Putting the RSD to Work: details of the working issues for the symposium (Adelaide 24 September)

RSDwheelOnly a few days to go!

The symposium will feature 8 key issues in higher education where experienced users have put the RSD to work for the benefit of student learning. If you have registered for the symposium, the details below will help you to nominate two sessions of interest. If you are interested in registering for the symposium, held the day before the Higher Education Research Group of Adelaide (HERGA) conference, go to http://www.herga.com.au/herga-14.html.
The Research Skill Development (RSD) website is www.rsd.edu.au

Using the RSD to harmonise pre- and face-to-face segments of the flipped class (Sophie Karanicolas)
Find out how simple it is to successfully flip your classroom and create student centred learning cycles beyond the classroom walls. In a first year human biology class, we have successfully put the Research Skills Development framework to work as we design our flipped classes against each facet of the RSD rubric. We have translated theory into practice by explicitly scaffolding the students’ learning and developing levels of autonomy as they actively engage in the application of key concepts throughout each stage of their learning. The RSD provides a dynamic framework that allows the integration of the flipped class into all aspects of learning and assessment.

Scaffolding research skill development and assessment across the honours year (Said Al-Sarawi)
In 2009 the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Adelaide, piloted the use of the RSD to scaffold research skill development and assessment across the honours year. This was sufficiently successful for the school to further develop this use from 2010 to the present time. In addition, another school that had been using RSD in First Year saw our approach to honours, and adapted this to the health science context, demonstrating useful transferability between disciplines. This session will provide you with an understanding of how these schools achieved scaffolding with the RSD across an entire year of projects and give you time to apply the ideas to your context.

Approaches to Mapping Research Skills with the RSD (Lyn Torres and Linda Kalejs)
In this session we will share different approaches to mapping research skills using the RSD framework that have been developed by Monash University Library Staff. Examples will include a semester-long course from the Faculty of Art Design and Architecture, the Diploma of Tertiary Studies pathway program and the Bachelor of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University. You will have time to think through mapping the facets and degrees of autonomy of the RSD onto units or degree-programs of your own.

RSD and the PhD (Michelle Picard and Lalitha Velautham)
In this session we discuss the RSD and its application as a tool to support research students and their supervisors. We demonstrate our use in Research Proposals and in evaluating the readiness of the research thesis for submission. We also discuss the strengths and challenges of applying our ‘Assessment Matrixes’ more directly to PhD thesis examination. The session includes practical assessment exercises.

From Little Things Big Things Grow: Using small groups and the RSD to grow big ideas. (Susan Hazel and Hayley McGrice)
In this presentation we will share our experiences with use of the RSD framework in small group teaching to facilitate active learning. Students work in Team-Based Learning environments during University of Adelaide’s Small Group Discovery Experience (SGDE), as a platform for teaching research skills. With these teaching methods, students learn not only to remember facts, but also how to apply them in order to solve complex or higher order problems. You will have opportunity to apply these ideas to your own teaching and learning context.

Making the RSD framework ‘speak engineering’: A problem solving framework generated by student-tutors  (Mei Chiin Cheong and Harry Lucas)
What happens when you give engineering tutors, who are themselves students, a table with words? They pull it apart and ‘re-engineer’ it to be less wordy and more visual. Tutors of a first year Mechanical Engineering Communication course reconfiguring the RSD framework to work, think and speak engineering, developing a sister framework called the Optimising Problem Solving (OPS) pentagon. Visually capturing core elements of the problem solving processes, the OPS framework emphasised communication as a process integral to problem solving, and empowered both tutors and first year students. In this session, you will have the opportunity to consider and adapt the OPS to your context.

Framing Assessment and Feedback with the RSD (Cathy Snelling)

The perennial challenge for educators is to effectively design assessment tasks and provide meaningful and authentic feedback for their students. The RSD has a successful tool in meeting these ‘twin challenges’ and this session will showcase the wide variety of ways that it has been put to work in diverse range of educational settings. By using the RSD scaffolded framework as a template, exemplars of performance are made explicit for students. This allows them insight into how they will be assessed and just as importantly provides the educator with an effective feedback tool.

Masters student engagement with the research requirements of AQF Level 9 (John Willison)
Many universities have restructured Masters programs to provide a substantial research capstone, with a supporting research methods unit, to satisfy the AQF9 research requirement. This working issue session looks at the use of the RSD to reframe content-rich courses in the earlier semesters of Masters, in order to develop student research mindedness and so enable more sophisticated engagement in research capstones. This session will provide you with an understanding of how a scaffolded structure like this can be framed by the RSD, and provide time for application to your Masters degree.

We hope to see you there on Wednesday 24th. If you are able to make it, please post questions or comments on RSD use on this blog beforehand and during the day. We will look at some emerging issues during the afternoon. If you are not able to make it, feel free to comment or pose questions for RSD users too.

If you prefer twitter #RSDwork will come alive with conversation on the 24th, if not before.

Author: johnwillison

Senior Leturer, Discipline of Higher Education, School of Education, University of Adelaide.

2 thoughts on “Putting the RSD to Work: details of the working issues for the symposium (Adelaide 24 September)”

  1. From Masters student engagement and AQF level 9 session…

    For professional staff outside of learning and teaching and not in control of units a big issue is Turf wars and claiming spaces; especially in HDR space

  2. Excellent ideas came out of the RSD workshops, thanks John.
    Specifically I was very impressed by the adaption of the RSD to a pentagon in order to optimise problem solving skills! I can see applications for this in optimising scientific writing skills in undergraduate students

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