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Past event

Researching into Higher Education: Innovative Research Methods


Registration online is now closed. However if you would still like to attend this event please email

This joint BERA SIG event provides the opportunity to learn how research methods are being diversified, consider their usefulness and the challenges they pose. The aim of the seminar is to share and debate innovative or creative methods for researching higher education.

The two main sessions will each consist of presentations as follows:

  • Pre-reading of extended abstracts from each presenter sent out in advance of the seminar on Friday 25th April
  • 13 minutes presentation followed by 2 minutes questions for clarification then 15 minutes in small groups with scribe to collect comments / questions
  • After the presentations participants choose to join one of the three or four presenters for plenary discussion guided by the group questions and comments collated earlier


09.45 – 10.00 Registration and refreshments
10.00 – 10.10 Welcome and introduction to the event
Researching Higher Education: innovative research methods: main session 1:
10.10 – 10.40 Using email interviews to investigate graduates lived experiences of employment and sustained career building. Tony Leach, York St John University
10.40 – 11.10 Student peer interviews: investigating gender inequalities in engagement with undergraduate learning. Sara Dyer, University of Exeter
11.10 – 11.40 How does Living Theory research enable individuals to research into their higher education to improve it and to contribute to educational knowledge? Marie Huxtable & Jack Whitehead, University of Cumbria
11.40 – 12.20 Plenary groups – delegates choose one presenter to discuss the research in more depth
12.20 – 13.05 Lunch
Researching Higher Education: innovative research methods: main session 2:
13.05 – 13.35 Action Research in Higher Education: evaluating an intervention in doctoral students’ development of critical writing and reviewing skills. Joan Smith, University of Leicester
13.35 – 14.05 Focussing on learning interactions in Higher Education: a pencil and paper method to capture real time nonverbal communication. Clare Kell, Cardiff University
14.05 – 14.35 Living the curriculum differently: Using a material feminist methodology for investigating knowledge-making practices in higher education. Carol Taylor, Sheffield Hallam University
14.35 – 15.15 Plenary groups – delegates choose one presenter to discuss the research in more depth OR join the round table group to share their own research methods
Plenary Discussion
15.15 – 15.30 Plenary – review of the day
15.30 Close of meeting

This event is free to BERA members but there will be a charge of £40 for non-members. Why not join BERA? Membership starts from £40