Fun in Class: First XJTLU Student Competition for Research-led Learning



Knowledge is developing at an unprecedented rate in the era of knowledge-based economy that requires quick learning ability and being curious about new things in order to maintain competitive advantage. Therefore, it challenges traditional university education in the way that the value of university education not only lies in transmitting knowledge but also teaching students how to learn. To tackle this challenge, Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University is proposing research-led learning idea aiming to enhancing students self-learning, developing critical thinking, and improving problem solving abilities. The core objective of this competition is to explore and to promote best practice of research-led learning among students in XJTLU.


  • Explore best practice of research-led learning among students in XJTLU.
  • Promote research-led learning among students to improve learning efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Enhance student active learning in higher education and society through demonstration of research-led learning in XJTLU.


The theme of this year’s competition is research-led learning which requires students to submit a report on previous research-led learning experiences in class with relevant supporting materials.

Research-led learning refers to an active learning process that starts with a specific question or phenomenon of problem solving or phenomenon, students take their initiative to search and consolidate relative knowledge and identify possible explanation or solution to the specific problems or phenomenon. Through this process, students not only learn to observe and raise questions, but also learn to search information, consolidate knowledge, analyze data and information , solve problems, moreover to improve their skills of quick learning, communication, teamwork and leadership.

From faculty perspective, there are four key elements associated with research-led learning. Firstly, describe the meaning and value of the module structure to students. Secondly, provide a summary for module structure, methodology, basic philosophy and core skills that links to real problems and phenomenon. Thirdly, facilitate and support students’ exploration of the specific problem or phenomenon through well designed and organized learning activities. Lastly, provide proper guidance and support for students to facilitate knowledge application and integration to enhance students learning, research, and other soft skills.

From students’ perspective, there are five key elements associated with research-led learning. Firstly, determinate the meaning and value of learning the module. Secondly, explore solutions of real problems or explanation of an actual phenomenon. Thirdly, search related information at large scale. Fourthly, develop solutions or theoretical explanation through deep research or group cooperation. Lastly, review learning process and summarize key take-away of knowledge, capability, and attainment.


Undergraduates in XJTLU


The Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development (ILEAD)

Student Career Development Association (SCDA)
Student Development Committee (SDC)


Students should submit a statement within 1000 words in English with supporting evidence. Any evidentiary materials must be created in the period of your reported class.

Evaluation and Panel

Report will be evaluated by panel judges from five dimensions, the value of the module, the degree of combining actual problems or phenomenon with knowledge, research skills and information consolidation and analysis ability, group or collaboration, problem solving skills and capability. Each dimension takes up 20 points out of 100 points in total.

Students who submit electronic poster design before 10:00 pm on May 9 will gain a bonus of 3 points.

Panel judge consists of faculty from learning and teaching departments, staff from academic enhancement center, and staff from Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development (ILEAD).


Top 20 students will have the opportunity to gain bonus as bellow:
  • First Prize: 1 quota Award: RMB 6000 & trophy, certificate, guest speaker of WISHI, media report, exhibition on annual conference.
  • Second Prize: 3 quotas Award: RMB 3000 & trophy, certificate, media report, exhibition on annual conference
  • Third Prize: 6 quotas Awards: RMB 2000 & trophy, certificate, media report, exhibition on annual conference
  • Promising Student: 11-20 quotas Awards: certificate
  • Awareness Guru: 1 quota Awards: certificate & media report
  • Critical Thinker: 1 quota Awards: certificate & media report
  • Walking Database: 1 quota Awards: certificate & media report
  • Future CEO: 1 quota Awards: certificate & media report
  • Problem Solver: 1 quota Awards: certificate & media report

Note: In order to encourage winners to continue research-led learning or to help classmates adopt research-led learning method, all bonus will be supported for their specific learning programs, which will not be paid directly in the final.


  • The first round: participants submit a statement, evidentiary materials and organizers check their qualification;
  • The second round: panel judges score these materials and release the list;
  • The third round: The final
The specific schedule is as follows:
  • 19th April-5th May Submission of materials
  • 6th-7th May Qualification Check
  • 8th-11th May Panel judges
  • 12th-13th May Invitation for the Final
  • 18th May the Final

The Final

Date: 18th May

19:00-19:10 Opening speech
19:10-20:30 Students’ presentation and judges scoring
20:30-20:45 Result announcement and Awards
20:45-20:50 Summary