Dr Liam Reinhardt

Senior Fellow SFHEA

Research-inspired learning

Name Dr Liam Reinhardt
Email Liam.Reinhardt@exeter.ac.uk
Position Lecturer in Physical Geography
College The College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Student-led research projects

Liam is a Lecturer in Physical Geography at the Penryn campus, whose research interests lie in Geomorphology, examining the processes that shape the physical world.

Liam believes that embedding research into the curriculum is crucial to developing not only students own skills as researchers, but also their understanding of key concepts and ideas. As Liam explains: “Exeter is in the Russell Group for a reason…we believe in research-led teaching. That means that…some of the research we’ve been doing is four or five years ahead of what’s going on in the literature... So we might tell the students some of the things that we know, but we also tell students some of the things we don’t know…we’re the gaps are, what we are doing about it, and if we can, we’ll get the students engaged in the research projects…that we’re doing [to inspire and engage them]”.

One example of this can be seen in their fourth year of the Masters Environmental Science programme, where students, working in small groups, engage with one supervisor on the research that supervisor is currently undertaking. Providing an important learning opportunity, this is just one example of how Liam encourages a research-inspired, inquiry-led approach to the curriculum.

Engaging students with fieldwork

Liam is also keen for students to actively engage with material they study through undertaking fieldwork. Taking students out of the classroom to explore the local landscape, Liam encourages his students to explore, to question and to learn:

“Okay, can students learn more from fieldwork than textbooks? Yes, of course they can. In fact, I would be surprised if they learn a lot from textbooks, you can learn some theory but unless you have some context, unless you can relate it to something that you can understand…it’s not really learning. Learning is engaging with things and understanding the thing, it’s not memorisation. So if you read a book you might learn some facts and figures, but unless you can apply them there’s  not really much point, because you are not gonna learn unless you understand them…This is why it’s research-led teaching [here at Exeter]”.

Aim 3: Research-inspired, inquiry-led learning

To extend the opportunities for students to learn in innovative ways through their own research and inquiry

Engaging students with staff research projects

"...the students [on the Masters] are going to be working with me, on research that interests me in in this area...[allowing them] to see the bigger picture".

Developing students' understanding through fieldwork

"We take our students into the field; it's a rule".