Department of Education

V-ResORT: Virtual Resources for Online Research Training

Research Team: Trevor Grimshaw, Gordon Joyes (Project Director, University of Nottingham), Sheena Banks (University of Sheffield) and Mike Blamires (Canterbury Christ Church University College)
Funder: Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
Date of Completion: 2008

Summary

The V-ResORT (Virtual Resources for Online Research Training) project team have worked with the Higher Education research training community to develop online resources for training in research methodology and methods for use by scholars at Masters level, Doctoral level and beyond. The core materials are a set of video interviews in which researchers describe and discuss projects they have conducted.

The project addresses the need to build capacity in UK research and to develop research skills training that acknowledges educational research as a complex, dynamic and diverse process. It incorporates new technologies to provide students with opportunities to engage with a wide range of researchers and to discuss methodological issues with experts. This provides an authentic context for engaging with theory and practice.
This extended project will support the integration of the V-ResORT resources into a virtual graduate school for use across the Social Sciences, the incorporation of additional narratives from other universities and the development of the resource for use within Nursing and Health Studies.

Outputs

Outcomes that support teaching and learning:

V-ResORT, a free to use website that contains:

  • Full video narratives of research in which Masters and Doctoral students and experienced researchers exploring their research against a standard conceptual framework which supports navigation through the materials
  • Discussant video narratives provided by experienced researchers problematising aspects of research arising from the research video narratives
  • Skills training in relation to the research approaches discussed in the research video narratives
  • Indicative resources to support aspects of research methodology and methods, i.e. PowerPoint’s, books, web links etc.
  • A search engine that enables users to locate video clips covering key aspects of research, i.e. ethical issues, analysis, data collection methods etc.

Research outcomes

The project involved action research into the design of a re-usable website that incorporates an ‘invented everywhere’ approach, the key features of which were:

  • Strategically managed user engagement in the design process and the creation of the materials - one that progressively engages a variety of stakeholders
  • Dissemination as a professional development process
  • A pedagogic design that is flexible so that it engages both academics and students - one that allows use in lectures or seminars with a group of research students and yet is suited to individual self-study.
  • An effective technical specification that ensures a high quality resource that is motivating and fit for purpose, yet is robust.