Scaffolding Undergraduate Research in the Curriculum

Scaffolding Undergraduate Research

  • How to scaffold when students don’t declare until second semester sophomore year?
  • How does scaffolding fit into interdisciplinarity?
  • Define project, develop it, and defend idea
  • Interdisciplinary I.S. project of future
  • Can’t make students “dependent” at beginning of studies and have them independent at end
  • FYS: They should write a research paper. Can we bring the wide-ranging goals of FYS into conversations on I.S.?
  • Simple skills for papers, i.e. in text citations, need to be taught more at beginning
  • Students don’t understand the purpose of FYS (View of it as “easy class”)
  • FYS writing required in all classes should integrate research, library skills
  • Library skills are lacking from some students at senior year
  • Writing assignments should build up to research paper
  • Library, resource building (i.e. encyclopedia, journal, etc.)
  • Other skills needed to be scaffolded: Textual analysis, interpretation, convey information, how to write simply about something (i.e. creating wiki pages)
  • Analysis, writing, reading, finding sources
  • Teaching skills versus teaching content
  • What students expect is often content, but we focus on skills a lot
  • Difference between gathering information (learning content) and how to convey that learning (disjuncture)
  • Students want to jump to the goal rather than go through the process
  • “W” classes—our own teaching of it evolves. Inside or outside major?
  • Many courses are doing writing that are not “W” courses
  • Spirit of “W” courses has evolved
  • In sciences, Jr. I.S. works as foundation for senior I.S., proposal, etc. that becomes part of Senior I.S., communication skills
  • Other fields, build skills in Junior I.S., blended approach to junior I.S. seems most sustainable.
  • How to include seniors’ expert knowledge in the teaching of new generation of science students
  • Guidance in 401; change of faculty in disciplinary learning in other areas changes what students are ready for, their level. Is there a way to get students to continue through junior I.S. to Senior I.S. better?
  • Scaffold from Junior to Senior I.S. better
  • Repetition is a good thing. Students need to understand one subject from different angles. Experiential Learning—summer work, collaborative work doesn’t work in all disciplines. Specially because they are student driven
  • Drain on faculty often to pursue summer projects/research, but if they are working on faculty projects it is helpful. Cuts into writing time
  • Leave: enables us to come back with new questions
  • 401 important but sustainability key
  • focus on skills and content and repetition
  • FYS, W courses, Junior IS, leave, other courses—its all about repetition of skills through content indifferent areas
  • Can we think about all courses as scaffolding; if content builds, do skills build too?
  • What does IS do for us?