Pre-Symposium Workshop

Research Skill Development @ U.S.P. Unusual, Stormy, Purposeful

The use of the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework at USP has been unusual, sometimes stormy and identifiably purposeful.

This workshop held just before the Pacific Peoples’ Research Skills Symposium, led by five USP colleagues will provide the clear sense of why the university has been pursuing and funding an RSD-based initiative since its use at USP was agreed to by the Senior Management Team [SMT] in 2011.  As the 2018 external reviewers of the RSD implementation noted, this consistency of support for an initiative is unusual, as internationally many university SMT move from one initiative to the next, chasing the next educational trend, without enabling sufficient time and support for a bedding down of an approach.

RSD implementation has at times been stormy, with apprehension about its purpose, the processes to be adhered to and the way the RSD may be used in disciplinary contexts. The RSD was taken on as part of a major curriculum renewal, called STAR, that was initiated after USP’s 40th Anniversary in 2008. RSD was called into action to help all programs to develop the research capacity of the peoples of the Pacific, as requested by the Governing Council. Part of the storminess was that some people did not realise that the RSD was one crucial element of STAR, but saw it as separate to the process. This is also a current issue, as people are not always aware that the RSD is one way of enabling, developing and assessing USP’s Graduate Outcomes.

The seven years of RSD use has provided the institution with a purposeful way for academic staff, teaching assistants, student learning support staff, library staff, Centre for Flexible Learning staff and College of Foundation Studies staff to collaboratively conceptualise how the research skills of the Pacific Peoples may be developed across the years of each degree. While this process has been unusual and at times stormy, there is an enhanced institutional purposefulness for education that empowers graduates with the skills needed to deal with the multitude of problems facing the Pacific.

This workshop will start by kindling or rekindling the sense of purpose for which the RSD is intended. Then the audience will choose one of three steams:

  • Introduction to the RSD for those who do not know the framework.
  • Use of existing RSD rubrics for those who have taken over courses that use these (bring along a rubric)
  • Program–level considerations for those who know and have used the RSD in courses

After lunch, participants will then meet in groups to plan specific, collaborative uses of the RSD, factoring in Academics, TAs and Professional Staff.

The workshop will conclude with your consideration of a USP resource that is useful as a first introduction by students to the RSD. This may be a video, targeted online activity and or other elements that may be embedded in UU 100/114 courses and discipline-specific first year courses.

Registration for the workshop has now closed. 



For questions regarding the workshop, please contact:

Ms Shaiza Janif
Research Skills Development Coordinator
Phone: (679) 323 2403

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