Advertisement

Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 335–345 | Cite as

The Research Encounter: An Innovative Course Inclusion that Facilitates Student Engagement

  • Helen L. Naug
  • Natalie J. Colson
  • Daniel G. Donner
Article

Abstract

The learning and engagement activity we describe was designed to demystify the research culture of the Health Faculty for first year students, and there are implications for practice in other fields. It is founded on the idea of research-based learning, which in its pure form is a respected pedagogical approach but problematic for large cohort (>500) first year students. As an assessment item, students were placed in small groups and were matched with faculty research staff and/or a research area to investigate. The students were surveyed before and after the research encounter; and results show that, among other findings, student engagement with peers and with the faculty were distinct positive outcomes.

Key words

Research-based learning Student engagement First-year experience 

References

  1. Barron, B., Schwartz, D., Vye, N., Moore, A., Petrosino, A., Zech, L., & Bransford, J. (1998). Doing with understanding: Lessons from research on problem- and project-based learning. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 7(3 & 4), 271–311.Google Scholar
  2. Bensimon, E., Polkinghorne, D., Baumann, G., & Vallejo, E. (2004). Doing research that makes a difference. Journal of Higher Education, 75(1), 104–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Biggs, J. B. (1989). Approaches to the enhancement of tertiary teaching. Higher Education Research and Development, 8(1), 7–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boyer Commission (1998). Reinventing undergraduate education: A blueprint for America’s research universities. Retrieved from http://naples.cc.sunysb.edu/Pres/boyer.nsf/
  5. Brew, A. (2003). Teaching and learning: New relationships and their implications for inquiry-based teaching and learning in higher education. Higher Education Research and Development, 22(1), 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Case, J. (2008). Alienation and engagement: Development of an alternative theoretical framework for understanding student learning. Higher Education, 55(3), 321–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clark, B. (1997). The modern integration of research activities with teaching and learning. Journal of Higher Education, 68(3), 241–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cotten, S., & Wilson, B. (2006). Student–faculty interactions: Dynamics and determinants. Higher Education, 51(4), 487–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Garde-Hansen, J., & Calvert, B. (2007). Developing a research culture in the undergraduate curriculum. Active Learning in Higher Education, 8(2), 105–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gibbs, G., Morgan, A., & Taylor, E. (1984). The world of the learner. In F. Marton, D. Hounsell, & N. Entwistle (Eds.), The experience of learning (pp. 169–188). Edinburgh, Scotland: Scottish Academic Press.Google Scholar
  11. Hu, S., Kuh, G., & Gayles, J. (2007). Engaging undergraduate students in research activities: Are research universities doing a better job? Innovative Higher Education, 32(3), 167–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Justice, C., Rice, J., Warry, W., Inglis, S., Miller, S., & Sammon, S. (2007). Inquiry in higher education: Reflections and directions on course design and teaching methods. Innovative Higher Education, 31(4), 201–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Krause, K.-L., & Coates, H. (2008). Students' engagement in first-year university. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 33(5), 493–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kuh, G. D. (2009). The national survey of student engagement: Conceptual and empirical foundations. In R. Gonyea & G. Kuh (Eds.), Using student engagement data in institutional research. New directions for institutional research, 141 (pp. 5–20). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  15. Kuh, G., Cruce, T., Shoup, R., Kinzie, J., & Gonyea, R. (2008). Unmasking the effects of student engagement on first-year college grades and persistence. Journal of Higher Education, 79(5), 540–563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lopatto, D. (2007). Undergraduate research experiences support science career decisions and active learning. CBE Life Sciences Education, 6, 297–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Michaelsen, L. K., & Sweet, M. (2008). The essential elements of team-based learning. In L. Michaelsen, M. Sweet, & D. Parmelee (Eds.), Team-based learning: Small group’s learning next big step. New directions for teaching and learning, 116 (pp. 7–27). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. doi: 10.1002/tl.330.Google Scholar
  18. Moore, J. (2008). Practitioner-researcher imaginations: Teaching social research to health science undergraduates. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 10(2), 1–21.Google Scholar
  19. Naug, H., & Colson, N. (2010). Research encounters: Seeding a research culture in first year. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 12(2), 113–115.Google Scholar
  20. Oliver, R. (2008). Engaging first year students using a web-supported inquiry-based learning setting. Higher Education, 55(3), 285–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ramsden, P. (2003). Learning to teach in higher education (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Farmer.Google Scholar
  22. Ramsden, P., & Moses, I. (1992). Association between research and teaching in Australian higher education. Higher Education, 23(3), 273–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Robertson, J., & Blackler, G. (2006). Students' experiences of learning in a research environment. Higher Education Research and Development, 25(3), 215–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Seymour, E., Hunter, A., Laursen, S. L., & DeAntoni, T. (2004). Establishing the benefits of research experiences for undergraduates in the sciences: First findings from a three- year study. Science Education, 88(4), 493–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Turner, N., Wuetherick, B., & Healey, M. (2008). International perspectives on student awareness, experiences and perceptions of research: Implications for academic developers in implementing research-based teaching and learning. International Journal for Academic Development, 13(3), 199–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Umbach, P. D., & Wawrzynski, M. R. (2005). Faculty do matter: The role of college faculty in student learning and engagement. Research in Higher Education, 46(2), 153–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zhao, C., & Kuh, G. (2004). Adding value: Learning communities and student engagement. Research in Higher Education, 45(2), 115–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen L. Naug
    • 1
  • Natalie J. Colson
    • 1
  • Daniel G. Donner
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Medical ScienceGriffith UniversityQueenslandAustralia

Personalised recommendations