University Staff Code of Ethical Practice for Pedagogic Research

Pedagogy refers to the processes and relationships of learning and teaching whilst pedagogic research can be broadly defined as research into the policy and practice of teaching and learning in higher education. Recent years have seen an increase in the professionalisation of teaching in higher education with a more critical and evaluative stance taken towards the learning environment and the practice of teaching and this change is supported by the University.

The current remit of the University Research Ethics Committee requires that all research involving humans as participants is subject to an appropriate level of ethical scrutiny prior to commencement. As a means of facilitating the practice of pedagogic research across the University the REC has considered the features which might distinguish small scale efforts to improve every day teaching practice, and more complex pedagogic research with multiple ethical dimensions. The Committee consider that the distinction lies where the research goes beyond the agreement already in place between the institution and the student in relation to their study. Where informed consent, confidentiality and data protection are involved, a new agreement arises between the researcher and student, eg where the researcher is not the teacher of the group of students or does not normally have access to student personal information. Under such circumstances the ethical dimensions might need closer examination.

The Committee has therefore developed this Staff Code of Ethical Practice for Pedagogic Research to:

  • define the circumstances under which ethical approval for pedagogic research will be required from the University REC
  • to establish the expected conduct of staff undertaking pedagogic research

University Code of Practice for Pedagogic Research

Pedagogic Research Notification Proforma

Page last modified 21 January 2014.

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