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Integrating research into teaching: best practices

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Title: Student Affairs and University Planning Author: E7436 Last modified by: QEM Created Date: 9/11/2003 1:31:27 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Integrating research into teaching: best practices


1
Integrating research into teaching best
practices
  • Daniel A. Wubah
  • James Madison University

2
Outline
  • Undergraduate research
  • The case
  • Characteristics of successful programs
  • Institutional factors
  • Faculty approach
  • Examples and outcomes
  • Challenges/issues
  • NSF Programs
  • Take home lessons

3
Can undergraduate students do research?
  • Definition of research
  • Does undergraduate research need to be at the
    level of faculty or even graduate students in
    order to be called research? 
  • Have we determined whether undergraduate students
    are capable of doing research or are we assuming
    that they are not capable? 

4
Undergraduate research
  • Learn best by doing
  • Sparks intellectual curiosity and immerses
    students in academic life
  • Adept at discussing their research and it boosts
    their confidence
  • Exposes students to new career options

5
The case
  • Links between research and education are more
    important now than ever because today's students
    will spend much of their careers in the 21st
    century coping with open-ended challenges and
    opportunities requiring highly developed
    analytical skills.
  • Neal Lane,
  • Former Director, NSF

6
The paradigm
Research university
Undergraduate university/college
7
Standard expectation
8
Research universities
  • Undergraduate education in research
    universities requires renewed emphasis on a point
    strongly made by John Dewey almost a century ago
    learning is based on discovery guided by
    mentoring rather than on the transmission of
    information
  • The Boyer Commission on Educating
    Undergraduates in the Research University
  • REINVENTING UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
  • A blueprint for America's Research
    Universities. 1998.

9
Characteristics of effective programs
  • Faculty commitment
  • Institutional leadership and support
  • Flexibility of approaches for the integration of
    research into teaching
  • Significant changes in curriculum

10
Institutional approaches
  • Curriculum
  • Emphasize interdisciplinary approaches across
    curriculum
  • Facilitate cross-organizational structures that
    bring Education faculty and faculty from other
    disciplines together to exchange knowledge
  • Link campus to K-12 through pre- and in-service
    science and mathematics education initiatives

11
Institutional approaches
  • Resources
  • Establish centers for course development, faculty
    teaching improvement, and curriculum revision
    e.g. Center for the integration of research,
    teaching and learning (CIRTL) at Wisconsin
    (http//cirtl.wceruw.org)
  • Organize seminars and workshops that focus on
    best practices in research and pedagogy through
    centers for improving faculty instruction

12
Institutional approaches
  • Reward system
  • Promote excellence and innovation in teaching as
    part of the reward system
  • Elevate value of integrating research into
    teaching in faculty evaluation
  • Reflect these values in hiring, promotion and
    tenure guidelines

13
Faculty approach
  • Use faculty research as examples to illustrate
    concepts e.g guest lecturers
  • Share experiences with class when you present at
    meetings, write papers, or meet with research
    colleagues
  • Link your research to topics in course whenever
    possible

14
Faculty approach
  • Assign student projects in areas where your
    research intersects a class topic
  • Encourage students to conduct independent study
    projects in your research area as extensions of
    your course (most departments have special topics
    and/or honors project courses)

15
University of Missouri
16
Changing undergraduate curriculum
  • Basic Environmental Studies course
  • Course for non-science majors required for both
    the Environmental Studies and International
    Studies programs.
  • Students confront real problems by thoroughly
    researching environmental issues prior to making
    mock policy decisions.
  • Formulate hypotheses, access the research
    literature and online national databases, and
    then select, statistically analyze and synthesize
    the acquired data to test their hypotheses before
    preparing both an oral and written argument.

17
Outcomes
  • Student and faculty participate in joint research
    and more students pursue graduate studies
  • Improves student recruitment and persistence in
    science majors
  • Improves content knowledge and teaching skills of
    future K-12 teachers
  • Increases understanding of science among
    non-science majors
  • Enhances diversity among science and engineering
    students

18
  • As we look to the future of science and
    engineering education in a world where the
    questions of investigation and the means to
    pursue them are constantly changing, we see that
    the most effective education for tomorrow's
    citizens is one which integrates research into
    the teaching environment. We also see that to do
    this effectively, researchers must be active and
    engaged in the classroom, as they are in the
    laboratory."
  • N. O. Keohane,
  • President, Duke University
  • Chronicle of Higher Ed. Dec 2004

19
Challenges/issues
  • Allocation of internal resources
  • Sustaining programs through external support
  • Institutional culture leading to creative
    programs
  • Assessment

20
NSF Programs
  • RUI, RIG, CAA
  • CAREER
  • IGERT, G-K12
  • ATE
  • Training programs e.g. UMEB

21
Discontinued NSF Programs
  • Awards for integration of research and education
    (AIRE) Up to 500,000/year to Baccalaureate I
    and II institutions
  • Collaborative for the integration of research and
    education (CIRE) Up to 500,000/year to
    minority-serving institutions to collaborate with
    research institutions
  • Recognition award for the integration of research
    and education (RAIRE) Up to 500,000/year to
    research universities

22
Take home suggestions
  • Start early by developing an inquiry-based
    freshman year course and build on it
  • Remove barriers to interdisciplinary programs
  • Improve communication skills in all courses
  • Use information technology creatively
  • Provide a problem-based capstone experience
  • Make research-based learning the standard
  • Establish buy-in by administrators

23
Tension
  • The modern university has been in tension with
    the liberal arts college it harbors within its
    bosom for years.
  • Stanley Katz
  • Chronicle of Higher Education
  • April 1 2005
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