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Created by John Willison and Kerry O'Regan.

Adapted for the US context by Sara K. Kuhn.

"Research Skill Development (RSD) is about making explicit and coherent in regular university coursework the incremental attainment of research skills in a specific discipline. In the RSD, there are six facets of the research process, identified from the literature and modified according to Bloom’s taxonomy and our experiences of using the framework in the disciplines. The meaning of ‘research’ in this context is: students actively finding information new to themselves. Underlying this notion is the ‘degree of knowness’ of knowledge: whether research involves developing knowledge that is commonly known to humanity, commonly unknown or totally unknown. We see that even inquiry into the commonly known is all part of the process of research skill development. Indeed, to overlook the development of skills in earlier years of education (such as First Year university) is to miss the potential development of skills required of ‘ blue-sky’ researchers or by industry and employment." --

Description adapted from: Willison, J., & O’Regan, K. (2007). Commonly known, commonly not known, totally unknown: A framework for students becoming researchers. Higher Education Research & Development, 26(4), 393-409. Retrieved from

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research skills, assessment, curriculum, knowledge development, scholarly communication, educational frameworks, educational methods


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Scholarly Communication

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Researcher Skill Development Framework (US English Edition)