Results of the 2005 Economics Network Survey of Lecturers

Executive Summary

This is a summary of the report and analysis of the Economics Network Survey of Lecturers, carried out in May-June 2005.

Read the full report (PDF)

This survey is part of the centre's research programme into teaching and learning Economics along with the Student, Alumni and Employers surveys. The questions were centred round the same three themes as the 2003 Survey: perceptions of relations between teaching and research, use of technology in teaching Economics and change in teaching practice in the last two years. The questionnaire used in the survey is included in the Appendix (PDF).

This is an observational survey and was conducted online for ease of use and low cost. There were 18 questions, divided between 5 sections. The survey benefited from freetext commentary by the respondents on the questions.

Profile of survey respondents

There were 185 respondents from 65 HE institutions across the UK. The results of the survey describe our typical respondent as:

  • Male (75%)
  • In the post of lecturer (pre 1992)/Lecturer or Senior Lecturer (post 1992) (68%)
  • With more then 10 years of experience in teaching in HE (63%)
  • In full time employment (94%)
  • Teaching various economics courses both undergraduate and postgraduate, including, but not limited to Introductory Economics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Quants and Stats, Labour, Industrial, Development and Monetary Economics, MSc and PhD dissertation supervision

Key results

A. Teaching and research

Lecturers' perceptions of the research/teaching nexus were first discussed in the previous survey. This year we explored this issue further. A majority of four out of five respondents believe that research plays a positive role in their teaching and provide specific examples of this role. The respondents were less positive when we asked the opposite question about the role of teaching in their research. Still nearly three out of five perceive this role to be positive, though one in twenty see it as negative, with the rest presuming that it doesn't play any role.

Nearly three out of five of respondents see teaching and research as complements in some respects and substitutes in others. The issue of the relationship between teaching and research is one of the growing interest and concern in higher education in the UK and the results of this survey can be used to further inform the discussions in this area on a national level and to help support the enhancement of the relationship by the Economics network.

B. Use of Technology in your teaching

The use of technology in teaching has increased in the last two years and technology is used more creatively. Nearly half of the respondents. use VLE's to communicate with students, a quarter use departmental web sites and one in five use e-mails. The main reasons for not using all the facilities available to them are lack of skills and time by the staff. Providing resources that could ease use of various aspects of technology in teaching will be one of the targets of Economics Network in the coming year.

C. Your teaching

A majority of respondents have changed their teaching methods in the last two years due to the change in pedagogy and/or technology. They are more or equally satisfied with the effectiveness of their teaching in the last two years. Comments provided by the respondents give us an insight into lecturers' perceptions of what brings them satisfaction in teaching.

D. Future networks

Three out of four respondents expressed interest in joining community groups in their specific area of teaching or research "to share ideas", while three out of five would like to join the groups "to share materials". The Economics Network will use this information in developing its future plans.

Conclusions

These survey results will allow Economics Network to have a better understanding of what's happening in the community and in shaping its events, resources, briefings and publications in support of economics lecturers.

Appendix

Questions from the Economics Lecturer survey 2005 (PDF)

Read the full report (PDF)

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