Pedagogic Action Research refers to a wide variety of evaluative, investigative, and analytical research methods designed to diagnose problems or issues in practice and help educators develop practical, evidence-based, solutions to effectively address them. Action research can be applied to programs or educational techniques that are not necessarily experiencing any problems, but that educators simply want to learn more about and improve. The overall goal is to create a simple, practical, repeatable process of iterative learning, evaluation, and improvement that leads to increasingly better-quality teaching and student learning.

In this LTExChange Network Research Talk, Professor Lydia Arnold (Director of Education, Harper Adams University) introduces and discusses what it means to ‘do’ pedagogic action research in higher education. Lydia has published widely on the topic of Action Research and has developed sector-leading resources supporting higher education practitioners who are interested in improving students’ learning experiences through the process of researching their own practice.

The ‘Pedagogic Action Research: An Honest Account of a Powerful Approach’

Pedagogic Research Talk will be delivered via Microsoft Team on Wednesday November 2nd at 2:00 – 4:00pm.

This talk will introduce, explore, and exemplify pedagogic action research. First, to set the scene, I will simply consider what action research is and what it is not. Then using examples, I will identify some of the many benefits of pedagogic action research for individuals, teams, and whole institutions. I will demonstrate how pedagogic action research can trigger changes to practice and shifts in our individual thinking, how it can impact individual career trajectories, and how it can even ‘rock the boat’ of established institutional approaches. Added to this, I’ll discuss how building a community of action researchers could further amplify research impact while also making the process of research even more enjoyable! It is important to surface some of the difficulties of action research; not everything is transformational of course, and sometimes projects can be tricky to manage. Drawing upon experience of over sixty supervisions, the talk will offer a frank appraisal of some of the challenges of doing and supporting pedagogic action research. Finally, drawing on work undertaken with Professor Lin Norton, I will outline some of the key steps for an action researcher to take. In a call to action, a planning tool will be introduced to encourage individual and collective consideration of TARGETs next steps.

To learn more about Action Research see these useful resources

  1. Arnold, L. and Norton, L. (2018a). Action Research Practice Guide.

To register for this event please click here.  

Other dates for your diary and how to get involved this semester:


Pedagogic Research Workshop: ‘Designing a Pedagogic Action Research Project’, facilitated by Professor Sam Elkington (Professor of Learning and Teaching, SLAR) – Wednesday November 16th (1.00-3.00pm, on campus).


Outline: In this workshop staff will be supported to design, develop, and plan an Action Research project focused on area of their practice with a view to completing the project during Semester 2 (2023). The workshop will cover the Action Research methodological cycle, key design considerations, and research ethics alongside practice examples of Pedagogic Action Research in higher education. The workshop is intended for both early career and experienced researchers with an interest in developing pedagogic research work.


To register for this event please click here. 

Pedagogic Research Talk: ‘Embedding Inclusive Assessment’, delivered by Professor Paul Chesterton (Professor of Allied Health Professions) and Professor Sam Elkington (Professor of Learning and Teaching, SLAR) – TBC 


Outline: In this interactive workshop Professor Paul Chesterton and Professor Sam Elkington will discuss the outcomes of a recently completed QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project, informed by a collaborative analysis of the impact of alternative assessment methodologies and associated regulations introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the workshop participants will be encouraged to critically consider a set of Inclusive Assessment Design Attributes and complementary materials designed to embed inclusive assessment curriculum design.

By participating in either of these events you will be added to the LTExChange Network where you will be able to continue to access further information on Learning and Teaching Enhancement resources, support, and events.