Professional Development Challenges and Undergraduate Research Opportunities at Teaching-First Universities Laura Wilson (University of Mary Washington) Paula Mullineaux (Hamline University) Michael Knepp (University of Mount.

Report
Professional Development Challenges and
Undergraduate Research Opportunities at
Teaching-First Universities
Laura Wilson (University of Mary Washington)
Paula Mullineaux (Hamline University)
Michael Knepp (University of Mount Union)
Elizabeth Vella (University of Southern Maine)
Purpose of Symposium
 Over the past decade and a half, there has been a growing movement in academia to further integrate
undergraduate students into the research process (Blanton, 2008).
 Although much of the focus has been on conducting undergraduate research at larger, research-oriented
institutions, Hu, Kuh, and Gayles (2007) found that baccalaureate programs with a focus on the liberal arts
may be growing undergraduate research programs at an even faster rate than their larger counterparts.
 Webber, Laird, and BrckaLorenz (2013) found that being at smaller institutions increased the likelihood of
student engagement in research.
 The purpose of this symposium was to provide an avenue for APS members from primarily teaching-first
schools to see what others have done to increase their research opportunities as well as integrate the
learning back into the classroom.
 The goal was to share successes along with the various issues that have arisen for each speaker with their
undergraduate laboratory work.
Setup of Symposium
 Dr. Laura Wilson of Mary Washington will cover the benefits and challenges experienced
as a first year faculty member
 Dr. Paula Mullineaux of Hamline University will explore the practice of student-faculty
collaborative research
 Dr. Michael Knepp of Mount Union will discuss how to maintain and schedule laboratory
projects while integrating material into the classroom
 Dr. Elizabeth Vella of the University of Southern Maine will focus on creating a publication
record conducive to tenure
Being a New Faculty Member at a Small,
Teaching Intensive Institution
Dr. Laura Wilson
Association for Psychological Science
2014 Convention
"Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham
The Disconnect Between Graduate School and Your
New Job
• Graduate school (Gaff, 2002)
• Research is priority
• Very little teaching training
• Most graduates feel ill-prepared for faculty positions
• Your new job
• Research is no longer your priority
• Teaching-Research-Service expectations
• “Hit the ground running” (Whitt, 1991)
• Get over “the imposter dream” (McCormick & Barnes, 2008)
What’s the Reality? It’s Stressful
• Many new faculty members report feeling isolated,
receiving little mentoring, and feeling overwhelmed
by the large number of (often competing)
responsibilities (Gaff, 2002)
"Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
• Ugly
• You were hired for your teaching, but the reality is your teaching abilities
may be largely untested.
• Bad
• Even though teaching is your priority, the research and service expectations
are still high.
• Good
• The relationships with colleagues and students, and academic climate.
Get a Feel for Your Institution
• Find a faculty mentor
• Attend faculty workshops
• Find ways to interact with faculty outside your department
• Know the evaluation process
• Start to ask questions about the tenure process
(Gazza, 2004)
Teaching
• Be thoughtful when scheduling your courses
• Limit the number of new preps
• Ask about campus presence expectations
• Ask for syllabi, textbook recommendations, course descriptions,
requirements
• Ask for student feedback throughout the semester
• Select a textbook you can use for several years
• Request an advising-free year
• Get to know your students
Research
• Typically the most stressful part of the job
• Internal and external collaborations
• Find funding
• Be smart when requesting start-up funds
• Have multiple projects and papers going at once
• Use successful writing strategies
• Find great undergraduates
• Some class projects may be publishable
• Schedule time
(Silverman, 2000; Thorsen, 1996)
Service
• Find something that you’re passionate about
• Become involved with student organizations within your area of interest
• Start at the department level and then expand out
• Learn to say “no”
• Don’t sacrifice activities that are key to tenure and promotion
• Service can be lots of different things
(McCormick & Barnes, 2008; Powers, 2004)
New Clinical Psychology Faculty
• Clinical practice or not?
• You are not your students’ psychologist
• Establish boundaries in class
• Expect students to bring crises to you
• Clinical skills can come in handy
Life Outside the Department
• Self-care
• Family and friends
"Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham
Thank you!
Engaging in Student-Faculty
Collaborative Research at a
Teaching Focused Institution
Dr. Paula Y. Mullineaux
High-Impact Educational Practices

What are they?
◦ Educational experiences which foster..
 active engagement by the student
 learning that goes beyond the class room
 Application to their personal or work lives
◦ Undergraduate Research
 Involve students in active, systematic investigation and research—
complete research cycle
 Utilizes empirical observation
Increases in Undergraduate Research at Small
Universities
Psychological research has become a core component of
undergraduate psychology curriculum (Dotterer, 2002).
 Smaller colleges and universities face many challenges when
engaging in undergraduate psychology research.

◦ Little internal support
◦ Higher teaching loads
◦ Absence of graduate or postdoctoral students
Common Types of Undergraduate Research
Research
Assistant
Research
Methods
Student-Faculty
Collaborative
Research
Project
Independent
Study
Honor’s
Project
Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Project

How is S-F Collaborative
research different?
◦ Differ in how they are
conducted
◦ Differ in outcomes expected

S-F Collaborative
Research Project Goals:
◦ Deeper understanding of topic
◦ Result in some scholarly
product
◦ Facilitate authentic interaction
between the student and faculty
member
Benefits of Student-Faculty Collaborative
Research

Students
◦ Further develop critical thinking
and scientific inquiry skills
◦ Academically challenging and
deep learning experience
◦ Helpful in graduate school
admission

Faculty
◦ Fresh perspective of
undergraduate students
◦ Allows for more time to focus
on other responsibilities
◦ Often results in products
valuable to both parties
Student Attributes to Consider
Intellectual curiosity
 Highly motivated
 Ability to work well with others
 Committed
 Socially-emotionally mature
 Some psychology research experience

Family Interaction and Development Lab

Ongoing, longitudinal study examining social emotional
development in middle childhood
◦ Multi-method and multi-method informant approach
(observational and questionnaire data)
Participants: 6-11 year old sibling and twin pairs
 Procedure: parent-child interactions in two cooperative
tasks and family interaction in a competitive task

Student-Faculty Collaborative Research in the Family
Interaction and Development Lab
Team Approach (Faculty-driven Program)
 A primary student collaborator with the support of foursix research assistants

 Parental Cognition Project
 Initial collaboration supported the establishment of the lab
 Additional collaboration resulted in increased
 Empathy Development Project
 Resulted in an ongoing, related research project
 Increased main study sample
Student Collaborators
Faculty Benefits
Literature review
 Clarification of research question
 Protocol development
 Data collection
 Lab management
 Data analyses and presentation
 Presentations at: NCUR, MUPC, MPA,
and APS


Fresh perspectives and infusion of
energy for project
 Freed up time to attend to other
teaching, research, and service
obligations
 Imposed a strict timeline
 Moved forward own research
activities while counting toward
teaching
Results of the SFCR Team Approach
How to Stay on “Track” When Engaging in Student-Faculty
Research Experiences

Consider the time investment

Create a research culture and
invest in your students

Work within a faculty-driven
research framework

Use a student-faculty
research agreement

◦ OTRP
Utilize a team approach

Take advantage of existing
programs
◦ CUR
FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN
TEACHING AND RESEARCH
Michael Knepp
University of Mount Union
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CHANGES
4 pillars to tenure at Mount Union




Teaching Effectiveness
Professional Development
Campus Service
Service to the Community
A changing landscape
 Teaching Effectiveness has been and continues to be the main component for continuation and
promotion
 As the academic landscape changes, the professional development piece takes on greater importance
 A focus on higher impact practices
MODEL CHANGES AT MOUNT UNION
4-credit model




Faculty move from 4 3-credit courses to 3 4-credit courses
Goal 1: To lower course preparations and allow for more professional development
Goal 2: Within the classroom, allow more time to move beyond the lecture aspects of a course
Goal 3: Integration of written and oral communication across the general education requirements
Expectation Changes
 3-credit model: Continue to show scholarly and professional development that can be used within the
classroom
 4-credit model: Focus on assessment of professional development outcomes both in and out of the
classroom
 Differences: Moving from presentations and potential published works to needing a publishing record
to support teaching effectiveness
DEPARTMENTAL FOCUS ON RESEARCH
The Psychological Sciences
 General Education Requirement
 Written and Oral Communication focuses on learning how to conduct background research to build
arguments
Research Methods 1 and 2
 A combined methods and stats class
 Both courses involve designing a small research study to run in the classroom and early work with
writing a research report
Senior Research 1 and 2
 Fall Term: Teams of students prepare a research proposal with full IRB approval
 Spring term: Collect/Analyze Data, Present at University conference, Write full report
THE UNDERGRADUATE LABORATORY
Independent Study




The research design counts as a course
2 credit or 4 credit option with the difference in hours worked per week
Developed for students primarily interested in going to graduate school
Lab meetings are weekly at first, then biweekly each term
Laboratory Team
 Between 4 and 8 students so far
 Each student works on every project; Projects created by faculty mentor
 All aspects of the project: Background Research, Data Collection, Data Quantification
Beyond the Course
 Conference Presentation Opportunities
 Publication opportunities
RESEARCH SETUP
Recruitment through the SONA system
 120 majors across psychology, neuroscience, and human development/family science
 180 minors and 125-150 introductory students
 Not all courses provide extra credit
2-3 studies at any given time




Fall Term: 1 neuropsychological study and 1 psychophysiological study
Early Spring Term: 2 studies in our neuropsychology room; Senior Research uses physio equipment
Late Spring: Begin new psychophysiological study
Balance: Quicker task-based studies or questionnaire-specific research
 Typically have less independent study students in the spring due to recruitment competition with senior research
Key Balance: Staggering study beginning and ending periods
LABORATORY WING FACILITIES
BALANCING THE SCHEDULE: FALL TERM
July/August
 Submit IRB application for new neuropsychological/task based study
 Set up topic areas for literature searches
 Incoming IS students complete human subjects training
 Strongest returning student(s) typically assist as laboratory managers
 First weekly lab meeting is determining work schedules and explaining psychophysiology study
 9am to 5pm for potential timeslots; In fall term, there is overlap due to two rooms in use
First 2 weeks of term
 Students conduct background research on all studies
 Requirements on amount of literature found
 Practice psychophysiological study until ready for subject running
Weeks 4 and 5 of term
 Begin training on neuropsychological study
 Continuing literature searches and psychophysiological study data collection
 Once a student is ready, they spend half of their time on each study or split their time across three studies if we are running multiples
END OF FALL TERM SCHEDULING
Late October/Early November
 Solicit feedback for spring term research study interests/ideas
 Determine number of returning IS students; recruit from relevant classes to maintain 5-6 IS students
 Submit revisions from summer journal articles
End of Fall Semester
 Literature reviews for manuscript
 Give one month; Student submissions due at end of semester
 Organize conference submissions
 Relevant authors work on abstracts for submission over winter break (receive data analysis portions when completed)
 Psychophysiology study ends at least two weeks before end of term
 Time for data quantification to be done by IS students
Winter Break
 Submission of IRB for next psychophysiological study
 Spring student human subjects training
 Submission of psychophysiological study paper week before the semester
SPRING TERM OVERVIEW
Early Spring Term
 Only neuropsychological/task based studies during senior research
 Train and re-train; potentially add a smaller study to give more data collection time
 Conference abstract submissions
Spring Break
 Begin training on new psychophysiological study
 Conference poster creation
 Before registration, larger recruitment email sent to all majors about IS opportunities
 Invite to meetings and laboratory tours
 Continue targeted recruitment
 All other details mirror spring term/including revisions
End of Spring Semester
 Mirrors fall term with neuropsychological study in place of psychophysiology projects
 Could have two studies finishing if shorter study used to balance is done
 Neuropsychological manuscript goal is June
TEACHING THROUGH RESEARCH
Literature Search Skills
 Focus on the practical skills of the literature search, strategies to use on course papers
 This year: Bibliography write-ups
Data Collection/Quantification
 Diversify projects
 Use different tasks and study designs to entice strong students to take multiple terms
 Skill set focus for improving CVs
 Having a returning undergraduate is important here
Revision process
 Invite students as part of the presentation and publication revision process, not just the initial stages
 Show samples of changes throughout drafts to improve their own writing samples
THE LAB IN THE CLASSROOM
Journal Article Days
 Bring in relevant topic articles in 200 and 300 level course
 Out of class work to read the paper with in-class discussion
Laboratory demonstrations
 Show various examples of past research in the classroom and relate it to the topic at hand
 Seeing is believe; greater buy-in
Related Written and Oral Communication
 Experiential projects that recreate previous works
 Grant proposals that hit at different skills
 Oral communication assignments that build towards graduate experiences
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Graduated Students
 Erin Krafka, Sam Stilson, Kevin Joyner, Ashley Boutin, Morgan Myers, Angela Paridon, and Logan Cook
Current students at Mount Union
 Rebecca Kritschil, Emily Quandt, Veronica Zaczyk, Alex Tomaino, and Erica Druzina
Fall Students
 Erin Bell, Chad Gentry, Amanda Glorioso, Rachel Horseman, Casey Lambert,
Natalie Ricciutti, Dekota Toot, and Jeffrey Yoza
Lab Mascot and Materials
 Samson the cat
Establishing a Research Program Conducive to
Tenure in an Exclusively Undergraduate
Department
Elizabeth Vella
Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Southern Maine
Pre-tenure Landscape
 Increasing need to master juggle and strike balance amid
teaching, research, and service.
 Junior faculty at contemporary liberal arts colleges may
find themselves pulled from multiple directions
simultaneously
 Demonstrate teaching excellence
 Establish a productive research program
 Provide service to department, campus, and local
community.
 Successful candidates will excel in time management skills
and ability to blur the lines across the 3 areas of
evaluation.
Focus: Integrative Models to Maintain an Active
Publication Record
 Like Mount Union, USM has a research-driven
undergraduate psychology curriculum.
 Stats, Research Methods Lecture & Lab, Upper Level Research
Assistantship.
 Faculty teach 3-3 load, and expected to average 1 senior
author pub per year.
 Goal: Establish models conducive to maximize
publication record, in addition to annual conference
presentations.
 Model 1: Lab-Based (blend teaching with research)
 Model 2: Field-Based (blend service with research)
Getting Started
 Use Your Time Strategically
 First things First: If you have publishable data left over from
graduate school or postdoc, use the summer before year 1 of
professorship to write it up.
 Seek out top performing students in your classes to work as
undergraduate research assistants (particularly if teaching
research methods/stats)
 Select service opportunities that will both nurture your
development as a campus citizen and further your development
as a researcher.
 Institutional Review Board Service
 Psi Chi Faculty Advisor
 Summer Institutes Presentations/Faculty Workshops
Model 1: Lab-Based Science
 Organize your time during the summer to achieve 2 key tasks
 Protocol generation for late summer/early fall IRB submission
 Prepare manuscript(s) for publication review
 If you are successful in using your summer months for these purposes,
it will essentially ensure regular data generation during the academic
year, and regular manuscript review conducive to annual publications.
 Avoid teaching summer session if possible; protect this time for scholarly
work.
 Additional Strategy: Plan teaching schedules during fall and spring
terms to permit clear blocks of time scheduled exclusively for manuscript
preparations (e.g., McCormick & Barnes, 2008).
 Aim to develop lab protocols that incorporate elements of
undergraduate research assistant interests.
 Enhances quality of faculty-student relationship
 Facilitates assignment of assistants to take the lead on poster presentations
The Lab-Based Scholarly Cycle
Summer: Protocol
Development &
Manuscript Preparation
Spring: Finish data collection
on lab study & Conference
presentations
Fall: Begin data collection on new
study & Analyze data from old study
for conference abstract submission
Winter Session:
Prepare conference
presentations & Address
manuscript reviews
Model 2: Field Based Science
 Many junior faculty may be charged with the lofty pursuit of
maintaining an annual publication record w/o a lab space
 Under these circumstances, faculty may benefit from exploring program
evaluation research opportunities.
 Make connections with colleagues and community partners that will
enable you to establish a productive research program.
 Potential Campus Resources:
 Office of Community Service: http://usm.maine.edu/cbl/
 Office of Research Development: http://usm.maine.edu/researchadmin
 Examples of Program Evaluation Research
 Pilot study: Retreat intervention predicts improved quality of life and reduced
psychological distress among breast cancer patients (Vella & Budd, 2011).
 Participation in outdoor recreation program predicts improved psychosocial wellbeing among veterans with PTSD (Vella, Milligan, & Bennett, 2013).
 Wayfinder Schools: Psychosocial and physiological correlates for those
undergoing alternative residential high school program for at risk youth.
Thank you!

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