Designing research for theory and practice

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Shawcross, JK 
Ridgman, TW 

This paper reports on a doctoral study that has the dual aims of improving theory and practice within an Engineering Education context. The focus is on the development of students’ graduate-level work skills as part of their Higher Education programme and a specific practice example provided an ideal study opportunity. Engaged scholarship, a research approach from Management Science, was selected as it provided a way to study practice that can generate both theoretical and practical knowledge. This paper sets out the strengths and challenges of applying an Engaged Scholarship approach and summarises its philosophical underpinnings. The research design is then evaluated, concluding that the design is internally consistent and suitable for this study. The authors then reflect on the implementation phase and highlight some of the practical challenges that have been encountered. These include engaging stakeholders, consolidating perspectives and the schedule of the programme being studied

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6th Research in Engineering Education Symposium: Translating Research into Practice, REES 2015
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Research in Engineering Education Symposium
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This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council through a DTA student award.