Argument for undergraduate research

Report
Using Undergraduate Research
for Institutional Transformation
Margaret E. Madden, Ph. D.
AASCU
February 2012
INSTITUTIONAL CONTEXT
 Handcrafted education
 Small college with focus on liberal arts
 Three schools
 Crane School of Music and Education & Professional
Studies have strong identities;
 School of Arts & Sciences has less strong identity
(though there are many strong programs )
2
 Heavy teaching load
 Limited support for research and faculty
development
 Title III – first generation college students, 40%
from northern New York (low income, rural)
3
ARGUMENT FOR UNDERGRADUATE
RESEARCH
 Research is essential in college education
o collect and interpret new information,
o engage in problem-solving exercises or
o practice thinking critically in research related
activities (Johnson, 1993)
4
 Undergraduate students learn when actively
engaged in process
o able to see the connection between
classroom learning and application
o able to apply knowledge to address
broader societal concerns
o (Astin, 1985; Bonwell & Eison, 1991; Cross, 1987; Morgan, 1991)
5
 Research focuses on process of discipline in addition to
content
o introduces critical thinking, problem-solving, and
specific research skills
o Infusing early in the curriculum essential to cultivate
skills and motivate students do substantial
independent projects as juniors and seniors
o (Halaby, 2001; Hoopes, 1993; Hunter, Laursen, & Seymour, 2007; Willison & O’Regan,
2007).
6
 Benefits include specific instrumental skills, critical
thinking skills, organization and presentation to peers

(Bloom, 1956; Angelotti et al., 2001; Halaby, 2001)
 Research skills important for all disciplines
o Inquiry-based learning and education action
research important for teacher candidate
o
(National Research Council, 2000; Booth, 2001; Garrett, 2006; Waite & Davis, 2006)
7
 Undergraduate research is the highest form of
inquiry-based learning.
 Encourages group activity
 Enhances interest in learning
 develops critical thinking skills through
problem-based learning

(Arámbula-Greenfield, 1996; Currie, 1999).
8
 Skills learned in conducting research springboard to more
professional careers and graduate study
o Summer science research participants reported both
personal and professional gains:
 “thinking and working like a scientist”
 clarification of career plans and graduate school
 preparation for careers or graduate work
 faculty also observed socialization into professional practices of
science
 (Currie, 1999; Hartmann, 1990; Hunter, Laursen, & Seymour, 2007)
9
 Employers also continue to look for prospective employees
who have the skills to work in groups
 In one study of wildlife management students, those
who did undergraduate research obtained
employment more often and more quickly than the
others
 (Blignauta et al., 1998; Cohen, 1994; Kinkel & Henke, 2006)
10
 Students who participate in summer research also show
more general improved academic performance such as
 higher grades in semesters following their research
participation
 higher scores on standardized tests
 improvement in quality of written work, evaluated by rubrics
measuring critical thinking, integration of knowledge and
writing skill
 more frequently completing a B.S. rather than a B.A.
 faster degree completion

(Brakke & Crowe, 2008; Brown & Yrekli, 2007; Kinkel & Henke, 2006).
11
 Undergraduate research especially effective for
improving academic performance and retention of
underrepresented students in sciences
o including African Americans
o first generation
o Women
o Hispanic students
o
(Barlow & Vallarejo, 2004; Brakke & Crowe, 2008; Campbell & Skoog, 2004; Ishiyama, 2007; Merisotis
& Kee, 2006)
12
 Comparing African American and white students with
similar socioeconomic characteristics in a McNair
program, Ishiyama reported similar benefits from
participation in undergraduate research, but also that
African American students were more likely to mention
“clarification of career path” and being transformed
psychologically from the beginning to end of program
than white students.
13
 Retention efforts enhanced by
o fostering mentor/apprentice relationships
 actively engage students in subject
 help build self-confidence
o African American valued personal concern in mentors more than
their white counterparts, implying the supportive relationship was
especially important to them
o Individualized instruction permits tailoring projects and tasks to
suit individual learning style preferences
o (Dean, 1986; Ishiyama, 2007; Woeste & Barham, 2007)
14
 Professional organizations emphasize creation of new
knowledge through undergraduate research
o includes ability of students to better identify questions
with scientific ideas and concepts
o (Arámbula-Greenfield, 1996; Mander, 1988; Vanchieri, 1988)
15
 Faculty benefit from undergraduate research
o release time or instructional credit for undergraduate research
activities as facilitators or mentors.
o increases research productivity of faculty
o enhances the likelihood of obtaining tenure and promotion
o
(Baugh, 1983; Denning, 1993; Gonzalez, 2001)
 Faculty perceptions of student abilities were raised after they
mentored students in mathematics research, as well, suggesting
that they may then encourage students to meet higher
expectations (Brown & Yurekli, 2007)
16
 Many reports of curricular transformation after a department or
entire college systematically undertook infusion of research
through the curriculum
o
(Hu, Kuh, & Gayles, 2007; Malachowski, 2003; Kierniesky, 2005; Kight, Gaynor, & Adams, 2006).
 Many written descriptions of structures to promote undergraduate research
are available in diverse specific disciplines, including:
l physical sciences
l biology
l psychology
l mathematics
l humanities
(Brown & Yurekli 2007; Coker & Davies 2006; Grobman, 2007; Hunter, Laursen & Seymour, 2007; Kierniesky, 2005;
Mabrouk, McIntyre, Virrankoski, Jeliffe, 2007; Malachowski, 2003; Wittner, 2007)
17
THE PROGRAM
Personnel
Dr. Gerald Ratliff, Project Director and
Associate VP for Academic Affairs
Dr. Carleen Graham, Director of Center for
Undergraduate Research and Crane School of
Music Opera Director
18
YEAR ONE





got organized
form advisory board
defined research
hire center director
began to educate faculty
19
Year 1 (2008-2009)
Faculty Student Travel
Number of
participants
6
Faculty Individual
Curriculum Grant
5
(4 courses)
Department Curriculum
Grant
2
Departments
represented
Geology
Sociology
Biology
Anthropology
Theatre
Chemistry
Physics
Computer Science
Music (performance)
English (writing)
Chemistry
Music Theory
20
CENTER FOR UNDERGRADUATE
RESEARCH
http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/specialprograms/cur/in
dex.cfm
21
22
ENDOWED PROGRAMS

The Fredrick B. Kilmer Undergraduate Research Apprenticeships
o
o

a small number of students during the summer.
The Ram Chugh North Country Public Service and Research Award
o
o

supports student-faculty collaborative projects during the
academic year
Presented at the annual SUNY Potsdam Learning & Research Fair
For research on a social, political, environmental or scientific issue
relevant to the North Country region of New York State.
The Frederick B. Kilmer Fund
o
Awards at annual SUNY Potsdam Learning & Research Fair.
23
24
YEAR TWO
Grant activities took off!
25
Year 2 (2009-2010)
Number of
participants
Departments
represented
Faculty Student Travel
7
Chemistry (3)
Geology
Music
Biochemistry
Sociology
Faculty Individual Curriculum
Grant
8
Educational
technology
Music Education
English (literature)
Mathematics
Politics
Music (2)
Geology
26
Year 2 (2009-2010)
Number of participants
Department Curriculum 3
Grant
Departments
represented
English
Biology
Modern Languages
Professional
Development travel
3
Modern Languages
Communication
Business Administration
Teams to Conferences
3
AAC&U
Evergreen Conference
NCUR
Workshops on campus
2
Grant Writing
Curriculum
development
27
YEAR THREE
•Center refined its procedures
•Began creating a series of workshops for
students and faculty
28
Year 3 (2010-2011)
Number of participants Departments represented
Faculty Student Travel
6
Community Health
Music Education (2)
Music Performance
Archeology
Computer Science
Faculty Individual
Curriculum Grant
11
Music theory
History
Music Education
Politics
Physics
English (writing)
Modern Languages (2)
Economics
Communication
Art
29
Year 3 (2010-2011)
Number of
participants
Departments represented
Department Curriculum
Grant
2
Political Science
Women & Gender Studies
Professional
Development travel
14
History
Education technology (2)
Dance
English (literature) (2)
Music Performance (2)
Biology
Sociology
Anthropology (2)
English (writing) (2)
30
Year 3 (2010-2011)
Number of
participants
Departments represented
Teams to Conferences
4
School Within School (Peabody)
AAC&U
Northeast Writing Centers Assn
NCUR (29 student presented)
Workshops on campus
4
Grant Writing (2)
Curriculum Development (2)
31
CENTER FOR UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION WORKSHOPS
SPRING 2012
Is that Plagiarism? A Student's Guide to Sources, Citation and
Honor in Writing
Ethics and Undergraduate Research: A Faculty Panel
Discussion
Efficient Online Research
Creating Your Research Poster
Presenting Your Research in a Professional Manner - Oral
Presentations
Submitting a Successful Kilmer Undergraduate Research
Application
April 16 - 20 is National Undergraduate Research Week!
Annual Learning & Research Fair
32
YEAR FOUR
•In Progress
•Focus on learning communities
•First-Year Interest Groups (Learning Communities)
•General Education
•Upper division
•6 guest speakers
•3 guest authors
33
YEAR FIVE PLANS
•Continued focus on learning communities
•Plans to sustain
•Sustaining the work
• Endowments
34
BENCHMARK AND ASSESSMENT
MEASURES
•5-year targets monitored annually
•NSSE
•Numbers of participants
35
Objective
Increase seniors reporting
participation in research
with faculty as measured by
NSSE.(Q 7d)
Increase student level of
academic challenge from as
measured by NSSE.
(Benchmark Score)
Increase student report of
student-faculty interaction
outside the classroom as
measured by NSSE. (Q 1s)
Increase students applying
for research funds.
Baseline
2007
2010
2011
Goal
Spring ‘13
24% 37% have
done or
plan to
37% have
done or plan
to
40%
57% 57.7 %
59.3 %
62%
49% 52 %
63 %
55%
(Sometimes,
often, very
often)
6
69 + 116
Kilmer
awards since
spring 2009
30
(duplicated)
36
ADDITIONAL MEASURES
•Increase number of second-year courses with hands-on
research component
•Increase number of courses incorporating significant
independent faculty/student research project
•Increase the number of faculty in the School of Arts and
Sciences who are engaged in undergraduate student
research
37
Participation Goals
Year 3 goal To date
(2.5 years )
Individual Curriculum grant
36
36
Department curriculum grant
9
7
Attendance at professional
meetings
Students funded
30
26
30
69
Goal for
year
50
So far this
year
27
Faculty development and
curriculum
38
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