October 30, 2012
Discussing the ethics of research projects that collect data from people
The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology has posted an electronic resource that helps faculty teach students about ethics in scholarly endeavors that require the collection of data from human participants.
Beyond Milgram: Expanding research ethics education to participant responsibilities (Barber & Bagsby, 2012) describes participant ethics and an educational approach to participant rights and responsibilities with a special focus on the reciprocal nature of the researcher-participant relationship. It includes four instructor resources
|(a)||websites that discuss participants rights and responsibilities,|
|(b)||a student learning module,|
|(c)||supplemental module resources (a Knowledge Retention Quiz, answers to the quiz, a questionnaire to assess students’ beliefs about research ethics, and suggested discussion questions), and|
|(d)||references for additional resources and readings.|
These resources might be useful to faculty who teach research methods courses in disciplines that depend on data collected from people. These resources will also be useful to any faculty who are engaged in research projects on teaching strategies (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) that depend on assessment data gathered from students as evidence.
The development of this 33-page resource (downloadable as a PDF document) was supported by a 2011 OTRP Instructional Resource Award to Dr. Barber. The document is available at:
Thanks to Ted Bosack, Executive Director, Society for the Teaching of Psychology and Professor Emeritus, Providence College, for contributions to this teaching tip.
March 1, 2011
Engage students in STEM courses with an inquiry-based assignment
Want to increase student engagement in your STEM course? Consider adopting an inquiry-based activity in your course. Inquiry-based activities present a scenario, problem, or question to students who then propose potential solutions and design some or all of the research methodology that will contribute to a solution or answer to the question. The exploratory nature of inquiry-based assignments differs from many traditional laboratory exercises that are designed to demonstrate an established scientific explanation and produce one correct answer if students follow procedures correctly. In contrast, inquiry-based projects frequently produce a variety of acceptable solutions.
If you have created an inquiry-based module for an introductory-level science course that produces successful student learning and engages students with your discipline, consider submitting your activity for consideration for the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction. The editors of Science recently established an annual prize to recognize and disseminate outstanding, inquiry-based interactive science education modules. Submissions must provide complete instructions on how to implement their module. Modules that are easily portable, require only modest resources (supplies, equipment, specialized expertise) are preferred. The module must contain no copyright restrictions. Individuals who develop winning teaching resources will be invited to describe their inquiry-based teaching module in an essay that will be published in the journal Science.
Rules of eligibility are posted on the web site for the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction.
Applications for the first round of evaluations are due April 15, 2011
If you have questions about whether your module is eligible for a Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction, direct them to Dr. Melissa McCartney at email@example.com.
November 30, 2010
Mentor undergraduate students in research and scholarly and creative activities with support from the Office of Undergraduate Research
Undergraduate research is one of five “high impact” practices that engage students at their academic institution (Brownell & Swaner, 2010). Undergraduate research refers to a variety of scholarly and creative activities that occur outside the classroom. This activity involves collaboration between faculty and students in original research or other creative work that results in a tangible product (e.g., submission of a manuscript for publication, presentation at a professional conference, creation of a public performance or exhibition). As such, undergraduate research is broadly defined to encompass scholarly and creative activity in all disciplines.
Students who participate in capstone experiences, directed study, or independent study projects generally have improved GPAs after participating in these experiences (Clewell, Cosentino de Cohen, Tsui, & Deterding, 2006). These experiences enable students to be more competitive when they apply for admission to graduate and professional schools. Summers and Hrabowski (2006) report that students who engage in these projects are five times more likely to go to graduate school than are other students.
The earlier students begin to engage in undergraduate research, the better. Students build close mentoring relationships with faculty during these experiences, which help them clarify a career path in the discipline early in the undergraduate major. If you have not worked with undergraduates in the past, consider ways you can include them in your own scholarly and creative work.
The University of West Florida has established an Office of Undergraduate Research to inspire and sustain undergraduate student engagement in research and scholarly activities across all disciplines. The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) facilitates collaborations between students and faculty by providing funding and administrative support for both project and travel awards for undergraduate students engaged in a scholarly project.
The OUR will have its next call for proposals from December 3rd to January 31st. OUR funds can be used to support research projects begun in the spring semester and to support student travel to present results at a conference prior to June 1st, 2011.
The OUR, the Graduate School, and the Office of Sponsored Research will host a campus-wide student symposium showcasing scholarly work completed at UWF on April 21st, 2011. All students who participate in research at UWF are encouraged to present their work at this event. More details about the student symposium will be available soon on the OUR website (http://uwf.edu/our). If you have any questions about the OUR, please contact Pamela Vaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clewell, B, Cosentino de Cohen, C, Tsui, L, & Deterding, N. (2006). Revitalizing the Nation’s Talent Pool in STEM, The Urban Institute Report (NSF).
Brownell, J. E., & Swaner, L. E. (2010). Five high-impact practices: Research on learning outcomes, completion, and quality. Washington, DC: AAC&U.
Summers, M. F., & Hrabowski III, F. A. (2006). Preparing minority scientists and engineers. Science, 311(5769), 1870–1871.
Thanks to Pamela Vaughan, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, Director, Office of Undergraduate Research, for this teaching tip.
Updated 10/30/12 cdw
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