RSD Community of Practice

The implementation of the Research Skill Development (RSD) Framework in different disciplinary contexts requires contextualization to the respective subject areas.  The  ‘RSD Community of Practice’ was established in September 2015 for the practitioners of RSD to share their knowledge and skills for developing students’ research literacy and skills in various disciplinary contexts in an informal and relaxed setting. Sharing good practices of teaching, student learning and assessment of research literacy and skills is aimed at helping implement the RSD in pending disciplines.  Sharing of experiences with colleagues is an effective way of maximizing the implementation of the RSD framework for staff and students’ benefits.  The formal grouping of RSD practitioners as a committee will also help ensure the sustainability of RSD implementation at The University of the South Pacific.


Registration:

Those interested in being part of the RSD CoP can register their interest online here.


Terms of Reference:

The Terms of Reference for the RSD Community of Practice are as follows:

  • To share experiences on use of RSD for developing students research literacy and skills and assessment in the curricula of programmes at USP
  • To share knowledge and skills on effective implementation of RSD with their peers
  • To facilitate peer review of RSD implementation in the learning activities and assessments of courses

Meetings:

The Research Office will host the RSD Community of Practice every month from February till November each year. Details of the meeting will be circulated at the beginning of each month. 

RSD CoP 1 - Professor Armstrong Welcomes the CoP

The Research Office at The University of the South Pacific held its first Research Skill Development Community of Practice [RSD CoP] gathering on the 23rd of February, 2018. The ‘RSD Community of Practice’ was established in September 2015 for the practitioners of RSD to share their knowledge and skills for developing students’ research literacy and skills in various disciplinary contexts in an informal and relaxed setting. Sharing good practices of teaching, student learning and assessment of research literacy and skills is aimed at helping RSD implementation.

During the gathering the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation, and International), Professor Armstrong welcomed staff to another year of resourceful collaborations. He iterated that RSD implementation has been a successful project largely due to staff initiative and welcomed Student Learning Specialist and University Library staff onboard the RSD CoP. Professor Armstrong stated that now the RSD CoP will be a community of interprofessional learners (librarians, student learning specialists, and faculty), making it easier to explore how to best help students develop research skills at the University.

The CoP meets again on the 20th of March. Staff who are keen in being part of the RSC CoP are encouraged to register their interest online HERE.

RSD CoP 2 - Building Partnerships for Better Resource Skills

The RSD Community of Practice met over lunch on 20th March to discuss student support systems to enhance research skill development at the University. The CoP gathering featured a presentation from Ms Vasiti Chambers of the University Library who spoke of her experience at Monash University while undergoing RSD training, and the changes implemented in her work portfolio since her return. USP Library staff have been conducting Module 1 training which is the “Introduction to the RSD Framework” workshop for support staff and students. Plans are currently underway to run a refresher and introduction to RSD workshop for academic staff in May.

The presentation ensued discussions around support systems in place to enhance student success and the importance of collaborations between the different sections as well as awareness of their areas of expertise. One of the recurring conversations during the CoP gathering was about the provision as well as possible requirement of research skill development for all new students at the University. In response to this discussion, the Library stated that works are currently underway to create content of RSD and Information Research Skills [IRS] for Moodle to ensure self-directed learning for students. Academic staff present appreciated the idea of information available on an online platform and added that the RSD and IRS learning should not be independent of classroom learning while emphasizing the importance of integration of RSD and IRS into classroom curriculum.

Other ideas and issues discussed included the use of more context appropriate terminology as opposed to RSD framework facet terms. The RSD Coordinator agreed, adding that there are two stream of thoughts regarding the framework, one being that it is too rigid to adopt to a particular discipline/culture context and the other that it is a framework which one can easily contextualize. Issues were also raised regarding the inconsistent use of the RSD framework across the University, which most staff felt defeated the purpose of lifelong learning of the research skills.

The next RSD CoP is scheduled to meet on the 27th of April. Additional details of the gathering will be circulated to CoP members. Staff who are keen in being part of the RSC CoP are encouraged to register their interest online HERE.

Presentation: Building a CoP with the RSD Framework