseminate at conferences and publish their work.
As a project leader, I learnt a lot about surveying students, including getting ethical approval, designing questionnaire and interview questions, recruiting students and analysing qualitative research results. This was not the only benefit, but the project also helped me to develop my cases for the Applaud Senior Fellowship and promotion. eSTEeM Project Leader