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Higher education journals as didactic frameworks

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During the last 20 years, we have witnessed a growing interest in research in teaching, learning and educational development in higher education (HE). The result is that ‘Higher Education Didactics’ has established itself as a research field in its own right. This article explores Higher Education Didactics as a framework for academics’ professional reflection on teaching and learning, by mapping the didactic topics in all contributions in four journals in the period 2008–2015. Two of the journals are based in Scandinavia, where the European tradition of didactics (Didaktik) has been highly influential, while the others stem from the Anglo-Saxon curriculum tradition. The mapping shows that all journals are strongly occupied with teaching methods, especially methods grounded in theories of active and social learning. In contrast, didactic categories such as goal, content and assessment are rare topics. Students as participants and learners are a frequent topic in especially one journal, but receive little attention in the other journals. Also, educational technologies receive a varying degree of attention across the journals. Based on the mapping, this article discusses Higher Education Didactics as a framework for professional reflection in HE. It concludes that a broader range of research topics would be desirable and asks for future collaboration on the currently uncharted topics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Pages (from-to)72-87
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Academic professionalism, Didactics, Higher Education, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, SoTL

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