Starting the new academic year with a bang!

Gordon Hunt, CDN Associate Research and Enhancement Centre, shares a short update on current Research projects:

It’s been a big month for the CDN Research and Enhancement Centre, with the launch of several new pieces of research. These illustrate the range of areas of practice the Centre is engaging with, from the digital capabilities required of our college staff, through the effectiveness of college governance to the range, scale and characteristics of partnerships between colleges and schools.

There’s plenty more in the pipeline too, as our four strands of action research leading on from this year’s Virtual College Expo are taken forward by members of our pool of research associates. You can expect to see initial outputs from these strands, covering approaches to curriculum design, high impact learning, professional learning, and the student experience, in the near future.

We have also recently commenced work a project to look at the leadership experiences of college staff during the pandemic as well as one on the delivery of higher education courses in colleges, which in a similar way to our School-College Partnership report will use case studies and available data to examine this key area of college delivery.

Last but not least, we are putting the final touches to our inquiry into the role of colleges in addressing the challenges of poverty in our communities and the report will be published before the end of 2021.

Behind all this work is our pool of over 30 research associates, who bring a wide range of experience and knowledge from within and beyond our sector. Over the coming year we will be highlighting the wider research work of our associates on our website as well as inviting them to contribute their own thoughts to our blog.

The most important part of our Centre’s name is the word ‘enhancement’. The reports described above are just the start of the process of supporting the development of practice in our colleges and deriving benefit for college staff and learners. This will be the key aim of the Centre and of course of CDN more widely, as the learning from each report will feed into our support for our networks and practitioners. As we develop our work we’ll be looking at the best mechanisms for ensuring that happens and that our work has genuine impact.

We’re always keen to hear from colleagues in the sector, and on the website you’ll find an online contact form, a form that allows you to submit ideas for research and one to let us know about research that you’re currently undertaking. Please do get in touch!

View the Research and Enhancement Centre here.

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