We hear plenty about research-informed teaching from Deans and accreditation bodies. To some faculty it all seems meaningless, hot-air-fuelled nonsense. Is it?
In their publication “Faculty Research Productivity and Standardized Student Learning Outcomes in a University Teaching Environment”, Galbraith and Merrill note that “…it was found that faculty research activity is positively and significantly related to teaching effectiveness …”
While many research studies focus on the evaluation of student evaluations as a measure of teaching effectiveness, Galbraith and Merrill took care to measure learning outcomes using standardised student learning outcome measure in a more robust and defensible way.
If you look around, while there are strong drivers to promote faculty to be more research active, in Australasia many faculty still don’t get fully engaged in research. Those that are tend to be extremely self-motivated folk. The same self-motivation may also manifest itself as a keen and careful teacher, generating the improved learning outcomes in the study.
Regardless, an interesting finding that does validate the belief that those engaged in research have a lot of interesting things to say about their subject and possess plenty of passion to inspire their students…