Academic staff development in universities with specific reference to small group teaching
The research project and its subsequent writing up in this thesis has had three primary aims, which have been to carry out and present: 1. a detailed, qualitative consideration and evaluation of the aims and expectations of participants - both lecturers and students - in small group teaching in a university; 2. a scientifically-based analysis of the practice of small group teaching across six faculties within that university, focusing on amounts of lecturer talk and student talk, the nature of that talk and the interaction patterns between the participants; 3. an exploration, using information from two recently completed surveys, of the existing level of motivation within one other university amongst its staff to act on such results as this project yields. The first three chapters serve as an introduction to the main issues within the thesis, to the design of the research programme itself and to the literature, which has informed the total project. An extended bibliography is also included, to inform further detailed study. Chapters Four and Five focus on the consideration of aims of participants, the subsequent two chapters on the analysis of the practice of small group teaching as exemplified in the video-recorded data collected. Chapter Eight presents an exploration of the current climate and context, into which the above research findings and recommendations are to be introduced. It is concluded from these various analyses of data that there is much scope for improvement not only of performance in university small group teaching, but also in perceptions of performance. Additionally it is feared that the current level of motivation to act upon such conclusions is low. It is recommended that further research is needed into models of staff development in institutions, in order that university provision might be so organised as to increase its effectiveness.