By Dr Dharini Balasubramaniam, University of St Andrews
The Higher Education Research Group at the School of Computer Science in the University of St Andrews was established in January 2018 with the aim of giving an identity to staff interested in higher education research and to facilitate collaboration among them. There are around 15 members of the group with diverse interests, from Computer Science education to using computer technology to improve education.
The group has hosted higher education researchers from other schools within the University as well as external speakers. A SICSA Education funded workshop on learning analytics was organised by group members during summer 2018. The group hosted a SICSA Education All-Hands meeting in autumn 2018. The research group also benefits from initiatives by the University of St Andrews to promote research in higher education. Members take part in activities and events organised by the Centre for Higher Education Research and the St Andrews Learning and Teaching Initiative at the University.
Members of the Higher Education Research Group are interested in aspects of pedagogy and educational practice such as teaching programming at entry levels, teaching at scale, technology-enhanced learning, students as co-creators, group work, project allocation and management, and assessment and feedback. Their related research interests include virtual worlds, open badges and learning analytics. In light of recent developments, group members are also interested in approaches to enhance online learning and teaching.