Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Action Research and Reflective Practice in HE
Academic Year
Semester 2
PDM0430 or accredited prior learning (PGCE or AFHEA)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Oral presentation  supported with PowerPoint or PDF, assessed by course team staff for mark, also peer-assessed for formative feedback only (Presentation of Action Research Plan, 10 minutes).  10%
Semester Assessment Written report 1  - Action Research Project 1 - 2500 words +/- 10%  30%
Semester Assessment Written report 2  - Action Research Project 2 - 2500 words +/- 10%  30%
Semester Assessment Written report  - Reflective narrative, 2500 words +/- 10%  30%
Supplementary Assessment Oral presentation  Repeat failed assessments with new content  10%
Supplementary Assessment Written report  Repeat failed assessments with new content  30%
Supplementary Assessment Written report 1  Repeat failed assessments with new content  30%
Supplementary Assessment Written report 2  Repeat failed assessments with new content  30%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. ​Critically reflect and identify issues and opportunities where you can improve student learning (D2.2, D2.3, D2.5, D2.6; A5, K5, K6, V1-4).

2. Carry out an action research project based on a change in your teaching (teaching intervention) (D2.1, D2.2, D2.4; A1-5, K1-6).

3. Critically evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching interventions (D2.4,D2.5; K5, K6, V4).

4. Carry out teaching practice in accordance with professional values as outlined in the UKPSF (D2.3, D2.4; V1-4).
The learning outcomes are mapped to the UK Professional Standards Framework as indicated by the codes in curved brackets. See for a full description of the framework.​

Brief description

PDM0530 builds on the foundation established in PDM0430 to enable you to apply educational theory to develop your teaching practice. Through action research, you will assess your students’ needs, plan changes to your teaching based on sound pedagogical principles, and evaluate the impact of those changes on students. As with PDM0530, reflective practice is used throughout the module to help you deepen your understanding of how students learn and develop your teaching practice.

This module is mapped against the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). Upon completion of this module, Aberystwyth University staff are awarded Fellow status in the Higher Education Academy (AdvanceHE).


Two-day induction Aberystwyth University covering action research, evidence-based educational theory and practice, and reflective practice for learning and teaching. Indicative topics include: methods for improving student retention of learning, motivating students to learn, evaluating students’ needs, measuring the impact of a teaching intervention on student learning.

18 hours attendance at CPD events covering additional aspects of educational theory and practice (AU or external)

Participation in action learning sets (small groups for peer support) with other participants

Coaching sessions with your mentor

Consultations with the PGCTHE course team to conduct a CPD needs analysis and develop your practice (recommended for all, required for participants who have not taken PDM0430 due to accredited prior learning)

Non-assessed teaching observation by the course team (available to all, required for participants who have not taken PDM0430 due to accredited prior learning)

Assessed presentation of one action research project

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Depending on the nature of their action research projects, they may have the opportunity to collect and analyse quantitative data, but this is optional, not a requirement.
Communication Written skills are developed through the action research projects and reflective narrative. Verbal and visual communication skills are developed through the presentation. All of these are assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Reflective practice is used to improve participants’ own learning and performance. This is developed through consultations and the written assessments.
Information Technology Participants develop information technology knowledge through CPD sessions and reading in the pedagogical literature. They are expected to address K4 (The use and value of appropriate learning technologies) in their assessed reflective narrative and the action research projects.
Personal Development and Career planning ​CPD forms the heart of the two modules in the PGCTHE and is required. Participants reflect on what they have learned from CPD in their assessed reflective narrative.
Problem solving The action research projects are based on identifying and solving a teaching problem.
Research skills Participants are expected to identify useful articles and books for relevant topics in the action research projects and reflective narrative, evaluate and critique the sources, and then synthesise what they have learned into a coherent arguments.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Team work is developed to some extent in small-group activities during induction and in some of the CPD sessions. It is not assessed in this module.


This module is at CQFW Level 7