Integration of research into teaching is a major area of interest in the field of higher education. Considerable work has been done on how staff and students view this integration, how it can be achieved in practice and how it might best be researched by scholars. However, relatively little research has considered how research-informed teaching (RIT) impacts teachers’ own practice, in multi-disciplinary contexts. We interviewed a purposive sample of 20 research-active teachers from a range of disciplines, at an English University. Using the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF), we mapped our findings of a thematic analysis, concluding that RIT impacts academic practice in a range of distinct and complex ways. Because of RIT, lecture design, delivery, assessments and student support activities have become more inquiry-focused; study spaces have turned into collaborative learning contexts and classroom communications have become more comprehensible. For lecturers, RIT has helped create a professional identity and a closer engagement with continuous professional development. Based on our analysis, we argue that what makes these impacts possible is a set of characteristics—termed here the ‘RIT mindset’—that drives academics to voluntarily engage in pragmatic research-teaching integrations to liberate students into real learning. We offer evidence for RIT impact and make visible how and why RIT impacts academic practice. We provide a caution that RIT happens only by design, and to make that design a reality, developing the RIT mindset may be critical.
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- academic practice
- research-informed teaching
- teaching impact
- teaching-informed research