Linking practice and theory using Engaged Scholarship

01 Feb 2018

This paper reports on a study aiming to develop theory and improve practice within an Engineering Education context. The focus is on the development of students’ graduate-level work skills during Higher Education programmes and a specific practice example provided an ideal study opportunity. Engaged Scholarship, a research approach from Management Science, was selected as it provided a way to study practice that can generate both theoretical and practical knowledge. This paper summarises the philosophical underpinnings of the approach and sets out the strengths and challenges in applying it. The research design is then evaluated, concluding that the design is internally consistent and suitable for this study. The authors then reflect on implementation, provide examples of findings and discuss some of the practical challenges encountered. Practice improvements implemented to date include improvements to reflection activities and skills definition, and a theory of developing work skills in HE programmes is emerging.