Creating a Community of Learners

Creating Community of Learners

Moving toward Research Teams

  •  How do you standardize a “pass” grade across disciplines?
  • When ranking liberal arts colleges, is there an “undergrad research” metric—so that Wooster gets more national exposure?
  • Some schools have intensive terms, where students take one class. Is this Possible for Team I.S. meetings?
  • Team I.S. meetings make students accountable to each other and help with their presentation skills
  • Works to have upperclass students acting as mentors to younger students, with younger students gaining experience.
  • Summer research groups abound, but not as many team I.S. projects
  • Is there a correlation between thesis quality and tenure or years as faculty at Wooster (answer: no)
  • How does each department assign advisors? How are visiting faculty perceived by students?
  • Potential for Computer Science and interdisciplinary research teams
    • Computer Science sees this through their double majors
    • How can other sciences team up with CS majors
    • Do we need more communication?
    • Should we sequence (senior one year/one department has a junior in a different department to add to the project
  • What if the student’s I.S. was not tied to the department?
  • What about brownbags between departments early in the fall to exchange ideas and see if there are commonalities (shared research interests)?
  • Seniors need to mentor juniors so that there is not such a disconnect from year to year
  • Could I.S. topics be established at the end of the junior year across the campus? A master list should/could show possible interdisciplinary matches
  • Could Juniors be invested in senior research   Could Juniors sit in on Senior I.S. meetings?

Connecting Student Projects to Faculty Research

  •  Some departments let students choose their own project outside of a faculty’s area of expertise
  • This is tricky; department specific
  • Some have a list of possible topics and let students choose
  • Do faculty have large data sets that could be shared with students?

Creating a Sense of Community Among Students

  •  Group meetings increase collaboration
  • Informal lunches, regular colloquia help
    • Upperclassmen present their research/internships to the department
  • Faculty research has deadlines too, so that we don’t let the students down by having faculty “homework” done too.
  • Discussion must start early (in the junior year) between faculty and students
  • We need to promote more interdisciplinary topics
  • Match students with common interests
  • Get juniors involved in the conversation with seniors and faculty (so they get experience and ideas)
  • Discuss the value of working toward a common goal from different perspectives, being part of a larger projects. Tell them about the benefits of peer-learning groups beyond I.S. ,such as interviewing for jobs, etc.
  • Tell them we model peer groups on our own experiences with dissertation writing groups, boot camps, etc.
  • Support student-run peer groups to focus on themes of their choosing.  Such a group provides a network of support, and breaks down isolation.  Creates a space for students to get feedback from other I.S. students
  • Lunch with I.S. students, but do not talk about I.S. to decompress
  • Smaller departments have the community feel, peer I.S. groups provides this for larger departments.
  • Write a discovery paper out of what they have learned in the I.S. process, to share with other I.S. students
  • Provide institutional support to pilot a study on peer IS groups and assess the effect of such participation on outcomes
  • Consider opportunities for interdisciplinary peer learning, such as symposiums, poster presentations, happening earlier than IS symposium
  • Start early to inculcate a culture of peer learning