Using Semantic Differential to Explore Life Sciences Academics’ Perceptions of Academic Identity

Anne Margaret Tierney, University of Glasgow, Scotland


Semantic Differential was used as a means to collect quantitative data about UK Life Science Academics’ perceptions of Academic Identity. Data were analysed using Mann-Whitney U Test and Effect Size. The purpose was to investigate potential differences in perception of Academic Identity between traditional “Research-Teaching” and “Teaching-Only” academics. Perceptual differences were also investigated between other academic groupings. Analysis revealed significant differences between groups of Life Science academics in areas of Research and Pedagogy. In practice, this has the potential to impact on student learning due to subconscious priority-setting by academics. However, it is also an opportunity for Educational Developers to support engagement with SoTL, developing both individuals and institutions’ expertise in Teaching and Learning. Semantic Differential was used to investigate differences in perceptions of Academic Identity in UK Life Scientists. Differences were found in perceptions of Research and Teaching, in three different academic groupings.

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