The Sage / Gold Leaf Pedagogical Report was the brainchild of Kiren Shoman, the Editorial Director and Head of Pedagogy at Sage Publishing. She conceived of the idea of this study when we asked her to contribute to a more specific survey on the impact of the TEF that we were preparing for the Booksellers Association in advance of the ABT Conference 2017. Kiren was ahead of the curve among publishers in understanding that pedagogical resource requirements at UK universities were undergoing a sea-change; and that it would be vital to the future success of students, academics and publishers alike to begin to map it as it unfolded.
Sage commissioned the study in the summer of 2017. From the outset, Kiren decided very generously to publish the report and to make it available free of charge to all interested stakeholders. Originally the plan was for the study to cover the academic year 2017 – 2018, but relatively early after work began it became apparent that the first semester of the academic year 2018 – 2019 should be included as well, as not all the universities who participated in the in-depth part of the study were able to accommodate the earlier dates.
The methodology we used was both comprehensive and ambitious. The primary research consisted of three national Surveymonkey surveys, for students, academics and librarians, which as far as possible mirrored each other; in-depth semi-structured telephone interviews with academics and librarians at each of the five participating universities; and six student focus groups. This was complemented by extensive desk-based secondary research which involved consulting journals, books and more ephemeral publications, such as articles on specialist websites, to gain as well-rounded and well-informed picture as possible.
Sage and Gold Leaf are particularly indebted to the participating universities. We have promised not to identify any individuals (except the project ‘champions’) who contributed to the research, but we are proud to be able to name the universities: the University of Edinburgh, the University of Greenwich, the University of Huddersfield, the University of Nottingham and the University of Surrey. At each of these universities one or two project champions very kindly agreed to support the research by explaining it to their colleagues and helping us to set up the calls with academics and librarians and co-ordinate the student focus groups. They generously gave a considerable amount of their time in order to achieve this; and without the champions’ help, the study would certainly have foundered right at the beginning. We would like to put on record our very sincere thanks, both to them and to all their colleagues and the students who took part.
In common with Sage, we believe that this report makes a very significant contribution to the understanding of this rapid period of change in UK Higher Education. We have discovered during the course of our work that many of the changes we have identified and explored in the UK also apply more widely to tertiary education in other countries. We therefore believe that the report will be useful to interested parties everywhere; and we hope all the readers of this blog who download it will find it both useful and enjoyable.
The report can be found at https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/reports/educational-resources-2019