Reflections on Teachers and Students’ Views on Teaching and Learning Experiences at University: A Diary Study

Authors

  • Amir Kaviani Department of Language Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
  • Kara McKeown Department of Academic Language and Literacies, University College, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
  • Jenny Eppard College of Education, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36941/ajis-2021-0007

Keywords:

Diary studies, Research diaries, Researcher bias, Sociocultural context

Abstract

This study focuses on the research diaries of two researchers who conducted interviews with university teachers and students over a period of two years. Ten expatriate university teachers and ten Emirati university students were interviewed about their views on teaching and learning, the purpose of a university, best educational practices, the role of teachers, students and university in the broader society. After each interview was conducted, the researchers wrote reflections about the interviews in their personal research diaries. Through qualitative data analysis, the data in the diaries were analysed and the major themes were identified. In regards to the teachers interviewed, the analysis of the data showed that the diarists primarily focussed on the teachers’ “professional knowledge”, “communicative competence” and “adaptability to the new context”. With respect to the students interviewed, the data also revealed that the diarists frequently highlighted the significance of students’ “educational background”, “knowledge of English” and their views on “teacher and student relationship”. The findings of this study are in line with Ladson Bilings (1995) which show that the researchers’ sociocultural background and preconceptions can impact how they approach a research problem in a context that differs from their own. The findings also reveal that the researchers’ prior teaching and learning experiences impact their judgement of professional and academic competence. Implications for research and pedagogy will be discussed accordingly.

 

Received: 30 October 2020 / Accepted: 8 December 2020 / Published: 17 January 2021

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Published

2021-01-17

How to Cite

Kaviani, A. ., McKeown, K. ., & Eppard, J. . (2021). Reflections on Teachers and Students’ Views on Teaching and Learning Experiences at University: A Diary Study. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 10(1), 71. https://doi.org/10.36941/ajis-2021-0007