10.1 Useful books and articles

Books of relevance to practitoner research have always been available within the educational and social research literature, and a few examples are given here.

In addition, there has been a spate of publications over the past five years explicitly aimed at people interested in practitioner research in higher education, and , again, a few examples are included here.

Also included here are a few books which relate more generally to teaching and learning as they can be a good way into thinking about your practice and, ulimately, how you might want to investigate or change it.

There seems to have been an absolute deluge of books on the topic of teaching and learning in higher education in the past few years. As such, this list is far from comprehensive, and there may be some gems which are not featured.

Biggs, J. and Tang, C (2007), Teaching for Quality Learning at University, Maidenhead/ New York, Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press. 3rd edition.

This is very much a book about teaching and particularly constructive alignment. As such, it is very useful in understanding some of the processes involved in teaching and supporting student learning.

Cohen, L. Manion, L, and Morrison, K. (2011), Research methods in Education, Abingdon and New Tork, Routledge. 7th edition.

This is a absolute classic book on educational research and full of useful methods and means of analysis. The 2011 version is the 7th edition but any edition is worth looking at. The 6th edition (2007) is available as an electronic resource from the Open University library.

Cousin, G., (2009), Researching Learning in Higher Education. An Introduction to Contemporaray Methods and Approaches (Abingdon, Routledge).

This book focuses much more on the how rather than the why of engaging in research into teaching and learning, including action research. It is useful in summarising each of the approaches and identifying, in practical terms, how to do that kind of research.

Fry, S., Ketteridge, S and Marshall, S. (eds) (2009), A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Enhancing Academic Practice, London and Sterling, VA, Kogan Page. 2nd edition.

This is a general, and extremely accessible, introduction to teaching and learning in higher education. Although it is not in any way a book on research methods, it contains case studies on interrogating practice, and is a good starting point for those interested in knowing more about teaching and learning.

Murray, R. (ed) (2008), The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Maindenhead, Society for Research in Higher Education and Open University Press.

The focus of this book is more on getting people to engage with practitioner research or SoTL, rather than the practicalities. As such, it starts at the point of 'why do it' and ends at writing for publication.

Norton, L.S., (2009), Action Research in Teaching and Learning. A practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities (Abingdon, Routledge).

This is a beautifully written book which fulfils its promise to be practical but also tackles the issue of why people choose to engage in action research and its relationship to reflection and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Somekh, B and Lewin, C. (eds)(2005), Research Methods in the Social Sciences (London/Thousand Oaks/New Delhi, Sage).

A general book on research methods and approaches to analysis in the social sciences, many of which which are appropriate to practitioner research. It is availiable online at:


Zuber-Skerritt, O. (1992), Action Research in Higher Education,London, Kogan Page ,

Although much older than many of the other books now availiable, this book is still very useful in its practical approach and description of how action research projects were undertaken.

Last modified: Tuesday, 4 Mar 2014, 16:49