Implementation of the RSD Framework to Embed Research Literacy and Skills in Undergraduate Programmes at The University of the South Pacific

Heena LAL
The University of the South Pacific, Fiji
heena.lal@usp.ac.fj

John WILLISON
University of Adelaide, Australia
john.willison@adelaide.edu.au

John BYTHELL
The University of the South Pacific, Fiji
john.bythell@usp.ac.fj

Jito VANUALAILAI
The University of the South Pacific, Fiji
jito.vanualailai@usp.ac.fj

Abstract

The University of the South Pacific (USP) embarked on policy level implementation of the Research Skill Development (RSD) Framework (Willison and O'Regan, 2006) in 2012 in an endeavor to embed research literacy and skills in undergraduate programs. The RSD Framework is a conceptual tool that delineates research into six facets and five levels of student autonomy. Implementation of RSD at USP, which serves 12 member countries in the South Pacific, enables evaluation of the appropriateness and effectiveness of the RSD in South Pacific higher education. Following successful implementation in the first year generic undergraduate courses 'UU100 Information and Communications Literacy' and 'UU114 English for Academic Purposes', USP moved forward with implementation of RSD in second year generic courses and several first year discipline based courses in 2013. The benefits of RSD implementation noted in the early stages include addressing gaps in research literacy and skills in courses, use of RSD based marking rubrics to bring research to the forefront in courses, transparent marking rubrics for use by markers and students, and assessment of University graduate outcomes. This presentation will show how the RSD framework is used to develop assignment marking rubrics to suit different disciplinary contexts for assessment of research literacy and skills and at the same time enable assessment of University graduate outcomes. The strategies to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of RSD implementation and address any challenges include use of survey questionnaires and reports for staff feedback, student surveys on self-assessment of research literacy and skills, and planned assessment of pre-RSD and post-RSD student assignments in selected courses.

Print Close