From the Classroom to the Community and Back: The Development of a Community-based Research Model for Contemporary Higher Education


Community-based research is a collaborative research approach to address a community-identified need that can also be used as a pedagogical tool. In this study, we describe the development of the Capstone experience module, an academic module at a residential college in an Asian university. This module creates an unique learning environment through the formation of a tripartite partnership among undergraduates, educators and the community to collaboratively engage in research to effect social change. Through the ‘inward’ constructive alignment of the assessments to the module Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) and the ‘upwards’ mapping to the broader educational aims (i.e. Programme ILOs and Association of American Colleges and University Essential LOs), we were able to validate that this module fits coherently with the broader curricular approach to scaffold the students’ personal development within the university. Through a hermeneutic analysis of the reflections of students in their learning journals, we demonstrate that such an approach can benefit the community partner and provide opportunities for the undergraduates’ development of critical competencies. These results accentuated how community-based research projects hold significant pedagogical value for contemporary higher education.

Author Information
Tai Chong Toh, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Siok Kuan Tambyah, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2019
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development

This paper is part of the ACE2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon