Making departmental changes through action research, based on adult learning principles

Robert Conway*, David Kember, Atara Sivan, May Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Action research was used as a means of introducing adult learning principles into the teaching of an optometry department. The department took as an overall development theme the move from teacher-directed to leamer-directed activities. Pilot studies were used as a mechanism for trialling particular innovations. Lessons learnt from the pilot studies are shared with the remainder of the department for incorporation into other subjects, thus evolving a mechanism for departmental change. The paper shows how change occurred by reporting briefly two pilot studies as examples. The first used group project teams to prepare class presentations for specified topics. Some novel presentation methods were used by the student teams. Peer assessment was introduced into this subject in the second cycle of the pilot study as a result of feedback from the first cycle. The second pilot study introduced active learning methods in place of lectures.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)265-282
    Number of pages18
    JournalHigher Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 1994

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Education
    • Social Sciences(all)

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Pilot Study
    • Active Learning
    • Presentation Method
    • Learning Method
    • Project Team


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