Engagement, Evidence, and Ethics: Tensions in Pedagogical Research


  • Ciara Duignan
  • Denise McGrath University College Dublin



Building effective partnerships with students and learning from their experiences to improve teaching and learning benefits from the conduct and dissemination of pedagogical research. However, tensions in the ethical and practical dimensions of carrying out such scholarship can be a barrier for educators. This contribution reflects our experience of planning and carrying out pedagogical research on a new student wellbeing module in an Irish university, wherein we discuss four key considerations from our experience: research ethics approval with respect to ensuring voluntariness and informed consent, access and timing with respect to the short window of time in a semester and competing academic influences, burden and information overload with respect to efforts to communicate the research, and promotion and incentives with respect to tensions in rewarding students for their contribution to scholarship but protecting their autonomy. We discuss the implications of these challenges for pedagogical research.