More Research With Fewer Resources: Providing Student-Led Research Opportunities At A Primarily Teaching Institution
Karla Batres (School of Psychology and Counseling, Caldwell University) Stephanie Sitnick (School of Psychology and Counseling, Caldwell University) Jon Sigurjonsson (School of Psychology and Counseling, Caldwell University)
Hi! Great info. So – the course essentially guided students to develop proposals? Completion of an actual project went beyond the semester? How did that work? And did students submit their proposals for publication, or only completed studies? Could you share some of their topic areas?
Thank you for your question! Yes, essentially they did develop their own research projects, though the class also focused on more in depth dives into topics they don’t really get in general research methods courses. For example, they learned to write IRB applications and consent forms.
A couple of students moved fast enough they started data collection that same semester, though all had to continue beyond that semester. They continued under our supervision, but what was nice about doing it in the context of a course is that it gave us all dedicated time to get projects off the ground, which is often the most difficult part when time is limited. Once in place, the students ran with it and touch base with us frequently, even after the semester was done.
We are only submitting completed studies for publication. Their topics varied, but for example we had one student that collected data on differences in how extroverts and introverts handled isolation during the pandemic. Another student proposed a new intervention for teaching social skills through a role-playing game.
Thank you! Great topics. So they did not earn additional credit for the work they put in after the semester?
One student is doing an independent study and earning credit that way. Most are doing it for the pleasure of following through. What we noticed is that before taking the class, many of them did not think themselves capable of actually doing their own research studies. Ultimately, we hope this is a model on how to possible increase research opportunities for students and faculty when such opportunities are limited.
We are doing a follow up with our capstone course, which all our students take. That class is different, as the projects they do are not all empirical, but it’s a new structure we are using, and we have noticed that students really engage with their projects. We want to know if that level of engagement l, even when the project is not always empirical also increased self-rated proficiency and science identity.