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Research makes Teaching more Rewarding for Academicians: Challenges and Recommendations

Research makes Teaching more Rewarding for Academicians: Challenges and Recommendations

Teaching and research are the two sides of a coin; both are very important for an academician. As per the current demand of the modern education system, teaching and research would be helpful to build a long and sustainable career in academics. To move ahead smoothly, there is a necessity to carry out research on whatever an academician is teaching. This methodology can help academicians to make a strong connection between research and teaching. Further, it helps students to learn the ongoing research trends in their respective fields.

In the modern era, it is very important to manage the teaching workload effectively to spare a good time for research. There are two types of teaching:

1) An academician teaching the same module to various classes and

2) An academician teaching different modules in the same semester.

It is easy to manage teaching and research in case 1, while it is very challenging in case 2. If you want to be a brilliant academician, then you must be ready for both the cases and must know how to deal with spontaneous situations. Further, you must find time for preparing notes for your teaching, conducting experiments, writing research papers and grants but it depends on the institution policy. Most of the top institutes help their academics in achieving their desired expectations by providing teaching and research training along with the required support.

On the other hand, teaching is more related to the basic subjects, while research is associated with more advanced topics. Therefore, it would be better to focus on your research area whilst teaching the same module whenever possible, which will be very useful for an academician to relate the advanced research with fundamentals.

The next important thing is how you do your research work, whether doing it as self or as a team. It would be always better to work as a team for more productivity, which would lessen the burden on individuals.

Similarly, what is the pattern of teaching? Are you teaching alone or sharing modules with other academicians? How are you conducting lab work: alone or with the help of well-trained demonstrators? It would always be beneficial when demonstrators are helping students during lab work. The life of an academician would be much easier with these kinds of teaching and research, helping them to balance the load of teaching and research effectively.

As per my experience, the balance between teaching and research is clearly defined in developed countries; but still there is an imbalance in transitional or developing economies. So, there is a need to clearly mention the responsibilities of every academician as early as possible to help them to understand the workloads and responsibilities carefully.

Further, doing research in a collaboration or as a team of 3-4 academicians can help to share the work and allow more time for quality research. Moreover, diary management is very helpful to keep track of ongoing tasks while completing milestones within their given deadlines. Sometimes, academicians have to do other administrative activities, exam marking and supervising projects as a part of the job responsibilities. For an effective organization of all the tasks, there is a need for the required discipline to manage time efficiently. Moreover, a coffee break or lunchtime could be used for important aspects such as socializing during and discussing things with your colleagues.

In conclusion, I can say that there is a need to fix your weekly schedule for research and teaching and manage yourself efficiently on what you teach. In this competitive world, it is very challenging to do things smoothly while maintaining motivation, commitment and enthusiasm. Research makes teaching more rewarding for academicians if a teacher can utilize his/her research ideas while delivering teaching. This can help maintain the balance between research and teaching whilst progressing in life as an academician.

About the Author

Dr Sukhpal Singh Gill is an Assistant Professor of Cloud Computing at School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London, UK. Dr. Gill is serving as an Associate Editor in IET Networks Journal. The author could be reached at http://www.ssgill.me