Engaging undergraduates with research to promote cumulative learning

2017 IJRSE – Volume 6 Issue 2


Connor, Andy M.*
Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand (andrew.connor@aut.ac.nz)


This paper argues that academia is undergoing a crisis, particularly in terms of some institutions experiencing growing student disengagement. Many changes to curriculum design and delivery have been focused on the modularisation of degree programmes to promote greater flexibility for a changing student demographic. This paper suggests that modularisation has the potential to create segmented learning, where students learn particular content in isolation and do not create linkages between knowledge gained across different modules. It is suggested that blurring boundaries between modules can address concerns about segmentalism. It is also suggested that blurring boundaries between other academic structures can also add value, for example the distinction between teaching and research. This paper presents a number of examples of work-in-progress strategies for using the creation of a third space of learning where research is used to generate cumulative learning.

Keywords: curriculum design; interdisciplinary education; modularisation; academic practice; third spaces; cumulative learning


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrse.2016.1525

*Corresponding Author