The Welsh Education Research Network was funded to build the capacity of the educational research community in Welsh universities. Its strategy, based on theories of situated learning, was to support education researchers in the development their skills by enabling them to work alongside more experienced colleagues who were engaged in a shared project. The paper evaluates the effectiveness of two WERN initiatives – a mentorship scheme and a method for supporting collaborative co-working – with reference to key organizational factors identified in the literature focused on situated learning. The study, which interrogated survey, interview and external evaluation data, found that participant opinion supported both types of activity as a means to develop the research capacity of individuals; however acknowledging the limitations of the study there was insufficient evidence to clearly indicate which had been more effective initiative. It is suggested that a diversity of approaches to capacity building is needed in order to tailor situated learning opportunities to the needs and circumstances of participants. The paper concludes by discussing factors that were identified that support the organization of effective collaborative research capacity building.
How to Cite:
Davies S. M., (2011) “The Twist or the Tango? Strictly . . . Comparing Two Approaches to Educational Research Capacity Building which Have Been Funded by the Welsh Education Research Network”, Wales Journal of Education 15(1).