Educator-in-Residence Programme (EiRP)

EiRP facilitates active exchanges between the NUS academic community and distinguished educators from around the world

Visit by Professor Tony Harland, Educator-in-Residence 2018


The second part of the lecture title, “The Case for Slow Scholarship”, signalled Professor Harland’s response to the “assessment arms race”. He elaborated on this idea of slow scholarship by sharing with the audience the approach to curriculum in the Ecology programme at the University of Otago.

According to Professor Harland, curriculum change is needed that orients students and faculty towards “learning through research”. In order to achieve this goal, several changes to the curriculum are needed, including the following:

  • reducing graded assessments;

  • integrating assessments across modules and years of study;

  • assessing only the most important learning goals, instead of all intended learning outcomes; and

  • creating space and time for formative purposes.

“Two key principles to consider in curriculum reform -
curriculum drives assessment; assessment drives learning

Professor Harland’s suggestion for slowing down students’ learning experience is through what he calls “research-based teaching”, which is the concept of slow scholarship through authentic research.

Instead of focusing on knowledge consumption, students become reflective learners and produce original knowledge through authentic research (see Figure 1). To do this, students should be involved as researchers right from the start of the programme. With increased ownership of learning, there will be a change in faculty’s relationship with students, from students as consumers of knowledge to producers of knowledge.

Figure 1. Slow scholarship through authentic research.

Part 1: "The Assessment Arms Race"   Other EiRP Events
Back to Top