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Authentic research and dissemination in health psychology; building a community of practice and student self efficacy

Rodriguez, Alison, Kola-Palmer, Susanna, Fry, A, Postlethwaite, R and Dlamini, T (2014) Authentic research and dissemination in health psychology; building a community of practice and student self efficacy. In: Annual Teaching and Learning Conference 2014: Putting the Strategy into Practise, 23 June 2014, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK. (Unpublished)

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Aim / objectives:
1. To detail a collaborative research project that examined the intake of fruit and veg (F&V) in University students and their attitudes and perceptions of F&V consumption. (Intermediate students taking HIB1047: Health Psychology, were invited to participate and assist in quantitative data collection. Honours students taking HHB1071: The Psychology of Health & Wellbeing, were invited to participate and assist in qualitative data collection. Honours students were later invited to be involved in quantitative data input and qualitative data analysis and project dissemination. Students were made aware that this would involve working outside of the assigned module hours).
2. To explore how authentic research is possible with undergraduate researchers
3. To explore student experience and impact

Key themes / issues:
Involving students in real world/authentic research and dissemination
Learning through research project participation – evidencing a clear progression of research skills and practice.
Designing modules that promote research skills development and interest.
Extra curricular working for students and staff.
Theoretical underpinnings / links:
Health Psychology Project Background: A diet that is high in fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of negative health consequences and serious disease, such as heart disease, cancers, diabetes and obesity. Individuals aged 19-24 years have the lowest intake of fruit and vegetables in the adult population (Henderson, Gregory, & Swan, 2002), and this study sought to extend our understanding of the cognitive mediators of fruit and vegetable consumption in (young) adults. The study was therefore concerned with attitudes and perceptions of fruit and vegetable consumption in a university sample. Using a mixed-methods design, qualitative data were collected using focus groups conducted with honours students which formed the basis for the quantitative part of the study. Intermediate undergraduate students together recruited 125 participants for the quantitative data collection and intervention phases of the project. A detailed email informational supportive intervention was designed - following the content analysis of four focus groups that were conducted with honours level students across two campuses. Each group was student facilitated; facilitators followed a structured agenda. One lecturer moved between discussions to assist in keeping discussions focused. Quantitative data was inputted by an honours level student. Further qualitative analyses have been conducted in collaboration with honours level students on the focus group data - to explore methodological pluralism and to produce more in depth findings for purposes of dissemination. The presentation will detail the procedural steps and findings of this collaborative project.
Students as Researchers Background: A number of studies worldwide have detailed how many institutions talk about the close interconnection between research and the programme curricula they deliver. However, as stated by Brew (2006, p52) usually undergraduate students are “at arms length” from the worlds of university research. Indeed, studies have detailed how undergraduate students feel excluded from direct involvement in research as stakeholders (Lindsay et al., 2002; Turner et al., 2008) and we agree that too often curricula is “frame learning as the passive acquisition of knowledge” (Baxter Magolda, 2008, p.75).
The impetus to engage with students on collaborative projects can be threefold:
1. To develop and deepen student learning and understanding,
2. To enhance research production and research lead teaching
3. To empower students to be confident academics.
Furthermore, the research skills and experience gained can be transferable to other working contexts and so we can start building a self efficacious, able and employable community of practice.
The presentation will detail how we integrated authentic research into the curriculum and how and why we all afforded hours outside of the curriculum to complete this project.
The presentation is delivered by members of the research team, involving staff and students. We will also explore the student experience from our differing perspectives. The project has been novel in approach and dissemination, allowing for scope for publication and dissemination in both health psychology and teaching and learning fora.

Relevance beyond the discipline – and to the Teaching and Learning Strategy:
Teaching and Learning Strategy 2013-2018
- A1 To inspire our students to attain the highest academic and professional standards
- TA1 Students associated with a research group

Anticipated discussion points:
Involving students in real world/authentic research and dissemination.
Learning through research project participation.
Designing modules that promote research skills development and interest.
Extra curricular working – can we make authentic research and dissemination curricular?
Student evaluation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Alison Rodriguez
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2014 15:13
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2014 15:13


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